How to turn the polls around in six months

Bear with me. Join me in a little game. Let’s imagine that you have won the biggest lottery prize ever – the ownership of the Murdoch media empire in Australia. You now control it and its editorial policy. You can decide on the stories you will run, the headlines, the text, and how you want the stories to work. In other words you can do what Murdoch and his editors and journalists do every day.

This piece makes the case that although what leaders and parties say and do forms the basis for most of what appears in the political media, it is the way in which the media represents this reality that is the critically important factor in how the public perceives it. No matter what the story, the media can choose the angle it will promote, the message it wishes consumers to take away, the outcome it desires.

This piece selects just four newspaper articles from the Murdoch press, displays the headlines and initial paragraphs, briefly analyses their content and tone, and then offers alternative headlines and initial paragraphs written by fictitious journalists who are in tune with the Gillard Government’s objectives and supportive of them. The facts are the same – the difference from the original is how they are presented in the facsimile. If anyone reading the facsimile feels the facts have been distorted, as distinct from how they are presented, tell us about this via the comments facility.

The original media article is presented in brief first with the text in italics, followed in each instance by the ‘alternative’ version, with the text in bold.

Let’s begin with The Daily Telegraph front page of May 9, the day after Wayne Swan presented his 2012/13 Budget.

Black Swan in Cash Splash
Business, rich slugged to fund election sweeteners
Treasurer slips out of red but finds $5b for battlers

The headlines were accompanied by a cartoon of a rather dilapidated Wayne Swan with many feathers missing, and a bandaged neck.

”Treasurer Wayne Swan has promised a wafer-thin surplus of just $1.5 billion after a savage round of spending cuts aimed at the rich and big business.

Despite the austerity drive, he has found $3 billion for the unemployed and low and middle-income earners as an extra election year sweetener to combat the carbon tax.

Family payments worth between $100 and $600 will be rolled out next year as a ‘‘cost of living’’ supplement. The rich will pay for the redistribution of wealth with the loss of a range of concessions and benefits.

The Gillard government has had to dump another promise – the 1 per cent company tax cut which would have been funded by the mining tax – in a move likely to rile small business.”


Note the pejorative words in just these few paragraphs. ‘Black Swan’, ‘Cash Splash’, ‘rich slugged’, ‘election year sweetener to combat the carbon tax’, ‘wafer-thin surplus’, ‘savage…spending cuts’, ‘aimed at rich and big business’, ‘the rich will pay’, “cost of living” pointedly in inverted commas, ‘dump another promise’, ‘rile small business’; all designed to paint a negative picture of what the Government is doing through these budget measures. It’s not the facts that are being disputed here, but the way they are being presented.

Now let’s see how the piece might have been written.

White Swan brings in surplus budget
Finds savings to support lower income families

Treasurer Wayne Swan has achieved what the Coalition confidently predicted he would never do – bring down a surplus budget. Despite this, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey insists that the 2012/13 Budget is all ‘smoke and mirrors’, that Swan has ‘cooked the books’, and that the surplus will never eventuate.

Families who will soon receive cash benefits deposited into their bank accounts will be unlikely to see them as ‘smoke’; rather they will regard them as mirroring the promise made by the Gillard Government to spread the benefits of the mining boom more evenly across the country.

These family benefits were achieved by not continuing with the planned company tax reduction of 1%. Although the Government insists it is committed to reducing company tax and has established a working group to consider how this might be achieved, its desire to do so in this budget was frustrated by the Coalition’s intransigence in refusing to vote for the tax reduction, and by the business community’s refusal to pressure the Coalition to support the company tax cut. Unable to get its legislation passed, the Government decided instead to use the money thereby saved to support working families, especially those with school children.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is crying foul and accusing the Government of breaking another promise although it was his decision to oppose the tax reduction and prevent the Government from keeping its promise. PM Gillard pointedly drew attention to Abbott’s hypocrisy.

The business lobby expressed its disappointment, but observers commented that it has only itself to blame for not showing public support for the move, by looking down its nose at a ‘mere 1% company tax cut’, and by not bringing the Opposition along with it in support.


What do you think about the facsimile – same facts, vastly different presentation!

Next, let’s look at Editor-at-Large Paul Kelly’s piece in The Australian on May 12. The paywall prohibits access to no more than the first two paragraphs, but that is enough to get Kelly’s drift.

This week highlighted how economic policy has been trapped by a tainted parliament

 

”Despite its fiscal merits and "return-to-surplus" Wayne Swan's budget strategy is unlikely to win the clean political oxygen it needs to secure even a modest turnaround in Labor's fortunes.

For Labor, the minority government parliament has now become political poison. The trap is diabolical – the government's survival depends on tainted numbers such as Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper, yet such transparency ruins the government's integrity on a daily basis.”


Note the pejorative words in the headline: ‘trapped by a tainted parliament’. Readers know what is coming. Note too how Kelly pointedly uses inverted commas around “return to surplus”; we get his sarcastic meaning. He posits that the Government is ‘unlikely to win clean political oxygen’. He uses a poisonous phrase to describe minority government: ‘political poison’. He uses one of his favourite descriptors – diabolical – in asserting that the government is trapped: ‘the trap is diabolical’. He insists survival depends on ‘tainted numbers’, which ‘ruins the government’s integrity on a daily basis’. It’s a measure of Kelly’s literary skill and partisan antagonism to Labor that he could pack so much malice into just two paragraphs.

So let’s try writing the piece another way.

Swan’s Budget wins support for its sound economic policy

Although working within a minority government presents daily challenges to PM Gillard and her ministers, Treasurer Wayne Swan has garnered support from the cross benches for his 2012/13 Budget, and already the so-called ‘Schoolkids Bonus’ legislation has passed both houses of parliament.

Despite trenchant opposition to providing benefits to families to ease the costs of schooling from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, whose philosophy seems to be ‘no matter what it is, oppose it’, the legislation has passed into law and cheques will soon arrive in the bank accounts of eligible parents with schoolchildren.

This rapid outcome was achieved in the face of repeated attempts by the Opposition to slow down parliament through repeated motions to suspend standing orders to debate the accusations made about Craig Thomson, now sitting on the cross benches as an Independent.

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, and Manager of Opposition Business, Christopher Pyne, had the audacity to suggest that the PM should not accept Thomson’s vote because it is tainted by accusations against him, although no charges have been laid. This suggestion is not only unconstitutional but would have disenfranchised the electors of Dobell whom Thomson represents.

That such a suggestion could be made points to the extremes to which Tony Abbott will go to seize power.


Same facts – different presentation.

Next shall we look at Political Editor’s Dennis Shanahan’s article in The Australian on May 15.

Credibility takes a hit in wooing battlers

”With all his talk of fighting billionaire miners and class warfare rhetoric, Wayne Swan has achieved exactly what he intended with last week's budget: a direct appeal to Labor's base and some support bought from families and low-income earners.

What the Treasurer has sacrificed to achieve a small lift in the latest Newspoll for Labor and to give the Gillard government hope of survival is economic credibility.”


Again all we have is two paragraphs but that will do.

In just seventy words, Shanahan manages to tell us that the Government’s ‘credibility’ has taken a hit, that the Newspoll result constituted just ‘a small lift’ to Labor’s ‘hope of survival’, but in achieving this it has ‘sacrificed economic credibility’. With that opening, the other paragraphs are almost redundant.

So try this:

Wayne Swan supports ‘battlers’

In a masterstroke, Treasurer Wayne Swan has crafted his Budget for 2012/13 to support families on lower and middle incomes, while bringing back the Budget to surplus, as promised. His Budget redistributes wealth in a way that begins to narrow the widening gap between the well off and the poor. It truly is a ‘battler’s Budget’.

Although this outcome was ridiculed by Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey, who has repeatedly said that “Labor will never bring down a surplus budget”, Swan has achieved it through well-targetted cuts to spending, particularly in Defence, one of the largest consumers of taxpayers’ money, and he has done this without impairing Australia’s security.

Already, acceptance of the Budget has been reflected in the latest Newspoll that shows a modest lift in support for the Government accompanied by a sharp drop in support for the Coalition. While this may be but a temporary change, it suggests the economic credibility of the Government might be on the rise after presenting its Budget, and its electoral prospects brightening.


Finally, let’s look at an item of contemporary interest, an article by Chip le Grande in The Australian on May 16.

Union boss sues Tony Abbott for 'thug slur'

”A courtroom showdown is looming between Tony Abbott and one of the nation's most militant union leaders after the Opposition Leader last night refused to back down from public comments that Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union organiser John Setka says wrongly portray him as an industrial thug.

“Mr Setka, a former Builders Labourers Federation senior official twice jailed and repeatedly fined during a career spent at the sharp end of construction industry disputes, is suing Mr Abbott for defamation in response to a speech he gave at a Master Builders Association conference earlier this year.


Note how in just two paragraphs le Grande paints a pretty poor picture of Tony Abbott’s accuser, John Setka, with words like ‘most militant union leader’, and by referring to Steka having been ‘twice jailed’ and ‘repeatedly fined’, presumably through union activities. In two paragraphs he is deliberately attempting to tip the balance of opinion against Setka, and by corollary towards Abbott.

Here’s how it the matter could have been reported:

Tony Abbott sued for defamation

A leading union leader, Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union organiser John Setka, has issued a writ for defamation against the Opposition Leader for remarks that he made during an address to a Masters Builders Association conference in February where he said: "So many of you have got to go on to sites every day and you've got to deal with the John Setkos of this world every day. And the last thing you need is home visits from some of the gentlemen associated with some of the industrial organisations."

Mr Abbott went on to talk about intimidation, extortion and "thuggery" in the televised speech.

Court papers filed by Setkos say Mr Abbott meant to call him "a thug, in that he visits the homes of people working in the construction industry for the purpose of intimidating them" and makes demands "that amount to extortion".

In response, Mr Abbott says he stands by his remarks and will strongly defend the case.

Mr Setkos has been involved in defending the rights of his union members, and having been at the sharp end of several intense construction disputes has been fined and jailed for his efforts on behalf of his members.

Mr Abbott is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proved guilty, and should be afforded due process in the court. Questions are being asked though about whether Mr Abbott ought to stand aside until the matter has been resolved, as he has insisted some other parliamentarians do in similar circumstances, and whether his ‘tainted’ vote should be counted. In a minority parliament where every vote counts, it could be reasonably argued that if Mr Abbott insists that Craig Thomson’s vote ought not to be counted, his too should be embargoed.


I trust this game we have played as imaginary owners of the Murdoch Empire and therefore able to determine not the facts, but the way they are presented, has demonstrated that simply by writing them in a way that does not demean or demonize the PM and her Government would make all the difference in the world to how the selected stories would be received by the public, the reaction they would evoke, the attitudes they might induce, and the way they might influence voting intention at the next election.

The Political Sword has long contended that the mainstream media is a major player in Australian politics, and has a disproportionate influence on how voters assess the major political parties, and how they might cast their vote. It has argued that the Gillard Government has two opponents to battle: its natural opponent, the Coalition, but also the majority of the mainstream media, which is manifestly hostile to the Labor Government and supportive of the Coalition. It continually puts the Gillard Government under the blowtorch, while declining to do the same to the Opposition. More seriously, it distorts the facts, cherry-picks the information most favourable to its arguments, and cloaks what facts it chooses to use in pejorative language deliberately designed to demean the Government, diminish its achievements, and smear its ministers, particularly its leader, our PM.

A mainstream media different from the one we have could create a significantly different attitude in the electorate, and a different outcome at the next election.

I trust that this little game will have persuaded you that if the selected stories were written in a way that enhanced the image of the Government instead of depreciating it, instead of the electorate’s attitude to the Gillard Government being strongly negative, it would be strongly positive.

In six months of such positive press the polls would certainly turn around. Labor would be well in front, and the Coalition languishing.

What do you think?

Rate This Post

Current rating: 0.3 / 5 | Rated 14 times

Psyclaw

18/05/2012AA Haven't had time to read your new article yet....later tonight. But following on from my post to Doug Evans a few minutes back, Stephen Koukoulas has just predicted on twitter that the cash rate will be down to 2.5% by Christmas. If he's right, there goes one of Abbott's major points of argument that ALP can't do eco management. This is an example as to why premature speculators about an election 16 months away are vulnerable to getting egg on face.

Catching up

18/05/2012If Mr. Abbott was asked for a few explains, things would soon turn around for Labor.

nasking

18/05/2012 Ad, top post. Superb idea...you demonstrate effectively how different the message could be if the Murdoch empire were more balanced...and showed the government in a better light now and then. It goes to show how different the message to the public is if a mogul creates a despise unions and anti-Labor culture. Good work. N'

2353

18/05/2012AA, have you considered a complaint to the industry body that "monitors" newspapers, MediaWatch as well as the Government Media enquiry. The text of this post just needs your name and address (for contact purposes) added. Brilliant work.

Ad astra

18/05/2012Psyclaw Don't you know, interest rates will always be lower under the Coalition!!! Catching up How right you are. But whom in the media has the courage to ask the hard questions? Most are too busy guarding their future, based on their belief that Abbott will win, and they will want to be onside with Tony if he does.

Ad astra

18/05/2012Nasking Thank you for your complimentary remarks. Indeed it does show how the [b]presentation[/b] of the facts can be more important than the facts themselves. 2353 Thank you too for your kind remarks. I'm not sure how to draw Media Watch to this piece. Let me think about it.

jaycee

18/05/2012If Murdoch is found complicit in the British "Phone hacking" scandal and in the other of corrupting police and the govt'..He should be declared a "persona non gratae", his Australian executives and operations investigated by the AFP. and his entire organisation subjected to the most intense scrutiny. No mercy, no let-up and no future for such a dubious personality in Australian media!

nasking

18/05/2012 I just watched a recording of ABC Queensland news...what a complete and utter DISGRACE. They used the shouting of a rude mongrel at the fruit and vege market...whilst Abbott was visiting...the worker yelled out: GET RID OF HER...GET RID OF HER. Another biased report by...you guessed it...Mark Simkin: http://www.abc.net.au/profiles/content/s1888089.htm?site=news My wife jumped in the kitchen the yelling was so loud and abrasive. I'm sick and tired of the ABC news being balanced in the day generally...but shifts into anti-PM, anti-Labor gear at night when so many families, workers turn on. The news presenter David Curnow seems to get a smug kick out of the attacks on the government and PM. http://www.abc.net.au/profiles/content/s1889097.htm?site=news We've been putting up with these horrible news edits and biased stuff for a good long time now. When I watched the news tonight it was like listening to SHOCK JOCK radio during that awful segment. No way to treat a PM...like she's a criminal to be yelled at. I might add...I'm not surprised Abbott goes for support in these markets...I worked on a market stall for a few mths in Sydney during the early 80s...the blokes can be crass cheapos. For some it's all about money money money...and their workers sometimes get treated like crap...exploited. I was. Some are good, fair people...but it doesn't surprise me that some crass yob yelled out like that. This incident reminded me of the anti-carbon tax stuff we saw...Alan Jones going at Julia...and Grahame Morris. A pattern of behaviour. Should be reported to media watch. N'

nasking

18/05/2012 For some reason I'm having trouble contacting Media Watch on my iPad. If anyone else saw that disgusting QLD ABC news segment could they send a complaint to Media Watch and QLD ABC NEWS. You can add my comment above. Thnx. My wife and I are very angry about it. N'

Shirley

18/05/2012Classic Ad. This was the stuff we did in sociology at uni. Such fun. Really shows the power of words to influence public opinion. I like your versions. Thank you for reminding me of good memories of my uni days. You should send this to our PM.

Shirley

18/05/2012It appears our Mrs Mirabella has a history of upsetting people. [b]Sophie, we are not crooks[/b] http://www.bordermail.com.au/news/local/news/general/lsquosophie-wersquore-not-crooks-rsquo/374439.aspx After accepting donations from a tobacco manufacturer the growers are not impressed and were calling for her to donate the money to a charity.

Psyclaw

18/05/2012AA Another great word picture of the MSM status quo. As well as the oppositional style of text in the press that you have demonstrated, another telling sign of MSM incompetence/bias is the fact that all channels state Abbott's view on any matter as the foundation of the news "story". Very occasionally they deign to state the government's position towards the end of the "story". It goes like this: [i][b]Mr Abbott today slammed the government's intention to introduce paid parental leave. Mr Abbott said that the current economic conditions are not conducive to such non-essential spending by the government. He added that Labor governments always tax more and wastefully spend more. Mr Abbott was responding to the government's announcement today that it intends to introduce a paid parental leave scheme.[/i][/b] No wonder the electorate is so truly ignorant. How would it be anything different when fed on such disinformation, misinformation, and news reporting which focuses on the opposition to an issue in preference to the actual issue.

2353

18/05/2012Nas - done

Ad astra

18/05/2012jaycee We have just begun to scrape the surface of the Murdoch story. As each piece of evidence filters out, the picture looks blacker. I suspect what we are witnessing is a slow crumbling of a once powerful empire. The extent that the disintegration might extend to News Limited in Australia is one of the imponderables. It is hard to see how all that is going on in the UK will leave the Australian outpost of the empire unscathed. Nasking I caught that snippet, I think on ABC News. It is the ABC’s idea of balance, something it seems quite unable to rationally comprehend. Shirley Thank you for your complimentary words. I’m glad the piece brought back memories of your days studying sociology. Sophie Mirabella’s arrogance knows no bounds. She leaves in her wake a trail of disgusted voters she has offended. She must be sitting on a healthy margin. Psyclaw Thanks for the compliment. I see you have had fun mimicking the ABC. You are spot on – highlight the offensive Abbott utterance first, and then tell what has evoked his faux rage. For visuals make sure he is wearing a fluoro vest or kissing a fish as evidence of his down-to-earth, man-amongst-men, salt of the earth nature. I am confident that if we could control how the media presented political information for six months, the public would have an entirely different view of Julia Gillard and her Government. The prophets of doom say the people have stopped listening and imply that they will never listen again. That is nonsense. If they heard positive messages day after day instead of incessant negativity, they would sit up and listen, and they would change their views.

Ad astra

18/05/2012Folks I'm calling a day.

nasking

18/05/2012 2353, Many thnx. N'

Psyclaw

19/05/2012 Hypocrisy, thy name is Abbott. [i]Opposition Leader Tony Abbott today called on his political friends and foes to leave the Ashby matter to the courts [/i] And the SMH reported this without analysis, comment or criticism.

Casablanca

19/05/2012The ABC, for once, indicated that Abbott was mis-representing the Government. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-18/ashby-hits-back-ahead-of-court-hearing/4018480 [b]**[/b] Mark Simkin in this report on the 7pm ABC News on Friday, 18 May 2012 included footage of Mr Abbott saying, 'Labor has been pillorying Mr Ashby up hill and down dale. They have been trying to say that anyone who makes a sexual harassment claim is part of a political conspiracy against the Government. Nonsense!' Mark Simkin then said, 'Labor isn't quite saying that...... [b]**[/b]Unfortunately, during the time that I was typing this comment - having first transcribed Abbortt's remarks - the ABC updated the item and replaced the Mark Simkin report from the 7pm News with Tom Iggulden's report played on Lateline. The Iggulden report does not use the same footage of Abbort & places more emphasis on the footage of the market workers yelling 'Get rid of her'!

Casablanca

19/05/2012Lenore Taylor has written a couple of paragraphs that provide a little bit of support for the Government's Clean Energy policy. Much of the remainder of the article, however, is a sop to the anti-government forces. I do like her description of the Coalition's Direct Action plan as 'a kind of agrarian boy scouts movement on steroids.' 'Almost every one of [Abbott’s] photo opportunities regarding the carbon tax exaggerates or wilfully misrepresents its impact.' 'And what is the truth? The truth is that the science of global warming is becoming more conclusive and the global efforts to address it are painfully slow and piecemeal but happening. The truth is that a market mechanism is probably the best and cheapest way for Australia to begin cautious preparation for the economic changes that must inevitably come, although a genuine ''direct action'' program through regulation and government grants and the like could also work, if one were ever to be proposed. And the truth is also that the tax about to be imposed, while certainly high by present world standards, is not going to precipitate the economic apocalypse predicted by Abbott on a daily basis - not for the nation, and not for household budgets.' Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-powerful-spin-of-abbotts-wrecking-ball-20120518-1yvlu.html#ixzz1vF02HRLe

TalkTurkey

19/05/2012Ad astra All we need to do is to replace Murdoch with yourself as the CEO. That'll work. It is now increasingly evident that Ashby is a stooge - a stalking horse - and his pathetic and malicious complaints against Peter Slipper an exercise in entrapment which would make Get Smart look smart. That is one way of looking at it anyway. Ashby's case is risible and contemptible and largely discredited and abandoned already, and it should all be thrown out of court as trivial; costs may even be awarded against Ashby, poor fat petal that he is; yet the job he has already done on the Government is huge, beyond cost, and some of the damage is intractable. Hopefully the connivance of Brough and Pyne et al will come to the fore, yum, and then if we did indeed have a voice in the MSM - just an attitude-free ABC would be enough! - we would be able to turn the damage back where it belongs. As it is I think Brough is pretty damaged, and as for the Poodle well I think he is too. They didn't expect their complicity to emerge! So it's like they've lost a few pawns themselves , but they've been damaging our Queen, in this game of strategies so much more complex and deadly than ordinary Chess. And the damage to Slipper himself is incalculable - enough to drive many a man to suicide, not to mince words. I do not think him worse than many another: he is a man and imperfect, seems to have been fairly self-indulgent in ways dwarfed by the Palmers and Packers and Murdochs; less of a liar by far than Abbortt and his ilk; a sinner in his own estimation probably, after all he is a Christian holy man! I'm not about to cast stones at him, I'm saving my stones for PooPoo and Bruff! But the point of the exercise, yes, has been to damage the Government, and it has done that in spades. Even though so far it has failed to bring the Government down, it has nevertheless indelibly besmirched it, and you know, those Fascist pigs don't mind being besmirched themselves, 'fact people are dumbed down by the media just to say [i]Oh Pigs will be Pigs[/i], as though it's OK for pigs on that side of politics to talk of targets on her forehead and dumping her at sea and setting people up with slanderous allegations which don't even have to be proven in prder to do irreparable damage to reputations and perceptions. The situation reminds me of that WWII Destroyer suddenly about to run into a spiky German floating mine . . . One bloke grabs a grappling hook and hangs off the anchor with one hand . . . the mine drifts closer . . . closer . . . the crew hold their breath . . . our hero mustn't touch the spikes but must keep the mine from touching the vessel . . . Yeah well there's your Metaphor for the Week . . . Only Dam we got [i]two[/i] mines, Slipper and Craig Thomson! I hope Mr Thomson might come unsullied through his statement on Monday. I'm not prejudging him either, though actually media opinion to the prejudiced contrary I think he's probably a reasonably decent bloke - less indecent anyway than some of his accusers it would seem. There is a bush ballad (pome) by A.B.(Banjo) Paterson I think, otherwise it's Henry Lawson, I can't find it but it is about a drover, probably named Bill, who has to move a mob of hungry sheep through some pretty dry country, he comes to a nice aptch of grass and of course lets the sheep spread out to get a decent feed. Well along comes a new-chum Pommie station manager, lackey of the squatter, tries to move Bill along off the spread, Bill won't go, so the Pommie kick's Bill's dog, so of course that means a fight, well the Pommie is a big young bloke, but wiry l'il ol' Bill just keeps on sparring for wind and dodging around for hours, he eventually gives up when the grass is all et anyway, so thereafter Bill always says [i]The best day's work that ever he did was the day he lost the fight[/i]. (Those are his exact last words in that pome btw, but Google doesn't find it. Anyone?) Yeah anyway I don't think Ashby's backers care much about his case, they have already got what they wanted like Bill. But [b]we will get them back[/b]. Abbortt will come to regret this conspiracy. Both conspiracies. Well it's all part of one big conspiracy. [i]Beware![/i] [i][/i]Monday be interesting eh! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h81Ojd3d2rY

Jaeger

19/05/2012I think the media calling out Abbott for his post-press release runners would help immensely. "Last question." "We'll decide when it's the last question." "Mr Abbott, where are you going? Why won't you answer our questions? What are you hiding from the Australian public?" Show *that* instead of his set piece to camera and you're done.

nasking

19/05/2012 Classic! :) Solidarity forever! http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/05/18/solidarity-forever/ ----- Thnx for the info Casablanca. Strange days at the ABC. To be a fly on the wall during editing. N'

nasking

19/05/2012 [b]Ricketson to media: you’ve had your chance on self-regulation[/b] by Andrew Dodd Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/05/18/ricketson-to-media-youve-had-your-chance-on-self-regulation/ N'

Psyclaw

19/05/2012Casablanca and Jaeger Your contributions this morning motivated me to make this suggestion to the 7.30 and Lateline producers. [quote]The ABC and specifically your program has come under significant attack over recent weeks and months about lack of objectivity. Here is a suggestion to restore your credibility, if you actually desire to be credible and balanced. Mr Abbott treats the media as his plaything. He resists proper interviews and scrutiny, preferring 20 second grabs, and those few on -the-run interviews he does, he ends abruptly when a scrutinising question is asked, and simply walks away. You have much footage of this. Why don't you do an item on Abbott's avoidance of scrutiny, and show a range of your footage of him actually running away from questions. Have you the courage and sense of fair-mindedness to do this![/quote]

jaycee

19/05/2012Hate to promote conspiricy theories, BUT!...From what one can deduce from the subtle and not-so-subtle skewing of interpretaion and presentation of political events in the nation, one suspects a hint has been given to senior management of the national broadcaster that should a certain political party gain office, the ABC. will be privatised at some future date and there could be lucrative executive openings for those who looked after and assisted the elevation to office of a certain political party...

Lyn

19/05/2012Good Morning Ad Here is this morning's Twitterverse for you Dr_Tad‏ Upset with Megalogenis' latest right-wing tantrum (http://bit.ly/LfC9S7)? Then read my review of his book: http://bit.ly/JXUMuD #auspol http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/at-40-per-cent-of-the-vote-swingers-pendulum-is-an-electoral-wrecking-ball/story-e6frg7ex-1226360622497 Lenore Taylor‏ The audacious idea of truth http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-powerful-spin-of-abbotts-wrecking-ball-20120518-1yvlu.html via @smh Slipper and Thomson scandals taint all politicians, Laurie Oakes BREAKFAST television viewers must have fallen out of their chairs in shock at Joe Hockey's words last Sunday. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/slipper-and-thomson-scandals-taint-all-politicians/story-e6frfhqf-1226360675916 Gwillotine‏To free thinkers >>The powerful spin of Abbott's wrecking ball http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/the-powerful-spin-of-abbotts-wrecking-ball-20120518-1yvlu.html via @theage Badger‏@Ngunnawally Abbott and Hockey need lots of wiggle room to do backflips http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/abbott-and-hockey-need-lots-of-wiggle-room-to-do-backflips-20120518-1yw82.html via @canberratimes Peter Brent‏@mumbletwits Mr Carney on Mr Kelty: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/a-trusted-messenger-steps-forward-to-rebuke-labor-20120518-1yw5j.html?rand=1337352903919 TAWNBPM‏@TAWNBPM The media has been under the spotlight in recent weeks, as its tired and cynical refusal to focus on anything... http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/labor-woes-linked-to-failure-to-fight-for-policies-20120518-1yw0c.html Margaret‏@Margy011 Slipper claims he was ambushed by Ashby's team http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/slipper-claims-he-was-ambushed-by-ashbys-team-20120518-1yw0v.html via @smh ManO'Steel(town)‏@berkeleyboy @SteeleTallon @couriermail complicit in concealing Campbell Newman move to ban Queensland strikes http://www.jarrodbleijie.com.au/news/amendments-ir-act-improve-outcomes-public-sector Bernard Keane‏@BernardKeane There is no ethical basis for any journalist to report that claim by business without noting it is flat wrong (e.g. http://is.gd/pNWXNy) christopher joye‏@cjoyeMcCrann good on RBA/Treasury and rates http://christopherjoye.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/mccrann-good-on-rbatreasury-and-rates.html?utm_ Bernard Keane‏@BernardKeane Memo to the media: business claims the FWA gave unions the right to introduce new matters into bargaining are a lie: http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/11/09/the-long-tradition-of-union-interference Yahoo!7 News‏@Y7News Federal #Court has heard a sexual harassment case against Peter #Slipper may be an abuse of the legal process. http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/latest/13717554/court-hears-of-slippers-distress-over-sex-claims/?cmp=twitter Sandra‏@abissicus @IndyPolitics: Murdoch is 'evil', former editor tells Leveson http://ind.pn/Lh2x4f#leveson ABC News‏@ABC Michael J. Fox Looks Past Stem Cells in Search for Parkinson's Cure http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2012/05/18/michael-j-fox-looks-past-stem-cells-in-search-for-parkinsons-cure/ :):):):)

Bilko

19/05/2012AA another light on the hill expose but just for a moment forget Murdoch's media and let us ask ourselves WHY Fairfax and the abc (still not worth capitals) has gone along with this charade or even why the SBS news reports which after the "Al'Jazeri use to be the the most accurate reporting in OZ even though to a much smaller following. Like you I am sick of it all and constantly pray for a Canadian media solution, the way things are going one would think we were behind the iron curtain or at least a paper mache curtain. Now we are off to Melbourne to attend my best mates funeral after an unsuccessful fight with cancer may the force be with us all.

nasking

19/05/2012 [b]Support for federal Labor has collapsed to a mere 23 per cent in Queensland, the latest Galaxy poll conducted exclusively for The Courier-Mail shows.[/b] (Courier Mail) I would like to see how that poll was conducted. As far as I’m concerned this is yet another blatant attempt by pollsters in league with the Murdoch empire to manufacture public perception at a time they know Abbott is starting to struggle…and the govt’s school kid bonus and compensation is rolling out. Add the disgraceful QLD ABC news report from last night and it calls for a proper media enquiry. Bring down the Murdochracy! N’

nasking

19/05/2012 In the BRISBANE TIMES: [b]Hacking saga turns into a marathon[/b] Ravi Somaiya May 19, 2012 Ms Brooks, who will appear in court on June 13, will most likely not be the last to face prosecution, the police and prosecutors said. [b]There are three current police operations, Scotland Yard confirmed: Operation Weeting, which is examining illegal voicemail interceptions, currently employs 95 officers and staff members and has made 22 arrests; Operation Tuleta, which is looking into computer hacking, employs eight and has made three arrests; and Operation Elveden, which is exploring illegal payments by journalists to public officials, employs 29 and has made 28 arrests.[/b] ”It is difficult to give an end date,” said a police spokesman. ”We follow the evidence and it’s impossible to say where it will lead. It’s safe to say it will last years.” A police budget for all the investigations extends into 2015, and anticipates that the cost will reach £40 million ($64 million) in total. Besides Ms Brooks, another closely watched figure is Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World who later became Mr Cameron’s director of communications. Mr Coulson was arrested but there has been no decision on whether to charge him. [b]If it is proven that those in Mr Murdoch’s employ conspired to pay public officials to further business interests, experts say he could be at risk of sanctions in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Even a small fine would threaten to bring the scandal across the Atlantic, and increase political pressure on Mr Murdoch[/b] http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/hacking-saga-turns-into-a-marathon-20120518-1yvvp.html Indeed. N’

Ad astra

19/05/2012Casablanca Thanks for the links. It seems to me that most of the media has not been able to summon the courage to call Tony Abbott’s lies and misrepresentations for what they are. Why are they so fearful? My guess is that apart from any institutional pressure journalists may feel, much of what most of them write is influenced by self-interest, namely the security of their job. They seem afraid to use strong language against Abbott’s outrageous utterances, poor policies and his hypocrisy and disingenuousness. The language is always soft, in contrast to the language they use against Julia Gillard. An example of soft writing is Lenore Taylor’s description of Abbott’s Direct Action Plan as “[i]…a kind of agrarian boy scouts movement on steroids”[/i], buried near the end of her piece. She is probably the best informed writer on measures to combat global warming, yet she trots out this pap. She should be calling the DAP for the expensive, ineffective, impractical plan it really is, one she hints will be abandoned if the Coalition comes to power, which it almost certainly will be. Most of the media is gutless and self-serving. That’s the problem, as this piece asserts. TT Thanks for the compliment. I could never match Murdoch’s business acumen, but it would not be hard to do better in the morality stakes. I enjoyed reading your assessment of the Ashby/Slipper/Thomson saga, and of course ‘Monday Monday’. What an absorbing day Monday promises to be. And I warmed to your Banjo Paterson story about Bill. Like Bill, we shall win the real fight.

nasking

19/05/2012 [b]Graydon Carter on News Corp. in Vanity Fair’s New Rupert Murdoch eBook: “The Notion of ‘a New Low’ Is in Fact Bottomless”[/b] by Vanity Fair 10:30 AM, MAY 18 2012 Just on the heels of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks’s being charged by Scotland Yard for obstructing justice, Vanity Fair has released a new, updated e-book detailing the fall of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire… [b]Perhaps the central revelation of the phone-hacking scandal is that, when it come to News Corp., the notion of ‘a new low’ is in fact bottomless,” writes editor Graydon Carter in a new introduction. “No matter how the story ends in some technical or legal sense, Murdoch has been irreversibly reduced.[/b] [b]The influence he has wielded in Britain, whether through backroom threats or the public power of his newspapers, is effectively at an end. And despite all efforts to contain it, the scandal’s impact is being felt everywhere Murdoch does business.[/b] http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2012/05/vanity-fair-rupvanity-fair-rupert-murdoch-ebook-the-master-mogul-of-fleet-street N’

Ad astra

19/05/2012Jaegar, Psyclaw Your idea is a winner, but has the ABC the guts to do a program on Abbott’s avoidance of the hard questions, the hard interviews. The must have miles of footage, but I bet it stays safely locked up in their archives. Jaycee You may well be right. What you suggest is plausible. Nasking Jon Faine interviewed Matthew Ricketson on ABC 774 radio. He was very forthright about the Finkelstein Inquiry, and upfront about how the media, particularly News Limited, is fighting its recommendations tooth and nail. I’m no fan of [i]Crikey’s[/i] First Dog, but that cartoon is right on target: http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/05/18/solidarity-forever/ Bilko Thank you for your comment. We’ll be thinking of you on this sad day for you.

nasking

19/05/2012 [b]Most of the media is gutless and self-serving.  That’s the problem, as this piece asserts.[/b] Too true Ad, makes ya wonder what our fathers and grandfathers fought for...when the rest of the media and too many politicians kowtow to a morally bankrupt, bullying media propaganda machine. They're a disgrace! Gutless sods. It's time for a REAL change. N'

nasking

19/05/2012 Ad, at least a few MSM types have courage...and integrity. They're rare. If we'd had most of these weak-kneed types around during the war gawd knows what woulda happened. N'

nasking

19/05/2012 [quote]We’ll be thinking of you on this sad day for you[/quote] Bilko, I'll second that. N'

Glofindel

19/05/2012What alternative reality is this and how do you manage to get a web-site into the regular universe? Bill Kelty's advice to the party was much more useful than this strange fantasy could ever be. The first start to restoring the party is simple, Gillard to go. Swan second.

Ad astra

19/05/2012Hi Lyn Thank you for sending onto me this morning the lovely tweet, and for your list of tweets. You never rest, and we are the beneficiaries. The Shaun Carney piece on Bill Kelty exemplifies exactly why I am so annoyed with what he said in public at the ACTU conference. Unadvisedly, he let the media off the hook regarding Labor’s poor standing, and as night follows day, Carney has pounced and has waved this statement gleefully. The state of Labor has nothing to do with the media, Bill Kelty said so! I’m sure many journalists will quote Kelty as if his view was Holy Writ. I bet if he had blamed the media, we would hear nothing of that, except to vehemently refute it. Kelty was imprudent. Nasking Let’s ignore the polls of voting intention. They have no predictive value eighteen months from the next scheduled election. I don’t bother reading them any more, even when Labor improves.

Tom of Melbourne

19/05/2012Hi Nasking, if you have a problem with my commentary, how about you post your criticisms at sites where I'm able to comment, otherwise it's pretty pathetic, in my view.

nasking

19/05/2012 [b]Let’s ignore the polls of voting intention.  They have no predictive value eighteen months from the next scheduled election.  I don’t bother reading them any more, even when Labor improves.  [/b] Quite right Ad, we should ignore them. That will be my last until a few weeks out from the election. I think it's about time QLDers stopped being led like cattle by the nose ring by the Courier Mail and dopey radio ranters... and we deserve a more balanced, fairer ABC Queensland. N'

nasking

19/05/2012 Ad, you always know when they're in a panic...the trolls and Lib hacks come out in droves. :) The Murdoch empire and other usual suspects go into overdrive. They're worried bigtime. Keep the pressure up all. N'

42 long

19/05/2012Don't they squeal like stuck pigs (in UK.)when the heat is put on them. Don't they recall how they hounded innocent people to the brink of suicide for the sake of "news"?

2353

19/05/2012I saw an interesting birthday card this morning. A drawing of a elderly man, sitting at a desk labelled "Publisher" and saying "I was going to call you on your birthday". Open the card and it says "but I was afraid everyone would find out you were a year older when you phone was hacked". Feint praise indeed! Nas - the trolls are out today (volume - not quality) & don't forget 18 months out from the 91 election, Howard was gone for all money. Bilko - my sympathies as well

Ad astra

19/05/2012Glofindel You live in your universe and I'll live in mine.

nasking

19/05/2012 [b]I saw an interesting birthday card this morning.  A drawing of a elderly man, sitting at a desk labelled "Publisher" and saying "I was going to call you on your birthday".  Open the card and it says "but I was afraid everyone would find out you were a year older when your phone was hacked". [/b] LOL 2353. More more. :) [b]don't forget 18 months out from the 91 election, Howard was gone for all money. [/b] I never forget that...these days things can change very quickly. N'

Ad astra

19/05/2012Nasking Thank you for the Vanity Fair link to the review of [i]Rupert Murdoch, The Master Mogul of Fleet Street[/i]: http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2012/05/vanity-fair-rupvanity-fair-rupert-murdoch-ebook-the-master-mogul-of-fleet-street The last paragraph of the review captures this man so well: [i]“Perhaps the central revelation of the phone-hacking scandal is that, when it come to News Corp., the notion of ‘a new low’ is in fact bottomless,” writes editor Graydon Carter in a new introduction. “No matter how the story ends in some technical or legal sense, Murdoch has been irreversibly reduced. The influence he has wielded in Britain, whether through backroom threats or the public power of his newspapers, is effectively at an end. And despite all efforts to contain it, the scandal’s impact is being felt everywhere Murdoch does business.” [/i] It looks like a thoroughly deserved slow burn for Murdoch, from which News Limited in Australia can hardly escape.

42 long

19/05/2012If the LNP get in, we can rest assured that we will have the best polititians, that MONEY can BUY via Clive Palmer. British and American Tobacco et al. ABBOT wants to investigate the AEC( Electoral Commission) because they couldn't find anything wrong with Craig Thomson's electoral funding.AGAIN THE DIVIDE BETWEEN THE GOV'T AND THE JUDICIARY THREATENED Ken Henry will go and any public servant who hasn't supported the Abbot line will go too. Politicise the Public Service. That's the way to get them to only say what you want. Just like America..."Republicans to abolish the EPA" Don't wanr anything to stop people making money and ruining the only place we have to live on, in the process.

nasking

19/05/2012 [b]Don't they squeal like stuck pigs (in UK.) when the heat is put on them? Don't they recall how they hounded innocent people to the brink of suicide for the sake of "news"?[/b] 42 long, good points. Here's a timeline: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_News_Corporation_scandal Another: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/jul/21/phone-hacking-what-happened-when N'

nasking

19/05/2012Yer welcome Ad, I like checking out different sites...this from America: [b]10 Frightening Things That Happen at Conservative Christian Schools That May Be Funded With Your Tax Dollars[/b] http://www.alternet.org/belief/155482/10_frightening_things_that_happen_at_conservative_christian_schools_that_may_be_funded_with_your_tax_dollars/?page=entire N'

Ad astra

19/05/2012Nasking You are a prolific reader, and we benefit. Thanks for keeping us up to date. That is a frightening Alternet article; everyone should read it. It dovetails with what 42 long is saying. http://www.alternet.org/belief/155482/10_frightening_things_that_happen_at_conservative_christian_schools_that_may_be_funded_with_your_tax_dollars/?page=entire

nasking

19/05/2012 I like visiting BuzzFlash sometimes: [b]Do Nuclear Reactors that Jump $900 Million in 3 Months Now Get Taxpayer Guarantees?[/b] [b]The projected price for Georgia's Vogtle Double Reactor Project has jumped at least $900 million in just three months....and that's just for starters.[/b] http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/13504 N'

nasking

19/05/2012Cheers Ad. Is this happening here?...I know state govt's are pushing up fees and fines: [b]How Corporations and Local Governments Use the Poor As Piggy Banks The poor, in aggregate, provide a juicy target for anyone depraved enough to make a business of stealing from them.[/b] —By Barbara Ehrenreich | Fri May. 18, 2012 3:00 AM PDT http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/05/government-corporations-profit-poor-people N'

Ad astra

19/05/2012Nasking There is plenty of such loans here in Oz. We’re getting on the road now for Melbourne. Back this evening.

DMW

19/05/2012Hi ad another well written article however, it is, as I see it, based on a premise that is, at the least, fanciful. [i]... written by fictitious journalists who are in tune with the Gillard Government’s objectives and [b]supportive of them.[/b][/i] In which world would a journalist be (openly) supportive of a governments agenda? Journalists are often, correctly, accused of 'churnalism', as in merely regurgitating press releases, and many bemoan it. A large part of what you have suggested borders on 'churnalism', that is, recycling the governments 'talking points'. To expect a jounalist not probe and push would be a failure of high order. As the government is the one controlling the policy levers it is natural at this stage of the political cycle that a government would be probed and pushed more so than the also rans that are the opposition. The 'unfair' treatment, as it is percieved by some, is largely of the governments own making. The way that Ruud operated in attepting to be forever on top of the 24 hour media cycle did the government no favours. The constant 'announcables' muddied the waters and created an impression of an administration that was not capable of doing the hard yards. The Henry Taxation Review and the announcement of the Mining Tax are a classic example of how not to drive policy change. To sit on the report for six months before public release and then in what seemed like only hours of its' release 'cherry pick' the Mining Tax out of it and announce it as a virtual fait accompli was poor treatment of the public and total media mismanagement. While the 'announcables' seem to have been given the axe, by appearance, we still have a government that is not up to doing the hard yards of policy selling. A quote from Thomas Alva Edison is appropriate here: [i]Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.[/i] http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison Equally policy (and media management) are one percent inspiration ... To get better and more positive media coverage the goverment needs to do the hard work and not be easily distracted by the bombshells going off around it. Again, by appearance, this government is too often distracted and not up to the hard slog of selling itself and its' policies and blaming the media is an absolute copout and a failure to recognise its own shortcomings.

Psyclaw

19/05/2012DMW See my post above at 9.06pm, May 18. Please explain how in hell "working harder" to sell their message can counter that practice of the MSM, including ABC and SBS. That is the TV news model day in day out regardless of how extensive, articulate, and (policy) important the government's message is on any particular day, even on days when there is no controversial background "static" of their making or of Abbott's making.

Casablanca

19/05/201242 long Ken Henry retired from the Australian Public Service in March 2011. His successor as Treasury Secretary is Dr Martin Parkinson. Dr Parkinson was previously Secretary of the Department of Climate Change though much of his earlier career was spent in the Treasury. Dr Henry was appointed as Secretary to the Treasury by Peter Costello. Prior to that appointment he was senior adviser to the Labor Treasurer, Paul Keating, for about 5 years. Dr Henry took up an appointment as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister in June 2011. So far as I am aware, he is still in that position.

jaycee

19/05/2012Totally agree, Psyclaw...AND DMW, you gotta be nieve at best and culpable at worst to believe that this govt' hasn't been "selling" its' policies well. This hoary old chestnut of "govt' shortcomings" is more a problem of media shortsightedness! The public, and that includes us here on this site, obtain most if not ALL political/policy information through the sieve of media access. We rely heavily on initial reporting and then the more perspicatious seek more details and will make reasoned judgements from the accrued knowledge. That is why we here on the "Political Sword" complain of the "media" as we do....WE are the ones who seek! WE are the ones who discern the rubbish from the solid facts! WE are the ones who in some cases despair of the "in-step" churnalism (as you named it) seemingly awash in todays' commentary. WE are the ones not so easily sold such a "pup" as you propose! Now go away and consider your too-easy statement and reassess your knowledge on the subject.

Casablanca

19/05/2012DMW you said, [i]The way that Rudd operated in attempting to be forever on top of the 24 hour media cycle did the government no favours. The constant 'announcables' muddied the waters and created an impression of an administration that was not capable of doing the hard yards.[/i] You forget that John Howard was the original Dr Spin in Australian politics. He hogged the News every evening and throughout the day. He also largely got away with frequently using the Government Media Unit to promote Party, as opposed to Government policies. The spin cycle has become more aggressive as time has passed and the Liberal Party is now the spinner par excellence. Daily, the working Press get told where to be and the LNP machine organise a colourful, aggressive, anti-government tableaux starring Tony Abbott that drowns out most of the rest of what is happening in the political arena. It drowns out their own lack of policies as well as the Government’s policy and program announcements.

Casablanca

19/05/2012Psyclaw, you said: [i]Please explain how in hell "working harder" to sell their message can counter that practice of the MSM, including ABC and SBS. [/i] I agree that it is hard, almost impossible at this time to cut through the static from the MSM. Ad Astra’s current piece illustrates that amply. I wince every time the PM or her Ministers say that they will ‘have to work’ harder. In fact, they have to work smarter. As we know for any worker there comes a point beyond which they are less productive. Granted, platitudes about work/life balance abound but work practices and regulations do not always permit smart working. The Greg Combet interview with Tony Jones that we touched on yesterday is a case in point. Combet allowed himself to be drawn on the Ashby/Slipper matter. He kept trying to end the questioning by saying that he was not across the detail (WTTE) but why not just say, ‘The matter comes before the Federal Court tomorrow and it would be inappropriate for me to comment.’ Instead he allowed Jones to get under his skin. In the latter part of the interview Combet gave a lot of facts but people do not absorb that level of detail. People glaze over when presented with a mass of detail. I abhor the three word sloganeering of the opposition but it is effective. The Government probably cannot reduce its message to slogans but it could sharpen up its answers. I was impressed with the PM’s speech to the ACTU. But, it was not really an effective speech. I was impressed by her command of the facts and figures, but I had to go back to the transcript to reinforce the message that she was putting out there. I am constantly reminded of advice given in a Public Presentation Workshop that I attended eons ago. The course convenor said to us (middle ranking Public Servants) that we should regard ourselves as the expert on our topic and thus we would speak more forcefully if we did not read from notes but relied on our knowledge and spoke in a more conversational manner. Secondly, that we should not expect our audience to absorb all the detail of our subject matter during a public presentation. Instead, he pointed out that the main purpose of a speech is to whet our audience’s appetite for more detail which can either be delivered during a formal question time or at a social gathering afterwards. Also, by whetting their appetite for more detail, some at least will go and research the matter further. Julia Gillard often comes across as like the little school kid who wishes to impress her parents with the sheer detail of what she learnt at school that day. She has a prodigious memory and rarely refers to notes but less compacted detail in her formal speeches would allow her to draw breath and get more rapport with her audience. I have not met her but it has often been reported that she can light up a room when she enters it but stiffens up as soon as the cameras start whirring. Such a pity as she is really so talented and competent.

Psyclaw

19/05/2012Casablanca In one part of my career, for many years I was a presenter of workshops. However I only ever agreed to present courses about subjects that I was completely "on top of", and rarely, if ever used notes. As well as ensuring that the aim was to just get one or two simple messages across, one adage that was forever fruitful was "tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, and then tell 'em what you told 'em." I agree with what you say about the depth of the government's messages that needs to be presented ie pretty bloody shallow ie spare the details. eg re the NDIS: "This is a scheme to assists parents of very disabled kids to care for them ..... and especially those older parents whose disabled kids have now grown to adulthood." John Public needs no more info, especially info about "where the money's coming from" (General Sloppy Joe's line of resistance to the scheme), or what the mechanisms for operating the scheme are. Only the parents of disabled kids will need to know the latter ..... the rest of us can wait and have any questions we might have, answered by seeing the scheme in actual operation. That's why we have a government .... to bloody well get on and do it, and spare us the details. If they badly stuff up, we tell them at the next election!

Jason

19/05/2012Perhaps the answer to these questions could be contained in the sealed section of the "Bracks Carr and Faulkner review" that was done after the 2010 election! But as with every other review nothing is changed so is it any wonder Labor is on the nose?

DMW

19/05/2012jaycee @ 3:38 PM [i]Now go away ... reassess your knowledge on the subject.[/i] I have to admit that it was over forty years ago that I first began my journey in the media/politico complex and some things have changed so my knowledge is, as always, limited. By the same token many things have not changed and the lessons are the same as always. Since before Adam was a boy governments and organisations have blamed the press (media) when things have gone wrong. All too often it is the easy way out. I have been up close and personal in the 'game' and worked with consummate professionals seeing how the sausages are made. From those experiences I draw the conclusion that blaming the media is a cop out in a lot of cases and to get the message out requires a lot of graft and damned hard foot slogging. The current government is certainly working against many strong head winds and cross winds. So have others before them. At the moment I do not believe they know which sails to choose to take advantage of the winds they are facing. psyclaw @ 3:17 PM In various ways I have touched on this before. The goverment make it easy for the media to refer to Mr Abbott in particular and the opposition in general. The Prime Minister in particular and many ministers spend a lot of time talking about what they think Mr Abbott will do or say and quite naturally the media check it out to an extent that, I believe, would not happen if the PM and ministers stopped talking about Mr Abbott. The PM and her government do more to give the opposition and its' leader credibility, relevance and air time than is smart. I will type my memo to the PM again: STOP TALKING ABOUT MR ABBOTT Just that on its own would make a difference that given time would assist in making Mr Abbott irrelevant. Casablanca @ 3:59 PM I have indeed forgotten many things but Mr Howard's mastery of the media is not one of them. I put it to you that in fact that Hawke and Keating were masters of spin and media manipulation of a higher quality than Howard. They set a standard that even only half met would certainly see the current government in better standing. Around 1979 when I first met Mr Howard face to face I confided to a colleague that, in my opinion, Howard wanted to be Prime Minister and god help the country if it ever happened. I vowed to do everything in my very limited power to prevent Mr Howard realising his ambition. I followed his ups and downs pretty closely since that time. Begrudgingly I have respect for the way he doggedly stuck at the task of achieving his ambitions, learning from some of his earlier mistakes, particularly, treating the media with contempt as he often did when treasurer. Mr Howard is a text book case of going out and selling the message and dragging people around, often despite loud kicking and screaming, to his way of thinking. The firearms buyback, in my opinion one of the few great achievments of Mr Howard, is a perfect example of the graft and footslog required to get things done. Less time spent blaming the media for any and all problems that the goverment has could be productively spent getting 'better press'.

Gravel

19/05/2012Ad Astra Another great piece, thank you. Could you clear up what you mean by: [i]Most are too busy guarding their future, based on their belief that Abbott will win, and they will want to be onside with Tony if he does.[/i] The media don't seem to be worried about not being on the side of Julia, why should they we worried about not being on Abbott's side?

TalkTurkey

19/05/2012DMW said, To get better and more positive media coverage the goverment needs to do the hard work and not be easily distracted by the bombshells going off around it. Who was it said Arbeit Macht Frei http://www.rudyfoto.com/hol/arbeit.html And Boxer, the great patient noble draught-horse in George Orwell's (Eric Blair's) [i]Animal Farm [/i]said [b]I will work harder[/b] And I only meant to find the quote but when I did, the writing so beautiful moved me to tears (true!) and I couldn't chop out just a line or two, here is the beginning to Chapter 3. You don't have to read it but you will feel ennobled if you do. Chapter III How they toiled and sweated to get the hay in! But their efforts were rewarded, for the harvest was an even bigger success than they had hoped. Sometimes the work was hard; the implements had been designed for human beings and not for animals, and it was a great drawback that no animal was able to use any tool that involved standing on his hind legs. But the pigs were so clever that they could think of a way round every difficulty. As for the horses, they knew every inch of the field, and in fact understood the business of mowing and raking far better than Jones and his men had ever done. The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership. Boxer and Clover would harness themselves to the cutter or the horse-rake (no bits or reins were needed in these days, of course) and tramp steadily round and round the field with a pig walking behind and calling out "Gee up, comrade!" or "Whoa back, comrade!" as the case might be. And every animal down to the humblest worked at turning the hay and gathering it. Even the ducks and hens toiled to and fro all day in the sun, carrying tiny wisps of hay in their beaks. In the end they finished the harvest in two days' less time than it had usually taken Jones and his men. Moreover, it was the biggest harvest that the farm had ever seen. There was no wastage whatever; the hens and ducks with their sharp eyes had gathered up the very last stalk. And not an animal on the farm had stolen so much as a mouthful. All through that summer the work of the farm went like clockwork. The animals were happy as they had never conceived it possible to be. Every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure, now that it was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master. With the worthless parasitical human beings gone, there was more for everyone to eat. There was more leisure too, inexperienced though the animals were. They met with many difficulties--for instance, later in the year, when they harvested the corn, they had to tread it out in the ancient style and blow away the chaff with their breath, since the farm possessed no threshing machine--but the pigs with their cleverness and Boxer with his tremendous muscles always pulled them through. Boxer was the admiration of everybody. He had been a hard worker even in Jones's time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest on his mighty shoulders. From morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest. He had made an arrangement with one of the cockerels to call him in the mornings half an hour earlier than anyone else, and would put in some volunteer labour at whatever seemed to be most needed, before the regular day's work began. His answer to every problem, every setback, was [b]"I will work harder!"[/b] - which he had adopted as his personal motto. But everyone worked according to his capacity. The hens and ducks, for instance, saved five bushels of corn at the harvest by gathering up the stray grains. Nobody stole, nobody grumbled over his rations, the quarrelling and biting and jealousy which had been normal features of life in the old days had almost disappeared. Nobody shirked--or almost nobody. Mollie[i],[the mincing white pony, Jones special pet. . . TT][/i] it was true, was not good at getting up in the mornings, and had a way of leaving work early on the ground that there was a stone in her hoof. And the behaviour of the cat was somewhat peculiar. It was soon noticed that when there was work to be done the cat could never be found. She would vanish for hours on end, and then reappear at meal-times, or in the evening after work was over, as though nothing had happened. But she always made such excellent excuses, and purred so affectionately, that it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions. Old Benjamin, the donkey, seemed quite unchanged since the Rebellion. He did his work in the same slow obstinate way as he had done it in Jones's time, never shirking and never volunteering for extra work either. About the Rebellion and its results he would express no opinion. When asked whether he was not happier now that Jones was gone, he would say only "Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey," and the others had to be content with this cryptic answer. On Sundays there was no work. Breakfast was an hour later than usual, and after breakfast there was a ceremony which was observed every week without fail. First came the hoisting of the flag. Snowball had found in the harness-room an old green tablecloth of Mrs. Jones's and had painted on it a hoof and a horn in white. This was run up the flagstaff in the farmhouse garden every Sunday morning. The flag was green, Snowball explained, to represent the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown. After the hoisting of the flag all the animals trooped into the big barn for a general assembly which was known as the Meeting. Here the work of the coming week was planned out and resolutions were put forward and debated. It was always the pigs who put forward the resolutions. The other animals understood how to vote, but could never think of any resolutions of their own. Snowball and Napoleon were by far the most active in the debates. But it was noticed that these two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them made, the other could be counted on to oppose it. Even when it was resolved--a thing no one could object to in itself--to set aside the small paddock behind the orchard as a home of rest for animals who were past work, there was a stormy debate over the correct retiring age for each class of animal. The Meeting always ended with the singing of 'Beasts of England', and the afternoon was given up to recreation.

Tom of Melbourne

19/05/2012What happened to all the recommendations made by Hawke & Wran too? Two ALP luminaries consult widely, make a series of recommendations that gather dust. When Crean tried to implement one, the unions punished him at preselection, and put Martin Pakula against him as a “rising star”. He’s now a non entity, a non performer, a dud, in state parliament. Some star, some appetite for reform from the hacks. -------------------- But Kelty was right when he said - “you can’t blame the media”. Every political difficulty faced by this government is a result of the political decisions they’ve chosen to make.

jaycee

19/05/2012I ask this in all seriousness..: Could it be possible for a collective of the citizen body to start a class-action against a collective of mainstream media suppliers? I ask because seeing as how the "suppliers"ie. The media corporations, demand payment for their "product" they must be considered "liable" if that "product" is misleading or faulty or deliberately interfered with to bring about a favourable(to them)conclusion!....Also, if their "favoured product outcome" is tainted by not delivering their "advertised promise" surely a charge of misleading would be warranted?

DMW

19/05/2012Casablanca @ 4:50 PM inadvertantly or otherwise you make the point that the government is its own worst enemy when it comes to media coverage. [i]I was impressed with the PM’s speech to the ACTU. But, it was not really an effective speech. I was impressed by her command of the facts and figures, but I had to go back to the transcript to reinforce the message that she was putting out there.[/i] Then @ 5:20 PM psyclaw comes at it from another angle with: [i]As well as ensuring that the aim was to just get one or two simple messages across, one adage that was forever fruitful was "tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, and then tell 'em what you told 'em."[/i] I may well be misreading both of you but it seems to me you are both saying that the government is disobeying the KISS principle (Keep It Sweetly Simple) and over complicating things. Somehow this becomes the medias fault that the government isn't able to get its message out. I offer that you are both correct in different ways and go some way to showing that my contention that a lot of the goverments problems with the media are of its own making.

Lyn

19/05/2012Hi Ad Thankyou Ad for your magnificent article , you are a Hero Ad Astra . You attend to numerous posts by our beautiful dear readers, moderating offensive comments, sharing your opinion, appreciating others opinions everyday. Then you waltz along to put beautiful pink icing on top of your work , you write for us another awesome article. My favourite topic the pathetic MSM. I really believe the public’s perception of the Government could be turned around in less than 6 months, if the media would report just the facts alone , would do . They don’t even have to like the Government just report the truth. I have collected some tweets relevant to your article about the MSM, here you will see the general consensus of opinion, people's gripes about bias and Coalition platforms erected in every media outlet in the country. Tell you what those platforms have been built since 2007, they were not there when Howard ruled. Here is the “Twitterati :- Do journalists actually read the research they’re reporting on?Melissa Sweet, Croakey http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2012/04/02/do-journalists-actually-read-the-research-theyre-reporting-on/ Stephen Koukoulas‏ TheKouk russellmahoney mumbletwits chrisberg not one journo reported on the "lies" or factual errors in Abbotts budget reply speech. Why? Mark ‏@markjs1 I love Bill Kelty to bits....but to suggest the #MSM has no effect on Labor's current poor polling is just bizarre....and wrong #auspol Turn Left‏@turnleft2013 @misskylie77 if the media want to bombard us with Tony Abbott says, we should really look at what he actually does say when not sloganeering Fit & Proper madwixxy well done on the HSU/FWA info. There's a million stories out there, the MSM only report the narrative :) Turn Left‏ turnleft2013 Eschertology I cant believe all these things Im finding, how is it that they say the opposite the next day and no one accuses them of lying Eschertology‏, turnleft2013 because the MSM has chosen sides and Saint Tony is perfect IndependentAustralia‏ The Thomson story is the #1 story in Australia; it is downright suspicious that ALL the relevant details are NOT aired in the MSM. Eschertology‏ Pollytics if only we could adjust the sensor bias on MSM from 11 towards LNP side to a neutral setting Antony Loewenstein‏ Another in the best MSM moments; talking about fracking and not mentioning climate change http://www.fair.org/blog/2012/05/15/time-ignores-climate-change-to-paint-a-golden-age-of-fracking/ ping Eschertology‏@Eschertology Boatie86 you got more balance and truth from Soviet TV and Pravda than you do the Oz MSM Stephen Koukoulas‏@TheKouk CraigEmersonMP I think Joe Hockey horrified as well having to try to defend Abbott's crazy cat economics Yahoo!7 News‏@Y7News Federal politicians may have to consider a code of conduct after a string of recent scandals. http://yhoo.it/KixFeQ #auspol #slipper #thomson :):)

Psyclaw

19/05/2012DMW I agree that constant reference by ministers to Abbott blindsides them and gives him free publicity. That is by the by. For your assistance, here is my earlier example of a typical news bulletin. [quote][i][b]Mr Abbott today slammed the government's intention to introduce paid parental leave. Mr Abbott said that the current economic conditions are not conducive to such non-essential spending by the government. He added that Labor governments always tax more and wastefully spend more. Mr Abbott was responding to the government's announcement today that it intends to introduce a paid parental leave sc[/quote]hem[/i]e. [/b] Again I ask, how will "working harder" or refraining from overuse of the word "Abbott" ensure that the media gets its priorities right and commences to implement competent newstelling. Here is how a balanced reporting of the same info would look. Seems pretty logical to me that the news item should start at the beginning, and not just add the beginning at the end. [quote][i][b]The government today announced that it will introduce paid parental leave. The scheme is aimed at supporting families of newborns so that the birth of a child does not mean the end of the working career of either parent. After the announcement Mr Abbott slammed the government's intention. Hesaid that the current economic conditions are not conducive to such non-essential spending by the government. He added that Labor governments always tax more and wastefully spend more. Mr Abbott placed his opposition to parental leave on the record several years ago when a minister in the Howard gover[/quote]nme[/i]nt.[/b]

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19/05/2012DMW What an interesting debate you have sparked. I concur with some but not all of your points. jaycee, Psyclaw and Casablanca have already responded and have made good points. The purpose of this piece was to demonstrate that given the same facts, a story could be written in an adversarial way, or a facilitative way. Most of the MSM writes its material in a way that is adverse to the Government. It need not do that. It could write in a supportive way, or at least in a neutral way. You ask: “[i]In which world would a journalist be (openly) supportive of a governments agenda?[/i]” Look at some of the headlines, for example in [i]The Daily Telegraph[/i] during the Howard era and you will see some supportive headlines. It doesn’t have to be always negative, negative, negative as it is now from that tabloid. Of course you are right to expect journalists to probe Government ministers, especially if they smell deceit or obfuscation. But Abbott and Co ought to subject to the same probing. How come they can say any outrageous thing that comes into their heads, and nobody follows up, probes, queries, demands clarification? The best we might see is a limp slap on the hand in the press or on TV. Time and again, Tony Abbott simply walks away when the questioning gets at all uncomfortable and the media let him get away with it time and again. By all means, lets have probing, insistent questioning so long as it is polite, and follow up when the questions are not answered satisfactorily. But let’s this rigour apply to all sides. The criticism of the Government has been that it is not selling its message well. There are two reasons for this. One is that the Labor media unit is not crafting messages well. Psyclaw’s advice is sound and well tried: [i]” "tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, tell 'em, and then tell 'em what you told 'em."[/i]”, and the messages need to be simple. It doesn’t matter much if they lack scientific accuracy, so long as they are understandable and believable. Tony Abbott uses simple slogans, and they work, even although they are often disingenuous. The other reason that the messages are not getting through is that most of the media refuses to facilitate the selling of Government messages. They sell Abbott’s slogans with impunity, but not the Government’s. To deny this fact of political life is to miss half the story, a very important half. The Government does need a more proficient media unit, but no matter how good it might become, without a fair go from the media the task of selling messages will be nigh impossible. That is the point of this piece.

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19/05/2012Gravel Thank you for your kind remarks. The reason I say that journalists want to stay onside with Tony Abbott is that they believe he will win, and they want to be on his drip feed of inside information. He would cut an unsupportive journalist off with impunity. Moreover, as the media, especially News Limited, is onside with Abbott and the Coalition, any journalist not so inclined might find his or her job in jeopardy. And in a declining print media that is serious.

Tom of Melbourne

19/05/2012Try googling “blame the media”. You’ll find that Gingrich, Santorum, Palin and Romney all “blame the media” for political problems. Obama “blames the media” for his “cold and aloof image” Gillard blames the media for her political standing. Football clubs blame the media for bad publicity. All I notice is a lack of willingness to accept responsibility for bad decisions.

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19/05/2012Gravel Thank you for your kind remarks. The reason I say that journalists want to stay onside with Tony Abbott is that they believe he will win, and they want to be on his drip feed of inside information. He would cut an unsupportive journalist off with impunity. Moreover, as the media, especially News Limited, is onside with Abbott and the Coalition, any journalist not so inclined might find his or her job in jeopardy. And in a declining print media that is serious. TT What a poignant reminder from George Orwell’s [i]Animal Farm[/i] about the need [b]to work harder[/b]. George Orwell’s message still applies.

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19/05/2012jaycee There is a law in Canada that penalizes anyone who lies in the media. If only we had it here, it might be possible to take action against any part of the media that misrepresented the facts. Imagine that!

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19/05/2012Psyclaw What a good example of media misconstruction you have given us. That is exactly what this piece is trying to convey. As you say, the Government ‘working harder’ won’t make an iota of difference to the adversarial style of journalism you illustrate so well.

Jason

19/05/2012psyclaw, "working harder" is what coaches of sporting teams do! they go in with a particular plan and hope to win at the end. However if during that game you have the match up's wrong or you're getting flogged or whatever you change the plan as the game changes. Labor's coach needs to revisit the game plan before the final siren is blown!

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19/05/2012Hi Lyn Thank you again for your always supportive, encouraging and kind remarks. And thanks too for the tweets. Anyone who whitewashes the media to obscure its culpability in the reporting of political matters ignores more than half the problem. The Government media unit needs to do much better, but no matter how well it does, no matter how brilliantly ministers feed out the Government’s message in simple, bite-sized, digestible bits, an antagonistic media will bring every message crashing down in flames. They hold the whip handle and use the whip unsparingly.

Sir Ian Crisp

19/05/2012It's interesting to see the 3% bounce in the polls for the ALP after the cash-for-votes Gillard policy has crashed in Queensland. It's hard to predict what the voters will say in 14 months time -if the gov't lasts - but the ALP's Accident Department might be getting ready to push a certain redhead under a bus.

Casablanca

19/05/2012AA @ 07:14 PM you said: [i]Anyone who whitewashes the media to obscure its culpability in the reporting of political matters ignores more than half the problem.[/i] Some of us have strayed a bit from the essential point that you demonstrated so clearly in your lead piece. Certainly, in my own case, I was distracted by the Kelty proclamation. Kelty himself had some important things to say in his ACTU address, not the least being that the current generation of unionists need to re-new and re-fresh their strategies to improve conditions for workers. He was saying that the union could not rely on past glories and that there were new and emerging challenges. Unfortunately, Kelty gave the press a stick to beat the government with and his positive comments about the Government and the good work of unions were totally lost. Perhaps he is now rueing his proclamation that the press is not to blame for any of the Government's woes. How wrong he is about the power and bias of the press.

DMW

19/05/2012Hi Ad [i]But Abbott and Co ought to subject to the same probing. How come they can say any outrageous thing that comes into their heads, and nobody follows up, probes, queries, demands clarification? The best we might see is a limp slap on the hand in the press or on TV.[/i] In various ways many others here offer up the same lament. Below are three articles published within the last 48 hours which are obviously exceptions that prove the rule that the opposition faces no scrutiny. [b]Abbott brings out Libs' Dr No[/b] Andrew Probyn @TheWestAustralian http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/opinion/post/-/blog/13723157/abbott-brings-out-libs-dr-no/ [b]At 40 per cent of the vote, swingers' pendulum is an electoral wrecking ball[/b] George Megalonis @TheAustralian (Free) http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/at-40-per-cent-of-the-vote-swingers-pendulum-is-an-electoral-wrecking-ball/story-e6frg7ex-1226360622497 [b]The powerful spin of Abbott's wrecking ball[/b] Lenore Taylor @National Times http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/politics/the-powerful-spin-of-abbotts-wrecking-ball-20120518-1yvlu.html It is all too easy to overlook the articles that do offer some form of critique of the opposition and the tactics they employ because we all know in our heart of hearts that the collective media are dedicated to bringing down the government and giving the opposition a free ride. While not exactly of 'conspiracy theory' status is sometimes gets very close. I agree that there could, and possibly should, be a more balanced reporting on the governments initiatives in the the end, a fair proportion of the 'bad' reporting is down the governments own stupidities and ineptitude's by more often than not playing at the politics rather than selling and implementing the policy.

DMW

19/05/2012For another perspective on how this Labor government has 'lost its' way' and seems hell bent on losing more and more of it's once inspired voters read a brilliant article by Benjamin Law in the Australian Financial Review: [b]Gen Y and the blight on the hill[/b] (Free) [i]... Labor is accused of economic mismanagement and is unable to communicate that not all debt is bad debt. The media is sensationally hostile and the public has clearly forgotten all about John Howard’s core and non-core promises. But all this shows how far Labor has lost control of its narrative. Labor needs to learn that good governance isn’t just about strong policy, but about having the ruthlessness to maim critics and the skills to communicate successes.[/i] http://www.afr.com/p/lifestyle/review/gen_and_the_blight_on_the_hill_yb5mf0VeEbHb1jSdU16XEO Benjamin takes us through journey of the eyes of a young man who tasted the euphoria of the defeat of the Howard government and the hope of a better Australia to feeling betrayed and let down by the current state of play His article, for me, helps explain a lot of the disillusionment of many in the electorate at large.

Psyclaw

19/05/2012Jason For sure the government has to accept a large chunk of responsibility for the position it finds itself in. Its agenda has been taken on in the full knowledge that like any worthwhile reform, many (the majority?) electors will be antagonistic ...... they had eyes wide open to this and expected a quantum of flak ..... they chose to risk and take responsibility for this. As Casablanca and I have both stated, they have too often got bogged down in too much detail in selling their reforms. THey have taken lot's of criticism about this and the responsibility is theirs. But let's not confuse this with "not working hard". They do need a change of game plan. This is always on the cards in any challenging pursuit in life. Bleedin Obvious 101 stresses this. But changing game plan also does not equate with "working harder", unless the new plan actually is to work harder. And don't forget that as far as the media goes, there has been a very major change of game plan in operation for most of 2012 ie the fact that JG and the ministers now take on silly interviewers quite directly. Mr Combet's handling of Tony Jones the other night was the most recent example of many.

nasking

19/05/2012 Seems everyone knows how the government could do better. I think their communication to the public has improved. Learning by the day...improving by the week. The media empire of hate and opportunism crumbles...bit by bit. I recommend this song: [b]Patience[/b] http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr_HsdiplFY N'

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19/05/2012DMW Thank you for your further comment. I take your points. Andrew Probyn is one of the more balanced journalists in the MSM. His article makes good points, but he does not come down heavily on the sheer inappropriateness of the Coalition’s approach. He even says: [i]“Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and later, Tony Abbott, have been brilliantly successful in demonizing public debt and Budget deficits”[/i] almost as if they are to be congratulated on such a disingenuous and destructive approach. ‘Brilliantly successful’ doesn’t sound like a denunciation. I couldn’t see much in Mega’s piece that boosted one side or the other. Lenore Taylor’s piece included: [i]“It seems to suggest the whole ''problem'' [global warming] can be solved by a kind of agrarian boy scouts movement on steroids. That's if in fact it's a problem at all, which after the election the Coalition may well conclude that it isn't.”[/i], which I thought was pretty soft journalism for Abbott’s expensive, ineffective, and implausible Claytons Direct Action Plan. She did say: [i]“So carbon pricing, the issue that more than any other has defined this Parliament, is a veritable Sara Lee of lies and misperceptions: layer upon layer upon layer.”[/i], but she didn’t explain whose lies they were. Taylor also says: [i]”Labor also woefully failed to explain that it was fully compensating many households for the impact of the tax, so woefully that it was forced to mollify a sceptical public with $5 billion more in compensation that it claimed (with almost a straight face) wasn't actually about the carbon price at all.”[/i] Well, I don’t know where Lenore has been, but I have heard about the compensation package [i]ad nauseam[/i], and she assumes that the SchoolKids Bonus is another carbon compensation package despite it being clearly explained as the existing scheme offered without the tedium of submitting receipts for school expenses. Of course, the all-knowing, all-wise, media pundits know better – they know the Government’s motives almost before the Government does. Lenore did express disgust at Abbott’s approach: [i]”Having convinced the nation that Labor's policy was built upon a categoric lie, rather than a half-lie mixed with obfuscation, confusion and political necessity, Tony Abbott skilfully set about demolishing it without much regard for the truth either. Almost every one of his photo opportunities regarding the carbon tax exaggerates or wilfully misrepresents its impact.[/i]”, and she did go on to call out his misrepresentations, but then goes into say: [i]”But Labor has failed to refute the Coalition's misrepresentations, or defend its own carbon pricing scheme…[/i]” The impression she gives is that no matter how culpable Abbott is, Labor is as much to blame for letting him get away with it. So while I agree that Lenore’s piece went some way to nailing Abbott, her rather wishy-washy approach left one wondering who is the culprit in addressing the climate change matter. She had a bet both ways, and in the process failed to nail Abbott’s complicity in the confusion and misunderstanding that surrounds action on climate change. While both sides have to take some responsibility for this state of affairs, to play down the sheer destructiveness of Abbott’s ‘wrecking ball’ is a noteworthy defect in her piece. Finally, for every one piece that could be construed as critical of Abbott, there are dozens that applaud his ‘clever’ and highly ‘successful’ wrecking ball approach; after all that’s what oppositions do! I suspect we are not all that far apart – it is a matter of degree.

jaycee

19/05/2012DMW....There is a great deal of logic and good arguement in your responses..IF..if they were conducted in and to a group of educated, intellectually astute group(much like this group here) that would take time and trouble to reason your points. The media we criticise know full well, as do a lot of us, that they are not addressing their rhetoric to an astute educated lot...Pavlovs Dog rules the day. As I stated in an earlier post here, I have worked shoulder to shoulder with "Joe Average" from the 'burbs for over forty years..there is nothing going on in there that a sudden spark of ignited indignation against a mistakenly perceived ememy wouldn't inspire..BUT ; They have the majority vote. That is why Murdoch's maggotts write as they do. Why would a well-educated, intelligent journalist write such crap? There is an objective. We know that objective; we saw the result in the Qld' state elections...The Liberals are waiting to "walk-in" with the same result...How?..the media will pave the way...they are now the gatekeepers to any and all mass communication. I suspect you recall those"Town Hall" "debates" between Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard last election....was there any more stage-managed media election event for the last several decades? The rules and behaviour have changed...social media has conjured an expectation of instant solution, discourse amongst the masses is as instant as a taste sensation and as fleeting..a personality or idea is either liked or disliked in an instant! there is no debate only reaction to a conjured "outrage" by a Machievellian MSM. One ought to be wary of the overdebated analysis...For Labor to gain the upper hand with the media, They must first have an inquiry into the national broadcaster..purge the lot!..then use an apolitical broadcaster to destroy the credibility of the mainstream media. There is no mistake, no delusion.."it is the media, stupid!"

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19/05/2012DMW The [i]AFR[/i] piece: [i]Has Labor lost Gen Y[/i] was good. http://www.afr.com/p/lifestyle/review/gen_and_the_blight_on_the_hill_yb5mf0VeEbHb1jSdU16XEO The only comment that amazes me still is the one that came near the end of the article: [i]”… it’s been a while since anyone has floated a long-term aspirational vision. Gillard doesn’t offer one.[/i]. While I can scarcely disagree with the next sentence: [i] Abbott has somehow managed to achieve the remarkable feat of offering even less[/i], I still find it hard to understand why people, young or old, don’t know what Julia Gillard’s vision for the nation is – she’s told us all often enough.

Lyn

19/05/2012Hi Ad and Everybody Well this is turn up for the books:- Dan‏@drowner1979 presumably heffernan has to stand down now... http://www.smh.com.au/national/heffernan-accused-of-homophobic-assault-on-lib-20120519-1yxk2.html GhostWhoVotes‏@GhostWhoVotes Here are 3 statutory declarations that relate to the Heffernan allegations. http://bit.ly/KMTKVb #auspol GhostWhoVotes‏@GhostWhoVotes Bill Heffernan has been accused of assaulting a LIB staffer and calling him a "poofter". http://bit.ly/KMRg9p #auspol Stephen Ragell‏@TheAviator1992 I think the time has come for the Liberals to disendorse Bill Heffernan. His behaviour is disgraceful and unacceptable in 2012 Matt‏@rockmattssocks Has Abbott promoted him yet? “@GhostWhoVotes: Bill Heffernan has been accused of assaulting a LIB staffer & calling him a "poofter" #auspol” :):)

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19/05/2012Nasking 'Patience' - how apt. Thank you. Goodnight.

nasking

19/05/2012 Ad, Lyn and others, have a good, peaceful rest. You deserve it. N'

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19/05/2012Hi Lyn Agreed, it is a turn up for the books. Wasn’t it Bill Heffernan who ‘called’ Michael Kirby, or am I mistaken? He seems to be homophobic. Will Tony Abbott stand him down until the matter has been cleared? Not likely. He’s a Liberal! jaycee What you say makes a lot of good sense. We have had a great debate today. But it is time for sleep.

Tom of Melbourne

19/05/2012[i]” Perhaps he is now rueing his proclamation that the press is not to blame for any of the Government's woes.”[/i] Yeah, Kelty always speaks without forethought. If only he’s seriously considered his comments before making them… if only he was as thoughtful as the people here…

TalkTurkey

19/05/2012Hi Ad Lyn said [i]Thankyou Ad for your magnificent article , you are a Hero Ad Astra . You attend to numerous posts by our beautiful dear readers, moderating offensive comments, sharing your opinion, appreciating others opinions everyday. Then you waltz along to put beautiful pink icing on top of your work , you write for us another awesome article.[/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Too much praise could never be enough for either of you. You are like Boxer and Clover yourselves. Thank you both ever so. But Ad you said TT What a poignant reminder from George Orwell’s Animal Farm about the need to work harder. George Orwell’s message still applies. Yeah well Orwell's message is [i]double-entendre[/i], there's great noble Boxer working his heart out for everybody, in the end the perfidious Pigs sell him to the knacker! He doesn't even realise it until it's too late, then the Pigs just turn into capitalists as greedy as people, or is it the other way round, and all the animals' work is stolen and all their high ideals are betrayed. So let us work for all we are worth to keep our hardworking Government, and steadfastly defend the territory we have won. The game is in its third quarter, the legislation is passed, the payoffs are in train, and now it is time to fight fight fight. I know the Labor Front Bench is well aware of it. Now they must go for the jugular. I know they will. Just watch. *J*U*L*I*A* was never going to be one for the short game. She has not wavered one degree from her intended course. Of course the enemy hate and fear her! After all if that evil mob loved and honoured her something would be seriously amiss! I [i]want[/i] Big Tobacco, Big Miners, Big Media, and Big Pigs generally, to hate and fear her: as long as We have the [i]power,[/i] that is [i]exactement comme il faut![/i]

Psyclaw

19/05/2012Universal Propositions [quote][i][b]"if only he was as thoughtful as the people[/quote] he[/i]re"[/b] "as thoughtful as the people here" is different to "as thoughtful as [b][i]s[/b]ome[/i] of the people here" or "as thoughtful as [i][b]m[/i]ost[/b] of the people here". "as thoughtful as the people here" can be seen to be a universal proposition ie it refers to [i][b][/i]all[/b] the Swordsters .... every one who writes here. Judging by the language and argumentative and analytical skills frequently on display here, I suspect a good number of Swordsters are quite intelligent, and that a good number of them have had successful careers in which substantial thoughtfulness was demanded. Thus, anyone prepared to say that [i][b][/i]all[/b] Swordsters are not thoughtful is by definition a fool, a smearer, a troll, a baiter, or a person prone to hyperbowl. Putting forward such propositions demonstrates the lack of any effective counter argument or the lack of an inability to assemble a series of propositions into a logical case. [i][b]If only he'd seriously considered his comments before making t[/i]hem[/b] his credibility would not be so lacking.

TalkTurkey

19/05/2012Who [b]is[/b] paying Ashby's legal fees? Where [b]is[/b] Christopher Pyne?! What [i]is[/i] the true interrelationship between all the people involved in Ashby's accusations re Slipper: - Pyne - Brough - Credlin - Abbortt? What [i]is[/i] the true relationship between all the people involved in accusing Thomson? How are the conspiracies related? (Am I right in thinking that the same lawyers are involved everywhere?) But especially Who [b]is[/b] paying Ashby's legal fees? And Where [b]is[/b] Christopher Pyne?!

Jason

20/05/2012ToM, No wonder you were leading with your glass jaw with nasking today! You wouldn't know "commentary" if it bit you on the arse!

Casablanca

20/05/2012[b]CALUMNY and DETRACTION[/b] The above mentioned concepts have a great bearing on much of what has been raised on TPS in recent weeks, nay months past. Tony Abbort boasted to the Queen during her most recent visit to Australia that "We play our politics tough in this country. We give no quarter." How does 'tough' line up with calumny and detraction? Abbott more than any other figure in public life in the past couple of decades has pushed the envelope with utterances that at the very least border on calumny and detraction. These concepts also have a bearing on the Ashby/Slipper case, the Thompson case and the denigration of Kevin Rudd just prior to the last leadership challenge. Abbott is currently the subject of one Defamation suit. Are the moral concepts of calumny and detraction so flexible and wishy washy that he can so frequently escape censure, comment even and indeed legal action? The following definitions of Calumny and Detraction are offered for consideration. [b]CALUMNY[/b] Definition of Calumny By Scott P. Richert, http://catholicism.about.com/od/Catholic-Dictionary/g/Calumny-Definition-Of-Calumny.htm Definition: Calumny, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., writes in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, is [b]"Injuring another person's good name by lying."[/b] As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes (para. 2479), both calumny and the related sin of detraction (revealing another's sins to a third party who does not need to know about them) destroy the reputation and honour of one's neighbour. Honour is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honour of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity. While detraction can cause great damage through telling the truth, calumny is, if anything, even worse, because it involves the telling of a lie (or of something that one believes to be a lie). You can engage in detraction without intending to do damage to the person you are discussing; but calumny is by definition malicious. The point of calumny is, at the very least, to lower the opinion one person has of another person. Calumny can be even more subtle and insidious. The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes (para. 2477) that a person is guilty of calumny if he, "by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them." The person who engages in calumny does not even have to specify an untruth about another; all he has to do is place doubts about that person in the minds of others. While truth is not a defence against the charge of detraction, it is against the charge of calumny. If what you have revealed to someone about a third party is true, you are not guilty of calumny. If the person you revealed it to has no right to that information, however, you are still guilty of detraction. Calumny goes hand-in-hand with gossip, yet, while we often think of gossip as a venial sin, the Catechism says (para. 2484) calumny is so serious that it can amount to a mortal sin, if the lie that you tell causes grave damage to the person in question: The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity. Once you have told a lie about another person, you are morally obligated to try to repair the damage you have done. As the Catechism notes (para. 2487), this applies even if the person about whom you have told the lie has forgiven you. That reparation may be much more than simply admitting that you have lied. As Father Hardon notes, [T]he calumniator must try, not only to repair the harm done to another's good name, but also to make up for any foreseen temporal loss that resulted from the calumny, for example, loss of employment or customers. The magnitude of the reparation must match the magnitude of the offense, and, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (para. 2487), the reparation may be "sometimes material" as well as moral. To use Father Hardon's example, if your lie has caused someone to lose his job, you may even be obligated to make sure that he can pay his bills and feed his family. Like detraction, calumny is rarely ever a minor sin. Yet the most seemingly innocuous gossip can easily slip into detraction, and, as you delight in the attention of your hearer, even into calumny. It's no surprise that many of the early Fathers of the Church regarded gossiping and backbiting to be among the most common, and yet most dangerous, of sins. [b]DETRACTION[/b] Definition of Detraction By Scott P. Richert, http://catholicism.about.com/od/Catholic-Dictionary/g/Detraction-Definition-Of-Detraction.htm Definition: As Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., writes in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, detraction is [b]"Revealing something about another that is true but harmful to that person's reputation." [/b] Detraction is one of a number of related sins that the Catechism of the Catholic Church classifies as "offences against truth." When speaking of most of the other sins, such as bearing false witness, perjury, calumny, boasting, and lying, it is easy to see how they offend against the truth: They all involve saying something that you either know to be untrue or believe to be untrue. Detraction, however, is a special case. As the definition indicates, in order to be guilty of detraction, you have to say something that you either know to be true or believe to be true. How, then, can detraction be an "offence against the truth"? The answer lies in the likely effects of detraction. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes (para. 2477), "Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury." A person is guilty of detraction if he, "without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them." A person's sins often affect others, but not always. Even when they do affect others, the number of those affected is finite. By revealing the sins of another to those who did not know of those sins, we do damage to that person's reputation. While he can always repent of his sins (and might indeed already have done so before we revealed them), he may not be able to recover his good name after we have damaged it. Indeed, if we have engaged in detraction, we are obliged to try somehow to make reparation—"moral and sometimes material," according to the Catechism. But the damage, once done, may not be able to be undone, which is why the Church views detraction as such a serious offence. The best option, of course, is not to engage in detraction in the first place. Even if someone should ask us whether a person is guilty of a particular sin, we are bound to protect that person's good name unless, as Father Hardon writes, "there is proportionate good involved." We cannot use as our defence the fact that something we have said is true. If a person does not need to know the sin of another person, then we are not free to divulge that information. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (paragraphs 2488-89): The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it. Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it. We offend against the truth when we tell the truth to those who have no right to the truth, and, in the process, do damage to the good name and reputation of another. Much of what people commonly call "gossip" is in fact detraction, while calumny (the telling of lies or misleading statements about others) makes up much of the rest. The best way to avoid falling into these sins is to do as our parents always said to do: "If you can't say something nice about a person, don't say anything at all." Detraction: Also Known As: Gossiping, Backbiting (though backbiting is more often a synonym for calumny) Examples: "She told her friend about her sister's drunken escapades, even though she knew that to do so was to engage in detraction. Discuss.

TalkTurkey

20/05/2012 [i]Tony Abbott's just a lout, really . . .[/i] - Greg Combet [b] [i]DRINK![/i][/b] [b] :)[/b]

TalkTurkey

20/05/2012lout, n. Awkward fellow, bumpkin, clown (Concise Oxford.) Pretty poor defn imo. Lout has propensity for violence built in. It is particularly applicable to Abbortt. Will he one day do his nana? Oh please please please . . . :) Is lout unparliamentary?

Psyclaw

20/05/2012On the positive side........ sure!!!! Here's Crassidy's opening words to the effect that: [i]"Thompson will make his speech tomorrow so it's going to be another terrible week for the government"[/i]

TalkTurkey

20/05/2012Casablanca Calumny, detraction, libel, slander, disparagement, vilification, defamation, obloquy, scurrility, an embarrassmnt of riches of detractionary words in Roget's Thesaurus. I wonder why. But surely it is intuitive that these words relate to statements which are hurtful to the persons referred to . . . I don't need a book really to categorise just how I might have offended himonhigh, I only really need to project my feelings to the hurt party. I do see Christians as having written The Book Of Hypocrisy though. Nobody else can hold a candle to them in that department. They talk so much about sin . . . But all Catholics have to do is confess and 'repent' (?!) and they're all pure again . . . ready for the next week . . . like regular delousing . . . As for born agains, holier than thous, happy clappers and goodie two-shoeses, they don't need anyone to tell them they're perfect all the time anyway. As a humanist-atheist-goodwillian I just try to be Joe Samaritan. Not perfect, but humane to other sentient beings. It comes from within, no need for books and authorities and categories. Casablanca this is not at all a criticism of what you have written nor that you have written it, au contraire, merci bien for the enlightenment. I'm just a bit bemused to think that people need it enunciated by priestly authority. Your posts are very thoughtful, thank you.

Psyclaw

20/05/2012Also on Crassidy, no mention of Pyne, Brough, Bishop et al re Ashby, no mention of Ashby's withdrawl of the cabcharge aspects, no mention of Pyne's disappearance from the media, and no mention of Abbott's self wedge (does he stand down, is his vote tainted, as a result of his impending civil case). As to the Heffernan matter, it was totally minimised in its brief mention ..... "it's only a complaint to the party, an internal matter". No reference to Heffernan's form or to the nature of the matter ie a push/shove and an aggressive homophobic slur delivered up close and personal, and quietly. Nevertheless I expect that this has not "tainted" Heffernan's vote and it will still be counted.

42 long

20/05/2012It iIS possible that with the '"right" words it could be the beginning of a hard time for the LNP Cassiry has no right to make that judgement. Poor form really. casablanca, some wise words there as there are in many "scripture" based rightings. Probably Tony would dismiss all the moral concerns as being justified in the name of the greater good. ( As radical moslems disregard the Koran's word on lying and committing suicide) It's OK if you do it to "infidels" They are going to hell anyway. I don't trust "ANY" religion, or those that rely on quotes from it. ( Not saying YOU do , and I would like Tony's response to what you have posted) It is used to justify the most "unholy" actions imaginable, as it has down through history.

Ad astra

20/05/2012Folks Having watched [i]Insiders[/i] I’ve just finished reading your interesting comments. I thought [i]Insiders[/i] was more balanced this morning than usual with reasonable panelists. Of course, as you say Psyclaw, Barrie Cassidy’s opening words to the effect that the Thomson statement would herald another bad week for the Government and overshadow other matters, demonstrates again how the media likes to set the scene, a dire scene it will ensure eventuates. Have we ever heard a journalist saying: ‘I predicted disaster but everything turned out alright’? I thought Bill Shorten performed well and Cassidy gave him plenty of uninterrupted airtime. Isn’t it a delight to listen to a respectful interview without repeated Tony Jones-like interruptions and talking over! TT ‘Lout’ is a good descriptor for Tony Abbott. I’ve not heard it used, by it is fitting. My online dictionary defines lout as: ‘an uncouth or aggressive man or boy’. That fits Abbott. Synonyms include: ruffian, hooligan, thug, boor, barbarian, oaf, hoodlum, rowdy, tough, roughneck, bruiser, yahoo, lug, knuckle-dragger. Take your pick; more than one may apply. As in [i]Animal Farm[/i] our parliamentary Pigs would gladly sell our great noble Boxer to the knackery. Our job is to prevent that in our own small way.

Ad astra

20/05/2012Psyclaw I enjoyed reading your ‘Universal Propositions’ and your well-reasoned argument. I hope ToM understands. Casablanca Thank you for posting the material from the [i]Modern Catholic Dictionary[/i] about Calumny and Detraction. What interesting reading it makes, and how relevant to contemporary politics! In my opinion, Tony Abbott exhibits calumny over and again, deliberately telling lies as he does about his opponents and their policies and plans in order to injure another person’s good name, and that person, more often than not, is Julia Gillard. He also exhibits detraction, but calumny is his most reprehensible sin.

Lyn

20/05/2012Hi Psyclaw Did you notice too, Barrie Cassidy's question to Bill Shorten about Abbott's PPL scheme. The same people have the cheek to say "The Government has got to stop talking about Tony Abbott". I really feel like if I can be bothered entering in my Diary everytime they ask Julia Gillard or a Government Minister about Tony b.....y Abbott. Julia Gillard in Chicago talking about Afghanistan Journalists ask about Thomson & Heffernan . Cheers :):):):)

Ad astra

20/05/2012Hi Lyn You are right – they tell Labor ‘Don’t mention the War’, and yet bring up the Abbott War all the time. No mention on [i]Insiders[/i] of Julia Gillard’s international endeavours on behalf of our nation – that’s not sensational enough! Psyclaw, 42 long I was surprised that the strident tabloid headlines about Bill Heffernen got any airplay at all. The matter didn’t get much comment from the panel, nor did they work over the Pyne/Brough/Bishop involvement in the Ashby/Slipper matter. Maybe they have been warned off lest they be found guilty of ‘Detraction’!

Ad astra

20/05/2012Folks I'll be away all afternoon at a pizza cooking class. I'll be back this evening, hopefully with a pizza in hand. Have a happy day.

Gary M

20/05/2012"But Kelty was right when he said - “you can’t blame the media”. Every political difficulty faced by this government is a result of the political decisions they’ve chosen to make. Tom of Melbourne " What abject nonsense. Kelty is part of the problem not the solution. He is among the cadre of Labor politicians and rank and file,that is helping to sink the Labor party. The only thing right wingers on this blog are right about, pardon the pun, is Julia Gillard is history. She will not take Labor to the next election. The party (I attended a branch meeting last week) is starting to reach a consensus that they have pulled the biggest boner in Labors history, getting rid of Rudd. The party has been hijacked by the feminist movement of that there is no doubt. The Labor party has done wonderful things since coming to government, and the working class have never had it so good.(FACT) However, if you can't communicate that to the people, notwithstanding the corrupt rotten media in this country, it is time to move on. Rudd or Shorten ?, or if they have any credibility left at all, put in the best Labor politician to come down the pike since Whitlam? Greg Combet. As a member of the party for over forty years I aint asking, I'm bloody demanding it.

Jason

20/05/2012Gary M, I'm no defender of ToM! However the rank and file of which I'm also one,object to the notion that I'm trying to "sink" the party! Kelty has every right to say what he did,we are a democratic party after all despite what those morons from the catholic right think!

Lyn

20/05/2012Hi Ad and Everybody A couple of tweets from the Twitterati for you:- Mark ‏@markjs1 Tele loves a juicy 'scandal'...even if it's not REALLY a scandal...what the heck!!...More from Bushfire: http://bit.ly/KC92gP MPs rorting travel entitlements is always a welcome regular. Peter Slipper gets a mention, on a couple of “Top Five” lists, but he’s well below Lib stalwarts like Joe Hockey and Bronwyn Bishop. Joe’s excuse is that he’s a senior shadow minister. Don’t know what Bronwyn’s is. Maybe she’s getting into training for the Speakership? Or perhaps it’s those long drives from Sydney’s Northern Beaches to the airport? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/05/18/galaxy-64-36-to-federal-coalition-in-queensland/comment-page-23/#comment-1265557 Sky News Australia‏@SkyNewsAust Liberal senator accused of homophobia http://ow.ly/1jTqpe MisdaMagoo‏@MisdaMagoo Hey #Insiders / #Bolt / #MeetThePress - First time in 40 years infaltion/unemployment/interest rates all under 5%! Discuss THAT! psychamuse‏@psychamuse There are claims - unsubstantiated to date - of (Libs) branch stacking in Parramatta ahead of the federal preselectionhttp://www.smh.com.au/nsw/hills-are-alive-with-sound-of-liberals-at-war-20120518-1yvlt.html#ixzz1vNNUkjVm ABC News 24‏@ABCNews24 This hour, @Clarke_Melissa on abuse claims surrounding Sen Bill Heffernan + Danielle Parry on E. Timor anniversary Craig Emerson http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/ Fit & Proper Geek‏@geeksrulz Breaking: Clown Counsel Brandis calls for Bill Heffernan to be afforded the presumption of innocence. http://is.gd/NCffCa#auspol A-PAC‏@APAC_ch648 Heffernan accused of homophobia: Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan has been accused of assaulting and making homoph... http://bit.ly/LoUlPA http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=752078&vId= Equitist‏@OzEquitist [MT] @dawnstarau Watch..QLD carefully Australia. This is just a very small taste of what will happen nationally under Abbott #AusPol TAWNBPM‏@TAWNBPM Can you believe it? After 20 years of discussion and an inter-party committee, Xenophon says: " The question is,... http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/xenophon-supports-repealing-carbon-tax-20120520-1yyjn.html :):):)::)

Patriciawa

20/05/2012My sense of the big Murdoch media blow up of the Heffernan incident was to distract attention from the role played by Pyne, Brough [i]et al in the [/i]Ashby/slipper affair. Sorry Ad Astra, but while agreeing with you that the interview with Bill Shorten was a good one, I think it was only because Cassidy was keeping off the really big issue. By that I mean the strong possibility that the Libs have overplayed their hand with the both the big scandals they've promoted and now would like them downplayed, preferably disappear! The role of Tony Abbott's friend and nominee to the IRC, now FWA, Michael Lawler's in apparently in encouraging Kathy Jackson in her pursuit of Craig Thomson, and that of Pyne & Co with Slipper, are huge stories.

Patriciawa

20/05/2012 Sorry, didn't check before I saved up there. Careless, but I hope you get my meaning. I find it astonishing that no one from the government has so far challenged the Lawler/Jackson and now Abbott connection. Do you think they have let them run until they have nowhere to hide?

Psyclaw

20/05/2012Lyn Thanks for the tweets. I note the last one about Xenephon. Although what he said did had a huge caveat ie "I'll support carbon price repeal only after Abbott has a (better) scheme [i][b]in pl[/i]ace[/b]." Evidently he is referring to a 3rd scheme he is involved with, not Abbott's direct action farce ("ie [i]plant some trees ad I'll give you money[/i]") Nevertheless he has become a real media tart. Sure, he might end up with the balance of power, but if so he should merely exercise it quietly and diligently and ethically. In my book, having the balance of power does not entitle the person to be out there in the media actually initiating and driving various major pieces of legislation, except perhaps in the policy area they were elected upon. So in his case, Xenephon is entitled to drive pokie reform all he wants ..... but this is the limit of his mandate to be powerfully pushing any barrell.

Tom of Melbourne

20/05/2012It’s quite funny… Those who urged people to withhold judgment about Thomson until Fair Work Australia completed their investigation are now portraying FWA as involved in some type of conspiracy. Odd, though conspiracy speculation seems to be their last refuge. Then there is some veiled allegation about the involvement of Michael Lawler, without saying exactly what it is, but without any facts, and really without any credibility. Do these people understand the separation of functions and structure within FWA? Apparently not.

Jason

20/05/2012Pysclaw, I think it would be better for Xenophon to worry about getting "re elected" to the Senate at the next election (as his term is up) rather than think aloud on what he may or may not do! For all anyone knows the Greens may still hold the balance!

Gravel

20/05/2012Ad Astra Thanks for your clarification. I do understand that written journalism is becoming a thing of the past, and that they fear for their positions. I also understand that most media owners prefer the conservatives and will support them. What I don't understand is why, with very very few exceptions, none will call out Abbott for his destructive behavior in our so called 'democratic' society. Is is simply they do not see what damage is being done, especially with the 'innocent unless proven guilty' basis of our Aussie society? By allowing this to be destroyed, it puts every Australian in jeopardy. We scream when we see injustice being done all over the world, yet apparently the media is prepared to let the conservatives, and by not calling them on it, themselves, destroy one of our most basic rights. I fear for the future under the conservatives, and even more so when this basic right is so publicly denied, specifically for solely political reasons.

Psyclaw

20/05/2012Come on Swordsters .... follow me .....take up your pens to Brandis!!!!! [quote]Senator Brandis, Your appearance on Meet the Press was replete with your usual dishonesty, hypocrisy and spin. 1) Ms Gillard did not "write" the relevant sections of FW Act. Your Howard government did. 2) You know that the FWA report is based on untested evidence and that it is a mere administrative finding subject to court scrutiny and treatment. It is not a fait accompli. 3) You know that the so called reverse onus of proof in the FW Act only occurs after an adverse action has been established on the facts. The onus to establish that the adverse action occurred is on Mr Ashby. Spin and dishonesty by you. 4) "The parliament should cease commenting and leave it to the court" ……. dumfounding hypocrisy. Just as Mr Abbott's elevation to PM is a great worry in terms of his competence, personality, pugilism, and ideologue character, your associated elevation to A-G is similarly concerning to fair minded Australians. Just saying ……[/quote]

Ad astra

20/05/2012Hi Lyn Interesting tweets. I couldn’t pick up where George Brandis insisted that Bill Heffernan be given the presumption of innocence, but he has so much front, I believe he could have made such a statement. Patricia WA You may be right that today’s rather mild [i]Insiders[/i] might have been so to avoid exposure of the nasties surrounding Liberal involvement in the Ashby/Slipper affair, and the possible ramifications of the Thomson matter that might touch on Tony Abbott. I tend to see things in straightforward terms; I should be more suspicious! Gravel I share your apprehension about the conservatives.

Ad astra

20/05/2012Psyclaw I didn't see [i]Meet the Press[/i], but nothing in what you wrote about George Brandis surprises me. Good letter to Brandis.

Jason

20/05/2012Aa, PaulBongiorno | 3 hours 40 minutes ago RT @MeetThePress10: Here's a link to the transcript of today's show http://t.co/G8tlwpH9 http://t.co/nS4AtCjd

TalkTurkey

20/05/2012Just watching Adelaide Crows giving Carlton a lesson in Aussie Rules 75 points to 41,* but really I'm thinking how lucky we are to have this brilliant game, our own invention, to play and to watch. It is the last of the codes to develop, and it was done very deliberately to be fair to all, long and short and tall, with checks and balances to minimise injury while giving full rein to manly physical abilities. Running, jumping, tackling, bumping, punching, kicking, falling so as not to get hurt . . . So many skills in Aussie Rules! These boys are really superb athletes every one, put them in any physical test and they could be expected to do well. And they are so quick! They pass the ball in the blink of an eye, I can't believe how fast! The ball, only marginally different in appearance from Rugby balls, is yet amazingly more aerodynamic, livelier, more controllable when you get skilled at bouncing it whilst running, kicking and punching it. Especially, reading its running bounces is one of the greatest skills of all. Even the umpire has his own unique skill, that of bouncing it straight and high - much harder than it looks, yet some umpires get it right every time. And the reason it is bounced, rather than thrown up at ball-ups, is to give a margin of unpredictability so that the ruckmen must jostle to the very last instant for the best position. You may bump opponents with hip or shoulder as hard as you can, but you must not use fists or knees or elbows, tackles above the neck and some other tackles are illegal, all to protect the players. Weirdly you might think, I'm not actually a great [i]follower[/i] of football at all, really it's a waste of human resources when it's all said and done, we could've been doing something useful like trying to save the Planet. But if I'm going to watch any code it has to be Aussie Rules. Because fairness as well as spectacle was built into it, in a young and optimistic, fiercely democratic new emerging nation. Fairness. Optimism. Democracy. [i]Egalite[/i]. I believe that that spirit is alive and well and very much to the fore in crowds at Aussie Rules matches. No knife or bottle fights, drunkenness - at least in AFL venues - No need for police usually. Not like in some places where round-ball rules. Glad it's not here. Australia is still a lucky country in some ways. The crowd has a well developed sense of fairness, and there is camaraderie between opposing players at the end of each match; indigenous players are honoured (and brilliant!), and there is rarely real ill-will between opposing fans. Aussie Rules is a great game still. Australian society needs to clutch at the values which it so hopefully enshrines. *Final Score 124-55! Poor Carlton! Sob! (heh heh)

TalkTurkey

20/05/2012Psyclaw said [i]Just as Mr Abbott's elevation to PM is a great worry in terms of his competence, personality, pugilism, and ideologue character, your associated elevation to A-G is similarly concerning to fair minded Australians.[/i] Dog Albitey, when did that happen? Why wasn't I told? :) Yeh Brandis eh.

Fiona

20/05/2012Ad astra May 19. 2012 06:52 PM [quote]There is a law in Canada that penalizes anyone who lies in the media. If only we had it here, it might be possible to take action against any part of the media that misrepresented the facts. Imagine that! [/quote] Ad, thank you for yet another incisive critique, and to (almost) everyone commenting, a thought-provoking debate. Just one teeny weeny quibble regarding the Canadian “truth in media” law – it applies only to the electronic media. Not to print.

jaycee

20/05/2012Psyclaw...while I admire your tenacity, my observation of Sen' Brandis over the years demonstrates he is as thick as boot leather and has the hide to match! He's the sort of kid at school who would stand around with his hands in his pockets acting as if he knew everything on every subject and if he didn't he make it up to sound as if he did!...there's an old saying : "You can't hustle a hustler" and Brandis is one of the most enduring. God help us if he becomes Att' Gen'....but I worry even more should J. Bishop become Min' for Foreign Affairs!!!

Psyclaw

20/05/2012TT Very careless of me .... read "possible elevation" Jaycee You're right. He is a really tough nut I think. A heartless, manipulative, end-justifies-the-means, conservatively-tunnel-visioned, selfish, born to rule, faux QC SOB who has no interest in the common folk and who will try to justify any unethical action by himself or other conservos. I place him up there with Abbott as one of the very few conservos I just can't abide, and who, with the levers in their hands would trash every convention or statute they wanted to, to further their own interests, without the blink of an eye, without a hint of embarrassment, and without the slightest pang of conscience. Electors should treat him as a leper, (with due respects to genuine lepers).

Lyn

20/05/2012Hi Patriciawa Did you know Polliepomes has featured at Blogotatiat: http://www.blogotariat.com/node/366739 Cheers :):):):)

jaycee

20/05/2012Actually, if you were to line up the entire front bench of the opposition with their appointed portfolios.....tell me if I'm wrong, but by hell!!...seriously,is there even ONE who is qualified OR competent to hold their portfolio!?

42 long

20/05/2012I have a bit of a test I apply . After observing pollies at question time and from all sources, over time. The TEST is. a very simple one. Would you want this person as a neighbour in your street? An AWFUL lot of LNP's wouldn't pass that test today. I've voted Liberal at times in the past, but with THIS LOT it's a no brainer. The shadow front bench specifically. After all Tony picked them didn't he.

Ad astra

20/05/2012Fiona Thanks. Do you have a link to legislation that governs truth in the electronic media? Patricia WA Congratulations. Jason Thanks for the [i]Meet the Press[/i] transcript.. It was typical Brandis obfuscation, wasn't it! jaycee The answer to your question is 'practically nobody'.

Lyn

20/05/2012Hi Ad & Everybody This is an example of how excited the news readers get about the Government getting thrown out because of Craig Thomson: Michael Rowland‏ Also on BreakfastNews we look ahead to Craig Thomson's big speech to Parliament.Will it be enough to save him and the government?#abcnews24 :):):) :):)

Ad astra

20/05/2012Hi Lyn Everyone is getting excited about Crag Thomson's address to parliament. I hope it is on ABC1 as I can't get ABC News 24 here in Melbourne. I'm calling it a day.

TalkTurkey

20/05/2012Patricia FAME! Well done. But we on TPS recognized you first. :)

Doug

20/05/2012@ Talk Turkey - May 19. 2012 03:52 AM The poem is Saltbush Bill, by Banjo Paterson. The last verse reads as follows: "So the new chum rode to the homestead straight, and told them a story grand Of the desperate fight that he fought that day with the King of the Overland; And the tale went home to the Public Schools of the pluck of the English swell -- How the drover fought for his very life, but blood in the end must tell. But the travelling sheep and the Wilga sheep were boxed on the Old Man Plain; 'Twas a week's full work ere they drafted out and hunted them off again; A week's good grass in their wretched hides, with a curse and a stockwhip crack They hunted them off on the road once more to starve on the half-mile track. And Saltbush Bill, on the Overland, will many a time recite How the best day's work that he ever did was the day that he lost the fight."

Doug

20/05/2012Text of a letter I sent to Bruce Belsham at 7.30 on the ABC: I would like to raise a couple of points on which I would appreciate your clarification. You said in your letter to The Political Sword that Mr Uhlmann asked “questions in the public mind”. I’m a member of the public and I would like Mr Uhlmann to ask Mr Abbott some questions on my mind. • How is the baby bonus different from the school kids bonus, apart from “it just is”? Mr Uhlmann’s “probing” style utterly failed to follow this through when Mr Abbott handed it to him on a plate. I don’t know whether this was because Mr Uhlmann didn’t want to embarrass Mr Abbott or because Mr Uhlmann’s interview MO consists of asking a series of prepared questions in pursuit of particular agenda regardless of the responses. If the former, then he is biased. If the latter then he is not, contrary to your claim, an “intelligent, no-nonsense journalist” – anyone can read a script. • How is Mr Abbott going to pay for all his promises and cut taxes? Mr Uhlmann has not yet teased an explanation on this intriguing question from Mr Abbott, in spite of his “probing” style. • Given how often Mr Abbott appears on fluff shows on privately-owned television and his addiction to photo ops and door stops, can you explain to your viewers why he so rarely appears on the ABC? Isn’t this disrespectful to your audience? Why don’t you invite him on more often and, when he declines, tell us so? That way we can make an informed judgement about his willingness to front “probing” interviews. I’d have thought a piece on Abbott’s avoidance of your show/network, eg his failure to appear on Budget reply night, would be newsworthy in itself. What has the alternative PM got to hide? Surely with the polls as they stand, the Australian voters should be entitled to some idea of what policies and reforms an Abbott govt would introduce, other than trying to wind the clock back to 2007. • Mr Uhlmann referred to “broken promises” several times during the interview, effectively promoting and subliminally validating the Opposition’s mantra. Mr Abbott lied about his involvement in a slush fund to put Pauline Hanson in jail. Kerry O’Brien discovered this on the 7.30 Report. He lied about a meeting with George Pell - Kerry again. He has been quoted as saying he was loose with the truth when on the fly and things needed to be written down if you wanted to hold him to account - Kerry again, I think. Why has Mr Uhlmann not regularly prefaced his “probing” questions to Mr Abbott with the phrase: “Given you have admitted not always being truthful and have been caught out lying on previous occasions, .....”? Or even ask Hockey or Reith “Given Mr Abbott’s longstanding record of laxity with the truth....”? Surely, to quote your own words, these examples of his past loose association with the truth and facts “reflect on the credibility of the (Opposition) and on its (policies)”. • Mr Abbott said a price on carbon was the most effective way to address greenhouse gas emissions (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPpQisoZqx4). Under Mr Howard, this was Liberal Party policy and Greg Hunt did his university thesis on it. Now Mr Abbott denies the effectiveness of the very policy he advocated. Why hasn’t Mr Uhlmann “respectfully probed” Mr Abbott about his changed position? Why hasn’t Mr Uhlmann asked Mr Abbott to respond to Govt claims he is a weather vane on climate change policy: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-plan/weathervane-abbott-targeted-over-support-for-price-on-carbon/story-fn99tjf2-1226098193350 Why hasn’t Mr Uhlmann reflected on Mr Abbott’s vacillations and asked why, given his record, people should now believe what Mr Abbott advocates and promises, and what guarantee Mr Abbott can give he won't change his mind and policies again? • The “theme of credibility” has been “infused into the very being of the current Parlt” by an Opposition bereft of any arguments or valid criticism of this govt’s management of the economy. However, if you think such concepts are valid, I suggest you look at the “credibility” of the Opposition’s economic policies, including the “credibility” of a carbon pricing ETS vs Direct Action, whereby an Abbott govt would hand over my taxes to polluting companies to encourage them towards clean energy. So-called wealth transfers under the recent budget and carbon compensation could be usefully compared with the wealth transfer that would ensue when my taxes are paid to polluting multinational corporations.

Gary M

20/05/2012"Gary M, I'm no defender of ToM! However the rank and file of which I'm also one,object to the notion that I'm trying to "sink" the party! Kelty has every right to say what he did,we are a democratic party after all despite what those morons from the catholic right think!" Jason please. One can only generalise in such matters, Kelty has every right to say as he pleases as I and you do, that does not make for the political outcome we desire. Have you ever heard of putting your foot in it? There is obviously a problem with the leadership of our party and it needs to be addressed. I am not an orphan when it comes to this salient fact. All of the waffle in the world does not win elections.We can't win with Julia, why the electorate hates this women I will leave to others, but they do. The party is putting off the inevitable, and time is not on our side..

Ben

20/05/2012Gary M @ May 20. 2012 10:30 PM wrote: "We can't win with Julia, why the electorate hates this women I will leave to others, but they do. " To quote Dennis Denuto in The Castle: "It's the vibe of the thing". To quote Mick Malthouse on "Gameday" on channel 7 this morning: "It's all about momentum, which is a very mysterious thing."

BSA Bob

21/05/2012I put up something like this at the Cafe, but thought I'd share it as an example of vacuous media reporting. ABC TV at 7pm tonight with a story along the lines of "No matter where she goes, Julia Gillard can't escape questions about Craig Thomson". Cut to Julia in Chicago & yes, someone asked her a question about Craig Thomson. In a broad Australian accent. A media organisation had paid for this git to travel to Chicago just to have him ask a question that could be prefaced by "No matter where she goes..." I must say the same bulletin had a fair bit on the Heffernan affair with some footage of Craig Emerson highlighting Abbott's double standards, but I thought the Gillard piece was pretty crook even allowing for what the ABC's turning into.

Jason

21/05/2012Gary M, So if Combet becomes PM all the policy problems the electorate hate with Gillard as PM will suddenly become palatable with the electorate the media will be even handed and Abbott's numbers in the polls will crash! We have problems with the "leadership alright" that's why we are losing members(last numbers I saw was around 35 thousand Australia wide) The Collingwood football club hope to reach 70,000 this year,sub branches are closing due to lack of attendance rank and file members get ignored but hey lets blame Gillard for all our woes! I suppose Richo and the former ALP members who go on Andrew Bolts show every week do far less damage to us than Kelty's speech did!

Lyn

21/05/2012TODAY’S LINKS Which Side Has The Most Tainted Votes-, Dan Gulbery, The Daily Derp The Derp won’t bother including Kelly O’Dwyer’s vote as being tainted for her stunt which was discussed in The Derp yesterday (Liar, Liar, Kelly O’Dwyer), nor that of the other LNP member involved in the rather pathetic stunt, Senator Eric Abetz. http://thedailyderp.net/ Latest BISONs - 20 May 2012, The Finnigans IMF in full flight praising Australia's BISONs - It welcomes Aust commitment to return to a budget surplus by 2012/13 to rebuild fiscal buffers. Aust has more policy flexibility with the lowest public net % debt-to-GDP, floating exchange rate. Aust economy is expected to grow 3% in 2012 and 3.5% in 2013 READ MORE http://thefinnigans.blogspot.com.au/ Hangman Jury, Peter Wicks, Wixxy’s Blog There are those who say that bloggers, and publications like Independent Australia, do not have the accountability of those in the mainstream media, and do not have as much to risk. To this argument, I would say “What utter crap”. The notion of somebody taking on a journalist, or columnist that has the backing of News Ltd, or Fairfax and their legal team http://wixxy.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/hangman-jury/ Their definition of “free speech, Jeremy Sear Pure Poison The Editor in Chief of The Australian, Chris Mitchell, launches an extraordinary personal attack on academics daring to participate in the media enquiry, asserting, in respect of specific named people, they once http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2012/05/19/their-definition-of-free-speech/ The Men Behind The Boom, Troy Henderson, New Matilda Jobs, jobs, jobs — it’s all we ever hear about. But what’s it really like to be a miner, childcare worker or scientist? Our occasional series sends Troy Henderson down the tunnel and into the lab to find out. Behind the rhetoric and beyond the boom — Matilda Snapshots is a warts and all picture of working life in Australia. http://newmatilda.com/2012/05/18/men-behind-boom Slippergate…FAIL!, Massivespray, Spray of The Day If this doesn’t immediately highlight the character of the sort of people in the LNP I don’t know what else will. I fully expect Ashby’s case to be laughed out of court and him to be thrown to the wolves by his LNP/Coalition handlers. If we’re really lucky he’ll name names and spill the details of how this was http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/slippergate-fail/ Julian Assange: Facebook is the most appalling spying machine ever invented, Turn Left 2013 Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented. Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within http://turnleft2013.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/julian-assange-facebook-is-the-most-appalling-spying-machine-ever-invented/ Tony Abbott and Rupert Murdoch, Independent Australia Cameron is not the only Conservative politician to appoint a former Murdoch employee to their staff. Here in Australia, Opposition leader Tony Abbott has also just appointed a former News Ltd operative.Let me quote a report from last week: http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/business/media-2/tony-abbott-and-rupert-murdoch/ What's Wrong with Labor-, Only The Depth Varies So there they sit, disgruntled unionists, disillusioned greenies, disenfranchised lefties of all kinds, wondering where their party went. Polls, media, an obstructionist opposition, a hung parliament, the GFC, climate change, asylum seekers and the rise in popularity of the raspberry macaron notwithstanding, the base is still there, where they've been all along. The ALP chased the centre, and in doing so, moved so far to the right that it's unrecognisable to grass roots lefties like me. http://onlythedepthvaries.blogspot.com.au/ Sleazy, nasty, dirty and wrong- Just another day at The Australian, Ethical Martini The Australian thinks that Margaret and others are part of some leftwing conspiracy. In other words, anyone with an opinion that editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell disagrees with is fair game for slander and professional assassination. http://ethicalmartini.wordpress.com/ VOTE CHEATING POLITICIANS , Paula Matthewson, Hoopla When they publicly deny an affair, as Gareth Evans (left) did in the Senate years before his relationship with Cheryl Kernot was exposed, it shows they’re capable of mouthing commitment while simultaneously subverting that commitment with their behaviour. http://thehoopla.com.au/vote-cheating-politicians/ How can this happen and we not be told?? (part 1), Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery How can this happen and we not be told?? How could CPI get to ridiculously low levels and we not be told it is happening?? How could inflation be so low and we not see it in any forecasts? How the hell can unemployment drop to 4.9% and no one know about it? http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/how-can-this-happen-and-we-not-be-told/ Same-sex marriage: the answer is logic, reason and love, Andrew Clifton, Mamamia I wrote to Mr Hockey to highlight this. I told him that I think he is a reasonable man, only trying to do what is right, however much I disagree with his perspective. I asked him if,in 18 years time when Alexandra (Penny Wong’s daughter) is a bright, healthy and happy http://www.mamamia.com.au/relationships/same-sex-marriage-logic-reason-love/ AEC takes the ground out from under Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's allegations regarding Thomson, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices The majority of newspapers have left an impression that there is something still "dodgy" about Craig Thompson and his electoral funding to the amount of $17000. But I got a different impression when I read this report http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2012/05/16/most-thomsons-spendings-ok-aec/ http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/ Getting harder for pollsters to sample, Crispin Hull Not all of those would consider their case hopeless. Not all would consider their chances any better if they changed leader now. But history shows that backbenchers get techier as election day nears if polls are bad and if they show the party’s position would improve with a change in leadership. Remember that in 1983 Labor threw out Bill Hayden as leader on the day the election was called. http://www.crispinhull.com.au/2012/05/19/getting-harder-for-pollsters-to-sample/ Household Assistance , Australian Government The Household Assistance Package will deliver assistance to 9 out of 10 households through personal income tax cuts and increases in pensions and allowances, as well as other measures http://www.alp.org.au/agenda/household-assistance/ TODAY’S FRONT PAGES: Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 21 May 2012 http://www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm?PaperCountry=Australia Video: Meet The Press http://ten.com.au/video-player.htm?movideo_m=189787&movideo_p=41949 Liberal MP accused of anti-gay attack, Channel 9 http://news.ninemsn.com.au/video.aspx?videoid=a4a42cfb-aa39-40c7-baab-358336111754

2353

21/05/2012Gary M - to "lose" one PM because their tribe thinks they aren't good enough is careless, to lose two is mindless. Apart from the destablising that goes on prior to and after an event such as this, it gives the Oppn and media all the ammunition they need. You claim you are an ALP member (for the record I'm not). "Your" party has chosen Gillard, I would suggest that you stand by your choice until the next election. "Your" party might lost the support of the Independents that are supporting Gillard at the moment. Otherwise, you are just validating the Oppn's "weak" and "unelected" Government line - do so at your peril.

Lyn

21/05/2012 Good Morning Ad They are all out after Craig Thomson's throat Malcolm Farr seems a little more reasonable than the rest: A big day for Thomson, who thus far is guilty of nothing… by Malcolm Farr As of today he has not been found guilty of anything, apart from a Liberal charge of not resigning to allow Tony Abbott to win government early. http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/A-big-day-for-Thomson-who-thus-far-is-guilty-of-nothing/ :):):)

TalkTurkey

21/05/2012Doug TYVM for that Saltbush Bill excerpt. I couldn't find it on Google, wonder why? How/where did you find it? I'd forgotten the clever bit, that Saltbush Bill (I got the Bill right though) had mixed his mob up with the local sheep, and the 'new chum' was a snotty Pom (Poms used to be the World's Worst Whingers, remember?), I got that right too. But the best thing was remembering the last line word-perfect, that's what rhyming verse is so very good for. Eh Patricia. The rhymes and cadences and their echoes slot into comfy little grooves in your brain and stay there snoozing for the rest of your life and just wake up once in a while when something rings their bell, that's the technical explanation. With tunes to accompany the lines the words can't even be brainwashed away. Anyway here for your delectation is a pome what I writ in AD 1999, as part of my argument with John Winston Howard that the New Millenium would begin on January 1 2000, not as that fool had it 2001 . . . Anyway . . . The humour still works especially if you think about the implications of the last line. Not all my parodies are nasty. Just most. Especially while we got Abborttians huffing and puffing at Our House. Oh of course it sings too, to the tune of The Drover's Dream. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA_gR5TwNyY (or just google the drover's dream for more versions) [i][u]Two Thousand . . . and[/u] ?[/i] Where Australia's sun is hot A Pom, a Paddy, and a Scot All try out for a job as Jackeroo And the Aussie station bloke Makes them count, half as a joke, Two thousand sheep, to see how they will do. 'Course it takes them quite a while Counting jumbucks by the mile, What with dust and heat and flies it's far from fun; Two blokes count [i]Two-Oh-Oh-Oh[/i] Paddy yells [i]No-No-No-No![/i] [i]I swear, Begorrah, there's Two-Oh-Oh-[u]One[/u]![/i] So the Aussie Station Bloke (to whom it's gone beyond a joke) Crossly does a recount with them all, and then, When their counts still fail to tally Turns the sheep loose in the Mallee, Hires the Irishman, and fires the other men. Then says Paddy, [i]Dat was weird! Seems to dem, one disappeared! Moight be Leprechauns enchanted dem - loike Elves![/i] Station Bloke says [i]Nah, they're mugs! And they're prob'ly both on drugs - Them dopey dorks forgot to count [b]themselves![/b] [/i] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA_gR5TwNyY

Ad astra

21/05/2012LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra

21/05/2012Good Morning Lyn It will be an interesting day for all sides of the Thomson matter. Malcolm Farr wrote a reasonable piece. Let’s see how it all pans out. You have given a great set of links today. Again thanks for all the wonderful work you do for us day after day and week after week.

erTalkTurkey

21/05/2012Yes Lyn. Like Ad says. You are a true legend, uniquely linking people to people. I wouldn't have a clue where to go to get such a breakfast smorgasbord without your Daily Links. Just that there are people saying such clever things . . . Ashghebranious is one of the brainiest. As for Mal Farcom, if he writes some more fair-minded stuff like that I'll be tempted to call him Malcolm Farr! :) But I wouldn't know any of that but for you! Lyn right now many are reading the stuff you have linked us to. You would be too easily taken for granted, well I know that many people have a very lively appreciation of your work even if they don't say so. Just that they [i]are[/i] reading your links is the self-evidence of that. Poo-Poo on ABC oh very sincere (!) Oh shame he's back. Dog be with Craig Thomson today. No-one knows right now what he will say. It all sounds so weird . . . Gee I hope he'll be cleared And his enemies get blown away. Waitin' for the countdown

Ian

21/05/2012Should you analyse it. The only people who want Gillard gone, I don't mean the mindless fools that follow the blather of the day, are the interests that can, and do, influence public opinion. In fact, those that can buy it. The "vested interests" if you will. I think we have to understand that the modern media is their tool and their tool only. In a funny sort of way this Government, being a minority, is hampered by the authority it weilds. As much as it needs to happen I don't think that there will be any meaningful regulation of media in this parliament. When Ms Gillard and the Labor party retain government, in their own right, at the 2013 election I imagine there will be some "skin and hair flying" as my mother used to tell me when, as a kid, I'd done something wrong. This is what they fear the most. They will lose the capacity to sheild, bend and deny the truth....and that's gonna hurt. I do wonder though, whether the Canadian "truth in broadcasting" laws could be incorporated into the ABC charter/code of conduct and whether Minister Conroy has the authority to implement it? And can he do it now? The time has passed for treating the ABC as a sacred and untouchable cow. They have chosen to join the mob and be lead wherever they the mob goes. If they end up in a stock yard being branded, ear tagged and de-knackered they only have themselves to blame.

erTalkTurkey

21/05/2012erTalkTurkey? er er ? Search me. Waitin' for the countdown (in the summer of 81) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFIVQms3SAk

Lyn

21/05/2012Hi Ad Twitterverse for you, you will see my tweets, where SEIZE is the word of the day. George‏@OverTheHill4 @BreakfastNews Lynch mob mentality today Thomson now assumed guilty by ABC tabloid reporters and shockjock hosts pathetic behaviour Katharine Murphy‏@murpharoo Good morning all. Ready for Craig Thomson's big day? The Pulse will be up and running shortly. Fit & Proper SpaceK‏@SpaceKidette Today watch the media froth and boil themselves demented over Craig Thomson. #overit #auspol Fit & Proper Geek‏@geeksrulz Is Mr Abbott, Mr Sinodinos and the Liberal Party making light of homophobic assaults? Are they condoning them? http://is.gd/Lqm2mm #auspol ABC Radio‏@amworldtodaypm BillHeffernan entitled to presumption of innocence but it'd be differnt if Oppn's approach applied:CraigEmerson http://bit.ly/KzVE91 #auspol vexnews‏@vexnews Tony Abbott caught in a double standards ethics trap as he rightly refuses to sack Bill Heffernan http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/abbott-refuses-to-sack-heffernan-20120520-1yzd0.html Sophie Black‏@sophblack Is that what we're calling it? RT @theage: Follow our live coverage of Thomson Day http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/thomson-to-seek-legal-judgment-20120520-1yz3e.html via @theage vexnews‏@vexnews Will the truth set Craig Thomson free? #auspolhttp://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/craig-thomson-mp-to-call-on-police-to-obtain-brothel-surveillance-tapes-to-show-his-innocence/story-e6freuy9-1226361599989 vexnews‏@vexnews Baillieu faces Thomson-like drama over MP accused of petrol stealing #springst http://bit.ly/JvdAjo Lyn Linking‏@lynlinking Labor has SEIZED on the Coalition's move as evidence the opposition ....Excerpt http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/coalition-bungles-bid-to-block-higher-debt-ceiling/story-fn59nsif-1226361653182 Lyn Linking‏@lynlinking SENIOR Gillard government ministers have SEIZED on assault allegations Excerpt http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-told-to-walk-the-walk-on-heffernan/story-fn59niix-1226361624875 Lyn Linking‏@lynlinking Craig Emerson, seized on the claims yesterday to try to take some heat off the government..Excerpthttp://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/complaint-may-be-revenge-say-heffernan-colleagues-20120520-1yz2x.html Lyn Linking‏@lynlinking the government seized on allegation that controversial Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan made homophobic attack. excerpt http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/thomson-to-seek-legal-judgment-20120520-1yz3e.html :):):)

Psyclaw

21/05/2012Lyn Thanks again for the links. Especially the daiy derp. That Kelly O'Dwyer is a bit of goods isn't she. The closing down shop is moving 3 doors back into their old premises ....."closing because of Gillard" ..... what lies. And the richard cranium owner admitted the lie saying it was just a bit of "black humour". Reminds me of Abbott quoting the enormous (I think $18K) electricity price rise for Ken? the Pt Macquarie butcher. It too Lenore Taylor to contact Ken and consider the price rise as a fraction of his gross costs and turnover. The result was a 2c per Kg rise in his rump steak. That their DNA contains the lying gene is so true.

Lyn

21/05/2012Hi Ad Ad yesterday you said you cannot get ABC24 in Melbourne, so I thought I would remind you of this link : WATCH OUR LIVE STREAM OF THOMSON'S SPEECH TODAY AT NOON CRAIG Thomson will this morning formally ask police to obtain surveillance footage of the nights he is alleged to have visited Sydney brothels on a union credit card before he became an MP. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/craig-thomson-mp-to-call-on-police-to-obtain-brothel-surveillance-tapes-to-show-his-innocence/story-e6freuy9-1226361599989 :):)

Lyn

21/05/2012Hi Psyclaw Yes Kelly O'Dwyer is a piece of work isn't she. I believe she hasn't tweeted since that particular tweet. A lot of people have called her bluff. Hubris she wears for a top hat. Cheers:):):)

LadyInRed

21/05/2012A very thought provoking article, thanks Ad astra. I do get very cranky when I read the inflamatory language the media uses when it presents what should be positive policy from the government. Sadly the ABC is starting to join in. In the past it was subtle, but lately it is getting more and more overt. I can't help wondering if we/I should have been complaining every time I saw a deliberate attempt to put a slant on a story. I think perhpas I will start to keep tabs and present them with an email a week highlighting items where the language appeared to be trying to put a slant on things. Lynn thanks so much for the links today.

Ad astra

21/05/2012Hi Lyn Thanks for the tweets with all the mouth frothing they portray, and thanks too for the link to the live broadcast. If ABC 1 is not broadcasting the Thomson address, I'll use [i]The Daily Telegraph[/i] site. I must have missed the Kelly O'Dwyer tweet. If she t