Is Robert Manne right about ‘The Australian’?

For a long while, many who write and comment here have expressed the view that The Australian newspaper has a strident anti-Gillard, anti-Government orientation, and is pursuing a campaign to persuade the electorate to remove the Government as soon as possible. The Australian, and indeed News Limited as a company, has categorically denied that this is their intent, and hint that those who hold this view are conspiracy theorists or paranoid. But we now have Robert Manne’s Quarterly Essay Bad News: Murdoch's Australian and the Shaping of the Nation that forensically analyses hundreds of articles published by The Australian over several years, the most thorough social research yet done on this paper, that informs us about how it operates and suggests the reasons for its doing so.

The words used by the publishers to describe the Essay read: “Since 2002, under the editorship of Chris Mitchell, the Australian has come to see itself as judge, jury and would-be executioner of leaders and policies. Is this a dangerous case of power without responsibility? In a series of devastating case studies, Manne examines the paper’s campaigns against the Rudd government and more recently the Greens, its climate change coverage and its ruthless pursuit of its enemies and critics. Manne also considers the standards of the paper and its influence more generally. This brilliant essay is part deep analysis and part vivid portrait of what happens when a newspaper goes rogue.
 
’The Australian sees itself not as a mere newspaper, but as a player in the game of national politics, calling upon the vast resources of the Murdoch empire and the millions of words it has available to it to try to make and unmake governments’.”

I have read the essay, which is available only in print, and can testify to the careful way in which it has been compiled. It would be hard for critics to dispute the authenticity of the documentation. The angry responses from The Australian seem not so much to dispute it, but seek to shoot the messenger.

Knowing how fraught was taking on Chris Mitchell and The Australian, Manne began his own blog: Left, Right, Left. on 12 September.  It is well worth reading his first piece, also titled Left, Right, Left. Then, after a discussion had been arranged to take place at the Wheeler Centre between Manne and one of his sternest critics, Paul Kelly, Kelly pulled out. This prompted Manne to write on his blog on 17 September: Deconstructing Paul Kelly, again well worth a read.  Do glance through the Postscript to read about how the matter of ‘extract rights’ was handled by Chris Mitchell. It gives further insight into Mitchell’s modus operandi.

In the absence of Paul Kelly, the Wheeler Centre dialogue went ahead in September with Max Gillies reading the Kelly critique and Manne responding, augmented with questions and comments by the editor of Crikey, Sophie Black. The dialogue was recorded by SlowTV and is well worth the hour it takes to watch.  

Another event that is worth viewing is an interview of Manne by Eric Beecher, publisher of Crikey, presented at the Melbourne Writers Festival titled: Power Without Responsibility: The Australian – Manne & Beecher, also recorded on SlowTV.  

The Essay was composed after an exhaustive analysis of hundreds of articles written by several of the paper’s journalists; opinion pieces and editorials, aided by the Factiva newspaper database formula. Manne decided to write the essay in September 2010 after he became “…convinced that this newspaper, which had played a part in the unraveling of the Rudd government, would not rest until it saw the end of the Gillard government and the destruction of the Labor-Greens alliance.”

In his introduction, Manne says: “The Australian is in my view the country’s most important newspaper. Under Chris Mitchell it has evolved into a kind of broadsheet perhaps never before seen here. It is an unusually ideological paper, committed to advancing the causes of neo-liberalism in economics and neo-conservatism in the sphere of foreign policy. Its style and tone are also unlike that of any other newspaper in the nation’s history. The Australian is ruthless in pursuit of those who oppose its worldview – market fundamentalism, minimal action on climate change, the federal intervention in indigenous affairs, uncritical support for the American alliance and for Israel, opposition to what it calls political correctness and moral relativism. It exhibits distaste, even hatred, for what it terms ‘the Left’, and in particular for the Greens. It is driven by contempt for its two natural rivals, the Fairfax press and the ABC, one of which it seems to wish to destroy altogether, the other of which it seeks to discredit for its supposed left-wing bias and to reshape. Both the Fairfax newspapers and the ABC are belittled by The Australian. Yet at least until the Murdoch empire was weakened in early July 2011, for the most part they turned the other cheek.”

He goes on to say: “The Australian is a remorselessly campaigning paper; in recent times against the Building the Education Revolution program and the National Broadband Network. In these campaigns its assigned journalists appear to begin with their editorially determined conclusion and then seek out evidence to support it. The paper is also unusually self-referential and boastful, heaping extravagant praise upon itself for its acumen and prescience, almost on a daily basis, never failing to inform its readers that it was the first to report something or the only paper to provide real scrutiny or intelligent interpretation. Related to its boastfulness is The Australian’s notorious sensitivity to criticism. It regularly explodes with indignation and rage when criticized. It also bears many grudges.” Manne goes onto describe its grudge against Simon Overland, then Victoria Police Chief Commissioner, who was pursued by the paper until his career was ruined, and even after that.

Manne’s account is in accord with what those contributing to this blogsite have been saying for a long while. So why bother about The Australian at all? It has a weekday distribution of only 100,000 to 130,000. Manne gives cogent reasons. It is said to have never made a profit, yet it is very well resourced by Rupert Murdoch who continues to support it, presumably because of its capacity to exercise significant power and influence over the political scene in pursuit of his commercial interests and political objectives. Moreover, as Manne points out: “Because of the dominant position it has assumed in its Canberra coverage, The Australian influences the way the much more widely read News Limited tabloids, like the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, report national politics, and frequently sets the agenda of commercial radio and television and the ABC, even the up-market breakfast program on Radio National.”

Manne goes on: “…the Australian is…the only newspaper that is read by virtually all members of the group [he] calls the political class, a group that includes politicians, leading public servants, business people and the most politically engaged citizens. Even those who loathe the paper understand that they cannot afford to ignore it.”

Does anyone doubt the enormous influence The Australian has on political life and thought in this country? If we take that as a given, what are the consequences?

A quick review of the matters covered by Manne will give an idea of where he considers The Australian to have exercised its most profound influence; his analysis of the paper’s modus operandi in covering these issues gives insight into how it exercises that influence.

Manne deals with ‘The Making of Keith Windschuttle’, describing how his book The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, which runs contrary to established historical records, was given undue prominence by The Australian. He describes the unquestioning approach taken by the paper to the Iraq War in: ‘The Iraq Invasion: “An Open and Shut Case’, and how the paper attacked Media Watch in Media Watch: “They are certainly not good enough to judge us". Manne deals exhaustively with climate change in Climate Change: “Clear, Catastrophic Threats”, to which I shall return. He has a chapter: Kevin Rudd: “More Gough Whitlam Heavy than John Howard Lite”, where he describes the paper’s role in the saga surrounding Rudd.

There is then a chapter titled Tweet Tweet, which begins by describing the ‘outing’ of blogger Greg Jericho as a Canberra public servant, which then goes on to describe the paper’s action following a tweet by a young university lecturer Julie Posetti during a talk by Ana Wahlquist at the Journalism Education Association of Australia annual conference that described Chris Mitchell as going down the ‘eco-Fascist line’, a tweet that evoked a threat by Mitchell to sue. The chapter concludes with an account of the paper’s reaction to a tweet indigenous activist professor Larissa Behrendt made during a Q&A session. Remember she was the one Andrew Bolt accused of being German in origin rather than aboriginal in the recent court case against him.

The chapter on The Greens: “They are Hypocrites; They are Bad for the Nation; and they should be Destroyed at The Ballot Box” is a long one to which I shall return. The final chapter: Australia’s Murdoch Problems, describes the two that Manne sees: Murdoch’s 70% ownership of metropolitan newspapers, and The Australian.

The Essay is well written, carefully documented and referenced, as one would expect from an academic in political science, and in my view is essential reading for anyone interested in the influence of the media on politics in Australia.

To elaborate on the whole essay would take too many words, so I shall focus on just two chapters, the ones on climate change and on the Greens, as they give the most telling insight into how The Australian operates politically.

Beginning with a heartfelt plea for a return to the clear thinking we learned at school, Manne says: “It is consensual among climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet and that warming will have many powerful, long term damaging effects.” He concedes: “There is, however, no agreement on the precise impact into the future of accelerating atmospheric greenhouse-gas levels”, pointing out that while “...some predictions are relatively moderate although still dire…” others “…express profound alarm about what will happen unless radical action is taken very soon.”

Manne continues: “In the discussion of climate change, the future of the earth and the human future are at stake. As we shall see, what The Australian has contributed on climate change under Chris Mitchell’s watch is a truly frightful hotchpotch of ideological prejudice and intellectual muddle.” He then documents in great detail the material that appeared in The Australian on the subject, and how he sorted it into categories, ending with 880 articles. Of these, about 180 were favourable to climate change action, and 700 unfavourable, a ratio of about four unfavourable to one favourable. Manne argued that no one who was objective could arrive at this ratio.

He then details the long list of denialist scientists, a group representing virtually no one published in peer-reviewed journals, which have been given voice in The Australian. Quantifying this, Manne says: “In the real world, scientists accepting the climate consensus view outnumber denialists by more than ninety-nine to one. In the Alice in Wonderland world of Chris Mitchell their [scientist] contributions were outnumbered by ten to one.”

Clearly, Manne’s research shows how unbalanced, how biased against the reality of climate change the material published in The Australian has been. I shall return to this later.

Turning now to the chapter on the Greens, referring to Chris Mitchell, Manne asserts: “He has long despised the Greens. So has Rupert Murdoch. When he visited Australia in late 2010, he spoke of this country as ‘a wonderful land of opportunity’ and warned”: ‘Whatever you do, don’t let the bloody Greens mess it up’.”

Later Manne says: “On 25 August [2010] The Australian published its first editorial on the significance of the Greens’ outstanding election performance. The editorial ridiculed the claim that the election had witnessed the ‘real birth of a new political movement.’ ‘Political observers who didn’t come down in the last shower’ had ‘heard it all before’. The success of the Greens was likely to prove ephemeral unless they abandoned their ‘tomato Left economics.’ For the one-thousandth time, the Labor Party was warned not to ‘lurch to the Left’.”

He then cited an article written shortly afterwards by Dennis Shanahan that “…described the party [Greens] in the kind of language B.A. Santamaria might have used about the Communist Party half a century ago… ‘Bandt [member for Melbourne] is a member of a party that has a worldwide movement, a national structure, funding from overseas, and a platform opposed to much of Labor’s election policy’."  Shanahan called for an election five days after the last.

If there was any doubt about the antipathy directed towards the Greens from The Australian, all doubt was removed in its editorial of 7 September. Manne records the thrust of it: “Greens leader Bob Brown has accused The Australian of trying to wreck the alliance between the Greens and Labor. We wear Senator Brown’s criticism with pride. We believe that he and his colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box.” Manne concludes: “With this statement The Australian ceased even to pretend to be, in the words of its US Murdoch cousin, the execrable Fox News, ‘fair and balanced’. With this statement it made explicit what was already entirely obvious, namely that The Australian saw itself not as a mere newspaper, but as a player in the game of national politics, calling upon the vast resources of the Murdoch empire and the millions of words it had available at its disposal to it to try to influence the national political agenda and to make and break governments. The pretence of The Australian was that it scrutinized those in power. The reality was that it exercised extraordinary power without either responsibility or accountability. The Australian’s editorial of 7 September was a perhaps unique and most likely inadvertent moment of honesty.”

Need I add more evidence about The Australian’s political objectives both covert, and on this occasion, revealingly overt?

The stridently partisan stance of The Australian cannot be countered by complaining about issues of ownership or editorship. The paper is privately owned and has the right to take whatever political stance it wishes, and press its case within the bounds of defamation laws and the Racial Discrimination Act. What I find offensive and intellectually disreputable is that it so often does this dishonestly and deceptively. The way the issue of climate change was promulgated by The Australian, with a grossly disproportionate carriage of articles unfavourable to action on climate change, was misleading and mendacious. The ten to one ratio of articles by denaiists to climate scientists published by The Australian disingenuously represented to its readers the real evidence about global warming. It deceived the people. Is it any wonder there is so much skepticism abroad? And because its influence extends to the widely circulated Murdoch tabloids, radio and TV, the effect on the electorate has been profound, something we see reflected in poll after poll.

The Australian appears not to accept responsibility for promulgating complete and accurate information on important political matters so as to enlighten its readers – instead it cherry picks what suits its predetermined ideological, political or commercial agenda. This is what is dangerously dishonest.

It seems as if the political agenda, based on neoliberal and neoconservative notions, one violently opposed to ‘the Left’ and the Greens, is what sets the agenda; that this agenda is transmitted by the editor-in-chief of the paper to his journalists who take that as their starting point, from which they cherry pick data to support the editor’s predetermined position.

In my view, this is what is so dangerous about The Australian; ownership and editorship are relevant only to the extent that these players call all the shots.

What can be done about The Australian’s political influence?

Manne says: “…I can think of only one possible solution: courageous external and internal criticism. During the conduct of research for this essay, several people have discussed the strange passivity of the two mainstream rivals of The Australian, the Fairfax press and the ABC, even in the face of a constant barrage of criticism and lampooning. This is a not only a mistake with regard to the self-interest of both organizations; it has also left the victims of The Australian’s attacks vulnerable and friendless.”

He concludes by stating that there is considerable unease among former and present journalists at The Australian “…concerning the political extremism and frequent irrationalism of the paper for which they work and the bullying behaviour of the editor-in-chief. If such people acted together to make their opinion known, it is not impossible that change might come. The Australian employs many of the best journalists in the country. I will not name them for fear of doing them harm. It only requires a different editor-in-chief and owner for it to become a truly outstanding paper.”

That might be so, but can anyone envisage a change of owner in the foreseeable future, or the editor, who so faithfully carries out his master’s wishes?

Critiquing the Manne Essay in Overland on 20 September, Tad Tietze says: “It is here that we can more clearly see how Manne’s implicit liberal ideal cannot be obtained through either deftly crafted exposés like Bad News, nor through changes of editorial personnel or ownership. Murdoch’s media represents one wing of a wider network of institutional power, one that uses varying approaches to both sell its product and maintain those power relations.” And later Tietze refers to: “Murdoch’s long-term project to use certain key outlets to influence the political class in favour of his interests.”

Tietze concludes: “Murdoch and Mitchell’s strategy with The Australian has been to break from the niceties of liberalism and wage a hard Right campaign for what they want. In this they have both reflected and encouraged similar trends within the political class, perhaps most concentrated in the Coalition but hardly absent from Labor’s ranks. The veneer of ‘civility’ has been discarded as politicians and the media have gradually lost their institutional legitimacy. The great strength of Manne’s essay is how clearly he lays out the evidence of this process.”

So what can we in the Fifth Estate do? Manne believes that external criticism may have an effect although he seems to feel internal criticism may be more effective. We can continue our small voice of criticism of The Australian and its modus operandi by exposing disingenuousness whenever we see it. But like others who criticize this paper or its staff, we can expect the same vindictiveness that assails those who criticize or oppose. That is, if we are considered worth a comment at all.

What do you think?

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TalkTurkey

3/10/2011It always feels so unexpected When old thread by new's ejected! Just this morning's disconn ected Poor last posts sit there dejected . . . So I'm'a being presumptuous and reposting my two from this morning, because I'm gobbling gleefully about my faith in Dog AllBitey, and because I want my tribute to Lyn (and NK) to get waved more, before it So: From today's Poll Bludger: 6816 Danny Lewis Thank doG the Festival of the Boot has ended. 6817 my say One silly question. Who. Is. Dog 6818 This little black duck my say, doG = God spelt backwards. Used by some atheists. 6821 Danny Lewis My Say: It is God spelt backwards. [b][u]I’m not sure who started it[/u],*[/b] but it has caught on a bit amongst those of use who use it merely as turn of phrase rather than as an expression of a belief system, if that makes sense. [b]*[/b]Erm, ahem, [i][b]GOBBLE-GOBBLE-GOBBLE-GOBBLE-GOBBLE !!!!![/b][/i] TalkTurkey :) [Next post is from 2353, I'm presumptuous enough to include it too, I don't think s/he'll mind] : - October 3. 2011 08:52 AM You've learnt well NormanK Lyn would be proud. 2353 [Then my second one this morning]:- October 3. 2011 09:10 AM Thank you, NormanK! Your Links are fine today. Goes to show that if Lyn Hadn't ever've bin We'd've had to create her, Hooray! I only put Hooray because I couldn't think of anything better. But Hooray for Lyn. While we know she can't get to see the Sword because she's on holidays, , (because I know she would be embarrassed by what I'm about to say) I think it is worth contemplating that Lyn's position is quite unique, in fact uniquer than hardly anybody, in fact it might be the quite uniquest position in the entire blogoverse! The thing is Australia is just about the right size and shape for Lyn to happen, she'd be lost (swamped) in the USA or UK . . . NZ is a bit small . . . Canada's too monstered by its bloated southern neighbour . . . (Non-English-speakers are a bit out of the genre, definitely no offence intended) . . . So Lyn really is very special, she invented and built her function until it is unthinkable to be without her Links, they are utterly integral to the Sword and the touchstone for all serious Australian political bloggers. I know we do say a lot of good things about her work but compared to the time and talent she puts in, well I reckon too much thanks is barely enough. And Thanks again NormanK for performing so ably as her Lieutenant. (That's LEFTenant, i.e., [i]holding the Left[/i], not LOOtenant, because what would that mean? ) TalkTurkey There were a couple more posts too, after that, but I'm not presumptuous to republish them, true. Yes FS Dog Rules OK! :) [i][b]VENCEREMOS![/b][/i] I will now read Ad astra on That Nice Manne. Oh one more thing, Ad, do you think it might be proper to republish NK's Lyn's~Links today as they were posted last night instead of this AM. . ? . . I [i]think[/i] . . . Well it [i]seems[/i] like I think, sometimes . . . :$

NormanK

3/10/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Selfish clubs and spineless MPs Crispin Hull[/i] You can always tell when self-interest is not in the public interest. It is when self-interested parties use inconsistent arguments to oppose policies that might erode their incomes. Big tobacco, carbon-tax opponents and the mining industry have all been at it. And now the clubs are arguing that poker-machine pre-commitment limits won’t work but at the same time the limits will cause club incomes to fall so their community work will contract. http://www.crispinhull.com.au/2011/10/01/selfish-clubs-and-spineless-mps/#comments [i]ABC: ALP to discuss same-sex marriage Australian Politics TV[/i] http://australianpoliticstv.org/2011/10/01/abc-alp-to-discuss-same-sex-marriage/ [i]Unhinging The Bolt Dave's Archives[/i] I'm going to contradict myself on Andrew Bolt. In a previous post, I defended Bolt's right to free speech, as have so many others, in the face of his court case. At the time, my esteemed nemesis, the Slightly Disgruntled Scientist, came to a different view. Since the judgement, I find myself changing my mind, and I feel I ought to say something. http://davec.org/category/articles/ [i]And Miranda’s unhinging gets sillier Jeremy Sear Pure Poison[/i] If you thought that Miranda Devine’s facile Godwinning of the “freedom to print untrue smears” saga was absurd, wait till you see her effort this afternoon: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/09/30/and-mirandas-unhinging-gets-sillier/ [i]it's just bad journalism from News Ltd Gary Sauer-Thompson Public Opinion[/i] News Ltd's response to the Federal Court judgement handed down in the Bolt case by Judge Mordecai Bromberg is predictable. Freedom of speech (of the media) is at stake here. It's a bad law. This is maintained even though the Racial Discrimination Act, has embedded in it a strong freedom-of-speech defence: insulting or humiliating people because of their race or colour is not unlawful when it is done "reasonably and in good faith" in pursuit of a matter of public interest. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/09/its-just-bad-jo.php [i]Independent Australia applauds Bolt decision Editorial Independent Australia[/i] Independent Australia believes the discrimination decision by Justice Bromberg was a good one for Australia — a long overdue reminder that discrimination, once such a feature of life here, no longer has a place in Australia. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/discrimination-2/independent-australia-applauds-bolt-decision/ [i]No topic taboo at tax forum, Swan says AAP Business Spectator[/i] Treasurer Wayne Swan says no topic will be taboo at this week's tax forum and participants won't have their microphones switched off if they mention the GST or the mining tax. Mr Swan says he is looking forward to the Canberra forum that will bring together almost 200 representatives of community groups, businesses, unions, super funds, economists and academics. "Despite what you may have heard, no topics have been banned from discussion," Mr Swan said in his weekly http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/No-topic-taboo-at-tax-forum-Swan-says-M99AA?OpenDocument&src=hp9 [i]Your guide to Tuesday's Tax Summit Peter Martin[/i] Penny Wong didn’t tell the half of it. In an attempt to contain expectations at next week’s tax summit she this week released frightening projections showing the budget would be at least $80 billion short by the middle of the century unless something could be done to raise more tax. http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/10/your-guide-to-tuesdays-tax-summit.html [i]Tony Abbot The tape and the biography Luiggi Berrospi The Law and Politics Blog[/i] 32 years ago Tony Abbot gave a interview to the ABC, when he was the president of the University of Sydney’s student representative council. A 21-year-old Opposition Leader Liberal Tony Abbott is earnestly explaining his theory about the Marxist conspiracy on university campuses: ”[Marxists] understand that if they destroy the academic standards, and possibly the moral standards, of that elite they have undermined liberal democratic society,” Abbott says. http://lawonlineau.wordpress.com/ [i]Politicians ‘pay rise’ a good thing The Body Politic - Australia[/i] But, as per expected (and no doubt the reason The Daily Telegraph published the article) the suspected move has caused outrage among ordinary Australian’s. After 9 News put the link on their Facebook wall, it received over 130 comments, none of which were particularly supportive of the plan, citing that politicians were greedy and weren’t worth the money. It is these two points that this article will aim to clarify. http://bodypoliticaus.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/politicians-pay-rise-a-good-thing/#more-1040 [i]Primus confirms commercial NBN pricing Renai LeMay Delimiter[/i] National broadband provider Primus has confirmed it will leave its trial prices for the National Broadband Network fibre unchanged as the fledgling network moves into its commercial phase, declaring itself “comfortable” with its existing model, despite monthly prices that at times range up to $40 more than rival iiNet’s prices per month. http://delimiter.com.au/2011/09/30/primus-confirms-commercial-nbn-pricing/ [i]Cut your energy bills in half John Quiggin[/i] A newspaper story I once read (almost certainly apocryphal) claimed that advertisement to this effect asked for a small payment in return for a guaranteed method of cutting energy bills in half. If you paid up, you received, by return mail, a pair of scissors. http://johnquiggin.com/2011/10/01/cut-your-energy-bills-in-half/#more-10189 [i]You're not as ethical as you think Ross Gittens[/i] In an experiment in which people were asked to solve puzzles and were paid a set amount for each puzzle they solved, some participants were told to check their answers against an answer sheet, count the number of questions answered correctly, put their answer form through a shredder, report the number of questions they got right to the experimenter and receive the money they had earned. A second group wasn't allowed to shred their answers before reporting how many they got right. Those whose claims about how many they got right couldn't be checked claimed to have got significantly more correct than the second group. http://www.rossgittins.com/2011/10/honestly-folks-it-seems-youre-not-as.html [i]Much To Do About Nought Neil Cook The Bannerman[/i] Gambling, like alcoholism, smoking, drug abuse, and even speeding on the roads for some, is an addiction. Addictions afflict some worse than others and for most of us, not at all. To my mind, thumbing coins or sliding notes into a machine in the forlorn hope of the machine quadrupling my return isn't gambling. It's simply wasting money, and time. http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2011/09/much_to_do_about_naught.php#more [i]Tax Forum: Critical reform is worth the effort – and the wait Richard Eccleston The Conversation[/i] Periodic tax reform is necessary as governments respond to new patterns and forms of economic activity and the inevitable political pressures these changes create. Yet the politics of tax reform is politically fraught because vested interests who may incur short-term losses will always be vocal, often drowning out the less tangible and more diffuse benefits of reform. http://theconversation.edu.au/tax-forum-critical-reform-is-worth-the-effort-and-the-wait-3468 [i]Ricketson on Manne in the Australian. Anyone notice that? Shelley Gare The Drum[/i] Given all the hoo-hah, puffing and faffing on-line about Robert Manne's Quarterly Essay, Bad News, in which he delivers several karate chops to the kidneys, loins and nether regions of The Australian, I wonder why a review of the essay which appeared in The Weekend Australian's Review section last weekend has been virtually ignored. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3193218.html [i]Lentil Soup of the Week Gerard Oosterman Window Dresser's Arms, Pig & Whistle[/i] If ever there was a sign that Abbott the Rarebit will never strut the world stage as a leader of anything, it would have to be his utterly uncalled for and ungracious remark about Julia Gillard on her 50th. ‘I wish her a happy birthday but…….. I am not sure she will have many more years as Australia’s PM”, followed by his very best and very special condescending sneer. http://pigsarms.com.au/2011/10/01/lentil-soup-of-the-week/ [i]The Asian Century: Canberra readjusts the policy settings Graeme Dobell Crikey[/i] If there is a conceptual shift on display in the launch of the development of a white paper on Asia relations, it is from Australia’s firm attachment to the construct of the Asia Pacific towards the “Asian Century”. The country that invented APEC (well, co-invented with Japan) is readjusting the settings. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/09/30/the-asian-century-canberra-readjusts-the-policy-settings/ [i]Bolt decision: ‘Irresponsible journalism illegal’? Think again Margaret Simons Crikey[/i] In paragraph 388 of his judgement in the Bolt matter yesterday, Justice Bromberg quotes a phrase from a Privy Council case. It should strike a chill into the hearts of journalists and media organisations in Australia, particularly at this moment in our history. "The public deserve to be protected against irresponsible journalism." http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/09/29/bolt-decision-irresponsible-journalism-illegal-think-again/ [i]Forrest granted right to appeal deceptive conduct ruling Tim Cowie The Power Index[/i] Mining magnate Andrew Forrest may be able to dodge a corporate regulator bullet after winning the right to appeal a Federal Court ruling which found him guilty of misleading investors seven years ago. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-move/forrest-granted-right-to-appeal-deceptive-conduct-ruling/20110930475 [i]Sun shines on all sources, not just the power of one Michael Bachelard, Deborah Gough[/i] Solar powered 24-hour baseload power is available now. So why do you allow pollies and shock jocks to get away with saying coal or uranium are still needed for baseload? Has The Sunday Age reported on the fact that the US Department of Energy has identified fuel ethanol from Australian eucalypts as essential for its strategic future? Do your readers know Virgin Blue will get its aviation fuel from gum trees? My point is that people are entitled to details on renewables that are viable now. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/sun-shines-on-all-sources-not-just-the-power-of-one-20111001-1l2ti.htmlsome rsebst

TalkTurkey

3/10/2011Robert Manne, quoting Australian editorial 7/9/10: “Greens leader Bob Brown has accused The Australian of trying to wreck the alliance between the Greens and Labor. We wear Senator Brown’s criticism with pride. We believe that he and his colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box.” RM comments . . . [i]The Australian’s editorial of 7 September was a perhaps unique and most likely inadvertent moment of honesty.”[/i] The word is [i]hubris[/i]. The unAustralian [i]never[/i] suffers from honesty. What do I think, Ad? I think your reading must be up to Robert Manne's writing, and we all know your writing is second to none. Thank you for precising (is that a verb? Like, [i]pray-see-ing?[/i]) his essay, but you know what? Well Yeah you do, we [i]all[/i] do, the Australian is a bloody outrage, Manne like Lindsay Tanner has provided steel attachment points for our own memories and thoughts and beliefs about Murdoch's evil empire, but what are we to do about it, well what we are doing about it is all we can do, doing our best to help Labor hold on to Government through thick and thin. Shaming crap journalists. Leaning on Labor pollies a bit, not to crush or monster but to [i]support[/i], as in propping up a galv fence with too much elements agin it from t'other side (there's a metaphor worthy of a Deep North Good Ol' Boy surely)in matters like tobacco tax and the like. Giving praise where it's due, maybe just a bit more than is due sometimes, nothing makes people work and glow like letting them know you think they're doing a real good job. There, you've got me all misty now. Where's me hanky. I don't know why there have to be such ( * )s in the world. They're bringing about the killing of the planet, Murdoch really is the Dark Lord, we could all be educating and tolerating and co.operating and saving biodiversity and instead we got Murdoch and dare I even whisper its name, Zionism . . . Crickets ! Still crickets . . . and the people of the Australia especially are like the Dodos of Mauritius, whom in War of the Worlds H.G.Wells likens to the people of his time facing the hostile invasion of the world by Martians . . . Wells has these fat flightless Dodos, facing the invasion of their island by hungry sailors, saying to their wives, "We'll peck them to death tomorrow, my dear . . . " The Pen in the Sword is the best weapon we got. Temper your own at home on Ad's anvil, hone it daily on Lyn's~Links, wield it with might and power like Feral Skeleton, or punch with grunt like Jason, or tip it with vorpal verse like PatriciaWA or TT, or satire [i]un[/i]-like AC (one AC is all there is room in the cosmos for) or provide info like Psyclaw, hang in like Janice, Bring Back Maxine, [i]ever'body[/i], ALL you people have power, and I tell you what, we all bloody need us all too. Speaking of metalled mudaphores I come up wiv a goodie yesty, a porkmantel word, [i]Gorgonzological[/i], meaning, a line of reasoning as full of holes as Swiss cheese! :) Won't tell yous who I was thinking of though . . . EVER! ;-)

TalkTurkey

3/10/2011OOps. Pork[i]mango[/i] word. :)

TalkTurkey

3/10/2011So noticed has (Lyn) become that I see someone on PB(the blog that I will dare not speak it's full name because of the number of commenters and contributors here that we are losing to 'them' over there, and good morning to janice too), I think it's BK, has started putting up links on their mornings' contribution. >The sincerest form of compliment!. [(i]Not[/i] flattery.] And, yes, I have noticed 'Dog' creeping into their conversations too. >Praise Dog! Which only goes to prove that 'We are the trendsetters, the first and best!' > So what's new? But then an embittered old biddy such as moi would say that. >No, what about a cranky old coot like moi? Sure, we can exist side by side, but I just wish certain peeps, who shall now remain nameless(after I just named them ), would keep coming back here, as we support them there. >PB is fun. But it's mostly crisps and fairy floss, Crunch, wffft, gone. If it didn't exist we'd have to invent it, because how would we deal with proper articles like yours ;-)being flushed half-hourly down the gutter with the trash? :) Horses for courses FS, I really don't understand why he whose name roughly translates as Scrubland-conflagration William doesn't post here, how many people ever get to see his funny clever musings and wicked wit? One [i]Wit![/i] and it's gone! And a few others there write sizeable chunky bits, and I love my say and Victoria and others, but PB's different, they don't feed on the same food nor occupy the same hollows as we do, we are all friends really. But if we had the sort of traffic PB gets it would utterly change the Sword. Don't worry. Be happy.:) It's [i]here[/i] for thinking.

Gravel

3/10/2011Ad Astra Thank you for your very comprehensive overview of Robert Manne's essay. I used to read all three major papers most days, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the australian, (oops I seem to have run out of capital letters, or is that respect, for the last one). I can't quite put my finger on when I stopped reading all three, but they seemed to have merged into the one, with a negative view of everything Labor does, so now I only read here and to links provided by 'our' Lyn and 'our' Normank, oh and of course our great family group here. I don't mind negative views, if they are deserved. I do dislike gratuitous misreporting and promulgation of lies by both politicians and reporters. I am still shocked at the way Abbott has been allowed to get away with all the nasty horrible things he has said and implied. I scream at the ABC either radio or tv, when they keep repeating all the rubbish he spouts with out any objective view on what he says or does. NormanK Thank you for all your wonderful links. I really appreciate the time you have taken to help out while Lyn is having a good break. Talk Turkey You and Patricia are just irrepressible. I enjoy your inputs. Feral Skeleton Thank you for the nonononono cat, we just literally wet ourselves laughing. Have emailed it to all the cat lovers and others.

Feral Skeleton

3/10/2011Talk Turkey, Hmm. I just miss their contributions and I wish they'd spread the love around a little more than they have been lately I guess. :) Also, I don't want to see us dry up and blow away through disinterest, and I guess it's because haunting my thoughts is the observation made recently that blogs may go the way of newspapers soon and all else will be the immediate social media, like Twitter and 'Live' type blogs like that other place whose name I dare not speak, in case I give them some more sympathetic magic. :) Which is exactly why I agree with you. There is a place for 'Think Piece' blogs like 'The Political Sword'. However, I guess I have always swung wildly between Polyanna and Jeremiah. :$ Maybe I just need to go and comfort eat some of the Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie I just baked. :D

janice

3/10/2011And, hello to you too Talk Turkey :) I very much enjoy lurking here but don't comment much these days because my old eyes don't much like the long posts. Besides, by the time I've caught up, the rest of you have it all done and dusted so that I feel any input from me would be a bit irrelevant. Because of the above, I find Poll Bludger easier to keep pace with although mostly I find myself left way behind so, as with here, I mostly lurk there.

janice

3/10/2011Ad astra, Another very good piece re Manne's Essay. I can only say that I hope the enquiry into our media brings about some changes but I'm not holding my breath. I still think the ABC needs to be cleaned out and a re-conditioning job done on it to bring it back to a real National Broadcaster. All I want from the media is fair and honest reporting - surely that isn't asking too much?

Feral Skeleton

3/10/2011janice!!!!!!!! Hello and good to see you again. :D

Jaeger

3/10/2011I agree, Janice. Fair and honest reporting is what "balance" is supposed to be, not "he said, she said".

janice

3/10/2011Hello to you too FS. Must say, I find it quite delightful to see you back to your old self again, so you see, even though I been silent, I haven't been missing even one word of what you write. :)

psyclaw

3/10/2011AA Thanks for your fantastic summary of the RM Essay. I've been reading at TPS for more than a year and I think this article is the most interesting I have read. Congratulations. It frustrates me too as to how the Murdoch view can be brought into line, ie just for them to practise reasonableness. Maybe they'll take care of it themselves in the end ....perhaps a tsunami beginning in London. BTW does anybody have a date for James Murdoch's return to the House committee? Jason!!! Aren't you the 'minder of dates and program agendas' !!! I've been busy this last week dealing with a recalcitrant corporation from which I unfortunately purchased a home appliance. During the 'action' I discovered that the Commonwealth Trade Practices Act 1974, (note the year and the brand of government who created it to support common people) has been reworked and strengthened as the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (again, note the year and the brand of government who created it to support common people). My impression is that the new act is stronger and more comprehensive than the original. One interesting aspect of the new act is that it incorporates a 'sub legislation' .."The Australian Consumer Law 2010". Through COAG, this has been accepted by all states and became Australia wide law on 1/1/2011. I mention this as it is yet another piece of unrecognized good work by what Abbott refers to as 'the worst ever government'. PS The Act is very large and not lay-user-friendly in its long form. For Swordsters who might ever have need to refer to it, The Australian Consumer Law is located as the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, Schedule 2-The Australian Consumer Law. Sections 18, 20, 21, 22, 29, and 33 are the bits that are relevant to consumers being on the receiving end of misleading or deceptive conduct by suppliers and poor product quality etc ie the bits that most warranties refer to when they state that they "do not override any statutory rights that may exist".

Feral Skeleton

3/10/2011Ad Astra, Thank you for your thoughtful commentary on Manne's Essay: 'Bad News'. All I can add are the few extra facts and opinions from Professor Manne and Melinda Warner which I gleaned from their talk last week at the NSW State Library. Firstly, the event was staged by a new group that I have subscribed to called 'Newsstand'. http://www.newsstand.org.au/about They are basically an enthusiastic group of young people who do not like what they can see in the media and want to do something about it in an active way. Already they have done their first poll. Well, if everyone else is... They found the following perceptions amongst the citizenry about various aspects of the Australian media landscape: 87% want it to be easier to make a complaint about the media to The Press Council and ACMA. 70% believe there are too few owners of the media in Australia. Funny how it equals the % of the media Murdoch owns. :) 67% believe there are too few Privacy protections for citizens from intrusion by the media into peoples' private lives. Another interesting insight into the Murdoch Neoliberal mindset was that the reason that Infrastructure spending goes to the dogs under Conservative governments is that the Neoliberals abhor governments spending money on that for which there is no market need. I guess that's why they would rather have smaller government, with less public services provided, so that, if there is a need for something, they can colonise the space and profit from the provision of that which the market identifies as being called for. Also, Professor Manne said that he believes Murdoch media consumers are widely misinformed, willfully misinformed, and that there is no pretense of being fair. He believes that the Murdoch media forces are malign and dangerous but have been truly innovative in the way that they present the news and politics to viewers, such that they have attuned them to needing an ideological 'hit' each day to keep their dopaminergic receptors sated, due to the FUD they peddle. As you have stated up above wrt The Australian, Fox News in the USA has a ratio of 3 Conservative 'guests': 1 with an Anti-Conservative viewpoint. So very little to no counterbalancing arguments for viewers. Not only that but they engage in a series of tit for tat attacks on their critics, and relish conflict because it gives them the chance to focus their arguments against their opponents. Hence, and this is my conclusion, it is probably best to ignore their outlets and instead hone our own arguments here. Get them to come to you instead. Also, as Al Gore is now doing in the US with CurrenTV, you have a far better chance of dismantling their arguments if you do it off the same sort of platform they use. Professor Manne also said that Murdoch is quoted as saying that "Right Wing Radical views make money." And, with Murdoch it is all about the money, such that, if he couuld align his financial interests with Left Wing views, such as in Tony Blair's UK, then he is just as comfortable with that. Chris Mitchell "has a strong worldview but it can be absurd." Also, that whilst there are journalists at The Australian who do write good work, such as Cameron Stewart, Nicholas Rothwell and Peter Wilson(and I'd add Mike Steketee), that do allow Chris Mitchell to claim a modicum of balance, fairness and objectivity, it is outweighed by the viciousness of most others. He also pointed to the failure of clear thinking or reason in the articles in the paper, instead relying on the maxim of 'Doubt is our product.' This was a byproduct of the tools which Murdoch has borrowed from the PR world, ie sowing the seeds of doubt, which he applies to his 'All news is opinion' ethos. An interesting perspective was given wrt the blogosphere. That is, it allowed the rise of scepticism to occur due to the proliferation of blogsites which attracted like minds, who form tight-knit communities, isolated in bubbles of their own creation and self-reinforcing due to e-mail chains and referral to like-minded blogs. Initially, he had observed this scepticism had only been applied to the Humanities, the 'Culture Wars'; however, the scepticism about 'Political Correctness'(which is only the Right's catch-all phrase to refer to anything they don't like), passed over into the Sciences, in such areas as the effects of vaccines on children and, of course, wrt Global Warming. Aided and abetted by self-interested oligarchs who funded a lot of the Science Sceptics as they produced work that supported business as usual for the oligarchs. Which the Science was able to prove was causing harm. In this way, Prof Manne wryly observed, that Conservatives who had spent most of the last couple of decades criticising post-modernistic 'Political Correctness' which was the antithesis of Conservatism, had now themselves become unreconstructed Post Modernists as they threw centuries of Scientific thought, practice and evidence-based results in the bin in favour of Scientific Scepticism. Finally, he said that it is very hard to stop media who have a will to be biased. No amount of regulation of the media could do this, he believes. Especially so as their business model is collapsing and they are scraping the bottom of the barrell in order to try and maintain interest from readers. Better, he said, to have faith in the rationality of the Citizens and their ability to see these things and act appropriately. Which quite a few of us quietly guffawed at his naive faith in the better angels of human nature. :)

2353

3/10/2011TT (above) - No worries - repost away! Welcome back Janice - nice to know you're lurking if nothing else. AA - While reading your post I was asking myself why organisations like Fairfax and the ABC would be passive towards NoNews' pretty obvious intentions. Could it be that as NoNews owns 70% of the newspapers in this country there is a pretty fair chance that each Journalist knows that sooner or later they will be working for NoNews. Even if you were in TV or Radio news, despite declining readship and advertising I think newspapers are still seen as being the "glamour" Journalists (unless you are one of the richly paid Talking Heads "hosting" TV news/"Current affairs" shows You would imagine if you were going for a Journalism Job, there would be a checking process to ensure what you have written in the past was not legally deficient, reasonably accurate and made sense. What's the bet NoNews also scans for other "attributes" such as past writing being acceptable to the NoNews style and "lack of progressive intent" guides. It is a common thing that change if introduced gradually is not even noticed until a critical point is reached - and I suspect NoNews' version of "lack of bias" has been gradually building over the past 10 to 15 years and has only in the past 5 years become noticeable. So while Fairfax & ABC Senior Management may be urging otherwise, the people who "write" and "edit" the stuff may be thinking their next job may be with NoNews and acting "appropriately". I've worked for a few large organisations and one CEO's paraphrased comment is especially apt - the Queen Elizabeth Cruiseliner takes 10 km to pull up before you turn it around, this place is the same except you think in years, not kilometres. The Fifth Estate are really in a good position here - most of us don't have, want or are qualified for jobs with NoNews or Fairfax for that matter. Accordingly as long as we keep it clean and legal (with minimal infighting between blogs) we can continue to demonstrate the inherent failings of the forth estate. I have no access to any figures for the ratio of views to commentators on this or any other blog, but suspect the ratio of "readers" is high in comparison to those who "put pen to paper" so to speak. P.S. No AA - I'm not looking for information here unless you want to confirm or deny the suspicion.

Feral Skeleton

3/10/2011An article by one of the better journalists at The Australian, Peter Wilson, on the PM's new Senior Media Advisor, John McTernan: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/pms-new-spin-doctor-says-hell-walk-his-talk/story-e6frg996-1226156422626

Ad astra

3/10/2011TT Thank you for your multiple posts. We certainly credit you with the ‘Dog’ attribute. I appreciate your kind comments. What we can do is just press on complaining about shoddy, dishonest journalism. If enough do that for long enough, something may give. On the [i]Crikey[/i] website where Margaret Simons was commenting on the Bolt case, Fran Barlow included in her comments some extracts from New Limited’s code of conduct for its journalists. The items on ‘accuracy’ made amusing reading in the light of the Manne essay. Here they are: [i]1. Accuracy 1.1 Facts must be reported impartially, accurately and with integrity. 1.2 Clear distinction must be made between fact, conjecture and comment. 1.3 Try always to tell all sides of the story in any kind of dispute. 1.4 Do not knowingly withhold or suppress essential facts. 1.5 Journalists should be reluctant to rely on only one source. Be careful not to recycle an error from one reference source to another. Check and check again.[/i] Many, but not all News Limited journalists seem to break this code habitually. She also added another item from the code of conduct relevant to the Bolt case: [i]8.1 Do not make pejorative reference to a person’s race, nationality, colour, religion, marital status, sex, sexual preferences, age, or physical or mental capacity. No details of a person’s race, nationality, colour, religion, marital status, sex, sexual preferences, age, or physical or mental incapacity should be included in a report unless they are relevant.[/i] It’s interesting how large the gap is between principle and practice.

Ad astra

3/10/2011Folks I’ve been on the road and then had great difficulty accessing [i]TPS[/i] here in the centre of Melbourne where there is a known blackspot. Anyway it’s working now. NormanK Thank you for re-posting the links for today. Maybe in future I’ll post new pieces in the evening so your links can be posted later in the evening to the new piece.

Ad astra

3/10/2011Gravel Thank you for your kind comment. Like you, I’ve virtually given up reading papers, relying now on online content and particularly Lyn’s Links. Apart from the paltry journalism that abounds, I bristle at having to discard so much paper to the recycle bin. As papers fade, more trees will live and soak up CO2, a better function by far than becoming newsprint.

Ad astra

3/10/2011janice Welcome back to [i]TPS[/i], and thank you for your kind remarks. I agree that the ABC needs a good clean-up. I know how difficult long pieces are, particularly if they tax the eyesight. I have a function on my computer whereby I can enlarge the size of the print, which I do habitually as my eyes dim. Pressing control (or command) and + together enlarges the print each time + is pressed. It makes reading much easier.

Scott

3/10/2011The essay is available online as well (you said it was only available in print): there are links to three different ebook retailers at quarterlyessay.com.

Ad astra

3/10/2011psyclaw Thank you for your very generous remarks. I doubt if we can expect reasonableness from those who run [i]The Australian[/i]. They have set their course, and judging from Robert Manne’s description of Chris Mitchell’s personality, attempting to persuade him to a different viewpoint is likely to be an impossible task. As you suggest, only a tsunami in London might effect a change here. Your knowledge of the law is an asset to [i]TPS[/i]. We note your advice about consumer protection. FS Thank you too for your complimentary remarks and for the additional input resulting from your attendance at the talk at the NSW State Library involving Robert Manne and Melinda Warner. Also thanks for the introduction to [i]Newsstand[/i]. I tried to sign the petition but I couldn’t get the box to accept my email address. I’ll try again later. I believe it will be the perpetual hacking away at the MSM and particularly the News Limited edifice by groups like this and blogs in the Fifth Estate that will eventually create cracks that may bring it tumbling down, and you know what happened to Humpty Dumpty.

Ad astra

3/10/2011Scott First, welcome to the [i]TPS[/i] family. Do come again. Thank you so much - I missed that. Just under the image of the book at http://www.quarterlyessay.com/ there is: Buy the eBook Readings Kindle iBookstore Each cost just under $10, about half the price of the print version, and can be ordered online.

Ad astra

3/10/20112353 I suspect you may be right. I imagine MSM journalism is a rather closed shop, and that many journalists, especially those in early or mid career, watch their Ps and Qs lest they need to change jobs and are forced towards the ubiquitous News Limited monolith. I noticed that Lenore Taylor switched from News Limited to Fairfax, where I suspect she feels more comfortable. I reckon though that she would find it hard to switch back, even if she wanted to. Only the older and more secure firebrands, such as Ross Gittins, can say what they think without fear of the consequences. You are right about the ratio of readers of blogs who do not comment, to those who read and comment, which leans heavily to readers only. My stats show that.

Ad astra

3/10/2011FS Thank you for the link to the John McTernan story. He sounds good and don't Labor need someone like him!

NormanK

3/10/2011Ad astra With regard to the timing of new posts and [i]Today's Links[/i], it is no skin off my nose to post them twice if that better suits your desired timing of putting up new articles. I'm inclined to think that a new article posted in the mornings is less disruptive of any on-going conversation. Having the [i]Links[/i] up twice is no big deal, is it?

Ad astra

3/10/2011NormanK OK, if posting twice is alright by you, I won't time new posts to coincide with your posting time.

Feral Skeleton

3/10/2011Anyone who is interested in the nuts and bolts of Carbon Trading, as it WILL start to occur once the Gillard government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is passed by federal parliament, should catch up with the interview on Lateline by Steve Cannane of Mark Lennon, CEO of the Global Carbon Emissions Trading Network. The most interesting fact to leap out at me from the interview...his admission that the companies who are funding the Anti 'Carbon Tax' ads on our screens at the present time, are already in discussions with his organisation about how to start Carbon Permit Trading. So, so much for the 'Repeal the Carbon Tax' Movement, huh? Fascinating interview and well worth catching up with in some shape or form.

jane

4/10/2011Ad astra, another fine post. Thank you for your analysis of the Manne essay. Manne has certainly got the malignancy at the heart of the Evil Empire nailed down. And their hysterical and spite laden reaction to any form of criticism heavily underscores his analysis and what we have been saying for some considerable time. It certainly gives weight to the expression "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!" Because they obviously don't like a kitchen where the oven and stove top are switched on. janice @4.25pm, couldn't agree more with your views on the ABC. They're just a faint smudge on the media wall now; a pallid and deformed reflection of News Ltd. Where is the ABC that produced The Moonlight State, exposing without fear or favour, the corruption of Bjelke-Petersen's Queensland? I want that ABC back.

NormanK

4/10/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]World split on climate plan David Fogarty Climate Spectator[/i] The 1997 Kyoto Protocol covers only emissions from rich nations that produce less than a third of mankind's carbon pollution and its first phase is due to expire end-2012. Poorer nations want it extended, while many rich countries say a broader pact is needed to include all big polluters. Australia and Norway have proposed negotiations on a new agreement, but say it is unrealistic to expect that to be ready by 2013. They have set a target date two years later, in 2015. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/world-split-climate-plan?utm_source=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_source=Climate+Spectator&utm_campaign=ee515a348b-CSPEC_DAILY&utm_medium=email [i]Goldilocks NBN policies costing Libs credibility David Braue The Drum[/i] We Aussies love a good competition, which may be why we tend to boil everything down to two black-and-white options. In the discourse around the NBN, those options have been defined by the unerringly disruptive hand of Tony Abbott's Liberal Party, whose communications policy is not so much a policy as a constantly changing collection of false dichotomies peddled by shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3206438.html [i]Confession of a government speechwriter Martin McKenzie-Murray The Drum[/i] I perform the linguistic equivalent of filling a brown paper bag with dog scat, lighting it, dumping it on a doorstep, ringing the doorbell and hot stepping it down the street. If words were children, you would not entrust them to me. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3038132.html [i]Back to the Future shaneinqld Cafe Whispers[/i] Hopefully the tide is turning and employees are seeing through the scam that is outsourcing and contracting in the name of avoiding the benefits of Annual Leave, Sick Leave, Superannuation, Long Service Leave, Payroll Tax, Work Cover, etc, etc, while paying exactly the same rate of pay to the contracted worker. If this was the actions of Unions then there would have been a military Intervention of the Waterfront type against the unions. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/back-to-the-future/ [i]Tattered washing on the line Andrew Elder Politically Homeless[/i] Now that the Coalition are riding so high in the polls, they and their media shills are calling for Rudd to replace Gillard, or claiming some special insight into the Labor mind that means Rudd will replace Gillard any day now ... any day now ... any day ... http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/10/tattered-washing-on-line.html [i]Australia needs new pathway to growth Michael Molitor Climate Spectator[/i] Australia is now struggling with legislation that would introduce a carbon price in its economy through a new tax.  The opposition leader is claiming that the tax is a waste of time and will only create costs for Australians without any benefits—environmental or otherwise.  Most of the key emerging macroeconomic data is now pointing in completely the opposite direction.  In the absence of a carbon price created by Federal legislation in Australia, it is unlikely that the Australian economy will be able to generate sufficient new growth to meet its economic aspirations between now and 2030.  http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/australia-needs-new-pathway-growth [i]Swan stands firm on GST AAP Business Spectator[/i] Ahead of the tax forum in Canberra this week, some of the states are arguing that if they are to cut their own taxes, such as stamp duties on housing, they would need replacement revenue which could come from an expanded GST. Mr Swan said the state treasurers would put that view to the forum, but the government http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Swan-tells-states-GST-will-stay-as-it-is-MA4RA?OpenDocument&src=hp1 [i]The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian Jonathan Cook CounterPunch[/i] For the first time, Western publics – or at least those who can afford a computer – have a way to bypass the gatekeepers of our democracies. Data our leaders once kept tightly under wraps can now be easily searched for, as can the analyses of those not paid to turn a blind eye to the constant and compelling evidence of Western hypocrisy. Wikileaks, in particular, has rapidly eroded the traditional hierarchical systems of information dissemination. http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/28/the-dangerous-cult-of-the-guardian/ [i]Australia's left wing: the new fiscal conservatives Georgia Lowe On-Line Opinion[/i] This year, $1.1 billion was spent for all climate policy initiatives but more than 10 times as much was spent in fossil fuel subsidies and incentives. Major parties continue to pervert the free market so extensively to keep fossil fuels cheap that Gillard's unambitious climate plan is unlikely to make a dent on the entrenched carbon bias. Lefties haven't just protested subsidising the very industry government claims to be shrinking, they've also criticised the administration costs of a market-based system that will commoditise and speculate on something as untraceable as carbon. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12687 [i]Angry Anderson: I want to run for the Nats Mathew Knott The Power Index[/i] The self-described "lapsed Labor supporter" says he joined the Nats because he didn't want to be silenced by either of the major parties. He will consider moving from Beacon Hill, near Manly, to a rural or regional area if the party wants him to run. Anderson, a big fan of Barnaby Joyce, has spoken at several anti-carbon tax rallies this year and has previously been a vocal critic of Muslim fundamentalism. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-move/angry-anderson-i-want-to-run-for-the-nats/20111002477 [i]Angry Anderson blames 'other cultures' for spoiling Aussie violence Angela Kamper Adelaide Now[/i] ROCK'N'ROLL bad boy Gary Angry Anderson believes life experience has taught him "Aussies use their fists" when they fight and that "weapons were introduced by other cultures". http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/music/angry-anderson-blames-other-cultures-for-spoiling-aussie-violence/story-e6freeuu-1225836063777 [i]What's making Anderson angry? Luke McIlveen The Daily Telegraph[/i] "It's not ill-conceived to look at certain people and question when they come out here what they bring with them," he says. "We have strict quarantine laws and it should be the same when it comes to cultures that do not want to integrate. We should be very careful about where certain Muslims come from and what they believe. If you come here, you should behave yourself – it's as simple as that." http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/whats-making-anderson-angry/story-e6frezz0-1111113870966 [i]Licensed to Kill No Place For Sheep[/i] I’m at a loss to see how debunking that particular gender myth can be anything but positive for everybody. The majority of women will not choose to earn their killing license, just as many men do not choose that path either. At least it is now acknowledged in public policy that women are human beings capable of a wide variety of behaviours including state-sanctioned killing, just like men. http://noplaceforsheep.com/ [i]Essential Research: 55-45 to Coalition William Bowe The Poll Bludger[/i] The latest Essential Research survey is a relatively good result for the government, with the Coalition’s two-party preferred vote down from 56-44 to 55-45. The primary vote has the Coalition down a point to 48 per cent, Labor up one to 33 per cent and the Greens down one to 11 per cent. While a dismal set of figures for the government in absolute terms, the primary vote is in fact Labor’s best result since June 14, while the two-party preferred is their best since July 25. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Poker machine reforms won't work? Don't bet on it Tom Cummings The Drum[/i] "Won't work" has become the new black. Carbon tax? Won't work, says the Coalition. Plain cigarette packaging? Won't work, say retailers and the tobacco industry. Poker machine reforms? Won't work, says the gambling industry. No proof is required; it's enough to stare into the camera, look earnest and say forcefully, "It. Won't. Work." http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3052574.html [i]RUDE RUDD WON’T RISE AGAIN: Caucus elephant cannot forget its cruel past task-master VEXNEWS[/i] Personal relationships burned beyond recognition between Kevin Rudd and individual Labor caucus members are the key reason why he will never be restored to party leadership, a high-ranking political insider has told VEXNEWS in an explosive email. http://www.vexnews.com/2011/10/rude-rudd-wont-rise-again-caucus-elephant-cannot-forget-its-cruel-past-task-master/ [i]Abbott out to tackle Victorian image Phillip Hudson Herald Sun[/i] TONY Abbott went to the AFL Grand Final for the first time in 20 years. AFL boss Andrew Demetriou tried to find something good to say about Abbott, hoping he would rock along to Meat Loaf. Abbott was the outsider trying hard to fit in. Some were even disappointed Abbott turned up, much preferring his deputy and West Coast board member Julie Bishop, a sentiment touched on when she was introduced as a "Grand Final breakfast favourite". http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/abbott-out-to-tackle-victorian-image/story-e6frfhqf-1226157578093 [i] A trading system is essential: Henry Derwent Steve Cannane Lateline[/i] International Emissions Trading Association chief Henry Derwent says it is very early days in the development of carbon trading systems but those which don't work are being identified. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3331367.htm

Casablanca

4/10/2011[b]For climate debate facts watch ABC fiction[/b] Clive Hamilton [i]At last, the ABC has broadcast a program that accurately reflects the debate over climate science. That is, a program in which a large body of eminent scientists with an overwhelming case built and tested carefully over many years using the best procedures of science meets a politically- motivated coterie of ratbags who manipulate the truth, endlessly repeat falsehoods, harass their opponents and grandstand at every opportunity. The program in question is the episode of Crownies aired last Thursday night. [29 Sept][/i] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3207072.html Hamilton provides a link to the following article which is spot on: [b]The Manufacture of Uncertainty[/b] How American industries have purchased “scientists” to undermine scientific verities when those verities threaten their profits. Chris Mooney | March 28, 2008 [i]The sabotage of science is now a routine part of American politics. The same corporate strategy of bombarding the courts and regulatory agencies with a barrage of dubious scientific information has been tried on innumerable occasions—and it has nearly always worked, at least for a time. Tobacco. Asbestos. Lead. Vinyl chloride. Chromium. Formaldehyde. Arsenic. Atrazine. Benzene. Beryllium. Mercury. Vioxx. And on and on. In battles over regulating these and many other dangerous substances, money has bought science, and then science—or, more precisely, artificially exaggerated uncertainty about scientific findings—has greatly delayed action to protect public and worker safety. And in many cases, people have died.[/i] http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_manufacture_of_uncertainty

TalkTurkey

4/10/2011Casablanca, I haven't seen that episode of Crownies yet, but the description of it makes me suspect that both brilliance and responsibility yet lurk in the hearts and minds of some genuine 'insiders' in [i]OUR[/i] ABC. It also makes me remember that there have been times when I've thought Australian film-making to be second to none in the world. (Except may the [i]Kiwis[/i], (K), and I say that as an Aussie!) But what a twisted way to have to try to teach the People the facts of climate science! Like Palestinians having to smuggle rebuilding materials in through tunnels under Israeli -controlled space! It reminds me of the only political speech made by John Howard that made me feel that there was hope for decency still in this country even during John Howard's time in power. Some of you will remember that speech. All Aussies [i]should[/i]. It isn't long, so I've lifted it in its entirety. [u]APOLOGY MADE BY JOHN HOWARD ON THE 3RD OF JULY ON NATIONAL TV [/u] Any other John Howard who wishes to make this announcement should apply for copyright permission here, which will be granted immediately. [i]Good evening. My name is John Howard and I'm speaking to you from Sydney, Australia, host city of the year 2000 Olympic Games. At this important time, and in an atmosphere of international goodwill and national pride, we here in Australia - all of us - would like to make a statement before all nations. Australia, like many countries in the new world, is intensely proud of what it has achieved in the past 200 years. We are a vibrant and resourceful people. We share a freedom born in the abundance of nature, the richness of the earth, the bounty of the sea. We are the world's biggest island. We have the world's longest coastline. We have more animal species than any other country. Two thirds of the world's birds are native to Australia. We are one of the few countries on earth with our own sky. We are a fabric woven of many colours and it is this that gives us our strength. However, these achievements have come at great cost. We have been here for 200 years but before that, there was a people living here. For 40,000 years they lived in a perfect balance with the land. There were many Aboriginal nations, just as there were many Indian nations in North America and across Canada, as there were many Maori tribes in New Zealand and Incan and Mayan peoples in South America. These indigenous Australians lived in areas as different from one another as Scotland is from Ethiopia. They lived in an area the size of Western Europe. They did not even have a common language. Yet they had their own laws, their own beliefs, their own ways of understanding. We destroyed this world. We often did not mean to do it. Our forebears, fighting to establish themselves in what they saw as a harsh environment, were creating a national economy. But the Aboriginal world was decimated. A pattern of disease and dispossession was established. Alcohol was introduced. Social and racial differences were allowed to become fault-lines. Aboriginal families were broken up. Sadly, Aboriginal health and education are responsibilities we have still yet to address successfully. I speak for all Australians in expressing a profound sorrow to the Aboriginal people. I am sorry. We are sorry. Let the world know and understand, that it is with this sorrow, that we as a nation will grow and seek a better, a fairer and a wiser future. Thank you. [/i] J;)hn H(K)ward, July 3, 2:):):) How much do we need [i][u]OUR[/u][/i] ABC, eh?! Someone may find a video of this speech. I didn't, but Janice, my eyes too are pretty swimmy at this time of night . . . Someone else'll find that link for us, you watch! (insert crossed fingers emoticon :) )

TalkTurkey

4/10/2011FS I see no indication that TPS is going to blow away any time soon. Here come many staunch writers and even more determined readers, we are sort of noblessely obliged imo to dob to raise the bar of nous and decency in Oz and that means keeping Labor in power and that involves commitment to informing and being informed and countering the Huns in every way we legally and decently can. Am I about right in thinking there is more depth over time here on TPS, more considered info by more diverse people, not snips but developed lines of reasoning . . ? I'm not being up ourselves here I don't think, Dog if there was somewhere else better I'd bloody go there in a twink wouldn'I eh! - But see anyway we DO go there, and there, and [i]there,[/i] all in twinks, we use Lyn's Links! We DO see the best other blogs and comments, then we come back here for the fun, the freedom and the grunt and the mostly cameraderifousness of TPS. And Ad's leaders in special, goes without saying. So Dear FS, don't get distress! We is got da power of YES! (K)

janice

4/10/2011Good morning all, For the first time in a week we have the sun shining this morning. Wonder how long it will last, given the forecasts are "wet" for the rest of the week. I watched the Community Cabinet Forum held in Hobart last evening. It is the first one I've seen aired in full and I really do suspect that ABC24 covered it because Rudd was there. Rudd took the first question but it must have miffed ABC that there was not one question on their leadership beatup. IMO these Community Cabinet Forums should be covered in full by the ABC so that viewers can see and hear for themselves the way the government interact so honestly with the community members seeking answers to their concerns. Instead we get the interpretation of a couple of journalist who nitpick about what to tell us depending on their own warped opinion.

Feral Skeleton

4/10/2011Good Morning janice! I saw parts of the Community Cabinet meeting too and read Latika Bourkes' Tweets and listened to her summary of it after the event, and, frankly, herassessment of it just grated on me. That Costelloesque smirk that so many political journalists appear to have adopted when they report on the Labor government just makes me want to vomit all over them on the TV screen. They really do seem to think that dumping on Labor governments is all a pissing contest to see who can go the furthest. She even had the audacity to Tweet that it looked like the government had stacked the audience, so nice were people being to them. As you say, the journos were probably only watching intently to report on any friction or 'iciness' between the PM and Kevin Rudd. Which was duly speculated upon on ABC Radio this morning. You know I even heard one say something snarky about the fact that Kevin Rudd's microphone didn't work properly for about 30 seconds, along the lines of....well, you can probably fill in the lines.

Feral Skeleton

4/10/2011Talk Turkey, Or, 'Coach' Turkey, as I should call you from now on. Thank you for the pep talk. :) I'ma gonna keep your new motto firmly front of mind from now on: [b]'We are the Power of Yes!'[/b] :D This game is only at 1/4 time, right?

Ad astra

4/10/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

4/10/2011Casablanca, The sentiments you express are exactly those conveyed by Professor Manne, as I noted above. The Culture Wars, have now become The Science and Reason Wars. As Murdoch has said, he wants a world of opinion. Which leads one to mangle a metaphor and say that he wants us to believe, 'You can have my opinion, you can't have the facts.' Instead of, 'You can have your own opinion, but you cannot have your own facts.' Again, as Professor Manne said, it is absolutely genius the way that Murdoch has taken people's traditional trust in the delivery of news, and it's essential veracity, and turned it on it's head by incorporating manufactured opinion into the news cycle.

Feral Skeleton

4/10/2011Another good example of how this new news and anti-Science paradigm that Murdoch has fostered, works, can be found in the interview on Lateline last night between Mark Lennon and Steve Cannane. In essence, Steve Cannane and the researchers on Lateline have been duped by the anti-Global Warming forces into conducting their battle for them, as seemingly reasonable sceptics from the Left. I wonder, you see, where the researchers got their information about the abuses of the Carbon Trading System from? Who told them about the 'poor Amazon Farmer' who could not cut down a tree to fix a hole in his wooden roof? (I thought to myself, 'Why have you got a roof made of wood anyway?). Who provided them with the information about the other 'poor Amazon farmer' who could not feed his family because he was not allowed to cut down another plant supposedly 'owned' in a Carbon Storage Coop by Chevron? Who was it that supplied the information to Steve Cannane and his researchers about the Chinese factory that had rorted the system by increasing the amounts of CFCs it produced, in order to be paid to cut them back? I smell a rat. And a dupe.

Feral Skeleton

4/10/2011Put this one at the top of the 'Ewww!' files: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/a-napoleonic-era-ends-as-liberal-powerbroker-michael-kroger-farewells-his-antique-empire-20111003-1l5e2.html The 'Eww!' factor comes in the shape of his new girlfriend. ;-)

Ad astra

4/10/2011Casablanca Thank you for pointing us to The Manufacture of Uncertainty by Chris Mooney, a scientist himself that begins: “[i]How American industries have purchased “scientists” to undermine scientific verities when those verities threaten their profits.”[/i] The article on [i]The American Prospect[/i] is powerfully revealing of how science is being challenged by those who pervert science for commercial gain. The catchphrases: ‘doubt is our product’, ‘manufacturing uncertainty’, ‘establishing a controversy’ is the product of ‘science for sale’, nowhere more overt than in the climate change dialogue. The process of creating serious scientific doubt where it scarcely exists is frightening and dangerous, yet we see it day after day. We saw it in the tobacco - lung cancer debate, the asbestos debate and now in the climate change debate. http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_manufacture_of_uncertainty

Ad astra

4/10/2011TT Your satire is dazzling. I hope someone can find the video of John Howard uttering those ‘sorry’ words.

Feral Skeleton

4/10/2011This is absolutely BRILLIANT! A member of the 'Occupy Wall Street' protest movement takes down to the ground and below an interviewer from Fox News: :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yrT-0Xbrn4&feature=youtu.be

Ad astra

4/10/2011TT You are right -[i]TPS[/i] is not going to blow away. The stats show that it is motoring along as it has for years, with steady traffic, a handful of daily contributors, well over a hundred that comment from time to time, and a volume of comments that range from over a hundred to over four hundred, depending on the piece. So long as we have the strength, so long as we maintain our enthusiasm as we enter its fourth year, it will continue. Such blogsites are needed more than ever as News Limited’s powerful forces assail the minds and will of the Australian electorate with its overt propaganda and disinformation.

jane

4/10/2011FS, eeewwww hardly covers it. Makes the flesh creep, doesn't it?

TalkTurkey

4/10/2011OOps at 7.04 AM cameraderif-[i]er[/i]-ousness :$ FS said To Coach Turkey - "This game is only at 1/4 time, right?" FS I thought, apropos what [i]You[/i] said once, that you viewed portraying [i]Coalons v Guvnors [/i]as an Aussie Rules game - - (which in my mind btw I sort of always do, there are imo good reasons for this)-[/i] - with [i]serious[/i] misapprobation!? N'est-ce pas? - And because of that I [i]desisted[/i], :'( I didn't even give you-all the quarter-time scores like what I said I was gornta. And nobody [i]asked[/i] . . ! . . So now I'll bloody tell you all after all. [i]The first quarter ended on the day of the winter solstice, June 21st. The score was Coalons 8 goals 2 behinds = 50 points Guvnors 2 goals 8 behinds = 20 points We are now about 9 minutes into the second quarter. [/i] I'm not telling you the present score. But you are right about [b]Yes[/b]. It should be Labor's warcry. Say [b]Yes[/b] to the NBN! Say [b]Yes[/b] to Rational and Humane Refugee Processing! Say [b]Yes[/b] to Super-Profits Tax! Say [b]yes[/b] to Carbon Price for Big Polluters! Say [b]Yes[/b] to retraining apprenticeships for mature-age people Say [b]Yes[/b] to better funding for public hospitals and so on. Whereas Abbo*tt says [i]NO![/i] to the NBN Abbo*tt says [i]NO![/i] to rational and humane refugee processing! and so on. We is got the power of YES. We must use it well.

TalkTurkey

4/10/2011 Ad astra said TT Your satire is dazzling. Ad It's very nice of you to say so, but, I have no idea what satire you're talking about! What satire? When? [i]Que?[/i]

Ad astra

4/10/2011TT You are not telling me that John Howard’s ‘speech’ that you posted early this morning is anything but satire, are you?

Ad astra

4/10/2011Jane Thank you for your kind comment. Robert Manne has done us a service and has evoked the inevitable defensive reaction from [i]The Australian[/i]. It is up to us in the Fifth Estate to keep up the pressure on News Limited to adhere to its published code of conduct for its journalists regarding accuracy: [i]1. Accuracy 1.1 Facts must be reported impartially, accurately and with integrity. 1.2 Clear distinction must be made between fact, conjecture and comment. 1.3 Try always to tell all sides of the story in any kind of dispute. 1.4 Do not knowingly withhold or suppress essential facts. 1.5 Journalists should be reluctant to rely on only one source. Be careful not to recycle an error from one reference source to another. Check and check again.[/i]

Ad astra

4/10/2011TT Thank you for your informative set of links that I’m still working through. What a feast there is for those who visit [i]TPS[/i]. How much better is it than the tosh that infects so much of the regular MSM.

Ad astra

4/10/2011FS I find Steve Cannane one of the most reasonable of ABC journalists. He has obviously been fed all those bad stories about carbon trading. The most generous interpretation is that they were supplied to stimulate debate; a less generous one is that they were intended to discredit carbon trading. In the end carbon trading came out on top, which Cannane did not attempt to discount. The need for carbon trading was nicely argued in one of the links NormanK posted this morning: [i]Australia needs new pathway to growth[/i] by 
Michael Molitor in [i]Climate Spectator[/i]. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/australia-needs-new-pathway-growth

TalkTurkey

4/10/2011Erm . . . A-a-a-Ad! NormanK is the one sending you the links! And - did you think [i]I[/i] wrote that John Howard speech? It really [i]was[/i] John Howard, and on the date mentioned, I kid you not! Tell him someone ! :) I only wish I [i]could[/i] write satire like that!

Casablanca

4/10/2011FS There was a reference to the 'snivelling grub' slur in your linked article about John McTernan. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/pms-new-spin-doctor-says-hell-walk-his-talk/story-e6frg996-1226156422626. Not being familiar with the incident I googled the matter and found this: [b]Gillard barred for 'snivelling grub' slur [/b] May 31, 2006 - 2:20PM SMH [i]To test the speaker's ruling, I deliberately moved a motion in exactly the same terms and offered a withdrawal in exactly the same terms,'' she told reporters in Canberra. "Now, this is a ridiculous situation where if Tony Abbott says something it's fine, if I say exactly the same thing, I am suspended from parliament for 24 hours. "This is double standards writ large.'' Mr Abbott was driving down the parliamentary standards of conduct, she said. "I think people will make of that that Tony Abbott, because of his bully-boy demeanour, because of his less-than-intelligent tactics as leader of government business, has driven this house to new lows,'' Ms Gillard said. "We didn't want it to come to this. We objected to his conduct last Thursday. "If Tony Abbott is perpetually in the gutter and we do nothing, it's just our side and the reputation of our parliament that suffers.''[/i] http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/gillard-barred-for-snivelling-grub-slur/2006/05/31/1148956383658.html

Michael

4/10/2011It was, of course, John Howard the actor, most famous for Seachange, who delivered that speech. The satiric intent at the time was that he was the only prominent 'John Howard' in Australia who could deliver the content of that speech. If the lying rodent is ever credited with the authorship and philosophy of that speech through the mixing up of names as the years unfold, let the skies open and thunder toll... until the correct JH is nominated. Check under "Name Confusion" here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Howard_%28Australian_actor%29 referring to an episode of The Games.

Ad astra

4/10/2011TT Michael has restored my confidence in my memory – I was sure PM John Howard never uttered the ‘sorry’ word. No such acknowledgment of past wrongs towards indigenous people could ever have escaped his lips. Casablanca has reassured me that it was his namesake, the actor.

Ad astra

4/10/2011Folks I'll be out for a few hours.

NormanK

4/10/2011This has the potential to blow up into something ugly, and a jolly good thing I say. [b]Attack on pokie reform came from 'up top', says Warren[/b] by Dylan Welch [quote]A RESPECTED NRL commentator has admitted that ostensibly off-the-cuff remarks during a rugby league final attacking proposed poker machine reforms were provided to him by Channel Nine management. The admission by Ray Warren, one of Australia's most famous sports commentators and a former gambler, emerge as the two independent politicians backing the pokie reforms lodge a formal complaint with the broadcaster over the remarks, which they say break the law.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/attack-on-pokie-reform-came-from-up-top-says-warren-20111003-1l5dr.html [b]ACMA investigates Nine pokies comments[/b] Updated Nic Christensen http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/acma-investigates-nine-pokies-comments/story-e6frg996-1226157864154 Audio of Ray Warren speaking to Neil Mitchell on 3AW. [b]Commentator defends 'pokies endorsement'[/b] http://media.theage.com.au/sport/sports-hq/commentator-defends-pokies-endorsement-2665180.html

Feral Skeleton

4/10/2011Casablanca, Thank you for the contextualising of that 'snivelling grub' statement, true as it turned out, about Tony Abbott. Nothing much has changed about his tactics since that time either, I see.

BSA Bob

4/10/2011F S & Casablanca I remember the "Snivelling grub" incident. My recollection is that once the affair had blown up Abbott had a bit of a "Kinder, gentler polity" moment saying that perhaps he'd gone a bit far. Unspinned, it meant "Having done what I did & gotten away with it, & now faced with the prospect of retaliation in kind, it's time to rein things in a bit."

Michael

4/10/2011I suspect that the only time 'lying rodent' John Howard ever said "sorry" was to Janette on losing the 2007 election. No more free Christmas holidays at Lord Howe Island, no more open slather over the wine cellar in Kirribilli House, no more... No more noses snuffling deep in the trough of those famous "taxpayers' dollars" at all. Except for the superannuation, the free office, the international travel, etc., etc.. Probably didn't even say "sorry" then, come to think of it, what with all the freebies being booted from Bennelong provided.

psyclaw

4/10/2011FS @ 9.00am I too smelt a rat in the Amazon farmer story. I wondered why a primitive farmer in the depths of the forest eking out a subsistence way of life living in a rough shanty would own as his only apparent modern tool a chain saw!!!!!

2353

4/10/2011Sorry folks - the John Howard speech was delivered by the Actor - not the politician and it was on "The Games" a ABCTV show starring John Clark and Brian Dawe which was shown a few months before the Sydney Olympics. From memory the storyline was that some countries were talking about boycotting "our" Olympics because of our treatment of Aboriginals. As they knew the politician John Howard would never apologise, the John Clark character who was "running " the games got the next best thing and hoped no one would notice. I have no idea where to even start looking for clips such as this (unfortunate I know because there are some real gems I would love to see again) - but if any one finds it, please post it. Hilarious is an understatement. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Games_%28Australian_TV_series%29 http://www.abc.net.au/tv/thegames/ And take it as read I have some really strange memories when it comes to TV shows.

2353

4/10/2011Found it :) http://youtu.be/Dh0MNIFezME

Acerbic Conehead

4/10/2011AA, Great analysis of Robert Manne’s essay on [i]The Australian[/i], one of Hydra’s Heads. Thank you so much. Here is the cartoon version: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/files/images/julia%20of%20arcX640.jpg And, by the way, have you heard Tones’ latest three-word slogan: STOP THE FAGS! He reckons he gets double points for it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA-zsXRJw0M

Ad astra

4/10/20112353 Thanks for the YouTube clip of John Howard. I’ve filed it for future reference. AC Thank you for your kind words, and for the images. Tones thought himself pretty smart with 'Stop the Boats and You’ll Stop the Smokes', I supect without realizing how poetically it exposed the pathetic superficiality of all his three word slogans. I’m calling a day. I’ve begun a piece for next week that will have the title: [i]Why are Australians angry and scared out of their minds? Ask Tony Abbott[/i], or something similar.

psyclaw

4/10/2011I've just watched Lateline and am still stunned. An apparently well known Equity Venturer(ist?) Mr Mark Carnegie was interviewed about the Tax Summit....he is a participant. He spoke about the fast changing age demography and the growing disproportion of we 'oldies' in the population and our increasingly costly needs for aged and health support. He proposes a Soverign Fund dedicated to these costs. And his solution..... 'We, the richest 15% of the population should start paying an extra 15% income tax immediately, and should also behave more philanthropically.' True! He did say that, several times and in detail. He said that the current polemics and political antagonism means that any other solution is light years away.....only his solution could be implemented immediately. For example, he spoke in favour of the MRRT but argued that it'll take some (too long) time to be effective, given the political scene. And amazingly he spoke out in favour of an inheritance tax....he asked 'why should a young person laze about in Toorak coffee shops waiting to inherit an income on which they won't be taxed .... they should get on and do some hard work and pay their way.' He agreed that he was in agreement with the Greens about this. In future I will try not to stereotype the big end of town to allow that it includes such community spirited persons as Mr Carnegie. My interest has been whetted to find out more about him. Pity Abbott refused to attend the summit; just maybe he saw Lateline.

TalkTurkey

4/10/20112353! Thank you so much for finding that link! Surely John Howard the Decent and the Games crew pulled off one of the most brilliant of all satires in this nation's history. I remember it well, it goosebumped me then and it has tonight brought shivers down my back, a sad smile to my face and mist to mine eyes. And pride to my heart that there are decent people like those who made The Games (and Crownies ftm) even in face of the dumbing-down of much of the population - which could have been ever-so-much more educated in a slightly different non-Murdochratic universe . . . but oh well . . . Let us never forget the power of satire and masquerade and humour, it is a strong tradition in Oz, remember the Chaser boys in Sydney! Bushfire Bill does masquerade on blogs, I've even done it myself once or twice (remember, DMW? :$ ) Not maliciously, let me make clear. Mischievously, on the lower end of the meaning of mischief, and where there is a point to be made. Remember the learned judge's ruling t'other day, wtte it's ok to embarrass people, or disgust, insult, enrage or whatever them, but not to tell lies about them or deliberately to misrepresent their position. Cool. So can I say POO-POO Pyne now please Ad? Tonight I read to the 70-odd 'poets' at Friendly Street Poets my little pomes dedicated to She for whom my gut convulses . . . 'er name's Sophie, cor lumme wot a peach . . . unkind people call her Puff Adder, but I just like to think of her as My Little Vampirella. She has my mind singing her praises . . . Feeling all protective I am . . . doing little things to please her . . . writing little nursery rhymes to her: Vampirella, Mirabella, How does your wealth grow so? - With strange affairs With deranged millionaires And Attorney's powers when they go! And little girly skipping chants: Vampirella, Mirabella Went to bed with a real old fella She said that in her he trusted Boy are his two kids disgusted! Yes! . . .Yes! . . . [u]YESYESYESYESYES [/u](pepper) and so on. And finally my feelings have blossomed into a love song: Sophie, Sophie, Give us an answer true! Did you pay no fee For all Howard QC gave you? I know you won't find it pleasant When they pluck you like a pheasant :) But you'll look great Behind the gate Of a cell that's just five by two! (K) Humour is our great advantage over the Right Whingers, they are Vogons wrt anything at all funny or clever. John Howard the Decent, YOU could be my vote for First Australian President. After Barry Jones anyway. You are certainly a Working Class Hero, and you know what that is! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njG7p6CSbCU Again 2353, thanks for fnding that, it is classic and timeless and THERE IT IS in living action! All who watch it are enriched. Oh and a decade later it still sucked in Ad astra! Dam! :)

Feral Skeleton

4/10/2011Just back from going down to ABC Sydney to see Gruen Planet being taped. :) I now have an increased level of respect for these people and the amount of work which must go in to making one of their shows every week. It was exhausting just being in the audience for one night!

Feral Skeleton

5/10/2011I note that the Coalition had less than zero to contribute to the Tax Forum. Yet the ABC were quite happy to have Tony Abbott's 'expert' opinion of the worthlessness of the event on their news crawler all day. Why do they continue to take him seriously? Don't they know that every single MP from the Coalition will never have anything positive to say about anything the government does? Or, maybe that's the point for the ABC?

NormanK

5/10/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Australia's FOI act 39th best in world ranking by Peter Timmins Open and Shut[/i] In an international survey based on 61 credible indicators, the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act, as amended through the 2009/2010 reform process, scored 86 out of a possible 150 and has been ranked 39 in a comparative table of the laws of 89 countries. http://foi-privacy.blogspot.com/2011/10/australias-foi-act-39th-best-in-world.html#more [i]Media analysts slam Ch 9 pokies comments Ashley Hall 774ABC[/i] Anti-pokies reform comments made by commentators during coverage of an NRL game were ethically out of bounds and could have had a persuading effect on the audience, media analysts say. Michael Sergi, director of film and television at Bond University, is worried that a football audience is not geared up to absorb political messages. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-03/media-analysts-slam-channel-9-pokie-comments/3207378/?site=melbourne [i]Carbon trade 'pot' for dirty money Lenore Taylor Sydney Morning Herald[/i] The Australian Crime Commission is doing a new assessment of the potential for organised crime to target Australia's emissions trading scheme as it works with the Department of Climate Change to minimise the risk. http://m.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/carbon-trade-pot-for-dirty-money-20111003-1l5ds.html[i] [/i] [i]Wait for the rest of your life Andrew Elder Politically homeless[/i] We've been here before. When the debt gets paid off, people like Amanda Vanstone regard education and health as fripperies and call for tax cuts, which means that schools, research and health get cut no matter what. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/10/wait-for-rest-of-your-life.html [i]Making sense of the dollar Glenn Dyer Crikey [/i] The Australian dollar is the world’s fifth most traded currency and goes up and down, up and down. Our dollar fell to 94.96 US cents this morning. It was the third drop in three days against the greenback, and it was the currency’s lowest result since September last year. What does it mean? http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/10/04/crikey-clarifier-making-sense-of-the-dollar/ [i]On Tony Abbott David Havyatt Anything Goes[/i] At the core the Mitchell thesis is that all the mentors in Abbott's life have come from a paternalistic, misogynist mindset. The fact that these key influencers have mostly come from a particular strand of conservative Catholicism has been allowed to distract from that core message. Tony Abbott is the destructive pugalist that she describes - and that is the message that the progressive side of politics needs to understand. http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]You may say I’m a dreamer David Horton The Watermelon Blog[/i] Imagine how different the last four years would have been if the mainstream media had enthusiastically supported the idea of providing a massive increase in school infrastructure, and a big boost to insulating homes to reduce energy costs? If they had got behind the programs, explained their purposes, published anecdotes about happy customers. http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/10/03/you-may-say-im-a-dreamer/#comments [i]Turnbull's NBN irony Paul Budde Technology Spectator[/i] Yet, time and again, that Coalition government failed to come to the rescue of competition. It was the current government that took the bull by the horns and implemented a bold structural separation plan. This is supported by the majority of the telecoms industry – not only in Australia, but internationally – and while there are issues that need to be resolved the industry sees it as an enormous win for competition. http://technologyspectator.com.au/nbn-buzz/turnbulls-nbn-irony [i]Gerard Henderson, Tony Abbott, Cardinal Pell, and sssh, whatever you do don't mention that sectarian issue, climate change ... Dorothy Parker Loon Pond[/i] Put simply, Henderson could have used a single ingredient as his theme - Tony Abbott is a wonderful human being, and kind to women to boot - but instead spends the entire column whipping up a frothy, enticing offering , featuring Tony Abbott with a choc chip topping and a creamy, caring, rich raspberry jam centre. http://loonpond.blogspot.com/ [i]Garnaut lets fly with both barrels Brian Larvatus Prodeo[/i] According to The Oz, citizen Garnaut also said this: “Our generation risks condemnation in history for the corruption of our democracy embodied in this distortion of reality and abuse of truth.” http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/09/29/garnaut-lets-fly-with-both-barrels/ [i]Sophies Choice wixxy Wixxy's Blog[/i] The case I will go into today, is just that scenario, and it involves a public figure known for being larger than life in every aspect. She has an immense ego, a gigantic mouth that is always spitting venom, and seems to have large ambitions beyond her means. Her name is Sophie Mirabella. She is a vocal member of the Liberal Party, Tony Abbotts “Party Of No”, she is an absolute “train wreck” of a politician. http://wixxy.wordpress.com/ [i]Nine prepares ‘considered response’ as ACMA probes pokies pitch Tom Cowie The Power Index[/i] Last week The Power Index reported that Clubs Australia was given advance notice by Nine that the editorial was going ahead. The lobby group said it did not pay Nine for the spot. At the time Nine did not respond to questions about who commissioned the editorial. Today a spokesperson told The Power Index the network would be providing a "considered response" on the issues raised by Wilkie and Xenophon. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-fail/acma-to-probe-nine-pokies-comments-from-up-top/20111004485 [i]Canberra's congested thinking on roads Rob Burgess Business Spectator[/i] We need more revenue from somewhere to ease the squeeze – better public transport takes pressure off roads, where it is private vehicles that cause most of the congestion (not something the chattering classes like to admit, because those bothersome trucks rattle one's cappuccino cup far more than cars). http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/car-traffic-congestion-charge-Australia-Henry-tax--pd20111004-MASAN?OpenDocument&src=sph [i]Taxing Times For Labor Ben Eltham New Matilda[/i] Tax is a perennial issue in any political discussion. This tax summit is itself a recommendation of the 2020 Summit in 2008, and just last year former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry delivered a massive report into Australia’s "future tax system". That report turned out to be a vastly impressive and politically improbable blueprint for reform; Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan promptly ruled out most of the important reforms almost immediately. http://newmatilda.com/2011/10/04/taxing-times-labor [i]Tax Forum: overcoming private affluence and public squalor Frank Stilwell The Conversation[/i] We may anticipate consensus that the tax system should be efficient, fair, understandable and effective in raising the revenue needed to pay for good public services and infrastructure. But the participants are unlikely to agree on who should pay the most. http://theconversation.edu.au/tax-forum-overcoming-private-affluence-and-public-squalor-3664 [i]Coal is not so cheap Giles Parkinson Climate Spectator[/i] A new economic analysis published in the highly prestigious American Economic Review has made a damming assessment of the costs of pollution from fossil fuel industries, and concludes that coal is doing more harm to the US economy than good – and that doesn't take into account its climate impact. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/coal-not-so-cheap?utm_source=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_source=Climate+Spectator&utm_campaign=c8bc9b880a-CSPEC_DAILY&utm_medium=email [i]Conservation shouldn’t be a popularity contest Dominique Thiriet The Conversation[/i] Even Australia’s most iconic, charismatic species are in danger of extinction. Species such as the cassowary, Tasmanian devil and koala all enjoy significant community support and relatively generous funding and yet find themselves at risk. And if our most popular species are in danger of extinction, what will become of our unpopular species? http://theconversation.edu.au/conservation-shouldnt-be-a-popularity-contest-3529

psyclaw

5/10/2011Further to my earlier post I am embarrassed to admit my ignorance about the stature of Mark Carnegie in the big end of town. Many of you will know he is the son of Sir Rod Carnegie....one of Australia's richest ever. MC has a deaf, autistic daughter and undoubtedly his obvious compassion is related to this. He and his wife have started a school for kids with special needs in Sydney. And he has set up an Equity Fund to put venture capital into the research for medical devices. He is widely known as a straight shooter and commonly vents his spleen about issues he believes in with the use of frequent and very vernacular language, especially when in big end of town company. He claims that aging has turned him towards the left(ies). One of his bigger blow-ups was when the 4th TV network was created....: [quote]"I did go f-ing berserk about the existing networks crying poor. There are five million families in Australia and the Government's given the networks $3 billion of spectrum for free."[/quote] Here are a few further quotes from Mark Carnegie: [quote]While the idea of higher taxes on the wealthy was gaining traction globally, Mr Carnegie said he didn't expect the proposal to be popular among the well-heeled. "Everywhere else in the world it's being done to repair budget deficits, whereas in Australia we've got a pretty healthy economy, so the money needs to be allocated to saving for the future."[/quote] [quote]We all hate paying more tax than we have to but Ken Henry has written a document that is a compelling argument for how to build a better country given that someone has to pay to run the country. He said the wealthiest 15 per cent of Australians had increased their aggregate net worth by $700 billion between 2003-04 and 2009-10. Everyone says the rich are paying more tax, but they're getting even richer.[/quote] [quote]Mr Carnegie said Australian tax reform should focus on cutting opportunities to reduce taxable income rather than on increasing marginal tax rates, as many wealthy people were able to minimise their incomes by using trust structures and negative gearing. "The way to solve the high-end problem is to close off the loopholes, not increasing marginal tax rates." "I look at my tax burden and I can say I need to pay more . . . I have a family trust, and I try to minimise the amount of tax I pay . . . But I'd be happy for those structures to be taken away."[/quote] Apologies to those who already knew of MC and his views. But given that he is described as anything but a shrinking violet, I am amazed that the views of such a prominent big end of towner, many of which are in support of the government's policies and record are so little publicised in the MSM. An omission from my earlier report about Lateline.....MC also spoke out in favour of the National Disability Insurance proposal .... not unsurprisingly.

Ad astra

5/10/2011LYN's DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

psyclaw

5/10/2011TT Thanks for the John Lennon link....great song. Just in case any Swordsters don't know it here's my all time favourite political song (well, one of my all time favourites) by Lily Allen. Even if you know it, give this live version a spin...much better than studio clips. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WUD-nhsmkw&feature=related I've posted the lyrics......some of you may have hearing as poor as mine, and the words are not to be missed. BTW it is about the fool to whom JWH was deppity sheriff Warning: Only listen once or the delightful little melody will get inside your mind, never to leave! [quote]Look inside, look inside your tiny mind and look a bit harder cause we’re so uninspired so sick and tired of all the hatred you harbor so you say it’s not okay to be gay well I think you’re just evil you’re just some racist who can’t tie my laces you’re point of view is medieval Fuck you, fuck you very very much cause we hate what you do and we hate your whole crew so please don’t stay in touch fuck you, fuck you very very much cause your words don’t translate and it’s getting quite late so please don’t stay in touch do you get, do you get a little kick out of being small-minded? you want to be like your father it’s approval you’re after well that’s not how you’ll find it do you, do you really enjoy living a life that’s so hateful cause there’s a hole where your soul should be you’re losing control of it and it’s really distasteful Fuck you, fuck you very very much cause we hate what you do and we hate your whole crew so please don’t stay in touch Fuck you, fuck you very very much cause your words don’t translate and it’s getting quite late so please don’t stay in touch Look inside, look inside your tiny mind and look a bit harder cause we’re so uninspired so sick and tired of all the hatred you harbor Fuck you, fuck you very very much cause we hate what you do and we hate your whole crew so please don’t stay in touch Fuck you, fuck you very very much cause your words don’t translate and it’s getting quite late so please don’t stay in touch [/quote]

TalkTurkey

5/10/2011Bushfire Bill at 1874 on Poll Bludger is a good read . . . Dog that bloke can write . . . What a [i]#*ck[/i] of a waste though, he will be whisked from the current page in a few minutes, disparu! I don't know if BB reads us, suppose he must, dumb if he don't, but even fairly dedicated Bludgers must skip whole swatches of comments on PB . . . That's OK for twits ;-) but BB does real articles, they deserve consideration and commenting on in themselves, instead they get flushed more often than the family dunny. And, or but, it's his own choice. I know 'All Things Must Pass' but BB's posts should at least last a few days. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks NK, http://wixxy.wordpress.com/ Great no-BS precis of the charming Vampirella Mirabella! Lovely pictures of her too! Her mouth always reminds me of Portnoy's famous raw liver. Can't help it. :$ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BTW can somebody remind me how to do copyright symbols? I want to copyright [i]#*ck[/i], see. ;-) (Shorthand for Heck, or was it Hack, or Muck, or Suck, I think I forget.) It has to be useful somehow. Seems I have officially lost control of [i]Dog![/i] :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

debbiep

5/10/2011 Keep up the good work, NormanK :) Talk Turkey, I agree with you on Bushfire Bill. Be great if he at least had his own blog where ALL his post comments were together. As they get lost on poll Bludger. And regarding the comment about the links use on Poll Bludger- there is a BIG difference. Over there a great majority is to the Australian newspaper - rest still usually MSM (which I for one will not go to as do not want to give these papers my support, in Hits) Whereas here what IS wonderful on the Political Sword. Lyn (and NK) use their majority on Independent media and give Bloggers ( whom I feel fill , or do the actually work that our MSM doesnt), and gives them a voice.... Ad Astra, great piece and the links to Manne blog. its Great that you ask these questions, a good example of the Independent blogger at work.

TalkTurkey

5/10/2011Psyclaw [i]#*ck[/i]ing is too good for Bush, Howard, Abbo*tt or any of their crew! ([i]Urrrrghhhh[/i], especially [i]Vampirella![/i] :P ) Great song. No [i]#*ck[/i]ing about! [Looks like [i]#*ck[/i] came to the rescue just in time!]

Feral Skeleton

5/10/2011What an amazing article about Andrew Bolt: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/bolt-an-opportunist-keen-on-fox-news-says-writer-20111004-1l77w.html#ixzz1ZouUdLxU I can't wait for Anne Summers' book.

Feral Skeleton

5/10/2011Another fair and reasonable article about the Susan Mitchell book on Tony Abbott by Louise Adler: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/gap-between-real-abbott-and-the-bully-boy-caricature-20111004-1l75s.html I don't agree with her about the Abbott PPL Scheme though. Government should not fund high income earners' lifestyle choices and give them more taxpayers' money for the first 6 months of their child's life.

Feral Skeleton

5/10/2011Please fill out the NBN petition: http://www.nbnpetition.com.au/

Michael

5/10/2011Wind changing #3 I think I've noted at least two other occasions when Tony Abbott's style drew questioning attention on the ABC lately. Yesterday, stand-in host on 'Capital Hill', Melissa Clarke, after a short clip featuring Shouldabeen in sh**eating grin mode, asked her guests if TA was in danger of becoming a caricature, with all his 3 word slogans? Labor guest Mike Kelly observed TA has long been a caricature. Liberal guest (forget who) went on about "Tony this, Tony that...". So, party line reactions. But the question was asked? The word "caricature" was entered into the discourse. And the wind shifted.

Feral Skeleton

5/10/2011psyclaw, Great link to Lily Allen. As a bit of social commentary, in my down time on the train home from Gruen Planet taping yesterday, I was reading a copy of NW, as dental floss for my brain, and it was reported that Ms Allen is now 7 months into her pregnancy and all looks to be going OK. I sure hope so after the hell she has been through to get to this point. :) She just has that amazing way with words similar to John Lennon, IMHO. Also, wrt your earlier comment about Mark Carnegie, I compare his beaviour in regards to his child to that of Sir James Hardy, another favoured son of the Australian Gentry, who also had a disabled child with a mental illness. I was going out with a Psych Nurse at the time he was working at Gladesville Psych Hospital in the 1970s. One of his patients was Hardy's son. He told me that his parents had just dumped him there and very rarely visited him and he got the impression they thought the child ruined their image of the perfect family and that they thought he cramped their personal life. Pretty sad, huh?

Feral Skeleton

5/10/2011If anyone wants a Live Stream of the Tax Forum and a program rundown, it's here: http://www.futuretax.gov.au/content/Content.aspx?doc=TaxForum/Program.htm

Feral Skeleton

5/10/2011Transcript of Leigh Sales/Kristina Kenneally interview on bringing Labor back to Core Values: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2011/s3332275.htm Lol ReCaptcha: valour :)

TalkTurkey

5/10/2011A second verse for [b][u]A Song For Sophie [/u][/b] (Tune: Daisy Daisy) Sophie, Sophie, what a poetic fate! You spray so free on all of the folks you hate! Now it's such fun to disparage Your fallin' off your carriage! So what comes now Ya lipsticked #ow? You'll be Mary-Jo Fisher's mate! Sophie, Sophie, Give us an answer true! Did you pay no fee For all Howard QC gave you? I know you won't find it pleasant When they pluck you like a pheasant But you'll look great Behind the gate Of a cell that's just five by two!

Feral Skeleton

5/10/2011Michael, Melissa Clarke has been written of as being a closet Liberal supporter too!

NormanK

5/10/2011[b]It's a matter of trust[/b] by Greg Jericho The Drum Unleashed [quote]Yesterday, in a wonderful bit of irony that life often serves up as we go about our business, The Australian almost 12 months to the day after they decided to make me their own little piñata by outing me as the blogger "Grog's Gamut", interviewed me in its media section on, among other things, my being outed by The Australian.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3299024.html

jane

5/10/2011NormanK, thanks for the links. I particularly enjoyed wixxy on the repulsive Mirabella. psyclaw @12.12am, you're surprised that support for the government from someone at the big end of town is ignored by the msm? TT @11.13am, hilarious poem. It should be published in the OO. FS, thanks for the NBN petition link. I have voted and as a result have achieved a 100% yes vote where I live. No vote: 0%. Sometimes it's good to live in a one legged horse town. lol

Gravel

5/10/2011Feral Skeleton You gave me fright there, thinking that TPS would fade away. Glad to hear you didn't mean it. I for one would be lost without it. I have just snuck in here while kids are playing bonfires, and I must say you have all been busy and informative. Trying to watch the tax forum but too many interruptions. Would love to be a 'journalist' so I could listen to it all.

TalkTurkey

5/10/2011FS said, "Melissa Clarke has been written of as being a closet Liberal supporter too!" Written [i]of?[/i] Or written [i]off?[/i] Them's different ya know! Could be both sure but still be different.) Grammanazi von Gobbelheim strikes again! Re the aristocratic [i]Sir[/i] James Hardy, I have had the disgusting experience of knowing that I have been slagged by his sister, Barbara, to other persons, in my absence, and without any cause except that she thought, [i]mistakenly,[/i] that I was in a position to threaten the cosy plagiarism by which (as I am still convinced) Landcare came by the use of their logo, a pair of hands encompassing a stylized map of Australia. A quick look at my website on my tessellations and other punography page will reveal, just down the page a bit, a design I call [i]Hands Around Australia[/i], a design made with a pair of hands both [i]encompassing [/i]a [i]negative[/i] map of Australia, and also forming a larger [i]positive[/i] map of Australia, made of the hands themselves. http://www.ozzigami.com.au/tessellations.html I displayed that design a year before Landcare published their logo, the work of a Yank named Cliff Burk, who had been in Oz for a few months only when, as he claimed later, he was looking at his hands one day and . . . . oh well . . . Barbara Hardy found out - from me personally, as it happened - that I had authored [i]Hands Around Australia [/i]before Landcare even existed - or certainly way before their logo was published, anyway - and she was (as I have found out, many times [i]ever since,[/i] is normal for her silver-spoon holier-than-everyone-else do-gooder practice) covering herself with sycophantic slobbering for being the anchor person for that very organization, Landcare. She immediately assumed, wrongly, that I meant to prosecute Landcare for plagiarism, and froze on the spot. Within days an utterly reliable friend of hers and mine was telling me how he had had a conversation with Barbara Hardy, (whom I'd never met but just that once) - he mentioned my name - we were associates, which she didn't realize - and he said her exact words were, TalkTurkey? [i]TalkTurkey![/i] He's a [i]terrible[/i] man! And so there's me mate saying [i]Whoa, are we talking about the same TalkTurkey here? [/i](and my name is uncommon, yep she meant me all right.) She is still holier-than-thouing and do-goodering for anything that will get her petting and patting, oh she drives a hybrid car, oh she's got full solar, oh she's presenting or opening or posing somehow or another, doing good some more . . . Well basically for being hereditarily rich, James her brother's a genuine Sir, (sounds more like a cur with his embarrassing son!), but I mean your real blood-purified knight like Limpy fantasizes being, knighted by Her Immaculate Majesty her very own self, with the Sacred Sword Of Sycophancy which only She may wield . . ., Well Barbie won't ever get to be a Dame But she's turned out a nasty old dame just the same . . - Except in name! :) There's a big twist in this story. I never did try to prosecute Landcare, though I did believe Burk had plagiarised me. I had by that time (goaded in fact by Barbara hardy's attitude) decided to challenge landcare . . . but then . . . ANOTHER man showed up, with a design he called [i]All Hands Shape Australia[/i], much [i]more[/i] similar to Burk's than mine, single enclosed-only image, and done before mine, I'd never seen it and it wasn't double image as mine is, (and mine remains the sole dual one.) So then I realized I could eat popcorn, while that poor man, Jurgen Oehlschlager, took Landcare to court in a big plagiarism trial here in Adelaide. I went to some of the Supreme Court sittings. The judgement can be found by googling Oehlschlager v Landcare I'm sure. You won't get to see the transcripts of the actual proceedings though unless you're a lawyer, or very interested and very wealthy. but here's the link to my page again http://www.ozzigami.com.au/tessellations.html

Ad astra

5/10/2011Folks I've been busy most of the day working on next Monday's piece: [i]Why are Australians angry and scared out of their minds? Ask Tony Abbott[/i]. I'll be out for a few hours but will catch up with your comments later tonight or tomorrow.

paul walter

5/10/2011Just scanned the thread starter, but can't beleive what a gift it is in itself, let alone with the Robert Manne link. Was wondering what to do this evening, but in the week of Bolt's exposure, it seems staying indoors and getting into some roast-beefy good reading, will solve the problem.

Jason

5/10/2011"It's an unfortunate fact of life that public commentary, and let's be frank, I'm thinking particularly of our media here, finds it impossible to distinguish the national interest from vested interest; that's a fact of life." Well said Ken Henry!

NormanK

5/10/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Manne o Manne Tim Dunlop B Sides[/i] At the risk of being sucked into the vortex of responding to responses of my own responses and eventually disappearing up my own bum, I wanted to say a quick word about this piece by Robert Manne. In it, Manne compiles a list of responses to his Quarterly Essay, Bad News, and his point is to note the frenzied, over-the-top response his essay has received from The Australian. http://tjd.posterous.com/ [i]Murdoch empire assailed at media debate Wenlei Ma AdNews[/i] Arguing the media has no morals, former Crikey publisher and News Limited journalist Stephen Mayne accused the Murdoch empire of  "debasing ethical and balanced journalism".
Mayne said: "You have a responsibility to not offer toxic waste." Mayne said parts of the media has "a callous disregard for the damage they do. They have a callous disregard for what it does to social cohesion." http://www.adnews.com.au/adnews/murdoch-empire-assailed-at-media-debate [i]It's a matter of trust Greg Jericho The Drum Unleashed[/i] Yesterday, in a wonderful bit of irony that life often serves up as we go about our business, The Australian almost 12 months to the day after they decided to make me their own little piñata by outing me as the blogger "Grog's Gamut", interviewed me in its media section on, among other things, my being outed by The Australian. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3299024.html [i]Tax cut buffet but no appetite for fixes Ross Gittens[/i] Sorry, but the tax forum reminds me of nothing so much as a bunch of kiddies lining up to sit on Santa's knee and whisper into his ear what they'd like for Christmas. Dream on, kids. The harsh truth is that neither the federal nor the state governments are in any position to simply cut this tax or that. They're all struggling to get their budgets back to surplus. http://www.rossgittins.com/2011/10/tax-cut-buffet-may-appeal-but-theres-no.html [i]Culture war bores collide The Piping Shrike[/i] Bolt belongs to that group of self-styled right-wing “shock jocks” where the political significance comes less from what they actually say, than the reaction it gets from the left. That’s why he tends to write in order to shock and outrage than inform. It is also why he makes the classic mistake of these lot – overreach, from thinking that his notoriety comes from the power of what he says rather than the excessive sensitivities of a defensive left that react to him. http://www.pipingshrike.com/ [i]The Spiraling Costs of Climate Change Denial Andrew Burger New Anthropocene[/i] Climate change deniers continue to try to hammer home the idea that enacting proactive climate change policies would cost too much, would hurt consumers, and hamper economic growth. These assertions have consistently been challenged and refuted, but in recent weeks there’s been a string of events and new research reports that highlight the spiraling costs of climate change denial and inaction in greater-than-ever detail. http://newanthropocene.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/the-spiraling-costs-of-climate-change-denial/ [i]Labor takes aim at itself. The tragedy of its Parliamentary Budget Office. Peter Martin[/i] Never confuse the Australian Labor Party with the enlightenment philosopher Voltaire who while dying (according to Christopher Hitchens) was asked to renounce the devil. “This is no time to be making enemies,” he is said to have murmured in reply. Labor is facing political death and an unknowable number of years in opposition. So what’s it about to do? Unfortunately for it, and for the political system, it is about to make life difficult for the opposition. http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/10/labor-takes-aim-at-itself-tragedy-of.html [i]Democracy.net: How to create better political engagement Tauel Harper The Conversation[/i] The increasing spread of information and communication technology has changed just about every aspect of Australian society – except democracy. The opportunities to engage citizens in the democratic process are yet to be harnessed by the Australian political system. Political parties in particular risk being left behind, as citizens increasingly engage with public issues using social media and the internet. http://theconversation.edu.au/democracy-net-how-to-create-better-political-engagement-2915 [i]How about taxing the rich instead? John En Passant[/i] So what would a left wing tax program look like, a program under capitalism? Here are some suggestions. First let’s tax the wealth of the rich. How? Implement an inheritance tax. Apply the capital gains tax to their homes. Have a wealth tax of a few percent applied to their assets here and on estimates of their overseas wealth.  http://enpassant.com.au/?p=11208 [i]This is a paid presentation by professional proctologists… DEUSEXMACINTOSH SkepticLawyer[/i] Cartoon http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2011/10/05/this-is-a-paid-presentation-by-professional-proctologists/ [i]The decline (or re-defining) of blogging? Andrew Bartlett Bartlett's Blog[/i] This piece in the SMH details some of the reasons why the breadth of blogging has reduced in recent times. I basically agree with the reasons it outlines, not least because it goes to some of the same reasons I’ve expressed on this site previously. Ironically, I read the SMH piece because it was linked to in the first post on a new blog by Annabel Crabb, which quite reasonably asked if starting a blog now was ‘too late’. http://andrewbartlett.com/?p=7905 [i]The Australian gets caught out kicking at The Greens Clarencegirl North Coiast Voices[/i] The Council has concluded that the second paragraph inaccurately described the quoted comments in the article because those comments did not assert that there was no incentive to get off DSP or that either the DSP or Newstart could be described as in any way "lucrative". http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/10/australian-gets-caught-out-kicking-at.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FUtodS+%28North+Coast+Voices%29 [i]Greg Sheridan, Janet Albrechtsen, and hate media keeps on pumping out the hate ... and the ignorance ... Dorothy Parker Loon Pond[/i] So there'd (sic) Greg Sheridan on Q&A chucking a hissy fit, and getting his knickers in a knot, as a result of Mona Eltahawy talking of a Christian brotherhood and daring to suggest George Bush had once said "God told me to invade Iraq" ... http://loonpond.blogspot.com/ [i]Pearls before swine at the Tax Forum Andrew Elder Politically Homeless[/i] Journalism on the Tax Forum has sucked really, really hard. It shows the limits of the Australian media in their basic job of telling us what's going on, and how we are being governed. It shows their limits for readers/consumers/citizens/taxpayers in showing us how things might be for this aspect of life in our country and what we can do in order to shape that future. http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011_10_01_archive.html [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Risk-free debate getting nowhere George Megalogenis Meganomics Blog[/i] THERE was tension in the room but it wasn’t necessarily creative. Day one of the tax forum demonstrated why the Australian political system has been struggling to secure reform over the past decade. Vested interests know how to lobby governments—or campaign against them—but they don’t have the conversational tools to bargain with one another in the national interest. http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/risk_free_debate_getting_nowhere [i]Scientists give scheme thumbs-up Lenore Taylor Sydney Morning Herald[/i] A GROUP of the world's most eminent scientists and economists have written to the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, congratulating her on the government's carbon pricing legislation. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/scientists-give-scheme-thumbsup-20111004-1l79n.html [i]Empowering Women and Girls in the Pacific Raiatea Tahana-Reese The Epoch Times[/i] Initiatives have been launched by the Australian government to empower women and girls of the Pacific island nations and eradicate physical and sexual violence in the region. Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced early in September an injection of funds to help governments and non-government aid agencies prevent and respond to violence that studies show 60 per cent of women and girls suffer in some Pacific countries. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/empowering-women-and-girls-in-the-pacific-62427.html [i]12 months in, new MP Deb O'Neill not keen on 'rudeness' Denice Barnes Express Advocate Wyong[/i] IF Robertson Federal Labor MP Deb O’Neill had her way, half of her fellow MPs would be “on detention” for being rude. She finds it disappointing that people, the media in particular, choose to ignore or overlook good things the government has done. “I have now opened more than $30 million worth of BER investments locally that helped keep thousands of people working through the global financial crisis,” she said. http://express-advocate-wyong.whereilive.com.au/news/story/12-months-in-new-mp-deb-oneill-not-keen-on-rudeness/ [i]Services sector expands in Sept AAP Business Spectator[/i] Activity in the Australian services sector expanded in September for the second consecutive month, with some sub-sectors helped by the mining boom, a private survey shows. Commonwealth Bank senior economist James McIntyre said expansion in services sector activity showed the resilience of some parts of the Australian economy despite weak global conditions. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Services-sector-activity-rises-slightly-MBURN?OpenDocument&src=hp3 [i]Retail sales lift again in August Staff Reporter with AAP Business Spectator[/i] Retail sales rose again in August for the second consecutive month, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). ABS data showed total retail sales for the month rose 0.6 per cent, seasonally adjusted, to a total of $20.813 billion. The result compares to an upwardly revised $20.679 billion in July. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Retail-sales-lift-again-in-August-pd20111005-MC2FK?OpenDocument&src=hp2

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011Gravel, I'm in your boat atm. Not much time for sitting arouind and contemplating my navel whilst I read the contributions and make some of my own on TPS. :) Also, I have just spent a lot of the night watching the ABC for once, starting with 7.30, which I haven't bothered with for yonks. Well, to say, "Chop me off at the knees and call me, 'Shorty!' " doesn't quite cover the gobsmackingly shocked, I tell you, shocked I was(no I wasn't :) ), feeling that overcame me tonight when I sat through a story that could have come straight out of the Liberal Anti Carbon Tax Propaganda Unit. It was a story about a family of Flower Growers and Wholesalers, the Bagalas, pre-emptively crying poor-mouth about the effect the 'Carbon Tax' is going to have on their Flower Growing Business. Um, and if they are going to cry 'Poor-mouth' they shouldn't do it whilst wearing an ultra-expensive Burberry 'Poor Boy' cap. Tres Post Moderne, Mr Bagala. ;-) And so the story went that this large flower-growing enterprise, which comprised the Vertically Integrated Business of a large Hydroponic Rose-growing farm, a Wholesale Business at the Markets(and I wonder whether it's the same Markets that have links to the Gambaro family of Brisbane Liberal MP, Teresa Gambaro and who always provide a positive backdrop for Tony Abbott's Anti Carbon Tax stunts?), and footage of the large Semi-Trailers that the family owns and runs to get the flowers to their Wholesale Business at the Markets. Not to mention the large industrial furnace they have built to keep the heat up to the growing roses, such that they can unaturally grow them in their hydroponic set-up all year round. Which is fed with a large amount of Coal. Which, they complained, 'Costs a fortune!', 'poor' petals. Anyway, according to the Bagalas...and here comes the Liberal propaganda...if they have to pay a 'Carbon Tax' on top of their already high input costs for Electricity and Water and Coal...well, they'll be rooned! Apparently they 'investigated' Solar, and they concluded it would cost too much to install it in their business, and so they just want to keep using their 'cheap', dirty, polluting Coal, thank you for nothing Ms 'Carbon Tax' Prime Minister. What a bunch of greedy, couldn't care less about the environment they were polluting, selfish creeps. Obviously mates of the Liberal Party. And all on the supposedly serious Current Affairs show on the ABC. Not. All it did was prove to me that the ABC is being bought and paid for by the Liberal Party and their wealthy backers with very large bank balances, whose only wish, as in America, appears to be to preserve the status quo ante before they were kicked out by the electorate, so that they can go back to ripping off the country and playing us for suckers while they do. And these Italian-Australian Carnation and Rose growing carpetbaggers are a prime example. Sure the flowers they grow are nice and all, but they just don't want to accept any responsibility for the consequences of their actions, that is, the Greenhouse Gases that their blast furnace belches out, day after day. Which reminds me of another A Grade Liberal Carpetbagger from Queensland, Campbell Newman, and his wife and her family's business interests that he is trying hard to deflect public scrutiny away from, as more and more information comes out about how her nose resembles that of a pig. Today he had the hide to say that it was 'Anna Bligh's Dirt Unit' trying to get down in the gutter about his wife's family 'just trying to make a living' (cue the violins). However, as my perspicacious son observed, "But what about Therese Rein? Didn't the LNP in Queensland, and federally, in 2007, think her business interests were fair game for dragging into public?" 'Duplicitous hypocrites', as another Queenslander, Craig Emerson, likes to observe about the Liberal & National parties.

psyclaw

6/10/2011FS Mr Bagala had me with tears running down my cheeks.....laughter stimulated. The younger Bagala complained that the cost of their 'purer'????? (non carbon coal????) coal from Gunnedah had gone up about 500% in the last 6 or 7 years. He seemed surprised and doesn't yet realize there's a boom in that industry. Probly the gummentsforlt!!! The white elephant in the room in this sob story was about the number and size of the big pockets in the traditional leather market aprons. ($10 for grog; $10 for food; $10 for energy costs; $10 for wifey; $10 for school fees; $10 to be formally recorded for the ATO!!!!). I had a rel in that precise business for 20 years .... ready cash was always on hand! We referred to it as a 'green industry' (related to the everpresent wad of green banknotes, not to nature per se) Speaking of the gummentsforlt I read a gem in the SMH letters to editor earlier this week. [quote]The oldest Australian, a lady, died last week. This is happening all to often. When is the government going to do something about it?[/quote]

2353

6/10/2011FS - Newman is definately looking less "shiny" every day. If Bligh does have a bigger "dirt unit" than the LNP, it is being ably assisted by the Flood Enquiry, Citycycle, Public Transportation in SEQ (a fair bit of it is operated by the Brisbane City Council) and the road tunnels. At the moment one of Newman's tunnels is bankrupt (or so close it doesn't matter - taking a lot of shareholders down with it), the one that is well under construction has been orders to recify safety breaches along with a lot of community concern about dog and trailer trucks in surburban streets and the probable toll cost and another tunel is just starting with similar concerns about tolls and the cost to the Council for building it. Some of the local media are actually asking Newman the sort of questions they should ask Abbott - where is your policy, but you said earlier and the obviousl one; what happens if the LNP does get more seats but you fail (the "Leader in the House Jeff Seeney claims he doesn't want the Premier's job). Bligh has lost the flood gloss and has a long way to come back - I reclon she should stay as long as poosible before she calls the election.

2353

6/10/2011^^^^^ D'oh - where is the edit button? Para 1 - "has been orders" should read "has been given orders" Para 2 - "(the "leader in the House Jeff seeney claims etc" should read "(the "Leader in the House" Jeff Seeney) claims he doesn't want the job. Para 3 - "I reclon" should read "I reckon" I blame dyslexic fingers.

TalkTurkey

6/10/2011Psyclaw said "Speaking of the gummentsforlt I read a gem in the SMH letters to editor earlier this week. 'The oldest Australian, a lady, died last week. This is happening all to often. When is the government going to do something about it?'" Psyclaw You are a gem yourself in the Sword. :) [i]Another[/i] one! But where's everyone got to? If you go down to the Sword today I hope you're not on your own! It's lovely down on the Sword, Okay, Provided you're not alone! For every blogger that ever came here, With true goodwill, is welcome and dear, So have your say, and then it feels like A [i]Piiiiic Nic![/i] :) Oh yes Jason was dying when I rang him earlier. Cat flu. BwahhhaaaHhahhahahah etc. [i]Not funny TT[/i].

Ad astra

6/10/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

6/10/20112353, Has Madonna King gone from ABC Brisbane yet? Do you know who her replacement is? If they are already on board, are they any good(tho the Drover's Dog would be better than that conflicted woman). What about the CMC investigation of Campbell Newman, do you think it will have legs? :)

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011psyclaw, Interesting insights about the 'Flower Power' Industry. :) I,too have had a few friends involved in Horticulture, from the employee end. Her employers were dead set slave drivers. Having to sit and work(she was a plant grafter), in those bleedin' hot rooms as she did her job, with no more than an inadequate fan to keep her cool, and then it couldn't be directly on her because it might blow away the grafting material, well, it WAS a Sweatshop. All that study of Horticulture at TAFE to end up like that. But, she had a Mortgage around her neck like an Albatross... And, guess who owns these businesses? The Nationals and Liberal Party-supporting Bagalas of this nation. Same difference with the large irrigated agriculture concerns in the MDB. Abbott has already flagged that he will be shipping off any and every young unemployed person he can lay his hands on in order to send them down to these places to do back-breaking but 'honest' work(or so he'll characterise it, no doubt), for peanuts. The same kids the PM wants to train up for good, skilled jobs, which the Coalition want to get away with importing cheap from overseas again. IF Abbott gets elected. And gawd help us all, and our children, if he and his grubby business mates, like Campbell Newman, his wife, the Gambaros and the Bagalas, succeed in their slick marketing and propaganda exercise up to the election.

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011Talk Turkey, I'm sorry, I'm just very busy atm with the kid's school holidays. Keeping them amused, making food, driving them hither and yon, helping one of 'em study for the HSC(mainly a nerve-calming exercise). However, I'm trying my best to keep it up here. :)

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011Did everyone else see 'The Hamster Wheel' last night? What did you think? I could detect Grog's influence. It was sharper and punchier and more factually-based than the most recent efforts by The Chaser Crew(I refuse to call them 'Boys'!) :)

NormanK

6/10/20112353 You need to acquaint yourself with the 'Preview' and 'Comment' buttons. 'Preview' lets you look at your post exactly as it will appear i.e. the same as 'Save Comment' but without committing it to posterity. The 'Comment' button is in fact the 'edit' button which takes you from Preview back to the Comment's Box. You can do this as many times as you like - I use it a lot to check layout, spelling, grammar, and the functionality of links.

2353

6/10/2011FS - She goes in the middle of this month. I'm not sure if her replacement has been announced. If they can prove that Newman had a share in some units at Port Douglas while Mayor and didn't disclose them (which apparently is the accusation), it'll certainly get a run in some sections of the Queensland media and I'm sure it will get a run at the next State Election :). NormanK - thanks for the tip, usually the errors arise when quickly posting while I'm supposed to be doing something else. More haste - less speed is relevant!

TalkTurkey

6/10/20112353 said "More haste - less speed is relevant!" How about 'More spaced, less heed'? :) TT Trivia No Trolls to have fun with! ( :'( )

jane

6/10/2011Interesting that the gloss is wearing off Mr Newman and as noted, the Liars Party thought Therese Rein's business interests were fair game, but the poor petals are crushed that Mrs Newman's business interests are scrutinised. Sorry chaps, you opened the flood gates, now it's your turn to cop a spray. Perhaps you should have brought your umbrellas. FS, 2353, psyclaw shows the cowardice of the ABC dancing to the Liars Party tune. The Bagalas whining about the carbon price is pretty unconvincing given that they refuse to change their energy supply from increasingly expensive coal to solar or other non-polluting green sources, which would not attract a carbon price. I find it very difficult to feel too much angst for the poor petals. FS, I have to confess that I started to watch the Hamster Wheel last night, but am still suffering the effects of this sodding 100 day cold and so nodded off. I was wild with myself for not recording it, because I was looking forward to it. Will rectify that for next week's show. Also the Gruen World. Grumble. However, I did manage to stay awake long enough to watch Rob Oakeshott politely and skillfully put Tony Jones in his box, when Jones kept trying to manipulate him into buying into the msm and Liars Party manufactured Gillard/Rudd leadership "crisis". This bloke is a skilled operator, despite his folksy country boy demeanor. I find myself liking him more and more. He and Tony Windsor strike me as being very honest and principled.

jane

6/10/2011I overlooked Oakeshott's skillful sidestep of a couple of other gotcha attempts by Tony Jones on last night's Lateline (thank you to Pip at the Café) He tried to pin Oakeshott on the pokies "tax" (Jones's word and a disgraceful misrepresentation, imo), but scored a FAIL when Oakeshott pointed out several times that the legislation hasn't been written yet and refused to be drawn. Then Jones's attempt to rubbish the tax forum by saying nothing of substance had been resolved, countered by Oakeshott reminding him of the increase in the tax free threshold which will be debated in Parliament early next week. Last, Oakeshott sinking the slipper into Jones's real agenda; the so-called leadership crisis, by remarking that he'd watched The Hamster Wheel just an hour before where they'd talked about that very issue. Game, set and match, Rob Oakeshott!

paul walter

6/10/2011What is is this about this Gambino Family that controls the markets hub of Brisvegas? Do they have tommy gun wars with the Bononos, Giancanas etc and where's Elliot Ness? "Oils aint oils, Sol!".

Casablanca

6/10/2011Jane Catch up on The Hamster Wheel at: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/hamsterwheel/ and Gruen Transfer and Gruen Planet at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/gruentransfer/

NormanK

6/10/2011Campbell Newman is a class act - Tony would have been proud of CanDo's quick thinking to apportion blame where it rightly belongs. That's the bloke I want standing beside me if I take a bit of a turn. [b]Blaming Bligh[/b] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-QpQLhFTKE Curious that I can't find any reference to this incident in the print media. I guess it just didn't happen - like Tony's wink and self-satisfied laugh after "Stop the boats and you stop the smokes". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA-zsXRJw0M (Cheers, AC) We are blessed in Australia to have such fine individuals formulating the policies that will effect the Sunshine State and the country over the coming decades. Go the Blue Team!

jane

6/10/2011paul walter, you can recognise them by the bent noses and violin cases. lol Thanks for the links, Casablanca.

Ad astra

6/10/2011debbiep Thank you for your kind comments of yesterday, with which I’m just catching up. Like you, I wish we could persuade BB to return to writing for [i]TPS[/i]. Michael I hope you are right when you say the wind is changing – no doubt weathervane man will swing about as it does. His absence from the Tax and Job Forums speaks volumes and will not have gone unnoticed by the influential people attending. The simple fact though is that he would be way out of his depth there, with nothing in his vacuous understanding of economics to contribute to the debate. He avoids serious discussions about policy issues, as he almost nothing to offer. Short snappy slogans are his stock in trade and they would not go down well in such a forum. With Joe Hockey making the Coalition’s absence worse when he insulted over 200 of the nation’s best and brightest leaders in business and the unions by announcing that they had been ‘conned’ by the Government, Abbott was probably more comfortable at his community forum in Ballarat, although he had to front a hundred pro carbon tax protestors outside before seeking solace in the bosom of two hundred adoring fans. FS Thank you for your flow of interesting and useful links. NormanK Another great set of links, which I’m still working through. Thank you. You are giving our precious Lyn a happy break with her family.

Ad astra

6/10/2011psyclaw What sort of a government is it that would allow such an elderly person to expire after all she has done for the country! TT As a reprise to your ditty, I’ve been trying ‘to go down to the Sword today’, but the reception here in the very centre of Melbourne is so poor that I struggle every time I try. Telstra tells me I’m in a 3G ‘black hole’; that is one thing they are dead right about. So if I’m not around for a while, blame Telstra and ask them why 500 metres from the GPO, the signal is intermittent, slow and unreliable.

BSA Bob

6/10/2011Abbott today refusing to commit to winding back the pre-commitment legislation for pokies. Saying he hadn't seen the legislation yet so couldn't comment. He did, however, promise to vote against the very legislation he said he hasn't seen. It'll be interesting to note if he's picked up seriously on this. If this is anything other than a brain snap, I think it's sort of a sop to Andrew Wilkie along the lines of "I'm going to do my level best to destroy you & all you stand for, but if I don't succeed what's the chance of being mates?" It wouldn't convince me.

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011More Home Run hitting from Julia 'The Slugger' Gillard today at the Jobs Forum. More concrete announcements about stipulating an 'Australian Made' % content quotient for government tenders > $20 million in value. Appointing 2 of Labor's best charmers, Peter Beattie and Steve Bracks as Resources Industry Envoys, to keep an eye on the bustards in the bush in WA, who have been importing their steel and other building materials from manufacturers overseas, whilst taking the taxpayers' money. Plus 'bucketloads of extinguishment' of Coalition credibility over the last 3 days of the Tax, and then the Jobs, Fora. If the PM keeps this pace of policy roll out up we're going to have to start calling her, 'The Perfumed Steamroller'. :)

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011jane, I crashed out on the couch for a bit of 'The Hamster Wheel' too but woke up especially for the Rob Oakeshott interview by Tony Jones. My lord that man has to be the smarmiest interviewer in the ABC. Plus, he has this bag of tricks that he pulls out when he is angling for one of his 'Gotcha!' scoops. Which could be seen as plain as the nose on his face last night. He constantly interrupted Rob Oakeshott towards the end of his answers, and dragged him back, time and again, to his pet topic of, 'If Kevin Rudd becomes Prime Minister again due to a Labor Party coup, will you still support the ALP to keep them in government?" LIKE I CARE, TONY JONES! It's all 'Inside the Beltway' stuff, and the biggest beat-up since the Elvis Sightings. Why o why can't the Press Gallery veterans, like Tony Jones, just let the government, in it's currently-constituted form, just get on with governing? And then report on what they are doing? Maybe even pass judgement, in their never so humble opinion. But all this laying of traps and dog with a bone stuff is driving me nuts and driving me away from the ABC. Especially considering that I can get an instantaneous opinion of the shows from Twitter, or here on the blog...or at the other blog whose name I dare not speak so as not to give them any free publicity. :) Not to mention the fact that shows such as The Drum are being overrun with Libertarian losers from the IPA...and Peter Reith. :( Actually, someone today, I think it was Possum, equated the IPA with The Church of Scientology. :)

2353

6/10/2011FS - I suspect there is something in the ABC's KoolAid (as much as I hate the expression, it fits!). NormanK - interesting that both of your links were telecast by Network 10

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011BSA Bob, Just Abbott having 2 bob each way? :)

jane

6/10/2011Ad astra Barnyard was also at it saying that all that was achieved was cracking open a couple of bottles of chardy and a cheese platter, to which Rob Oakeshott responded by asking what the Liars Party plan is for tax reform. Still waiting for Barnyard's response. FS, Tony Jones [b]was[/b] extra smarmy and smug, wasn't he? I was very pleased that Oakeshott kept steering him back to the topic and refused to be got. After his final would Oakeshott talk to Kevin Rudd? schtick, I really enjoyed Oakeshott's jibe that he'd watched The Hamster Wheel just an hour before where they discussed that very issue. Spin away Mr Jones, I'm not falling for it. The best part was that Jones got NO traction whatever and spun his wheels ineffectually for the whole interview, while Oakeshott scored points.

TalkTurkey

6/10/2011jane said [I] "am still suffering the effects of this sodding 100 day cold." jane I reckon I'll have what you're having. Except the sodding 100 day cold. Love your feisty posts. As for angst for poor petals, I got more for the petals on the blooms from deflowered plants, sold like slavegirls to the rich, than the poor petals that sell them or Chief Poor Petal Himself ftm. DebbieP, Yes about BB, I even wrote him a siren song, but it went all unrequited. 'Twas a parody on [i]Bungalow Bill[/i] (but better than the Beatles' version of course :) ); but I think BB's got himself bound to the mast of the Pirate Ship [iPoll Bludger[/i], ARRRRR! ;-), but Oh well, it just means we ourselves have to make the Song of the Sword ever sweeter ourselves.* Why, because I think the Sword overall is the best weapon of first choice for ornery leftish bloggers like Ewen Mee. Where is there more sense and fresh info to be found, here or on The Drum? Here or on Lopsiders? On Lateline? Last night's Lateline was farcical! Rob Oakeshott, that Good Man, was plainly in a state of unbelief that [i]WormTongue[/i] Jones - who seems to be trying to live down to the level of [i]A(-)a(-)[/i] Jones - could just go on and on and on, not even just [i]fishing[/i], but trying to [i]jag[/i] Oakeshott, who was always seven steps ahead of the ricardocephalic Jones anyway. But that doesn't mean the interview wasn't damnable! Think, if the ABC was being used decently in the interests of the People, Oakeshott's interview and all like it could be smartening Australians up instead of dumbing us down. It is an utter abuse of the ABC that it be used as Jones uses it, as his own fiefdom with his own agenda as his sole guiding principle. Imagine if Ad astra, or Richard Kirby, or John Howard [i]the Decent,[/i] or Greg Jericho, or Lenore Taylor, had the Lateline chair instead of that execrable sultan of smarm WormTongue Jones. Who isn't even effective at getting his wormtongue up anywhere chutneyish anyway. He's just despicable and wet, and nasty. Too dumb to be sly, but that's his ambition. Damn you Jones, I mean that with an n on the end and I want to see the end of you on my ABC, with Crassidy and the Slyly-Sidling Crabbe and several others close behind you. You are pathetic unprincipled insipid trivialising sellouts, traitors to the good governance of Australia and to our standing in the world. And that's only the bare start to the way I feel about what's happened to the ABC, don't get me started on their smug compliance with Murdochracy re Yankee war after Yankee war we have been sucked into. [u][b]WE MUST RECLAIM THE ABC[/b][/u]!!! Swordsfolks, this is [i]VITAL[/i] and [i]URGENT![/i] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *(Note the references to the Classics, you don't get that for free anywhere else but TPS eh.) Missin' dat Tweety Bird gravatar already. NK is guarding your nest real good though Lyn. Hope you + OH are having a wonderful time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Paul Walter Welcome; and anyone else who may have been missed, Sorry! But of course we're used to Lyn welcoming everyone, it makes us (not Ad though) a bit slack, like your muscular system when you've been floating gravity-free in Skylab too long. As I'm sure we have all experienced.

Ad astra

6/10/2011jane, FS, TT I too thought Tony Jones was at his worst last night with his attempts at a gotcha with Rob Oakeshott. Jones has no shame. Trying it on once might be excusable, but half a dozen times is not. I don’t often speak to the TV, but last night I found myself shouting: Jones – shut your mouth. I’m retiring now to watch [i]The Slap, Crownies[/i] and [i]Lateline[/i].

jane

6/10/2011TT love Wormtongue Jones. It's perfect and so fitting like a well-aged sock. You're right, we [b]MUST[/b] reclaim the ABC from the Smarm Lords of Murdochracy. If it would help, I'm in favour of sticking pins into, and burning their effigies. Death or a Dem Good Hiding to the Smarm Lords, Wormtongues, Crassidies, Slyly Sidling Crabbes and Poor Petals, I say!

janice

6/10/2011Rumours are flying in the twittersphere about a liberal spill - anyone know whether it true or a hoax? So far the rumours have Bishop/Hockey/Mirabella vying for leadership and Mirabella is close to having the numbers.

TalkTurkey

6/10/2011jane I am a firm believer in the power of apt nomenclature. "Wormtongue Jones", repeated often enough, is enough to cause the creep serious embarrassment. Why, because it is [i]so[/i] apt. And because everybody will relate to its aptitude. Oh then there's Virginia Trivioli . . . :) I got names for [i]most[/i] of 'em! My recaptcha: America cantoo Yeah well not if the Tea party has anything to do with it!

TalkTurkey

6/10/2011janice Must be a hoax! Why would even the Coalons be considering Vampirella Mirabella as anything but cray bait when she has her little, ahem, legal matter hanging over her? OTOH . . . They [i]are[/i] Coalons . . . Where the dishonestest person is Guru . . . OOOOH it's lovely even to have the speculation anyway. . .

BSA Bob

6/10/2011Janice at 9.09 My money's on a (Bronwyn) Bishop/Mirabella ticket. Sophie would be Treasurer, she seems pretty good at conjuring money from various sources. Hockey could do Foreign Minister after his recent triumphs involving Pakistan.

Jason

6/10/2011BSA Bob, Liberal insiders reveal Mirabella will challenge to split Abbott’s vote in return for a mention in Malcolm Turnbull’s will lol!

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011janice, Sorry, but it's an A Grade, Rolled Gold, Tony Abbott standard, lie. There is no Liberal Spill on the cards, more's the pity. It was a Twitter game started earlier on today by those of us on the Left of Twitter, to get back at Barnaby Joyce, who is new to Twitter but used it almost immediately for malevolent purposes to spread the rumour that Kevin Rudd was 7 votes short of toppling the PM. This was around the time of the Trish Crossin/Nigel Scullion booze-up. I was immediately onto Barnaby about it, not long after he opened his Twitter account, and have been having fun Tweeting home truths to him ever since. :D So, basically it was just an exercise to prove how easily baseless rumours can be spread. Sadly. Though, I imagine, Tony Abbott's time may still come, especially if you consider the speech Malcolm Turnbull gave to The London School of Economics this week, which was about everything but Broadband policy.

BSA Bob

6/10/2011Jason & F.S. Sophie needn't bother scouting for a suitable shed at the back of Turnbull's place for him to live then?

Feral Skeleton

6/10/2011BSA Bob, Belinda Neal may turn out to have been right about Mrs Mirabella all along. :)

BSA Bob

6/10/2011F.S. 'Course she was!

TalkTurkey

6/10/2011The complete words to [u][b]A Song For Sophie [/b][/u] (Tune: Daisy Daisy) Sophie, Sophie, what a poetic fate! You spray so free on all of the folks you hate! Now it's such fun to disparage Your fallin' off your carriage! So what comes now Ya lipsticked #ow? You'll be Mary-Jo Fisher's mate! Sophie, Sophie, Give us an answer true! Did you pay no fee For all Howard QC gave you? I know you won't find it pleasant When they pluck you like a pheasant But you'll look great Behind the gate Of a cell that's just five by two! Sophie, Sophie, ain't it a cosmic joke! What a trophy, to score yourself such a bloke! Hooked into a sick old QC With assets fat and juicy He gave you a shove With funds and love, How sweet and sly To suck him dry! Now Ms Mirabella You're called Vampirella And [i]everyone hopes you choke![/i] Readers should realize that the last line is only a figure of speech, similar to (wtte) [i]Stick Gillard in a chaff bag and dump her in Bass Strait.[/i] All said in rollicking good humour you see, and in my case, with Poetic Licence too. Anyone wishing to perform this song in public should seek the permission of Hon. Sophie Mirabella, MHR, Member for Indi. It is her song after all. :)

jane

7/10/2011TT,even crays have standards. Can you imagine how rancid a cray would taste on a steady diet of Vampirella? Jason @9.50pm, gold! Damn, FS @10.07pm. Can't we make it happen? It could be a jolly twitter jape every time the Liars Party cranks up another Rudd challenge. What fun to watch Liealot tripping over slogans as he flees Wormtongues, Crassidies and Slyly Sidling Crabbes, on his trusty treadly, while Slagabella waddles along behind offering all wealthy looking takers a comfy shed in exchange for an enduring POA and a will in her favour. Barnyard can't help; he's drowned yet another landcruiser and is perfecting his story for the insurance company Reith's too busy extracting as many sim cards as possible and handing them out to his son and friends, to come to Liealot's rescue. Bernardi's set to work ripping burqas from Muslim women and has been tying them into a rope Liealot can use to scale down the cliff below Kirribili House. Sloppy's got a boat teed up that they can sail to a secluded bay where Liealot can don some lycra in subdued colours and dodge the bloody press. Unfortunately, Sloppy has hired the boat from a firm of dodgy WA accountants and there's a $10bn hole in the bottom. He desperately needs something, anything to plug the hole or they're done for. He grabs Sloppy's phone to make a call to Reith, Ruddock and Howard for some caulking, but to his horror, finds the sim card is missing and he can't make the call. Luckily, he'd caught Reith pilfering the sim cards and managed to save his own phone. He'd given Reith a hiding, but he knows that pilfering bastard will thieve anything that isn't tied down with super glue. He makes a call to Bronnie Bishop, because he knows she keeps her phone on vibrate in her knickers and even that embezzling bastard Reith wouldn't dare go there. After a dog's age spent fumbling around in her knickers, Bronnie finally answers her phone and the desperate, dog paddling Liealot shrieks at her to get down to the boat with 20 of her spare wigs. In the meantime, little Chrissy Whynne takes to the sewers with BER money he pilfered from an archery range built for a private school in a disadvantaged postcode. Bit of luck that, he'd found it in a brickie's ute. He's heading for 2GB in the hope that Anal Jones will help, though God knows what that hideous slob will demand for helping. He had given Andrew Dolt a passing thought, but the fellow has been useless since that bloody judge found against him. Now he just roams around disheveled and unshaven alternately moaning piteously about his preciousssss, the freedom of ssspeech and screeching about an appeal to the High Court. In the meantime, Liealot's getting more desperate; he's certain he's seen a blood nut pointer with over sized earlobes and it's been lazily circling him for some time. Sloppy's been dribbling on about another one with floppy blonde hair and glasses drifting closer and closer. Lucky he told Bronnie to bring Eyes with her; she'd frightened a mob of starving hyenas off a kill with one look and a black mamba had turned white with fear when transfixed by a brief glance. Those sharks will be no match for her. Thank god! At last Bronnie's arrived with the wigs and Eyes. Those bloody sharks are really starting to concern him. He and Sloppy make it to shore just as the sharks are tightening their circles. Safe at last! But what's this! Oh sh!t. It's Wormtongue and the rest of them. "Sir Liealot! Can you confirm whether Vampirella Slagabella will force a spill for the leadership? Do you think Malvolio Trunchbull will make a move? Can you count on Sloppy's loyalty? Have you seen the latest Newspoll? It's 56:44 the government's way. Any comments?" He could swear the two sharks are laughing and frolicking around the sunken boat.

NormanK

7/10/2011[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Standing On The Outside Looking In Ash Ghebranious Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Anyway, the coalition came out this week with their own version on saving the universe. The coalition seem to be obsessed with plans that have points in them. You got the 10 point native title plan. Hockey’s god knows how many point bank reform reform (by the way, what ever happened to that Joe?). And now your got this little gem from Tony Abbott. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/ [i]The Australian Newspaper Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan Gets It Wrong: Again Peter Aussie Views News[/i] Foreign Editor of The Australian, Greg Sheridan, has an article in today’s paper on Kevin Rudd and Israel bashers. The article starts with an assertion that the Australian Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, is “making a serious mistake and misjudgment about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute”. http://www.aussieviewsnews.com/2011/10/06/sheridan-wrongs-rudd/ [i]Tax forum gave us naked policy debate and no horseshit Possum Comitatus Crikey[/i] We now have an expert committee that over the short term will explore mechanisms to constructively treat business losses in a volatile economy struggling to adapt to the dislocative effects of a resource boom. And over the medium term it deals with broader business tax problems and explores whether a program of targeted measures rather than an homogenous corporate tax cut might produce superior results. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/10/06/tax-forum-gave-us-naked-policy-debate-and-no-horseshit/ [i]Social media and the new black arts of lying and deceiving Tina Perinotto The Fifth Estate[/i] Beware the many and varied ways the spin doctors enter your headspace. And yes this can be related to the political messages on sustainability and climate change as well as to the next “health” drink. http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/28546 [i]How 'Red' Ted Baillieu hoodwinked Victorian voters Sandi Keane Independent Australia[/i] In less than a year of conservative government in Victoria, the scales have fallen off the eyes of those voters who thought that a vote for Ted Baillieu in the 2010 state election would shore up the last vestiges of ‘small-l’ liberalism in Australia. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/how-‘red’-ted-baillieu-hoodwinked-victorian-voters/ [i]MOUTH FROM THE SOUTH: Liberal MP Jamie Briggs in hot-seat over forked tongue VEXNEWS[/i] Young and restless Liberal waste-watch spokesperson Jamie Briggs has been making a real pig of himself, according to scandalised Tory insiders. A notorious leaker of personal smear and innuendo to the likes of boned Gallery dwarf of poison Glenn Milne, Briggs has continued a public and private campaign of attacking anyone in his path. http://www.vexnews.com/2011/10/mouth-from-the-south-liberal-mp-jamie-briggs-in-hot-seat-over-forked-tongue/ [i]A ‘tax reform commission’? Matt Cowgill We are all dead.[/i] A persistent theme at the Tax Forum was the call to create an independent tax reform commission. I am deeply wary of such processes which purport to take the politics out of an inherently political topic, for much the same reasons as I am not comfortable with proposals for a strong-form Parliamentary Budget Office (though I think the more limited model that the bipartisan Parliamentary committee advocated is eminently sensible). http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/a-tax-reform-commission/ [i]The psychology of tax reform Andrew Leigh On Line Opinion[/i] Two of the most powerful emotions – fear and hope – have been on display in many of the tax reform movements of Australian history. The expansion of federal income taxation in the early-1940s was driven partly by fear of a Japanese invasion. Similarly, the stake that was driven through the heart of inheritance taxes in the late-1970s was the result of a fear campaign, made easier by the fact that thresholds were not indexed to keep up with inflation. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12702 [i]Teachers forced to act like police after court ruling Darin Sullivan The Left Hack[/i] A 14-year-old boy who confessed to his teacher that he robbed a service station and stabbed the attendant with a knife, has been acquitted after the District Court refused to allow the teacher’s statement into evidence because he had not “cautioned” the boy. http://darinsullivan.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/teachers-forced-to-act-like-police-after-court-ruling-ausmedia/ [i]Steve Jobs deserved his cult — you don’t even know how he influenced you Stilgherrian Crikey[/i] I didn’t know Jobs personally, but he certainly influenced my life. And yours too. Even if you’ve never bought an Apple product. Because more than anyone else Jobs shaped the evolution of the personal computer for the past 3½ decades. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/10/06/steve-jobs-deserved-his-cult-you-dont-even-know-how-he-influenced-you/ [i]From brown coal to solar thermal Giles Parkinson Climate Spectator[/i] The owners of Australia’s most polluting coal-fired power station, the Playford plant in South Australia, are considering converting it to a solar thermal facility if it is closed as part of the government’s proposed buyout of brown-coal generators. http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/brown-coal-solar-thermal?utm_source=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_source=Climate+Spectator&utm_campaign=efbd8726a1-CSPEC_DAILY&utm_medium=email [i]When freedom of speech meets conservative double standards Jason Wilson The Drum[/i] Like most, Abbott's support for freedom of speech would appear to extend to the point where he is personally offended, or when he considers something to have been written in error about him. Abbott's not alone among politicians in holding to a double standard. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3300040.html [i]How can Australia’s politics be improved? John Kilcullen The Conversation[/i] Imagine a country in which politics is not a struggle among ambitious individuals for power, but the community’s way of resolving conflicts and advancing its common interests. Voters are well-educated and follow public affairs seriously. Citizens consider one another’s opinions and are not rusted-on partisans. http://theconversation.edu.au/how-can-australias-politics-be-improved-2996 [b]Newspapers[/b] [i]Ballarat manufacturing given an $18 million jobs boost Evan Schuurman The Courier[/i] THE future of Ballarat’s manufacturing sector has been given a massive boost with construction of a brand new, multi-million dollar training facility set to begin within weeks. The state-of-the-art Manufacturing Technology Training Centre in Ballarat is expected to enable the University of Ballarat to train an extra 100 manufacturing apprentices once fully operational – on top of the 200 already trained by the university – and will create 145 jobs during the construction phase. http://www.thecourier.com.au/news/local/news/general/ballarat-manufacturing-given-an-18-million-jobs-boost/2315884.aspx [i]Division on climate tactics Adam Morton The Age[/i] THE Coalition has dismissed the need to set out long-term plans to tackle climate change, saying Labor's promise of deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is unrealistic. Mr Hunt backed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's statement that there was no reason not to build new brown coal plants. http://www.theage.com.au/national/division-on-climate-tactics-20111006-1lboi.html [i]Unions to face tough new laws Josh Gordon The Age[/i] Trades Hall secretary Brian Boyd said building unions in Victoria had nothing to hide. ''We are very worried that this sort of push against the wages and conditions of building industry workers is part of Mr Baillieu trying to show his bona fides to Tony Abbott,'' Mr Boyd said. http://www.theage.com.au/national/unions-to-face-tough-new-laws-20111006-1lbom.html

Casablanca

7/10/2011Jane You were in great form @ Love 'Vampirella Slagabella' TT Can't get enough of 'A Song For Sophie' NormanK Thanks for lonk to another excellent piece by Dr Leigh. Look forward to his piece about the Jobs Forum. [b]The psychology of tax reform [/b] Andrew Leigh. On Line Opinion [i]Two of the most powerful emotions – fear and hope – have been on display in many of the tax reform movements of Australian history.[/i] www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=12702

Casablanca

7/10/2011What a pity that the PM's Citizen's Assembly was shot down in flames (by just about everyone but me). Based on the showcase fora that Julia Gillard has staged this week we could have had a civilised discussion about the carbon price. Most of the MSM have taken the lazy way out and mocked the fora as 'talk-fests' or 'gab-fests' but the participants told a different story. Praise came from both sides of the political divide and from professional economists, industry groups and unions. As Possum Comitatus said in Crikey (Thursday 6th) [i]We simply awake to find that we have a tax forum, filled with experts -- experts that aren’t derided because of their expertise -- constructively discussing the problems we face with our current tax system, and doing so with a manner of civility and gravitas that we've all recently become unaccustomed to. Yet even more unusual compared to the recent past of our nightmares -- it was a debate by experts and not pretenders. If you want to improve the debate in Australia, if you want real public debate in this country rather than the dismal sloganeering of the unhinged, this is a marvellous template. Debate informed by professional knowledge, professional experience and professional conduct.[/i] We can be well pleased with the way that this government is being lead and moulded into an effective group of legislators.

Feral Skeleton

7/10/2011jane, Comedy Gold! I think even AcerbicC. would agree. :) However, I was wondering if, once in said boat, 'Real' Liberals wouldn't just let it sink, mistaking it for a TIEV trying to breach our borders? ;-)

Ad astra

7/10/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Michael

7/10/2011One story about deception: http://www.smh.com.au/world/chechen-leader-denies-being-the-life-of-the-party-20111006-1lbnr.html One about self-deception: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/and-the-last-shall-be-first--why-leaders-thrive-on-humble-pie-20111006-1lbk3.html The first making pretty darn clear why the second is about self-deception (and oh so wishful thinking!) on the part of the author, who, it seems, after being personally served a hot drink by someone finds the hot drink server utterly convincing intellectually. So pay more attention to the next person who serves you a cup of coffee - what they are saying might just be THE insight into 'existence and the whole darn thing' you've waited for all your life. That's my tip.

2353

7/10/2011Channel 10 News this moring was reporting the results of a Uni survey that Austrlians are living longer, wealther and happier than 10 years ago. Environmentally we're not doing as well. Is anyone else reporting this?

Acerbic Conehead

7/10/2011Normank, Thanks for all the effort and time you're putting into the links. Keep 'em comin'! Jane, What a pot-boiler, well done! With all due respect to all our canine friends and companions, there is a lot of truth in the old saying, "if someone lies down with dogs, they get fleas". TT, [quote]I know you won't find it pleasant When they pluck you like a pheasant[/quote] LOL. Tune in tonight for more on dearest Sophie.

Trevor

7/10/2011I came across this http://indifferencegivesyouafright.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/understanding-andrew-bolt/ article on BoltA via LP. It is probably the best piece I have read and provides a coherent explanation for his contradictory behavior. It is well worth a read. The article explains that Bolt is driven by serving a "higher truth". He sees himself as a warrior serving this cause and any means can be justified in this battle as the other side are evil. Many of the points made in the article to explain Bolts behavior. could readily be ascribed to the leader of HM Opposition also.

Michael

7/10/2011http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3336988.html Worth looking at for the boneheadedness that passes as intelligent commentary these days. Even more worth looking at because the page includes my comment. Oh, what the hay, just cut to the chase, here's what I had to say, kicking off with a quote from the original article 'about' the supposed uselessness of the Tax Forum by Judith Sloan. "In fact, there were some sensible propositions put forward in the course of the forum, although they were not universally accepted." Well, duhh, Judith. The simple fact all those people were in the same room and not either going for each others' throats, or flummoxed into silence by realising that folk with different opinions don't drip poison or have faces covered with boils, is more than enough. That is - social discourse does not have to be antagonistic or violently dismissive. This rediscovered insight alone is worth its weight in whatever you value highest.

jane

7/10/2011NormanK, thanks for the links. Thanks Casablanca. I'm afraid I let the keyboard run away with me. I blame TT. I was singing his song as I typed. TT, loved the song. I think you should send it to La Vampirella along with a photo of an elderly rich bloke. FS @8.12am, brilliant idea. I was too focused on the sharks. Bugger! Your ending would have been poetic and much better. The real liberals making a stand. They herd Liealot, Sloppy (who is beyond redemption), Barnyard, Bernardi, Slagabella and the rest of the Liealot Cabal into the vessel and finish it off with a couple of well aimed cannon shots. Petro Giorgio plays the last post on a comb and paper as the vessel and its repulsive cargo slip beneath the waves leaving a CO2 slick on the surface of the water. Another boat successfully prevented from landing on our shores. Two sharks are spotted directing a mob of trainee pointers to where the boat sank. Witnesses swear the sharks all appear to possess laptop computers connected to a very sophisticated form of broadband and the two leaders appear to be typing messages. One of the spectators, who bears a striking resemblance to Malvolio Trunchbull, is heard to whisper plaintively that he wishes he could get connected to this New Broadband Network all those bloody sharks have.

Feral Skeleton

7/10/2011jane, 'We should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky.' :) However, you know what will happen? Our naughty thoughts will wake a sleeping jj or SIC, who will jump in to defend the honour of their compadres. Sigh. This, of course, is because Cons have had a humour by-pass at birth.

Feral Skeleton

7/10/2011NormanK, Thank you for the links this morning. In between Spring Cleaning(it actually is the best time to undertake big cleaning jobs and furniture rearrangement tasks :) ), they have made for very interesting reading with a cuppa. I especially liked the one from 'The Fifth Estate' about Online Astroturfing, a subject dear to my own heart, as you know. So, are you going to disappoint us on Saturday and Sunday too? Which, of course, you have every right to because we all need to get that Work/Life Balance right. :)

Jason

7/10/2011October 6, 2011 Sunday morning TV - October 9 #auspol Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviews8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda On Sky News Australian Agenda ... awaiting confirmation of program line up. 8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary No Riley Diary this week due to Network coverage of the SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000. 8:40am Ch9 - Today on Sunday - The Laurie Oakes Interview The weekly Laurie Oakes interview is in hibernation until further notice. 9:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 - Insiders On Insiders this Sunday, Barrie Cassidy interviews the Climate Change Minister Greg Combet On the panel: the Sunday Age’s Misha Schubert, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Phil Coorey and the Financial Review’s newly appointed Editor-in-Chief, Michael Stutchbury. And Mike Bowers talks pictures with the Daily Telegraph’s Warren Brown. 10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 repeated @ 5.30pm - Inside Business This week on Inside Business ... awaiting confirmation of program line up. 10.00am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.30pm - The Bolt Report - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day Former NSW Labor MP, and author of The Fog on the Hill, Frank Sartor will be in the studio chatting to Andrew. And a special climate panel consisting of: Professors Peter Ridd, Bob Carter and Garth Paltridge. 10.30am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.00pm - Meet the Press - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day Hugh Riminton is joined by panelists; Steve Lewis from News Limited and Nick Butterly from The West Australian. Together they interview Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, and the Executive Director of the Council of Small Business of Australia, Peter Strong

NormanK

7/10/2011Feral Skeleton Talk about emotional blackmail! :D We'll see how the day pans out in terms of enough interesting new stuff. No promises.

Ad astra

7/10/2011Michael That piece by Judith Sloan was unworthy of an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne. It was a paltry attempt at whimsy. It astonishes me how she can conclude that probably nothing was achieved at the Tax Forum when there were two hundred of our ‘brightest and best’ businessmen and trade union leaders together for a couple of days. Does she know nothing about group dynamics, going back to the pioneering work of Kurt Lewin in the fourties in social, organizational and applied psychology? And she herself concedes [i]“…there were some sensible propositions put forward in the course of the forum”[/i], but then proceeds to add caveats. Did she write her piece to fit the header: [i]The predictable and pointless tax forum[/i] or was that the subeditor’s assessment of her contribution? Whichever way, she would have been better writing nothing at all. Your comment was apt.

Ad astra

7/10/2011Folks I'm going out for a few hours.

TalkTurkey

7/10/2011jane Proud to be blamed. Hope I've infected Vampirella's brain too! Dog Allbitey jane if ever you and Acerbic Conehead get together [i]in flagrante synergistico[/i] and conceive some little cute whatisit it'll really be somethin' to turn loose on the Coalons! Howard QC was 66 and Vampirella 26 when they first . . . , ah, no I'm not going there. Well what's Merdeoch? And how old's his latest? Vampirella's really only following in a noble tradition . . . :P

Jason

7/10/2011Aa, Tax forum gave us naked policy debate and no horseshit http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/10/06/tax-forum-gave-us-naked-policy-debate-and-no-horseshit/

Casablanca

7/10/2011 Trevor, An excellent article as you say, at http://indifferencegivesyouafright.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/understanding-andrew-bolt/

jane

7/10/2011Ad astra, I agree. Michael called it right about Judith Sloan. She had made up her mind that it was a waste of time before she attended, and had already written the header and the article. She then tweaked it a bit before it was published. She is a waste of time, imo. [quote]Hope I've infected Vampirella's brain too![/quote] TT I demand proof that she's got one! [quote]Vampirella's really only following in a noble tradition[/quote] Ignoble, would be more apt, perhaps, TT. Vampirella's raised it to a perverted art form.

Gravel

7/10/2011Feral Skeleton Don't mean to make you envious but I am now child free (again). It was wonderful having them here, but very tiring. I admire your ability to do all you do and contribute so much here. Jane Wow, that was brilliant. As others are saying between you and Acerbic Conehead and TT, we are well entertained here. I have to say there has been another lot of wonderful input here in the last couple of days. Is it the lovely spring weather? Or a sense of optimism, what with the Clean Energy bills about to be passed, the Mining Tax, the plain packaging, NBN...... all soon to be dealt with and giving the whingers nothing to whinge about.

Ad astra

7/10/2011Jason What a great article by Possum – he has a great way with telling words. Thank you the Sunday programs. The [i]Insiders[/i] panel sounds interesting – I wonder how Michael Stutchbury will perform now that he has shed the skin of [i]The Oz[/i] and pulled on that of [i]AFR[/i]. I shall note his every word with interest. Trevor, Casablanca Thank for the link to the [i]Understanding Andrew Bolt[/i] article – very revealing.

TalkTurkey

7/10/2011William Bowe on Poll Bludger said "New thread. If you’ve said something good at the tail end of this thread, please repost on the new one." [i]Did we just teach Bilbo something new, or has he made that suggestion before?[/i];-) (See top of Comments on this thread.) I do welcome a lttle bit of carry-over from previous threads I must say. BTW I think very highly of Mr Bowe and his blog, and the good-hearted bloggers there; my say and Victoria and many others are fun, and Bilbo is decent and shrewd and kind, just he ain't a [i]Sage[/i] like what we got! Oh and the dreaded (not by me) [i]Frank[/i] has started his own blog, I went there once, it's OK, I think it's called A Frank View eponymously. (gotta use that word while I got the chance!) And PatriciaWA, while I was looking it up, just to make sure of my use of it, I found epode, n., Form of lyric poem, used by Horace epopee, n., Epic poem or poetry and epos, n., Early unwritten epic poetry So I've actually written 2 [i]epopees[/i], [i]NEW WORLDS![/i] and [i]Breeze in the Blue~Gums [/i] without even knowing it! :) So I'm an epopeer I suppose. I wonder does that make me a peer of Sir Limpy? ;-)

psyclaw

7/10/2011Sloppy Joe said this morning on Sunrise that the mining industry procures 70% of its inventory from within Australia. This is 180 degrees at odds with what I've been hearing all over the media. In fact the mining industry has been roundly criticised for OS procurement, and for not buying locally. By buying locally, the benefits of the fast speed mining economy could be shared with the slow speed general economy, especially manufacturing. So when the PM announces action on this, by putting pressure on miners to buy locally (at the Tax Summit), Sloppy will tell any lie to belittle the initiative. I think it's quite interesting how some of the apparently moderate Lieberals ( Hockey, Hunt, McFarlane, Dutton, even woman-for-all-seasons J Bishop) have gone full pelt with Abbott, and trashed their integrity by coming down to his level. Talking about trashing one's integrity, I am presently reading David Marr's book Dark Victory. In it he tells of Ruddock's change of persona after entering the inner cabinet as Minister for Immigration. In one incident (highly referenced/evidenced by Marr) at a meeting in Djakarta in June 2001, Ruddock actually raised the possibility of engaging pirates and/or sabotaging the boats (charitably, close to shore) to "stop the boats". AFP and DFAT personnel who told Marr about this said that Ruddock later joked about it. But they offered the view that such meetings were never held in a jocular environment, and that Ruddock was dead set flying a kite. Our alternate government is indeed bereft of class.

jane

7/10/2011[quote]Our alternate government is indeed bereft of class.[/quote] principles, integrity, honesty, empathy, scruples, morality, or honour. Apart from those few minor character flaws, they're fine. :lol:

Ad astra

7/10/2011Folks I have just posted another delightful piece from Acerbic Conehead: [i]The Crass Collectors Come a Cropper[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/10/07/The-Crass-Collectors-Come-a-Cropper.aspx

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How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?