Lords and ladies: a second morality tale

The Spruiker

Lords and Ladies, before we begin, may I humbly beg your indulgence to refresh your memory of the first morality tale, of the matches rustling in ragged coat pockets, of the fires and rising waters, of the tree monks and the paper castle.

Done? Excellent! Now we may proceed.

Lords and Ladies, since last I regaled you with tales of Tiny-er-er O’penmouth’s jesterly activities, he has been created a new man. Gone is the ‘er, er’ to be replaced by ‘pause, pause’, in his sentences and his thinking. Gone is the jester flapping inanely from great hall to field and forge. Now is come Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth, standing astride the history of kingdoms, soon to be master of all he surveys — even beyond what he can survey.

The Lords and Ladies of his kingdom succumbed to (or perhaps simply gave up on) his jests and gave him charge of their knights and yeomen: at least it saved them that irksome task — no longer checking that each breast plate was cleaned and shined or making peasants clear the roads of the droppings of the knights’ horses — and relieved them of the boredom of his jests. This new power has enthralled him, wrapped itself coquettishly in his mind, and he believes he is Napoleon — although, as Napoleon has not yet been born, perhaps he is the exemplar for the future. Now he thinks that distant Lords and Ladies should heed his every magnificent, even insignificant, word (even if it still takes him some time to get the word out), and should bow to his commands: although, like you, my Lords and Ladies, most continue to think of him as merely a court jester and not a good one at that. But beware!

The tale of Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth

When the Lords and Ladies of his kingdom granted Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth his newfound power, he immediately called out the knights and yeomen in defence of the borders of the kingdom. The Lords and Ladies looked on with benign amusement. There was no threat, they knew, but if it kept the jester amused and away from their own courts it achieved their intent and what harm could there be.

The knights and yeomen ringed the kingdom standing beside the orange boats — those which Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth had managed to retain, and he had also had the wheelwrights attach wheels to some of them. But who was he defending this kingdom from? No one was sure. But Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth decided that the borders must be protected from anyone trying to cross. ‘I’m not shutting the borders (pause) closing the borders’, he said, ‘just not (pause, pause) letting anyone in.’ Purely for the jest, he occasionally ordered the guards to allow some people to cross, then to round them up, pack them in the orange boats and push them back again or set them into the sea. He was having so much fun, he hoped the Lords and Ladies were taking notice of this splendid, ingenious jest.

They were and they didn’t like it. Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth was also stopping serfs whom the Lords and Ladies wanted to work in their castles and in their fields. Quite abashed he was summoned to the castle gates and four leviathan guards carried him, very un-genteelly, to the castle’s great hall where sat the Lords of the kingdom. (He had thought of arriving in one of his new orange boats with wheels but, luckily for him, they were all in use ferrying serfs and their families back across the border).

‘We need more serfs in our fields and at the forges, not fewer,’ the Lords told him.

Silence. And an open mouth. Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth could not think of a word to say, only numbers.

‘457’ he blurted.

The Lords silently glared at him.

‘400, 500, 700,’ Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth added into that silence.

All eyes were fixed on him and he could feel the chill of the dank castle dungeons creeping over him or perhaps the real hand of a guard grasping his shoulder in joyful anticipation of dragging another poor soul into the darkness below. ‘I can let in 700 (pause) or more. Or less,’ he added sensing no reaction. ‘We can call them (pause, pause) 457s.’ At least, he thought, that made sense of the numbers.

‘Call them what you will. Just let them in.’ The Lords’ final command.

Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth was dismissed. He had escaped the dungeons and felt well pleased with himself. Numbers had worked out fine instead of words. He would let some in — and send some back if the mood took him. After all, he now had that power. Power was a grand feeling, better even than being a jester. He could come to like this. The chagrin he felt, however, at the Lords’ final command prompted a vague impression that something was missing but in the pause between his thoughts he also missed the connection.

Not long afterwards, as fate would have it, a wagon load of serfs overturned in a distant kingdom — it was ten days ride away. Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth called the knights together.

‘I need you to ride to that far kingdom and bring the wagon home.’

‘Is it our wagon?” a knight dared question.

Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth hesitated. ‘It (pause, pause) it had our 457s in it’ Tiny told him. The knight gazed quizzically— what was a 457? — but asked nothing more. ‘And you’d better (pause) better bring the 457s here as well — at least, any who are (pause) still fit to work.’ The knights rode off not at all sure what they were meant to do but as valiant knights they did as they were bid.

A short time later, news came that the peasants in that distant kingdom were revolting. Tiny thought there was a joke about that but couldn’t quite bring it to mind.

Then, in a stroke of genius (at least Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth thought it was a stroke of genius), he decided that the wagon must have been overturned by the revolting peasants. (What was that joke?)

In his green great hall, with his jesters, clowns and goblins behind him and with a few summoned peasants in front, Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth unleashed page one of his exalted vision:

‘Those serfs in that far kingdom have forgotten their place. They think they can sup at the same table as the Lords and Ladies. They think they need no longer work for the Lords and Ladies. They are making the kingdom unsafe for the Lords and Ladies. They are interfering in other kingdoms and stirring serfs there to think as they do. They deserve the condemnation of all kingdoms. They deserve the condemnation of all other serfs for threatening your way of life.’

That wasn’t what the peasants thought at all. How could they work when fires ravaged the landscape, when waters rose and no longer receded? When the land turned to mud, they could barely grow enough food and the Lords and Ladies demanded what little there was. And in that kingdom, the peasants had finally taken the matches from their pockets and lighted the fire of revolution.

The knights returned from that far kingdom empty-handed: no wagon and no fit serfs to work for the Lords and Ladies but that no longer concerned Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth. He had discovered the rapture of his power, able to send the knights off to wherever he chose and, to his astonishment, many of the serfs even cheered them as they rode out and when they rode in again. This was all starting to add up in Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth’s mind, even if the additions were interrupted by pauses. He couldn’t quite see it yet but the numbers were fatefully drawing together. Perhaps it required just a shorter pause between his thoughts.

The peasants’ revolt spread. New kingdoms were being infected by it as the waters continued to rise, as the fires continued to burn. Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth sent twelve knights and their retinue to join knights from other kingdoms: the Lords and Ladies of many kingdoms were by then becoming alarmed and sending their own knights to quell those rebellions before more castles burned, before more fields were left untended, before revolt spread to their own kingdoms. ‘You are defending our own kingdom,’ Tiny told the knights before they rode off. ‘No we’re not,’ someone shouted from the attendant crowd, but Tiny didn’t see who and ignored it for then, although noting it for the future: he could not have people doubting his splendiferous schemes or there would indeed be local rebellion.

Matching a shorter pause in his thoughts, the numbers came together in a second wave of genius and Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth had his epiphany. Now he understood how he could control the serfs and peasants of his own kingdom, how to quiet the dissenting voices. The Lords and Ladies would be grateful beyond measure: but did that matter now? They had not given him control over the peasants but he knew then how he would have it.

He returned to his great hall and, with the jesters, clowns and goblins again gathered behind him and a select few peasants in front (again), announced his next transcendent vision.

‘The peasants are revolting. (He wished he could remember that joke.) You might think it is only in the far kingdoms (pause) where I have sent our knights. But they threaten us. They threaten you. They are not content (pause, pause) attacking only the Lords and Ladies. They will kill any peasant (pause) who does not agree with them and kill them most horribly. They wish to create (pause, pause) a world (pause) a world where they are in control and you will still be serfs (pause, pause) but serfs not as well cared for as the Lords and Ladies tend you.’

Despite a lone cry of ‘crap’, the majority was listening then. They were mostly attentive and motionless awaiting Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth’s next word. No laughter, no raucous bellowing back at him. They know I am no longer only a lowly jester, he thought. They are afraid and that is good. He continued (after a pause, of course):

‘Already there are those among us who support those revolting peasants. Those who will seek to kill you and burn your fields (pause).’

‘The fields are already burning’, a peasant called across the hall, but only the same single soul who had earlier yelled ‘crap’. Tiny felt confident, however, that now such voices would disappear beneath the maelstrom of fear he was fashioning, so he ploughed on, digging more deeply the furrows of foreboding.

‘They threaten your way of life. You will have to flee for your lives unless you allow the knights and yeomen to patrol within our own kingdom, to go into houses and drag out those who would harm you, to follow them to their secret meeting places, to watch their every movement — where they go, whom they visit.’

He grew assured that now the Lords and Ladies would let him close the borders. But that question, ‘did it matter?’, re-echoed in his thoughts.

Previously, as no more than a common jester, he had thought that sometimes ‘shit happens’ but then he confidently understood he could make it happen. Even if not a single peasant in his kingdom (it wasn’t actually ‘his’ — yet!) was threatening revolt, it was a mendacious and all-powerful justification to round up those terrible tree monks (or those who looked like tree monks) who insisted that something substantial was amiss when the rising waters did not recede, when the fires kept returning. Yes, he could well do without them making the peasants restless and giving them something else to fear.

Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth continued to disregard those rising waters and recurring fires. The knights and yeomen could not stop them, so what was the point of concerning himself.

Yes, now he had the plan. Eventually even the Lords and Ladies would not be immune. The knights and yeoman would enter the castle on pretext of searching out revolting peasants who had found their way in as blacksmiths, cordwainers, coopers and fletchers, and find the Lords and Ladies who protected them or who heeded the preaching of the tree monks (whether they did or not would no longer be of consequence). He could be rid of them too. He would no longer need his paper castle. He would have the real castle!

‘Soon I will be Emperor’, he dared tell himself. ‘No more Lords and Ladies — just me. My power is majestic and makes me a glorious and illustrious personage, worthier, nobler yet, than the Lords and Ladies. I will be Emperor!’



What do you think of Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth?

Rate This Post

Current rating: 0.4 / 5 | Rated 13 times

TPS Team

16/11/2014This weekend Australia's Prime Minister demonstrates his grasp of statesmanship through talking about co-payments and university fees to the assembled heads of state at the G20 in Brisbane. One can only reflect how accurate this portrayal written by Ken Wolff, one of our regular writers, really is. The scary thing is that this piece is a follow on from the first morality tale and certainly wasn't written this weekend. Ken recommends that you reread the first morality tale and helpfully places a link in the first paragraph. We hope you enjoy this satirical piece.

Ad astra

16/11/2014Ken If any reader queries the veracity of this deliciously satirical piece, reflect on our PM’s performance at the G20 Summit. Good host he was, but as an international figure, the real leaders dwarfed him, making him look like the Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth he is. Despite the G20’s international stature, he couldn’t distance himself from his political agenda and the difficulties he faces in having it accepted in parliament, and when it came to reporting on the outcomes of G20 he could hardly bring himself to mention the crucial place of climate change in the communiqué. He glossed over it with ‘of course we all acknowledge the importance of climate change’ as if this was always a central issue, despite his determined efforts to keep it off the agenda. Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth was on display for all to see. I wonder though how many of his acolytes will see through this empty man. Let’s see what the usually supportive media has to say.

Casablanca

16/11/2014[b]The adolescent country. The bit player. The shrimp of the schoolyard.[/b] Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times.16 Nov 2014 - 5:48pm Australia suffers another cringe-worthy moment during G20 summit http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/11/16/comment-australia-suffers-another-cringe-worthy-moment-during-g20-summit [b]Finishing Asia Tour, Obama Promotes More Ambitious Foreign Policy[/b] Mark Landlernov. Nov 15, 2014 As he finishes another tour of the region in Australia this weekend, Mr. Obama seems to have found a formula for a more ambitious approach overseas, built around two issues that only recently climbed to the top of his agenda: trade and climate change. The scorecard for this trip looks drastically different from the last one: a landmark climate-change agreement with China, a trade deal with the Chinese on technology products, signs of progress on a regional trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and a $3 billion pledge to a climate-change fund for developing countries. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/world/asia/finishing-asia-tour-obama-promotes-more-ambitious-foreign-policy.html?_r=0

Casablanca

17/11/2014 1. [b]G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Brisbane Summit, 15-16 November 2014 (pdf 5 pages)[/b] https://www.g20.org/sites/default/files/g20_resources/library/brisbane_g20_leaders_summit_communique.pdf 2. [b]G20 leaders agree US$2 trillion growth goal: six academic economists react[/b] Charis Palmer, 16 November 2014 The G20 leaders have reaffirmed a commitment to raise global growth, saying if more than 800 agreed measures are “fully implemented”, GDP will grow by an additional 2.1% by 2018, adding more than US$2… http://theconversation.cmail2.com/t/r-l-cjkuiz-trhltityg-u/ 3. [b]G20 leaders pledge on growth and support climate action [/b] Michelle Grattan, 16 November 2014 G20 nations have supported “strong and effective” action on climate change, but included some equivocal wording on the timing… Tony Abbott used his closing remarks at the G20 to reaffirm his commitment to coal. http://theconversation.cmail2.com/t/r-l-cjkuiz-trhltityg-h/ 4. [b]Obama’s Brisbane climate clarion call to Australia and the world[/b] Tony Yegles. November 15, 2014 And you’ll recall at the beginning I said the United States and Australia has a lot in common. Well, one of the things we have in common is we produce a lot of carbon. Part of it’s this legacy of wide-open spaces and the frontier mentality, and this incredible abundance of resources. And so, historically, we have not been the most energy-efficient of nations, which means we’ve got to step up. http://nofibs.com.au/2014/11/15/obamas-brisbane-climate-clarion-call-to-australia-and-the-world/#sthash.IRha80X0.dpuf 5. [b]Remarks by President Obama at the University of Queensland[/b] November 15, 2014 University of Queensland PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much! (Applause.) Thank you! Thank you, everybody. Everybody, please have a seat. Hello, Brisbane! It’s good to be back in Australia. I love Australia -- I really do. The only problem with Australia is every time I come here I’ve got to sit in conference rooms and talk to politicians instead of go to the beach. (Laughter.) http://m.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/15/remarks-president-obama-university-queensland 6. [b]Abbott buffeted by the winds of climate [/b] Michelle Grattan. 15 November 2014, 8.00pm AEDT Abbott has previously won some plaudits for his performance on international issues. But in this setting, so far, he is looking less than impressive – excessively determined to do things his way and not willing enough to accommodate the preoccupations and priorities of others. http://theconversation.com/abbott-buffeted-by-the-winds-of-climate-34279 7. [b]The dark side of Teflon Tony's carbon plans[/b] Rob Burgess. 14 Nov 2014 For years, the Coalition successfully conflated rising power prices with the carbon tax, but continued increases hint at the dysfunctional state of our power system. Prime Minister Abbott’s remarkable selling ability was on full display on Friday, as he stood beside UK Prime Minister Cameron and spoke about Australia’s response to new carbon emission reduction targets being set by China and the US. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/11/14/politics/dark-side-teflon-tonys-carbon-plans?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1000230&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt= 8. [b]Abbott's nightmare: World leaders to swelter through G20 heatwave[/b] John Conroy. 14 Nov, 12:01 PM As it seeks a growth-focus at the G20, the Abbott Government has been struck by another development which will only compound the attention on climate change generated by the US-China vows in Beijing this week. The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting a heatwave across Queensland, with temperatures to be more than 10 degrees above average in parts of the state - including Brisbane. In the state capital, the bureau is forecasting 35 and 39 degrees across the weekend, considerably higher than the city's November average of 27.8. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/11/14/science-environment/abbotts-nightmare-world-leaders-swelter-through-g20-heatwave?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1000230&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt= 9. [b]G20: Tony Abbott 'whingeing' about domestic agenda on world stage[/b] Lenore Taylor and Daniel Hurst. 15 November 2014 16.19 AEST Opposition leader Bill Shorten says Australian PM made ‘weird and graceless’ opening address on the carbon tax, asylum seekers and budget problems... The Australian prime minister conceded his counterparts could raise any topic they wish in the G20’s closed-door leaders retreat – despite his wish that it remain economics-focused – after intense pressure from Europe and the US for stronger action on climate change. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/15/g20-tony-abbott-whingeing-about-domestic-agenda-on-world-stage 10. [b]G20 Brisbane: final communique lists 800 measures for economic growth[/b] Daniel Hurst. 16 November 2014 19.30 AEST G20 leaders approve a package estimated to increase global growth by at least 2.1% by 2018 after two-day summit http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/16/g20-brisbane-final-communique-lists-800-measures-for-economic-growth 11. G20 International organisations, including the IMF, OECD, World Bank Group, WTO, ILO, FSB and UN provided valuable inputs to G20 discussions. These reports and recommendations can be found at: http://www.g20.org/official_resources. 12. [b]Six myths about Australia’s climate policy that never did wash[/b] Lenore Taylor. 14 November 2014 23.01 AEST These myths are endlessly repeated and sure won’t be accepted in the wake of the US-China climate deal http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/14/six-myths-about-australias-climate-policy-that-never-did-wash 13. [b]Another fine mess Australia's media has gotten us into[/b] Tom Orren 14 November 2014, 3:00pm If Australia’s mainstream journalists had been financial advisors giving their clients the same standard of advice before the last election, they’d be in gaol...every time I see or hear Tony Abbott, or one of his Liberal cronies on TV or radio, my skin crawls as I think back to the absolutely pathetic job done by our political media in scrutinising his policies ‒ no, his catch-phrases ‒ in the lead up to the 2013 election. Actually, absolutely pathetic might not be anywhere near strong enough, culpable negligence may be more apt … https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/another-fine-mess-australias-media-has-gotten-us-into,7093 14. [b]Standing up for coal – Abbott and Newman give investment advice [/b] Kaye Lee. November 16, 2014 Tony Abbott has told a G20 leaders’ discussion on energy he was “standing up for coal” as the Queensland government prepares to unveil new infrastructure spending to help the development of Australia’s largest coal mine. Abbott, who recently said coal was “good for humanity”, also endorsed the mine, proposed by the Indian company Adani, to the meeting. 15. [b]G20 The Conversation[/b] A number of articles, including those listed below, concerning the G20 can be found at the Conversation http://theconversation.com/au • [b]G20 climate challenge calls for a rethink of economics [/b] Geoff Harcourt, UNSW Australia Business School and Anne Junor Focusing on growth, the Brisbane G20 leaders' summit has not grappled with three key issues. How much more growth can the planet survive? How can poorer nations raise their living standards to parity with… • [b]'And speaking of China...' Obama's hope for Asia [/b] By Susan Harris Rimmer, Australian National University US President Barack Obama took to the stage at the University of Queensland in Brisbane on a day which had the soles of your shoes melting. We had been through a complicated but reasonable security process… • [b]To get climate change under control, our growth fetish must go [/b] By Christopher Wright, University of Sydney The recent US-China climate announcement is a significant development in humanity’s equivocal response to the climate crisis. Despite over four decades of political engagement with climate change, tangible… • [b]Latin America the overlooked trade giant of Australia's G20 [/b] By Alexis Sergio Esposto, Swinburne University of Technology While much of Australia’s media has been covering Abbott’s macho stance on Russian President Vladimir Putin, the G20 meetings will be focusing on how best to improve global trade, which severely declined… • [b]Who's who in the G20 zoo? Focus on the sherpas [/b] By Susan Harris Rimmer, Australian National University The spotlight may be on the leaders at this weekend’s G20 Leaders' Summit in Australia, but who will be behind the leaders at the big table in Brisbane? The G20 sherpas are very senior officials who have… • [b]Obama: protect Barrier Reef from climate change [/b] By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra US president Barack Obama has given Australia a sharp prod on climate change, saying he wanted his future grandchildren to… • [b]G20 nations should give generously to climate fund: Ban Ki-moon [/b] By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra US president Barack Obama has pledged US$3 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), as United Nations Secretary-General Ban…

Ad astra

17/11/2014Casablanca Thank you once again for assembling a list of reading, this time about the G20 Summit. You make it easy for us to plumb media option of this event. I look forward to working through your links.

Ken

17/11/2014thanks Casablanca "Our" Tony, way out of his depth. Or to quote my own piece: [quote]Now he thinks that distant Lords and Ladies should heed his every magnificent, even insignificant, word ...[/quote]

Ad astra

17/11/2014Casablanca That was a most interesting read. Thank you. It is notable that only one economist writing in The Conversation mentioned the inclusion of climate change in the communiqué. While acknowledged as a good host, our PM was seen as a small-minded, ideologically driven, domestically focussed, stubborn, coal-focussed sycophant.

Ad astra

17/11/2014Folks If you wonder how far out of kilter with world opinion are Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey on the economic threat of climate change, read this article by Bernard Keane today in [i]Crikey[/i]: [i]“Is climate change just an environmental or energy issue? Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey certainly think so, relying on that argument to try, unsuccessfully, to exile climate change from the G20 agenda altogether before retreating to allow it onto the "energy efficiency" agenda. Alas, they were routed altogether and it ended up dominating the meeting. Even so, they could be heard muttering darkly on the weekend, the real work of the G20 had nothing to do with global warming. “But let's consult some experts on whether climate change is an economic issue or not. How about the International Monetary Fund? "Climate change is a powerful global trend that, along with trade and financial integration, is likely to have profound effects on economies and markets in coming decades,” the IMF said in a report as long ago as 2008. How "profound"? For that answer, we turn to the World Bank's 2011 study on the economic impacts of climate change. "This initial study report … finds that the cost between 2010 and 2050 of adapting to an approximately 2 degrees warmer world by 2050 is in the range of $70 billion to $100 billion a year," the Bank concluded. “Hmmm. But the World Bank and the IMF are both well-known dens of leftist lunacy, and it's no surprise that they have signed up to the warmist conspiracy -- all the easier for them to establish a socialist New World Order. What do some real conservatives say? “Well, there's Germany’s conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, who in 2009 said “climate change threatens both our security and our economic development. Failure to take decisive action will have a dramatic impact.” But despite Merkel’s free market credentials, she's a former environment minister and a scientist. Science has a notorious reality bias. Worse yet, Merkel's from the former East Germany. “How about a proper Tory like David Cameron? Just a couple of months ago, Cameron said "climate change is one of the most serious threats facing our world. And it is not just a threat to the environment. It is also a threat to our national security, to global security, to poverty eradication and to economic prosperity.” Then again, Cameron would say that, wouldn’t he -- he’s in a coalition with Liberal Democrats. But the Conservative Party’s 2009 election platform specifically compared the problem of greenhouse gas emissions to the financial crisis. "Just as the reckless accumulation of debt in our economy means higher taxes for the next generation; so the reckless accumulation of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will impose costs on our children and their children. Now that we know the scale of the risks we have created and are creating, it would be selfish, irresponsible and morally wrong not to act now to reduce our carbon emissions and do all we can to protect the future." “Still, the UK Tories have never been the same since Thatcher left. If only the Iron Lady were still around to sort out these warmists. Oh, wait, she was one herself -- famously saying "it is no good squabbling over who is responsible or who should pay. Whole areas of our planet could be subject to drought and starvation if the pattern of rains and monsoons were to change as a result of the destruction of forests and the accumulation of greenhouse gases. The environmental challenge which confronts the whole world demands an equivalent response from the whole world. Every country will be affected and no one can opt out." “Well, it's really only the Republicans in the US who can be trusted to give an unbiased account of whether climate change is real and whether it's an economic issue. So let’s ask, say, George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, what he thinks. "For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do. We're making the same mistake today with climate change. We're staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked." “Damn. OK so Paulson's off the reservation. Surely there must be a voice of sanity on this issue somewhere? How about the Pentagon. Surely those brave fighting men don’t believe this warmist nonsense? "As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating. These changes, coupled with other global dynamics, including growing, urbanizing, more affluent populations, and substantial economic growth in India, China, Brazil, and other nations, will devastate homes, land, and infrastructure ... The pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world." “That just leaves Abbott and Hockey. Well, someone's got to speak up for coal, don't they?”[/i] http://media.crikey.com.au/dm/newsletter/dailymail_9a99448cde3e6a320f138c06ed1253ab.html

Ad astra

17/11/2014Folks Here is another article, this time by Tristan Edis in [i]Business Spectator[/i], that illustrates how stubbornly out of touch are Abbott and Hockey with world and even local opinion on climate change: “[i][b]Climate is on the agenda in spite of Abbott[/b] “In spite of the fact that the Prime Minister Tony Abbott didn’t want to talk about it, and as convening host he could pull it from the agenda of the G20 meeting, in the end an awful lot of people did talk about climate change over the past few days. “ Abbott may be Prime Minister, and a significant and powerful section of his party room colleagues may think global warming to be a hoax, but even in government and holding all the strings the reality is they are not going to win the day over the shared opinion of just about every one of the G20’s nations’ meteorological agencies (including Australia’s) and their Academies of Science. “US President Obama and China’s President Xi, by their actions in the days preceding the G20 meeting, ensured that everyone would be talking about what we’re going to do to reduce carbon emissions. “Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (chair of the next G20 summit) said it was "the biggest challenge to all humanity today", and this is coming from a national leader who has the ISIL “death cult” on his back door step. (You literally only have to possess some binoculars to see the "death cult" in action over the other side of the Turkey border.) “British Prime Minister David Cameron singled out Australia in telling Britain’s Sky News that a range of countries needed to put forward more ambitious plans on emissions reductions ahead of the UN climate summit in Paris. He said: “Countries that have so far done the least have to think about what more they can do. I’ve had good and friendly discussions with Prime Minister Abbott about that.” “President Obama then decided to keep the ball rolling in a speech at the University of Queensland, noting that: “The US and Australia have a lot in common. One of the things we have in common is we produce a lot of carbon.” “He told the audience that they had to “keep raising your voices” about containing global warming and “challenge entrenched interests”. Liberal WA Premier Colin Barnett, who attended the speech, was sufficiently moved to say in comments reported by the West Australian, "I think that we can be bolder in Australia, including in WA.” He said of the speech, "It was a call to arms, not only to Australia but to other countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area. Australia, and I think all of us, do need to lift their game." And in comments at odds with Abbott’s self-appointed role in “standing up for coal” at the summit, Barnett commented that we need to ensure new power generation is “at least gas-fired and not coal”. “It’s now apparent, thanks to reporting by Reuters and Lenore Taylor at The Guardian, that this carried into the actual G20 summit negotiations. In spite of Abbott’s efforts, climate change was definitely on the agenda and the ultimate summit communiqué. An EU official told reporters: "The most difficult discussion was on climate change. This was really trench warfare, this was really step by step by step. In the end we have references to most of the things we wanted." Leaks from the negotiations have revealed that Australia fought unsuccessfully against US and European nations push for the communique to include: – Reference to nations announcing their post 2020 emission reduction pledges well in advance of the Paris Conference, and ideally by the first quarter of 2015; – The need to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels; and – Providing greater levels of financial support to the Green Climate Fund (to be managed by the World Bank) that is intended to assist poorer nations in adapting to climate change and decarbonising their energy supply. Given the events of the last week one wonders whether the G20 will be like a wake-up call for pragmatism to prevail over ideology within government ranks. It doesn’t really matter one iota what the Coalition partyroom thinks about atmospheric science, they are treated by a large proportion of world leaders and journalists like butchers demanding to be listened to on matters of cardiac surgery. “At present the government is maintaining a brave face. Abbott has now resorted to beefing-up his emission reduction policy by including reference not just to the $2.5 billion Emission Reduction Fund, but also the $10 billion allocated to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation which he is seeking to abolish. “And Joe Hockey argued: “Barack Obama has to get any initiative on climate change through a hostile US Congress. So far he hasn’t had great success.” However, Hockey might want to familiarise himself with the US Supreme Court ruling in relation to Massachusetts v Environmental Protection Agency (commonly referred to as the 'Endangerment Finding'), where the court held that “greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of ‘air pollutant’”. This ruling set out that the EPA has a statutory authority, indeed an obligation, to regulate carbon emissions under the existing Clean Air Act. This empowers Obama to regulate power station and motor vehicle carbon emissions immune from the scientifically illiterate huffing and puffing coming from some US Congress members. “Tony Abbott and his Environment Minister have been like lazy students that have been able to cover up their inadequate study through bluffing their way through class with the assertion they are "confident" their policies will do the job. While they provide no evidence to support such claims, so far it has been enough to get past a time-poor media. “But the Paris UN Climate Conference to be held in December next year may be that gruelling exam that will require some genuine policy work and analysis rather than bluff.”[/i]

Casablanca

17/11/2014[b]Three-way G20 tryst an awkward affair[/b] Tony Wright. November 16, 2014 When something as simple as a staged trilateral handshake can end up looking like an octopus suffering rictus, a resolution by 20 major participants to "lift economic growth, support job creation, promote development and build global confidence" seems ... courageous. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/g20/threeway-g20-tryst-an-awkward-affair-20141116-11nsnw.html

Casablanca

17/11/2014Tones stuffs up again... [b]Angela Merkel's NICTA tour leaves Canberra red-faced[/b] James Riley. 13 Nov, 11:16 AM Make no mistake, this is an embarrassment for the government. NICTA’s unresolved funding issues are simply an embarrassment. Dr Merkel’s visit is the first by a German Chancellor in 25-odd years. She will spend a chunk of it at a globally respected research institute that may no longer exist as an independent entity in 12 months time...Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane will stand in for Tony Abbott as the official host at the NICTA, which seems extraordinary. The Queensland cattle farmer known as 'Chainsaw' is a likeable and impressive industry minister, but is he really the best person to host an East German physicist on a tour of a logistics technology research facility? Really? http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/11/13/technology/angela-merkels-nicta-tour-leaves-canberra-red-faced

Casablanca

18/11/2014[b]1. View from the Street: Awww, is Alan Jones not the PM's BFF anymore?[/b] Andrew P Street. November 17, 2014 So, what world leader and/or international media outlet is criticising our PM today? Look, maybe we've been a bit harsh about the international figures who've been directly and indirectly criticising our PM Tony "think local, act local" Abbott since his somewhat less-than-amazing performance at the G20. Facts have a well-known left-wing bias, though. Of course, there are those who feel that Abbott's gone too far the other way with his seditious environment non-talk. Noted climate science expert and public intellectual Alan Jones, for example. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/view-from-the-street-awww-is-alan-jones-not-the-pms-bff-anymore-20141117-11ognf.html [b]2. 10 things we learned at the G20: the good, the bad and the silly[/b] Van Badham. 17 November 2014 Merkel selfies, Cameron avoiding the proles, koalas snuggles – it was a busy few days in Queensland.... Van Badham’s wings. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/17/10-things-we-learned-at-the-g20-the-good-the-bad-and-the-silly?CMP=soc_568 [b]3. Angela Merkel's NICTA tour leaves Canberra red-faced[/b] James Riley. 13 Nov, 11:16 AM Make no mistake, this is an embarrassment for the government. NICTA’s unresolved funding issues are simply an embarrassment. Dr Merkel’s visit is the first by a German Chancellor in 25-odd years. She will spend a chunk of it at a globally respected research institute that may no longer exist as an independent entity in 12 months time...Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane will stand in for Tony Abbott as the official host at the NICTA, which seems extraordinary. The Queensland cattle farmer known as 'Chainsaw' is a likeable and impressive industry minister, but is he really the best person to host an East German physicist on a tour of a logistics technology research facility? Really? http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/11/13/technology/angela-merkels-nicta-tour-leaves-canberra-red-faced [b]4. Red faces for Tony Abbott on Green Climate Fund[/b] Peter Hannam. November 17, 2014 - 5:39PM The Abbott government has been left embarrassed on another climate front with key ally Canada indicating that it will support a United Nations climate fund to assist poor nations to cope with global warming. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also added to international calls on Australia to reveal its plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by the first quarter of 2015, telling an audience in Sydney that climate change "won't stop at the Pacific Islands". Germany has also committed to supporting the UN climate fund, as has Japan, the US. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/red-faces-for-tony-abbott-on-green-climate-fund-20141117-11oca7.html [b]5. Tony Abbott: The Loaded Dog of Australian politics[/b] Bob Ellis. 17 November 2014 It is certain Abbott will not survive, politically, his Brisbane weekend among the world’s leaders... It is not certain when he will be overthrown. But there is no other probability, any more... Nothing much will happen to him before November 29. But if, then, that night, Daniel Andrews’ victory is considerable, and Palmer gains control of the Upper House, it is possible he will fall in the following fortnight, and Bishop, Turnbull, Dutton, Robb or Hunt replace him. It is no longer acceptable that he represent us, or speak for us, in the counsels of the world. He seems a whack-head, a sort of Loaded Dog, and too big a risk to our economy, and our security, in every direction. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tony-abbott-the-loaded-dog-of-australian-politics,7101 [b]6. Climate change cage match: Abbott debates Abbott[/b] Bernard Keane | Mar 09, 2011 12:58PM As the Gillard government’s plan for a carbon prices sends Coalition stocks soaring, attention is increasingly focusing on what opposition leader Tony Abbott believes in about climate change and how to deal with it. Today in Crikey, Tony Abbott debates one of his most formidable opponents on the issue — Tony Abbott. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/03/09/climate-change-cage-match-abbott-debates-abbott/ [b]7. Does this government like creating jobs? The huge opportunities we’re missing in renewable energy [/b] Anthony Sharwood. November 17, 2014 THIS is a story about thousands of jobs the Abbott government could be helping to create, but which may never come into being. It is not a story about climate change, or any other issue which divides people along ideological lines, despite the divide between Australia and the the rest of the world becoming much clearer over the weekend. Quite simply, it is about something we all believe in — Australia’s prosperity. Let’s break this thing down into 25 quick, easily digestible points. http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/does-this-government-like-creating-jobs-the-huge-opportunities-were-missing-in-renewable-energy/story-fnjww1r5-1227125258877 [b]8. G20 fails to deliver -- but not for lack of Australia trying[/b] Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane, 17 November, 2014 You can bet next year’s meeting in Turkey produces the same stuff yet again. Jobs. Growth. Full commitment. High priority. There is nothing wrong with the sentiment, but there is also nothing new. It's so uninspiring, someone within the government actually thought it worthwhile to leak that there would be an additional 0.1% added to the growth target. Wow, 0.1%! http://media.crikey.com.au/dm/newsletter/dailymail_9a99448cde3e6a320f138c06ed1253ab.html [b]9. Politicians are forgetting a key cog in energy policy[/b] Keith Orchison. 17 Nov, 2014 Energy efficiency standards might not make for exciting headlines, but a recent IEA report highlights how vital they are in promoting emissions abatement... The message from both the IEA and the G20 seems to be ‘we can do much more’. This shouldn’t be lost in the local debate as the leaders depart and the normal state of political catcalling takes over. If one product of the Brisbane talkfest is that efficiency has risen higher in Tony Abbott’s thinking about the big energy and carbon picture, this is a good thing. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/11/17/resources-and-energy/politicians-are-forgetting-key-cog-energy-policy?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1002616&utm_campaign=pm&modapt= [b]10. Climate is on the agenda in spite of Abbott[/b] Tristan Edis. 17 November, 2014 Abbott may be Prime Minister, and a significant and powerful section of his partyroom colleagues may think global warming to be a hoax, but even in government and holding all the strings the reality is they are not going to win the day over the shared opinion of just about every one of the G20’s nations’ meteorological agencies (including Australia’s) and their Academies of Science. Tony Abbott and his Environment Minister have been like lazy students that have been able to cover up their inadequate study through bluffing their way through class http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/11/17/policy-politics/climate-agenda-spite-abbott?utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1002616&utm_campaign=pm&modapt= [b]11. G20 summit: Australian PM Tony Abbott....risks his country becoming an international laughing stock [/b] Kathy Marks. Thursday 13 November 2014 With the European Union agreeing last month to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40 per cent of their 1990 levels by 2030, Australia is looking increasingly out of step with the developed world. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/g20-summit-australian-pm-tony-abbott-tries-to-block-climate-talks--and-risks-his-country-becoming-an-international-laughing-stock-9859671.html?utm_source=PoliticOz&utm_campaign=a15d8c3a1e-PoliticOZ_17_November_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_673b6b002d-a15d8c3a1e-302949185 [b]12. Tony Abbott Says ‘Nothing But Bush’ In Australia Before White Settlement[/b] Amy McQuire. 14 Nov 2014 In the presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Abbott doubled down on previous remarks about the unsettled nature of Australia before white invasion.... The self-appointed “Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs” Tony Abbott has reiterated the legal fiction of “terra nullius” stating that Australia was “nothing but bush” before British invasion and called pre-colonisation civilisation “extraordinarily basic and raw”. https://newmatilda.com/2014/11/14/tony-abbott-says-%E2%80%98nothing-bush%E2%80%99-australia-white-settlement?utm_source=PoliticOz&utm_campaign=a15d8c3a1e-PoliticOZ_17_November_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_673b6b002d-a15d8c3a1e-302949185 [b]13. PM Tony Abbott describes Sydney as 'nothing but bush' before First Fleet arrived in 1788[/b] Anna Henderson. 15 Nov 2014, 12:56am Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been accused of effectively declaring Australia "terra nullius" before British settlement, after remarking that Sydney was "nothing but bush" prior to the arrival of the First Fleet...Kirstie Parker from the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples said the comments do tremendous damage to the relationship of the Prime Minister and Aboriginal people. "I'd say they were a blunder except this is becoming a habit for the Prime Minister," she said. "On several occasions just in the last couple of months, he has made comments that have erased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the landscape." http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-14/abbot-describes-1778-australia-as-nothing-but-bush/5892608 [b]14. Three-way G20 tryst an awkward affair[/b] Tony Wright. November 16, 2014 When something as simple as a staged trilateral handshake can end up looking like an octopus suffering rictus, a resolution by 20 major participants to "lift economic growth, support job creation, promote development and build global confidence" seems ... courageous. www.canberratimes.com.au/.../...141116-11nsnw.html [b]15. FactCheck: does the new climate deal let China do nothing for 16 years? [/b] John Mathews, Hao Tan and Frank Jotzo. 17 November 2014, 6.17am AEDT Far from “doing nothing”, China will be building the world’s largest renewable energy system over the next 16 years. This is something that China has already started doing – so the targets agreed upon are feasible, if arduous. http://theconversation.com/factcheck-does-the-new-climate-deal-let-china-do-nothing-for-16-years-34239 [b]16. Why we should question G20 claims of a global infrastructure shortfall[/b] John Freebairn, 13 November 2014 The G20 infrastructure agenda cites an OECD prediction the global infrastructure gap will be worth US$70 trillion by 2030. It is predicting this gap will grow. Yet it’s difficult to assess the credibility… http://theconversation.com/why-we-should-question-g20-claims-of-a-global-infrastructure-shortfall-33627 [b]17. 'Team Australia' threatens the majority, too[/b] David Stephens. November 17, 2014 'Team Australia' is about both dog whistling for the majority and aggression towards minorities. Making insiders feel safe and comfortable is the other side of ensuring that outsiders feel rejected, writes. Team Australia rhetoric comes down to who is in and who is out. ‘My experience of Australia as… http://theaimn.com/team-australia-threatens-majority/ [b]18. What Abbott actually said[/b] Victoria Rollison. November 16, 2014 Weird and graceless. Shorten’s description of Abbott’s G20 address to world leaders was spot on. We all know that Abbott doesn’t perform well at public speaking. And we never expected him to say anything inspiring, intelligent or even informative at the G20. It’s not like he was going to admit he’d been wrong about climate policy and could Obama and Xi Jinping please help him to fix his faults. No, what we expected was for him to be uninspiring, unintelligent, and to say not much at all. Like he usually does. Because let’s face it, we’re used to three word slogans repeated slowly, spread out amongst ahh, err, arh, urms ad nauseam. But that’s not what we got from Abbott yesterday. Surprisingly, we got worse than this. Which is why it’s worth taking a closer look at what he actually did say. http://theaimn.com/abbott-actually-said/ [b]19. Breaking news: P20 leaders’ summit cancelled due to lack of point.[/b] Sean Stinson. November 17, 2014 With all the fuss surrounding the storm in a teacup that was the G20, I’d just like to give a shout out to another notable recent non-event. While our very own treasurer Joe Hockey posed for photo ops with the leaders of the free market, talking up the need to ‘lift people out of poverty’ as the basis for boosting economic growth by 2% above normal growth expectations, the leaders of the world’s 20 poorest countries didn’t meet for multilateral discussions last week, mostly because they weren’t considered important enough get an invite, since they clearly had nothing to bring to the table, and probably could not afford the airfare anyway. http://theaimn.com/breaking-news-p20-leaders-summit-cancelled-due-lack-point/ [b]20. China-US Climate Deal Means The Jig Is Up For Abbott's Deniers[/b] Ben Eltham. 13 Nov 2014 The climate change debate shifted dramatically overnight. And Australia has been left high and dry. Just how momentous has not yet been realised, and probably won’t become clear for many years. But there can be no doubt of the significance of the US-China emissions reduction deal. The decision by the world’s two largest economies to set sweeping new emissions reductions targets is a symbolic step of historic proportions. https://newmatilda.com/2014/11/13/china-us-climate-deal-means-jig-abbotts-deniers [b]21. Extreme wealth is bad for everyone – especially the wealthy [/b] Michael Lewis. November 12, 2014 "By the third morning, it was clear that, in the race to the Fruit Loops, some kids had a natural advantage." http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness?utm_source=The+Shortlist+Daily&utm_campaign=6c3e78152f-The_Shortlist_Daily_17_November_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7870ce0889-6c3e78152f-302682901 [b]22. Inequality, Unbelievably, Gets Worse[/b] Steven Rattner. November 16, 2014 THE Democrats’ drubbing in the midterm elections was unfortunate on many levels, but particularly because the prospect of addressing income inequality grows dimmer, even as the problem worsens. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/opinion/inequality-unbelievably-gets-worse.html?_r=0&referrer=

2353

18/11/2014If you didn't see Mediawatch last night - can I suggest a visit to iView. There was a explanation why the budget cuts to the ABC will affect their ability to deliver into the future.

Ken

18/11/2014Casablanca Thank you for revealing plagiarism. In the same spirit in which I wrote the 'second morality tale', I call on Victoria Rollison to admit she has been reading my pieces. This quote from Victoria: [quote]Yet yesterday, Abbott was using this policy failure (let’s call a spade a spade that has failed to get through the Senate) as one of the reasons he’s finding those revolting peasants in his kingdom so terribly hard to force into line. [/quote] Note that phrase 'those revolting peasants in his kingdom'. That does seem familiar! Oh well, perhaps it's just a sign that we are like-minded souls.

Ad astra

18/11/2014Casablanca Thank you again for your comprehensive list of links, which I shall read as time permits in a busy day ahead. Did you watch Q&A last night? I cannot recall an edition where our illustrious PM was so ridiculed. Ben Elton lead the charge, with Tanya Plibersek and Jonathan Holmes chipping in, and even the Daily Telegraph Opinion Editor, Sarrah Le Marquand, expressing anti-Abbott sentiments. Poor old Malcolm Turnbull was repeatedly left open-mouthed as he tried to fend off criticism of Abbott, often prefaced by: 'In defence of Tony'. I think he enjoyed himself and relished the opportunity to 'stand up' for his leader in a delightfully tongue-in-cheek performance, with that characteristic wistful, slightly amused look on his face - I'm sure you know the look! He even alluded to what we already know - that he is not brilliant at defending Tony If you missed it you can view it at: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s4106003.htm

Ken

18/11/2014The Poll Bludger is pointing out that the latest Newspoll and Morgan polls have Labor moving up again and Newspoll has Shorten ahead of Abbott as preferred PM. Newspoll was taken over the weekend and so would have included initial reactions to Abbott's performance at the G20. Morgan is over two weekends and would have included an element of G20 reaction.

Casablanca

18/11/2014Ad, Yes, I watched Q&A last night. Sarah Le Marquand, expressing anti-Abbott sentiments on behalf of the Daily Terror was refreshing and unexpected. So too was her praise of Julia Gillard's misogyny speech. Malcolm was Malcolm! [b]Q&A: Malcolm Turnbull on defence as comedian Ben Elton launches 'hate-fest' attack on PM[/b] Scott Parker. November 18, 2014 - 2:44PM Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and comedian Ben Elton have gone head to head over the Prime Minister on the ABC's Q&A, with Mr Turnbull forced to defend his boss to the point of one exasperated question: "This is just some sort of Tony Abbott hate-fest, is it?"...A calm and at times amused Mr Turnbull lasted 20 minutes before asking Mr Elton if it was a Tony Abbott hate-fest, responding to Mr Elton's barbs by trying to bring the conversation back to the questions asked. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/qa-malcolm-turnbull-on-defence-as-comedian-ben-elton-launches-hatefest-attack-on-pm-20141118-11orr3.html

Casablanca

19/11/2014[b]Abbott ready to put G20 behind him[/b] Tony Kevin. 17 November 2014 My prognosis that the heat would be on Tony Abbott at the G20 was largely borne out. It was a tough meeting for him, and whatever remains of personal warmth or trust between the Australian PM and US President Barack Obama will have been diminished by its outcomes. This G20 was not a boring talkfest, however. On two important matters – climate change and Ebola - the dynamic of the meeting got out of the Chair’s control and produced outcomes clearly not to his liking. [i]Abbott’s counter-strategy – quite successful in retrospect – was to set media hounds running to the side-drama of Vladimir Putin. As Anglosphere leaders and journalists goaded and stalked the impassive Putin over Ukraine, Abbott – having stoked this fire assiduously over past months - stood back smiling, saying it was the Chair’s task as host to treat all participants with equal respect during the meeting, and that he had had his say on Ukraine at APEC a few days earlier. All this distracted the media from the real story: how Abbott had lost control of the meeting. [/i] http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=42313#.VGr2f8k4WSo

2353`

19/11/2014Its not only at the G20 where Abbott's 'climate' policy is being questioned. Three Melbourne Councils are tendering for the supply of green power straight to the generaling compaines. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/18/melbourne-councils-band-together-to-buy-100gw-of-clean-energy-direct

TalkTurkey

19/11/2014Palmer had a little Lambie Her mouth is like a BUCKET! And when Clive tells her what to say That Lambie says [i]Nahh-haa-haa-haa-hahh![/i]

TalkTurkey

19/11/2014If Ben Elton were the OL, he wouldn't hold that position long! He would NOT let himself be talked over, not from Turdball, Wormtongue Jones or anyone else.

TalkTurkey

19/11/2014If Ben Elton were the OL, he wouldn't hold that position long! He would NOT let himself be talked over, not from Turdball, Wormtongue Jones or anyone else.

TalkTurkey

19/11/2014Palmer had a little Lambie Thought she'd be The GO But everywhere he wants her to She says NO NO NO NO !

TalkTurkey

19/11/2014Palmer had a little Lambie Took her for a sucker! He'd like to roll her once for all But he will never buck her! Last Sunday me put 1 pint and lots of kudos riding on my prediction - or bet anyway, with Jason Hand - that the lovely Jacqui (say it a la fronsay, zhuck[i]wee[/i], she is zo charmante! ) will resign from PUPs this week. And if not this week (I was being kind to Jason in this week's odds)I will pay him his beer but I then have a standing bet that she will anyway resign from PUPs before next election. (Still FIVE YEARS for new Senators! :) I mean er [i]oh-oh![/i]:(

Patriciawa

20/11/2014As always, Casablanca, thanks for a great read! And Talk Turkey thank you as so often for a lovely laugh. Before I go off to the Land of Nod I have to tell you how much I enjoyed <a href=http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/black-comedy/#episode/IP1302H003S00</a> last night. It reminded me how I had intended to let blogging friends know that early yesterday I had signed the petition <a href=http://www.abc.net.au/tv/programs/black-comedy/#episode/IP1302H003S00</a> I lived and worked in Nairobi and Eldoret, Kenya, over half a century ago. My two children were born there! I met many Maasai people as well as Kikuyu who helped me through my early years of child rearing and housekeeping while staying in my teaching job. I really missed them when we came to Australia where childcare facilities in those days were almost non-existent. The children’s first language was Swahili. Before we finally left East Africa all those years ago to migrate to Australia we had often toured the game parks and been so impressed by the wild animals. Why would anyone want to shoot and kill a giraffe for sport? Or, to name just a few of the others to be seen at Serengeti, the largest National Park in Tanzania, wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, buffalo, lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena and those beautiful birds like flamingos?

Patriciawa

20/11/2014Obviously I should already be asleep! Whatever happened to my link to the petition about Uganda and those wild game animals which the zoo visit had reminded me of? https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_the_maasai_2014_loc/?bhdticb&v=48698

2353`

20/11/2014'Permission' for SBS to show more ads is going to hurt the Federal Government. It won't be from viewers - it will be from the other TV networks as they see their revenue base fall due to increasing options for advertisers. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/stealth-attack-rival-tv-chiefs-livid-over-sbs-changes-20141119-11pvvw.html

Casablanca

20/11/2014Patriciawa, Thank you for your compliment about my reading list(s) which are not as frequent as I would like them to be. I hope that you enjoy the list that I will post below ere long. What a fascinating life you have lived! I have signed the petition that you highlighted and I hope that many others do the same.

Casablanca

21/11/2014 1. Julie Bishop – substance and style John Menadue . 18 November, 2014 According to opinion polls, Julie Bishop’s standing has climbed. In Harper’s Bazaar she has been described as the Woman of the Year. It is suggested that she could be a leadership contender…But how much substance and how much achievement has there really been. How has Australia’s foreign policy interests been advanced? Before looking at the performance, it is worth recalling that no Australian Foreign Minister could be said to have failed in recent decades, from Gareth Evans to Bill Hayden to Alexander Downer, Stephen Smith, Kevin Rudd and Bob Car. One advantage that Foreign Ministers have is that there is really no domestic constituency that they are likely to upset. At the same time there are numerous media and photo opportunities to do newsworthy things like running around Beijing. The media which is so often about politics and spin rarely looks beyond style and presentation. http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2730 [b] 2. Tony Abbott and the G20[/b] John Menadue . 17 November, 2014 In the media in the last few days we have been overwhelmed by stories and photo opportunities from the G20 in Brisbane. It will take some time to sort out fact from spin. I have set out below some comments and opinions from observers. It provides a useful but only partial account by observers of the G20. I have not included any comments from News Corp publications. News Corp’s support of the government is entirely predictable... To an Australian it does not make for pretty reading. http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2738 [b]3. We pass by on the other side[/b] John Menadue . 16 November, 2014 While we are one of the richest and most privileged people in the world, our recent performance on Ebola, foreign aid and refugees tells the world a quite different story. ‘In the last budget, the biggest cut in government spending was in overseas development assistance. We spend more on our cats and dogs than we do on ODA.’ http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2726 [b] 4. "You all misheard, Tony didn't say no cuts to the…[/b] Rossleigh. November 20, 2014 "Good evening, Mr Turncoat, and thank you for agreeing to this interview." “Now let me just correct you here. It was my media adviser who agreed to this interview. If you can’t get your facts straight, no wonder you keep misquoting Tony Abbott about the ‘no cuts to the ABC and SBS’ that he’s alleged to have said.” http://theaimn.com/misheard-tony-didnt-say-no-cuts-abc-said-no-grubs-abc/ [b]5. Pope runs moral template over G20[/b] Bruce Duncan. 11/17/2014 Pope Francis has outlined a sharp moral template for world leaders at the G20 meeting in Brisbane. In a letter to the current chair of the G20, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Pope warned that “many lives are at stake”, including from “severe malnutrition”, as he highlighted the values and policy priorities needed for the global economy. Francis regarded the Global Financial Crisis as “a form of aggression” equally serious and real as the extremist attacks in the Middle East. He specifically condemned abuses in unconstrained speculation and maximising profits as “the final criterion of all economic activity.” http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2740 [b] 6. Tony Abbott seeks closer security ties with Superpower [/b] Kaye Lee. November 20, 2014 An insider has revealed to the AIMN that representatives of Tony Abbott are in negotiations with representatives of God at the Vatican regarding enhanced counter-terrorism surveillance. It is understood that Cardinal Pell is arguing for an ISDS (Individual Sin Disclosure Statute) to be included which would see all confessions taped and the information held for two years. http://theaimn.com/tony-abbott-seeks-closer-security-ties-with-superpower/ [b] 7. The Gospel According to Bolt [/b] John Lord. November 20, 2014 Following on from the grilling Alan Jones gave Tony Abbott on his talkback program. Andrew Bolt decided on Tuesday to weigh into the discussion about the poor performance of the government. At first glance one might say, fair enough. Putting aside the fact that Bolt and Jones write on the basis of payment for controversy, Bolt does make some valid points. He covers a wide range of topics from foreign policy to media bias. I think I agree more often than not. Did I just say that? http://theaimn.com/the-gospel-according-to-bolt/ [b]8. It’s Time for Abbott to Step Down [/b] John Kelly. November 18, 2014 Surely when Alan Jones, one of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s most fervent supporters, gives him a grilling on radio, it is time to say enough is enough. For whatever reason the talkback radio host found it necessary to take Abbott to task on the issue of the free trade agreement with China, it was enough to ask: if his friends are unhappy, isn’t it time someone tapped him on the shoulder? http://theaimn.com/time-abbott-step/ [b]9. The incredible shrinking Malcolm Turnbull and the ABC Sell-out[/b] David Donovan. 20 November 2014, 10:00am In a clear breach of an explicit pre-election promise by Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull has slashed the ABC’s budget — but don’t expect 7.30's Leigh Sales to hold him to account. The only way to understand Australian politics is with a strong case of cognitive dissonance. Follies and faults that in one side are pilloried relentlessly are excused and glossed over when committed by the other. https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/malcolm-turnbull-and-the-abc-sell-out,7111 [b]10. From selfies to climate change: the #G20 debate on Twitter[/b] Peta Mitchell; Axel Bruns; Darryl Woodford, and Katie Prowd. 20 November 2014 The G20 Summit that brought many of the world’s most important leaders to Brisbane last weekend was also a major Twitter event. Australian and international users expressed their concerns over the appearance… http://theconversation.com/from-selfies-to-climate-change-the-g20-debate-on-twitter-34072 [b] 11. ABC budget cuts will hit media innovation[/b] Jonathon Hutchinson. 20 November 2014, Of the many media organisations making the transition towards digital, the ABC is one of the most advanced. So in the face of a $254 million budget, or “back offices” cut, as Communications Minister Malcolm… http://theconversation.com/abc-budget-cuts-will-hit-media-innovation-34433 [b]12. ABC feels pain of broken promise: prepare for cut-price broadcasting[/b] Brian McNair, 19 November 2014 Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a further cut to Australia’s public broadcasters. The ABC’s budget will be slashed around 4.6% per year, or A$254 million in total, over the next… http://theconversation.com/abc-feels-pain-of-broken-promise-prepare-for-cut-price-broadcasting-34427 [b]13. Koala diplomacy: Australian soft power saves the day at G20[/b] Susan Harris Rimmer, 18 November 2014 Never before has Australia been more at the heart of global affairs. Here in Brisbane we have finished our year as G20 President, with the G20 leaders presenting their communiqué. A series of significant… http://theconversation.com/koala-diplomacy-australian-soft-power-saves-the-day-at-g20-34147 [b]14. The ABC Cuts Are Not A Budget Tidy Up, They're About Revenge [/b] Ben Eltham. 20 Nov 2014 The public broadcaster does an incredible job of holding the political middle ground. That's exactly why the Bolts and Albrechtsons of the world hate it so much http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=355c252639&e=0a1e2bdeb8 [b]15. Australians Are Counter-Trolling Christopher Pyne's ABC Petition [/b] Max Chalmers. 20 Nov 2014 The Minister for Education tried to start a people's movement. It didn't work. Max Chalmers reports. http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=0cece702ac&e=0a1e2bdeb8 [b]16. 'The Adolescent Country': A Peculiar Meld Of The Obvious And The Obviously Untrue [/b] Richard King. 19 Nov 2014 Peter Hartcher's recent paper argues Abbott's foreign policy successes have rightly earned him a domestic dividend. Richard King begs to differ. http://newmatilda.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=bcde3b960b33e25d0c003ebc8&id=e4e3216149&e=0a1e2bdeb8

Casablanca

21/11/2014[b]The ABC[/b] [b]ABC managing director Mark Scott admits many jobs will go in cuts[/b] Bevan Shields and Stephanie Peatling. November 21, 2014 - 6:16AM The $254 million to be slashed from the ABC's budget dwarfs the $59 million in savings identified in a recent efficiency review, Mark Scott has revealed during an impassioned defence of the public broadcaster and its staff. The ABC managing director used a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Thursday night to question the rationale behind sweeping cuts unveiled by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abc-managing-director-mark-scott-admits-many-jobs-will-go-in-cuts-20141120-11qked.html [b]Grattan on Friday: Government should tone down ideology and turn up common sense[/b] Michelle Grattan. 21 November, 2014 Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, usually sharp-witted and articulate, entered an Orwellian zone this week. Trying to explain away Tony Abbott’s pre-election promise of “no cuts to the ABC or SBS… http://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-government-should-tone-down-ideology-and-turn-up-common-sense-34490 [b]The ABC Cuts Are Not A Budget Tidy Up, They're About Revenge[/b] Ben Eltham. 20 Nov 2014 The public broadcaster does an incredible job of holding the political middle ground. That's exactly why the Bolts and Albrechtsens of the world hate it so much. https://newmatilda.com/2014/11/20/abc-cuts-are-not-budget-tidy-theyre-about-revenge [b]The ABC is not a Business[/b] Binoy Kampmark. 20 November, 2014 Governments are tempted to use budgetary accountability as a neat cover for corporatisation of public utilities. As public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS do not inhabit the same philosophical territory as Sky News or Channel 7. Yet the ABC's cuts are based on an efficiency report prepared by a financial officer from the commercial media. It does not seem relevant that balanced budgets do not deliver educated audiences. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=42319#.VG54a8k4WSo

Ad astra

21/11/2014Casablanca You have given us a rich string of links to relish, which I shall enjoy when time permits. Thank you yet again.

Jason

21/11/2014<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/CliveFPalmer">@CliveFPalmer</a> was to be our guest on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Insiders?src=hash">#Insiders</a> but withdrew. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/auspol?src=hash">#auspol</a></p>&mdash; Kellie Mayo (@KelMayo) <a href="https://twitter.com/KelMayo/status/535656160615866368">November 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>On <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/insiders?src=hash">#insiders</a> this Sun Nov 23, Barrie Cassidy interviews <a href="https://twitter.com/DavidLeyonhjelm">@DavidLeyonhjelm</a> 9am ABC &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/ABCNews24">@ABCNews24</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/auspol?src=hash">#auspol</a></p>&mdash; Kellie Mayo (@KelMayo) <a href="https://twitter.com/KelMayo/status/535654701304262656">November 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>She&#39;s back! <a href="https://twitter.com/annabelcrabb">@annabelcrabb</a> returns to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Insiders?src=hash">#Insiders</a> couch this week, along with Niki Savva &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/andrewprobyn">@andrewprobyn</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/auspol?src=hash">#auspol</a></p>&mdash; Insiders ABC (@InsidersABC) <a href="https://twitter.com/InsidersABC/status/535572419537145856">November 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

2353

21/11/2014A fitting tribute to Wayne Goss performed by Wayne Goss (with a bit of help from Frank Sinatra) from Roy & HG's "Club Buggery" in 1996. Wayne Goss' memrial service was today. http://youtu.be/-vEezOXpVdU

Ad astra

22/11/2014Folks Bernard Keane has written a blistering commentary on Tony Abbott in today’s [i]Crikey: [b]Coalition's mid-term blues deepen as Abbott looks back to McMahon[/b].[/i] “[i]The Abbott government is in deep, deep trouble. With just two weeks remaining in the parliamentary year, it faces ending 2014 on an even lower note than last year, when its poor start to government was put down to early nerves. As the year draws to a close, the talk will be of a turnaround in 2015, just as 12 months ago we were hearing how the new year was going to bring a better performance. "Mid-term blues" will be cited. A reshuffle will again be speculated upon, with the hope it can spark a turnaround. But whether this outfit is good enough to deliver a turnaround is unclear. “The problem is, there are no longer easy options for a political recovery. The government has played the national security card already, without great success, and as a result has now embarked on a seemingly futile, endless military campaign abroad and a debate at home to convince Australians to let it tax them in order to spy on them. “Last week was intended to showcase what is supposed to be Abbott's other strong suit, foreign policy. But the denialist corner Abbott has painted himself into on climate change and his self-inflicted defeat in trying to keep it off the G20 agenda left the government embarrassed. Its pain over Barack Obama's speech was palpable -- some state and federal Coalition MPs ran to the in-house newsletter The Australian to whine about how mean the President had been to them. Thus, the side of politics that even more cravenly kowtows to the United States than Labor was suddenly grumpy that our feudal overlord had mistreated them. What a pity none of that scepticism applied to the US invitation to return to Iraq. “And there was that bizarre opening speech Abbott delivered to the leader's retreat last Saturday, in which someone appeared to have given him the notes for an LNP fundraiser speech over prawn cocktails and XXXX at a Sunshine Coast RSL. Boasting of how he had repealed the carbon tax and stopped the "illegal boats", Abbott spoke of how he was "building roads in particular" and had got the budget "back under control" -- about 72 hours after his Treasurer had admitted the deficit was blowing out again -- before complaining about being unable to get his GP co-payment through the Senate. “Abbott at that point was nearing the McMahon Moment -- the point in Australian politics when someone becomes a figure of open ridicule, their unfitness for the job exposed, their pretensions to leadership mocked. It is a moment from which few ever recover. Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett did -- "Boofhead", universally mocked after his first stint as opposition leader, returned as a kind of conservative Keating, hellbent on delivering major reform as both good policy and good politics. John Howard sort of did; "why on earth does this man bother?" The Bulletin mocked in 1988, and we got the answer eight years later, in spades. Such periods of derision, followed by a spell in the wilderness, can be seen as Churchill-style preludes to greatness, if only for those willing to stick it out. “But not so if you're already prime minister. “This week, at least there were no Billy McMahon moments: instead, three international visitors, all handled competently by Abbott, and a free trade agreement with China that impressed the press gallery despite the dearth of detail or evidence of its economic benefits. But this foreign policy idyll was ruined by a rude eruption of domestic politics, via a truly dire Newspoll and a major body blow on Wednesday over FOFA, delivered by Senators Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir. That coincided with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull being sent out to announce punitive cuts to the ABC and SBS and explain away a blatant lie by the Coalition as something taken out of "context". Labor will be suitably grateful to Turnbull -- the word "context" will be heard a lot at the next election campaign. “The week also saw a noticeable adjustment in language on climate change, as if his APEC-G20 mugging had prompted a re-evaluation of how Abbott -- a point-blank denialist using the figleaf of "Direct Action" as electoral protection on the issue -- should play the politics of climate action. After his meeting with French President Francois Hollande, he declared a wish for next year's Paris conference to produce binding agreements and claimed that "Australia has a very good story to tell on climate change", a claim true up until this year. He even boasted about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which it is still government policy to abolish. “But Abbott has nowhere to go on climate action. His entire path to the prime ministership, first in destroying Malcolm Turnbull over an emissions trading scheme, then destroying Julia Gillard over a carbon price, has been shaped around a rejection of the existence of climate change or the need to do anything serious about it. He is Australian climate denialism's standard-bearer, and the reason Obama's speech so infuriated Liberals is because the President shone a spotlight on Abbott, mid-stride, flag of irrationality held high, as he sought to prevent the G20 from discussing climate change (it's not an economic issue, apparently). Even a determined effort by Abbott to play catch-up on the issue is unlikely to get traction with voters -- he has devoted too much energy previously to explaining how opposed he is to climate action to now successfully pretend he gives a damn. “So where does Abbott go from here? The budget, long since a political albatross around his neck, is deteriorating -- this week, the iron ore price fell to $70 a tonne, half its level at the start of the year and, like thermal coal, back to its 2009 price, meaning the government's two favourite industries are likely to further exacerbate Joe "surpluses are in our DNA" Hockey's deficit blowout. Voters seem either unhappy with Abbott's international performance or, more likely, simply not interested in it -- on the list of issues that voters rank as important to them, foreign policy barely features. And the knack the government has recently acquired of securing legislative deals with PUP leader Clive Palmer now counts for nought with Jacqui Lambie on the loose. “Effective leaders -- a Hawke, a Keating, a Howard -- turn adversity into opportunity. But at the moment Abbott's prime ministerial precedent appears drawn from a little earlier than those men. 1971-72, to be specific. At some point, all that jockeying to replace Hockey as Abbott's heir apparent might take on a much more immediate significance.”[/i] http://media.crikey.com.au/dm/newsletter/dailymail_ec2c1148323a85b71a22bc86d421c0a1.html And so say all of us!

Ken

22/11/2014Ad While I would like Abbott still to be PM at the next election, because that will almost ensure a Labor victory, there is the possibility of a change of leadership but even that may not help the LNP. Labor was attacked viciously for changing a first term PM. The media wouldn't make as much of an issue of it with the LNP but the voters will remember. And who do they replace him with? Turnbull has always rated highly with the electorate but has been given the poison chalice by Abbott. I think Turnbull has lost credibility with his efforts to be a 'good' Cabinet minister and defend the indefensible -- such as his recent defence of the ABC/SBS cuts (that Keane referred to). Hockey was once in the mix but I think, after the budget, he's gone as a saleable candidate. He has made too much of the 'end of the age of entitlement' when voters can see that only applies to them and not to business. Morrison and Brandis apparently think they are in the mix but neither would be saleable to the electorate, especially after the job they have done (or not done) in their portfolios. The most saleable candidate at the moment is Julie Bishop but she carries baggage as well. Will she be attacked, like Gillard was, as a childless career woman -- not by the media -- but again the socially conservative voter will have some questions about it. And whether she can move from doing a 'reasonable' job as Foreign minister to handling all the domestic issues is problematic. It has often been the case in Australian politics (at least in recent decades) that the PM should have had some experience in economic portfolios (even if just as opposition spokesperson). Perhaps that's one of Abbott's problems -- he lacks such experience. So Bishop could end up the same. Whoever is leader, I think the Liberals are in big trouble because they have moved so far to the right, become neo-liberals, and have shown their tue colours with this government. And the electorate don't like what they are seeing. Unless they Liberals move back to a better balance with more small 'L' liberals, they will become unelectable in their own right. They will only win, as they did last time, when the electorate decides it has had enough of Labor: in other words, only when Labor shoots itself in the foot, will the LNP be elected. They seem to think that the neo-liberal/neo-con approach is popular with a large proportion of the population. It may be in America but not in Australia, as the LNP is discovering. So, as long as they keep thinking that, things are looking good for Labor -- whoever the LNP elect as leader.

Casablanca

22/11/2014Jason,(November 21. 2014 04:31 PM) Looks like you supped on alphabet soup!

Ad astra

22/11/2014Ken My wife remarked this morning that Tony Abbott is a classic example of ‘[i]The Peter Principle[/i]’, one that asserts that managers rise to the level of their incompetence, the direct result of the [i]‘selection of a candidate for a position being based on the candidate's performance in his or her current role rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role.’[/i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle Although progressives saw Abbott’s performance as Opposition Leader as vindictive, slogan-driven, and policy barren, the media cheerleaders, particularly in the Murdoch media, lauded it as ‘clever’ because it was a ‘successful tactic’. They saw him as a competent opposition leader. His tactics got their man into power, which to them was all that counted. Now it is dawning on them that, as PM, Abbott is incompetent. We predicted this endlessly in [i]TPS[/i] pieces and comments. We predicted that he would be weak and vengeful. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2013/08/25/Say-no-no-no-to-Tony-Abbott.aspx His weakness has shown up over and again, notably at the G20 where all his hairy-chested, shirt-fronting talk evaporated as he cuddled koalas with Vladimir Putin. His vengefulness is evidenced by the plethora of Royal Commissions he has established, and most recently by his cuts to the ABC and SBS budgets. His incompetence is manifest every day as he makes mistake after mistake, misjudgment after misjudgment, and makes foot-in-mouth utterances over and again. All the time, the economy and this nation’s standing in the global panorama deteriorate steadily. What is now becoming more obvious by the day is that his sycophants see this too, and are dismayed that their man is looking so weak, inept and stupid. When the likes of Andrew Bolt express disappointment; when Alan Jones chides him; when Michelle Grattan criticizes his behaviour; when Bernard Keane gives him such a drubbing in today’s [i]Crikey[/i] (see above); and other journalists join in, as documented in John Menadue piece of 17 November: http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2738, Abbott ought to be shaking in his boots. If he weren’t, that would be a measure on his lack of insight. Abbott has risen to his level of incompetence. He was seen to be suitable for his high office because of his perceived competence as opposition leader, although even the most superficial appraisal of what was needed to be PM revealed long ago that he didn’t have the needed attributes, the required aptitude. His supporters were confident he would ‘grow into the job’. They argued that the first year in government was always awkward and he would soon adapt. He has had well over a year to adapt, but his performance is deteriorating rather than improving. His popularity is in the doldrums despite small lifts following his national security and international initiatives. He manages to negate every perceived positive. The last [i]Newspoll[/i] left the Coalition trailing by ten points, and the less-than-impressive Bill Shorten is matching him in the PM stakes. If the Coalition loses the Victorian State election next Saturday, as the latest polls suggest it might, that will be largely due to the ‘Abbott factor’. Victorians, appalled by what the Coalition is doing federally, seem to be saying: we don’t want that sort of behaviour here. Abbott is an albatross around Denis Napthine’s neck, cursed by Abbott’s economic policies, his budget unfairness, his ‘petrol tax’, his cuts to the national broadcasters, his attacks on university student fees, (paralleled by Napthine’s cuts to TAFE), and his climate change skepticism and defiance, which is now eroding confidence in Abbott among the general public. You raise the question of an alternative to Abbott. The performance of Hockey, Morrison, Pyne, Hunt and Brandis gives Coalition backers no joy; and the ever-popular-with-the-public’ Malcolm Turnbull stands no change. All that’s left in senior ranks is their best performer, Julie Bishop, but whether conservatives could cope with someone with double X chromosomes, who is unmarried and ‘deliberately barren’, is anyone’s guess. The Coalition is in a mess with an incompetent leader and paltry alternatives. Who can guess how this disastrous situation will play out?

Casablanca

23/11/2014[b]Tony Abbott's drop and run tactic: Infatuated with the present, blind to the future[/b] Richard Denniss. November 22, 2014 Tony Abbott was made for "drop and run" politics. A key part of media training for politicians, the "drop and run" is a smooth strategy for deflecting a question, promoting a three-word slogan and moving on to attack your opponent. Dodge the query, never dwell on details, just drop your message and shift debate to the weakness of the other side.As opposition leader, Tony Abbott employed the drop and run technique with brutal effect. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-abbotts-drop-and-run-tactic-infatuated-with-the-present-blind-to-the-future-20141121-11rfse.html

Casablanca

23/11/2014Hi Swordsters, Due to the increase in the focus on the poor performance of Abbott and the speculation about Julie Bishop as the new heir apparent I have but together a list of articles about Julie Bishop at: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Julie-Bishop.aspx

Ken

23/11/2014thanks Casablanca for the Bishop links As I suggested in my earlier comment, she is also carrying baggage and that is picked up by a number of the commentators. And as John Menadue points out, most foreign ministers appear to have been successful because they do not upset any local constituencies. I think the first half of 2015 will be very interesting. If there is not a turn-around in the LNP polling, the pressure will increase for a change -- probably by about September/October so that a new leader has about 12 months before the election is due. But the LNP will have so many issues to consider, I'm not sure it will be brave enough to make the change.

2353

23/11/2014Ken, I'm inclined to agree with you. It will be interesting to see if the LNP do try to deflect blame again by changing leaders - then attempting to sheet the blame at Abbott in a similar way to the ALP did to Rudd - regardless of the fact [sarcasm mode] it has worked so well in the past [/sarcasm mode] for both the LNP and ALP.

Casablanca

23/11/2014Ken, John Menadue is about the only person not mesmerised by the glitz and glam surrounding Bishop, J. In one article he examines 'how much substance and how much achievement' there has been in Bishop's handling of her portfolio. He notes, 'The media which is so often about politics and spin rarely looks beyond style and presentation...It is important to distinguish between style and substance'. Menadue's also puts Australia's role on significant international issues under the microscope in a second article, [i]We pass by on the other side[/i]. He points out that 'While we are one of the richest and most privileged people in the world but our recent performance on Ebola, foreign aid and refugees tells the world a quite different story'. Some may not be aware of John Menadue's impressive work history. He was Private Secretary to Opposition Leader, Gough Whitlam before spending time at News Ltd as a General Manager and then returning to the public service as Secretary of Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was Ambassador to Japan, then returned to head up the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and then the Department of Trade. He was CEO of Qantas... http://www.johnmenadue.com/biography/ Julie Bishop – substance and style John Menadue . 18 November, 2014 http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2730 'We pass by on the other side' John Menadue 16 November, 2014. http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=2726
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?