Abbott’s amazing amnesia on insulation inquiry

Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, developed an amazing amnesia about the repeated Opposition calls for a Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (HIP).

Just 53 days after the call on June 16, 2010 by Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt, for a Royal Commission and 24 days after the July 15, 2010 majority Senate committee report recommending the same thing, Abbott launched the Coalition 2010 election campaign in Brisbane on August 8, 2010.

The only reference in his policy speech to insulation was the following:

“Within a month of taking office, the Coalition will reassure people frightened that Labor’s insulation batts might burn down their homes. In addition to the existing inspection programme, we will reimburse householders who organize their own inspections by qualified tradesmen and further reimburse householders whose insulation has to be removed.” So, not only does the idea of a Royal Commission disappear from the Coalition radar, so too does Hunt’s calls that every home “should be inspected” let alone “has to be inspected”. In fact, the Coalition adopts Labor’s inspection programme and tells householders who have any worry about the safety of homes that they can arrange their own inspections by qualified tradesmen, then seek reimbursement and the Coalition will reimburse those whose insulation has to be removed.

Suddenly, it is all right for “the protections that have been recommended and the warnings given by the Melbourne Fire Brigade, the National Electrical and Communications Association and the Electrical Trades Union” to be ignored.

Attention span of gnats
Mainstream media journalists, together with radio shock jocks, gave plenty of publicity to the various Opposition calls for a Royal Commission into the HIP. Was it incompetence, bias, or the fact that most of these journalists seem to have the attention span of gnats that less than two months after Hunt’s call and a little more than three weeks after the Senate majority report call for the Royal Commission, Abbott was not questioned about this omission or, indeed, of why it was no longer necessary to inspect every home?

Then, some 15 weeks after Abbott’s policy speech where there was no commitment to either a Royal Commission or inspection of every house, Hunt repeated his call for a Royal Commission when he said in the House on November 22, 2010:

“Four young lives were lost through association with this program. The coroner’s cases will follow. There have been prosecutions, but it is absolutely clear that there have never been a full and thorough investigation of the linkages that this program has had to those tragedies. That is why the opposition fully supports a royal commission. The Auditor- General was not empowered to examine the linkages between these tragedies and the program: the quality of the program design at ministerial level, the execution of ministerial conduct, or any of those elements. The Auditor-General was only empowered to deal with the program delivery by the administration, not by the executive. It is a fundamental failing of transparency under this government and there must be, and should be, a full royal commission, and we will prosecute that case going forward.”

Besides being factually wrong, besides ignoring the fact that the Opposition squibbed calling for a Royal Commission in its 2010 election policy speech, this attempt to justify a Royal Commission by using the four deaths is squalid political opportunism.

Far from there being no full and thorough investigation of the deaths, the three Queensland deaths resulted in the companies involved being charged with breaching Queenslandʼs Electrical Safety Act 2002 and being fined $135,000, $100,000 and $100,000 for these breaches.

One company was fined on September 17, 2010 (two months before Huntʼs statement in Parliament) and another was charged on May 16, 2010 (some six months before) and a third was fined $100,000 on August 30, 2011. The charges against the three companies following investigations by Queenslandʼs Electrical Safety Office and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, both part of the Stateʼs Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

Installation safety a State matter
Hunt obviously could not bring himself to acknowledge that the responsibility for ensuring safety in installing insulation rested with the States and Territories under their occupational health and safety and fair trading laws. He could not accept what the Hawke report said about workplace safety, namely “clearly there would seem to have been some unsafe work practices by employers operating under the HIP.”

The responsibilities for workplace safety with the HIP were spelled out to the Senate inquiry on February 22, 2010 by Robyn Kruk, then Secretary, Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts in her evidence to the Opposition-dominated Senate inquiry at ECA 3, when she said:

“Firstly, the department took advice on technical, safety and compliance issues. They consulted with the industry and training bodies. They took external advice on risk assessment and they had a governance structure with external representation to ensure a wide range of views could be rolled out as the program commenced. Secondly, the department had a clear design whereby the contractual relationship was between the household and the installer. The installers were not contracted by the government to install insulation under the program. Information was, however, given to the householders to support them to make informed choices. Thirdly, as I have indicated, we relied on the existing state and territory workplace, occupational health and safety and fair trading laws. Employers in the insulation industry have always been required to meet these laws. Employers have a clear obligation and duty of care to their employees, and where a householder is unable to resolve a concern over product quality or the installation job with the installer they have the recourse to the state or territory fair trading bodies.”

Hunt’s call for a Royal Commission in his speech on June 16, 2010 relied heavily on the fact that there had been 174 house fires in the 50 weeks from the effective start of the HIP on July 1, 2009 until June 16, 2010.

Another 50 weeks later, on June 2, 2011, Hunt issued a media release headed “Scrutiny denied: Government Blocks Royal Commission into Insulation Debacle” in which he referred to his private member’s bill to set up a Royal Commission (his third attempt) being voted down in the House of Representatives.

In this media release, Hunt went on to say: “The $2.45 billion insulation scheme was a massive waste of taxpayers’ money, and was linked to 200 house fires, 1500 electrified roofs, and four tragedies.”

Huge fall in figures for fires
Hunt seems blissfully unaware of the actual meaning of the house fires figure he was quoting. On Hunt’s figures, the total number of house fires dropped from the 174 in the 50 weeks from July 1, 2009 to June 16, 2010 to 26 in the next 50 weeks to June 2, 2011 to give a total of 200. Actually, the official figure at June 1, 2011 was 207 fires, but this still means that in the second 50 weeks the total had dropped from 174 to 33.

Apologists for Hunt can forget any argument that the end of the HIP in February 2010 made it inevitable that the fire numbers would drop after June 16, 2010.

The reason is that Hunt went to considerable lengths in his June 2010 speech to quote various sources predicting an increase in insulation fires.

He quotes Commander Ian Hunter, head of the Melbourne Fire Brigade (MFB) fire units, saying on March 16, 2010:

“My gut feeling is that what weʼre seeing is a bit like a war zone – the war might be over but all the mines are still there” .

Hunt also quotes fire investigator Rod East as telling radio 3AW on May 31, 2010 that he was worried about the risk of even more insulation fires over winter. When East was asked by the radio interviewer whether he believed that there could be further deaths from home insulation fires and whether they were inevitable, East is reported to have said: “Unfortunately, yes.”

(It was misleading, to say the least, of Hunt to quote this response and the radio interviewer in asking about whether “he believed there would be further deaths from home insulation fires and whether they were inevitable”. Hunt would have known, and the interviewer should have known, that there had been no confirmed deaths from insulation fires attributed to the HIP. Hunt was obviously unconcerned about having the impression of home insulation fires causing deaths being recorded in Hansard).

Hunt also refers to a statement by MFB Commander Frank Stockton on the same day ( May 31, 2010) saying there had been a “marked increase” in insulation fires and warning that with winter arriving “these fires wonʼt stop” because “more lights were being left on for longer which would lead to more roof insulation fires”.

(In fact, figures supplied to the CSIRO by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council show that in 2010 there were 31.5 fires attributed to HIP in January and February, 32.5 in the autumn months of March, April and May and 12 in the winter months of June, July and August – (see Table 5.5 for months 40, 41 and 42 on page 36 of the CSIRO report).

Purpose was to create community fear
Huntʼs purpose in quoting these officials in June 2010 can only be to create fear in the community by leaving the impression that there was going to be a rise in home insulation fires, particularly in the coming winter months.

Yet in his June 2011 media release, Hunt fails to set the record straight about the dramatic fall in house fires, nor explain how his earlier claims (and those of the experts he quoted) just did not eventuate in the 12 months after they made them.

Far from a rise in home insulation fires after June 2010, the official figures quoted above show that in the 2010-11 year, the total number of house fires was 33, a fall of 141 on the previous 50 weeks. (To put that in perspective, the generally accepted incidence of home insulation fires before the HIP was 70-80 for around a maximum of 80,000 insulations a year).

The CSIRO figures using official fire reports, which ends at December 2010, show that in the six months to December 31, 2010, there were 17.5 fires attributed in HIP homes – 12 definite and 11 classed as unsure of which the CSIRO allocates half to the HIP. This indicates the accuracy of the 33 total for the full 2010-11 year.

The Opposition, with enthusiastic backing from large sections of the mainstream media, carried out a successful (though unprincipled) campaign against the HIP. It was a crass war on a program that was much more successful than most people believed.

Most of the media adopted an unquestioning attitude, simply regurgitating the untruths of Abbott and Hunt.

Why Victoria had the most fires
Just to clear up some other questions that might arise.

The first is that the CSIRO report (commissioned by the Federal Government) explains why Victoria with 270,431 (24.4 per cent) of the then 1,108,151 insulations records 50.2 per cent of the then 207 confirmed fires and has a much higher ratio than either NSW (with fewer fires and more insulations) or Queensland (with less than one-quarter of the fires but only slightly fewer insulations).

The CSIRO says: “Further the safety risk rate is higher in Victoria and the ACT relative to the other states. In particular, about half the differences attributable to States are in fact attributable to the presence of previous insulation, which occurs in a higher proportion of dwellings in these states. The presence of previous insulation increases the safety risk rate by approximately a factor of 2.5.”

On page 94, the CSIRO Risk Profile Analysis shows that Victoria had 53.0 per cent of dwellings with previous insulation, NSW had 19.8 per cent and Queensland 8.2 per cent.

Another point that needs to be made is that there still has not been any charge over the death of Marcus Wilson, 19, during the Sydney heat wave on November 20, 2009. Both Hunt and Ray Hadley referred to this death in an interview on February 7, 2011.

Apparently it did not occur to Hunt, a shadow Cabinet Minister with two staff, to try to find out why before going on the Hadley show. Nor did Hadley, who would have the resources of 2GB to follow up on this case.

But then, why bother with trying to provide accurate information when they can play political football!

The Opposition, with enthusiastic backing from large sections of the mainstream media, did succeed in its unprincipled campaign against the HIP. It was a crass war on a program that was successful in providing jobs for unskilled workers at the height of the global financial crisis. The program also resulted in a lower rate of insulation fires than previously.

Articles demonstrating the success of the HIP can be found in the analysis of the CSIRO report by Possum Comitatus on April 24, 2011 and “A mess? A shambles? A disaster?” by Rodney Tiffen, Emeritus Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney.

These articles show just how how unprincipled has been the political campaign against the HIP, almost from its inception. Abbott and Hunt waged this campaign with claims such as “houses catching fire right around Australia” and by demonstrating a blatant disregard for truth or fairness in the pursuit of their political mission.

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Patricia WA

16/02/2012Thanks, JohnL! Amnesia? Have people really forgotten how applicable this para of yours is to the Home Insulation Program i.e. that [quote].......mainstream media, carried out a successful (though unprincipled) campaign against the HIP. It was a crass war on a program that was much more successful than most people believed..... [/quote] The Opposition with their media friends have tried a similar con job on readers and viewers about the BER. But too many of us have children and grandchildren and go to speech nights in beautiful new school halls or help out out with reading programs in well resourced libraries that didn't exist before 2007. We haven't forgotten, and we are reminding people who may have. Similarly there is a generation of well informed and well educated young people out there who aren't going to buy the lie about the "Carbon Tax" which they know represents a Clean Energy Future for them and for their children's children.

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16/02/2012JohnL Many thanks for Part 2 of your piece on the HIP. I’m sure our people will enjoy this one as much as the first. I have drawn on your two parts in preparing my next piece, which I will post on Sunday evening. It is titled: [i]Tony Abbott, we are sick of your lies.[/i]

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16/02/2012Folks A thunderstorm is coming. I'm turning off my computer.

2353

16/02/2012Again why if an amateur blogger can find out this information - why can't the professional information getters (a.k.a Journalists) find it out and report it? The media's treatment of the Government on this and out economic stimuli matters is deplorable. I wonder if Media Watch would be interested?

lyn

16/02/2012Hi JohnL Thankyou so very much for part 2 of your HIP report. Everybody is saying how well researched and factual your work is. I am saying how lucky we are to have you on TPS, your work has attracted some very interesting comments from our readers. BER was a success. Shame about the media the same as the HIP, it's not just the HIP it's everything, it's anything, continual knocking the Governemnt. Tent Embassy turned into a media knock our Government when Abbott started it all with his morning speech. Media reporting nothing about Abbott now. Just new revelations have come to hand somebody said something to someone, Here are some articles that may interest you:- [i]Price check on set-top boxes From: The Australian February 16, 2012 [/i] WHOOPS. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy is accusing this newspaper of [b]intellectual dishonesty [/b]for reporting that the TV set-top boxes given to pensioners have cost an average of $698 to install. With due respect to the minister, and the Australian National University where he gained his economics degree, we stand by our story. It is yet another program characterised by waste and questionable probity. [b]It joins other troubled schemes such as pink batt insulation, Grocery Choice, Fuel Watch and aspects of Building the Education Revolution.[/b] At a time of fiscal consolidation at home and austerity abroad, you would think the government would be less eager to waste money. Based on the available numbers, the scheme is costing double the original estimate and 30 times the cost of set-top boxes at stores. It is worth noting that a lot of the bureaucratic costs of the scheme are front-loaded in the early stages of the program. [b]Some critics may accuse this newspaper's campaign against government waste and mismanagement as reflecting a "Tea Party" ideology[/b]. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/price-check-on-set-top-boxes/story-e6frg71x-1226272114220 [i]Sugar hit of fiscal stimulus isn't worth the weight by: Judith Sloan, Contributing Economics Editor From: The Australian February 11, 2012 12:00AM [/i] The government's stimulus package was not confined to cash handouts. The second phase involved the [b]ill-fated home insulation program [/b]and the Building the Education Revolution, whereby every primary school qualified for a limited range of new buildings. The rationale was to shore up the construction industry in the face of weaker private demand http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/sugar-hit-of-fiscal-stimulus-isnt-worth-the-weight/story-fnbkvnk7-1226268187359 In the Senate on Monday, you see John they still have incurable Amnesia? Senator Birmingham:- [b]"The Home Insulation Program was obviously a complete disaster [/b]but it is astounding that Australians are still, even today, paying the price of the Government having ignored countless warnings about the conduct of this program," Senator Birmingham said today. http://senatorbirmingham.com.au/MediaCentre/MediaReleases/tabid/62/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/681/Taxpayers-still-owed-millions-over-home-insulation.aspx

Casablanca

16/02/2012I seem to recall that the gun buy-back scheme instituted by Howard early in his term paid out more money than there were guns. Apart from death and taxes, the only thing that we can be sure of is that for every 'mis-step', real or imagined, by this Government, there is a matching or worse one by previous Coalition Governments.

TalkTurkey

16/02/2012http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=this%20old%20house%20youtube&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDYQtwIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D0WhLhF12TBE&ei=sdA8T_v9Au-jiAfMmJXYBA&usg=AFQjCNFrJdxqLCrC8n7Vcp6WjOuTUFB5Lg Tony Abbortt is a marvel! Tony Abbortt knows one trick! Tony Abbortt’ll do a fat lot In a game of Egg ’n’ Stick! Tony Abbortt will undo things, He will roll the bad laws back When the Coalons get the numbers Which alas they sadly lack! He don't want no fair new health laws He don't want no NBNs Ain’t got dough for education If it ain’t for Abbortt’s friends Won’t have aid to help the workers Doing proper honest jobs Cos he needs it all to subsidise His mobs of yobs and slobs He'll renew the ABCC, He'll undo the Carbon Tax, And repeal the CPRS Cos he doesn't care for facts, He will cut twelve thousand PSA jobs, But he'll lose his soul His whole holiness is gurgling Down a seventy billion hole! Abbortt's leadership is shaky Abbortt’s leadership is stale Abbortt’s friends are getting snaky Cos his leadership’s a Fail They will all soon want to sack him But they’ll say they won’t attack And they’ll all be there to back him Till they stab him in the back! Ain’t a-gonna wear Abbortt much longer Ain’t a-gonna wear Abbortt much more While the Government gets stronger He will soon be out the door Come the [i]Ides[/i]* of September They’ll abandon all restraints He’ll be cactus by November By December he’s’a’ meet the Saints! *Pronounce please [i]iddays[/i] , in Latin = [i]same days[/i], sometimes thought of as the 15th of any month, sometimes as the equinoxes so only 21/22nd of either March (N.Hemisphere’s spring equinox, autumn for us) or September 21/22nd, vice versa of course. My Eye of Time isn’t exactly clear on which. Doesn’t matter. September will be a [i]very[/i] bad month for Abbortt and his yobs.

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16/02/2012Patricia WA You are so right. Thanks Lyn for the links. The [i]Oz[/i] is at it again. Although she purports to be an independent academic in economics, Judith Sloan writes and talks like a Coalition advocate. She sounds like Matthew Franklin. TT Clever verse. I wonder when the MSM will latch onto leadership speculation about Tony Abbott.

NormanK

17/02/2012[b]Political Sword Media Mash[/b] [b]Sugar hit of fiscal stimulus isn't worth the weight[/b] by Judith Sloane Contributing Economics Editor The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/sugar-hit-of-fiscal-stimulus-isnt-worth-the-weight/story-fnbkvnk7-1226268187359 I hope one of our friends on another blog who has a deeper understanding of economics than I do, takes this article to pieces. In the meantime, it is very difficult to sit back and watch this re-writing of history. This is a slightly edited version, the original is behind the paywall so you'll have to do the Google trick if you wish to read it in its entirety. Ms Sloane's words in italics, my comments in bold, all other quotes attributed. [quote]WHEN I was a teenager, there was a popular saying: a minute on your lips, a lifetime on your hips. Now whether or not this is good diet advice, there is a strong element of truth when it comes to government spending undertaken in the name of fiscal stimulus. The short-term boost to output by increasing government expenditure is accompanied by the need to service and ultimately repay the associated debt. As economists are only too wont to point out, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Now the government and a number of commentators continue to peddle the line that the fiscal stimulus programs rolled out in 2008 and 2009 were important to keeping Australia out of recession. According to the Prime Minister's modest assessment, "when the global financial crisis hit we funded the best designed stimulus package in the world. A sophisticated set of targeted and temporary measures kept our country out of recession and grew employment in the hardest global environment." [/quote] [b]No, Ms Sloane, it's not just the assessment of the Prime Minister, a politician with an axe to grind and actions to defend. How about someone recognised as being a leader in his field (current holder of a Nobel Prize for economics) and acknowledged by his peers as an outstanding thinker (a former chief economist at the World Bank)? Joseph Stiglitz also said at the time:[/b] [quote]I did actually study quite a bit the Australian package, and my impression was that it was the best - one of the best-designed of all the advanced industrial countries. ***** ..... what your government did was exactly right. So, Australia had the shortest and shallowest of the downturns of the advanced industrial countries.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2010/s2965891.htm [quote]Mention is even made of 200,000 jobs being "saved" by the fiscal stimulus.[/quote] [b]Indeed, 'mention is made' but once again not by a politician with an agenda but by independent observers. People like the Head of Treasury Martin Parkinson:[/b] [quote]Fiscal policy, we in Treasury estimate, contributed to avoiding the loss of around 200,000 jobs during the GFC. So think about that. Think about the situation if we were standing here now having had 200,000 of our fellow citizens having lost their jobs during the GFC. [/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2011/s3219436.htm [quote]Certainly most commentators would also concede that the aggressive easing of monetary policy and the depreciation of the Australian dollar at the time helped the economy adjust to the external shock.[/quote] [b]Most commentators might very well concede those points but how many will avow that those measures alone would have saved us from recession?[/b] [quote]Something less often mentioned is the flexibility of the labour market that prevailed at the time -- WorkChoices had not yet been replaced -- and the decision by the Australian Fair Pay Commission to freeze minimum wage rates. It was evident a lot of adjustment to the softening labour market took the form of reduced average hours, rather than cuts to jobs.[/quote] [b]Indeed. So one of our first lines of defence against economic turmoil emanating from external sources should be to freeze the wages of the lowest paid workers and to reduce the hours available to our most vulnerable workers? That was bound to be good for the retail sector.[/b] [quote]As the GFC unfolded around the world -- in reality, it was confined to the north Atlantic -- in many ways, the Australian government panicked, fearing that the fallout would extend to our economy.[/quote] [b]Confined to the North Atlantic? The effects of the GFC took $120 billion out of the federal government's budget.[/b] [quote]Mr Swan said $140 billion had been ‘‘ripped’’ from federal government revenue due to global instability, including an extra $20 billion in the six months since the 2011 budget due to the European crisis.[/quote] http://www.smh.com.au/business/europe-turmoil-cuts-140b-from-budget-swan-20120124-1qfdd.html [b]So if that was the impact on government revenue, how huge was the impact on the broader economy? A couple of percentage points off GDP? The mining industry jumped at shadows as well, it would seem, when they slashed their workforce by 15%.[/b] [quote]But the saying, "go early, go hard, go households", did not actually come out of any macroeconomic textbook. It was the result of a perceived failure by the Keating government to act early enough during the 1990s recession. By following this aphorism, the Rudd government sent out cheques to the majority of adults to spend (or save) as they saw fit. There were two rationales for this action. The first was to shore up confidence, although the impact was actually quite ambiguous. Some people might have concluded that things must be really bad if the government is sending them cheques! And, second, the cash handouts were expected to boost consumer spending.[/quote] [b]Yes, some people may have concluded that things must be really bad and according to the best advice available things were really bad. As for the boost in consumer spending, how soon we forget that the retail sector was having kittens as it worried its way into Christmas 2009. But what actually happened?[/b] [quote]Treasurer: Today[/quote] (18 February 2009) [/quote]we've had the December quarter retail sales figures. They show that retail sales increased by a solid 1.8 per cent in terms of value in the December quarter. Just consider that result and compare it to what happened in the United States in the December quarter. Retail sales in the United States in the December quarter fell by seven per cent.[/quote] http://www.treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=transcripts/2009/028.htm&pageID=004&min=wms&Year=&DocType= [quote]In seasonally adjusted volume terms, retail turnover rose 1.1% in the December quarter 2009. This compares with a fall of 0.7% in the September quarter 2009.[/quote] http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbytitle/6C84EDB787C0EC93CA2576D90013230F?OpenDocument [quote]The government's stimulus package was not confined to cash handouts. The second phase involved the ill-fated home insulation program and the Building the Education Revolution, whereby every primary school qualified for a limited range of new buildings. The rationale was to shore up the construction industry in the face of weaker private demand. Of course, the less said about the insulation program the better. But the government is inclined to place a positive spin on the BER program, notwithstanding the inherent inefficiency of funding new buildings in every primary school -- and the large opportunity cost of doing so -- and the fact that very poor value-for-money was obtained, particularly for public schools and in NSW.[/quote] [b]This brings us back to the tens of thousands of jobs saved in the construction industry. As to the 'limited range of buildings', what a stupid snide remark. Providing buildings that come 'off-the-rack' is far far cheaper and much quicker than attempting to tailor-make individual buildings for each and every school. JohnL's articles give the lie to the swipe at the insulation programme. 'Very poor value-for-money' in the BER was found to have occurred in less than 3% of the many thousands of buildings and maintenance regimes provided.[/b] [quote]But as a stimulus spending program, the problem was that the buildings were still being constructed well after the crisis had passed. Indeed, the program was continuing when the resources industry was short of skills and was crying out for staff.[/quote] [b]Millions of unemployed workers in the US and elsewhere might choose to argue that the crisis has still not yet passed. As for the resources industry, perhaps it would be easier to be sympathetic to their needs if they trained more of their own apprentices and didn't dump 15% of their workforce at the first sign of a drop in their profits. Also, the risk of continuing to stimulate once the crisis has passed is that the economy will overheat, inflation will go through the roof, wage claims will escalate and the RBA will be forced to lift interest rates back to pre-GFC levels. Or as Mr Hockey put it in August 2010:[/b] [quote]“But as it turns out the BER (Building the Education Revolution) has been extended into 2012 to address a downturn in 2008,” Mr Hockey said, adding that Labor's stimulus could severely overheat the economy. “If the government continues its massive spending spree with above-trend growth then of course it will be highly inflationary and then interest rates will rise.”[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/labors-claims-about-extent-stimulus-boosted-growth-challenged-by-audit-report/story-fn59niix-1225903819678 [b]These are events which should have unfolded if GFC deniers are right and the stimulus was a waste of money because the economy was going to right itself anyway (presumably on the back of the resources industry) never came to pass. Eighteen months later when Ms Sloane is writing her article we see inflation steady, wages stable and interest rates just above what might be considered ideal. No evidence whatsoever that the stimulus was either too large or too long-lived.[/b] [quote]While economists might want to see spending turned on and off to smooth the business cycle -- and note, not all economists share this Pollyanna view of active demand management -- in political terms, it is simply impossible to cut off a large-scale spending programs, mid-stream. There is also the point that waste is waste. Low quality spending where the costs exceed the benefits must lower per capita income, irrespective of the cyclical movements in the economy.[/quote] [b]This is one of the places where I get a bit lost. 'Low quality spending where the costs exceed the benefits'. What does that mean? That there are no long-term social and economic benefits to be derived from our schools receiving the first major injection of capital spending in my adult life-time? The cost of keeping a couple of hundred thousand people in work and paying taxes instead of drawing welfare payments was too high? Compared with what, may I ask? Mr Stiglitz had a few words to say about waste:[/b] [quote]If you hadn't spent the money, there would have been waste. The waste would have been the fact that the economy would have been weak, there would have been a gap between what the economy could have produced and what it actually produced - that's waste. You would have had high unemployment, you would have had capital assets not fully utilised - that's waste. So your choice was one form of waste verses another form of waste.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2010/s2965891.htm [b]Frankly, the remainder of the article reads like: "I didn't approve of the stimulus programme and whatever means you use to measure its effects I will object to". Ms Sloane finishes as she began: "Oh my God! Look at the debt!"[/b] This is an article by a Coalition wannabe who can see some political advantage in rewriting history. I would like to see it shot down in flames by one of her contemporaries but I won't be putting money on that occurring.

johnL1

17/02/2012Norman K: I think you have done a good job in debunking Judith Sloan's comments. Patricia WA: Thank you for your comments. Lyn: I appreciate your comments and the links you provided.

lyn

17/02/2012TODAY’S LINKS [i]'Queen of No' finally gets her comeuppance-, Petering Time North Coast Voices[/i] my heart fair burst when Speaker Pete finally called to order the unelected paid cheer squad belonging to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and threatened to ban all interjecting advisers – including the chief offender of the moment [b]the Queen of No Peta Credlin [/b] http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/queen-of-no-finally-gets-her.html [i]The greatest BISON of them all: Frank, A Frank View[/i] More people at work today than any time in our Nation’s history – Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.Latest Updates – 16/02/2012:Last month ANZ job advertisement survey Following was posted by Jenauthor over on Pollbludger http://afrankview.net/ [i]Bushfire Bill, The Poll Bludger[/i] We know they believe the [b]BER wasn’t [/b]an unmitigated disaster because they nearly cripple themselves and others trying to shoulder their way into group photos at school hall openings. Ditto for the NBN. And I’d take bets that many of them took [b]free Pink Batts [/b]into their roof cavities as well. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/02/13/newspoll-55-45-to-coalition-3/all-comments/#comment-1159844 [i]The paradox of a presidential prime minister, Tim Dunlop, The Drum[/i] We have drifted to a more presidential style of politics where the public claim some sort of "ownership" of the office of PM, but structurally we remain a parliamentary system under http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3832750.html [i]Media just a pebble in the shoe of Big Mining, Tony Maher, The Drum[/i] Unsophisticated to a fault, with their conspicuous excess, private jets and family trust brawls – it's easy to be distracted by the spectacle and lose sight of the extreme and dangerous agenda http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3832318.html [i]Baby Steps Forward On Health Reform, Ben Eltham, New Matilda[/i] You wouldn’t know it from most of the media coverage, but Julia Gillard had an important win yesterday. Crikey’s Bernard Keane, for instance, has been running the line that the only thing that http://newmatilda.com/2012/02/16/baby-steps-forward-health-reform [i]Is selective media distribution corrupt? [With poll] , The Riotact. Com[/i] Eight years in the Gallery left me wondering at the general ignorance of a high number of Gallery denizens. There certainly used to be a problem with groupthink from the uncertain junior ranks, http://the-riotact.com/is-selective-media-distribution-corrupt-with-poll/64813 [i]Rinehart appoints Plimer to another board, The Power Index[/i] Australia's richest woman also appointed favoured daughter Ginia to the board of Pilbara mining company Hope Downs Iron Ore Pty Ltd, after she was the only child to stick by the mining magnate http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-move/rinehart-appoin-plimer-to-anote-board/201202161037?utm_source= [i]Criticism should be based on fact,Chris Lewis,On Line Opinion[/i] Abjorensen notes Santamaria's thought as being "infused by genuine compassion", Abbott is described as a rogue who is incapable of offering any sensible policy judgment given past comments http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=13254 [i]FLUSHING OUT RUDD: Ex-PM puts Labor in poo with phantom, memory-loss dependent, no-numbers faux challenge, Vex News[/i] It is rare for a Fairfax newspaper letters page to have much wisdom beyond the platitudes of doctors’ wives and favoured http://www.vexnews.com/2012/02/flushing-out-rudd-ex-pm-puts-labor-in-poo-with-phantom-memory-loss-dependent-no-numbers-faux-challenge/ [i]The fantasies and follies of Flint, Barry Everingham, Independent Australia[/i] And surely it is time the membership of ACM realised best thing the ARM has going for it is David Flint, whose pompous, ridiculous, rantings are a disgrace to the cause he has every right http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/republic/the-fantasies-and-follies-of-flint/ [i]The Mythical West,Preston Towers, The Preston Institute[/i] That when it comes to the Mythical Western Suburbs, they are just that. A myth that continues to be perpetuated by people who are happily living in either their inner city boltholes http://prestoninstitute.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/themythicalwest/ [i]Coalition hasn't checked its satellite NBN facts. Here they are, , Michael Wyers. Com[/i] Turnbull should have done his homework before badmouthing the NBN Co solution. Faced with the reality of Ka-band satellite's future, Turnbull's preference for leasing capacity http://michaelwyres.com/newsdesk/article.php?hash=4e2083b392e4d4e30a54493035f4f4c9 [i]The real NBN business plan, Paul Budde, Technology Spectator[/i] Such an approach will most likely result in economic and social benefits worth many billions of dollars and, as is already becoming evident, it will create significant new business opportunities http://technologyspectator.com.au/nbn-buzz/real-nbn-business-plan?utm_source=Technology+Spectator+List&utm_ [i]Eight more towns added to NBN rollout, Sky News[/i] Corrimal in NSW's Illawarra region; Ascot in north-east Brisbane; the Melbourne suburbs of Footscray, Karingal and Keysborough; Bellerive and Claremont in Hobart; and South Launceston http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=718664&vId= [i]A nice rebound in employment - Treasury & RBA nail it, Stephen Koukoulas[/i] Speaking of unemployment, the 5.1% rate for January is stunningly low. There have been only 3 occasions in the last 34 years (since 1979 actually when monthly data first captured a January http://stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/Extracting [i]the true cost of universal dental care, Anthony Harris, The Conversation[/i] Four questions arise: is current funding for public dental care adequate to meet the needs of those who can’t afford care; are the arguments for funding dental care differently from http://theconversation.edu.au/extracting-the-true-cost-of-universal-dental-care-5389 [i]Paid to deceive on climate, Blogotariat[/i] nonsense being promulgated by ratbag groups such as Quadrant, the IPA and the utterly degenerate Catallaxy blog depend on the rantings of a handful of so-called ‘sceptics’. http://www.blogotariat.com/node/260532 [b]Video[/b] [i]Qantas to shed 1,000 jobs, Lateline 16/2/2012[/i] Qantas has announced a first-half profit down 83 per cent and said it will shed 1,000 jobs, starting with 500 from heavy maintenance. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3432814.htm [i]ABC: Abbott promises to repeal health rebate[/i] http://australianpoliticstv.org/2012/02/16/abc-abbott-promises-to-repeal-health-rebate/ [i]Labor’s Private Health Insurance Ripoff: Tony Abbott[/i] http://australianpoliticstv.org/2012/02/16/liberal-party-labors-private-health-insurance-ripoff-tony-abbott/ [i]February 16, 2012. Shorten on jobs figures[/i] Minister for employment Bill Shorten comments on the release of last months jobs figures showing a drop in the unemployment rate http://www.aapone.com.au/SearchPreviewVideo.aspx?media_item_id=20120216000398603615 [i]Andrew Leigh Sky news Agenda[/i] was on Sky’s AM Agenda program this morning with Kelly O’Dwyer and hosted by Kieran Gilbert. Topics discussed today included contrasting the Labor Party’s strong record on economic http://www.andrewleigh.com/blog/?p=2233 [i]Sky News: Showdown, Barnaby Joyce[/i] Peter van Onselen, politics, Sky News http://australianpoliticstv.org/2012/02/16/sky-news-showdown/ [i]Nick McKim on the pulp mill (press conf.) Feb 2012[/i] http://australianpoliticstv.org/2012/02/16/nick-mckim-on-the-pulp-mill-press-conf-feb-2012/ [i]Abbott - Private Health Insurance Rebate[/i] Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says changes to means test eligibility for the Private Health Insurance Rebate will effect the funding of Private Hospitals http://www.aapone.com.au/SearchPreviewVideo.aspx?media_item_id=20120216000398496199

Michael

17/02/2012Bad Abbott Shouldabeen has his political adviser, chief jeerleader Peta Credlin, sitting in the advisers' box in the House of Representatives yesterday, and countenanced her heckling the Prime Minister by not directing she return to her cubicle in his office when she was caught out mid-spittle. His own less than stellarly smart jeer squad of elected members is apparently not numerous enough to bring behind the biggest gum tree primary school playground tactics and maundering malice from quick-dip trips to Wikipedia into Parliament. He accepts 'help' from someone who he accepts advice from - advice, we might note that has kept the man who boasted he'd be hosting Prime Ministerial drinks at The Lodge last Christmas ensconced in Opposition before a government that routinely passes legislation Shouldabeen has equally routinely claimed he would die in a ditch before seeing it become law. She may shake some magnificent pom-poms, "go go go", your Peta Credlin, dear Tony, but she just can't get you there, big boy, can she?

lyn

17/02/2012Good Morning Ad I have just checked and Stephen Koukoulas's link is broken. Here it is again:- http://www.stephenkoukoulas.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/nice-rebound-in-employment-treasury-rba.html

Ad astra reply

17/02/2012LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

lyn

17/02/2012[b]TODAY'S FRONT PAGES[/b] Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 17 February 2012 http://www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm?PaperCountry=Australia

lyn

17/02/2012Hi Ad and Everybody Mr Denmore come lately this morning:- [i]Excess Baggage, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] Tony Abbot is just as duplicitous, but is somehow getting away with it. We know he can't wind back the carbon tax and restore the private health insurance rebate and subsidise brown coal producers and grant universal un-means-tested maternity leave - while providing a sizable surplus http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/excess-baggage.html [i]markjs Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 at 9:23 am[/i] Barrie Cassidy keeps Ruddstoration pot boiling: He can deny the approaches only because he believes the journalists involved are bound to both protect their sources and to treat such conversations as confidential. He is protected by the cloak of journalistic ethics.” ? Costello re-visited… http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/02/13/newspoll-55-45-to-coalition-3/all-comments/#comment-1161116 Leadership tussle: Rudd circles, Gillard stumbles The DrumBy ABC's Barrie Cassidy The Government is finished if it can't use the May budget and then the tax cuts and pension rises in June to start rebuilding its stocks. If the leadership issue is not dealt with before then, both the May and June exercises will be futile. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-17/cassidy-leadership-tussle/3834486

Ad astra reply

17/02/2012NormanK Thank you for your excellent Media Mash of Judith Sloan’s article, which I had read. Her article, and her appearance on Q&A, identifies as a Coalition apologist, who like Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb, sees almost no value in what the Labor Government did to shield us from the worst effects of the GFC. Like them, she perpetrates a deceptive distortion of the truth. Michael The Peta Credlin episode during QT yesterday when she flung ‘bugger off’ at our PM, tells us what the culture is in Tony Abbott’s office, where she is chief of staff. We ought not to be surprised at anything that emanates therefrom. Hi Lyn I look forward to going through your links (and the additional ones) after I finish mowing the property this morning. I’ve fixed the Koukoulas link. I think that using the composite Front Page is a good strategy.

TalkTurkey

17/02/2012February 17. 2012 09:45 AM Yesterday Lyn posted this: TODAY'S FRONT PAGES Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 16 February 2012 www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm Anybody who looks at that page will be struck by the headlines' almost total vapidity - puerility - triviality (the content isn't actually worthy of these splendid words to describe it! ) Yesterday only the SMH had a sensible front page. All others were crapulous. Now wonder Lyn quoted Bushfire Bill saying that, it was on my mind this morning even before I read BB's synchronicitous thought, let's mount a campaign to discourage people from buying squashed tree newspapers at all, (I don't anyway), it will demonstrate our power and our condemnation of their modus operandi and it will free up timber that would be "rip-rip wood chipped, turned into paper, thrown in the bin, no news today." Lyn (who I bet agrees too) quoted Bushfire Bill Posted Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 9:04 am Comment Number 2977 If i was on twitter I would suggest we all turn off our tv. Stop buying Papers till they stop the rudderstoration of the airwaves , and start giving the people facts about policy [b]! [u]STOP THE PRESSES [/u]![/b] I make a specific exception of the [i]Barrier Daily Truth[/i], the feisty and independent-minded little paper bilong Broken Hill. www.google.com.au/url [PS I accidentally posted this one at 9.45 am on last thread, which was still open, instead of this one. So here it is again.]

lyn

17/02/2012Hi Ad and Everybody Guess this idea beats Abbott's of living in the out west communities for 3 weeks was it? if he gets elected. See Abbott would just have his office there around the camp fire, eating witchetty grubs. Looks like if one can afford to buy Newspapers, TV stations, etc, won't be long before Gina buys the Government:- [i]Rinehart calls for Government decentralisation, ABC[/i] The West Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart has called for Federal [b]Government departments to be shifted out of Canberra and moved to Alice Springs and Australia's north[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-17/gina-rinehart-calls-for-decentralisation-of-government-departme/3835982

TalkTurkey

17/02/2012That Barrier Daily Truth link doesn't. See if this does. http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=barier%20daily%20truth&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bdtruth.com.au%2F&ei=uqQ9T67iEcWOiAel6OzKBA&usg=AFQjCNF3efRZi-SU5ZQ-kLO3mBWA5VlJ3A If not, google it yourself. Or not.

NormanK

17/02/2012Ad astra 2353 deserves credit for the new thought which prompted me to dissect Sloane's nonsense. 2353 spoke of having a conversation with a developer who said, in effect, "GFC? What GFC?" Rather than staring into the light and countering this contention with facts about what actually did occur, there is a lot to be said for looking in the shadows at what didn't happen. In this case, not so much "what would have happened if we didn't stimulate as and when we did?" because that would be largely conjecture unsupported by verifiable facts. More along the lines of "what indicators would prove that the stimulus was too large, too quick and too long-lived?". Imagine for a moment if the Howard Government had decided in 2005 to inject over $50 billion of public money when the economy was going along quite nicely. There would have been a spike in productivity with the economy growing at well above trend. With a spike in growth, government coffers would receive an influx of new revenue. Unemployment would have dropped to as near to 4% as it has ever been. Economists regard 4% unemployment to be the equivalent of zero, presumably because it contains newcomers; the unemployable but willing to work; people holding out for the right job (one for which they have spent time and money training); dole bludgers and other intractable job-seekers. With unemployment at historic lows, wages would have come under serious upward pressure as those with the skills that are in demand hold employers to ransom or employers throw money at skilled workers in order to attract them away from their current jobs - the mining industry is a prime example of this. Higher wages and public money sloshing around in the economy would have caused inflation to sky-rocket as the economy over-heated. The RBA would have been forced to drastically raise interest rates in order to rein in inflation and cool things down. The Howard government example is roughly the scenario that GFC deniers would have us believe existed in late 2009. And yet we see none of these indicators acting in the way that they should if the deniers are right. Growth in the economy is only now slowly returning to trend. Government revenue has dropped markedly. Unemployment is in a relatively comfortable mid-range. Wages are only making modest gains outside of the resources industry. Inflation is sitting in the RBA's preferred range despite natural disasters causing havoc with food supplies (without which inflation would arguably be even lower). Interest rates are at marginally high rates. From what I have read, most economists would regard 3.5 to 4% as 'normal' because the RBA always seeks to keep its powder dry in case some unforeseen circumstance should arise and they need to react by slashing the official rate. So, not only do the current figures establish what [b]did[/b] happen under the government's stimulus measures, they also show what [b]didn't[/b] happen. The economy did not over-heat as it should have done if the stimulus was too large, too hasty and/or too long. These questions should be asked of GFC deniers whenever they try to contend that the stimulus was a failure.

lyn

17/02/2012Hi Ad Not good news for News Ltd:- Bushfire Bill Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 at 10:33 am comment 4365 [b]The News Ltd. circulation figures cited earlier, and the 7.30 figures from yesterday indicate that audiences are deserting them in their hundreds of thousands[/b]. At least some of this has to be because of the Ruddstoration crap. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/02/13/newspoll-55-45-to-coalition-3/all-comments/#comment-1161154 This bad figures have no doubt prompted Mr Williams into writing a New Vision for News Ltd:- Sally_JacksonSally Jackson Kim Williams has outlined his News vision in an email to staff this morning | The Australian http://bit.ly/wKjU8a grumpyMichaelMichael Lee News Ltd's new CEO Williams on priorities http://goo.gl/pQjXi nowhere does it say we won't print fiction only facts. More of the same then? BBCWorldBBC News (World) News Corporation chief executive Rupert #Murdoch arrives in London to take charge of crisis involving #Sun newspaper http://bbc.in/xSdVl5

Ad astra reply

17/02/2012NormanK Thank you for another very astute economic analysis, far more than one could hope for from Joe Hockey or his boss. You should be writing original pieces for [i]TPS[/i].

lyn

17/02/2012Hi Talk Turkey You are being wondrous this morning. [i]the Barrier Daily Truth, the feisty and independent-minded little paper bilong Broken Hill. [/i]That Barrier Daily Truth link , Working perfect now. Regarding the Front Pages, Bushfire Bill has them all summed up doesn't he. But see what happens next, easy: geeksrulzIntrepid Geek Good News: Employment increases by 46,000. Quick let's beat up some "boat people" NewsLtd LNP Cheers:):):):):):)

TalkTurkey

17/02/2012Lowest unemployment rate I can remember Most Australians ever in employment ABC 24 leads News with : [i][b]The Jobs Carnage continues![/b][/i]

BSA Bob

17/02/20122353 & Norman K speak of "GFC, what GFC?" in a quasi rhetorical fshion. A while ago I had someone at work ask in all sincerity "What's a GFC?". I don't think she has a high opinion of the government & I suspect like many she absorbs her "news" from the general background noise.

2353

17/02/2012The GFC was real - so was the reaction from the Australian Government who did one of two things, either understood enough to make a difference or listened to the Public Service when they came up with a brilliant idea (my money is on a combination of both). Greece's current problem is a demonstration that the GFC hasn't finished yet. That the US, most of Europe and the majority of Asia are just coming out of the economic doldrums now shows how successful the Australian Government was at stimulating quick demand (the "infamous" $900 cheques which kept retailers like Harvey Norman going - along with licensed clubs, tourist resorts, travel providers and the like), medium term demand (the home insulation scheme etc) and long term demand (BER etc). As the retailers, small trades firms and large companies won contracts they kept people employed, who spent their wages on things like food, services and maybe a bit of entertainment along the way, in effect multiplying the effect of the boost given to the economy,. The fact that we really have nothing to complain about demonstrates how well it worked. That a lot of people are still complaining shows the success of the hatchet job on the progressive government and without even trying we can out whinge the poms- and they have the genuine concerns of warm beer and horrible weather to whinge about.

lyn

17/02/2012Hi Ad A new show called News Exchange, starting tonight on ABC24. Lyndal Curtis on Capital Hill just now spent nearly all her program talking about leadership speculation. The news reader on ABC24 tells us the Governments good news story on the jobless figures is drowned, trouble is she didn't say who or how come the story is drownded. Can anyone guess?? ABCTVABC TV Australia Tonight, join @MattCargill for the first episode of NEWS EXCHANGE. 8Television meets the web on 'News Exchange', launching this Friday on ABC News 24. Join host Matt Cargill for a look at [b]how the big stories are reported and shared online,[/b] through social media and the ABC News website. News Exchange is covering the news as you share it, so let us know if there's something you've seen online, or an issue you'd like us to cover. And watch News Exchange at 8pm AEDT on Friday 17th February on ABC News 24 or online at http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24 pm on ABCNews24. Preview: http://youtu.be/F5y9omhBsrk #NX http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5y9omhBsrk&feature=youtu.be Campbell Newman, like Abbott continues to escape real criticism:- CAMPBELL NEWMAN FAILS TO FRONT ASHGROVE SCHOOL WORKERS Member for Ashgrove, Kate Jones, slammed the LNP Candidate for Ashgrove, Campbell Newman, for failing to meet with the workers that run Ashgrove’s state and private schools this morning. http://keepkate.com/campbell-newman-fails-to-front-ashgrove-school-workers [i]FBI examine LNP figure's company , Brisbane Times[/i] Mr Monsour has been a card carrying member of the Liberal Party - now part of the LNP - since the 1990s and has run for parliament at a state and federal level. His last tilt at parliament was in 2006 when he was pre-selected for the seat of Ashgrove - where Mr Newman is running now - though he resigned before the election. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/fbi-examine-lnp-figures-company-20120214-1t3bp.html#ixzz1mcfO5h6Z

lyn

17/02/2012Hi Ad Parliament House has a brand spanking new website: Take a look so much better than the ancient old hard to manouver one they had. Click on the virtual tour, the music is beautiful and the pictures exquisite:- http://www.aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament/Virtual_Tour http://www.aph.gov.au/

Patricia WA

17/02/20122353 and NormanK, do you think many Aussies don't like to think about possible bad times and are only too glad to be led by the nose about the non-existence of the GFC and how close we came to disaster along with the rest of the western world? Now, of course, Abbott and the media want them to focus on non-existent bad news. As TT pointed out even the ABC can't bring itself to focus on our brilliant unemployment record. Surely though sane people can tell the difference between [i]'five hundred jobs'[/i] here and there, or even [i]'ten thousand positions being phased out'[/i] over several years and [b][i]'700,000 jobs created!'[/i][/b] in the space of a few years and all around the time of the GFC! Of course, as TT points out, if the language is alarmist it makes all the difference to popular sentiment. How to turn it around though? For a start with an upheaval at the national broadcaster? Does that explain why their news room is so busy trying to oust this government and make sure it doesn't get a strong mandate to return?

2353

17/02/2012No Patricia, I don't. I do think that a lot of people literally can't comprehend "Bad times" - after something like 20 years of continual growth in the economy they just don't understand how close we came to being in the same situation as the US or most of Europe. My theory is Howard's rhetoric of lower interest rates and "caring for working Australians" got so ingrained over his 13 years and Abbott's extreme negativity at anything that showed promise of being a good idea (together with a compliant media) has meant that no one gets the message that "situation almost normal" is really a fantastic effort by the progressive forces that currently make up the Australian Government. While the loss of any job is heart wrenching for the person involved (been there, done that) - there is an ingrained negativity currently ruining Australia which lead to my throw away line above about out whinging the poms.

NormanK

17/02/2012Patricia WA To be honest I haven't encountered very many GFC deniers but it is the line that the Coalition and people like Sloane are peddling and the more often it is said the more likely it will be that people will be confused about whether anything of consequence actually occurred. Abbott, in the 'town hall' Q&A during the last election campaign, attested that the GFC in Australia "lasted about 8 weeks". So according to him it was only a minor ailment and a short course of drugs would have cured us and we didn't need the long period of care that the government instigated. It is a complete nonsense but it does have a ring of truth about it if the listener felt themselves to have been untouched by the crisis. To swap metaphors, Australians needed to be subjected to a flesh wound rather than dodging the bullet as we did. A brief period of official recession may have brought the reality of the situation home to more people. Having said that, with the way this Opposition is behaving they would simply deny any outside influences and blame the ALP for the recession. "We left them with a perfectly good economy and a budget with a surplus and they stuffed it up." I agree with 2353. In this as with so many other situations, the vast majority of youngish Australians simply don't know what real hard times are. I have never had a day of genuine hardship in my life so I'm not preaching the old fogey line of Python's "luxury!" but I can look back at my parents' and grandparents' lives and realise that apart from the most unfortunate in our society the vast majority of us lead lives that our forebears could have only dreamed about. The problem is that an awful lot of us take it for granted. One of the biggest culture shocks that I have ever experienced was on my first trip to China. We walked out of a luxury 4 star hotel (with hot and cold running water) and as soon as we exited the gates to the hotel's surrounds we came across a single tap with a lock on it. When we asked "why the lock?" the locals informed us that this was the tap for the entire neighbourhood and they had to take precautions because people from outside would come and steal the water if they didn't lock it up. Needless to say, I felt very guilty the next time I took a hot shower a hundred metres away from that single tap. There are millions of such stories out there and most Australians just don't know how good we've got it and they take it for granted. In keeping with that thought, for some people avoiding the effects of the GFC was just 'normal'. That annoys me a lot but what annoys me much more is when individuals who portray themselves as being independent thinkers, like Sloane, choose to rewrite history to suit their own political agenda. And on top of that the fools in the media who should be the gatekeepers of truth, let them get away with it time after time. Oh for a bit of reporting with meat on it instead of the fairy floss we are currently being served up.

2353

17/02/2012Forgot to add above that there is also a narrative the only thing "saving Australia" is the mining boom primarily in Queensland and Western Australia. This also supports the LNP/media story that they are the better economic managers as traditionally the conservatives have been more inclined to dig it up and ship it overseas without value adding, then handing out tax cuts to keep the chattering classes happy with their lot in life. In reality we should have the best infrastructure in the world in IT, roads, rail, education, health and ports now if Costello & Howard had actually turned the royalties from mining and some favourable investments into spending on the future of this country. They didn't. I hope history is much more objective in it's assessment than the media is today. Costello and Howard were experts at wasting money - they p*&^%d billions up against the wall in middle class welfare (Health Insurance rebates, Family Tax increases anyone?) when the reality is we now have thouse on $250000 per annum [i](that's a quarter of a million a year)[/i] complaining they can't make ends meet without rebates on Health Insurance etc.

NormanK

17/02/20122353 I love a nice bit of irony and your last comment has brought two instances to mind. Irony #1 - What Howard and Costello did was in fact wealth redistribution, something the current Conservatives accuse this government of doing, with a sneer in their voice, whenever Labor seek to make life a bit fairer for the less well off. Howard took the revenue from the first mining boom and drip-fed it to us like a mild narcotic that kept us all drowsy and 'comfortable'. The GFC and the other crises besetting the industrialised world should cause the first stirrings of wakefulness but I suspect that when the somnambulant masses do finally awake to find the country ill-prepared for the modern world they will blame this progressive government because they were the last ones with their hands on the purse strings. Irony #2 - Judith Sloane in her article spoke of "a minute on your lips, a lifetime on your hips". She was of course casting nasturtiums on Labor's appalling debt that is going to take generations to repay. (sarcasm alert) Putting aside the question of who the recipients were for the moment, the middle-class welfare that the Howard government was so fond of handing out would have been spent and therefore would have gone quite some way towards energising the economy in the short-term. It would also have played a part in the complacency that allowed us as a nation to rack up some of the highest private debt per capita in the world. Unfortunately, it was done at the expense of, among other things, investment in the long-term health of the economy as a whole through provision of vital infra-structure and the training of our populace. So ironically Sloane is correct. The sweeteners that Howard handed out are going to linger on the hips of all Australians until such time as we catch up with the necessary infrastructure and start teaching our own people how to perform the necessary functions that our society needs, like doctors and nurses, instead of stealing professionals from other countries who can ill-afford to train them in the first place and have their own prosperity hindered by losing them to wealthy nations in the West. It is a sad condemnation of Australia that we need to import trained professionals when we are in fact one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. We should be exporting them. How much diet and exercise is it going to take to remove the excess weight each of us is carrying around as a legacy of the Howard years?

Patricia WA

18/02/2012Judith Sloane doing some projecting there! [i]"A minute on your lips, a lifetime on your hips"[/i]!!!! She very obviously knows that about her own gluttony. It doesn't have to be true for the country. What a cynical and bitter view of the world she has. Poor woman.

lyn

18/02/2012Good Morning Ad, I have lined up the journalists this morning all in a row, just to show you what a miserable bunch they are, as if you didn't know:- Comedy of errors but joke is on us, writes Laurie Oakes , The Telegraph http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/comedy-of-errors-but-joke-is-on-us-writes-laurie-oakes/story-e6frezz0-1226274352666 Punch and Judy show that's destroying Labor , Lenore Taylor, The Age http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/punch-and-judy-show-thats-destroying-labor-20120217-1tebl.html Kevin Rudd marches towards Labor leadership challenge , Dennis Shanahan and Sid Maher , The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/kevin-rudd-marches-towards-labor-leadership-challenge/story-fn59niix-1226274289396 PM marshals backers to corral MPs' drift to Kevin Rudd , James Massola, The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/pm-marshals-backers-to-corral-mps-drift-to-kevin-rudd/story-fn59niix-1226274231479 Julia Gillard rallies jittery troops in anticipation of showdown with Kevin Rudd, Simon Benson, News Com http://www.news.com.au/national/julia-gillard-rallies-jittery-troops-in-anticipation-of-showdown- Personality over substance, Peter Hartcher, SMH http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/personality-over-substance-20120217-1tefa.htmlDecision time: there's no turning back from here , Shaun Carney http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/decision-time-theres-no-turning-back-from-here-20120217-1tenx.html#ixzz1mfuz31Pu War looms as PM's loyalists turn on Rudd , Peter Hartcher and Phillip Coorey http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/war-looms-as-pms-loyalists-turn-on-rudd-20120217-1teic.html#ixzz1mfsUf4Q9 Leadership showdown imminent – report, Sky news http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=719702&vId=

lyn

18/02/2012TODAY'S FRONT PAGES Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 18 February 2012 http://www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm?PaperCountry=Australia

Rx

18/02/2012The Liberals are addicted to Lying. Like drug addicts they keep needing bigger and bigger hits. The media doesn't or will not call them on it, so the addiction becomes more and more grotesque. Inevitably they will begin taking from us (the people) to pay for their habit.

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012Rx What do you prescribe? :) TPS several times daily is antidotal to MSM toxicity . . . But we need immunising-and-preventative medication for the People, and a purgative-curative for the MSM, and a potent antibiotic and radiation treatment against the NOposition. The Media frenzy about Rudd is an outrageous perversion of the political process. It is a confection and a conflation and it is full of helium. Yet it has the appearance of solidity, it is unprecedented and it is deadly sinister. It is a deliberate skewing of truth akin to a deliberate ploy to start a run on the banks. They have declared war on Truth. It is the best of times? . . . No, it's the bloody worst of times! 'Course, the better Labor does, the worse they see it for their positions of privilege, and those whose spittle they lick . . . [i]So I s'pose they're telling the truth after all . . . [/i] Do not despond Swordsfolks. Truth will out, and the Truth is this is a terrific Government we have. [b][i]When you're on a good thing [/i[/b]]. . . shall be our War Engine. The enemy will flee in disarray. A few good Ads . . . :) [u][b][i]VENCEREMOS![/i][/b][/u]

Tom of Melbourne

18/02/2012Remember when the Reserve Bank was increasing interest rates (to reduce economic demand) at eh very same time Swan was spending the stimulus (to increase economic demand)? That’s inefficient economic policy in any circumstances.

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18/02/2012Hi Lyn Thanks for Front Pages and your list of articles on the leadership speculation. Political journalists are certainly in full flight, terrified that they will be caught flat-footed as they were with the Rudd coup. No journalist wants to be casting doubts on the probability of Rudd challenge or a Gillard leadership spill in case he or she is caught napping again. They are so determined to be right this time that they will try to bring on the challenge by virtue of the force of their collective opinions. There was an interesting exchange last night on [i]Lateline[/i] where Emma Alberici tried her best to get some rational thinking into the leadership debate, but Dennis Shanahan was determined to put his meager reputation on the line by insisting that as there are only three caucus meetings in February and March: [i]“I think she'll be lucky to survive those three meetings without a challenge.” [/i] Not quite a guarantee, but close to it. As you would expect, Laura Tingle was more circumspect. She was sure Kevin Rudd wanted his job back, and that his supporters wanted the coup leaders to admit they made a mistake in replacing him, but as she felt sure that would not happen, she felt there would no quick resolution to the problem. At the end, Shanahan surprised me with the comments he made about Tony Abbott: “[i] And this is one of the illogical positions that Tony Abbott has. He argues constantly for an early election, to have an election now. And yet when asked to produce backing up for his policies, he then says, "I'll do that in plenty of time for the next election". Well, if you follow the logic of that through, his constant calls for an early election, if they occur, then he should be telling us right now what his policies are. And so I think that this is a fundamental political problem and a logical problem that Tony Abbott has and that he needs to back off his calls for constant early election and concentrate on actually providing some more policies himself in the longer term.”[/i] What a pity he and his fellow journalists don’t confront Abbott with this logical contradiction in his pressers, and not let him fob them off. The full transcript is here: “[i] EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Now to the Friday forum, and with us to discuss the week in politics are Dennis Shanahan, political editor at The Australian newspaper, and Laura Tingle, political editor for the Australian Financial Review. I spoke to them earlier from Parliament House in Canberra. Thanks for being with us. Now, the leadership question has been consuming Canberra all week. Assuming you've both been in quiet discussion with members of the Caucus, Dennis Shanahan, what's the mood like? DENNIS SHANAHAN, POLITICAL EDITOR, THE AUSTRALIAN: I think that there is a mood of frustration, despair and I'd say the dominant mood is probably confusion. I think that people don't know how they have got where they are, they don't really understand what's happening, and this is not like any traditional leadership challenge. People really don't know who is standing where and what's expected of them. And I think the other thing is they're very concerned that they are going to have to face a real choice very soon on the leadership. Laura Tingle, is there any doubt in your mind that Kevin Rudd wants to be Prime Minister again? LAURA TINGLE, POLITICAL EDITOR, THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW: (laughs) No. No, I think the one thing we can say for certain here is that Kevin Rudd wants to be Prime Minister again. I think you can say that with absolute confidence, Emma. EMMA ALBERICI: And so what are you hearing when you talk to people in the Caucus, to gauge their feelings on what's going on? LAURA TINGLE: Well, as Dennis said, there's a high level of angst, but I think what has happened in the last week is that until fairly recently there's been this sort of idea that this was all Kevin's fault and if he would just go away, it would all be better. But I think in the last week, what's happened is people have said - no, Julia Gillard is making mistakes that aren't of Kevin Rudd's doing, the polling hasn't moved for the best part of a year, certainly not for nine months, and even people who are absolutely rusted-on Gillard supporters will say to you, "Look, we can't go on like this, we're doing really good things, we're making big announcements, and it's being completely drowned out by the leadership issue, and we are going to have to address it one way or another". EMMA ALBERICI: Laura Tingle, if I can ask you - how do you think ultimately this soap opera is going to end? LAURA TINGLE: Look, I would be dishonest if I said I knew, Emma. We've got two sides hoping the other side will slip up or hoping the other side will be forced into a position. The Gillard camp keeps hoping that they can make ... that Kevin Rudd will make an error which makes him look like he's grasping for the prime ministership. Of course, publicly he's playing very dead on it. So they're hoping that he will come out, make a mistake, or even challenge, and that he won't have the numbers to beat Julia Gillard in a ballot, and that he will go away. The Rudd camp, I think, really thinks that they can wait as long as possible, because it's the Prime Minister who is making all the mistakes. I think they're probably starting to circulate the idea that the Prime Minister should just, for the good of the party, resign. I don't think that's going to happen. She's a fighter, she has shown herself to be incredibly tough, and we just have to ... it's going to be one of those things where somebody blinks in an unexpected way. EMMA ALBERICI: Dennis Shanahan, how do you think this is all going to come to a head? DENNIS SHANAHAN: I think the changes in the Caucus, the numbers, the momentum which is shifting in Kevin Rudd's way, quite decidedly in the last few days, is going to force a change. I think that certainly the Prime Minister has been making enough unforced errors to create a lot of despondency amongst her supporters. There are people who are saying, "Look, we support her but she is no longer got the goods, she can no longer sell a message". And things are going quite well on the economic front for the Government, particularly relative to overseas, and yet that message is not getting through. And even Julia Gillard's most ardent supporters are saying that she is not selling the message and that it is impossible for her to do it, that people have basically stopped listening to her. Now I think that given she has had a number of mistakes and a number of errors which were not Kevin Rudd's doing, he has kept right out of it, and it's my feeling that we will actually see a resolution, possibly a challenge, sooner rather than later. EMMA ALBERICI: What timeframe are you talking about? DENNIS SHANAHAN: Well, I should imagine that the sitting period that we've coming up - we've only have one more week left in February, and then two weeks in March left. There are only three sitting weeks, and that means three Caucus meetings the Prime Minister has to survive. I think she'll be lucky to survive those three meetings without a challenge. EMMA ALBERICI: Now we'll get to ... you touched on economics and the good that the Government has been up to in the past weeks, and we'll get to that shortly but I just want to make the observation that, of course, Labor's primary vote is woefully low, around the 30 per cent mark, and it has been stubbornly stuck there for some time. Wouldn't it make sense for the party to shift away from this kind of toxic Rudd Gillard era altogether and move to someone else, to take the leadership role? DENNIS SHANAHAN: Well, certainly there are a lot of people who argue that there needs to be a doing away of the Rudd Gillard era, that both of them were in the gang of four previously, that Julia Gillard suffered enormously when she helped to remove Kevin Rudd. Kevin Rudd has suffered enormously during that period, and is suffering in the comeback period. So both of them are tarnished. This is a tussle between two individuals, much like the challenges between Andrew Peacock and John Howard. It is a toxic relationship. But to go to a third party, a so-called fresh face, somebody who is a clean skin, such as Bill Shorten or Greg Combet or perhaps even Stephen Smith, although I don't think that's likely, I think that would only confuse the electorate even more. To turn to a third leader in less than 18 months seems to me to be unconscionable for the Labor Party. LAURA TINGLE: I suppose what I would just add to what Dennis has said, it might be a toxic relationship between the two of them, but I think the difference between going back to Kevin Rudd and going to a third candidate is that the whole thrust of Kevin Rudd's push to be returned to the prime ministership is that, if you like, he's the people's Prime Minister and she's the puppet of the factions, or whatever the cliche is. But I think the one thing that I can't see happening, which I think needs to be resolved, is in all of this there is this view that the factional bosses who were on Lateline the night of the coup and being seen ringing each other on their phones outside their restaurants on that night, I think Kevin Rudd wants them to say, "Sorry Kevin, we are wrong". And this is such a huge barrier to any resolution of the issue, because there has to be a clear outbreak of peace. Because if it's not clear that the Labor Party has settled this issue once and for all, the Opposition will be on it every day of the week, every day of the year, until the next election. So, they have to settle this once and for all. EMMA ALBERICI: Now today the head of the Treasury, Dr Martin Parkinson, addressed the Senate to say that actually the low levels of confidence in Australia didn't reflect the country's strong credentials. The opportunities in the region, the low unemployment, low interest rates, stable inflation. It does beggar belief, doesn't it Dennis Shanahan, that the Government isn't winning the economic argument? What do you put that down to? Given we are the envy of the world? DENNIS SHANAHAN: The problem is that the electorate sees the carbon tax as the basis of the Government's economic platform. They regard that as a betrayal, they also fear it and think that it is going to damage jobs. So the carbon tax, which is inextricably linked with Julia Gillard's betrayal of Kevin Rudd and lying to the electorate, as it is seen, has undermined the Government's economic credibility at the very basis level. We then move on to can Julia Gillard or Wayne Swan sell a positive economic message at a time when Tony Abbott has worked for 18 months now, amongst manufacturing workers about fears of the carbon tax, about job losses. There are now headline job losses in popular household names - Heinz, Qantas, ANZ, and these make people feel very insecure. The Government is only responding in large figures, they're talking about an unemployment rate of 4.9 per cent or 5 per cent or hundreds of thousands of new jobs created. They are not responding in kind to the ability that Tony Abbott is showing in saying, well here are 350 jobs which have been lost now, possibly because of higher power prices, and there will be more to come in the future from the carbon tax. It is a scare campaign which is working at a retail level and the Government seems unable, inexplicably unable, to get the good news across, and I don't think the current team is going to be able to turn that around in any short time. EMMA ALBERICI: Laura Tingle, it wouldn't be the first time a political promise has been broken, when we talk about the carbon tax. Why is it that Julia Gillard and her party just can't seem to get a win here? Despite the fact, as you mentioned yourself, it's been a particularly good week for them, they've had a win on the legislative front with health reform, they've done some big things, big accomplishments, yet still Tony Abbott seems to be able to land every blow. LAURA TINGLE: Tony Abbott is getting away with some spectacular segues. I think the first question in Question Time this year was linking job losses at Westpac to the carbon tax. He didn't actually say that it was the result, but he used it in the same sentence, and it sort of worked quite well. I think there is a more dangerous point here though, Emma, in the attack politics of Tony Abbott with the carbon tax, very effective, without a doubt. But if we think about policy and policy reform in the long term and this idea of what's happening at the macro level of the economy and what's happening at individual firms, there is going to be immense pressure, just as there was when the Australian dollar was very low. Now that the Australian dollar is very high for a long period, we are going to have those same immense structural pressures and the pressure is going to be on the Government to be providing assistance of various sorts to individual companies. And this is just not something the Government can countenance doing. But trying to find a way of changing the story about all of these things, and putting it in the same terms as we had, in a way, when the dollar was so low, is going to be a really tricky task. EMMA ALBERICI: It's incredible Laura Tingle, isn't it, that in a week where they wound back middle class welfare, classic Labor territory, that they still didn't manage to get that message across - a very key legislative reform? LAURA TINGLE: I don't know if they got the message across, drowned out in the leadership stuff Emma. But on the other side of politics, we have the bizarre situation where Tony Abbott is basically saying, we are going to get rid of the means test on the private health insurance rebate, because the private health insurance rebate is regarded as one of those Howard government golden era policies. When if you judge it against any normal criteria of Coalition economic rationalism, trying to actually target and put means tests on these sorts of policies is just what the Coalition should be doing. So, we've got a very bizarre situation in Canberra, where both sides of politics aren't quite saying what you would expect them to say. And I think, because there's so much chaos in the Government, there isn't a lot of focus on what Tony Abbott is doing, and he is getting away with making some big claims against them without being challenged himself. EMMA ALBERICI: Dennis Shanahan, as Laura mentioned there with Tony Abbott's claim that he will claw this back, then he will have to find another two or three billion dollars, how much longer can he continue to tell the public what he is going to give them before he might actually be held to account and asked to explain how he is going to fund all the promises? DENNIS SHANAHAN: Well, I think that Tony Abbott's plan will certainly be to leave that as long as possible, and that unless we are within coo-ee of an election - and who knows, if there is a change in the Labor leadership we could be in an election very soon. And this is one of the illogical positions that Tony Abbott has. He argues constantly for an early election, to have an election now. And yet when asked to produce backing up for his policies, he then says, "I'll do that in plenty of time for the next election". Well, if you follow the logic of that through, his constant calls for an early election, if they occur, then he should be telling us right now what his policies are. And so I think that this is a fundamental political problem and a logical problem that Tony Abbott has and that he needs to back off his calls for constant early election and concentrate on actually providing some more policies himself in the longer term. He can't constantly trade on the chaos within the Government. Mind you, the Government does seem to be gifting him this entire session of Parliament, and then we move into the Budget session. But I think that it is incumbent upon him and also necessary for him, if he wants to change his image, as he is doing, by the way. In Parliament, he is doing less of the head kicking, giving more to Julie Bishop, more to Joe Hockey, more to Christopher Pyne, to throw the muck at Julia Gillard. But he actually has to start to match that slight personal image change with a policy change and a policy justification. EMMA ALBERICI: Dennis Shanahan, Laura Tingle, thank you very much for your time tonight. DENNIS SHANAHAN: Thanks Emma. LAURA TINGLE: Thanks Emma. “[/i] The link to the video is here: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3433865.htm

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18/02/2012Rx You are right. Lying is stock in trade for the Coalition. Tomorrow evening, I’ll post [i]Tony Abbott, we are sick of your lies[/i].

NormanK

18/02/2012Tom of Melbourne Thanks very much for that highly selective snipe, completely lacking in context. I assume from your comment that the government and the RBA should have got together and decided on a date (let's say the first Tuesday in November 2009) when they would co-ordinate their actions. The government would close its cheque book, only honouring those contracts to which they were legally committed and to hell with the rest of them, and the RBA would lift the cash rate by 100 basis points in one hit. I'd hate to see the way you drive your car and I certainly wouldn't put you in charge of an ocean liner. "Right lads! We're in sight of land - all engines FULL REVERSE!" It would be disingenuous to simplify the complex mechanisms at play in a nation's economy but the events you refer to occurred when the stimulus was slowly being wound back and the cash rate was being gently returned to 'normal' levels. The cash rate was reduced from a very high level (7%) to an historically low level (3%) at the height of the GFC (first quarter 2009) and this was unsustainable. Since the fourth quarter of 2009 the RBA steadily increased the rate to 4.75% such that it was just above January 2002 levels (4.25%) in November 2010. It remained steady at this rate for eleven months - no sign there of undue concern from the RBA. With the turmoil in Europe and the sluggish recovery in the US, the rate has been reduced to January 2002 levels (4.25%) and held steady. Incidentally, just above 4% is the average setting for the cash rate for the last 20 years and might thereby be considered 'normal'. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/interest-rate At the same time as the cash rate was being steadily increased the stimulus was being steadily wound back. You would seek to imply that Swan's stimulus was influencing the RBA, forcing it to increase rates. How about giving a bit of credit to both bodies, Treasury and the RBA, and concede that just maybe it was a co-ordinated transition back to a neutral fiscal stimulus position at the same time as the cash rate returned to one of its primary tasks of keeping inflation in check. The government informs the RBA of its intentions and the RBA respond as it sees fit. The steady withdrawal of stimulus has been clearly and publicly stated in the budget papers and the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Reviews. I'm sure it causes you some discomfit, given how much you dislike Swan (there's an understatement), that inflation is comfortably within the tolerable range, employment is relatively steady over the medium term and the economy is slowly returning to trend growth. I guess you won't be best pleased to learn that the bankruptcy rate has returned to pre-GFC levels. In fact in the last two quarters the bankruptcy rate has resembled what was experienced for most of 2001 - 2006. http://www.itsa.gov.au/dir228/itsaweb.nsf/docindex/Statistics-%3EStats%20Overview%20Documents%202/$FILE/web%20overview%201211.pdf?OpenElement It seems that despite all of the available data pointing to a well-managed economy you will remain determined to cherry-pick individual statistics or outright misrepresent them by taking them out of context.

2353

18/02/2012NormanK said [quote]It seems that despite all of the available data pointing to a well-managed economy you will remain determined to cherry-pick individual statistics or outright misrepresent them by taking them out of context.[/quote] That is typical of someone who for some reason can't actually think for themselves. Someone tells them what to go forth and propagate, they they comply. It's a bit like a computer, garbage in, garbage out.

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012NormanK Your comments on this thread are both weighty and worthy. Well said you. *A rose is a rose is a rose.* :)

DMW

18/02/2012Hi 2353 & NormanK, most interesting and informative discussion you have been having on economics etc. If I could I would tweet a direct link to your comments to my declining number of Twitter followers I would. You will find today's article by Ross Gittins informative: [b]Herd behaviour, fashion and status seeking[/b] - http://goo.gl/vkO8w To side track you both this article, from Andrew Probin @ TheWestAus, has possibly the best explanations of the leadership thingo. Hat Tip: @AndrewCatsaras [b]Sunrise Kev a glare on Gillard[/b] http://goo.gl/2cJcy JohnL, thanks for two great posts in a row I did tweet links to my dwindling band of followers :) Ad, thanks for your kind comments last weekend it was most appreciated. I dips me lid to your excellent selection of JohnL as a writer of fine food for fought.

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012Faceless Female http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=peta%20credlin%20picturese&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEMQtwIwBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.couriermail.com.au%2F2164326813%2FQueen-of-no&ei=aQQ_T-zCMYGyiQep95nGBQ&usg=AFQjCNEoSLYKobLHl5Xfrx18G_f4wiDbyg Isn't she lovely! She would do a great Morticia. Well she can STFU from the Advisers Box for the rest of Mister Slipper's Speakership anyway. He gave her a Wolfsbane necklace, with an offer of a stake through her physical manifestation if she doesn't. Heh heh. So sad! :) But Yes, [b]Abbortt's Faceless Female Friend[/b], How coming it that the Media isn't all over her like even an [i]adoring[/i] rash? How come you never evereverevereverever see her anywhere on the MSM? Or am I wrong?

lyn

18/02/2012Hi Ad Bushfire Bill on the Ruddstoration as he has called the speculation on the Kevin Rudd Challenge: [i]Bushfire Bill Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink comment no 5520[/i] a brilliant piece – have emailed it to my network – has anyone twittered this link yet? and would it be ok to do so bb? Don’t bother asking LL, just twitter it. [b]Once it’s published here I regard anything anyone (including myself) writes as “creative commons” unless otherwise specificed (and even then I don’t think a refusal would have legs[/b] Rudd has not challenged because he doesn’t have the numbers. This is the same reason Costello didn’t challenge and why Rudd himself didn’t challenge when Crean took over from Beazley. [b]If Rudd had the numbers he would have challenged. This is the central core fact that is glossed over[/b]. So, he whiteants the government by leaking to the media, talking up his numbers. [b]Has anyone noticed how these have inflated from 6 (including himself) to now 45, with enough undecideds to carry the day?[/b] I cannot believe any party would be so stupid as to fall for the Daily Telegraph and The Australian’s lines of spin, to once more fall victim to the tinkerings of Rupert Murdoch. I could NEVER vote for a party that willingly self-destructive, even if the alternative was a thousand Tony Abbotts. They would be handing their political enemies rivers of gold, a flourishing economy, limitless investment and world-beating prosperity, which they would then take for themselves, “proving” once again they were the best economic managers. Hadley has already indicated that he will switch to celebration as soon as Abbott is elected and start talking the economy up. He admitted it yesterday on the radio. The cynicism is galling. I’m finished with Labor if they go on with this Ruddstoration rubbish. I mean it. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/02/13/newspoll-55-45-to-coalition-3/all-comments/#comment-1162352 Cheers:):):):):)

Tom of Melbourne

18/02/2012That’s interesting. Would you be interested in providing some actual facts? Such as- • What did Swan forecast the unemployment rate to reach, [b]without the stimulus[/b]? • What did he forecast the unemployment rate to reach [b]with the stimulus[/b]? • Is it efficient to have monetary and fiscal policies (specifically) pushing in diametrically opposed economic directions?

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012ToM says Would you be interested in providing some actual facts? ToM . . . [b][i]You can't handle the actual facts![/i] :)[/b] Have Fun :) With Trolls

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012Tweetie This is from one of your oldest friends and he's still talkin' your language! Across time . . . and space . . . and technologies . . . Into Eternity and Infinity . . . Internet, [i]Viva![/i] . . . http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=rockin%20robin%20original%20youtube&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDUQtwIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DMyjSUEgflO4&ei=Iic_T5LRComkiAfvpZTzBA&usg=AFQjCNHZKrNme5y3nH_G9SY7WwPqiRSsDw Dam these old songs are better than ever now you can watch them and pull up the lyrics if need be, it's a wonderland "To All Those Who Are In Love, And All Those Who Can Ree[i]memmm[/i]ber . . . :)

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012Right song, right singer, but wrong version, should be a B/W antediluvian film clip! See if this one gets there. If not who cares. http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=rockin%20robin%20original%20youtube&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDUQtwIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DMyjSUEgflO4&ei=Iic_T5LRComkiAfvpZTzBA&usg=AFQjCNHZKrNme5y3nH_G9SY7WwPqiRSsDw

NormanK

18/02/2012Tom of Melbourne I knew that I would regret responding to your taunt. You're not interested in having a conversation. What you're interested in is 'the game'. Keep the other guy justifying himself and running around answering your questions while you sit back doing sweet FA chortling to yourself how clever you are. You've been caught out cherry-picking data from a brief moment in time, late 2009 - early 2010 when the throttle on the starboard motor was being eased off and the throttle on the port motor was being advanced because the wind and tide had shifted. Ever since then, despite being buffeted by other external influences, the ship has maintained a steady course - 11 consecutive months of interest rates on hold and other favourable economic data. You have provided no evidence that Treasury and the RBA have worked at cross-purposes to the detriment of the economy. Having been caught out you then switch the attack to unemployment figures. Might I respectfully suggest that you purchase a trained poodle to jump through hoops for you because I won't be. Either that or stick your neck out and put up a detailed comment that lays out your point of view backed up by links to reliable data. DMW Thanks for the links. Gittins is always worth a read.

Ad astra reply

18/02/2012NormanK Your knowledge of economics is of great benefit to us. Thank you for your exposition about the interaction of monetary and fiscal policy. I hope ToM now feels better informed. DMW What a pleasure to see your comment. Ross Gittins’ article was, as usual, excellent. Part of herd behaviour is groupthink, something we have alluded to here repeatedly. The article by Andrew Probyn was to his usual standard. I particularly noted these words: [i]“Perhaps more dangerous for the Government, the plotter said, the midnight heist on the prime ministership disenfranchised the nation's political story tellers - the press gallery - some of whom felt embarrassed or angry that their traditional role in leadership change had been usurped. Political journalists' faith in their primary sources had been so shaken to the extent that they were now jumping at shadows they had previously ignored, adamant that if another leadership cataclysm was afoot they'd certainly not miss it this time around.[/i]" As I said in an earlier comment, none of the press gallery wants to be left behind. They all want to stay with the herd. Thank you Lyn for the BB comment – he's always on the money. TT, your photo of Peta Credlin will remain burned into our memory – we haven’t seen the last of her.

DMW

18/02/2012NK, the coin came heads so a brief response. The herd that Gittins discusses is captured in the questioning by ToM - as in it is fashionable in some quarters to bag the incumbents just because you can. Also like many baggers they work under a delusion of 'if I keep cherry picking to suit my argument then one day I will be right.' Without too much mental torture one could read Gittins and then Probin and see amazing parallels in herd mentality. Of the many lessons in life that one could choose from this I will take this: Always read and absorb what the contrarians have to say :) Apropos 'messages from odd sources' I don't quite know what it means but recaptcha has just told me [i]management tolool[/i] which I shall ponder deeply Chow for now - or should that be 'ciao for niao'?

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012With the PM and the FM playing Chicken, I quail at the thought that the PLP could all end up looking like turkeys, our goose will be cooked by Crispmess, and we'll be dead ducks at the next election! Ha Ha Ha Only joking of course, just crowing about our dominating position in the real world, just wanted to give galahs such as ToM a moment of wild hope that even the Turkey could doubt our power, they're like ostriches with their heads in the sand these Right whinge drongoes, they think they can just come swanning in to power, as if, next election the People will know enough to pinion them, bloody [b]birdbrains[/b]. Sorry Birds, just stupid human term.

Patricia WA

18/02/2012Or from you, DMW, [b]"miaow for niaow!"[/b]

lyn

18/02/2012Hi Ad Have you noticed Abbott's language has changed, a while ago on ABC24, he is strongly calling for an election, stressing it is not the Labor leadership it is the Labor party. Change the government and have an election he says again and again. The other thing I noticed was Gunna instead of going to, wanna instead of want to, this must be to do with the image was it Oxford Grammar School he went to. Govt totally dysfunctional - Abbott, Sky News Updated: 13:57, Saturday February 18, 2012 http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspxid=719822&vId=3070151&cId=Top%20Stories&play=true [i]Government totally dysfunctional: Abbott , SMH, February 18, 2012 - 2:02PM[/i] We've really got three Labor parties at the moment, we've got the Gillard Labor party, the Rudd Labor party and the neither Labor party." The problem was not the Labor leader but the party's policies, with another election needed, Mr Abbott said. "We've got to change the policies of the government, not just change the leader of the government. "And the way to change policies is to change the government and have an election. "I think the government of Australia is too important to be paralysed while the faceless men try and decide who the leader should be." http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/government-totally-dysfunctional-abbott-20120218-1tfm0.html From Twitter:- wolfcatWolf Cocklin Abbott needs a lesson on the consitution... a fresh election need never be called for a change in leader, so calls for it are bullshit Latika Bourke discusses Labor leadership rumblings, Video Speculation mounts within federal Labor party ranks that the Prime Minister's allies in cabinet are testing her support http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-18/more-leadership-speculation/3837736 Pyne slams Labor's leadership rumblings, Video Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne takes aim at the Labor party amid continuing leadership speculation http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-18/pyne-slams-labors-leadership-rumblings/3837846

Sir Ian Crisp

18/02/2012[i]Hi Ad Have you noticed Abbott's language has changed, a while ago on ABC24, he is strongly calling for an election, stressing it is not the Labor leadership it is the Labor party. Change the government and have an election he says again and again. The other thing I noticed was Gunna instead of going to, wanna instead of want to, this must be to do with the image was it Oxford Grammar School he went to. [/i] I don't know if Abbott did attend Oxford Grammar School (OGS) but I do know someone who should do an intensive course at OGS.

lyn

18/02/2012Gotcha the other day didn't I SIC You just proved it. Ha Ha LOL

lyn

18/02/2012Hi Talk Turkey Thankyou for posting a beautiful song for me, I still like, The English Country Garden the best, but Rockin Robin is lovely too. [i]Tweetie This is from one of your oldest friends and he's still talkin' your language! Across time . . . and space . . . and technologies . . . Into Eternity and Infinity . . . Internet, Viva! . . . [/i] www.google.com.au/url Cheers:):):):):)

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012Limpy Is wimpy. A [i]knight?[/i] Yeah right. [b]Have Fun :) With Trolls[/b] (What else are they good for?!)

Tom of Melbourne

18/02/20121. Swan forecast that unemployment would reach 10.5% without the stimulus. 2. With the stimulus he forecast that it would reach 8.5%. 3. He implemented a stimulus to deal with an economy that he forecast would suffer the steepest decline for generations. 4. He underestimated the resilience of the Australian economy, and misunderstood the internal strength of China’s economy. 5. He got his forecast wrong by a long, long way. They’re facts. Because Swan got it so wrong, he designed a stimulus that was more costly and lasted longer than necessary, such that the economy was heating up (and the Reserve Bank was putting up interest rates to take the heat out of it) and the same time the stimulus was being spent (to heat up the economy). Swan kept spending, and he’s admitted he kept the spending in place for political reasons. The government politically locked into a debt fuelled stimulus – which wasn’t necessary for economic activity. The consequence of this is that he’s now politicised fiscal stimulation. Now that we’re facing a (likely) further decline, the government is (politically) committing itself to contractionary/surplus budgets, and for the foreseeable future. If you get the idea that I think Swan is a blundering, blustering dill, who should be a low level supervisor in the public service, you’re right - and on this occasion I don’t mean to be disrespectful of low level public service supervisors.

lyn

18/02/2012[b]World's Best[/b] Regarding Wayne Swan:- The World's Best Treasurer [b]Delaying the collapse of Australia’s housing bubble was successful, and today Wayne Swan was rewarded for his hard work in making Australia’s economy the envy of the world.[/b] Euromoney Magazine has awarded Wayne Swan the title of the world’s best finance minister. Well done, Mr Swan. » Honoured as the world’s best treasurer, Wayne Swan is set to give advice to G20 leaders – The Australian, 21st September 2011. http://www.whocrashedtheeconomy.com/blog/2011/09/wayne-swan-treasurer-of-the-year/ Honoured as the world's best treasurer, Wayne Swan is set to give advice to G20 leaders by: Lanai Vasek From: The Australian September 21, 2011 2:40PM 49 comments http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/global-recovery-stalled-says-imf-but-australia-well-placed-to-weather-economic-turmoil/story-fn59niix-1226142421332

TalkTurkey

18/02/2012"Well done Mr Swan, World's Best Treasurer ", you bet. This is what we feast our eyes on, The record *J*U*L*I*A* relies on, But it fills Melbourne Tom with [i]p'ison[/i], Annihilated by our BISON :) ("Beautiful Inspiring Set Of Numbers") (Was it the Finnigans who discovered this species in Australia?) Labor is [i]killing[/i] it, i.e. getting the achievements now and already, getting all the battle emplacements ready and set, but for tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow for now until November 2013 we must focus on making Australians appreciate just how good and effective, shrewd and courageous our Government is. The People will be well aware by then of the real picture. Suck it up Trolls. Oh but do come back for more. We Oh so value your povs.

NormanK

19/02/2012It looks as though the Rudd saga has taken an adult turn. Nasty. [b]Swearing Kevin Rudd video posted on YouTube under the title Happy Little Vegemite[/b] by Samantha Maiden The Sunday Telegraph [quote]AN expletive-laden video featuring Kevin Rudd swearing at the camera has emerged on YouTube. The outburst in the out-takes of a taxpayer-funded video was posted on YouTube under the title "Kevin Rudd is a happy little vegemite".[/quote] http://www.news.com.au/national/swearing-kevin-rudd-video-posted-on-you-tube-under-the-title-happy-little-vegemite/story-e6frfkvr-1226274684892?from=igoogle+gadget+compact+news_rss

lyn

19/02/2012[b]TODAY'S FRONT PAGES[/b] Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 19 February 2012 http://www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm?PaperCountry=Australia

lyn

19/02/2012Hi Ad The News this morning YouTube video of Kevin Rudd a couple of years ago. You will notice Samatha Maiden leads the charge of the bootstappers:- Rudd speaks out over angry outburst video Sky News political editor David Speers speaks with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, following the upload of a YouTube video clip that depicts him launching into an expletive-laden outburst. http://www.skynews.com.au/video/?vId=3071302&cId=Programs&play=true Suspicion surrounds damaging leaked video: Kevin Rudd , The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/suspicion-surrounds-damaging-leaked-video-kevin-rudd/story-fn59niix-1226274856885 Gillard faces open revolt among MPs , Smatha Maiden, The Telegraph http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/gillard-faces-open-revolt-among-mps/story-e6freuy9-1226274687006 Prime Minister Julia Gillard urged to quit by Labor MPs including Darren Cheeseman , News Com http://www.news.com.au/national/prime-minister-julia-gillard-urged-to-quit-by-labor-mps-including-darren-cheeseman/story-e6frfkvr-1226274740588#ixzz1mm12snm4 Battle lines drawn in Labor leadership stoush , Adelaide Now http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/ipad/battle-lines-drawn-in-labor-leadership-stoush/story-fn6bqphm-1226274814725 PM Julia Gillard told to quit as bitter caucus feud breaks out, Herald Sun http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/pm-told-to-quit-as-bitter-caucus-feud-breaks-out/story-fn7x8me2-1226274755100 Gillard leadership terminal: MP , WA Today http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/political-news/gillard-leadership-terminal-mp-20120218-1tg3v.html Prime Minister Julia Gillard urged to quit by Labor MPs including Darren Cheeseman, News Com http://www.news.com.au/national/prime-minister-julia-gillard-urged-to-quit-by-labor-mps-including-darren-cheeseman/story-e6frfkvr-1226274740588#ixzz1mm2FjGwW Leaked video shows Rudd swearing, ABC http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-19/kevin-rudd-swearing-video-leaked/3838352 :):):):)

TalkTurkey

19/02/2012[i][b]This must be an all-time pin-up keep-for-posterity classic beat-up.[/b][/i] :) But it carries its own real effects on the Government's credibility, as f@rts can carry real s#*t . . . and it seems to have worked for the enemies of Labor. If it does happen that there is a spill, it will be because the MSM has made itself the decisive player in Australian politics. The blogosphere is the sole refuge of Truth. If it does happen that there is a spill, Labor will emerge stronger than ever. We will not go down whatever, we will ascend. Now read on: Prime Minister Julia Gillard urged to quit [b]by Labor MPs including[/b] Darren Cheeseman By [i][u][b]Samantha Maiden [/b][/u][/i] From: The Sunday Mail (Qld) February 19, 2012 12:00AM [b][TT accentuating in bold][/b] MP Darren Cheeseman speaks against Gillard "It would be interest-of-party for Julia to stand down" Kevin Rudd appears in expletive-laden video Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been urged to quit [b]by Labor MP Darren Cheeseman[/b]. Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Daily Telegraph JULIA Gillard is facing a revolt [b]by Labor MPs [/b]who have [b]publicly[/b] called for her to resign as Prime Minister. For the first time, marginal seat [b]MPs[/b] - including Victoria's Darren Cheeseman - went [b]public [/b]with a demand she quit to save the party. "There's no doubt about it, Julia Gillard can't take the party forward. The community has made its mind up on her," [b]he[/b] said. "Certainly it would be interest-of-party for Julia to stand down and allow Cabinet to select a strong candidate." Meanwhile, an exclusive poll done for The Sunday Mail reveals the Bligh Labor Government faces annihilation in Queensland. With the Queensland election campaign officially starting today, The Galaxy poll shows Campbell Newman's LNP heading for office. In tricky timing for Queensland Labor, [i][b][[u]*Federal Cabinet yesterday erupted into open warfare*[/b][/u][/i] [b][?*!*? ??!][/b] over a looming leadership showdown. [b]Some supporters [/b]predicted Ms Gillard may yet be forced to spill the leadership and fight. But this was a "high-risk" strategy that would expose the level of support for her main rival, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. [b]Others[/b] accused Mr Rudd of destroying the ALP. The renewed federal leadership turmoil comes as Mr Rudd joined the state campaign yesterday, on the hustings with Brisbane Central candidate Grace Grace, while [b]the Gillard camp[/b] would not rule out sacking him as Foreign Minister if it obtained evidence of "gross disloyalty". But the [b]Rudd camp [/b]shot back, accusing Ms Gillard of deputising Cabinet colleagues to provoke a leadership ballot. Contacting The Sunday Mail yesterday, [b]they [/b]urged Ms Gillard to resign from office. "For the good of the party, for the good of the Government, she should stand down," [b]a senior minister [/b]said. "They are seeking a confrontation. It's clearly unsustainable." [b]The Gillard camp [/b]maintains she has more than 60 votes in the 103 ALP Caucus, but [b]even her supporters [/b]concede a ballot is high risk as it is likely to show that more than a third of MPs want her gone. "(Rudd) is lying about his support levels," [b]a Labor powerbroker [/b]said. "Kevin's whole campaign lies on some sort of bizarre collective amnesia that ignores how badly he treated us the first time around," [b]an ALP source [/b]said. [b]Both sides believe [/b]Ms Gillard will hold steady. "It would save a lot of blood on the floor. But I don't think it's a likely outcome," [b]one minister said [/b]about suggestions of a spill. [b]Ministers who are loyal to the Prime Minister [/b]threatened a wave of resignations if Mr Rudd managed to regain the leadership. High-profile Ministers Peter Garrett and Penny Wong publicly supported Ms Gillard. [b][Ah! 2 Names! But -er - they [i]support[/i] her! TT][/b] Asked whether he had support for a leadership challenge, [b]Mr Rudd yesterday declined to comment[/b]. Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, also on the hustings in Brisbane, said Australia had too many "dysfunctional" Labor governments. [b]Darren Cheeseman . . . Yes we get that . . . . [i][u]and[/u][/i] . . . ???[/b] Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/prime-minister-julia-gillard-urged-to-quit-by-labor-mps-including-darren-cheeseman/story-e6frfkvr-1226274740588#ixzz1mlnrAzXA Tanya Plibersek telling Crassidy where to get off. :) Whack Whack Whack, Go Girl!

DMW

19/02/2012Breaking News: [b]There's no leadership challenge: Rudd[/b] http://www.afr.com/p/national/there_no_leadership_challenge_rudd_SEZG7Gl5PJQnCKhqTDmyON

Ad astra reply

19/02/2012Folks What a turmoil Labor is in. I believe the best stance for those who support Labor, Julia Gillard and her ministers is to hold their nerve, as she no doubt will, unlike some of her Nervous Nellies on the backbench. Panic is quite unnecessary and unbecoming to boot. The media believe it has background information to justify its leadership frenzy. Let's see how it all pans out. Political history is being written day by day, but so is the history of journalistic competence and capacity to make valid predictions.

NormanK

19/02/2012Putting aside the substance of what is being discussed, how appalling is this article by Shanahan? [b]Kevin Rudd declares his hand, formalising his campaign to reclaim the prime ministership[/b] by Dennis Shanahan The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/kevin-rudd-declares-his-hand-formalising-his-campaign-to-reclaim-the-prime-ministership/story-fn59niix-1226274921618 There are any number of stories circulating in the press that report Rudd's remark that "there is no leadership challenge on" and yet Shanahan manages to report that: [quote]THE Labor leadership challenge is now on. The only question is whether there will be a formal ballot when parliament resumes in a week's time or whether Labor limps into March with its leadership unresolved. Kevin Rudd, in response to the damaging leak of an expletive-ridden video of him when he was prime minister, has [b]publicly disclosed his intentions[/b], with declarations of having learned from his mistakes and wanting to get the government's message back on to the economy. Giving what was literally a five minutes to midnight interview to Sky News, Rudd [b]formalised and unveiled a campaign[/b] to return to the leadership that has been underway for months.[/quote] (my emphasis) In his article there is not one verbatim quote. Not one. Is it any wonder people are turning away from such unsubstantiated analysis in droves. I'm not saying he is necessarily incorrect. I'm no better informed than any other mushroom but even commenters on blogs know enough that if they wish to maintain their credibility then they had better back up their contentions with verifiable facts or verbatim quotes. Why? Because we can all access the original sources for ourselves and pass judgement on the analysis of hacks. Gone are the days of taking a journalist's word for what transpired or what was said. Defecating in their own nests is putting it politely.

TalkTurkey

19/02/2012Lyn quoted: PM Julia Gillard told to quit as bitter caucus feud breaks out, Herald Sun There is a one-off opportunity for a nice spoonerism here. :) bitter caucus feud breaks out bitter caucus brood freaks out! There is a lot of fun in this little pair of phrases, which are actually [i]clauses[/i] though with neither definite article [i]the[/i] nor indefinite article [i]a [/i] (note form.) There's a [i]yew[/i] in [i]feud[/i] which also has a reverse twist of vowels, usually it would be -ue- to get yew or sometimes oo. There's an [i]-ea-[/i] pronounced ordinarily A in[i] breaks[/i], a word lying like an impatient maiden in wait for her lover-rhyme, (who will actually be a surprise when he arrives!) [I wrote [i]comes[/i] first but I know you people! :)] A simple oo in brood which nevertheless rhymes exactly with eu in feud though they have quite different spellings, And an [i]-ea- [/i]in [i]freaks[/i] that triumphantly mates with, [i]trumps[/i] but also [i]accompanies[/i] the humble [i]breaks[/i] in every way, with humor, emphasis, rhyme, the piquant [i]difference[/i] in pronunciation (yet with identical spellings) making you [i]lean[/i] on the [i]freaks[/i]; which is sort of funny. Then there's the [i]history[/i], Thank You Prof. Spooner! English is so nuanced, just to look at these few words closely, why they are balanced, why they are amusing, how they can rhyme with a twisted not-quite-rhyme yet even more charmingly, to think how they can be incorporated in all directions with other words, sentences, lines of reasoning, with verbs and nouns and all forms of fine modifiers, and idioms to boot . . . Looking in detail at this random and apparently meaningless bit of nonsense is akin to the Hubble Telescope having selected one tiny patch of dark sky "the size of a grain of sand held at arm's length", stared unblinking at it for over a week, and Oh my, galaxies beyond galaxies beyond galaxies appear, each of billions of stars . . . in one tiny spot in an infinity of space. Well there are infinite arrangements of words and nuances possible within English, but the amazing part is that (if it be your native tongue anyway) the nuances are so well understood from early childhood that for the most part we know exactly what any inflection or emphasis or word[i]ing[/i] implies between the carefully chosen words, and we do it automatically whether we are listening or speaking or [i]writing[/i]. The problem comes when they are misinterpreted. Which considering the precision of the language itself happens astonishingly all too frequently. Education is key here. Writing and speaking unambiguously, and reading and listening circumspectly, is essential, "for you know sometimes words have two meanings" (Stairway to Heaven) Thank Dog for [i]italics[/i] and [b]bold[/b] and [u]underlines[/u] and CAPITALS and "quote marks" and exclamation marks! And question marks? And the great English language with so many words already nuanced and awaiting their chance to take part in the ever-developing dialogue that is the exchange of human ideas. Oh and this little character. :) S/He helps a lot I reckon. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ [i]There might only be one or two people who read this rave with interest. That's plenty afa I'm concerned. TPS is inspirational. [/i] Even if no-one reads it I have the feeling that someone might. Thanks Ad astra WebMonkey and all in attendance. English is first last and always our primary political tool. That's why I wrote this here in case you were wondering. Parliament = "talking place" after all. ([i]En Frogsay[/i] :)) Don Dunstan was [b]the[/b] past-master of English, it meant that he got his reasoning right and his arguments were devastating because of that. I used to sit in SA Parliament, Oh and his [i]voice![/i] Steel sheathed in velvet-suede! It would bring up the hairs on your neck . . . The Liberals would [i]cringe [/i]. . . Come Labor Pollies, lift your game! Honour Don, and do the same!

TalkTurkey

19/02/201270 years on from the first bombing of Darwin, I wonder how many people know the real facts about . . . [b]The "Brisbane Line"[/b] My Father who was no mug was quite convinced that this was what Pig Iron Bob and Arty Fadden and their mob of cowards had planned, and that it was prevented by the election of John Curtin Labor. (HOORAY!) No offence to the Sons of the Sun but they would have been as ineradicable as [i]bufo marinus [/i] the Pacific Toad if they had been allowed to establish land bases in the area the plan envisaged. The Right in Australia has been real good at getting us into stoushes: Suez, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, we'll be in Iran if Abbortt and the US Repugs get in! Fighting, not so keen unless it's to fairly defenceless people somewhere else. And winning, well no, not our scene, make a mess and scurry away tail-between-legs has been our unblemished record. Not the Diggers and Grunts of course, the ones who sent them there for cynical murderous political reasons. I hate these people. Labor always has to try to do the dirty cleanup. Maimed children, blind burnt dispossessed paralysed people, what can we do? Bastard Right. Then they claim the flag-waving moral high ground. Anyway read on (from Wikipedia) The "Brisbane Line" was a controversial defence proposal allegedly formulated during World War II to concede the northern portion of the Australian continent in the event of an invasion by the Japanese. Although a plan to prioritise defence in the vital industrial regions between Brisbane and Melbourne in the event of invasion had been proposed in February 1942, it was rejected by Labor Prime Minister John Curtin and the Australian War Cabinet. An incomplete understanding of this proposal and other planned responses to invasion led Labor minister Eddie Ward to publicly allege that the previous government (a United Australia Party-Country Party coalition under Robert Menzies and Arthur Fadden) had planned to abandon most of northern Australia to the Japanese. Ward continued to promote the idea during late 1942 and early 1943, and the idea that it was an actual defence strategy gained support after General Douglas MacArthur referred to it during a press conference in March 1943, where he also coined the term 'Brisbane Line'. Ward initially offered no evidence to support his claims, but later claimed that the relevant records had been removed from the official files. A Royal Commission concluded that no such documents had existed, and the government under Menzies and Fadden had not approved plans of the type alleged by Ward. The controversy contributed to Labor's win in the 1943 federal election, although Ward was assigned to minor portfolios afterward. More on Wikipedia and more under the words Brisbane Line.

Michael

19/02/2012NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell's opinion of Prime Minister Julie Gillard. Reckon Shouldabeen's shrill chief of staff, Pieta Credlean might be screaming down the phone, "bugger off Baz!"? Mr O'Farrell said there was a disconnect between the public persona of Ms Gillard and her dealings with him through the Commonwealth of Australian Governments (COAG). "In private, at COAG, Julia Gillard is everything she's not seen to be publicly - hard-working, across the issues, smart, a hard negotiator," he said. "I have an enormous amount of respect for the way in which she conducts her job but the bad news for her is her party and the antics of her party is not allowing that to be seen by the electorate."

nasking

19/02/2012Last week, and the week before, I pushed for Kevin Rudd. As a strategist & keen political observer I was keen to get a sense of what would be thrown at Rudd if he were to become PM again. The past week in particular has been illuminating...if not predictable. We recognise that the Murdoch empire are the great opportunists - Mr. Smug over in the UK now hovering over staff like Big Brother has demonstrated time & time again he's as principled as Jack the Ripper and is in it for the money, the spotlight & dynasty creating...and a sadistic love of profiting from global chaos - so it's not surprising that Ruddy made the front pages today looking like a pissed off patient provided w/ a laxative instead of a painkiller. We can expect nothing more than the usual bombing of Darwin & Pearl Harbour approach by many of the Murdoch mongrels no matter who takes the leadership. And one only needed watch 7:30 w/ a generally glum, occasionally nasty Chris Uhlman this week...and [i]Insiders[/i] w/ the [i]wooden spoon award winner[/i] Barrie Cassidy to realise that Rudd has few friends in the media...and is as fatally wounded as Gillard... [i]wasteful, mismanages, hot-tempered, generally unliked & mistrusted in the party, control freak, egotistical, uncooperative, hasn't changed, out for himself, disloyal,[/i] are all descriptives that are likely to be thrown at Kevin Rudd based on his past performance...and the leaky period since Gillard took hold of the reigns of leadership... the labels that have been so conveniently, perhaps aptly on occasion, but most definately maliciously applied to Rudd by both ALP competitors and the MSM as they worked/work together to destroy the man's reputation... in as sordid and reluctant alliance as was witnessed w/ the Neo-Cons, Israel Lobby Democrats, Saudis & Israelis in the run up to the Iraq War. The recent release of the out-takes of Rudd's moody interview serves to demonstrate the extent that this grotesque alliance are willing to go in order to keep Ruddy from reclaiming the top perch. It tells us a great deal about the moral standards of the perpetrators...revealing they are as low, desperate and devious as much of the populace had already assumed (based on polls & the general mistrust of the MSM, particularly Murdoch rags)... HOWEVER, it also reveals that we have a feud on our hands that is beginning to rival the worst of the hillbilly antics way back when. Certainly not beneficial to the ALP, nor Australia...as the governments' [i]good story [/i] - and there's plenty of it regarding health, education, IR, defense, NBN and so on - is being lost amidst the very CHAOS that Murdoch feeds on. I have come to the conclusion that it would be better for the ALP, the government & the nation as a whole if the two desperate combatants (Gillard & Rudd) were asked to retire to the backbench, take a calmative...and remain as quiet as possible for the next year and a half... whilst the well-liked, calm & honorable [b]Stephen Smith[/b] from the great state of WA (far enuff from the duels, feuds & irritating scuffles of the big-headed East Coasters to find time to observe & contemplate & make decisions from a SANE distance) [b]step into the leadership position[/b]. My wife, a wise lady, told me this week it was a compromise that would suit her...she has enormous respect for Smith. I have to wholeheartedly agree. It's time for distracting feuds to end. Time for a calmative. And a quiet leader who puts the people first. [b]Stephen Smith gets our vote[/b]. N'

NormanK

19/02/2012Tom of Melbourne Thanks for that response @ February 18. 2012 07:40 PM. I have just a couple of points to make. Firstly, I gotta admit that I love it when someone says "they're the facts" as though that ends all argument. Invariably of course, those same individuals go on to interpret the 'facts' thereby opening up further conjecture. You seem to have a lot of faith in your memory and then ask me to have faith in your faith. I hope you won't think me ungracious if I ask you for a source for [quote] he’s[/quote] (Swan) [quote]admitted he kept the spending in place for political reasons.[/quote] When you pour scorn on Swan the dill, you are in fact pouring scorn on the departments of Treasury and Finance who employ hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are tasked with the job of collecting the data, running it through the modelling and providing the Treasurer and Minister with their best forecasts. You speak of the unemployment forecasts as though they were something Swan nutted out on a sheet of A4 while sipping a beer on his back verandah on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Swan is only the front man when it comes to such forecasts. They are the product of highly professional experts who are held in high regard by their peers around the world. For a more detailed response to your assertions you may have to wait for a day.

2353

19/02/2012To dump one PM is careless - to dump two is bloody stupid (and will put the ALP into opposition for a decade).

nasking

19/02/2012If Stephen Smith was to take the leadership I would expect Jason Clare (needs to be used more) or Simon Crean to takeover the Defense portfolio... Combet in Industrial relations...Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Member f... Bill Shorten as Treasurer... Tanya Plibersek (amazing & diligent work of late) remain in Health Wayne Swan or Richard Marles as Foreign Minister Jenny Macklin or Stephen Jones as Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Mark Dreyfus as Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Justice Kate Ellis or Jacinta Collins as Education minister Peter Garrett as Minister for The Arts Julia Gillard as Minister for Women's Issues (if she demands a frontbench seat Chris Bowen as Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform Leave Conroy, Roxon, Ferguson, Wong, Ludwig, Burke, Bradbury, Carr & Albo where they are. Complex positions being run efficiently. Kate Lundy or Andrew Leigh as Environment minister...something similar to Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Minister for Industry and Innovation... I would bring in Nick Champion, Yvette D'Ath, Ed Husic, Stephen Jones, Melissa Parke, Amanda Rishworth & Gai Brodtmann (Gai's position should not be dictated by the fact Chris Uhlman is on the ABC...it's discrimination...she's an effective communicator). [quote]To dump one PM is careless - to dump two is bloody stupid (and will put the ALP into opposition for a decade).[/quote] [b]2353[/b], what is [quote]careless[/quote] and [quote]bloody stupid [/quote] is to lose a winnable election... Abbott is LOATHED & MISTRUSTED by many of the public...he is gaining slightly because of the FEUD & negative perception related to Gillard...and Rudd to a degree. SMITH could be the individual to SAVE this government...and win the next election. He's done an excellent job in his portfolios & is LIKEABLE. N'

lyn

19/02/2012Hi Ad Here is Bushfire Bill's opinion on Rudd: [i]Bushfire Bill Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm comment 7450[/i] The media gaggle is thinking like a herd. They have been humiliated over just about every prediction they have made for years – from leadership speculation to unemployment figures. They nearly always get it wrong. So they are trying to promote an agenda to restore their credibility. After everything else is put to bed, one simple fact remains: RUDD.DOES.NOT.HAVE.THE.NUMBERS http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2012/02/13/newspoll-55-45-to-coalition-3/all-comments/#comment-1164337 Some Twitter comments; KoenjiEikaiwaKen PM Gillard isn't going anywhere Kevin Rudd has said he'll not challenge her He's happy as Foreign Minister http://bit.ly/A1va33 KATE JONES 1 ColviniusMark Colvin I know who should interview Rudd about the swearing. Alan Jones. youtube.com/watch?v=tB5nhn… MayneReportStephen Mayne This Peter Hartcher piece in The SMH was the best summary of the Rudd comeback to date: smh.com.au/opinion/politi… SkyNewsAustSky News Australia Gillard denies office leaked Rudd video http://ow.ly/1hu47V SkyNewsAustSky News Australia Labor challenge will occur -Wilkie http://ow.ly/1hu47W KoenjiEikaiwaKen Katter's Australia Party hate Nationals & the weak Liberals so no preferences deals for Labor too http://yhoo.it/x0Z4lQ KATE FOR ASHGROVE :):):):):):)

TalkTurkey

19/02/2012In Queensland where fourwheeldrive drivers meander (Where Barnaby into a billabong drove!) Sweet Anna is challenged by a shameless grandstander: That awful Campbell Neuman - who must first win Ashgrove! H'mmm, I guess I could go on with this and say what I think of him and his mob o' yobs in a parody but it would be unfair to this hauntingly beautiful song, most of whose words were hitherto unknown to me. (I knew some rude ones though!) But just listen to this little canary sing . . . The Ash Grove http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePhn7HaN-LY&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=AVAYMcY2vx8GRMu4AyXvIIBfi6n6H-W0n0 Down yonder green valley where streamlets meander, When twilight is fading, I pensively rove, Or at the bright noontide in solitude wander Amid the dark shades of the lonely ash grove. twas there while the blackbird was joyfully singing, I first met my dear one, the joy of my heart; Around us for gladness the bluebells were ringing, Ah! then little thought I how soon we should part. Still grows the bright sunshine oer valley and mountain, Still warbles the blackbird his note from the tree; Still trembles the moonbeam on streamlet and fountain, But what are the beauties of nature to me. With sorrow, deep sorrow, my bosom is laden, All day I go mourning in search of my love. Ye echoes, o tell me, where is the sweet maiden? She sleeps neath the green turf down by the ash grove. Sob. :'( But there will be much more for Bananabenders to weep for if/when the LNP get into power. All bets re anything at all sacred are off. Anna Bligh is a worker, Neuman is a parasite. The legitimacy of his family business is [i]deeply suss![/i] Don't do it good people of Ashgrove, do a bit of pensive wandering yourselves, and [b]SAY [u]NO![/u] to Neuman's GRAB FOR POWER![/b]

Ian

19/02/2012Posted on pb earlier today. It's why I don't agree with Nasking at 2.18pm With all this kerfuffle going on I can’t help but notice the PM appears to be saying very little. I may be hopelessly optimistic but I think that Rudd, his media sycophants, weak as piss backbenchers and others have, once again, underestimated Julia Gillard. I wouldn’t have a clue how this is going to play out. My feeling is that Julia Gillard will prevail. As strange as it may sound I think the PM is playing an entirely different game….and so she should. This entire Julia Gillard personality thing reminds me very much of a man I once worked for in the 1970s. He was a cabinet maker and had set up a long distance transport co to cart his cabinets to the newly developing towns, Mt Tom Price, Paraburdoo etc. This guy, George, was the hardest boss I have ever worked for. He was driven. Relentless. Focussed. Then, one day, it all stopped. The planning had worked. The company was on it’s way. The systems were in place and the paperwork was completed. George became a different person. He became, and still is, a very close friend. What I’m trying to say is Julia Gillard has to much to do to keep worrying about the next, confected or otherwise, challenge to her leadership. Her senior ministers are the same. Get done what needs to be done. Then deal with whatever the media deems as nation threatening. What we all seem to be forgetting is this; The noise this is generating comes from the disaffected and the dopey, delightfully pursued by the Canberra press gallery. Now there is a august body, a breeding ground of the easily bought, malleable mind for sale at a cut rate price if ever there was one. We must always remember that english was an honourable language until Australian journalists got a hold of it. Back the Prime Minister. and in reply to another poster; I agree with you re. the polls. They are nothing other than temporary scorecards, imv. As for the rest I’m afraid I disagree. The ” irritating voting public” need to see all of this unfold. The 20% of swinging voters you claim to prefer Rudd, and that may be so, need to see what is happening in all it’s brutality and understand it. On the surface this may be about Rudd and Gillard. On the surface it may be about the insipidly, talentless journalists in this country. But it’s not. This is about the exercise of raw neo-conservative power. That the neo-cons have pretty much come out and admitted that they intend to bring down this Govt. speaks volumes. This goes deeper than the present Govt. This goes to core value that all Australians should hold as sacred….” my vote is important.” These neo-cons want to buy the governance of Australia as cheaply as they can. Why wouldn’t they. They already own the media. They already own the minerals. They nearly had the entire workforce on contract. Nothing better than a workforce of pricetakers other than pricesetters….and wont that becoming back in a hurry if they win. The faces of the neo-cons, Rhinehart, Murdock and their ilk are bad enough. The ones who control the strings, these faceless men, are the danger. So, yes DTT, I believe that there is a conspiracy to try and seize control of the Australian democratic process. I also believe that the plotters, and you are right…they are evil, want Julia Gillard gone because from what I can see, the only people in the way of these neo-cons is Julia Gillard and her front bench. It may possibly be about politics, polls and shit scared backbenchers. It may all be about Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. I think this is a fight for the nations soul…..and I think the Prime Minister knows it. Apologies for the cross posting but I really do believe that this country does need Julia Gillard to fight through and win this. If the neo-cons can't be stopped they at least have to be blunted. I see Julia Gillard and her front bench as the best people to do that. We are down to our last chance.

TalkTurkey

19/02/2012C'mon Can-Do, surely you can do better'n [i]that![/i] :) [i]Or are you exaggerating even then?[/i] [ See his self-estimate-photo below Anna's ] . . . http://bit.ly/A1va33

Casablanca

19/02/2012[b]Darren Cheeseman [/b] On the face of it Darren Cheeseman looks like a time server. Since being elected in 2007 he appears to have served on a few Committees. From his outburst in the press today I doubt that he is spending any effective time promoting the successes of the Government in his electorate. Curiously, he was on the CEF Legislation Joint Select Committee but I don't recall him spruiking the CEF in the press. Here is his record from the APH Website: Parliamentary service Elected to the House of Representatives for Corangamite, Victoria, 2007 and 2010. Committee service House of Representatives Standing: Industry, Science and Innovation from 19.2.08 to 19.7.10; Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government from 19.2.08 to 19.7.10; Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry from 25.10.10; Privileges and Members' Interests from 25.10.10. Joint Statutory: Public Accounts and Audit from 25.10.10. Joint Select: Australia's Clean Energy Future Legislation from 14.9.11. Party positions President, ALP Ballarat West Branch 1998. Personal Born 8.6.1976, Christchurch, New Zealand. Married. Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament Union organiser 2001-07. http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Parliamentarian?MPID=HW7#biography

nasking

19/02/2012[quote]I may be hopelessly optimistic but I think that Rudd, his media sycophants, weak as piss backbenchers and others have, once again, underestimated Julia Gillard. [/quote] Ian, I just spoke to my neighbour here in sth east QLD. He wants Rudd to be leader again. He respects Smith, thinks he's done a good job. He said nothing positive about Gillard. He voted for Rudd in 07 and feels Gillard is a backstabber. He DOESN'T TRUST her. Apparently he'll vote Abbott if she is the leader next election. The disgust he displays when referring to the PM was evident for both my wife & I to see. My neighbour works laying floors/tiles. He is married w/ two young children. Has a mortgage on his house...paying up to 425 a f/t. The money is tight...but he works hard on improving his house & garden...a proud homeowner. He has a touch of the libertarian in his approach...and is a licensed, responsible gun owner. The type of voter the ALP needs to get back. Smith would get our wholehearted support...however, if Ruddy did come back as leader, my wife & I would also support him against Abbott w/ all our effort. Provided he didn't hand the keys to the kingdom to Murdoch's lot the way Tony Blair did. We can no longer Support Gillard. She & her allies have lost our trust...demonstrated they are willing to do anything to take & keep power...including undemocratically knifing sitting PMs (unforgiveable)...stirring up the Aboriginal people and undermining their reputation and future efforts by using them as a political tool in a blundering attempt to damage Abbott (unforgiveable)...break agreements w/ allies to support the big-end of town (Wilkie on gambling...Rudd previously on the mining tax...disgraceful)...and generally shooting herself, supporters & the party in the foot on a regular basis (think East-Timor, no significant reforms at the ALP conference, allowing Rudd to be attacked at the end of the conference, taking an unbelievable stance on gay marriage, going on 4 Corners and looking as guilty as sin. And unfortunately she will never be trusted related to the carbon price. Which has made selling the changes to private healthcare rebates a damn site harder than it should've been (thank crikey we have the talented Plibersek out there). The PM is a DISTRACTION...and has almost NO HOPE of regaining the public's TRUST, in my estimation. So Rudd...or Smith. Either has their STRENGTHS. Bring it on. Either one will get our vote. Tho, the man from WA is looking better by the day as this DAMNED FEUD goes on...and THE MESSAGE OF THE GOOD STORY is obscured by the FOG OF FEUD. Get on w/ it Labor. N'

nasking

19/02/2012BTW, I will give Rudd thumbs up for his calm & measured interview w/ David Speers on SKY NEWS. It's also positive that Smith has professionally distanced himself from the brawl and is getting on w/ a most important job...in these times of rising tensions w/ China, Russia & Iran. WA will play an extremely important role in the future...as it is now...and it's essential that the ALP's influence & power improves there. N'

Patricia WA

19/02/2012Hello, Ian. When your comment appeared on PB I copied it intending to incorporate much of it into my notes for my latest post at http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/ which I am still working on. I was wondering how to get your Okay for that. I wholeheartedly agree with you, and I guess you won't mind being quoted at length! I don't know how aware some of the individual journos are but they seem to be involved in a conspiracy, a [i]putsch[/i] to remove Prime Minister Gillard before her government's reform program really kicks in and is fully appreciated by the electorate. Big business, mining, banking and others know how much they've donated to the Coalition and how much News Ltd and even Fairfax, have worked to support Tony Abbott, but he personally isn't making any ground, and recently there has been a trend towards Labor. Yes, I think the ALP's polling, though low, is holding firm, not flatlining as media pollsters describe it. They've done a pretty good character assassination of Julia Gillard, but even there a backlash is promised as her courage and resilience are recognised and she keeps on keeping on. Australians love a fighter and that she surely is, and a wiley one at that. This cartoon expresses my feelings Am I right in thinking that Alan Moir agrees with us that that Australia's fate is in Julia Gillard's hands, or arms, as shown here..... http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/opinion/cartoons/alan-moir-20090907-fdxk.html Or have I missed some other subtlety? What do Swordsters think?

Patricia WA

19/02/2012That Link http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/opinion/cartoons/alan-moir-20090907-fdxk.html takes you to his gallery. You need Number 3, showing the PM tip toeing through a media minefield clasping Australia in her arms! I'll have to do a better job using that with my pome, when finished.

Ad astra reply

19/02/2012NormanK Dennis Shanahan in an unapologetic apologist for the Coalition. Anything he writes has to be viewed against that reality. TT I agree: Come Labor Pollies – lift your game. That is, backbench Pollies. Michael Thank you for that O’Farrell assessment of Julia Gillard. Nasking I expect nothing will change – Julia Gillard has the guts to see this through. Lyn Thank you for the interesting links, especially the one to BB’s comment. Ian I like your assessment.

Ad astra reply

19/02/2012Folks I have just posted [i]Tony Abbott, we are sick of your lies[/i]. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2012/02/19/Tony-Abbott-we-are-sick-of-your-lies.aspx

Ian

19/02/2012Nasking@5.44pm It would appear that your neighbour and I will cancel each other out. I also work in the construction industry and live in SE Qld. I am also ex West Australian and can remember Smith as some sort of union official in Perth. I cannot ask your neighbour to change his vote or his opinion of Julia Gillard. I cannot ask him to look into the eyes of his children as he tucks them into bed at night. I cannot ask him to try and see what a society that will be ruled from the boardrooms of the Rineharts, Palmers, Harveys and others will look like. Only he can do that. I have spent many years roaming the the remote places of this country. The special places. The soaring escarpments of the Top End. The art galleries, both Wandjina and Bradshaw, of the Kimberley. The waterholes, billabongs and fat, contented boabs. The rainforests, the red dirt and spinifex of the centre and Pilbarra. The gnamma holes in the W.A. wheatbelt. All of this supported, nourished and protected the aboriginal people. It no longer does. No Prime Minister or Government can heal a broken soul. Only a community, of all creeds and colours, can do that. That you can, quite spuriosly(sp?), blame Julia Gillard for all that ails the Aboriginal nation is, imv, disgracefully narrow minded and you should be ashamed.

Jason

19/02/2012Nasking, "undemocratically knifing sitting PMs (unforgiveable)" When did the "great unwashed" ever vote for any PM? he called on a spill then decided not to contest the ballot as he didn't have the numbers hardly undemocratic. I know you hate her but to then go on and say she was "stirring up the Aboriginal people " No doubt you have facts to back up these claims? Yet two weeks ago you told me off because the people of QLD wanted Rudd back! now you want Smith and by next week you will want someone else! But never forget it was her that done what Rudd didn't have the balls to do and she's in the position she's in now because Rudd put her there! the man is gutless! But if you wish to make unfounded comments so be it. PS How many "irresponsible and unlicensed" gun owners is the Labor Party attracting now or at any time? Sounds like "shock jock" hysteria to me.

jane

23/02/2012Nas, I can't agree with you or your neighbour on the "knifing" of Kevin Rudd. From all that is being revealed, he was impossible to work with and if he were to regain the leadership would get no support from his fellow MPs. Nor it seems, would he have the support of the Independents. But Gillard obviously has their confidence and it seems that Mr Wilkie has acknowledged that what is now being put in place, although not exactly what he wanted, is better than nothing. Also, Windsor and possibly Oakeshott wouldn't have supported the legislation in its original form, so something had to give. His cave-in on the ETS showed a lack of determination and willingness to negotiate, imo. And he had no answer to Liealot, who was walking all over him. The government was on its knees and something had to be done. And let's face it, Kevin Rudd was on the nose! So, there was a palace revolt and Gillard drew the short straw. Or, to put it another way, she was the only one with the balls to tap him on the shoulder. Also, Tony Windsor has indicated that he would not have supported Rudd after the 2010 election, nor will he if Rudd gets the nod on Monday. I'm not aware if Oakeshott has indicated what he would do in the event Rudd gets up, but I have a sneaking suspicion he may also withdraw his support. After considering all these factors, I can't help but conclude that Kevin Rudd is solely responsible for his predicament and does not have the confidence of caucus. And I am deeply unimpressed at his whiteanting over the last 18 months; it seems he would rather bring the government down than accept the decision of his colleagues. Very disappointing and adds further weight to the correctness of the decision to remove him as leader of the ALP.

jane

23/02/2012Ad astra, can't say I'm surprised at Liealot's ongoing and apparently untreatable amnesia wrt the HIP or any other Labor initiative. ToM, a forecast is only as good as the information you have at the time. A quick perusal of the weather report will confirm that. Nice try but no cigar, as usual.

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3/12/2019

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3/12/2019

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3/12/2019

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3/12/2019

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3/12/2019

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What does two plus 1 equal?