Getting sucked in by a séance

It’s Friday arvo, close to tea-time, and the Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet, is walking down St Mary’s road in Sydney. Suddenly, he notices, on the other side and walking in the same direction, Tony Abbott.

For his part, as he reaches the Catholic Cathedral, Tones veers off and enters its hallowed halls. Greg finds this very intriguing. “Hmmm”, he says to himself, “I wonder if Tones has an appointment with Cardinal Pell? I think I’ll just mosey in and see if I can eavesdrop on their conversation...”

As Greg pushes the front door open and pokes his head around for a squiz, he notices there is no-one inside except for Tones, who is way up at the front, kneeling down in prayerful supplication. Greg tip-toes along the side, where the confession boxes are, and notices the largest one has a big sign above it, identifying it as belonging to the good Cardinal. It also confirms the times for confession – Friday, 4-6 pm. However, he also notices a post-it stuck to the door: “Back in an hour – gone to fold some flyers for Lord Moncton’s visit – George”.

Then, to Greg’s discomfort, he notices Tones beginning to clamber up off his knees. He peels off the post-it, opens the Cardinal’s door and hides inside its dark cavernous interior, before Tones can spot him.

However, to Greg’s alarm, Tones walks straight over to the confessional, opens the penitent’s door and enters, kneeling down in the semi-darkness, waiting for “George” to push back the grill and give him the benefit of his fortnightly shot of divine inspiration.

On the other side of the grill, Greg decides he is going to have some fun. He slides open the grill, signifying the confession may begin.



Tones: Bless me, George, for I have sinned...it is two weeks since my last confession...

[Tones doesn’t even get to begin his litany of transgressions when he is rudely interrupted by “George”, who appears to have an Irish accent.]

“George”: Now listen here, you blackguard – don’t you dare come in here addressing me by my first name – have you no respect for the holy cloth?

Tones: Hey, hang on a minute – you aren’t George! Who are you anyway?

“George”: I am who I am...or, is it, “I am, I said” – I always get my Old Testament verses mixed up with my favourite Neil Diamond song titles...Well, anyway, I’m Fr O’Leary and I’m on a priests’ working visa from Ireland and I’m standing in for His Eminence who’s off for an hour or two doing God’s work in regard to the upcoming incarnation of the Messiah Moncton...

[Tones has never heard so much drivel since he had to listen to Barnaby Joyce trying to explain that it was the devil who made him drive a perfectly good four-wheel drive vehicle into a flooded Queensland creek.]

Tones: Well, if you’re not His Eminence, I’m off – I haven’t time to be kneeling here listening to some half-pissed Irish cleric who would make Fr Jack Hackett sound even more articulate than Barack Obama in full rhetorical flight...

“Fr O’Leary”: But...but...but...hold on to your horses, young fella...I’ve got a few “people” here whom you might find more than a tad interesting...

Tones: What? You’ve got people in the confessional with you? What have you got going in there – a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous or something...heh...heh...

“Fr O’Leary”: No, my son...you misunderstand me – the people I refer to are beyond the grave...

Tones: Erm...I think you might have downed one case too many of your Bushmills whiskey, Father...

“Fr O’Leary”: No, my son...let me explain...You see, we get all sorts of reprobates and degenerates in here, confessing to their heinous crimes...

Tones: Huh...Malcolm Turnbull must be a regular customer of yours then Father...hee...hee...

“Fr O’Leary”: Well, as I was saying, a recent penitent confessed to me that he had been participating in séances...

Tones: Huh...I know all about them, mate – have you ever tried to chair a meeting of the Shadow Cabinet...sheesh!

“Fr O’Leary”: But, you might find this interesting, my son...during his confession, this particular individual explained to me how to make contact with those beyond the grave...He said these spirits keep their eye on present-day happenings and can provide us with some very useful information...

Tones: Errr...hang on a minute...you mean you could contact some dead ALP malcontents and get them to spill the beans on Gillard and her mates?

“Fr O’Leary”: Yes, my son...so, let us start...let us quieten ourselves...so that the spirits can approach us in confidence...

[Tones can’t believe his luck. Hopefully, some deceased ALP pollies will speak from beyond the grave and drop heaps of dirt on the lefties. Then, after a few seconds of quiet, “Fr O’Leary” begins to stir.]

“Fr O’Leary”: I can feel a spirit coming amongst us...Yes...he says he is Mal Colston, who resigned from the ALP in 1996. He confesses that he took the thirty pieces of silver from the Liberals and agreed to become their patsy as Deputy-President of the Senate...

Tones (impatiently): Never mind all that crap...what dirt has he got after listening into ALP Caucus and Cabinet meetings all this time?

“Fr O’Leary”: Yes, he is making contact with me...He is saying that the Prime Minister is just about to adopt the Nauru Solution...she will announce that every Muslim from here to Mecca and back will be put up, at Australian taxpayers’ expense, at the five-star Nauru Resort, and afterwards shipped in the luxurious comfort of the QE 2 to Oz, where they will turf all the Australians out of their homes and jobs, and make everyone wear a burqa...

[Tones, at this news, can hardly contain his rapture. He jots down a few details, ready to quote them in his upcoming press conference.]

Tones (gagging): Anything else...anything else?

“Fr O’Leary”: Erm...I think we are losing him...But, wait...I can feel the presence of another spirit...He says he is Bill Bryson – a MHR who was expelled from the ALP in 1955, at the time of the DLP split...

Tones: Right...but has he got any dirt on Brown’s bitch?

“Fr O’Leary”: Yes...he is speaking quite candidly to me now...he says he was spiritually present at a recent Cabinet Meeting and he says they plan to include breathing in the soon-to-be-imposed carbon tax...

Tones: Huh...sounds like a load of hot air to me, mate...heh...heh...

“Fr O’Leary”: Yes, he is saying that the lefties are planning to tax everyone a dollar for every time they breathe out, cos they’re contributing to greenhouse gases...

[Again, Tones can’t believe his luck – if Jooles tries to pull this stunt, they’ll be carting her off in a strait-jacket, thinking she’s escaped from the set of “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”.]

“Fr O’Leary”: Alas, Bill has departed back to the other place...But...I feel yet another spirit in our midst...Yes...he says he is John Lynch...an MHR who resigned from the ALP in 1916 after his leader, Billy Hughes, failed in his attempt to bring in conscription...

Tones: And, what does he say?

“Fr O’Leary”: Yes...it’s getting clearer...he’s still banging on about conscription...He says the government is not satisfied with the progress of the war in Afghanistan and is planning to commence a Children’s Crusade and conscript all primary-aged children – only from private schools, mind you – to go over there and act as minefield clearers...

[Tones still can’t believe his luck. He jots down all the details on the back of one of the envelopes John Howard bequeathed to him, and pushes open the confessional door. And, just by coincidence, Chris Uhlmann, Miranda Divine and Dennis Shanahan are there on their knees in the pews ready to get their confession heard by Cardinal Pell, having told so many porkies to their readers and listeners. Tones blurts out that he needs to call a press conference immediately, so that he can stick it up the government.]

Miranda: No worries, Tones...there are a few camera crews in a watering-hole up the street...I’ll go and fetch them and we can make a start...

[A few minutes later, Tones confidently begins a press conference in the nave of the Cathedral.]

Tones: Ladies and gentlemen...thank you for attending so promptly...So, before I take your questions, I have recently been in contact with at least three ALP backbenchers...And, believe me...they are not very happy chappies...

[Greg Combet, aka Fr O’Leary, sits back in his confessional throne and has a quiet chuckle to himself.]

Greg: Heh...heh...some ALP backbenchers may have been complaining to him...But, after this presser, it’ll be the Coalition frontbenchers who’ll be doing the complaining...  

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janice

17/06/2011:D: :D: (K) Fantastic Ascerbic. I've always been a fan of Dave Allen so also appreciated your supporting video clip.

lyn

17/06/2011Hi Acerbic Conehead Thankyou so much for your fabulous work. There is something about you, how come you always come along with your article just to cheer me up. The harp, harp, harping today and more harping about Kevin Rudd is enough to drive anyone mad. At least it's winter time and we can look forward to Mr Abbott keeping his clothes on for a few months. [quote]Chris Uhlmann, Miranda Divine and Dennis Shanahan are there on their knees in the pews ready to get their confession heard by Cardinal Pell, having told so many porkies to their readers and listeners.[/quote] Acerbic they really need the Pope, Cardinal Pell is not higher enough to forgive them.

janice

17/06/2011http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/opinion/post/-/blog/andrewprobyn/post/180/comment/1 First reporting I've come across about the PM's mid-winter ball speech. According to the Twittersphere the PM was given 10 stars.

Patricia WA

18/06/2011She deserves every one of them, Janice. I hope the First Bloke was there to enjoy her performance. By the way, Talk Turkey, I have re-written the lost moral compass pome as [i]How Australia Nearly Lost Its Moral Compass[/i] at http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/. I have posted it as a slight variation, and would appreciate your critique. I think I'll dump the first version which was very hurried. PS I've put a note for you amongst my general comments to others over at the AA's Moral Compass post. Cheers.

lyn

18/06/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Black is White in the Red Room, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] In less than three weeks, the Coalition will go backwards again. The numbers will stack up as follows:34 Coalition, 31 ALP, 9 Green ,1 Xenophon, 1 DLP,76 TOTAL (minimum number needed for a majority: 39) http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/ [i]Higher wages for Ordinary Australians? Liberal say it must be stopped, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] Liberals don’t care how much executives pay each other – no, they mean that it’s time somebody stood up against YOUR wages increasing. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]No silver lining in peak oil: is the realisation we’re running out distorting the global response to climate change?, New Anthropocene[/i] Recently the International Energy Agency admitted we may have passed peak oil in 2008 (see Guardian interview here). http://newanthropocene.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/no-silver-lining-in-peak-oil-is-the-realisation-were-running-out-distorting-the-global-response-to-climate-change [i]Two grand for Barnaby’s ‘mind blowing’ India epic with Gina, Andrew Cook, Crikey[/i] The use of the perk means Joyce will have to pay for future trips out of his own pocket until the next federal election in 2013. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/06/17/two-grand-for-barnabys-mind-blowing-india-epic-with-gina/ [i]Why Australia is vulnerable to both climate change and climate sceptics, Stephan Lewandowsky, Guardian Uk[/i] True to form, the tabloid response was to blame scientists for, well, offering their authority in scientific matters, brushing aside the death threats as if they were appropriate punishment for anyone who dares to inform humanity http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/jun/15/climate-change-skeptic-australia?CMP=twt_gu [i]The Government weather report: what climate change means for you , The Fifth Estate[/i] The federal government has released specific details of expected climate change impacts for Australia’s states and territories in a report, Climate Change Potential Impacts and Costs. http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/24793 [i]Senate Estimates: Some things never change, Renaie LeMay, ITWire[/i] As long as the opposition are using up endless hours grilling public servants into a state of semi-consciousness, no possibility of actual transparency, disclosure or accountability is likely to arise. http://www.itwire.com/it-policy-news/government-tech-policy/47922-senate-estimates-some-things-never-change [i]Why Conroy will leave Telstra alone, Stephen Bartholomeusz, Technology Spectator[/i] Telstra shareholders have to endorse the final deal. Already angry that their company was bludgeone into submitting to Conroy's will, a costly overlay of functional separation on top of the concessions already made could spark a shareholder revolt that would blow up the deal. http://technologyspectator.com.au/nbn-buzz/why-conroy-will-leave-telstra-alone?utm [i]What Happened With The NBN This Week?Nick Broughall, GIZMODO[/i] For all the moaning about the cost of the NBN, spare a thought for the money we spend actually paying politicians who spend their time meowing at Senator Conroy in parliament. How much would the country save getting rid of that stupidity? [SMH] http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/06/what-happened-with-the-nbn-this-week-22/ [i]The winners from the war on terror, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] public service under the Howard government — are commercial property owners, particularly in Canberra.ASIO is in the final stages of building a vast new headquarters but has until now had to squeeze its additional staff into buildings in the Defence precinct at Russell in Canberra, http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/06/17/the-winners-from-the-war-on-terror-terrorists-and-property-owners/ [i]Failure to launch: Rupert's people , Bruce Guthrie The Drum[/i] Man Bites Murdoch to its readers, called it "an entertaining, thoughtful and important book for those who care about a thriving and independent press". What a pity the Melbourne Press Club apparently doesn't. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2761880.html [i]Newspapers: a digital future? , Gary Suer Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] Rupert Murdoch reckons that newspapers will evolve onto a mobile, electronic platform that updates every hour or two and that consumers will pay for most online news content in future. It just seems inevitable that someday digital delivery http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/06/newspapers-a-di.php#more [i]Explaining the age of austerity: Beyond the conjunctural, the organic crises re-emerges, Dr Tad, Left Flank[/i] ruling elites falling back on neoliberal ideas and practices to resolve the crisis in capital’s favour — it’s just that the longer the underlying crisis continues to operate, the harder it is to achieve any kind of stable hegemonic outcome. http://left-flank.blogspot.com/2011/06/explaining-age-of-austerity-beyond.html#comment-22802130 [i]Emissions Rating, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] Not only is the consumer paying 1000 times the cost of the actual water, the bottles made to put water in produces emissions that are not produced when one turns on a tap. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/emissions-rating/

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011Things aren't that much different in Australian politics: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-shaw/reading-the-pictures-boeh_b_878857.html

TalkTurkey

18/06/2011 Warning: The following site may cause distress or unhealthy arousal to some. It contains photographic evidence of male sexual mutilation. "You can see Kelvin’s Balls in the photo of the Aurora Australis’ magnet compass binnacle (compass stand and casing) found on the ship’s monkey island." http://www.google.com.au/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1TSHN_ENAU345&=&q=kelvin+balls&btnG=Google+Search Lyn, Obviously this is the true explanation of the "Cold enough . . . " saying, I had no idea. The Internet scores again! But never mind the monkey, I can't help feeling sorry for poor old Kelvin! I have looked at both versions of your pome, and I definitely prefer the stanzafied one. Political pometry it seems to me is for impact above all, and the visual separation of bites is much more mentally gobblable. I will look again at the two versions for a bit deeper consideration of the differences, but note, everybody else is at least as valid as critic as I. More so perhaps, the whole politosphere is our target and I guess I'm a bit too close, as one of the few pomets, to be dispassionate . . . I think our pomes are gems but I'm biased. I just realised that the monkey would indeed need to be brass -the balls had to be soft iron (which is magnetic but does not stay magnetised) and were spheres rather than e.g. ovate or elongate, because magnetic force is strongest at any extremity of any magnetised object, (which is why compasses have needles because the points are so strongly magnetic), whereas spheres ain't got no extremities. The monkey holding Kelvin's Balls had to be completely non-magnetic of course, otherwise that would have influenced the compass reading itself. Feral Skeleton, how peripatetic can you get! I'm glad you called me that. I got carte blanche now!

Ad astra reply

18/06/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011Talk Turkey, By 'peripatetic' I guess you could say that atm I don't know whether I am coming or going. Or if I'm both coming AND going. Or if I come AND I go who knows where next! :)

TalkTurkey

18/06/2011AC Thanks for the weekend fun. I think you have brought the issue of how the voodoo cults that are called Religion are stealthily exerting more and more more-sinister influence on politics in this country, as has already happened in the USA. It's scary really. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dave Allen was the funniest sit-down stand-up comedian I've ever seen and my old Dad loved him too. Gee I wish I had the bit of his finger that went missing, like, preserved in formaldehyde or freeze-dried. Reckon that bit of Dave Allen's finger would have had more fun in it than the whole of Tony Abbortt's budgie smugglers! :) I'm bad. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AC I wish you'd let Greg take Abbortt's confession. Could you perhaps arrange another confession session? Maybe Greg could learn to talk like Archbigot Pell? I'm sure you can pull that off AC! People who believe in ghosts believe in nothing at all. This is a statement of the obvious. Catholics believe in one particular ghost. They're gonna tell you Ah but our ghost's DIFFERENT! Actually, legally speaking, ghosts is ghosts. You can test for their presence with a litmus solution. Place the suspected ectoplasm into the solution and if it doesn't change colour there you go.

lyn

18/06/2011Hi Ad Doesn't anyone else get the feeling sometimes as to who is the Government: [quote]Morrison to meet caned refugees in Malaysia, ABC Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says Mr Morrison will meet with human rights groups as well as refugees who have been caned by Malaysian authorities. [/quote][quote] "He can talk to Malaysian justice officials and find out about the kind of caning and other corporal punishment that boat people might be sent to if they are part of this Malaysian people swap that the Prime Minister wants to put in place," he said.[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/18/3247249.htm

Gravel

18/06/2011Acerbic Conehead You have done it again. Just when despair was about to set in you got me laughing this morning, a wow did I need it.

jj

18/06/2011Oh dear! I would hate to be Gillard right now. The lowest poll numbers for any major political party in history, as well as Kevin Rudd being in every newspaper declaring that he has learnt from his mistakes. The question is, how long can Labor caucus hold it together? Will the prospect of a possible by-election wipeout cause them to make a decision that at the moment seems unlikely? The fact that Gillard is facing leadership speculations at the moment makes you wonder, how much longer can she last?

lyn

18/06/2011Hi Talk Turkey Excellent comment above but is my name meant to be there, I'm wondering. [quote]I have looked at both versions of your pome, and I definitely prefer the stanzafied one.[/quote] I'm positive I didn't write a pome, definately not in my capabilities. Cheers :):):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011I think it is important to highlight this link back to The Conversation highlighted in lyn's link today to The Guardian article: http://theconversation.edu.au/climate-change-is-real-an-open-letter-from-the-scientific-community-1808

Patricia WA

18/06/2011Thanks, TT, you confirmed my hunch and I've trashed the original. After reading Mr. Denmore's latest at http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/ I was able to make a few more changes too. Yes, AC, we do get sucked in, don't we? Forgive me, AC, in the wee small hours I was so upset about Julia 'seeming' to have lost the country's moral compass and then proving who was the real culprit I've only just read this your latest properly and had a good laugh over it. You have to laugh about Abbott and Pell and the climate change thing or you'd cry. Thank God, even the Pope has more sense than those two and many Catholics won't buy Pell's sceptic rubbish. Mind you your seance channeling old lefty apostates is as likely as the Annunciation. You could encourage a schism.

TalkTurkey

18/06/2011OOOOOOOOOOPSSSSSSSSSS! So sorry Girls! re that pome . . . Not Lyn!!!!! PATRICIA!!!!! Mea Culpa! How embarrassment! But now you know I hold you both in such esteem that I can mix you up. Go on. Beat me. Thrash me. Oooooohhhhh. Anyway Ad mixed me up with NormanK yesterday. Might be a virus.

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011jj, Full of mischievous bulldust and blather as usual, huh, trying to create an impressiion of something that just isn't there. Why? As another pathetic attempt to shake our resolve and faith in a politician that as PM is light years better than the self-procliamed liar that you support? There is no challenge coming from Kevin Rudd. How many times does he have to state that in public before allusionists like you believe him? Forever, it seems, because it suits the conservative agenda to keep suggesting otherwise, of course. Read the link to The Huffington Post article that I put up earlier today, about the political theatrics which goes on in conservative political circles especially, or maybe that should be that goes on on both sides of politics but the Conservatives do it more adroitly, combine it with the latest volte face 'Bleeding Heart' transformation that Abbott and Morrison have undergone wrt asylum seekers, whereby they are now trying to convince the Australian populace that going slowly crazy on Nauru, as a Nauruan Visa holder with no prospect of ever getting off the guano hell-hole, as Abbott & Morrison pay to keep them there indefinitely, is somehow preferable to actually 'Stopping the Boats', as the government appears to have found a way to do, which doesn't involve blowing them out of the water, sabotaging them so they sink, or towing them away from Australia, like Abbott wants, and think to yourself, 'What is the preferable way to be a person making policy for this country?'. Which all but seems to have been forgotten in the Toxic Twins new-found zeal to make sure they prevent something happening, caning of illegal immigrants, that is never going to happen to the asylum seekers sent back to Malaysia, because they will not be illegal immigrants. As the deal between the 2 governments will show. Still that will never stop them filling the void, until the deal is signed, with Orwellian dystopian rhetoric, and organised political stunts like Morrison's trip to Malaysia, in order to mislead, until then. Nor will anything approaching the truth stop you coming to this blog in order to do your own bit of mischievous misleading for the Conservative troops, it seems.

NormanK

18/06/2011jj I would be apoplectic with rage if the Labor Party sought to instigate a leadership change. Their polling numbers could well fall into single digits and they would rightfully be doomed to several terms in the wilderness. The course for the ship has been set and must now be adhered to or run the risk of running aground. I fear you take far too much notice of the papers. Who would not expect leadership speculation with the polls (those useless constant attempts at evaluating the public mood) at such lows and the anniversary of Rudd's resignation? Seriously, how long do you think Mr Abbott can keep up this scare campaign based on proven falsehoods? [quote]"If the Prime Minister wasn't trying to hit Australians' cost of living with this big new tax of everything, if the Prime Minister hadn't [b]completely lost control of our borders[/b], I think that the Prime Minister's position would be much stronger. "As long as they've got policies which want to damage the cost of living of Australia's [b]forgotten families[/b], as long as they've got policies that are going to [b]kill the coal industry and heavy manufacturing[/b] in this country, they're going to have trouble."[/quote] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/18/3247266.htm Every major report this year has given the lie to Mr Abbott's rhetoric and I fully expect that they will continue to do so over the next twelve months. As the veils are slowly stripped away from this whirling dervish he will be exposed as the fraud that he is and it is his future prospects that I think are in greater danger than Ms Gillard's. By the way, did no-one tell you during your formative years that gloating is a singularly unattractive habit?

Kevin Rennie

18/06/2011I wonder where Bob Santamaria would have stood on climate action. Doubt even he could have stomached the global socialist conspiracy meme.

lyn

18/06/2011Hi Talk Turkey Don't worry [quote]Go on. Beat me. Thrash me. Oooooohhhhh[/quote] I won't care, I wouldn't beat you with a feather, we need your comments on here to enjoy your talents, keeping us entertained as well as informed. I don't mind being mixed up with Patricia's talents, yes you elevated me. No Mea Culpa! Cheers :):):):):):)

Patricia WA

18/06/2011NormanK, you obviously agree with me that for once something jj had said was worth commenting on. [quote]The question is, how long can Labor caucus hold it together? [/quote] I think it's pretty clear that Labor is holding it together and working very well with the Independents to pass legislation and keep the government of this country running. I also think it's pretty clear that they made the right choice with Julia Gillard as leader to replace Kevin Rudd. Her calm, her negotiating skills and her refusal to be drawn into destructive negativity in the face of great provocation are exactly what the ALP needs right now. And you bet they know it! No matter who took over from Rudd was going to be pulled apart by News Ltd and others supporting Abbott's relentless attack campaign. It's taken a year and they've had success in the public opinion arena at least, though she's still a bit ahead of Abbott as PPM, but in government she's still working cooperatively with the Independents. I can imagine likely contenders e.g. Combet and Shorten (even Rudd) being very glad they aren't in her shoes and grateful to her for carrying the flag so valiantly. Quite apart from that I would imagine that many hold her in genuine esteem and affection.

BSA Bob

18/06/2011Move over Spinal Tap, as of this morning the Murdoch press has cranked things up to eleven, I think by midweek they'll have hit fifteen. It seems we're to have an Official Anniversary Week to commemorate Gillard's ascenscion to P.M. I reckon not one person in a hundred could tell you the date this occurred & I suspect a fair few couldn't get the year right. This will be rectified by Rupert's Rangers & their camp followers. Lyn at 10.22. Probably not telling you anything you didn't know, but that story looks like an almost verbatim lift from a Murdoch piece in today's tabloids. How unfortunate for all these people that when Tony's stopped the boats with his phone, they'll have to resign themselves to staying in places like....Malaysia.

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011Kevin Rennie, Wrt the 'global socialist conspiracy' meme, you might be interested to read this post from 2009: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-feldman/conspiracy-theory-conserv_b_186798.html

jj

18/06/2011Patricia, But isnt that part of the problem (RE negativity)! Every time you see her up on the podium she has to take a jibe at the opposition leader. Why cant she just delegate the sledging responsibilities to ministers and act prime ministerial. You see, at the moment it seems as though we have two opposition leaders... hence their poor personal approval ratings. If Gillard were to instead focus all of her public appearances on discussing her policy positions then she might get some traction. FS, Just the usual dribble from you. NormanK, I agree. The public would switch off from the Labor Party totally, just as they switched off in NSW. However the problem is that if this sort of hectic, headless chook-like behavior continues on for another 6-12 months wont the public switch off anyway? Having agreements bedded down before announcements are made one be one giant step for this Government, in the right direction.

Jason

18/06/2011jj, The " discussing her policy positions" sounds good in theory, but the press gallery seem more interested in anything but! Most questions asked at press conferences consist of either Rudd or what ever antics Abbott is up to! Todays media sadly treat the national discourse of matters political in this country as a "reality tv show" and frame it around who should get voted off this week? By the way Has Abbott pulled that dunce "Randall" into line over the "Pussy Whipped" comment?

NormanK

18/06/2011jj You've had a make-over. I like the new look. Your point to Patricia WA is a valid one but presumably the PM's advisors believe that attacking Abbott is the way to go. If you read my 'fireside chat' and some of the commentary around it you would know that I also believe Ms Gillard should take more opportunities to speak to policy rather than react to criticism or just bag out Mr Abbott. On the bedded down aspect of policy announcements/advances, how's this for a hypothetical. Rather than announce that a deal is being negotiated with Malaysia to take the first step in trying to find a regional solution to irregular travellers in South East Asia (as endorsed by the countries involved in the Bali Process and outlined in the Bali Framework 2011) the government keeps it under wraps as you are suggesting. Firstly, promises of transparency are broken - no big deal I guess unless you happen to believe that a bit more transparency would be a good thing, which I do. Secondly and most importantly, while the negotiations are underway and at a delicate stage [i]Lateline[/i] gets its hands on a draft copy of Malaysia's 'demands' and a bunch of e-mails expressing the UNHCR's reservations in light of such 'demands'. What do you reckon the screaming headlines would have been? SECRET DEAL WITH MALAYSIA BOATPEOPLE TO BE CANED IN MALAYSIA SECRET PEOPLE-SWAP and on and on and on. As it was, Tony Jones complained that the negotiations were going on behind closed doors and kept 'secret' from the public. I think it is gutsy and right that announcements are made when a policy decision has been taken but the details have yet to be worked out. Is it politically wise? Perhaps not but I loathe politics and would love to see an honest and upfront government which keeps me informed of events as they reach new milestones. I was careful in my choice of words there. I don't want a running commentary on how the talks are going - any negotiations will have their ups and downs and in the current media climate only the downs will get headlines. Quite a few announcements that seem to be ill-timed and hasty have later been shown to be an attempt to pre-empt a media story which was going to release the news anyway. Advertising for a price on carbon is a recent case in point. Unfortunately, I can't imagine that you would be consistent on this question. If the government negotiated to conclusion something which you fundamentally disagreed with, you would be in the front lines screaming 'lack of consultation' and 'secret deals'. As for the headless chook reference, I suspect the second half of 2011 will be comprised of resolutions to problems, building on the ground work that was done in the first half of the year.

Michael

18/06/2011Retrospective Bad Abbott. Shouldabeen at his wife's child-care centre late this previous week. Lot of lo-ong term voters being attended to there, what's the point? Oh, TA and wife, surrounded by kids, in contrast to Julia Gillard and the First Bloke on 60 Minutes, unmarried, without children... Speaks volumes, doesn't it? About Shouldabeen, that is. A Bad Abbott for every day learned at the feet of the master: Government by early morning stunts every day can work as Opposition by early morning stunts every day. We'd see Howard walk (see Howard walk) before dawn every morning, then watch him blather to a radio interviewer before breakfast, then off to his office and... well, Australia just ran itself till it was time to pull on the tracksuit the next pre-dawn. Now, we see Abbott on his bike (oh, to see Abbott 'on ya bike, mate'), then off he races to some place of supposed business to run out his stunt comment for the morning. There's not a chance in this world that Abbott, should Shouldabeen become 'is', won't govern with the same early morning nonsense that Howard patented. And there we'll all be, with a locked-gate white picket fence in front, and a cathedral behind. And Australians will have what most Australians seem to currently want - a stunt PM with a stunt government (see Morrison off to Malaysia this coming week) doing daily stunts to convince us we've never had it better since the good money managers are back, and meanwhile... the air will foul and a small posse of pockets will be lined. Won't it just be wiz?

2353

18/06/2011Like NormanK I also suspect that the 2nd half of 2011 will be better for progressive Australians. While I believe the Greens will extract their pound of flesh, the ALP will have as a partner a group they can negotiate with - rather than a group that has spend the previous 3 years saying "no - now what was the question". I hope that the Government has been doing a lot behind closed doors to get agreement on some fundamental issues such as climate change, mining resource tax, a humane approach to refugees and so on. The LNP might be livid - but as we've seen a couple of times Abbott doesn't do livid well.

janice

18/06/2011[quote]But isnt that part of the problem (RE negativity)! Every time you see her up on the podium she has to take a jibe at the opposition leader. Why cant she just delegate the sledging responsibilities to ministers and act prime ministerial.[/quote] jj, I suppose you would prefer the PM simply "turn the other cheek"? In doing so would she get any credit or would you and your ilk then say she is gutless and incapable of defending herself. The LOTO is a self-righteous bully and would cower like bullies do if he did not have the backing of big money monkeys who are out to protect their get richer agendas.

janice

18/06/2011[quote]Astroturfing is a form of advocacy often in support of a political or corporate agenda designed to give the appearance of a "grassroots" movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political and/or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. The term is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach", "awareness", etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual promoting a personal agenda, or highly organized professional groups with money from large corporations, unions, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often, the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research. Beneficiaries are not "grass root" campaigners but distant organizations that orchestrate such campaigns. [/quote] I heard someone on the radio talking about "astroturfing" and how it was being used as a tactic by Abbott and his merrymen. It came across as sense to me. I don't know about anyone else but "astroturfing" came to mind when I saw the polls telling us that something like 60% of voters prefer Rudd over Gillard as PM. I would bet my last dollar that most of the Lib voters would prefer Rudd, and therefore the result is skewed against Gillard. My brain is tired at the moment so forgive me for not putting forward a clear and concise argument. Suffice to say that I just do not believe the numbers these polls are putting up, but I don't necessarily believe the government isn't a little behind.

janice

18/06/2011Sorry, the quote above comes from Wikipedia.

Patricia WA

18/06/2011janice, re your response to jj. I hadn't noticed the PM attacking Tony Abbott whenever she gets on the podium. Rather the reverse. She does talk about his fear campaigns when trying to promote the government's agenda in relation to his relentlessly dishonest spin. But there's no personal venom and as far as I can tell nothing of the order of the lies, hypocrisy and scaremongering of Abbott and Co. If anyone wants to give chapter and verse to prove me wrong I'll happily read it and acknowledge the error of my ways.

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011jj, [quote]FS, Just the usual dribble from you. [/quote] Charming. But I think the slur word you were casting about for was 'drivel'. ;-) Still, just the usual base denigration from you though, in place of any sort of valid rebuttal. I suppose you think I am vulnerable now to outright insult since my bona fides have been questioned recently. Another Conservative tactic. Playing the politics not the policy. Playing the man/woman. It's a clever little ploy, outright dismissal of my response to you, whilst taking the time to reply to others. Gives you a veneer of reasonableness. Smart too. Playing as it does into other's commentary about me recently and the perceptions they have engendered. Not going to work though. I've been denigrated by the best of them, in a rabid and agressive attempt to humiliate me into silence, and then gotten up to fight for what I believe in again the very next day. So, go your hardest, jj. But I think you're just going to end up whistling into the wind.

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011PatriciaWA, The PM has called Abbott "A Hollow Man". So insulting,huh? Anyway, I wouldn't have thought it was insulting, I would have thought it was just telling the truth.

janice

18/06/2011Patricia, I think perhaps I wasn't clear in what I said. No, I don't think the PM "attacks" Abbott but she does emphasise his negativity etc in just about every answer she gives to a "policy" question. I don't criticise her for this though I read other labor supporters do think she should not mention the word abbott at all :) IMO to turn the other cheek to the likes of Tony Abbott is to get it slapped as well.

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011'Double Standards'. I knew there was a term for what jj is trying to put over on us. He's a very clever troll, I must say. Seemingly reasonable one day, but waiting to pounce when the opportunity arises the next. The Coalition must have sicked one of their best, up-and-comers onto this blog, because he is relentlessly pursuing us into the ground in an attempt to trivialise and devalue our contribution to the ongoing political debate. And one of his most effective tools is the Double Standard: [quote]Any set of principles containing different provisions for one group of people than for another, typically without a good reason for having said difference.[/quote] And it's just so breathtakingly blatant. As for example with his latest jaw-droppingly brash statement that it is the PM who takes every opportunity she gets to attack Tony Abbott. When, as any rational observer knows, that shoe is very definitely on the other foot. But enough doubt is allowed to exist in the objective mind, such that you think, well, maybe I've missed something somewhere because the statement is made, here in a public forum, as though it is a statement of fact. However, it's not true really, or only true if you count statements that are only in the mildest way condemnatory of Tony Abbott. So sorta true. True enough for the troll to think they are justified in using it as an accusation to fling at their intended target, our Prime Minister, however. Because, at the end of the day, that's all the Coalition supporters care about, effective destruction of their opponents, by whatever means necessary. It's not about rational debate. It's about obfuscation of the debate, on the road to the political death and destruction of 'the enemy'. And the anonymity that the internet affords is allowing them to get away with it with no lasting consequences to them, and only upside as far as they can see. Oops, sorry, I forgot. I just speak dribble. :D

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011janice, In the PM's speech in Queensland today, I noticed she did not refer to Tony Abbott by name once. She has instead taken the correct path, in the time-honoured political fashion, and has begun referring to the lot of them, non-specifically, as "our opponents". Sometimes it's better not to reinvent the political wheel. Also not be so specific as to give name recognition to your opponent.

janice

18/06/2011FS, your post above "double standards" .... says precisely what I set out to say when I answered jj but my tired brain refuses to function clearly atm. I didn't hear the PMs speech today but I'm pleased she didn't utter the dirty word and used instead "our opponents". :D: I've come to the conclusion that the PM and her Ministers really should refrain from giving Abbott the courtesy of a name and put him in the nameless bunch of "our opponents". I might ask a Pollbludger who tweets the PM occasionally (and gets nice replies) to suggest this to her in one of his tweets.

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011janice, My brain is also in the frazzled category, atm. However, jj can be reliably counted upon to make it briefly spark back into life because he's such a supercilious, presumptious prat. Oh dear, there I go again. He'll have all the cause he needs to accuse me of just insulting him all the time with my constant 'dribble'. :)

D Mick Weir

18/06/2011Evening All, I have made a brief escape from 'other duties'. Good to catch up on the interesting comments and 'argy-bargy' that have occored over the last 37 and a half hours or so. In my news feed I found an article that those of us who at times pretend to be experts or at least practice the fine art of being [i]Monday Morning Experts[/i] could find helpful. [b]When experts argue[/b] - Tim Harford - The Undercover Economist http://timharford.com/2011/06/when-experts-argue [i]'In 1984, a young psychologist called Philip Tetlock began an extraordinary two-decade investigation into the limits of expertise. ... He canvassed every expert he could find, and was struck by the fact that the most influential thinkers on the cold war flatly contradicted each other. Tetlock’s resulting book, Expert Political Judgment, is excellent but technical. It has become influential ... To my mind, the problem is not the experts. It’s that the world is simply too complicated for anyone to analyse with much success.[/i] Prognistications on what will happen at the next election or after 1st of July (when the makeup of the Senate changes) should only be made after reading and absorbing the post.

D Mick Weir

18/06/2011oh dear and bu@@er: [i]*Prognistications*[/i] Prognostications I probably should stop trying to pretend to be an 'expert' on big words. ex = unknown spurt = Drip under pressure

Feral Skeleton

18/06/2011DMW, Thank you for making the time in your busy life full of this, that and the other t'ing, to come back and visit us at the thoroughly-discredited little blog, 'The Political Sword'. :) Thank you also for the link. Some useful food for thought. It made me extemporise myself, as the armchair expert that I, myself confidently proclaim myself to be. It being my expert opinion on this matter, and how can you disagree? Anyway, 1. The Gypsies realised that we love to be told, centuries ago. Also that we don't mind paying cash money to be told by these 'experts', all manner of future events, which, by the time we get to them, have been overtaken by present events which we get caught up in and forget to relate to past predictions given a week or so ago by the fortune teller, or appropriate 'expert' in their field. I used to do it myself, with Tarot Cards, however, unlike other 'experts' and future oracles, I felt embarassed charging the punters their hard-earned for it. 2. If you're an expert, and you do get caught out telling a porky, you have usually become expert at also fudging your way out of the situation. Some of the doozies I heard after the GFC was not predicted by so-called Economics Commentators, had to be heard to be believed. Or not. 3. Sadly, this 'Chutzpah Theory' of prognostication, would also explain why Tony Abbott's hand-on-heart, straight-to-camera 'opinions' are swallowed hook, line and sinker by the electorate. Or so it seems if the polls are to be believed. But then, they're just a fancypants method of divination and prognostication by so-called polling experts, too, at the end of the day. 4. Delphic Oracles. Witch Doctors. Rune Readers. Bone Throwers. You name it. Which I think proves that humankind is addicted to 'expert opinion' and the practice won't be going away anytime soon.

lyn

19/06/2011 [b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Leverage, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] the coalition would call an election and make hay while the polls shine. The independents would be fractured and the greens moment of sunshine is extinguished before it is begun. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/leverage/ [i]ABC's "The Opposition Says" # ( ivelostcount) Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] Well, duh, of course he does! He’s hardly going to give any credit to a relentlessly hostile commercial media or his shamelessly dishonest Opposition, is he? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/06/18/the-opposition-says-ivelostcount/ [i]The Mandate Mantra, Alex Schlotzer[/i] Australia doesn’t have a mandate-style of politics depicted by the media and Opposition. The mandate that government’s have is through securing enough seats with the policies and promises they make to win government. http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/the-mandate-mantra/ [i]Michael Danby wants to preference Liberals, Jeremy Sear Onymous Lefty[/i] Michael Danby, wants the nearly 1.5 million Australians who voted for the Greens (11.76% of the electorate)to have no representatives in the “House of Representatives”: http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Labor needs a policy ‘circuit breaker’ - NOW , Tristian Ewins, Left Focus[/i] The government needs a ‘circuit breaker’ and needs it now. Labor needs to break the cycle of fearful speculation now - with an agenda of constructive and visionary reform with which to inspire and engage the electorate. http://leftfocus.blogspot.com/2011/06/labor-needs-policy-circuit-breaker-now.html [i]Abbott stunt but still no answers on Nauru , Media Newswire[/i] ( UNHCR ), is working with the government on our Malaysian transfer arrangements, but did not support and was not involved in Nauru.'but only this government can deliver a truly regional and cooperative solution to tackle people smuggling.' http://media-newswire.com/release_1152701.html [i]mr no goes to work..., Gus, Your Democracy[/i] Opposition Leader has sought to lead the daily agenda, and get his face on the nightly news, by dragging gaggles of shivering (and sometimes even whimpering) journalists to fishmongers,glass pane purveyors, you name it, in order to emphasise the evil, http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/12737 [i]Books do furnish,David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] hard to see Tony Abbott dipping into something serious between media stunts or athletic events. Maggie Thatcher? Can’t see it. John Howard – well, biographies of Don Bradman, greatest Australian who ever lived, possibly, but beyond that? http://davidhortonsblog.com/2011/06/18/books-do-furnish/ [i]About Nauru destinition , Allscience Net.[/i] The official policy involved intercepting asylum seekers at sea and then transporting them to detention camps set up on Christmas Island, Manus Island, and on the tiny island nation of Nauru. The policy was abandoned by the Australian Labor Party in 2007. http://www.mbahjo.co.cc/2011/06/about-nauru-destinition.html [i]Yet another scam targeting pensioners and other welfare recipients, Clarencegirl, North Coast Voices[/i] Centrelink never asks its customers to transfer funds and I urge people not to send money to anyone they don’t know.” http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/06/yet-another-scam-targeting-pensioners.html [i]Solar power stations set for NSW, Qld, ABC[/i] Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson says the two plants will have the capacity to power more than 115,000 Australian homes at any one time. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/18/3247437.htm?section=justin

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Hello lyn, I followed a link on Alex Schlotzer's blog and ended up here: http://networkedblogs.com/blog/theangle.org/ What do you think?

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

lyn

19/06/2011 Here it is again The Mandate Mantra, Alex Schlotzer Australia doesn’t have a mandate-style of politics depicted by the media and Opposition. The mandate that government’s have is through securing enough seats with the policies and promises they make to win government http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011I thought the ABC weren't supposed to run ads? Especially party political ones.

jj

19/06/2011To all, 1. The point about transparency coming before propper policy discussion, i believe is not the right way to approach Government. On the Malaysia solution, all the Government has to do is say that there are discussions going on with our neighbour, but we do not want to preempt the discussions. The Government did this when it came with the negotiations with the independents during those long couple of weeks. The current system of announce first, negotiate second leads to media pressure as well as political pressure and therefore can often hijack the debate (just look at Morrison's trip to Malaysia!) 2. I distinctly do not recall John Howard doing press conferences, media interviews and doorstops every single day, where almost a quarter of the time spent was focused on the opposition. This is why the electorate took eleven and a half years to grow tired of him... he did not over expose; and when he did expose himself it was as if it was a treat (Kerry Obrien for instance), and he was on there to talk about policy. Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd have got into the trap of being on TV, the radio or in the newspapers every single day... people get sick of them! 3. FS, i believe that you act as much like a troll as i do. Your nothing more than the thug of the blog, ordered out to clean up those who disagree with you. That is why i call your contribution dribble... it is slippery, slimy and disgusting; but it is after all translucent in its ridiculousness and therefore harmless. So i will let you to continue dribbling. 4. All i will say about the latest on the inner workings of the Labor Party is, they look like an absolute rabble. Surely if there was anything that should cause them to unite, it would be a primary vote figure of 27%. I say, if Newspoll, Morgan and Essential go the same way Julia better watch out!

NormanK

19/06/2011Acerbic Conehead Very well done. I'm not sure that the basic premise is accurate though. Mr Abbott doesn't need help from soothsayers, he is doing a fine job of seeing into the future all by himself. Ghost towns inhabited by feral camels, water buffalo and deer. Coal mines closed down FOREVER (what a shame if we left something in the ground for our grandchildren to dig up). Iron ore mines crippled. Don't you know we have to dig it up NOW. In a hundred years' time we won't need iron ore, we will be building skyscrapers out of algae and lawn clippings. Unwittingly, you have opened the door for me to repost a bit of nonsense that I first posted here a year ago. I do this only out of consideration for any of our readership who may have missed out on the first publication. It's a bit dated but the leopard has most certainly not changed his spots but he does seem to have curiously got over his stutter. [u]IT’S A SIN[/u] In a small cafe in Forestville. At a corner table sit two men hunched in earnest conversation. One a man of the cloth, the other reptilian in nature. [u]Tony[/u] : Thank you for agreeing to meet with me Father. [u]Father[/u] : You know I am always available to one of my flock, Tony. But why here in a cafe? Is this not something which could be better dealt with in the church? In the confessional perhaps? [u]Tony[/u] : Really, that’s uh that’s the problem Father. I’m not sure what I need to confess. I was hoping for a bit of ah advice before I go into His office, if you know what I mean. [u]Father[/u] : Very well, my son. What’s troubling you? [u]Tony[/u] : Well, there’s been a lot said, and written, you might have seen some of it, about how sometimes I’m .... uh .... I’m not ..... ah ......... consistent in what I say. [u]Father[/u] : You mean lying. [u]Tony[/u] : No .... no ......... ([i]chuckle[/i]) no .... I mean ...... I mean being inconsistent. Like the climate change thing when I said it was cr........ you know, untrue. That was because I was in a room full of people who all thought it was ...... untrue ..... so .... so I was just saying what they all thought anyway. [u]Father[/u] : So that they would like you? [u]Tony[/u] : I suppose so. I mean ... I mean I don’t care if they like me or not as long as they vote for me. But ..... but the point is, at the time I couldn’t say MAYBE it was ........... uh ..... rubbish or maybe it was true ‘cause they would’ve lynched me, so when I said it was ....... rubbish I meant it. Sort of. [u]Father[/u] : Okay. And then later you were ..... inconsistent. [u]Tony[/u] : Yeah well there’s so much jumping up and down about it, I can’t go out there and say it’s cr......... ah ....... rubbish and expect to get elected so ....... so I had to say what everyone wanted to hear, that it MIGHT be true and IF it was true we MIGHT have to do something about it. You see my problem, Father? [u]Father[/u] : I believe so, my son. But what do you really think about man-made climate change? [u]Tony[/u] : What’s that got to do with ........ ? Oh, okay ..... okay, okay I see ....... what do YOU think I should think about it, Father? [u]Father[/u] : That’s hardly the point, is it? Still, let’s leave that. What else? [u]Tony[/u] : Well there’s that thing about no new taxes, you remember? But I was under pressure. I can’t come out as a new Opposition Leader and say , and say “we’re gonna put up taxes” - people don’t like taxes, Father and they really don’t like new ones. [u]Father[/u] : And then later you were inconsistent? [u]Tony[/u] : Yeah but ...... but you have to understand, Rudd had this great idea about Paid Parental Leave and ................ and ......... and ..... I ....... I needed something better than his and I didn’t have any money. People reckon women don’t like me so ....... so ......... and I wanted them to .......... to like me. I didn’t think anyone would remember the “no new taxes” thing you know and it was just spur of the moment stuff and anyway it was gonna be on big businesses not on real people. Nobody cares about big business. Except me of course. I .... uh ...... I care about, uh big business and I care about, uh small business ............ [u]Father[/u] : So you were ...... inconsistent because you wanted women to like you? What about men? What about the businesses you were going to tax. [u]Tony[/u] : Well, men already like me. Heck, I’m an Iron Man. Have you SEEN my six-pack, Father? ([i]laugh[/i]) And the businesses knew I’d never get it through Parliament so no sweat there. [u]Father[/u] : So you never really intended to implement a PPL scheme? That was a lie? [u]Tony[/u] : No, no, no ([i]chuckle[/i]). I was going to ............ uh to ........... to TRY to do it but SOMEONE would have stopped me even though I really really wanted to. [u]Father[/u] : Mm. That would bring us to your “consultative”, “collegiate” speech after replacing Mr Turnbull, wouldn’t it? [u]Tony[/u] : Sure, sure. He was high-handed and I uh I had to uh I had to promise that I wouldn’t be. [u]Father[/u] : And then you ...... [u]Tony[/u] : Yes, yes, I ...... I ...... I announced the pregnant mothers’ scheme ......... [u]Father[/u] : Saying that sometimes you have to “act first and seek forgiveness afterwards”. You must be aware, there are prisoners serving life sentences who used that same rationale. [u]Tony[/u] : What are you saying? [u]Father[/u] : Nothing my son. It is not for me to judge. Each man must live according to his own conscience. [u]Tony[/u] : ([i]aside[/i]) Conscience? Con...sci....ence? Rings a bell but ................ Con...science? Global warming? [u]Father[/u] : Alright. These are obviously complex issues and I don’t have all morning to dissect them. What about “victory is within our grasp”? Was that true? [u]Tony[/u] : When I said it? Sure. Absolutely. Gosp........ We were just going on holidays and I was giving the team a pep talk sort of thing. It was what they wanted to hear. [u]Father[/u] : You wanted them to like you? [u]Tony[/u] : Yeah, of course, I’m their leader. Sometimes you can uh ........ you can TELL them to like you but .......... uh ......... but it doesn’t always work. I don’t think Julie likes me. She’s always looking over my shoulder. [u]Father[/u] : Was it true? Were you within reach of a famous victory? [u]Tony[/u] : Don’t be silly Father. We looked like getting trounced but you can’t , you can’t say that to the kids just before holidays, can you? They wouldn’t have liked that. [u]Father[/u] : Mmm. But then you said later on that you didn’t actually say those words - it was a misunderstanding. [u]Tony[/u] : Look, I couldn’t have the Australian public thinking I was ah .......... I was ah ........ I was full of myself. People don’t like that. They don’t like people who are full of themselves. Hubris. [u]Father[/u] : Alright and then a few days later you told Father O’Brien that you DID say that but it wasn’t all that you said. [u]Tony[/u] : Yeah. Gee it’s hard to get him to like me. I really thought he’d like me for that one. What is it with redheads and getting them to like me? Oh Julia uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... uh ..... [u]Father[/u] : So, my son. Are you saying you lied when you admitted lying about something you didn’t believe in when you said it? No. Hang on. Sorry. You told the truth when admitting lying about something you lied about. No, that’s not quite right either. It’s hard isn’t it? Let’s see. You were honest in admitting that you lied about saying something which you knew wasn’t true? [u]Tony[/u] : Sure, maybe. But enough with the uh ......... the uh ........ the lying stuff Father. I am not always consistent in what I say but ......... but ........... BUT I’m a fair dickum bloke and what you see is uh what you get. [u]Father[/u] : ([i]aside[/i]) That’s what I’m afraid of. [u]Tony[/u] : Sorry Father? [u]Father[/u] : Nothing my son, nothing. Can you see the common thread running through all of this? It seems you have a desperate need for people to like you. In fact, you’ll say pretty much anything to get them to like you. Do you believe it’s working? Do you think people like you? [u]Tony[/u] : No, no not really Father. Fifty-five percent of them hate me. [u]Father[/u] : And why do you think that is? Why don’t people like you? [u]Tony[/u] : Because they think I’m uh ....... they think I’m a liar. For goodness sake! What do they want me to say so that they’ll believe I’m honest? If they would just tell me what to say, then I’d say it. [u]Father[/u] : I’m sure you would. [u]Tony[/u] : So what do you think Father? Confess to a bit of hummus and ............. ah .... and ah ...... and inconsistency and covetting thy opposition’s leader and ah Bob’s your uncle? [u]Father[/u] : That’s not for me to decide my son. I’m sure the Lord can see in to your heart and ..... [u]Tony[/u] : ([i]aside[/i]) Oh ferguggle.[b]*[/b] [u]Father[/u] : ...... provided you remain true to your heart, He will judge you accordingly. [u]Tony[/u] : Thank you Father. I really appreciate your uh ..... your uh .......your blessing. [u]Father[/u] : Oh no, no, no, you misunderstand me. ([i]standing[/i]) Make no mistake, my son. YOU are going straight to Hell. *Copyright - Hillbilly Skeleton 2010 All rights reserved

Gravel

19/06/2011Feral Skeleton The ABC are allowed to run the oppositions ads whenever they want, okay. ABC stands for Abbott's Broadcasting Company. When did they run the ad and what was the ad like?

Patricia Lorimer

19/06/2011I find jj's entry directed at FS to be highly offensive.

Acerbic Conehead 2

19/06/2011Good morning, Swordians! I’ve had a few deadlines at work, so apologies for being tardy with my replies/comments. Janice, I’m glad you appreciated the Confession Box story and the accompanying Dave Allen clip. Yes, he was a comic genius and gave many a laugh to both religious and non-religious alike. Lyn, Once again, your attention to detail in chasing down all those articles and then providing a précis/link is formidable. Take the rest of the day off, lol. [quote]they really need the Pope, Cardinal Pell is not higher enough to forgive them[/quote] I reckon even JC himself would be hard pushed. TT, Thank you again for your support. Yes, Dave Allen’s missing section of a finger would be worth tracking down. Maybe, another classic comedian could be cloned from it. I think he was ambivalent about religion, being dismissive of many of its “unusual” manifestations, but having enough interest in it to base a career satirically focusing on it. For me, I see theism and atheism as two sides of the one coin. They are both based, I believe, on leaps of faith (there is a god/there is no god), neither of which can be proven scientifically or empirically. Not that there is anything wrong, [i]per se[/i], with leaps of faith, as science can’t, I believe, provide all the answers to all the questions humans ask. However, leaps of faith shouldn’t be accepted [i]carte blanche[/i], but should be measured against particular value systems. Anyway, that’s enough philosophy/theology for one day! Gravel, I’m glad my story lifted your spirits. As someone once said, the truth will set us free, so keep smiling. HS, Thanks again for your comments and very useful links. Whatever it is that is ailing you, I hope has gone away, and you are soon back to your ebullient self. Patricia WA, Yes, the Cardinal has been sucked in with all that Plimer/Moncton tripe. Maybe he should read some of Thomas Aquinas, who tried to combine faith with reason, given the limitations of the era. Kevin Rennie, Thanks, Kevin. I don’t know much about Bob Santamaria, but you ask a good question. Thankfully, Cardinal Pell is not necessarily infallible when he’s speaking on scientific matters. Jason, That Don Randall quip about “pussy whipping” sounds like something from a very bad American soft-porn movie. And even more appalling was Julie Bishop’s refusal to take him to task over it. Michael, Keep the [i]Bad Abbotts[/i] coming. Fortunately (or unfortunately), there’s lots of fodder for you to feed on. NormanK, Great to read your Confession story again. It’s far from dated, and a good character sketch of Tones. He’s really the post-modern man, following wherever his weathervane points.

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Patricia Lorimer, Thank you for your support. Yes, jj, rich isn't it that he thinks he has the right on this blog to call me a troll? The bald-faced cheek, if you asked me. Still, the Conservatives have as their Rule #1: Always accuse others of what you are guilty of yourself, in order to distract from the truth. The truth is an inconvenience that they wish didn't matter to people. It would make their political lives so much easier if the electorate just swallowed what they served up to them so that they could get on with making wage slaves out of the majority, forever on their treadmill of consumption-based existence, and their already obscenely wealthy oligarch backers even more obscenely wealthy at the workers expense. I'm almost at the point of banning jj, which I would do in consultation with Ad Astra, but, as I said, he's cunning enough to salt his slagging of me now with seemingly reasonable comment to others. A troll but a very clever one. I suppose I should take it as a compliment that I have not had just any old troll put under our bridge. Finally, it's interesting how the blanket statement that I am a troll, can be made at the same time as my contribution to the blog by way of posts written and evidence presented over a very long period, in order to rebut Coalition frames, memes and, yes, their 'Post-Truth' style of politics, can be glossed over by jj. As if they were meaningless in the balance. That's Chutzpah, with a capital C, for Conservative Coalition troll. Actually, in the interets of democracy, I'll both leave it up to jj to modify his attitude before being shown the door, as Ad Astra just recently asked contributors to leave their abuse of others here at the door; and, I think that if other TPS blog citizens believe that I am behaving like a troll, as jj suggests, then they should let me know. In the interests of transparency and honesty. I always thought I was just standing up for Julia Gillard and the government and not allowing jj and others to get away with sledging them unfairly. I'll let others be the judge though.

macca

19/06/2011" The greatest danger to most of us is not that our aim too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."...Michelangelo. and so it is with our politics, the medium in which they are reported, commented on and analysed. The Murdochcracy shout; "This Government have no vision" " This Prime Minister shows no leadership" To them I quote John Buchan; " The task of a leader is not to put greatness in humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there." and it is. As Australians we are now to scared to dream, to believe in our own inate common sense and decency. Need an example.....Dick Smith and the climate change debate. Once an Australian many people admired, probably still do, cowered by what the Murdoch press would say about him. They have reduced us to this. " The average estimate themselves by what they do, the above average by what they are"...Johann Von Schiller. I have no doubt whatsoever that the vast, silent majority of Australians have an understanding of what the Murdoch press are trying to accomplish by the continual trashing the Govt. and Prime Minister. The Murdoch cabal is, desparately, trying to unseat a democratically elected parliament. If they have convinced us that we can no longer speak out, no longer accept that the search for our greatness lies within us as individuals. If they can do this they have won. All of us, Labor, Liberal, Green or independent voters/supporters have lost so much more than a political contest. I leave it you do decide the personal magnitude of that loss. " It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else".....Erma Bombeck

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Gravel, No doubt you'll see the ad all over the media today. It's the offensive 'Kevin O'Lemon' ad updated to include Julia Gillard and Bob Brown in the 'Slag and Bag' segment which the ABC are happy to run regularly throughout the day it seems.

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011Patricia Lorimer I too regard the comment about FS by jj as highly offensive. I thought about deleting it but felt that if left intact it would reveal to visitors who do not know him how jj goes about his business of commenting on [i]TPS[/i]. I do wonder why he continues to return to a site that he appears to find disagreeable.

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011Folks Did you see [i]Insiders[/i] this morning? In my opinion it was one of the worst displays of self-opinionated discourse I have seen in a long while. First there was the always-poisonous Piers Akerman, with never anything positive to say about the Government, only vitriolic condemnation. Then there was Malcolm Farr, who was more balanced and who actually strongly challenged the veracity of some of Akerman’s assertions using a novel approach – recourse to the facts. Then there was the ever-opinionated Fran Kelly, who too argued the toss with Akerman. And finally there was Barrie Cassidy, whom I thought this morning was even handed, challenging as he did some of the statements the others made. He also questioned motor-mouth Christopher Pyne more assertively than is his usual style. I thought that Malcolm Farr summed up Pyne well when he said that he would ride a unicycle into parliament wearing a hat with a propeller on it, if only to attract attention to himself. But most of all I was struck with the pontifical converse of the panellists. Leaving Akerman aside, as we ought to do as he always know best, did you notice how the others spoke as if they were the experts who knew exactly what Government should have done or said. No ifs or buts, they knew. To them the Government either did not know what to do or how to do it, lacked strategic planning ability, bumbled along directionless, and while talking up big initiatives, hadn’t delivered much. No doubt some would agree with that assessment. But that is not my point – rather that the panellists on this show, like so many others on [i]Insiders[/i] regard themselves as world-beating experts, who if only in power would do things differently and of course correctly and successfully. They are, like the panellists on [i]Offsiders[/i], grandstand spectators giving us their expert opinions, and seeking to have us believe that they know best. Note how seldom they individually express doubt about the correctness of their opinion, because as a rule, that is all it is. Note how there are few caveats, only near certainty. Also note that although they all indulge in groupthink, they do disagree with each other. How can such clever experts disagree, so certain are they individually that they are right? Which brings me to the comment of D Mick Weir yesterday when he drew attention to [i]When experts argue[/i] by Tim Harford - The Undercover Economist 
http://timharford.com/2011/06/when-experts-argue . 
Harford canvassed every expert he could find on the cold war and was struck by the fact that the most influential thinkers on the cold war flatly contradicted each other. DMW records that Harford concluded: [i]“To my mind, the problem is not the experts. It’s that the world is simply too complicated for anyone to analyse with much success.”[/i] This is a nice lead in to the piece I finished yesterday that I will post tomorrow: [i]Looking down from the grandstand – where the experts are[/i]. It argues that the people in the grandstand, whether at football match or observing the political game, regard themselves as experts, almost infallible in their opinion and judgements, which they do not hesitate to express with the certainty experts generally do. The political game ‘experts’ are journalists, bloggers, and the public at large, many of which see no need for facts to support their views. My piece argues, as apparently Harford does, that political issues are too complex for even the wisest to unravel; commentators therefore find it easier to take just one aspect and analyse that, leaving aside the other interacting factors that have just as profound an influence on the issue as does the one they prefer to examine. The piece argues the case that complexity and morality are the two most important matters that make political discourse problematic, because few can cope with the complexity and there will always be disagreement about morality, as we saw in the piece [i]Is your moral compass better than mine?[/i]. I will look forward to your comments.

Jason

19/06/2011Aa, I thought it a bit rich when Fran Kelly said "it's up to the government to sell its achievements and not us in the media!" Perhaps "Kelly" would care to listen back to some of her shows to hear how she ask ministers about Polls,Rudd and just about anything else that has nothing to do with whatever the minister is in charge of! I also note Akerman shot himself in the foot when he said/didn't say or realised what he was saying that "Dame Murdoch" was old and senile for supporting the carbon tax! As for jj, every self respecting "village" needs an idiot who are we not to have one?

jj

19/06/2011AA, I disagreed with what he said about me being a troll; as well as the fact that he does exactly what he wrongly accuses me of, that is, always sticking up for my side of politics. So why not sanction him for saying the sorts of things he says? I thought my other comments were quite tempered. I think you are being a bit too harsh about insiders. Just because they were highly critical of a Government that deserves a lot of criticism does not make them unfair or unbalanced. Insiders is a show that studies the weeks political events. Unfortunately for Gillard last week was not a good one, and so that was reflected in the commentary on the panel. Jason, They already had their mad Max before i arrived. FS, To ban me from this blog would be to show the weakness of your argument. You bag me out every time i comment whether the rest of the contributors say it is reasonable or not. I am sorry for giving a little back of what i take but i think you deserved it. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander!

2353

19/06/2011Two thoughts: 1. jj=troll. Do not feed the troll. FS does not equal troll - feed FS all you want (is Lindt chocolate acceptable FS?) 2. I'm wondering if the latest Gillard vs Rudd media efforts are due to Rupert's Mum coming out of the closet as a Carbon Tax supporter? The respected(?) editors of Newscorp fish & chip wrappings (all rights reserved :) ) wouldn't be game enough to insult Rupert's Mum, would they and they didn't have another issue lined up = so it's trot out the ol' standby - Kevvie wants his job back.

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Ad Astra, Yes, I too was held down, metaphorically, like Alex in A Clockwork Orange, and made to watch Insiders by my son, who made the perfectly reasonable point, I suppose, that if I don't watch it I will never kknow what those who I do not wish to listen to, are saying. So I watched and listen to Piers Akerman spread his anti-Gillard government poison around 'Liberally'. I thanked Malcolm Farr for immediately deconstructing one of the many and various lies Piers was spruiking on behalf of the Coalition, I watched as Fran Kelly actually had to confront the fact that she had said something that might be unreasonable, and I felt the bile rise as the malevolently mendacious Christopher Pyne rolled on regardless of the question asked by Barrie Cassidy, even though Cassidy tried manfully at one point to pull him into line to answer the question, but to no avail. Until, by the end of the show one thought crystallised in my mind: 'Does the Australian electorate really want these malevolently mendacious Machiavellian politicians, and their facilitators and enablers in the media, to rule them(if the latest polls are to be believed)?' Really? And, if so, then it can only be because they have been well and truly bullied into a political version of the Stockholm Syndrome, as Tony Abbott will have insinuated himself into the top job in the land by not telling anyone what it is he stands for, but only what he stands against. Over, and over, and over, again. Also by being allowed to get away with making blanket statements, unchallenged, by the media who are too heavily invested, for various reasons, in being players in the game. As Margaret Simons, from Crikey, said on Big Ideas today, "What the media should do, is stop being 'Insiders'."

jj

19/06/20112353, Once again another Murdoch conspiracy... dont you ever get tired of it!

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011Jason Yes, what an extraordinary thing for Fran Kelly to say. Even allowing for the shortcomings of Labor’s PR machine, the media has gone out of its way to not sell Government policies that have actually been announced. Surely it’s the media’s job to at least accurately report policy announcements, if not to sell them. Yet we see a media disinterested in real policy issues, focused on the trivial and the sensational, or what it can beat up into a sensation such as the ‘come the “anniversary”, Rudd wants his job back’ beat up. Re jj, it’s a pity he doesn’t read carefully. If he had, he would have seen these sentences in my third paragraph: “[i]But that is not my point – rather that the panellists on this show, like so many others on Insiders regard themselves as world-beating experts, who if only in power would do things differently and of course correctly and successfully. They are, like the panellists on Offsiders, grandstand spectators giving us their expert opinions, and seeking to have us believe that they know best.[/i] My criticism was not of the panel’s actual critique of the Government, but that they saw themselves as ‘experts’ well qualified to make their critique, a critique they expected the viewing public to accept without question. That is where their pontifical arrogance is so offensive.

Rx

19/06/2011I'm offended that some malicious commenter called FS a "troll". Feral Skeleton is one of the very finest contributors to site, in a creamy crop. In fact it's not hyperbole to state that FS is one of the most articulate, reasoned commenters on Australian politics you will find anywhere in the blogosphere or mainstream media. She is one of the crowning jewels of this blog; ... her detractor couldn't be more the opposite.

Jason

19/06/2011jj, The only poll you never mention is the one that counts! The independents. You, Abbott and some in the media can think about what "might be" but the reality is Abbott is no closer to being PM today than he was yesterday. The carbon tax is likely to be passed along with the mining tax, the plain packaging on cigarettes and the deal with Malaysia! and all before the next election. Then we'll see what Abbott is made of! he will be unable to wander about saying "x" is wrong or bad, he'll have to come up with carefully constructed and costed policy's that will have to stand up to scrutiny. Abbott is good as an "attack dog" but a Prime Minister he isn't!

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for the link to the Alex Schlotzer article on ‘mandate’, which is important reading for those wishing to understand how politics works, or should work. Again, it’s one of those plausible mantras that people believe almost intuitively, and seldom question. Alex persuasively questions the validity of ‘the mandate’ in latter day politics.

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011FS I followed the Alex Schlotzer link and like you found [i]Networkedblogs[/i], which looked interesting, but I couldn't join as I don't have a Facebook account. If you or Lyn do, one of you may be able to keep an eye on it, and suggest that [i]TPS[/i] be added to it.

TalkTurkey

19/06/2011FS said "I thought the ABC weren't supposed to run ads? Especially party political ones." I actually tried to post the below before Gravel's or Ad's post but it got jammed in TPS cyberspace, So Yes Ad I watched the lame excuse for a serious review of current political affairs called untruthfully Insiders, and Gravel, you're too polite about the ABC, I reckon it stands for ABBORTT'S BULLSHIT CONSPIRATORS. Other suggestions? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ On PB @ 2059 Dr Phibes said "Those who have put out the people's eyes, reproach them of their blindness." Wow. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yes the polls are awful, what's wrong with Australians?! Still we and the Government can but fight on, hold the line, can't do any better than our best, but do you see, the Ministry is as firm as Uluru on its purpose, this is a strong government actually. Back to the wall all the way, still doing what it is committed to. Its PR is woeful though, Dog I'd like to get on Onesiders just once! KAPOW, Abbortt, right in the budgies. But things will change when the main Government agenda has passed. Yes they will. Too bloody right. Venceremos!

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011That's right, I remember now, Malcolm Farr picked up Piers Akerman when he tried to lay a slur on Kevin Rudd by inferring that he turned up late to the St Vincent De Paul Winter Sleepout the other night because he preferred to while away his time at a dinner. When Malcolm Farr called him on it and said that it was a dinner that Israel had asked Kevin Rudd to be the guest speaker at in Melbourne, after he had been the guest speaker in Israel last year for the same event, an event which commemorates an Aboriginal man speaking up against the oppression of the Jews by Hitler. Well, wasn't Piers miffed that his snide sleight was publically elucidated, as he made it in that casual, blink and you'll miss it way that Conservative Yellow Journalists have perfected, as they string smear, lie and innuendo together seamlessly in order to create an overtly negative image about a person or a political party that is opposed to their political bedfellows? Not only that but he was made to publically squirm as a result of his vile suggestion that Dame Elisabeth Murdoch was easily co-erced by the Climate Change evildoers, as a result of her advanced years, into supporting their cause. Don't think The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, The Australian, or any other of Mr Murdoch's Australian journals, will be sensoriously condemning him on their front pages tomorrow. Which is absolutely shameful, isn't it? But then they, and the politicians they support, have no shame.

Rx

19/06/2011Talk Turkey, Absolute Bloody Crap (seeing how they quote him endlessly).

Feral Skeleton

19/06/20112353, Could you go to Selfridges in London and get me some of Willy's 70% Cocoa chocolate? He sources the sweetest beans he can find in Argentina, has them shipped out to England, then hand-makes his product at his home in Wales. I have been sucked into watching his exploits, as he strives to get his dream of chocolate heaven on earth together, each Saturday afternoon on ABC1. He's always on the verge of financial collapse, and I feel sorry for him. :)

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011AC I too have been so preoccupied with other things, principally writing a rather intense piece for tomorrow, to comment on your weekend piece. Like many others I admired Dave Allen’s wit, and his capacity to amuse and entertain, usually sitting on a stool with a whisky in one hand and a fag in the other. He loved the clerical asides especially. Your take on Tones is clever and in tune with NormanK’s portrayal of him in the confessional. Please keep the satire coming. In the intense atmosphere of contemporary politics, it behoves to have a laugh at the political scene and its players lest we all go troppo.

Rx

19/06/2011http://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm This links to a form by which you can contact the PM. Let's send her love, thanks and good wishes.

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Rx, You don't know how much I appreciate what you have just said. :-$ Honestly, after having my bona fides questioned repeatedly recently I was on the verge of chucking it all in. I had been made to feel like a fraud(which just goes to show that I could never be a successful politician, I mean, look at Julie Bishop in far worse circumstances than I have been caught in). Anyway, with jj recently figuring out that if he sugar-coats his invective with a sandwich of reasonable comment either side of the barb and slur, I was just thinking that there wasn't much point in going on anymore because whatever I do from now on I will invite the 'Slag and Bag' simply because the casually callous, or the 'Academically Correct'(which is a far worse affliction than Political Correctness gone mad, to my mind), will see each new post of mine as a gilt-edged opportunity to go in boots and all. Until I just can't take it any more. Until they have engineered my silence. However, as you have so gratifyingly put it, maybe it's because I am able to say the things that need to be said, well. Myself, Ad Astra, Acerbic Conehead, PatriciaWA, lyn with her valuable links, and now, NormanK, that is. Such that, if 'they' succeed in picking us off one by one, as I have noticed 'them' trying to do of late, then a good strong voice will be silenced, as you say. So thank you again, Rx, for giving me the courage to go on. ( K )

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Damn, that was meant to be (K)

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011FS You have answered the ‘troll’ accusations of jj admirably. You are right – the conservative ploy is to accuse others of your own faults, and to assume everyone will go along with you. And to label you as a troll when you are a major and highly respected contributor of original material to [i]TPS[/i] is indeed an example of the chutzpah some aggressive conservatives have.

Gravel

19/06/2011Feral Skeleton IGNORE that person who is the most abusive troll on this site. There is no way you have to justify yourself to him. I could not even venture to watch insiders knowing who was on. I watched the 8.30am show on Sky, and was very pleased that Doug (Cameron, I think), Paul Howes, and a bloke from NSW put the panel back in their smug little boxes, it was a pleasure to watch.

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Damn x 2. The first emoticon was supposed to be a :$ (but I was being a smarty pants and thinking I could remember them all off the top of my head). :$

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011Macca Wow, what a superb statement. You are so right about what the Murdoch press has done to Australia and is doing around the world. Murdoch is looking more and more like a sinister character from a Bond movie. I particularly enjoyed your quotes: [i]"The greatest danger to most of us is not that our aim too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."[/i] Michelangelo. 

" [i]The task of a leader is not to put greatness in humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there."[/i] John Buchan
 [i]"The average estimate themselves by what they do, the above average by what they are".[/i] Johann Von Schiller. [i]

"It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else."[/i] Erma Bombeck

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Ad Astra, You keep asking jj why he keeps coming to TPS if he despises us and what we stand for so much. I thought it would have been obvious that he is a 5th Columnist to the 5th Estate. :)

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011RX What a loyal supporter you are, adding as you have done to those supporting FS. If the object of attacks on her is to silence her, it will not succeed. We shall all see to that. She is too valuable a voice to lose.

Rx

19/06/2011I'm humbled by your reply FS. It's easy for me to say this as an infrequent, minor contributor with a low profile - but.. keep gong! We need you. Yes, we do. Every progressive voice speaking out is valuable during this oppressive era of virtually total right-wing whitewashing, and the more articulate and persuasive the advocate the more they're needed to stick together and plug on and inspire us all to counter the tsunami of reactionary rhetoric that is inundating media and opinion spaces in this country like never before. To all Swordsfolk of good honour, your work is appreciated, and never needed more than it is these days. Keep it lit, FS. xx

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011FS I agree with your assessment of [i]Insiders[/i]. Your last quote from Margaret Simons of Crikey, [i]"What the media should do, is stop being 'Insiders'."[/i] is so true. The reason why is argued in tomorrow’s piece: [i]Looking down from the grandstand – where the experts are[/i].

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Gravel, It's more than overdue for the Labor Party to take the gloves off and take the fight up to the Liberal Party bullies in a bare knuckle political brawl for the hearts and minds of Australians. If I were the ALP I would be tapping their supporters, wherever they are out there, to put up money for a You Tube ad, like the Lemon ad, disgusting as it is, which amplifies the Abbott Vuvuzela frame, and I would be filling it in for all I was worth, getting it out there and making the ABC give it equal time to the Coalition ad. Every time the ABC shows the Coalition ad, someone from the government should come down hard on the ABC(which is the only network they have control over, but you'd hope the commercial networks would follow suit) to make sure they showed the Abbott Vuvuzela You Tube clip. Fair's fair after all. If the ABC won't shape itself up voluntarily then the government will have to use the levers in their hands to make them do it. It's gotten beyond a joke, because as sure as god made little green apples you'll be seeing that ad for the Coalition, by way of a poor light on the Gillard government, played tomorrow night on Q & A, and all through the week of this one year aniversary of Julia Gillard coming to power, and probably way past July 1st when the Senate changes hands. Which is exactly how the Coalition want it to be. The ABC, in their juvenile Private Schoolboy way, will bend over and dutifully oblige.

lyn

19/06/2011Hi Ad Thankyou for your comment to me at 02:54 PM Alex maintains an interesting blog, his opinions are always a good sound read. I will put The Political Sword on facebook. I am a member because of my children they post photo's on their facebook wall,for me all the time. So you see I know everything they do, because they tell me everyday, and they love photo's of themselves so I am constantly kept up to date. Ad, once you post the Todays Links each morning and post them on Twitter, I go straight away and retweet them, that way they go to more people. Anybody else could retweet to the people they follow, Um looking at Hillbilly, Talk Turkey, Patricia, if everyone clicks retweets for TPS then more people come to visit TPS. Ad, I thought Barrie Cassidy was shocking again, any ground he had gained in being fair was lost this morning, one step forward and 10 back. Christopher Pyne had a lovely open forum, to spill whatever lies and trash he felt like. Did anyone hear Barrie ask Mr Pyne about the Coalition Policies? no he just listened. Piers Ackerman is like you know, and not worth mentioning. Cheers :):):)

lyn

19/06/2011Hi Ad There you go "The Political Sword" is entered on Blogworks. http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blog/the_political_sword/ Cheers

Jason

19/06/2011FS, I guess it would be more tolerable if jj actually had some political knowledge and could mount an argument based on more than media and Coalition talking points. Take last week our "man on the land" jj was lecturing me that the "MLA" was a government corporation when its own web site clearly states no such thing,however why let a minor detail like that get in the way of kicking the government! FS jj is here just to run interference, and annoy as many as possible and run the same tired lines day after day! Perhaps our "creative" writing winner could pen a piece on where and how the coalition,who as jj says is a shoe in to win the next election will do it! I wont let him silence you!

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for placing [i]TPS[/i] on [i]NetworkedBlogs[/i] http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/blog/the_political_sword/ You are a gem, like the sparklers in your Lyn’s Links ‘hat’. The ‘Authors’ could be listed as ‘Various’. Let’s see how that link to [i]NetworkedBlogs[/i] works for us.

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011Folks D Mick Weir has pointed out an error in one of my comments: "[i]Harford canvassed every expert he could find on the cold war, should read: Philip Tetlock canvassed every expert."[/i]

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011This is Ash at his Abbott BS cut-through best: http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/nauru/

John

19/06/2011Hi, Lyn As for Morrison visiting refugees in Malaysia, he doesn't give a brass razoo about their welfare. His only concerns are: 1)political point scoring 2)news media in Australia Given the previous government ignored UNHCR criticism, saying it wasn't their (UNHCR) concern, and left a solitary refugee on Nauru for almost 2 years without other social contact, his sudden concern is touching, but borne of cynicism. A leopard doesn't change its spots, and Morrison still won't care. But it'll be a good, tightly-scripted show for the Oz media. :) John PS new posting today at: http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2011/06/problems-and-polls.html

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011John Thank you for the link, and your interesting analysis.

lyn

19/06/2011Hi John Thankyou so much, you know we appreciate your work. Cheers

BSA Bob

19/06/2011"Morrison's the name, just dropped in to trash your country's international reputation for domestic political gain. Last time we were in Government we were quite happy for refugees to pile up in your part of the world, in fact any part of the world but our own. But in the Perpetual Present this doesn't count, of course, and I'm sure you'll appreciate it's all in a good cause- a better paying job for me and my boss."

Ad astra reply

19/06/2011BSA Bob It will be fascinating to see how Morrison's visit is reported, here and in Malaysia.

Patricia WA

19/06/2011Late entrant today and would like to comment at length on so much here. But there's only time for Jason' spot on comment on the gob-smacking comment by Fran Kelly about it being up to the government to put themselves out there in the media. Not our job to do it for them, I think she said. This was insult added to the injury of her opinion that if that Tony Abbott was good at getting coverage, why weren't they? Did anyone notice her rather odd tone and facial expression as she backed the very sus hounding of Mike Quigley by Turnbull in Senate estimates and elsewhere? I thought Conroy's quip weeks ago that the beat-up over Quiqley's background by Turnbull was "Godwin Grech revisited" was spot on. Why didn't the media, and Insiders today, really run with that response then and question Turnbull's keeping on with this time wasting exercise?

Feral Skeleton

19/06/2011Here's a very fine analysis of the Tobacco Nanny ads by Croakey: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/2011/06/16/on-tobacco-nanny-paternalism-and-public-health/

D Mick Weir

19/06/2011Good Evening Swordsfolk, I have returned from celebrating a milestone anniversary of our daughters birth which was was at once an occasion for celebration and for moments of sober reflection (mostly on my part around the very minor role I played in bringing her into this world). Anniversaries are a big part of our culture and we don't need much prompting to celebrate most of them. It is little wonder then that given the pending twelve month anniversary of the elevation of our first female Prime Minister that the media would be in a bit of a tiz to come up with stories around that momentous event. Pity is, it seems to be an occasion to beat up stories of a Lazarus like rise of Kevin oh-eleven. Even so I found Annabel Crabbes piece @ The Drum a bit different and maybe an admission that it is all a beat up caused by the jounos themselves feeding the rumour mill by asking questions to see if there was any substance to the rumours. In case you missed it: [b]Kevin's Eleven: back for one last blag?[/b] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/17/3246831.htm I still haven't worked out if it was one AC's poor attempts at satire or a real account of what went on. If it was 'satire' then I think AC needs to take lessons from the real AC and satirist extraordinaire, Acerbic Conehead. An odd way to get to thanking you AC (the real one) for some more laughs with your piece thanks Conehead. :) I have to also thank Annabel for, in a roundabout way, (mis)leading me to this 'blog': [b]GILLARD’S UNHAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY[/b] Tony Abbott (the federal member for Warringah, and the Opposition Leader.) http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/yoursay/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/gillards_unhappy_first_birthday/ Yes folks, The Daily Telegraph has a regular bog by TA. As noted on the blog [i]'Opposition Leader Tony Abbott blogs at 4pm Friday. Send him your questions below.'[/i] Here is your opportunity people to see if TA will answer questions like: [i]Given your, and Shadow Immigration Spkesperon's, new found empathy for asylum seekers kept in allegedly appalling conditions in Malaysia will you do the bright thing and allow more of those wretched souls into our country?'[/i] or any other penetrating questions that I am sure the Tele will only to gladly pass on to Mr Abbott. How apposite my recaptcha words: Lazarus, itininti. Creepy, google seems to know everything and be able to read my thoughts.

D Mick Weir

19/06/2011FS, your comment way back @ June 18. 2011 10:18 PM caused some pondering on my part. Gypsies, tramps and thieves was something that swirled around my head as I read your comment. Cheers.

D Mick Weir

19/06/2011Ad, looking forward to your next piece. No doubt it will [i]make my head hurt[/i] :) It is a joy to be a glutton for punshment sometimes.

2353

20/06/2011FS, Re London - if only I was going there soon (for a lot of other reasons too ;) DMW, The probelm with asking Abbott's Blog a question is you build up Murdoch's page counts. You really can't win!

lyn

20/06/2011 [b]TODAYS LINKS[/b] [i]Abbott pushes for carbon tax plebiscite, Abc[/i] Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he will introduce a bill into Parliament today demanding the Government hold a plebiscite on its proposed carbon tax. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/20/3247842.htm [i]Tony Abbott's bid to force Carbon Tax Vote, Tom Nelson[/i] This is a vastly significant change. This is a bigger change than the GST because the GST did not purport to save the world," Mr Abbott said. http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2011/06/tony-abbotts-bid-to-force-carbon-tax.html [i]Last chance to refloat Labor, Rob Burgess, Business Spectator[/i] Tony Abbott knows that, but the bill is more an attempt to embarrass the government as much as possible on the eve of the carbon tax policy details being revealed. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Labor-Gillard-Telstra-NBN-immigration-carbon-tax-A-pd20110620-HYSL8?OpenDocument [i]Where shallow Politics gets you, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless[/i] The Liberals' dilemma is that they have driven many such people from their ranks and replaced them with careerist suckholes. That dilemma will become a problem if they http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2011/06/where-you-get-with-shallow-politics.html [i]Nauru, Ash, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] The real reason why Nauru is not an option is it puts impositions on an already struggling infrastructure. And while we can flash money at them, it is not beneficial for the nation as a whole to stress their infrastructure at capacity. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/nauru/ [i]Problems and Polls, John, True Politik[/i] Tony Abbott is running a small target campaign, with very little policy. It is a tactic that was very successful for Barry O’Farrell in NSW, and he has unleashed a right-wing attack early in his term. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/ [i]They get that the next election's two years away right, Jeremy Sear, Onymous Lefty[/i] maybe they’re trying to prompt Labor into doing something utterly stupid, like turfing another leader mid-term. Because Labor is really dumb enough to follow the advice of its enemies… again. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Piers Akerman brutally insults Dame Elisabeth Murdoch on ABC Insiders on 19 [/i] saying she has been "used" because she has supported action on climate change. Disgraceful ageism by the troglodyte right-wing News Limited http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1k7IDIlP-U [i]Marxism without revolution: Class, John Quiggin[/i] In a Marxist analysis, it would be natural at this point to use the term “ruling class”, and to stress, even more than I have done, the point that much of what passes for political debate consists of little more than rearrangements http://johnquiggin.com/2011/06/19/marxism-without-revolution-class/#more-9916 [i]Wheeler Centre: Is Australian Democracy Broken[/i]? The media comes under heavy criticism during the discussion, blamed for reducing politics to a "media circus"focusing on leadership struggles and polls rather than issues of importance for the Australian people. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2011/06/14/3243492.htm [i]Labor and the Poll Performance , Dom's Rant[/i] Abbott was running around saying after the Gillard spill about how unceremonious his sacking was.Now he's trying to tell the people that like Kevin Rudd that he's trying to come back and isn't it terrible. http://domrant.blogspot.com/2011/06/labor-and-poll-performance.html [i]I'm with Stupid, Petermcc's Blog[/i] If Abbott continues his wrecking ball approach to his party’s credibility then the Liberal brand name will be nigh on worthless by the time he is deposed from the Leadership. http://1petermcc.wordpress.com/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog [i]Climate Change: no comprende (continued), pjvetuna, Just the Messenger[/i] There are hundreds of monitoring stations worldwide that measure and monitor atmospheric CO2 levels.The Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) program, of the World Meteorological Organisation(WMO), http://paulinevetuna.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/climate-change-the-basics-continued/ [i]Can’t We Just Have The ETS Now? The Art Neuro Blog.[/i] Tony Abbott running around trying to scare up as much fear as he can, but when you think about it rationally, he won’t be able to repeal any of it because it’s going to be immensely retrograde as well as expensive. The reason the original ETS – as proposed by the Coalition itself http://artneuro.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/cant-we-just-have-the-ets-now/ [i]Jones quits ministry to battle Newman, ABC[/i] Campbell Newman you will have to fight me door by door, street by street and suburb by suburb, she said."The people of Ashgrove deserve someone who genuinely cares... not someone who chose their seat as a fourth choice." http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/19/3247560.htm [i]Monstrous regiments of men, David Horton, The Watermelon Blog[/i] the Australian media – a year of criticism of every aspect of Gillard’s clothing, make-up, ear lobes, voice, hair, unmarried status, childless status, and a portrayal of her as liar and witch, culminated in a degrading segment on 60 Minutes last week http://davidhortonsblog.com/

Ad astra reply

20/06/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011G'day, I'm sorry, but if Tony Abbott wants to have a plebiscite on the Carbon Tax then the Liberal Party should fork out the $80 million to conduct it. That is, IF it gets up in parliament, and that's a big IF because the adults in the parliamentary room know that we had an election last year and Tony Abbott lost and he lost the negotiations with the Independants and that was that for the next 3 years, or until the government lost their confidence in a No Confidence Motion. Which has not happened. Trying to finagle a different outcome, which this latest stunt by Mr Abbott is, will not change those parliamentary rules and procedures. Unless Tony Abbott is also willing to advocate their junking, which will give any Opposition to him as PM, should he get his wish, free reign to do whatever they want. Three important points: 1. John Howard didn't have an electoral mandate to introduce Workchoices. I didn't see Mr Abbott telling him to go back and get one. 2. The Minority government forced the PM to consider a Carbon Tax which she personally did not want to introduce. She wanted an ETS. 3. The Labor Party have always wanted to deal with Climate Change, which they DO have an electoral mandate for, from 2 elections.

Michael

20/06/2011Today's Bad Abbott Has any political leader in Australia's history ever before asked the Australian people to vote to make Australia fall behind every other industrialised country in the world? And not only fall behind, but incrementally, year in, year out, fall further and further behind our economic competitors/partners, to the point where this country will not be able to export just about anything we currently do? Because foreign importers will place carbon abatement policy imposts they've introduced on Australian products, which will rise each and every year, to the point where Australian products will be too expensive in those countries. Abbott's plebiscite to deny the introduction of a carbon price in this nation will, if passed, begin a slow-drip decay to the economy of Australia. We will be uncompetitive in foreign markets, desperately archaic in energy production and thus over-charged for utilities like electricity, gas, and petrol domestically, and continuing to be the highest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases, a nation eventually asthmatically strangling in our own dirty cloud. Abbott's plebiscite, which is nothing more than his favoured (and vicious) 'pragmatic politics', is designed to do nothing for Australia or Australians. It is meant to do no more than provide him with a soapbox to shout his messages of fear and selfishness. This is cynical politicking at its most disgusting, because it rests on nothing more than thwarted political ambition put before the health, the well-being, and the economic security of an entire nation's people. Tony Abbott should hang his head in shame. But I doubt he even understands the word.

janice

20/06/2011FS, There is just no end to Abbott's stunts. I'm just so fed up with waking up each day to another dose of negativity and PM and government bashing that is based on pack upon pack of lies. The whole scene is depressing and I've reached the stage when I find myself wishing something ghastly would happen to Abbott and his band of destruction mongers who stoop low enough to trash the government, its people and the country.

janice

20/06/2011Michael, In his quest for power, Abbott has become treasonous. He is poison personified to the welfare of this nation and its people. The pity of it all is that there is nothing to be done about him if the media and the people don't wake up and demand that enough is enough.

lyn

20/06/2011Hi Ad Just a couple of newspaper reports on Mr Bad Abbott $70m , 80 million, 69 million plebiscite stunt. The excerpts I have chosen may save you & everybody from having to go to the whole article. As you know and as they would the MSM has gone into an Abbott frenzy. Tony Abbott's bid to force carbon tax vote, Phillip Hudson, Herald Sun The Senate could vote on the plebiscite as early as tomorrow. The "old Senate" has its last sitting on Thursday and until then Mr Abbott only needs the support of independent senator Nick Xenophon and Victoria's Steve Fielding. After July 1, when the Senate numbers change, he will need the Greens to back his Bill. A vote is not likely in the House of Representatives before July 4 and Mr Abbott needs four of the six cross-bench votes. Liberals hope if the Senate agrees it will convince the lower house independents. "This is a vastly significant change. This is a bigger change than the GST because the GST did not purport to save the world," Mr Abbott said. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/tony-abbotts-bid-to-force-carbon-tax-vote/story-e6frf7jo-1226078110327 Tony Abbott moves to force a plebiscite on Julia Gillard's carbon tax , Phillip Hudson, Courier Mail If passed, Mr Abbott's Carbon Tax Plebiscite Act could force the Prime Minister to hold a $69 million vote on her contentious policy within 90 days. The question put to the people would be: "Are you in favour of a law to impose a carbon tax?" "This is a way of having a vote without having an election," Mr Abbott told The Courier-Mail. [b]The move is part of a last-ditch push by the Opposition [/b]to use the final week before the Greens gain the balance of power in the Senate on July 1 [b]to embarrass the Government[/b]. http://www.news.com.au/national/abbott-moves-to-force-vote-on-tax/story-e6frfkvr-1226078143201 Tony Abbott has argued a $70m plebiscite on the carbon tax will give Australians their say , James Massola, News Com A plebiscite is similar to referendum, but voting in it is optional and the result of a plebiscite is non-binding. [b]There have been three held in Australia to date[/b]. Mr Abbott will meet with independent MPs to discuss the move today, which will be debated in the Senate tomorrow. [b]If held, it would be the first conducted since a pair of plebiscites was held on conscription during World War 1[/b]. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/plebiscite/story-fn59niix-1226078311776 Cheers :):):):):)

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011janice, Fair dinks, I'm starting to think that Tony Abbott is the Antichrist! Actually, I think that's what someone wrote about him on the toilet walls at Sydney University back in the day when we were studying there at the same time. :D

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011Here's an MP3 from News Radio of a chat between John Barron and Prof George Williams, Constitutional Scholar, re the Plebiscite: http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/newsradio/audio/20110620-williams.mp3

lyn

20/06/2011Hi Michael Please take a bow for your brilliant Bad Abbott post this morning. I do so look forward to your report and enjoy every one you post, I am sure everyone else does too. Thankyou very much Michael. [quote]This is cynical politicking at its most disgusting, because it rests on nothing more than thwarted political ambition put before the health, the well-being, and the economic security of an entire nation's people.[/quote] Cheers :):)

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011[quote]If Abbott continues his wrecking ball approach to his party’s credibility then the Liberal brand name will be nigh on worthless by the time he is deposed from the Leadership.[/quote] I hope so. ;-)

Ad astra reply

20/06/2011D Mick Weir Thank you for the links to the Annabel Crabb stories. Without using the word she is describing groupthink in which journalists create a story by talking to someone in an echo chamber, and then report the echoes, not just from the echo chamber but from other journalists. So out of almost nothing a story is fabricated, which is then spread like a virus through media until it becomes ‘the truth’. FS Why does the media not pick up on the ‘no mandate for WorkChoices’ story? Answer: the media wants Abbott to succeed. Michael You do have an easy job – Bad Abbott stories keep coming every day, sometimes more than one a day! I agree with your conclusion: “[i] This is cynical politicking at its most disgusting, because it rests on nothing more than thwarted political ambition put before the health, the well-being, and the economic security of an entire nation's people.

 Tony Abbott should hang his head in shame. But I doubt he even understands the word.”[/i] And if he did understand shame he would say the devil made him do it, and would ask for forgiveness. janice I share your frustration and indignation at Abbott’s destructive behaviour. The plebiscite stunt looks like a last desperate fling before the Senate changes. He won’t get support from the Greens, but who knows what Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding will do.

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011lyn, Thank you for The Art Neuro Weblog link. It was a delight to read. :)

Ad astra reply

20/06/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your list of links about the plebiscite proposal which the media will leap upon as a great new story to fill their pages. The ABC interview for which FS provided a link is interesting listening. Certainly the idea of a plebiscite did not get generate much enthusiasm in Constitutional Scholar, George Williams.

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011So $70 million for a non-binding plebiscite is OK, but $12 million for an information campaign to counter the disinformation campaign is not?

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011[quote]"This is a vastly significant change. This is a bigger change than the GST because the GST did not purport to save the world," Mr Abbott said.[/quote] Um, I thought the Price on Carbon that the Gillard government want to put onto polluting industries wasn't going to make any difference, let alone 'save the world'?

Ad astra reply

20/06/2011Folks I have just posted [i]Looking down from the grandstand – where the experts are[/i]. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/06/20/Looking-down-from-the-grandstand-where-the-experts-are.aspx In part it is a follow-up on a previous piece: [i]Is your moral compass better than mine?[/i]. It is rather long and concentrated, but I trust you will find it interesting and that it will stimulate many contributory comments, as did the previous piece.

Jason

20/06/201110.10am Tony Abbott says the Opposition won't adopt the Government's carbon pricing scheme if it was put to a plebiscite and passed. The Opposition Leader indicated today only the Government would be bound by the result. "I would still think a carbon tax was bad," he told news.com.au when asked his position should a carbon price be accepted at a plebiscite Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/abbott-moves-to-force-vote-on-tax/story-e6frfkvr-1226078143201#ixzz1Pm1iksdT

D Mick Weir

20/06/2011Good Morning All, I'm not much into celebrity and the 'news' they make but I am making an exception in the case of Angelina Jolie. [b]Jolie visits refugees who fled Libya, Tunisia[/b] http://omg.yahoo.com/news/jolie-visits-refugees-who-fled-libya-tunisia/65401 [i]LAMPEDUSA, Italy - Angelina Jolie traveled to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa on Sunday to thank its residents for welcoming in the estimated 20,000 migrants who arrived after fleeing unrest in Tunisia and Libya.[/i] Let's put this into perspective. According to Wikipedia: [i]Lampedusa ... is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, part of the Province of Agrigento, in the region of Sicily, Italy; ... Tunisia is the closest shore to Lampedusa. It is situated 205 kilometres (127 mi) from Sicily, 176 kilometres (109 mi) from Malta and 113 kilometres (70 mi) from Tunisia, and is the southernmost point in Italy. The island has an area of 20.2 square kilometres (7.8 sq mi). Its population of approximately 4,500 subsists on fishing, agriculture and tourism. It has lately been known primarily for its role as an entry point to Europe for impoverished illegal immigrants from Africa.[/i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lampedusa Kinda puts Australia to shame that this small island can take in nearly five refugees for every one of its' own residents. Get real Australia, [b]our only refugee problem is our lack of humanity[/b]

Ad astra reply

20/06/2011D Mick Weir You are right - it is shameful that Australia takes such a punitive approach to asylum seekers. It all started with the Howard Government and was exacerbated by the Tampa episode. John Howard managed to harden the hearts of Australians, who are in most instances generous of heart, against those arriving on small boats on our northern shores. An attitude was created in much of the electorate that these arrivals should not be welcomed and ought to be ‘punished’ by long detention. This attitude still prevails so strongly that any government that now showed compassion and an open-armed approach would, I believe, be voted out of office. The new piece is up - I hope it does not make you head hurt too much.

Patricia WA

20/06/2011Thought I'd write a pome about the plebiscite. Problem is I can't determine the best rhymes for it. Some authorities suggest one word only - parasite. Others offer alternatives like nitwit, unfit, and git. What a wealth of choices there! but try as I might I can't be bothered - the proposal is a load of shit. Some of you might disagree. OK then. It's just a load of shite.

Ad astra reply

20/06/2011Jason So that is Tony Abbott's idea of democracy - force the Government to put the carbon tax issue to a plebiscite and if the result runs against the Government it must abide by it and abandon the tax, but if it runs with the Government, the Opposition will ignore the result and will still fight against it. That just about says all we need to say about Abbott.

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011Tony Windsor has said that Tony Abbott should just call a Conscience Vote on the Carbon 'Tax' issue when the legislation is put into parliament, thus saving $80 million. TW thinks that when put on the spot to consider the future of the planet and the future they pass on to their kids and grandkids, that some Coalition MPs may cross the floor to vote for the Price On Carbon.

Feral Skeleton

20/06/2011John Key, NZ PM is absolutely supporting the concept of a Price on Carbon in order to send a price signal to business wrt future investment in energy supply solutions. Also that it is a global problem we need to find a solution to.

NormanK

20/06/2011D Mick Weir We need to keep a few things in perspective before we totally condemn Australia's refugee policy. A bit of what I am going to say is contentious so I will choose my words as carefully as possible and I ask that they be read with a degree of charity. Those refugees who are fleeing to Lampedusa and Italy more generally would almost certainly be keen to return to their homeland if peace broke out. This is largely a temporary problem similar to the one on the border of Turkey where that country is doing all that it can to accommodate refugees until such time as they can return home. Refugees coming to Australia are not seeking protection for the duration of the conflict in their homeland but are seeking to flee forever. Nothing wrong with that but it is different from some of the other hotspots around the world so any comparison is more emotive than factual. Ad astra made the point that mandatory detention is punitive and meant to act as a deterrent. This is a commonly held belief among the human rights organisations, ably promulgated by the conservative side of politics and never questioned by our completely useless media. When the Keating Government brought in mandatory detention it was not meant to be a punishment but was done (as I understand it) in response to 10% of asylum seekers not complying with their responsibilities to report to authorities after they had been released into the community. In the long-term this can lead to the creation of an underclass such as is seen in the United States and Europe. Stateless people with no papers who are then forced to undertake low-paid work, possibly in dubious conditions and who have no access to our safety nets for health, education and so on. Those who can't find 'legitimate' work may well fall to criminal activity in order to survive or find themselves on the streets struggling to get by and unable to seek mainstream charitable assistance. This has many bad consequences for our society. We would truly have 'forgotten families'; workers who are prepared (obliged even) to undermine the workers' rights which have taken generations to put in place; exploitation by unscrupulous individuals which might include at the extremes people trafficking and sex slavery; and a genuine sub-culture which feeds into the present paranoia of enclaves and criminal gangs and an apparent unwillingness to integrate. If some asylum seekers are now willing to self-harm and stage violent protests when their applications are rejected, do we seriously believe that they would not just disappear into the community if they could do so rather than be deported? Bear in mind that a significant proportion of those seeking asylum here are found to not be genuine refugees. I am not expressing xenophobia here. An underclass of people without papers is bad for Australia and bad for the individuals involved. If your blood pressure is peaking, let me try to release it a bit. I am completely in favour of refugees having the right to seek asylum here. They should be processed in a timely manner and have their human rights respected regardless of whether they are ultimately shown to be economic refugees rather than humanitarian. This is equally true regardless of their method of arrival. This is a highly complex problem but we can't throw the doors open and just allow in anybody who can afford an airline ticket and a visa. Not because we will be over-run by 'them' but because we will be over-run full-stop. We must have a degree of control over our immigration numbers and mandatory detention is part of this control. What Labor is attempting to do is to dissuade refugees from jumping on a leaky old fishing boat and taking an unreasonable risk with their lives. Labor is not turning its back on refugees in general regardless of the memes in the media, surely the significant increase in our in-take is indication of that. I have to confess that I don't understand how Manus Island fits in with the current thinking. It strikes me as being purely punitive but until I know more I will hold fire on that one.

lyn

20/06/2011Hi Norman K Excellent comment above, do you think I would be out of order if I asked you to copy your comment to the new thread : [u]June 20. 2011 10:48 AM[/u] Folks I have just posted Looking down from the grandstand – where the experts are. www.thepoliticalsword.com/.../...-experts-are.aspx [quote]In part it is a follow-up on a previous piece: Is your moral compass better than mine?. It is rather long and concentrated, but I trust you will find it interesting and that it will stimulate many contributory comments, as did the previous piece. [/quote]Ad astra reply Cheers :):):)
What does two plus 1 equal?