The Political Theatre of the Absurd

 
Theatre of the Absurd:
A form of drama that emphasises the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development.


That was the bizarre impression that I got after visiting federal parliament this past week as I got to peek behind the veil that gets drawn between what really goes on and what we see and hear in the media.

For example, for a day or so after I got back from Canberra all I heard about was the momentous defeat of the Gillard government on the floor of parliament over a procedural motion to do with the Standing Orders. The first time a government had been defeated in a vote since 1941 according to the ever-braying Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, but which, according to his own dictum, wasn't true anyway because he only spoke it, and which I know to be untrue because the Fraser government was defeated in a 'No Confidence Motion' in 1975, as was kindly pointed out to us previously.

Now what was so absurd about the whole situation was that, on the one hand, I observed Tony Windsor deep in conversation with the PM immediately before the 'momentous' anti-government vote, laughing and smiling, so I don't think the PM thought Windsor and Oakeshott voting against her government was much of a big deal, especially so because Bob Katter voted with the government. However, on the other hand, Tony Abbott was sure going to try his darndest to make it out to be one.

There I sat, in our Member's office, watching Question Time on her TV, and it was a lot more decorous than I expected. However, when Question Time had finished I noted Tony Abbott and the Coalition did not get up from their chairs. “Here we go”, I thought, Tony Abbott wants to grandstand, in order to get on the 6pm News tonight. And so it came to pass that Tony Abbott got up to request permission to speak on a 'Matter of Public Importance'...about...the tiny little procedural vote loss that Julia Gillard had just suffered.

It hardly seemed worth a second mention if what I had just seen was anything to go by. The atmospherics in the chamber around that vote hardly suggested the calamity that Tony Abbott tried to portray to the outside world had befallen the Gillard government, but there he was, putting on his little 'Political Theatre of the Absurd' playlet, huffing and puffing for all he was worth, attempting to blow the Gillard-led Lower House down.

The members of the Gillard government didn't even hang around to listen to it, that's how absurd they knew the whole thing was.

Yet it didn't stop Tony Abbott, and it won't stop Tony Abbott for the rest of this next parliament as that appears to me to be the 'new paradigm' that the parties of the Right are operating under as they battle to defeat and 'demolish' Progressive Social Democrat parties in government. Taking every absurd opportunity they can get to enact their acidic 'drip, drip, drip' erosion of electoral support for the government. They have made no secret of the fact that that is their aim, and it behoves us to keep this thought front of mind, every waking moment as we read the screeds of the political shills in the media supporting the agenda of the Abbott Opposition, as they work to create a false consciousness about the performance of the Gillard government. Abbott will continue his 'do nothing to help' effort, which has been extremely effective up until this point, not caring whether opposition to the NBN will make regional and rural Australians suffer, while the rich who now live for the most part in our inner cities prosper, like Malcolm Turnbull, who can access the best of everything outside his front door in Point Piper. Same with Abbott's 'Paid Parental Leave Scheme'. 'More generous', but to whom? Those women in the Dress Circle suburbs of our cities, whose well-paying jobs Abbott seeks to supplement with the tax dollars of the workers in the outer suburbs.

And yes, again, in its totally absurd way, this policy would actually make most Australians suffer by diverting tax dollars away from more worthy government initiatives, to ensure the rich continue to prosper. All behind a veil of corporate media-obfuscated accountability for his actions and policies that has pervaded the entirety of Abbott's time as Opposition Leader.

In fact, in a continuation of this absurd position that Abbott has been placed in by his supporters, his actions in parliament reminded me of nothing so much as the play 'Waiting for Godot' – a play about men who divert themselves while they wait expectantly, and unsuccessfully for someone named Godot to arrive (or, in Abbott's case waiting for a divinely-ordained government to fall into his lap).

To occupy themselves while they are waiting for this to happen, they eat, sleep, converse, argue, perform, play games, exercise, swap things around, and contemplate suicide (or, in our particular case this will be substituted with the Euthanasia debate) – anything 'to hold the terrible silence at bay'. As it appears that Abbott is operating on the principle that, 'Nature, and politics, abhor a vacuum', especially in these days of the 24/7 news cycle.

Again I am reminded of a scene from the play where the characters demand of another, 'Lucky', that he 'dance and think' for their amusement while they wait for Godot.

The dance is clumsy and shuffling, and everyone is disappointed. As was I when I sat in the Public Gallery to observe Abbott's MPI 'dance' on Wednesday. His 'think', as was Lucky's, was a lengthy and disjointed verbal stream of consciousness. The soliloquy began relatively coherently but quickly dissolved into logorrhea and only ended when his metaphorical hat, which had been placed upon his head in order to signify his right to speak, was ripped off his head, when his time ran out.

Though you would never have realised the utter pointlessness of it all if you had only had the media's reports to go by. According to them, when I got home and viewed the late news shows, Tony Abbott had achieved a strategic strike at the heart of the Gillard government and followed it up with another bravura performance at the Despatch Box, starting the process of the inevitable decimation and demolition of the Gillard government.

Uh, no, actually.

Thus my advice to you all, courtesy of my day peaking behind the veil of federal parliament is: always keep front of mind how absurd it may be in reality. There will be days when truly important 'Matters of Public Interest' will arise, but mostly it will just be a little 'dance and think' put on to amuse and entertain the Public, and which will no doubt be blown up out of all proportion by the Press Gallery seeking to divert attention away from the political reality.

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HS

3/10/2010This was the lovely little image that I chose to go with my piece because I thought it aptly conveyed Abbott's behaviour at the Despatch Box, but which couldn't be included with the above blog. Enjoy! http://www.lib.washington.edu/Drama/images/godot1.gif

Ad astra reply

3/10/2010LYN's DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

3/10/2010HS Thank you for the image file, which I've uploaded - it does fit so well.

Lyn

3/10/2010Hi Hillbilly You are wonderful, thankyou so much for a brilliant piece especially for our enjoyment, you are spoiling us like Ad does, with his fantastic pieces, we are so lucky. You must have been thrilled to attend Parliament Question Time live. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your observations. Looks like this is how it's going to be while Abbott remains leader of the Opposition, and the Press Gallery Cheer Squad, keep egging him on [quote]'Matter of Public Importance'...about...the tiny little procedural vote loss [/quote] Love the Pic.

Lyn

3/10/2010Hi Ad I forgot to remind you, I am not on Dayight Saving, "The Political Sword" will be 1 hour ahead of me, Oh! no! it's going to look like I am an hour late for duty, when the links are posted. How are you both today, well and happy we hope, and I am sure enjoying every moment of you trip, hope the weather is still nice for you. Today has been a very slow news day, even all the bloggers are resting. They will all come back to lively, life, in the morning no doubt. Our commenters on "The Political Sword" continue to delight us all day after day. We are collecting a special team of very much appreciated, talented writers. I was absolutely delighted to read Janice's work, how good of her to share with us. Closing now. Cheers to Mr and Mrs Astra

HS

3/10/2010lyn, Thank you for your kind words. Don't worry about being an hour late tomorrow, it's a Public Holiday! As for the rest of summer, well, I know for myself that during the school term I am not able to get to reading the links until the kids are off my hands for the day, and during the holidays, I sleep in for at least an hour! So, no problem there either!

Ad astra reply

3/10/2010Lyn In Queensland, as we are still on ordinary time, your links will arrive an hour later than usual for those in the southern states, and will be posted accordingly. Those who have been transported ahead in time will have to curb their anticipatory zeal for an extra hour before relishing your links. They will be all the more delectable for the wait. The Port Douglas Sunday market was its usual lustrous affair with its mix of vast collections of jewelry, bright clothes, hats, prawns, tropical fruit and those marvelously sweet Mareeba pineapples. Pressed by the hot sun to retreat to our lodgings we just avoided an afternoon downpour. But it cleared by sundown and a walk to a nearby restaurant in the enveloping warmth was bliss. It’s a far call from the bitter cold of our costal home in Victoria. This afternoon, with an eye on the GF in Sydney, I posted the delightful piece by HS and finished my next contribution for later in the week – a commentary on the muddle of misinformation surrounding the NBN. We are enjoying the delights of FNQ, most of all the warmth. Thank you for your good wishes. Cheers to you from us both.

NormanK

3/10/2010Lyn You and I are going to be very confused for the next few months. I've just popped on to drop a note here because I'm excited and I find that I will be writing it 18 minutes BEFORE Hillbilly's post above. People always reckon Queensland is in a time warp. By the way HS, not all of us have a public holiday tomorrow. Sob. I'm excited because I have just watched "Stephen Fry Live at the Opera House" on ABC. Anyone else who even passingly considers themselves to be a bit of a wordsmith should take up the opportunity to watch this performance if the chance presents itself. It is a 45 minute monologue, fairly unstructured, which covers a wide variety of topics, followed by a 45 minute Q & A with Jennifer Byrne. I won't bore everyone with a review but suffice to say it was highly entertaining and very uplifting if you see yourself as being in any way a little bit not normal. To relate this to TPS, in light of our little Anti-Tea Party journey over recent days I'll offer this quote : "If you want to write about truth you do it with fiction. If you want to write about facts you do it with non-fiction." Sums up satire rather well I thought.

Bilko

4/10/2010HS Very well said, living in the Capital and having Transact providing all day coverage I get the big picture all the time parliament sits and even better the full QT which for some unknown reason is cut short by the abc (not worth capitals). As you say it is all an act for a 60 sec news spray. This lot will go down as the worst opposition in history and as I have repeatedly said here and elsewhere the Government needs to go on the attack toot sweet (ignore spelling)if it is to gain traction. Julia had a chance to nail the Nationals leader re a house fire 4 hrs after batts installed and did not to my dismay, plus some other clown asking why she had maintained Garrett on the front bench in my view two missed opportunities. Julia they will keep coming so get with the programme. ps welcome to our fair city trust the rest of your visit went well.

Bilko

4/10/2010and please all keep up the call for the return of Grog his insight to QT was the highlights of the week.

Ad astra reply

4/10/2010NormanK Yes, Stephen Fry's performance was outstanding. His command of English, his love of words, his insistence on using the right word for the occasion, and the coherence of his presentation were all noteworthy. Your quote: [i]“If you want to write about truth you do it with fiction. If you want to write about facts you do it with non-fiction."[/i] is so apt. BTW, in my next piece, one on the NBN, I have quoted the analogy you offered in your September 30 comment at 4.19 pm. I trust you are agreeable to that with appropriate acknowledgement.

Lyn

4/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Apparently Grog's story has now earned the name of Grogsgate: The Australian continues: [i]Salvos lobbed in the great blog war of '10 , The Australian 3rd October 2010[/i] This newspaper asked media academics for their views on our decision to name blogger Grog's Gamut, aka Greg Jericho. What really matters is the quality of political information and serious debate which is available to us." http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/salvos-lobbed-in-the-great-blog-war-of-10/story-e6frg996-1225933522837 [i]Twitter-led revolution reveals a character limit , Geoff Elliott, The Australian[/i] But it sure helped Jericho become a name in the Australian political and media market. He's now even more popular, thanks to The Australian. Thankfully, he didn't lose his job and is likely to get offers from media concerns in any case. And why not? http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/test-of-twitter-led-revolution-reveals-a-character-limit/story-e6frg99o-1225932722425 [i]More on the Ethics of Outing Grog's Gamut, Margaret Simons, The Content Makers[/i] [b]Grog’s Gamut as Canberra public servant Greg Jericho[/b]. The Australian’s Media section will tomorrow carry even more material on the issue. I have been approached for comment by them, as have a number of others. Journalist Sally Jackson, always a straight shooter in my experience, has written a piece. Others are involved as well. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/contentmakers/ [i]Questionable Irony,Neil Cook, The Bannermann[/i] [b]#groggate burns on,[/b] with occasional flare-ups, but also some insightful analysis, like this piece by Shalailah Medhora. http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2010/10/questionable_irony.php#more [i]Going Through Hell, On A War Horse Called ‘Right’, Neil Cook, The Bannerman[/i] all believe that [b]outing Greg Jericho last Monday was okie-dokie[/b], by his own hand, we now have the admission of the Media Editor of The Oz that he condones ideological warfare against what he defines as ‘the Left’. http://www.waddayano.org/ [i]Grog - gate 2, Bill, Billablog[/i] The outing of Grog’s Gamut has been the gift that keeps on giving for The Australian. As ’bloggers rightly decry The Aus’s actions, http://thebillablog.blogspot.com/2010/10/grog-gate-2.html [i]News Ltd. publishes postitive about the ABC, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] And again, no disclaimers on either piece like “News Ltd is in vigorous competition with the ABC in a number of areas” – http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Facebook trawling and amateur psychology from the Tele, Dave Gaukroger, Pure Poison[/i] it appears to be little more than a nasty bit of mud slinging designed to make life uncomfortable for someone who is reluctant to play ball with a prurient media. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]An Assult on the sensibilities, Dave, Dave's Archives[/i] I came to hear of the 10:10 campaign and Richard Curtis's "No Pressure" short film via Deltoid, The Guardian and Climate Progress. I'm not sure whether I'd recommend watching the video yourself http://davec.org/ [i]The Climate Change Panels (Part 2) Graham Clements[/i]. I grow a lot of my own veggies and fruit. We installed a solar hot water panel last year. This year we got rid of the old gas heater and installed a thermostatically controlled one. http://grahamclements.blogspot.com/ What is the NBN?, Ed, National Broadband Network The project is expected to generate 40,000 jobs within it’s planned 8 years opportunities for skilled technicians from all over the world will be enormous. http://nationalbroadbandnetwork.net.au/what-is-the-national-broadband-network-nbn-all-about/ Australia NBN - Alcatel-Lucent wins the first contract for GPON and other equipment 3WAN.Net http://sutherla.blogspot.com/2010/10/australia-nbn-alcatel-lucent-wins-first.html

Lyn

4/10/2010Hi Ad rel="nofollow tormenting me again, here is the link again: Questionable Irony,Neil Cook, The Bannermann #groggate burns on, with occasional flare-ups, but also some insightful analysis, like this piece by Shalailah Medhora. http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2010/10/questionable_irony.php#more

Gravel

4/10/2010HS Another great contribution. I would love to go to Parliament but unfortunately am unable to. Would appreciate any further great perceptions from other people that are able to attend. I too miss Grog's question time blogs, he gave it life and fun, as well as well the different perception that is reported or shown on tv. Ad Astra You are working just as hard on "holiday" as you do at home. Many thanks for your devotion to this blog. I am so pleased we are entertaining you with NormanK's take on handling 'cut and paste' bloggers, I unusually joined in on the fun, and it felt good. Lyn I went to one of your wonderful links and actually typed a few words yesterday, I can't remember which one, but the compulsion was too great to resist. As to time wise, hey we all have to wait for good things to come and waiting and extra hour for your fantastic links is nothing compared to not having them at all, and a bit more housework gets done in the meantime. I broke my self declared embargo on abc news last night and was pleasantly pleased with the report on our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, visiting the troops. I also read Phillip Coorey's piece in the paper this morning and it was excellent. Like that song (hint hint, AC), "Wouldn't it be luverley" if the media started getting real about what is happening, but I won't hold my breath.

HS

4/10/2010Bilko, Let's just hope that, as time goes by and we get the NBN rolled out across Australia, everyone will be in your fortunate position(or is it unfortunate?), and be thus able to check out Parliament anytime. Only then will we all be able to see behind the veil that is drawn between the politicians' performances and the public who need to know the truth about what is actually going on in 'The People's House'. Of course we have APAC, however, as I understand it it is part of the SkyTV subscription service, and I, for one, refuse to contribute any of my dollars to Rupert Murdoch's bank account, especially when the rest of the SkyTV service is so slanted. But I am patient, and I know that we won't have long to wait before the government will give us a free feed online. Which is one of the main reasons that Murdoch wanted Abbott to get into power, no NBN to level the Digital Divide playing field. Also so that he could lure people into his lair by having the sport transferred over into Pay TV, thus using the same trick he used in the UK and the US to corral eyeballs into his world, as subsribers slowly leach into his other shows which are biased towards a conservative capitalist worldview. Self Interest 101. Spectacularly successful so far, however the fightback must begin. Before it is too late and the multinational corporations assume the determination of our futures.

Patricia WA

4/10/2010[quote]Abbot's Staged Fights in Canberra[/quote] Ingenious and ingenuous, With policies most tenuous, Abbott may be strenuous But is he really strong? He doesn’t wait to hear the gong. Out he comes, gloves on. Throws verbiage to left and right. He wants the drama of a dirty fight. But Julia holds back. Her jacket’s white. Smilingly she avoids the mud. She’s strong, we know. Just think of Rudd. She waits. She'll choose her time to have his blood.

George Pike

4/10/2010Great post HS..and your comments above hit the nail on the head too. Here is a message to people who have downloaded Internet Explorer 9 Beta...it is critical for those who use the internet to access sites such as Centrelink and CBA. If anyone is having trouble accessing links in sites etc with their new IE9 Beta..just click the little box at the end of the address bar (looks like a torn page) and it will take you to the compatibility view of the site which will enable all functions on your site to work in the newer browser. CBA will not work at all if you don't click the box.

HS

4/10/2010Here's another Groggate blog I downloaded from Twitter: http://jamespurser.com.au/blog/grog-thoughts

HS

4/10/2010George Pike, Thank you, you are too kind. It takes me a while to do another blog(I could never keep up the cracking pace that AA and Grog do/did but I tries me best). :)

HS

4/10/2010George Pike, A man of such undoubtedly independant ways, and you haven't got Mozilla Firefox as your default browser? Tch. Tch. ;)

Ad astra reply

4/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Lyn No matter what I did, I couldn't findthe article: Grog - gate 2, Bill, Billablog The outing of Grog’s Gamut has been the gift that keeps on giving for The Australian. As bloggers rightly decry The Aus’s actions, thebillablog.blogspot.com/2010/10/grog-gate-2.html

tredlgt

4/10/2010HS Your post is once again very interesting,thanks for a good read. I do not find it at all hard to believe the description of abbott as spoiler, time waster and a policy black spot but you must have seen another abbott because A Crabb has again reported favourably on People Skills ability to lead the libs in the routing of the ALP and how his greatness is underrated ,as an MSM reporter her interpretation must be correct. Who to believe?

HS

4/10/2010The latest Essential Report poll is out: http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/ There is the slightest of movements back towards Labor, reinforcing the opinion I have that the way back to popularity for the ALP will not be an easy road to hoe.

Ad astra reply

4/10/2010HS Once again you have delighted us with incisive insight into the theatre of parliament, personally witnessed by you last week. Apart from the vacuous nature of what you saw, we need seriously to question Tony Abbott’s strategy and that of his seemingly sycophantic Coalition members. Can this strategy possibly contribute to a rational debate of significant issues in the parliament by ALL the elected representatives? That seems unlikely. The strategy seems more likely designed to destabilize the Government and bring about an election earlier than expected, no doubt in the belief that next time the Coalition would triumph. Apart from the doubtfulness of that assumption, if that is what the Coalition is planning, we will see around half the elected members in the House focused on destructive behavior and ‘demolition’ rather that a constructive contribution to the processes of government. The theatre might be amusing, but it is the negativity and the destructiveness that will do the damage and retard progress on resolving the plethora of highly significant issues that are before the parliament at present that require sensible, balanced debate, not mindless fighting in the sandpit.

HS

4/10/2010tredlgt, Oh well, there goes the more balanced Annabel Crabb. What I do find interesting however is the characterisation of Ms Crabb herself. There are more than a few people around now who are questioning the benefit of having 'clown columnists', like Ms Crabb, in such profusion commenting on what is supposed to be a serious subject, politics. Anyway, as I have said previously, if Tony Abbott is such a whizz bang politician, why wasn't he able to convert the votes of the conservative-leaning Independants to his cause recently to form a Coalition government? I guess we'll find out some answers tonight on 4 Corners.

George Pike

4/10/2010Mozilla here I come!!! I think A Crabbe is one of the many journos who have been blinded by the current level of narrowmindedness within their profession...they are too engrossed in their own carefully manufactured farce to be able to see the truth. You would have to be a fair dinkum luddite not to see that tony abbott is a complete and utter fraud...his deceit over the parliamentary prodecures affair was the worst and most blatant act of sheer political bastardry this country has seen for a long long time...yet the media morons toss it away like it was trivia. If the boot had been on the other foot, we would never have heard the end of it. It is almost farical how low these dolts will go to appease their "dark-side", now that it is that particular side that their editors want them to exhibit in their scribblings and yafflings.

Lyn

4/10/2010Hi George George you are so right, I can't get my head around, how come the MSM keep up their cheerleading, for such a self confessed lier and cheat, they don't seem to care about our Country. The Liberal Party don't care either, Abbott is their icon, badge, brooch, symbol,emblem, statue, treasure, necklace. See what the MSM have done to gradually, crucify Grog, "he was decidedly left" they have reported, so that justifies their treatment, then turn around and say "I hope Grog doesn't loose his job". Such a talented writer to be persecuted day be day and it's gone on from 27th Sept. up to as recent as today. Have you noticed everytime the TV, (whatever channel it is) mentions Julia Gillard's trip, meeting with 43 world leaders, then they report, Tony Abbott is overseas meeting with David Cameron. I am tipping Abbott will call in on the troops on the way home, can't have the Prime Minister doing anything he can't do. It's making me sick.

Lyn

4/10/2010Hi Norman K [quote]You and I are going to be very confused for the next few months[/quote] Looks like confusion reigns since the election anyway, doesn't look like a cure in sight either. Oh! well we must try to act normal at all costs, our troops are depending on us, don't drop our front. I didn't get to see Stephen Fry, but if you were so excited, must be worthwhile I will go and see if there is a video clip anywhere to be found. I love your quote: "[quote]If you want to write about truth you do it with fiction. If you want to write about facts you do it with non-fiction." Sums up satire rather well I thought.[/quote] What a fabulous time your satire gives us, on "The Political Sword", thankyou NormanK.

Lyn

4/10/2010Hi Ad Sorry about that Billablog link, I didn't realise it was cactus too; another try, it's working from my computer so here goes: Grog-gate2, Bill, Billablog The outing of Grog’s Gamut has been the gift that keeps on giving for The Australian. As ’bloggers rightly decry The Aus’s actions, http://the-billablog.blogspot.com/

HS

4/10/2010Here's the rest of the Essential Media report on Leaders' Attributes: http://www.essentialmedia.com.au/essential-report/

HS

4/10/2010Patricia WA, I wish I could write poetry. :( I'm glad you can. :)

HS

4/10/2010Gravel, Your presence here is always welcome, even if you aren't able to go to Canberra. :)

Bilko

4/10/2010HS using leech and muirdoch's press has a nice ring to it and the roll out of the NBN will continue thank god. The back page of our Canberra times TV supplement this week also caried a Grog gamut section the writer was sitting with both grog and massola at the conference or should that be mashola it also has a nice ring to it. I am eagerly waiting Grogs next piece as is half the country. come on Grog keep punching these windless bags.

George Pike

4/10/2010They are, in the main, poor sad excuses for journalists for sure Lyn. If K Rudd was spot on about one thing, it was in his viewpoint regarding the danger of neo-liberalism and the greed and ignorance that it inspires. I was shocked and stunned by my own ignorance when shown by the intelligentia at uni just how perverse and ugly capitalism has become due to the loss of the ethical and moral standards that kept everything relatively sound prior to post-modernism. That loss was brought about by the destruction of christianity as a guiding force for Western societies...and we don't seem to want to construct a new force to maintain the safe conduct of society. We are happy to be totally and utterly controlled by the corporate-market powers as long as everything is perceived be going along ok. That is where the media come in. The media's role is to make sure that the public are fed lies and innuendo to the point where the only viable option for government appears to lie within the grasp of the conservatives...the corporate-media's darlings. We can see by what's happening in the US, with the Tea Party, that those media campaigns can be very effective...even if the people most conned by them are also the people most hurt by the consequences of getting a far right wing party into power. Those people have been convinced that they should vote for a party that is going to destroy welfare and the health system for the disadvantaged. They have been convinced by complete fraudsters that the ideology surrounding the protestant ethic is the one and only belief that can be trusted. The truth is, we need Labor to flourish in this term. They need to show that they are governing this country as good as it can possibly be governed. That needs to be done in such an overpowering way that no media campaign can stand up to them. They have to prove the irrelevance of the Liberal ideologies by empowering the offices of government towards resuming and maintaining the safe conduct of society. Something that could not possibly be done under the small government paradigm enthusiastically endorsed by the Liberal hierarchy. The areas critical towards the re-imposition of social integrity are: The justice system, it must given ample power to combat organised crime and youth violence in particular. Environmental governance, everything possible must be done to transform our economy into a low carbon intensive model. Infrastructure, everything possible must be done to ease the unsustainable environment within our cities, while making regional areas far more attractive via infrastucture investment. e.g., we should be constructing overhead railsystems as well as subway systems. The sad truth is that the Chinese are making us look like amatuers on every front in urban and regional infrastructure design and construction...so we should be using their expertise to the max. There are many areas within our social environment where serious changes are obligatory for the establishment of the parameters needed for the operation of a safe equitable society...and, as far as I can see, only Labor have the wherewithal or the desire to impose those changes. I just hope they can successfully instil that message across the wider population over the coming year or three, lest we end up with a pack of loony tea party freaks controlling this country as well!

Ad astra reply

4/10/2010Lyn Many thanks - I've added the Billablog piece and the link is working: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

NormanK

4/10/2010Hillbilly Skeleton Thanks very much for your story. I have been looking forward to it ever since you informed us you were going to Canberra. Given that my professional life was spent working in theatre, your casting of Abbott as "Lucky" had me roaring with laughter. As others have mentioned here, **Blueballs' antics would be extremely humorous if they weren't so bloody serious. Two questions for you. How did Ms O'Neill's maiden speech go? It must have been very exciting. Can you recall the actual content of the almost-famous defeated motion? So far I haven't seen a clear analysis of what it was properly about, who put it up and why. It hadn't occurred to me that once the NBN is in place, I should be able to look up this sort of detail for myself. Hansard with moving pictures. Excellent. Yet another thing for the media to be wetting itself over - accountability. To paraphrase Pink Floyd : "Tear down the veil!" ** The MSM can describe Abbott's actions under the new paranickel as hardball politics if they like but I prefer to think that he is playing blueball politics. "First Base! Second Base!! Third Base!!! Almost there! Yes! Yes! ...... Ah, bugger!! Who invited these Independents into the room?" Poor old Tony. It's tough when you think that he might have to wait 3 more years before he has another chance at Home Base. Ad astra Looking forward to your next article with keen interest. Naturally you may use my analogy, but it is nice of you to ask. It could do with a bit of extra strength so please feel free to tinker//rebuild from the ground up. Patricia WA Your poems are a great delight - funny but with considerable sting in their tails. Ms Crabbe would do well to learn the lesson that it is okay to be humorous in covering politics but the stories must have real bite or she ends up looking like a vacuous air-head. Current condition - vacuous air-head.

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4/10/2010HS The [i]Essential Report[/i] is somewhat disappointing in that it shows Julia slipping in her ratings in most important leader attributes compared with her July 2 ratings three months ago. Some fall is to be expected; the next appraisal will tell the story more accurately. What is heartening is the [i]Comparison of Leader Attributes[/i] table that shows Julia ahead of Tony on all the desirable attributes and not as bad as he is on the undesirable aspects.

Lyn

4/10/2010Hi Everybody Have a smile for awhile: The stroke that nearly crippled me, gave me a new life Coalition's Happy Faces, Stephen Read, Stroke of luck SIGH!!! HOW CAN WE SMILE WE LOST http://www.goodluckstroke.com/2010/10/coalitions-happy-faces.html

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4/10/2010Gravel Old working habits die hard. But blogging is warm tropical surroundings beats doing it in the penetrating cold of southern Victoria. The discourse you all provided while I was on the road was both fascinating and amusing. Patricia WA Your poetry is rhythmic, pointed and amusing – a laudable triad. Thank you. tredltg Time and again Annabelle goes off the rails when she strains too hard to be a comic. Occasionally she is genuinely funny, but sharp humor is hard to sustain. She would do better confining her pieces to the facts and her interpretation of them from her privileged viewpoint. Bilko We all hope Grog will return soon. Journos at [i]The Oz[/i] may be less enthusiastic. George Most who blog here share your views, and earnestly desire a very successful three-year term for Labor in which much is accomplished. Present indications are that Tony Abbott will make government as difficult as he can, but after July 1 the scene will change dramatically and open the door for forward-looking legislation. NormanK Thank you. I’ve left what you wrote largely as it is, with just a few paragraph changes. I'll probably post the piece on the NBN late Wednesday or Thursday.

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4/10/2010Lyn What a collection of sorry faces. Ian Macfarlane is by far the best of the bunch - at least he has a gentle smile on his face.

jj

4/10/2010"Abbott will continue his 'do nothing to help' effort, which has been extremely effective up until this point, not caring whether opposition to the NBN will make regional and rural Australians suffer, while the rich who now live for the most part in our inner cities prosper, like Malcolm Turnbull, who can access the best of everything outside his front door in Point Piper. Same with Abbott's 'Paid Parental Leave Scheme'. 'More generous', but to whom? Those women in the Dress Circle suburbs of our cities, whose well-paying jobs Abbott seeks to supplement with the tax dollars of the workers in the outer suburbs." Talking of absurd! Why should Abbott help a government he vehemently opposes, and whom he pretty well convinced the electorate had been a bad government? Good to see you have resorted to the gutter tall-poppy syndrome; bag the rich trick. You talk of being progressive, how about you stop the class war crap. Rural and regional Australia were going to get the same service under the Coalition as they were under the Labor scheme, but it is just going to take longer under the NBN. The government has promised 12 MB to rural and regional Australia, so did the coalition. As i explained earlier, everyone who works would have been better under the parental leave scheme; everybody! How about you check the ATO website and find out how much it is (in percentage terms) the top 10% of income earners contribute as a whole of income tax collected in Australia...you will be surprised. Absurd, Absurd, Absurd...keep trying, you will only get better.

HS

4/10/2010NormanK, I think the vote that you ask about was to do with how votes can be recommitted to the House after an initial defeat, but don't quote me on it! I guess if you're really keen to know there's always Hansard! I get Hansard on my Twitter feed now, so if you can't find it I can always go back through the archive of last week's record. As for Deb's Maiden speech, well, it wasn't as momentous as those of Ken Wyatt, the first Indigenous Lower House MP, or Adam andt, the first Lower House Green, or Andrew Wilkie, however we appreciated it and it was mentioned in passing by Paul Daley in the Weekend Age as making reference to the importance of Education, which is appropriate as Deb was a University lecturer at the Central Coast campus of Newcastle University in the Department of Education before she was elected. What was lovely was that when she finished we all stood up to give her a long Standing Ovation. The point I will make is that she is the absolute opposite of our previous member, Belinda Neal. Thank goodness.

jj

4/10/2010HS, Deb should have been kicked out of Robertson at the last election, only that the NSW Libs did a lousy job in campaigning in the seat.

NormanK

4/10/2010Hillbilly Skeleton Thanks for that. It occurred to me after I'd posted that I could look it up in Hansard but since you noted that the atmosphere was pretty relaxed in the House at the time, I thought that there might be a bigger//better story to tell. It says something about the MSM (or my search skills) that the only article I could find that offered any depth on the event confused rather than enlightened me. I'll look it up. While I'm feeling loquacious - Stephen Fry also told the story of the young girl in "The Red Shoes" (a film about classical ballet) where she convinced the choreographer//director to take her into his famous company because, as she put it : "I [b]have[/b] to dance." Fry related this to his desire to write which was a compulsion beyond his control that he would have followed regardless of whether or not he attracted an audience. Which led me to Grog who has stated a similar compulsion and indifference to whether he garnered an audience and was simply writing because it gave him pleasure and it was something he needed to do. It was not his stated intention to influence anybody - it just turned out that some people liked what he wrote. This compulsion could be compared with a man who feels that he must do something with his hands and decides, in his spare time, to carve wooden toys for children using recycled timber and donate them anonymously to charity. His toys attract local attention and he finds that the charity can sell them as quickly as he can produce them. This is a nice endorsement of what he is doing but it remains the case that he only does it for his own pleasure. Along comes a multinational toy company who import plastic crap from China and they decide that this guy is undermining their market and making comment on the quality of their product by choosing to work in wood. So they burn down his shed. What have they achieved? This bloke is now no longer able to enjoy his hobby and a very small group of locals no longer have access to a quality product that entertained their kids. What has the toy company gained - bugger all except to look like bullies. Build another shed, Grog. We'll all lend a hand.

Lyn

4/10/2010Hi Norman K I watched Stephen Fry on your recommendation and it's fantastic, well worth taking the time to watch. Here is a link to Stephen Fry on ABC IView, watch live at the Opera House: Stephen Fry, Live at The Sydney Opera House ABC IView http://www.abc.net.au/iview/ [b]Also on the Grog Storm[/b], just take a look at the collection of links Craig Thomler, eGOV, has collected, and there is more today to be added: [u][i]When traditional media exposes Public Service bloggers, Craig Thomler, eGOV. AU [/u][/i] Articles and posts for 27 September: Articles and posts for 28 September: Articles and posts for 29 September: Articles and posts for 30 September: Articles and posts for 1 October: Cafe Whispers - Fran speaking frankly (small mention Articles and posts for 2 October: Articles and posts for 3 October: Articles and posts for 4 October: Related information and news: Other mediums: 27 September - ABC Q&A A UK view from their 2008 Civil Serf debate: There's a Twibbon in support of Grog. There's also a Facebook page, If 100,000 people like this page I'll name my firstborn Grogs Gamut. There's this T-shirt (I work in the public service and I tweet) and this T-shirt (Murdoch outed me and all I got was this crummy hashtag #GrogGate T-Shirt). And a poll I've set up asking - Do journalists have a right to remain anonymous? http://egovau.blogspot.com/2010/09/when-traditional-media-exposes-public.html

Sir Ian Crisp

4/10/2010Theatre of the Absurd: how completely apposite to describe the harlequinade of Australian politics in such terms. HS, welcome to reality. The word ‘absurd’ tosses up some interesting synonyms, one of which is meaningless. The Bird of Paradox, who is heading up ‘Progressive Social Democrat’ parties in government, is surely receiving instructions from the Pakistan Cricket Team by attempting to fix the result of a panel formed to discuss carbon before the panel meets. I feel for the members of the panel who will no doubt be hectored by the deputy PM. If this is a ‘Progressive Social Democracy’ why stifle dissentient voices? The conclusions reached on carbon by the panel must be meaningless if the fix is in from the start. AA has retrieved his violin from Kennards Storage and even he pines for ‘rational debate of significant issues’ but how can that be achieved if the leader of ‘Progressive Social Democrat’ parties stifles rational debate? HS, thank you for the reference to ‘Waiting for Godot’. It’s rather apt. I am reminded of another play. William Shakespeare wrote ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ with 2010 in mind. It tells the story of the marriage between Theseus and Hippolyta, splendidly played by Bob and Julia. Hovering in the background is an eclectic band of fairies. One wears a ten-gallon hat; another has a dread of poker machines; another has wild mood swings interspersed with paroxysms of laughter; and one who has gone from being an ambulance chaser to being transported by the ambulance to a mental institution. A comedy if there ever was one. What are we to make of Julia? Even her name portends stormy weather ahead. Julia, the ALP’s basbleu, bears the feminine form of Julius and history tells us that Gaius Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the senate. History also tells us that ALP members love playing with knives so it might be prudent for the Bird of Paradox to keep one eye on Tony Um-Err-Ah and the other eye on her ‘loyal’ supporters. May I ask HS: Do you have a life? The Central Coast offers a host of things to do. You could put the boat in the water...go for a stroll along the water’s edge near Iguana’s...drag a prawn net at The Entrance...walk through Bouddi National Park, and a host of other activities. Instead you went to parliament house. May I suggest that if you need an aperient try a commercial brand like Laxettes©®™. Congratulations to you for not taking the Marieke Hardy road.

Sir Ian Crisp

5/10/2010In the interests of balance.... Congratulations must go to Sir Ian Crisp for reading the tea leaves correctly. Mr Oakeshott hinted on last night’s 4 Corners that some in the ALP wanted to give the baton to Mr Ah-Err-Um so that a good old fashioned ALP faction war could begin. How has Julia quelled those ALP rumblings and hatreds? She has handed out portfolios to those within her party who are viewed as the instigators of all the perceived ALP woes. Mr Oakeshott agrees with Sir Ian; Julia, hire a food taster and sleep lightly.

Lyn

5/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] The latest weekly Essential Research survey has Labor maintaining its 51-49 lead http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/10/04/essential-research-51-49-to-labor-6/ [i]Essential: are we warming to Abbott?, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] Labor leading 51-49. The Coalition is up a point on its primary vote and the Greens are down 1 point to 8%, their lowest level in eight months. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/04/essential-parties-closely-matched-but-are-we-warming-to-abbott/ [i]As the anonymous walls of Jericho fall, the great blog war of '10 begins , Sally Jackson, Australian[/i] last Monday's Media story revealing Canberra public servant Greg Jericho as the writer of the (formerly) anonymous political blog Grog's Gamut certainly triggered a big battle in social media circles. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/as-the-anonymous-walls-of-jericho-fall-the-great-blog-war-of-10-begins/story-e6frg996-1225933529841 [i]Grog Thoughts, James Purser.[/i] The only fall back position the Australian appears to have is the "public interest" area. They are claiming that it was obviously in the public interest to out Grog, http://jamespurser.com.au/blog/grog-thoughts [i]A couple more points about Grogsgate, Tim Dunlop, BSides[/i] Massola saying he hopes Grogs keeps writing is like the guy who punched you in the face saying he hopes your broken nose gets better. Elliot's claim that all this has been to Grogs' benefit is just another pathetic attempt at justification. http://tjd.posterous.com/a-couple-more-points-about-grogsgate [i]Twitter, commonsense and journalism #groggate, Aide-Memoire[/i] James Massola and his colleagues have done a huge disservice to freedom of speech in Australia, especially for public servants. http://katecarruthers.com/blog/2010/10/twitter-commonsense-and-journalism-groggate/ [i]Anonymous sources no window to truth, Jacinda Woodhead, Unleashed[/i] Despite the heated exchanges occurring between readers and journalists divided by the uncovering, the anonymity argument, as applied to the Jericho situation, is a misdirection - http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s3028553.htm [i]Gillard’s safe but her ability to legislate isn’t, Mungo MacCallum, Crikey[/i] if Abbott is serious about trying to woo the independents to his own side, his hairy-chested, ferocious, take-no-prisoners approach is precisely the wrong way to go about it. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/04/mungo-gillards-safe-but-her-ability-to-legislate-isnt/ [i]Gold star for the Australian Economy , Clarencegirl . North Coast Voices[/i] In coming weeks it shall be interesting to see how the Opposition's Abbott and Hockey work a negative political spin on the International Monetary Fund http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/ [i]Craig Emerson and Climate change protectionism, Robert Merke, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Sky News’s Australian Agenda (which, on first glance, appears to be The Australian Op-Ed page – Live and even more Right Wing!) http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/10/04/craig-emerson-and-climate-change-protectionism/#more-17301 [i]Did greens HTV Cards win Labor any seats?, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] AEC has released the preference distribution data from the election, so it’s worth having a bit of a squiz at the way preferences flowed from the Greens to the ALP, as there’s some interesting little bits in there. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/ [i]Greens, Fish, and Clams, Ashghebranious, Ash's to Ashes Blog[/i] yes you guessed it, the Coalition. During Tony Abbott’s bid to be king, there was this wonderful claim from a LNP candidate. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/04/greens-fish-and-clams/

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5/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Lyn Many thanks for the link to the list of links about 'Grog'sGate' - it's a most comprehensive collection: http://egovau.blogspot.com/2010/09/when-traditional-media-exposes-public.html

George Pike

5/10/2010Tony Abbott..."I didn't join the PM in Afghanistan, because I didn't want to be jatlagged when attending an important conservative meeting in London"...the truth..."I didn't call in to Afghanistan because I didn't want to be seen playing second fiddle to a woman in front of the Army...and I didn't want my force increase statements smashed by the generals in front of the global media..".."and I didn't want to be too tired for the conservative pissup in london.."

Jason

5/10/2010George, And on top of Abbotts jet lag, we have the fiberal party back bench wanting to bring back elements of work choices http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/mps-rail-against-tony-abbotts-ir-policy/story-fn59niix-1225934075450, and then we have that man of the people Turnbull saying $65 a month will turn people off broadband http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/turnbull-says-65-a-month-will-keep-most-off-broadband-20101004-164ek.html?comments=109 most people I know pay more than that now! What next from the party of yesterday?

Lyn

5/10/2010Hi George Yes you are correct, spot on again, you are certainly not the only one thinking the same, by a long shot. Action man Abbott's jetlag excuse makes mockery of election marathon ,SMH Yuko Narushima Back in Opposition, Mr Abbott needs a kip. While journalists complained of muscle aches, Abbott played rugby league with the Manly Sea Eagles and used time on the campaign bus weightlifting a television crew's camera equipment. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/action-man-abbotts-jetlag-excuse-makes-mockery-of-election-marathon-20101005-1656p.html Tony Abbott gave up troop trip for sleep , Mark Kenny, Herald Sun Mr Abbott's clear gaffe suggests he may well be suffering jetlag anyway. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/tony-abbott-gave-up-troop-trip-for-sleep/story-e6frf7jo-1225934160068 Tony Abbott gave up troop trip for sleep,Shannon Deery, Mark Kenny Herald Sun. 9am Mr Abbott infamously stayed awake for 36 hours during the last days of his election campaign this year, arguing he needed to prove to constituents he wanted the job badly enough to put in his all. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/tony-abbott-gave-up-troop-trip-for-sleep/story-e6frf7jo-1225934160068 Abbott cites jetlag for turning down Afghanistan trip, SMH. 8.02am Speedos must have cut off circulation to brain 61% http://www.smh.com.au/world/abbott-cites-jetlag-for-turning-down-afghanistan-trip-20101005-164q5.html Abbott skips Afghan leg to avoid jetlag ,Tom Wald Sydney Morning Herald, 9.44am Mr Abbott's flight to England for the party conference had been viewed an attempt to steal the thunder from Ms Gillard's first overseas trip http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/abbott-skips-afghan-leg-to-avoid-jetlag-20101005-164vz.html Tony Abbott cites worry about jetlag for turning down PM's Afghanistan offer, The Australian I didn't want to get here entirely (in a) jetlagged condition so I'm in a position to make the most of this opportunity.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/tony-abbott-cites-worry-about-jetlag-for-turning-down-pms-afghan-offer/story-fn59niix-1225934164383 Abbott chooses Tories over Afghan tripBy Rachael Brown in Birmingham"I think it's important that I be here at this conference, because the Conservative Party has taken power in Britain at a very critical time. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/05/3029526.htm?section=justin BLOGs: Abbott “too tired” to visit Aussie Diggers, Reb, Gutter Trash “Is he fit to be Prime Minister? Not if he finds lame excuses like this not to do the right thing.” http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/abbott-too-tired-to-visit-aussie-diggers/ Tony Abbott "Beauty sleep more important than Aussie Troops", Stephen Read, Stroke of Luck THE LOOK OF UTTER LOYALTY, IT'S IN THE EYES THE TRUE COLONIAL -- HOW HIGH MUST I JUMP FOR ENGLAND-- http://www.goodluckstroke.com/2010/10/tony-abbott-beauty-sleep-more-important.html Colour trumps news. Again, The News With Nipples, When Gillard answered the sleep question, you could hear the resignation in her voice over being asked – yet again – about trivial shit and knowing that it will be the biggest political story of the day. http://newswithnipples.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/colour-trumps-news-again/ The Real reason Tony does't want to go to Afghanistan, Nurse, pastor, Father, Husband The real reason he he dosn't want to go because he would have been seen with Julia. It would have looked as if he as on the same page as Julia. http://nursepastorfatherhusband.blogspot.com/2010/10/real-reason-tony-dosnt-want-to-go-to.html

Lyn

5/10/2010Hi George Here is Shannon Deery and Mark Kenny again: Tony Abbott gave up troop trip for sleep ,Herald Sun. 9am Mr Abbott infamously stayed awake for 36 hours during the last days of his election campaign this year, arguing he needed to prove to constituents he wanted the job badly enough to put in his all. http://www.heraldsun.com.au:80/news/tony-abbott-gave-up-troop-trip-for-sleep/story-e6frf7jo-1225934160068

Lyn

5/10/2010Hi Jason I pay $89.00 a month for wireless broadband ,have been for 2 years. Out of date Liberal Party, as you say party of Yesterday.

HS

5/10/2010Tony Abbott is a 'Girly Man!' He's gone from the 'Man of Steel' to the GirlyMan of Squeal'. What a joke. As George has so aptly put it, Abbott just didn't want to play Second Banana to a woman, and our PM, which shows the 'kinder, gentler' Abbott to be just as fake as everthing that comes out of his mouth. If anyone saw 4 Corners last night they would have seen the real Tony Abbott, who could intimidate a woman reporter without a bye or leave. That part in 'The Deal' last night where he had just had his meeting with Tony Windsor after the Dodgy Bros Liberal Costings had been evaluated by Treasury and been found sorely wanting to the tune of $7-11 Billion, gave us a glimpse of the real man behind the carefully-crafted facade. I judge people by what their eyes say, as opposed to what comes out of their mouths, and what Tony Abbott's eyes said at that juncture was "Don't mess with me, woman". Also, the reporter who compiled that piece for $ Corners said on radio yesterday that Tony Abbott expressly requested that that particular footage be excised from the program. Thank goodness the ABC stood up to him and refused to do so. Thank goodness also that he didn't convince the Indies to support him for PM because as sure as night follows day, if he had become PM, that footage would never have seen the light of day, and the country would be none the wiser of the wool that he attempts to pull over everyone's eyes, day in, day out. Btw, I can't wait to read jj's justification for Tony Abbott's 'jetlag' excuse. :)

HS

5/10/2010Groan. 'Everything', and '4 Corners'.

HS

5/10/2010Much as I hate to say it, this is a classic picture juxtaposed with a classic painting: http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/4158/davinci5.jpg

HS

5/10/2010Lyn, I pay $99/month for 45gigabytes peak period, which is basically when I am awake, and unlimited downloads in offpeak periods, which I can use for downloading movies etc., if I can be bothered setting up the o/night download. When my contract runs out in 12 months I'm going looking for an Unlimited Downloads offer, which are already turning up in NSW off the back of potential NBN competition.

HS

5/10/2010lyn, That poll in the Herald Sun is 2 to 1 against Tony Abbott for not going to Afghanistan, calling it 'a slap in the face to our Diggers'. Let's see if he can lie his way out of it.

Michael

5/10/2010Was "Jet-Lag Tony"'s trip paid for by the taxpayers or the Liberal Party?

Jason

5/10/2010HS, jj will be lying down in a dark room with a damp cloth on her head. What with the 4 corners program last night showing Abbott in angry mode with the journo,then to find out Abbott couldn't visit our troops because he needed to be fresh for the Tory gab fest, well why not that's what we pay him for, must get ones priorities right. Yet he and his shadow defence minister spent the best part of last week trying to wedge Gillard over sending more troops. Windsor and Oakeshot done the country a great service he's only fit to lead the libs not the country.

2353

5/10/2010Regardless of the politics, the 4 Corners last night was a great insight to current events for future generations. Well done ABC. Windsor and Oakeshot seemed to be genuinely concerned for their electorates. It must have been a real effort (with I suspect a number of sleepless nights) to keep the bull detector running for 17 days. Abbott's performance with the Journalist (where "super Rob" came to the rescue) demonstrates an alternate to the semi-polished media performer evident for most of the last year. You would have to wonder what the staff attrition rate under a PM Abbott would have been (if it was such a problem for Rudd according to the LNP & Newscorp). While Katter is well respected in his electorate probably with some justification, I don't think the use of ex-Bjelke Petersen era colleagues (Katter was a Nats Minister under Bjelke Petersen) helped his cause and the method of seeing who agreed with more of his talking points I suspect will lead to a further loss of credibility in the long term. Since the posts on this discussion seem to range a fair way off topic - here's my 2 cents worth on #Groggate, it was heartening to read one of the links above where Grog kept his job - as he should have. After all if a Public Servant can be a member of a political party, why can't another Public Servant comment on the sheer ineptness displayed at times by political parties and the media that feed off them? I'll be ecstatic if and when the blog re-starts. Briefly come back Grog - you're a great writer.

George Pike

5/10/2010Poor old Malcolm, still waffling like a ten year old because he knows he's in the wrong. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/turnbull-says-65-a-month-will-keep-most-off-broadband-20101004-164ek.html and here's the proof... http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/349452/nbn_tasmania_pricing_comparison/

HS

5/10/20102353, Other than the moment of truth that showed us the 'Real Tony' in last night's 4 Corners episode, the other telling moment for mine was when they let us in on the fact that the Liberals were quick out of the blocks after the hung parliament had been declared and it was obvious the 3 Indies would be an important factor in the equation of who would get to form government, to offer Bob Katter a former Liberal staffer to 'help him out'. I also noted that it was exactly this fellow who drafted the 20 Point List that Bob Katter used to make his judgement about who to support. Surprise! surprise! It was the Coalition! Which is the other thing that I noted, that is that all 3 seemed to have made up their minds which way they leaned early on but waited until the end to finally go with their initial inclinations. Katter made his mind up after the ALP signed their Alliance deal with the Greens. Windsor when he realised that Abbott would take money out of Education to fund his Pork Barrell promises to the Indies, and Oakeshott just seemed to love the idea of the NBN from Day 1.

HS

5/10/2010George Pike, I do not detect much enthusiasm rom malcolm Turnbull in the prosecution of the anti-NBN case subsequent to his 'demolition' on Lateline last week. I imagine that if he had had a win there he would have continued to press home his advantage in the media. Instead all we have had from his end is the sound of crickets chirping. I think he knows the Coalition policy is a lame duck. Btw, did you hear the story about the day that Steve Jobs from Apple premiered the iPad? Dead space on the projector screen after he tried to explain its wireless functionality. So he then had to ask everyone in the room to turn off their wireless appliances so he could make it work.

HS

5/10/2010Michael, 'Too tired' Tony's trip was paid for by the taxpayers. A sympathetic/sycophantic journo justified it on the radio this morning because "He's the Leader of the Opposition!". Of course if Julia Gillard had done the same thing and gone to the UK Labour Party Conference on her own RAAF jet and bypassed the Diggers in Afghanistan, well you would have heard the uproar from Canberra's Press Gallery all over the media.

HS

5/10/2010I should explain that the character on the Left in my image is supposed to represent Tony Abbott, and the one on the Right, Julia Gillard, even though they are both male, and the tree in the middle is the Despatch Box, while the gallery around the stage equates with the Public Galleries where I sat. :)

NormanK

5/10/2010Michael The answer to your question depends on whether he does any book signings over there. If he does, then yes, we the taxpayers probably paid for it. For any one who may have been confused, as I was, by Sir Ian's comments above re Oakeshott on Four Corners, the remarks he is alluding to are not in the body of the programme which went to air. They are in an interview which is supplied as supplementary viewing at the Four Corners' website. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20101004/deal/ [quote]"Over the 17 days, there was quite clearly a simmering tension (among) some people within the Labor Party organisation who wanted us to choose the Liberal Party and the Coalition so they could have that bloodbath in public," Mr Oakeshott told the ABC's Four Corners program last night. But, asked if a message was explicitly given to him to back the Liberals, Mr Oakeshott replied: "No it wasn't."[/quote] http://www.news.com.au/national/labor-mps-had-knives-drawn-on-julia-gillard/story-e6frfkvr-1225934104981?from=igoogle+gadget+compact+news_rss This is a bit of disturbing news but must have been particularly baffling for the Independents - what doesn't anyone want the job? Sir Ian is in the running for a lifetime supply of cold slightly-used tea-bags for his prescience. Footnote. Those media bastards. The above quote comes from News.com as they saw fit to report it. Below is what Oakeshott [b]actually[/b] said. Subtle? - yes. Important? - yes. Fundamentally different? - bloody oath. "Over the 17 days, there was quite clearly a simmering tension [b][u]of almost[/u][/b] some people within the Labor Party organisation who wanted us to choose the Liberal Party and the Coalition so they could have that bloodbath in public,"

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5/10/2010Lyn Thank you for your links on Tony Abbott's decision to skip Afghanistan which I've added to LYN'S DAILY LINKS: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx It is no surprise that the write up in The Oz stuck strictly to the facts without comment, in stark contrast to its usual form with items about Julia Gillard, where it is only too ready to draw derogatory conclusions from whatever facts it chooses to publish.

Gravel

5/10/2010Off topic too, I couldn't believe the comments about Abbott and his Jetlag comment in Herald Sun paper, the comments went about 95% against Abbott.....I hope the abc pick it up and run with it too like they should. I'm on satellite here and pay $66.67 a month for 3gigabit download, plus land line package of $70.?? a month, so $65 a month and no land line would put me well in front. Bring it on, I say. :-)

HS

5/10/2010http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/39664.htmlanion piece from a Director of Essential Research based upon yesterday's Leaders' Attributes poll results: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/39664.html

HS

5/10/2010Wow! What a mess! Anyway, what I was trying to say was, here's a companion piece by a Director of Essential Research based upon the Leaders' Attributes poll released ysterday...

HS

5/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, As you would well know, 'dissentient voices' were invited to be on the Climate Change panel but they petulantly declined the offer. As you would also know, there has been no in principle decision taken as yet wrt the outcome of the panel. Especially so, I would add, because the thorny political issue of Energy Pricing off the back of a Carbon Price is one which may see your presupposed outcome go off the rails.

CALLIGULA

5/10/2010Theatre, eh? Best to remember that once you’ve paid your dough its best to hang around ‘til the final curtain. But the author of the above tome had apparently bought a season ticket at the theatre in question. Strikes me that the author has offered a reasonable review of a very bad play featuring the odd ham actor stroppy enough to call for unwarranted standing ovations. Now, while the review itself is fair enough it is somewhat interspersed with side issues that hint at a certain bias on the part of the author. For this reason I’m wondering why someone of the calibre (and ballistic tipped head) of, say, David M. Russell hasn’t set the record straight. Oh. Before I close I’d like to advise those above who were concerned with Mr. Abbott’s refusal to visit the troops in Afghanistan. One of Mr. Abbott’s confidantes has apparently let out that there are two reasons. Firstly, the Brits use an armoured fighting vehicle called the “Abbott”. So in Tony’s opinion there are enough Abbotts there already. Then as far as bonding with the Aussie troops goes – Well, they’re only government employees – and therefore expendable just like any other employee.

jj

5/10/2010Looks like another one of your Labor mates in NSW is going to get the chop, Angela D'Amore. I wonder, will you guys be working, handing out how to vote cards for your party at the next election? On the Abbott thing, he has already had a press release put out saying that he will be going to Afghanistan soon, but that he cant give the date for obvious security reasons. Abbott's trip to the UK was a special trip to go to the conservatives conference. Julia's trip was one to stamp her authority on foreign matters. So what if Abbott doesnt go to Afghanistan when Gillard does...he doesnt have to. On the workchoices stuff. The coalition may/may not be looking at changing their mind on the issue. All the backbenchers are talking about is increasing the number of employees per business that will be exempt from unfair dismissal. As i have said on many occasions, the coalition is a political party; political parties have one aim, and one aim only, to gain government. In 2007 the Coalition was kicked out of government because of this policy area; and they want to gain government again. So how about you use some of your political brains and realise that even though you might think the coalition are stupid...they are not that stupid. Jason-i am actually enjoying the spring sunshine, out in the garden.

Jason

5/10/2010jj, What about having to pay $65 a month for the NBN? that part of your post didn't come through, only temporary once the NBN is up and running these problems will be a thing of the past!

CALLIGULA

5/10/2010“the coalition is a political party; political parties have one aim, and one aim only, to gain government.” Well, JJ, So that’s what it says in the constitution? I always wondered why, after over a century, it’s still such a slim volume. I’m a Commie – so I’m not smart enough to find a copy let alone read it. Or is it only the edition they supply to what’s loosely called the coalition that is so slim? Which raises another matter – which coalition? Is there some rule in that slim volume permitting only one coalition? Now that temporarily we do seem to have agreed to have two coalitions does this mean the new one doesn’t have the same merit as the old? There does not appear to be too many ‘growling foul’ out there in the street about the makeup of the new parliament. There is a reasonable expectation that changes shall be made with the conduct of this parliament. But to get back to the original subject of this thread – while certain of the elect cannot grasp that being of HM’s opposition entails immensely more responsibility than swanning about like two-bit actors – then unfortunately, counter to your theme , they are, in fact, quite demonstrably stupid.

HS

5/10/2010jj, If Abbott had come straight out and said that he wasn't going to Afghanistan because he would be going there at a later date, most reasonable people would have understood. Instead he came out with the pantywaist line about jetlag. No one in the Labor Party put those words in his mouth, hence if he gets blowback from mouthing such a cockamamie excuse then so be it. When it comes to IR it is a case of hypocrisy. Instead of "The phrase WorkChoices(which isn't a phrase btw, but I digress) is dead, buried and cremated", what we now have by those in the Coalition champing at the bit to show us their true colours, is the fact that they want WorkChoices to be 'Dead, Buried and Resurrected'. No matter what gloss they try to put on it, seeking to alter the election promise to now make changes is hypocrisy of the kind that they and you would no doubt shoot the ALP down for if they did it. In fact they have already tried it on over the Carbon Price, which Julia Gillard always said, pre and post election that she was in favour of. All she added, which has now been modified due to the Alliance with the Greens and other Independants, is that a Carbon Tax is back on the table for discussion. Also, when it comes to IR, the Coalition IR spokesman, before he was mothballed for the election, Eric Abetz admitted to his predilection for 'tweaking' Labor's laws. And we all know what a hard-line member of the H.R.Nicholls Society means by 'tweaking'. Making changes to Unfair Dismissals for Small Businesses(and I don't know why Small Business should be a Protected Species exempt from common decency when it comes to their employees), would only be the thin edge of the wedge. The Coalition would probably use the WorkChoices trick of saying they had a mandate for it and that the policy was always available for the world to see on their website, should one have been bothered to look, because the Coalition sure weren't going to mouth the words during an election campaign for the more obtuse elector to find out about. Not to mention the champing at the bit to bring back 'Take It Or Leave It' Individual Contracts. Fine if you like that sort of work environment for yourself and your kids. I don't. Not to mention 457 Visas which allow low-paid workers in to the country to fill Skills shortages, that drive down the wages of native-born Australians and severely restrict the options for our own kids to train in those areas of worker shortage.

HS

5/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, For your edification, I live across the road from Bouddi National Park, and enjoy its delightful surrounds often. I am up the road from the glorious Killcare Beach and Hardys Bay, on an acreage which shelters much Native Flora and Fauna. You're not telling me anything that I don't know and take advantage of already. Maybe you need to take a calmative and have a good lie down instead!

jj

5/10/2010"(and I don't know why Small Business should be a Protected Species exempt from common decency when it comes to their employees)" This is easy to answer. Small businesses spend a lot of money and time training their employees. As the business needs to make a certain amount to pay the wages of all staff, if one member of staff is not pulling their weight and/or is causing distress amongst other employees, they should be given three warnings; if the employee does it again the employer should have the right to sack that employee without having to go through the costly legal process of larger businesses...it is pretty well about costs (employees still have access to the safety net). Jason- I agree, what Abbott said was stupid...but now that we know the whole story, it really isn't that big of a deal. $65 a month is not overly expensive, but for many it will still be quite prohibitive. CALLIGULA- i am sure you would agree that major political parties do not like being in opposition, it has got nothing to do with the constitution. So my argument is, if workchoices was the issue that got them kicked out of office, it just doesnt make sense why they would want to bring it back. That however does not mean that there should be further changes, but i think the coalition has learnt that any future changes will never go as far as what we saw under workchoices (oh by the way it is common knowledge that Abbott opposed the abolition of the safety net).

HS

5/10/2010jj, Just the first of over 180 comments posted about the Malcolm Turnbull story: '$65 is cheaper than Bigpond. I pay $70 a month now!' Also #5 might help you understand the hypocrisy of Turnbull's comments a bit more. As for your excuse excusing Small Business from Unfair Dismissal rules, well if there was such a thing as the Fair Work Australia Tribunal, which there is, to adjudicate Unfair Dismissal cases for a nominal fee that would be satisfactory to Small Business Australia, would you support it?

HS

5/10/2010jj, Tony Abbott as Industrial Relations Minister in the Howard Government, and member of the H.R.Nicholls Society also advocated going further with IR laws on many occasions. I wrote on this matter previously if you wish to look it up.

Patricia WA

5/10/2010[quote]Tony Abbot Was Telling The Truth![/quote] This time we do believe him. This time he told it true. This trip to London was no whim He had important things to do. The media have got it wrong. His priority really was the war. He had to wake up fit and strong For battle on a distant shore. David Cameron, the big Tory, Just returned from Afghanistan, May know the way to victory. He’d willingly tell Abbot all he can About his talks with Hamid Karzai Of Bin Laden and the Taliban, And the cause for which our soldiers die. But Tony didn’t go to talk about that sad land where terror rules. He went to seek advice on how to win his war back home, with Jules.

Bilko

5/10/2010Turnbull's comments on the cost of NBN is the best bit of promotional value for it that money could buy I pay my ISP $72 for broadband connection via Transact and that does not cover the line rental and I love it, so bring on the NBN asap perhaps I will have to move to Gungahlin to get the full benefit.

jimbo

5/10/2010Jason In reality abbott is nothing more than a jumped up little whining showoff who really isnt fit to lead the Libs either.I for one wouldnt let him run a one ticket raffle.No leader in the world today should ever give up a chance to visit our Aussie troops on the front line especially after putting them in harms way.What a crock of shite citing jet lag or tiredness as a reason from the so called action man not taking up Gillards invitation to join her,it was more in the realms of cowardice than anything else.I really am glad and i must thank the indies that they kept this lying no-hoper out of the prime ministership as if he had gotten there it would have sent this high position into the gutter.Thankyou also to the Greens,Mr Wilkie,Mr Bandt.Mr Crook and Mr Katter as i believe there was some strategic maneuvering going on in the backrooms .Tories visit before Aussie troops,never,WHERES ABBOTTS PRIDE.

HS

5/10/2010Patricia WA, Your poems are a joy to behold and I feel priveleged that you grace us with them. Such a wicked sense of humour too!

HS

5/10/2010jimbo, As you no Tony Abbott is shameless, and the only quality he possesses in spades is an ability with words, and a facility for putting a bewitching twinkle in his eye like Howard used to do to disarm the sceptical.

Jason

5/10/2010jimbo, The chicken hawks mantra during the election of "STOP THE WASTE" could have been done by going with the PM, unfortunately now when he goes it will be he telegrams ahead, then catches a steamship to India, takes a carriage to Afghanistan, then congratulates our boys for doing their part for the British Empire. Then will talk to the Generals and ask important questions like how is the musket supply, whether or not the cavalry need fresh horses, is the Tsar of Russia causing any trouble up at the northern border etc

HS

5/10/2010Here's the government's very sensible response to Tony Abbott's Qld Wild Rivers legislation provocation: http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/news/house-of-representatives-economics-committee-to-ex/

Bilko

5/10/2010For all us fellow bloggers "Poll: Rate Tony Abbott's reason for not going to Afghanistan. Poll form :Please select an answer 1. Very sensible 2. Reasonable 3. Don't believe it 4. Speedos must have cut off circulation to brain response Very sensible 5% Reasonable 8% Don't believe it 26% Speedos must have cut off circulation to brain 61% Total votes: 19660. not bad for another brain f**t from the mad monk Poll closes in 2 days. Disclaimer: These polls are not scientific and and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate."

HS

5/10/2010Andrew Elder rips into the feckless Tony Abbott bigtime: http://bit.ly/brGhek

HS

5/10/2010Bilko, Do you think the electorate is waking up to the fact that they just dodged an Abbott for PM bullet? Btw, how's Mrs Bilko going? Chasing you around the house yet? :)

2353

5/10/2010Quote JJ [quote]This is easy to answer. Small businesses spend a lot of money and time training their employees. As the business needs to make a certain amount to pay the wages of all staff, if one member of staff is not pulling their weight and/or is causing distress amongst other employees, they should be given three warnings; if the employee does it again the employer should have the right to sack that employee without having to go through the costly legal process of larger businesses...it is pretty well about costs (employees still have access to the safety net).[/quote] Your point is what exactly? Large business pays more in absolute terms for salaries/wages, training and so on - I suspect more in per-capita terms than small business as well due to larger business having a reputation for higher salaries and greater benefits. The only reason I can see for small business having any exemptions is that an individual usually has direct control of a small business and they vote. By contrast, shareholders usually don't give the same concern to the HR practices of the large businesses where they "own" a minuscule portion. In effect the exemptions for small business are basically more "middle class welfare".

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5/10/2010Folks Thank you all for your comments and for your poem Patricia WA. We're leaving Port Douglas for Cairns tomorrow for the conference so will be out of circulation somewhat for the next few days. If your links arrive before I leave Lyn, I'll post them to your special page; otherwise I'll do so late afternoon.

Patricia WA

5/10/2010Nothing absurd about Julia Gillard talking to Kerry O'Brien this evening. She was calm, collected and coherent, well across the detail of Afghanistan's strategic position, our troup deployment and our future relationship with NATO. She looked stuning too. Wow! Brains and beauty combined. I felt proud to think of her representing us amongst all those world leaders. Loved the little joke she made about their leaving their automatic interpreting gear switched on, even if they spoke English, because her strong Australian accent might be hard to follow!

lyn

5/10/2010Hi Patricia WA I too felt very proud of Julia Gillard in that interview with Kerrie O'Brien, she looked lovely, calm, collected, well in control, but I knew it, game of " gotta a gotcha" continues. This is what will be all over the Newspapers tomorrow: Foreign affairs not my thing: Gillard , Tom Wald SMH 11.09pm Prime Minister Julia Gillard has admitted she'd rather be watching school children learning to read than strutting the global stage, after a hectic round of meetings with world leaders in Brussels. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/foreign-affairs-not-my-thing-gillard-20101005-166a9.html

Bilko

6/10/2010HS Mrs Bilko is well and truely on the mend the nagging level has increased, glad she does not read the blogs, thank you and others for the kind thoughts. As I have commented elsewhere Abbott like Joyce is just a gift that keeps on giving I suspect 6mths should see him implode a nice new years resolution outcome. And have you read Turnbull's latest on the NBN the best advert promoting it ever $65 mthly connection cost 90% of the comments plus saying bring it on NOW. Off to work now cheers

lyn

6/10/2010Cheers Bilko Have a good day.

George Pike

6/10/2010Tony Abbott has yet again been caught out for being the absolute spiv that he truly is and all the media can do is point a bit of worthless venom at the PM for being honest. The media are nothing but a pack of worthless curs for trying their hearts out to whitewash Abbott's treachery. The simple truth is that the PM has wowed the foreign media and the leaders she has met and has shown that she is right up to the task of handling the war effort as well..Abbott has yet again shown that he is nothing more than a cowardly lying traitor who is not worthy of ANY political position...net alone the high office he currently holds.

lyn

6/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Abbott's jetlag excuse - more than it seems?, The Conscience Vote[/i] Abbott should have to answer some very pointed questions about his words, his defenders and his dissenters. If this interview with Laurie Oakes tonight is any indication, such questions are likely to prove extremely uncomfortable for the Coalition. http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/abbotts-jetlag-excuse-more-than-it-seems/ [i]Independents feed off the weak - an update , The Piping Shrike[/i] a Labor government by the narrowest of margins and the best way to keep both parties exactly where they wanted them. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/10/independents-feed-off-the-weak-an-update.html [i]Came so far for beauty, Andrew Elder, Polically Homeless[/i] the PM has the full range of action shots (now in Afghanistan, now with the soccer ,Abbott is pictured waddling to a party like he's just dismounted a bony horse to get there. So much for beauty sleep - http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/10/came-so-far-for-beauty-tony-abbott.html [i]Holding the Opposition ferociously to account,Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i] BernardKeane we're still waiting for you to be "accountable" for this tripe @ScottMorrisonMP http://youtu.be/ZRljigv0KK8 http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/ [i]retreat from politics?,Gary Sauer-Thompson , public Opinion[/i] The Australian position is well known, "rejects doomsday scenarios pedalled by alarmists, whose proposals would wreak economic devastation". We have another beat-up by the spinning Australian. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/10/a-retreat-from.php#more [i]HERP A DERP!, Spock, Groupthink[/i] He could go without sleep when it comes to being elected, but when it comes to doing important governing things he really does need his rest. http://www.groupthink.com.au/2010/10/05/herp-a-derp/ [i]An analogy is defending the NBN, Daniel Drummer, The Notion Factory[/i] I heard the best argument for this giant national road project – so good that I’m sure you will have to agree with it. Wanna hear it? http://notionfactory.net:80/2010/10/05/an-analogy-is-defending-the-nbn/ [i]Startup nation: Is Labor’s NBN focus a little myopic?, Renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] how Australia’s technology sector might grow stronger, especially as Labor pushes its case that its flagship National Broadband Network project will have a broad productivity effect on the wider economy. http://delimiter.com.au/2010/10/05/startup-nation-is-labors-nbn-focus-a-little-myopic/#more-8675 [i]Who is Advising Turnbull, David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] So Malcolm Turnbull reportedly thinks $65 per month for NBN broadband will be too much for households http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/ [i]It just was not Joe’s day, Ashghebranious, Ash's to Ashes, Blog[/i] got this guy who manages a big business to support Joe! Again from The Australian: Hmm like I said Joe had a bad day. But why is this day taking a whole year? http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/06/it-just-was-not-joes-day/ [i]More challenges ahead for Julia By Mungo MacCallum , The Echo[/i] if Abbott is serious about trying to woo the independents to his own side his hairy-chested, ferocious, take-no-prisoners approach is precisely the wrong way http://www.echo.net.au/opinion-piece/more-challenges-ahead-julia [i]The Blame Game, Gus, Your Democracy. Net[/i] Joe's more of an idiot that I EVER thought.a gentle overweight idiot, who knows ... But he should apologise for what he said... http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/10631 [i]The Trial of Andrew Bolt - the real threat to freedom of speech in Australia, The Outsider[/i] identifying of the man behind the Grog's Gamut blog - as somehow a threat to the freedom of the media in this country, it continues to ignore the real threats: http://maniraptor.posterous.com/

lyn

6/10/2010[b][i]TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[/i][/b] NEVER ENDING, MORE ON GROG: [i]Brief historical reflections on anonymity and pseudonymity, Jason, Restless Capital Last word on #GROGGATE[/i] pseudonymous authors in Australian newspapers, and in the Australian. Jack the Insider is one. The long-running ”The Prince“ column in the Australian Financial Review is another http://restlesscapital.net/2010/10/brief-historical-reflections-on-anonymity-and-pseudonymity/ [i]In The Noise of #Groggate, don't forget those silenced, Craig Thomler , eGov AU[/i]In the last seven days there have been over 100 posts, articles and interviews and nearly 2,000 tweets on the topic - discussing freedom of speech, anonymity, media power and public interest. http://egovau.blogspot.com/2010/10/in-noise-of-groggate-dont-forget-those.html [i]Narcissus, Grog’s Gamut and a self-obsessed media,Luke S. H Raggatt , Upstart[/i] The Australian’s James Massola, for instance, wrote a piece revealing the true ‘identity’ of the previously anonymous political blogger, ‘Grog’s Gamut’ http://www.upstart.net.au/2010/10/05/narcissus-grog%e2%80%99s-gamut-and-a-self-obsessed-media/ [i]Journalists' jealousy behind a blogger unmasked , John Birmingham, SMH[/i] Grog's Gamut and the thousands of bloggers, and tweeters like him are increasingly perceived as competitors and threats to the likes of James Massola. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/blunt-instrument/journalists-jealousy-behind-a-blogger-unmasked/20101004-164a3.html [i]Information Brokerage and Citizenship. More reflections on GROG'S GAMUT Margaret Simmons[/i] The controversy over the outing of the blogger Grogs Gamut as public servant Greg Jericho has now passed out of the hands of newspapers and the blogosphere and on to the desk of senior public servants, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/contentmakers/ [i]The Australian. Think. Again., Julie Posetti, Unleashed[/i] In nobody’s fantasy, other than a few confused journalists at The Australian, was I actually suggesting Steve Biko and Grog’s Gamut were ‘freedom fighters’ of a similar calibre http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/39654.html [i]Grog’s Gamut – and the fallout, Krismcg, Krismcg's blog[/i] Grog’s Gamut has been silenced for now but those who follow him and also partake in similar activity have taken a stronger handle on the mantle and are caring on. http://krismcg.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/grogs-gamut-and-the-fallout/ [i]Grog Gate, may his legacy be a change for the better, Pirra , My Red Crayon[/i] The Australian outing Grog's Gamut blogger Greg Jericho, the Grog Gate Affair , Bloggers are filling a void that MSM is creating. We want intelligent news, intelligent reporting and we aren't getting enough of it. http://the-red-crayon.blogspot.com/2010/10/grog-gate-may-his-legacy-be-change-for.html [i]It’s Tuesday! What Happened to Monday?, Miglo, Cafe Whispers[/i] [b]Now that the dust has died down I’d like to state my piece about Grog’s Gamut.[/b] http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/its-tuesday-what-happened-to-monday/

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6/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

George Pike

6/10/2010Wouldn't it have been far more astute politically to visit Afstan with the PM and thus be able to meet ALL the important people on the ground there, something which he will NOT be able to do on his own (Petraeus and the other NATO generals will not go scurrying over to meet Herr Abbott, you can bet your bum on it)...and it would also have meant that the huge expense of making another trip would have been taken off the taxpayers shoulders. It would also have required ONE major security operation to protect BOTH leaders instead of having to do it all again because Abbott has to "do it by himself" (because he's a man and men talk differently to each other??? or because the army has a closer relationship with the conservatives and they are going to tell him the REAL state of affiars???...you've got to laugh don't you!) The simple fact is, that he didn't want to be overshadowed by the PM, and he is using every excuse in the book (helped no end by his worthless media mates) to try and wriggle out of his childish idiotic behaviour...yet again!

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6/10/2010Folks Off now to Cairns - will be back online later this afternoon. Thanks Lyn for getting your links in so early. Closing down now.

HS

6/10/2010Here's an interesting story that just reinforces my argument that the Dress Circle suburbs of our cities are going ahead in terms of wealth and the Liberal Party view a lot of policy with this metric in mind: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/the-big-divide-the-super-rich-versus-struggle-street-20101005-1669i.html

lyn

6/10/2010Hi Ad Michelle Grattan: Abbott makes himself look ridiculous Yuko Narushima: Action man Abbott’s jetlag excuse makes mockery of election marathon Samantha Maiden: Ironman Tony goes missing in action Dennis Atkins: Abbott’s poor excuse for a leader Sheepish sleepish Abbott, Media Wrap, Crikey I didn’t want to get here in an entirely jet-lagged condition,” he admitted. Cue national panning of Abbott, who campaigned during the last election once for 36 hours without slee http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/06/sheepish-sleepish-abbott/ He runs marathons and triathlons, yet Tony Abbott skips war to avoid jet lag http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/he-runs-marathons-and-triathlons-yet-tony-abbott-skips-war-to-avoid-jet-lag/story-e6freuzr-1225934574939

HS

6/10/2010What I'm wondering is, could Tony Abbott's 'jetlagged' comment, plus the lifting of the veil to give us a glimpse of 'The Real Tony Abbott' on 'The Deal' on 4C on Monday night, be the beginning of the turnaround in his political fortunes? Could the election campaign have been, when the history is written, the High Water mark of Tony Abbott's political career? As has been said to me, the electorate tends to steer clear of losers. Or, like John Howard, will Tony Abbott just keep hanging around the political scene until 'the times suit him'? Like when he's 60 and has finally lost most of his hair, like Howard? :) Considering the depth of talent in Labor's ranks and the lack of same in Coalition ranks(we'll only have that confirmed next week on Q&A when Kelly O'Dwyer from the Coalition appears again), I think the answer will be 'No'. One other point I will make is that it seems the ALP are going down the road towards picking candidates on merit rather than affiliation with one or another power bloc, as I was invited to a discussion this week about the role of 'Primaries' in the future.

NormanK

6/10/2010The bold new face of democracy in Brazil. [quote]Clown politician must prove he can read[/quote] [quote]His campaign TV ads stood out for their irreverent humour and Tiririca's tongue-in-cheek slogan: "It couldn't get any worse. Vote for me." In the spots, he is seen dancing around with a cheesy grin, in a colourful outfit, blond wig and undersize hat, making fun of the legislative institution he was aiming to join. "What does a federal deputy do? I have no idea, but vote for me and I'll let you know," went one of his ads. "Vote for me as federal deputy so I can help the needy, especially my family."[/quote] A new campaign direction for the Conservatives? No need to alter their policies though.

George Pike

6/10/2010I notice Malcolm Turnbull is still trying to resurrect his credibility with yet another tirade against the NBN in the SMH today. His call for a cost benefit analysis is just so idiotic that it makes you wonder how the man can sleep at night. Do you reckon the Chinese ran cost benefit analyses on their US$80 billion Maglev train systems...or their US$87 billion north-south water supply conduit...or their US$40 billion space program etc etc etc...and projects such as those are the prime reason that China is forging ahead of the rest of world...so stick your CBA's where the sun don't shine Turnbull...we want the focus to be 80% on progress and 20% on profits...not the other way around!

HS

6/10/2010If you'd like a fairly unbiased analysis of Turnbull's Cost/Benefit Analysis' argument, then here's a very good one: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/BTs-lesson-for-Conroys-NBN-pd20101006-9XRNF?OpenDocument&src=kgb Anyway, we all know that the only reason Turnbull is making the CB argument is because it serves as an appropriate meme for the great unwashed out there who believe anything the Coalition tell them often enough.

NormanK

6/10/2010Oops. No link. Clown politician must prove he can read http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/06/3030802.htm?section=justin George [quote]we want the focus to be 80% on progress and 20% on profits...not the other way around![/quote] Very well said but it will fall on deaf ears while Turnbull searches frantically for talking points in an argument that he doesn't believe in and knows he can't win. With every kilometre of fibre that gets rolled out, the weaker his position becomes.

HS

6/10/2010Isn't 'The Clown Politician' Glenn Beck? :) Oops, sorry, he's 'The Rodeo Clown Politician & Legend In His Own Lunchbox'.

HS

6/10/2010More egg to come for Malcolm Turnbull's face: http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Optus-in-talks-with-NBN-report-pd20101005-9XQKU?OpenDocument&src=hp5&src=amm

jj

6/10/2010 Good to see Julia understands military matters so well...no she would just rather resort to horrible, dangerous politics. Here is an article from the Aus: Point-scoring over troops and breakdown in bipartisanship is appalling, says ADA A KEY defence lobby group says it's "appalled" by a damaging breakdown in bipartisanship over Australia's role in Afghanistan. The Australia Defence Association today voiced its concern that “cheap political point-scoring” has intruded into the longstanding convention governing leaders' visits to war zones. Its comments follow Coalition accusations that Julia Gillard has been playing politics over Tony Abbott's refusal to join her on a weekend visit to troops in Afghanistan because he was worried about being jetlagged for a UK Conservative Party conference. The Opposition Leader has apologised for his “poor choice of words” and says he will be visiting the troops soon, while the Prime Minister denies trying to make political capital out of the issue. ADA executive director Neil James agreed there had been breakdown in bipartisanship over Afghanistan, and said politicians' visits to troops should not be politicised. “We're the non-partisan public interest watchdog here. We're appalled. Absolutely appalled by this,” he said. “Would it take the killing of an Australian politician on a visit to Afghanistan because there was an operational security breach for common sense to reassert itself?” he asked. Mr James said politicians had acted irresponsibly and failed to “exercise restraint” over the issue of Mr Abbott's decision not to fly to Afghanistan with Ms Gillard. He pointed the finger at Labor, claiming it was more at fault for politicising the issue. But he also took a swipe at the media coverage of Mr Abbott's decision as “just disgraceful”. “The original fault lies with stupid media speculation. “But, also, there should have been more restraint by politicians. And it hurts me to say this as a non- partisan observer, but the fault lies mainly with Labor.” Mr James said Mr Abbott had planned to visit Afghanistan before Ms Gillard extended her invitation and there was a longstanding convention that opposition leaders and prime ministers did not visit war zones at the same time. “The trip was organised by the Coalition a long time ago,” he said. “We can only assume Abbott rejected the invitation because it wasn't conventional to normal planning and because the convention is that the opposition leader and the prime minister don't visit troops at the same time unless extremely unusual circumstances prevail like the need to boost morale after a mass casualty event. “It's a Westminster convention,” he said. “It's the same in Britain, Canada and New Zealand.” Mr James said that national leaders may “wish to talks to troops about different matters. And that should be encouraged not discouraged”. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/point-scoring-over-troops-and-breakdown-in-bipartisanship-is-appalling-says-ada/story-e6frg8yo-1225934798761

George Pike

6/10/2010You don't have to ply the news ltd garbage on these pages jj....we already know how utterly corrupt they are..and James has always been decidedly pro-liberal despite his bleatings to the opposite. His statements are treacherous to say the least...slimy little bastard has still got his head so far up john howards butt that he can't see the light of day. Only rusted on liberal apparatchiks like yourself would bother reading what the tosser had to say..

debbiep

6/10/2010 I would like to ask either jj but maybe more so The Australian newspaper to give some insight then to some queries. If Abbott is going to Britain to attend a conservative do, why are we picking up the tab? Surely, it is only in his benefit, not Australia’s for him to attend Conservative Party event. What is the opportunity? What is in it for Australia? Why is it more important than seeing the troops?

HS

6/10/2010...'the convention is that the opposition leader and the prime minister don't visit troops at the same time unless extremely unusual circumstances prevail like the need to boost morale after a mass casualty event.' 5 deaths over the last few months not enough of 'a mass casualty event' to satisfy you, jj?

Macca

6/10/2010Out here in the real world the only cba worth doing is one on not having an nbn.

NormanK

6/10/2010Let's keep "jetlag-gate" is some perspective. There would have been no story to tell if Abbott had not opened his yap with a lame excuse for what was otherwise completely understandable behaviour. All he needed to say was that he would go to visit the troops at a time of his own choosing. There was no imperative for him to go at the same time as the PM but there is an imperative not to say stupid, hurtful things when you are out on the world stage. How Labor can be blamed for Abbott's mouth beggars belief.

jj

6/10/2010George, just because the head of the ADA made a critical comment about the Labor party does not make him a conservative. By the way, i see articles posted by lyn everyday by the Australian, but of course only when the article is pro Labor or anti Lib. Debbiep, Abbott is going to go and visit the troops very soon, end of. As for the conservative conference, Abbott wished to meet the Prime Minister of England to nut out a few things and get some ideas...ideas that may become policy for the Coalition. HS, i am no military expert and neither are you. 5 deaths in one year is tragic, but by mass casualty i think the ADA are talking about a scenario where there are 5 casualties on the one day. Maybe if Julia was not so silly in making this a political issue, she would not be being critisised for playing dirty, dangerous politics; you aren't supposed to talk about any planned trips to Afghanistan for a reason, and that is what Abbott was trying to avoid.

CALLIGULA

6/10/2010“i am sure you would agree that major political parties do not like being in opposition, it has got nothing to do with the constitution.” Dear JJ I don’t care whether parties like opposition or not. What I care about is parties staying in opposition when the ballot puts them in opposition and furthermore having them accept that HM’s opposition is as honourable a duty as that of the government. That is something you have so very wrong when you suggest it has nothing to do with the constitution. Far be it for me to suggest that some who can vote should really avail themselves of a few civics lessons. Ha – for that matter most of those who have won the grand raffle should bone up on the subject too.

HS

6/10/2010jj, As NormanK says above, it was Tony Abbott, and Tony Abbott alone, who came out with the lamo excuse about jetlag and wanting to be fresh as a daisy for the Tory Conference in the UK. No one allied with the ALP put those words in his mouth, and if he'd just made an appropriate excuse for not travelling with the PM there would have been no imbroglio. However it's typical of the Coalition that they aren't, collectively, man enough to admit a mistake when they make it, instead they cast around for a form of words which usually includes the euphemistic correctives 'misspoke', 'my words were misinterpreted', or " I need to clarify my previous comments'. In other words, they are as slippery as the Wipeout water slide.

lyn

6/10/2010 Tony Abbott's jet lag gaffe Abbott has made another king size gaffe, the Liberal Party will say anything, twist anything, trying to slither out of trouble. Debbiep, I agree with you, Abbotts torie trip should have been paid for by the Liberal Party. Anyway this is only the beginning, there will be more & more gaffes as the real rabbit is revealed by himself.

debbiep

6/10/2010 Debbiep, Abbott is going to go and visit the troops very soon, end of. ~ JJ --------------------------------- Ok then. But I don't think it is the end of it as I happen to agree with the blogger on the Ash's to ashes blog site that lyn supplied the link for earlier - that I will add below. What do you think then of this bloggers concerns jj? 'The trip (done together) would have saved the tax payer a little bit not to mention minimise the time the soldiers there have to waste time talking to VIPs and spend more time doing the job we have burdened them with Lets face it, this is not a low risk task and any visits from VIP entail a dose of risk to them as the some soldiers are pulled in to do the photo ops, extra troops pulled in to secure areas, and that means front line troops can be dangerously put at risk. Tony Abbott it seemed denied the offer and yesterday he claimed it was so he could be fully alert while in the UK. This was clearly false. Lets face it, if there was a photo-op to be had, he did not want to be second fiddle. What would that look like in the papers? Overnight, Mr Abbott has come out and tried to alleviate the concern saying: " TONY ABBOTT: Look, it was a very poor choice of words on my part and I apologise if I’ve created the wrong impression and I apologise if I’ve given offence, because the last thing I would want to do is give offence to the families of our troops." Yes I am sure you meant no offence Mr Abbott. That is why you are going to put them at risk in about a weeks time so YOU can get a photo-op too. ~ Ash's to ashes Blog '

jj

6/10/2010HS Last time i checked Abbott had apologised for what he said...nothing slippery about that. Can you tell me what would have been an appropriate excuse? Remember whatever he said it would not have been totally truthful as he could not have mentioned anything about Afghanistan.

Sir Ian Crisp

6/10/2010What a pair of globetrotting idiots we have representing Australia. Tony Um-Err-Ah, after setting a cracking pace going into the election has chosen to use the lame excuse of jet lag as his reason for not visiting the troops in Afghanistan. What a professional dill. What an insult to our troops. As if that isn’t bad enough we now have the PM saying that instead of meeting some of Europe’s leaders she’d rather be at a pre-school watching children learn to read. She is the Bird of Paradox. I certainly hope that some of Europe’s leaders don’t hear about her admission. What an insult to some of Europe's leaders. We certainly have some inept people at the top. HS, each afternoon I take two apples and saunter over to a paddock about 300 metres from my home. I feed the apples to ‘Billy’, a horse being agisted in a pleasant location. As I feed the apples to Billy, I can feel the day’s tensions ebbing away. I don’t need any Laxettes™®© to relax or relieve me.

Michael

6/10/2010Well, didn't William Hague make Abbott look like a bumpkin when TA tried to lead the British Foreign Secretary into kicking Australia's Labor Party in government? But Abbott made himself look even more stupid when, turning from Hague to his traveling cheer squad behind the news cameramen, he let out his death rattle laugh. Presumably they all unctuously signaled plaudits for his great diplomatic triumph. Australia didn't dodge a bullet when Abbott failed to gain government, we avoided worldwide mockery for having a fool in the Prime Ministership. Boris Yeltsin looks like Winston Churchill on a sliding scale with Abbott. Then there's Joe H, Julie B, Bronwyn B, Christopher P... The list can be followed around the Shadow Cabinet table without any rise in ability.

HS

6/10/2010You know what I found the most telling aspect of David Cameron's tete e tete with the 'professional dill'(thanks, Sir Ian)? When DC put the knife between TA's ribs and twisted as he said, voice dripping with sarcasm, "So how long have you been leader?" In front of all the cameras TA was cut right down to size, as we all know that Mr Cameron would be well aware that TA pulled the rug out from Cameron's friend, and ideological brother, Malcolm Turnbull, about 11 months ago. Delicious.

BH

6/10/2010This is a good piece HS and I enjoyed it. Michael - is there a link to the Hague/Abbott meeting please? I didn't see it anywhere today.

George Pike

6/10/2010How can people like Karen Middleton become chief political reporters for publicly owned corporations like SBS, when they so blatantly loathe and despise our PM and the party she leads? That, by inference, means that she loathes and despises the views of at least 50% of the people of this country as well...therefore she has no right to hold her current position. In fact, the senior management and the board of directors should be sacked for allowing such a disgraceful, shameful act of treachery to occur under their watch. How any journalist could sit idly by and watch Tony Abbott deride the government on this country in front of the foreign media and foreign politicians is just beyond belief. He should have been given both barrels by the ENTIRE Australian press for that shocking breach of the rules of political unity when addressing the global audience. So great is Middleton's hatred for Julia Gillard and the Labor Party that she chose to allow an act of sheer treachery by the opposition leader go straight through to the keeper. The fact that the Liberals and their media mates have used absolute garbage to turn the Afghan fiasco back on the PM is ugly enough to behold, to then have to bear witness to the media's dismissal of the acts of obscene diplomatic incompetence and national treachery by the opposition leader, is completely beyond the pale.

Ad astra

6/10/2010Folks I'm now in the centre of Cairns yet having trouble connecting via Next G. So I'm leaving this message on a public computer. I can't seem to delete the swag of spam that has arrived, so please ignore it until I can. If I can access the site from my computer in the morning I'll upload a piece on the NBN. Goodnight from Cairns.

HS

6/10/2010George Pike, I'm glad I'm not the only one to have perceived Karen Middleton's duplicitous behaviour towards our Prime Minister. She was the same towards Kevin Rudd, and you would have thought that she might have toned it down for one of her own sex, but instead she just waited a little while before she got out the bilgewater pump and started pumping out snarky putdowns. Like tonight's effort when she contrived to use the PM's refusal of champagne which had been proffered to her in the Belgian Palace to imply that she was unaware of the diplomatic niceties that world leaders should follow, that she was a bogan by smarmily stating that "She (the PM) doesn't have champagne tastes(as if the fat cow Middleton is any judge of that), and that the PM would rather be at home with 'little kiddies' than on the diplomatic stage. She's not a political reporter, she's just snide and demeaning to our political leaders. Except if they are Tony Abbott. Wherein the viewing audience was treated to the entirety of his own snide remarks about the Gillard government made to the UK Foreign Minister, William Hague. I mean, did we have to hear the Master Bastard Abbott say, "I hope the Gillard government doesn't last as long as your recent Labour government. 13 years would be too long." What exactly does that contribute to the political debate? Yet the easily titillated in the Press Gallery feel the overwhelming urge to report, verbatim, every sexist comment and slur that the Coalition come up with in order to denigrate our first female PM. Such as george Brandis' rank comment about the PM 'Speed Dating' the other world leaders in Brussells. It's not funny, it's just plain sexist. Yet, do you hear our female political reporters, such as Karen Middleton, calling them out on it? No way. They're either too gutless, or entirely complicit. I don't know what's worse. However, as has been said before, these scumbags never get the sack, or even hauled over the coals, for their reprehensible behaviour, so they just keep going from bad to worse. Until they get their wet dream and a Coalition government is elected, then they go into full-on fawning and cover-up mode.

HS

6/10/2010NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! From Twitter just now: @craigthomler Hope to proven wrong, but don't think I will be @grogsgamut won't be tweeting/blogging about politics again. vg source :(

Patricia WA

7/10/2010Ditto BH's request for a link on the comment re Hague and Abbot.

HS

7/10/2010BH and Patricia WA, Footage was on SBS News. :)

HS

7/10/2010'Defence Expert Ridicules Opposition's Afghan Stance' Headline from News Radio. Good. It's about time the Defence community started remembering what being a Military man is all about. Rule#1: Respect your superiors. Rule#2: Obey orders. Rule#3: No Insubordination. Therefore those cowboys who have whinged to David Johnston about the need for Tanks(?), more Artillery, More troops & Air Support, should have followed Military protocol and made their feelings known in the proper manner.

Sir Ian Crisp

7/10/2010HS, I'm prepared to wager that the sun will come up tomorrow. It ain't the end of the world.

HS

7/10/2010Sir Ian Crisp, I'm prepared to wager that this blog will be infected with spam tomorrow. :)

lyn

7/10/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Is Tony Abbott a good Opposition Leader?, Paul Barratt, Australian Observer[/i] He could not and cannot conduct a sensible conversation about the National Broadband Network or the alternative he is proposing, he cannot conduct a sensible conversation about the economy http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/10/is-tony-abbott-good-opposition-leader.html [i]Abbott is not a Nation Builder, Alex Scholtzer, The Angle.Org[/i]. The Opposition Leader’s behaviour illustrates his aggressive position with the largest swagger in Australian politics. When he became the Opposition Leader he aggressively challenged the government to go to the polls, http://theangle.org/2010/10/06/abbott-is-not-a-nation-builder/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abbott-is-not-a-nation-builder [i]Abbott and Wild Rivers: It's all about big business not Aboriginal Rights, Paddy Gibson, Solidarity.net.au[/i] Pearson’s real concerns are for the interests of big business. Pearson has formal alliances with the Queensland Minerals Council and the AgForce lobby group to fight Wild Rivers. Bauxite and sand mining companies on the Cape are the only planned projects claiming Wild Rivers will make them unviable. http://www.solidarity.net.au/issue-28-oct/abbott-and-wild-rivers-its-all-about-big-business-not-aboriginal-rights/ [i]Tony and the Tories, Crikey, Rooted[/i] Giles Parkinson, editor of Climate Spectator, writes: Few people are expecting Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to travel the Road to Damascus on climate change http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2010/10/06/tony-and-the-tories/ [i]The passion and patriotism of leaders, Barrie Cassidy, ABC[/i] Tony Abbott has said some silly things over the years. But to plead jet lag as a reason not to accompany Julia Gillard to Afghanistan is right up there with the silliest of them.http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/06/3031152.htm?site=thedrum [i]Tea Party, Chasalex, The Daily Bludge[/i] I have heard that people in Australia are trying to start a similar movement here. We should be vigilant, expose any such movement for what it is, and cripple it before it gets a hold and starts to scare mainstream politicians http://dailybludge.com.au/2010/10/tea-party/ [i]How to deal with the calls for a CBA, David Havyatt, Anything Goes[/i] Seems that Malcolm Turnbull is going to make an NBN CBA his singular crusade. He returned to it again today in the Fairfax press. http://davidhavyatt.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-deal-with-calls-for-cba.html [i]The NBN train has left the station, Brian, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] Turnbull, as we know, trying to crash the whole thing. If the Govt do want to get the approval of the Senate, they still have to run the gamut of the Greens, http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/10/06/the-nbn-train-has-left-the-station/#more-17310 [i]Optus may connect customers to NBN, ABC[/i] The deal would see Optus's 425,000 broadband cable customers shift to the NBN. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/06/3030805.htm?section=business [i]Business chiefs call for NBN cost/benefit analysis, Renai LeMay, Delimiter[/i] “Benefits arise which you never anticipated,” he said. Chaney said it would be hard to do a CBA on the NBN — as like roads, it would be hard to analyse all the benefits. http://delimiter.com.au/2010/10/06/business-chiefs-call-for-nbn-costbenefit-analysis/ [i]State on articles and posts for #Groggate, Craig Thomler, eGov AU[/i] News Limited is responsible for 12.5% of the articles on the topic, Crikey for 8.9%, the ABC for 5.4% and Fairfax for 3.6% (excluding any duplication across publications). In fact a total of 32.1% of the articles have been written by commercial news sources. http://egovau.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00%2B11%3A00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00%2B11%3A00&max-results=50

George Pike

7/10/2010The Daily Bludge entry is missing one point...we have already had our own version of the Tea Party over here...it was called One Nation and it failed miserably... "I have heard that people in Australia are trying to start a similar movement here. We should be vigilant, expose any such movement for what it is, and cripple it before it gets a hold and starts to scare mainstream politicians..."

Patricia WA

7/10/2010George Pike, I agree with you re Karen Middleton. I'm not a visitor to SBS normally but I was shocked at that report on the PM's overseas trip and said so. My comment has appeared, but I wonder how long it will stay there. I see her blog attracts almost no comment - or does she edit out all the nasties when she gets to see them. A propos of which, HS, - is this spam invasion on TPS something new? Don't we have any defences? And why can't unwelcome visitors be edited out?

George Pike

7/10/2010Amazing what the Liberals will do to try and kill off free speech isn't it...and I wouldn't mind betting News Ltd has got its IT guys working on spreading the spam across their enemies sites as well...truly evil bastard that murdoch..if he was doing to the Israelis what he is doing to Labor and the progressive movement in this country, he would have had a visit from Mossad a long long time ago...

Michael

7/10/2010BH and Patricia, hi. I suspect, from Hillbilly Skeleton's post at October 6. 2010 09:55 PM above, you will already have discovered that the Hague/Abbott encounter was on SBS News last night. Hillbilly Skeleton's post covers the details precisely. Michael

Ad astra reply

7/10/2010Folks Apologies for all the stupid spam. I have been unable to delete it until this morning when I as able to connect to the Internet via the hotel internal Ethernet connection. Although Next G seems to be working, I still can't get on the Internet via it. So I may be in strife for the rest of the trip. Anyway I'm OK for the next few days. I'll soon upload LYN'S DAILY LINKS to her special page and then I'll upload the piece on the NBN.

Ad astra reply

7/10/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

7/10/2010Folks I have just posted [i]The NBN debate - a clutter of misinformation[/i]: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/10/07/The-NBN-debate-e28093-a-clutter-of-misinformation.aspx Because of the recent spam attack I'll close comments on [i]The Political Theatre of the Absurd[/i].

jj

7/10/2010Pike, "How can people like Karen Middleton become chief political reporters for publicly owned corporations like SBS, when they so blatantly loathe and despise our PM and the party she leads? That, by inference, means that she loathes and despises the views of at least 50% of the people of this country as well...therefore she has no right to hold her current position. In fact, the senior management and the board of directors should be sacked for allowing such a disgraceful, shameful act of treachery to occur under their watch." I am not quite sure how your logic works. You are a supposed progreesive, and so i gather you therefor are for freedom of speech; so why is it that SBS should sack one of their top political reporters? You would love living in China. If there was anyone that disagreed with the government there, you could dob them in and send them to prison. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM???? Why shouldnt journalists ask tough questions of our leaders?!?!? I mean, if it is Tony Abbott that got a tough question or two that he stumbled over, you say that they (the journos') are doing the job that they are supposed to. If Abbott gets an easy run, than you whinge and complain that the media is bias and he is getting away with murder. So why shouldnt your standards apply to Gillard, or any other member in government? You have an extremely warped mind. Oh and to the expert on all things constitutional, You should really take a look at the crikey website and the pollytics blog. According to the author, of the 72 seats Labor won, 40+ relied holey on greens preferences to get the Labor Party across the line. So dont give us your tripe about the coalition being in opposition and therefore that is how they should behave. How about you look at seats such as your Treasurer's, without greens preferences Swanny would have been back in uni. Labor is now beholdened to the greens. it does not matter whether there are further hung parliaments or not, your beloved party is slowly fading away; and you know why? Because no one knows what it stands for anymore. The greens are now the party of the left. The coalition is now the party of the center right. Labor is trying to be what the coalition has been for decades...but there is only room for one.
I have two politicians and add 2 more; how many are there?