A year on TPS: 2014


As we come to the end of another year, please forgive a little self-indulgence as the TPS Team discusses what TPS has achieved in the past 12 months.

It was a year in which we saw Abbott and his cronies trying to destroy the country and make us a paradise for the neo-liberals, the neo-cons and the economists that support them — and, of course, big business. We saw the worst budget in living memory and have, so far, only been saved from its full ramifications by the senate. We saw Clive Palmer appear with Al Gore to talk about the importance of climate change but, at the same time, cave in to support the repeal of the carbon price. We have seen Abbott, more through luck than design, deflect the budget issue and ‘bask’ in the glory of the world stage, taking on the Russian bear and alienating our closest Asian neighbour. He has ‘stopped the boats’ but also stopped government transparency in the process. He is undertaking more privatisation of government services and encouraging the states to do the same. Without openly saying so, he is pursuing a neo-liberal and economic rationalist agenda backed to the hilt by the IPA (and, as others have noted, he is, to a significant extent, following its ‘hit list’).

Talk Turkey has made the point numerous times about the need to keep up the fight against this government and what it is doing.

We believe TPS has been doing that but not always directly. We are not a news site, and with only a few people volunteering their time behind the scenes we could never be, so we do not react to every government announcement, no matter how bad. TPS sometimes takes a longer view, looking at socio-political issues and the political and economic philosophies that underpin this government, as Ad Astra also did at times.

We published 43 pieces during 2014 over 46 weeks: those 43 pieces actually encompassed 48 postings as we had four multi-part pieces and we also posted mid-week on a couple of occasions. We had six ‘guest’ writers during the year, now counting Ad Astra as a guest since he retired from full-time blogging, but 2353 and Ken provided the bulk of our pieces — 35 between them. We haven’t bothered counting the words but, given that most pieces are between 1500 and 2500 words in length, it would be getting towards 100,000 words. Plus all the words our friends have posted in their comments.

We didn’t ignore Abbott in our quest for wider truths and have launched attacks, both directly and with satire. We first asked whether Abbott remembered the twentieth century in his rush to take us back to some halcyon previous age; we wondered whether he was ever meant to be PM as he originally won his position as opposition leader by only one vote; we suggested he was a ‘con artist’ and questioned his Humpty Dumpty words; and James Wight exposed the extent of destruction wrought on our society in just one year. We presented ‘Tiny-er-er O’penmouth’ who morphed into ‘Tiny Napoleon O’penmouth’.

The LNP and the government more broadly were also in the spotlight in David Horton’s piece on LNP electioneering, Ad Astra’s piece on what underlay the budget, the government’s seeming blindness to major issues raised at the World Economic Forum at the start of the year, its links with the IPA, and the way it snuck through changes in its approach to climate policy during the 2013 Christmas/New Year break.

Political ethics were questioned by 2353 in several posts: he questioned the morality of using refugees for political advantage; the ethics of those who legislate hardship for many in the community but accept expensive gifts and high paid jobs requiring little work; their use of slogans and sound bites rather than taking the time actually to address issues; and asked why we allow politicians to regulate donations to their own parties when we have witnessed that self-regulation doesn’t work for industry. Twice 2353 specifically questioned the link between religious and political values asking how politicians could claim to be religious when implementing policies that clearly breach their religious morality. As Ad Astra commented, it is a brave man who addresses the religious link to politics.

As we have moved from being a ‘society’ to being an ‘economy’, we couldn’t ignore the underlying economic approach of the government and the rising inequality it gives rise to. Piketty’s work on inequality was discussed and was preceded by a piece showing how rising inequality matched the rise of the economic rationalist approach. Finally, Ken suggested that inequality wasn’t an economic question at all but the result of witchcraft (presented as some dark humour to end the year.)

It was also suggested that economic rationalism, after 40 years, may be on the wane: pieces like 2353’s on modern monetary theory and Kay Rollison’s on ‘middle out’ economics reinforced that there are new economic approaches emerging that may, indeed, lead to the demise of economic rationalism.

Kay’s piece was also presented as an alternative approach for Labor. It was one of five pieces that addressed new approaches for Labor, including the speech Ken would like to hear and Ad Astra’s letter that actually was sent to Bill Shorten.

Associated with economics, were pieces on governments’ approach to infrastructure and privatisation.

Ken presented a piece on our understanding of ‘freedom’ which, at first, may have appeared something from left-field, but it was a prelude to his discussion of the lack of freedom in the free market and the loss of social responsibility as the neo-liberal concept of freedom, embracing individual self-interest, took over political thinking.

We also briefly discussed Aboriginal affairs, the role of unions and the role of experts.

We prophesised the future with David Horton’s piece correctly suggesting that conservative governments resort to war in their quest for popularity; Ken’s piece on Abbott’s efforts to take us back in time foreseeing that coal would become more, not less, important in Abbott’s world; and 2353, in ‘The thought thief’, providing a fair reflection of what did eventuate from Pyne’s review of the national curriculum.

The one area we have been lacking this year is putting the media to the sword, other than for Jan’s two-part piece. Perhaps that is because some segments of the media now seem to be doing a better job: Abbott’s broken promises and the down-side of the budget were more widely reported (but still not so much in News Ltd papers). It has been our commenters who have continued to point out the flaws in the media’s approach, including the ABC’s attempts at so-called ‘balance’.

And throughout the year, Casablanca has continued to provide us with numerous links relevant to each post, as well as other news of the day.

We trust we have continued Ad Astra’s tradition by putting the sword to Abbott as prime minister, the government and its policies more generally, its political ethics, its political and economic philosophy, and the approach of the economic rationalists and neo-liberals that support it.

Take the time during the break to revisit some of the pieces that were posted during the year and see what you think now that the year is coming to an end and you can see how the different posts tie together. If you have topics you would like us to address in 2015 please let us know, either in a comment or in a message to the Team (the Contact tab above).

This thread will stay open until 4 January, when another piece will be posted with an extended thread, so please post any new comments and insights you may have. And, as we asked last year, please also feel free to post any video, music video or photo that takes your fancy and that you may wish to share, with a short story as to why you selected it.

Wishing all our lurkers and commenters a happy festive season and looking forward to you being back with us in 2015.

The TPS Team



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Ad astra

21/12/2014Congratulations When Lyn and I decided to step back from [i]The Political Sword[/i] last year, there were some regular readers who felt it would be a pity if [i]TPS[/i] were to languish. With the brilliant organizational skills of Jan Mahyuddin (@j4gypsy), a group was enlisted and a strategic plan developed that allotted tasks to individuals from production management, to writing, to reviewing, to editing, to coding, to posting the finished pieces. Soon a smooth operation was in place which has served [i]TPS[/i] and its readers well ever since. We shall always be grateful to Janet for her innovative work. She has herself now stepped back, but still keeps an eye on her creation. Thank you Jan for all you did to ensure the continuance of a viable site. Lyn Links were the reason so many visited [i]TPS[/i]. Without Lyn's contribution it was feared that many would no longer come. Then up stepped Casablanca. Soon she was posting regular links, often aggregated into Casablanca’s Cache and archived in the Page List in the left panel. She has continued to post links regularly, sometime arranged in themes – one devoted to the life of Gough Whitlam as recorded in the many tributes to him, springs to mind. We shall always remember fondly the years of links that Lyn posted, and now the links that Casablanca continues to post. We thank you both for the splendid service you have rendered to readers at [i]TPS[/i] for such a long time. What you have done is time consuming, demanding and invaluable. We deeply appreciate the effort and devotion that takes. There were numerous contributors to the maintenance of [i]TPS[/i] in many roles. Some were production managers, some writers, reviewers and editors, some placed the edited pieces in HTML code, some posted the finished pieces, while Web Monkey kept an eye on the functioning of the site, repairing it when things occasionally went awry. My thanks go to all of these regular contributors. Some have had a particularly deep involvement. Bacchus, Ken Wolff and 2353 have been heavily involved with production and writing; without them this site would have surely foundered. Bacchus has done most of the coding and Ken and 2353 have shouldered the bulk of the writing. They have gifted us with some profoundly philosophical pieces and erudite economic treatises that have inspired thought and evoked intelligent comment and debate, which is what politics in this country desperately needs. They have also been regular commenters. Bacchus, who has so efficiently handled production for much of the year, put it well when he wrote: [i]“We really do have an amazing, talented and inspirational team.”[/i] My heartfelt thanks goes out to you all for keeping [i]TPS[/i] travelling along so smoothly and so professionally. The quality of the writing has been superb; the standards have been kept high; the level of collaboration has always been excellent; the technical work has been highly competent and efficient, and the good-natured teamwork has been a joy to experience. I could not have wished for a more capable and cooperative team. There have been others who have contributed occasional pieces: Jan Mahyuddin @j4gypsy, jaycee, David Horton, James Wight, Kaye Rollison, Barry Tucker, [i]TPS[/i] Team and Ad astra. We are grateful for your contributions, and invite further pieces from you in 2015. The substance of this final piece for 2014 gathers together so excellently the content of [i]TPS[/i] during this year past. It demonstrates not only the diversity of material presented, but also its superb quality. Without the contribution of those who comment, [i]TPS[/i] would not be what it has become over the six years of its existence. Many have made comments for which all of us associated with [i]TPS[/i] are grateful. I am sure you will not mind me mentioning one whose continual encouragement has been an inspiration to all who write or comment here – that is our beloved Talk Turkey. He has experienced the highs and lows of politics in this country, has had the courage to call out those who seek to pervert our political system, and has rallied us again and again with his catch cry: VENCEREMOS. Thank you TT – you are a champion. So as the grandfather of [i]TPS[/i], may I thank all of you who have made such a splendid contribution to this site that we all love. Long may it prosper! Finally, Warmest Season's Greetings to you all, and Every Good Wish for 2015.

2353

21/12/2014Thanks for the wonderful comment Ad - it has been a pleasure to work with all of 'the team'- if only my real job was that easy. I join Ad Astra is wishing all those who read, ruminate and comment on my pieces a wonderful 2015 and may you all spend the holiday season in a manner that pleases you. See you all in 2015

Ken

22/12/2014Ad Thank you. I'm glad that the Team has been able to keep TPS running at an acceptable standard, given the high standards you set in your regular blogging and still set in your occasional pieces. I wish all who come here a happy festive season, or in the lines of a song: Every blessing for the year May the ones you love be near Don't forget that we can all still comment here on current events, such as Abbott's reshuffle yesterday. I think Morrison's move to welfare (social security) may suggest that the government has a plan for use of some of the empty detention centres on the mainland. I can barely comprehend that Kevin Andrews keeps being promoted/rewarded. It is obvious, as some have pointed out, that he wields considerable 'factional' power which means he cannot be ignored (which is what he actually deserves). I will also be the first to post a personal like. For those who have read my commments, you will know that I am very much 'into' political folk music, so the following will come as no surprise. The first is a song that goes back to the Reagan years and the American wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua. I have heard better versions but this is the only one appearing on YouTube. Send me back to Georgia by Mitres Well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29ihhcmnusg Dick Gaughan is a Scots poitical singer/songwriter who had been around since the '80s. No gods (and precious few heroes) by Dick Gaughan

Ken

22/12/2014oops Forgot to put the link in for the Dick Gaughan song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25I8llcBplQ

Ken

22/12/2014Sorry, just me again. For those who have trouble understanding Dick Gaughan's broad Scots, here is the lyric: No Gods (and Precious Few Heroes) Words & Music : Brian McNeill ©Grian Music Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan [quote]I was listening to the news the other day I heard a fat politician who had the nerve to say He was proud to be Scottish, by the way With the glories of our past to remember "Here's tae us, wha's like us", listen to the cry No surrender to the truth and here's the reason why The power and the glory's just another bloody lie They use to keep us all in line For there's no gods and there's precious few heroes But there's plenty on the dole in the land o the leal And it's time now to sweep the future clear Of the lies of a past that we know was never real Farewell to the heather in the glen They cleared us off once and they'd do it all again For they still prefer sheep to thinking men Ah, but men who think like sheep are even better There's nothing much to choose between the old laird and the new They still don't give a damn for the likes of me and you Just mind you pay your rent to the factor when it's due And mind your bloody manners when you pay! And tell me will we never hear the end Of puir bluidy Charlie at Culloden yet again? Though he ran like a rabbit down the glen Leavin better folk than him to be butchered Or are you sittin in your Council house, dreamin o your clan? Waiting for the Jacobites to come and free the land? Try going down the broo with your claymore in your hand And count all the Princes in the queue! So don't talk to me of Scotland the Brave For if we don't fight soon there'll be nothing left to save Or would you rather stand and watch them dig your grave While you wait for the Tartan Messiah? He'll lead us to the Promised Land with laughter in his eye We'll all live on the oil and the whisky by and by Free heavy beer! Pie suppers in the sky! - Will we never have the sense to learn? That there's no gods and there's precious few heroes But there's plenty on the dole in the land o the leal And I'm damned sure that there's plenty live in fear Of the day we stand together with our shoulders at the wheel Aye there's no Gods [/quote]

Ken

23/12/2014I see Abbott is at it again. He is either as stupid as he looks or is so stuck on his three word slogans that he doesn't know what else to talk about. I'm talking about his claim that the best thing he has done for women (as the minister for women) is remove the carbon 'tax'. Someone should ask him a similar question about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs which is another portfolio area he has kept under hiw own wing. His answer would be similar because, despite his claim at the time that he was keeping women and aboriginal affairs under the PM's umbrella to give them importance and priority, they are two areas where he has done basically nothing.

2353`

23/12/2014[i]The Shovel[/i] is much better at sending Abbott's Carbon Tax is good for Women statement up than I would ever be. [quote]“Equal pay was always going to be an uphill battle with the carbon tax in place”. Olivia Dresden, Sydney “The guys at work take me seriously now. They look me in the eye when they talk to me, not at my carbon tax”. Wendy Whitehead, Melbourne “Last year I lost out on a promotion to a man with less experience. But the abolition of the carbon tax has paved the way for my rise to CEO”. Felicity Pollock, Sydney[/quote] http://www.theshovel.com.au/2014/12/22/how-the-abolition-of-the-carbon-tax-changed-my-life-australian-women/ The man is a moron!

2353`

23/12/2014For those that have an interest in economics - Piketty has been declared by [i]The Guardian[/i] as 2014's greatest thinker. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/22/we-need-a-wealth-tax-thomas-piketty-2014s-most-influential-thinker

Curi-Oz

23/12/2014 After an odd conversation with an old friend this morning, I’m just wondering what a ‘real liberal’ would look like. What were the ideals of Menzies Liberal Party, and (apart from natural evolution due to changing circumstances) why has the current Liberal Party fallen prey to what appears to be a fascist mind set? Any pointers to documentation would be appreciated – I’m still a bit new at digging out the history of Australia’s political bunfights…. I keep loosing track of who is supposed to despise who.

Patriciawa

23/12/2014Let's hope for a vastly different new year, an improvement on the last. Surely Abbott and company can't do worse? Meanwhile let's remember happier times. Is it beyond hope that Julia could return? The need for new leadership direction with Shorten's resignation should shake things up a bit, surely? Remember Julia? J is for Julia and the Joy she gave. U is for Us, so Useless to save Labor while staying Loyal to her, In spite of our Instinct that never Again could we Australians be so proud of our name. http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/julia-2/ Patriciawa

Patriciawa

23/12/2014Oops, sorry about that Bill! I'm told it was a State Labor Leader who just resigned! Politics are not holding my attention the way they used to! Or is that just an excuse for not getting my facts straight? Patriciawa

Patriciawa

23/12/2014Apologies for the excessive self-promotion. I seem to have forgotten how to submit a comment!

Ken

23/12/2014Curi-Oz I'm not sure about documentation but you are right that the so-called liberals have become neo-liberals and neo-cons. When even Malcolm Fraser resigned from the party, you know it has moved to the far right. If I find any relevant documents I will post another comment. You have given me an idea for a piece next year. I may do some research and see if I can find enough evidence to write a discussion on how the Liberals have moved from the centre-right to the far right.

Bacchus

23/12/2014You "self-promote" all you like Patricia - it's just good to see your avatar around these parts again! :)

Patriciawa

23/12/2014Thanks, Bacchus! Lovely to be writing something positive about a pollie down here in Oz, even if it is an echo from the past. I couldn't get get the picture up with this one, but you'll get it with the link. http://images.smh.com.au/2012/05/28/3330397/Petty_cartoon2-620×0.jpg Here’s good news that’s not been aired. Of anywhere to live Oz is now the best. An OECD Report’s declared Australia beats Norway and U.S. Would you believe our personal wealth Of all the world’s amongst the highest, Plus education and general health? “No,” says Andrew Robb, “That report is biassed.” Joe Hockey too comes out to claim That someone in United Nations Gave wrong info with the obvious aim Of making Oz the ideal destination For people smugglers everywhere. “They’ll bring their hordes across the seas Who all believe that we must share With them, just because they’re refugees.” Tony Abbott kicks in a door, Runs out half naked to the beach, There lets out an angry roar And makes a loud impassioned speech. “These statistics are Julia Gillard’s lies! No one should believe in them! True happiness for Oz cannot arise Till she is gone! And I’m PM!

TalkTurkey

24/12/2014Greetings Comrades Heartfelt thanks and deep respect to all the TPS Team of whom I have been the least member. I'm sorry about that, my Muse has sort of become a sometime thing, more of an abusive old nag screeching at me about the kind of government I let win, how could I and all that. I try to reason with the old bag but she keeps on at me, "You are to blame", and Yes I do feel responsible, though I don't know what I/we could have done to prevent it. But the upshot is that now I can do little but screech abuse on Twitter of the Government & the lying traitors that are our Main Stream Media on Twitter. But if I can raise the political temperature there by half a degree I will regard myself as a successful, if almost insignificant provocateur. Anyway this is no time for any downish thoughts so I will repost my traditional Crispmess message of hope joy and peace to the world. May your heart sing along with the delight of it all. Esteemed Swordsters, On this date last year I posted the following ode to Religion ! So in the same tradition that people sing carols every year, here's a repeat of a repeat that I'll probably repeat again next year. (I do wish us all well at this time of year, yes indeed, and you know what, that's just the same as any other time of year. I'm no more a Crispmess Goodwillian than I am a Sunday Christian like the likes of Rudd and Abborrrtt for whom I feel little goodwill anyway, how could I.) So here's what I posted last year ... I posted this last year on Crispmess Day. I think we've made a tiny dent in the reputation of religion, Pell at least made a choking-on-it apology yesterday. The Spirit of Crispmess And so this is Crispmess, and all round the Earth The “Christians” are fighting for all they are worth, And so are the Moslems, and so are Hindus, And so are the Buddhists, and so are the Jews. The works of the holy are everywhere seen: In Ireland there’s hatred ’twixt Orange and Green; While “Christians” bomb Afghans (with help from above), And Jews shower Arabs with napalm and love. Each other religion is always at odds With anyone worshipping different gods; They all reckon their god’s the one god that’s right, So for permanent peace, they eternally fight! Some folks say of Evil that Money’s the root But Religion’s its seed, and Blind Hatred’s its fruit And as for that Evil, it’s religion’s own word! And the “Christians” claim Love’s what they spread! How absurd! [Please observe that I only use “parentheseses” Around those who claim to be followers of Jesus, For as he observed truly, as plain as can be, The worst of transgressions is Hypocrisy.] You can’t blame folks for ignorance, if they’ve had no teaching Of the brotherly love that was Jesus’ main preaching; But find me true Christians so gentle and meek That genuinely do turn their own other cheek . . ? . . O sure, Jesus’ teachings would be very good If anyone practised them – if anyone could! But here in the real world, where saints don’t exist, A slap on the cheek’s mostly met with a fist. The parable of the good neighbour was Jesus’s, (’Course, he wasn’t “Christian” in parentheseseses!) You don’t need religion to be a good neighbour: Good Samaritanism's just [i]Labor behaviour! Stay safe Folks. And remember the true spirit of Crispmess, (Schnappes, Santa's favourite tipple.) By the way this time last Crispmess I was in hospital. Try looking back at all the posts there were at the end of last year, and think how Abborrrttt has changed our mood. All you need to do is find it on the Archives at the top of this page. Love you all Swordsfolks. I'd like to write more right now but I am nearly asleep. Explanation later. Merry Christmas to all even though I hate it!

Curi-Oz

25/12/2014Just a quick note to drop in some seasonal greetings http://wp.me/p3xJZ6-7M Thanks for keeping me sane this year. You are all greatly appreciated.

Ad astra

25/12/2014[b]To everyone who visits here, HAPPY HAPPY CHRISTMAS[/b]

Ken

25/12/2014Ho ho ho Merry Aussie Christmas to all. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnJ8jsw4BSo

TalkTurkey

26/12/2014TalkTurkey and the Direction Finding Duck Comrades Together 4ever! https://twitter.com/StanSteam2/status/547894048845873152

TalkTurkey

26/12/2014(The Direction Finding Duck was off finding directions with Mr Curly and Vasco Pajama. So you are left alone with The Turkey. Very good company you are too.)

TalkTurkey

26/12/2014Greetings Comrades. A few days ago Ad said this of me: [i]I am sure you will not mind me mentioning one whose continual encouragement has been an inspiration to all who write or comment here – that is our beloved Talk Turkey. He has experienced the highs and lows of politics in this country, has had the courage to call out those who seek to pervert our political system, and has rallied us again and again with his catch cry: VENCEREMOS. Thank you TT – you are a champion.[/i] Ad you can't know how that has moved me, nearly to tears, (I weep easily): not primarily because it's the nicest thing anyone ever said of me, but because I am so unworthy of it recently, so ashamed of having contributed so little to this site this year, when I am personally sworn to its service. I seem to have lost my mojo as they say, at least for the time being: I am so angry, so outraged on so many fronts, that I can't seem to focus on any one subject. So instead I have been spending lots of time and energy shouting my rage on Twitter where I am a very different type of Bird from the pale softly-spoken Turkey I appear here. hem hem. It is still with the hope of helping create a better society ... but it's such a long way receded in this last year. So, No More Mr Nice Guy is my Twitter persona. (And it's pretty true-to-life too I'm afraid.) Ad you know you are my Sage, I said so years ago and you have ever only risen in my estimation ever since. Not my [i]Guru[/i]: Gurus never get things wrong: Sages are wiser, enough to make mistakes, and so still capable of learning. As you do. And teaching things, as nobody does better than you. So Ad I'm saying I'll forgive your overestimation of me, the human beneath the feathers, because Sages are allowed to make mistakes, but make no mistake here, I'm a lot like Gigolo the Clown, laughing on the outside, crying on the inside, except me it's bravado on the outside, blancmange on the inside, for the failure I feel. I said I had the Eye of Time, I was confident that *J*U*L*I*A* would gain traction and I almost promised that we would win. Sure, always there were Pink Batts, Cash for Clunkers, Slipper, Thomson, outrage everywhere, couldn't get nothing right, allegations of impropriety 20 years ago - all confected but all effective, - and even then I thought we would win. But the one thing I didn't know, that of my own belief in Labor values I didn't believe, was that that maggot Rudd was poisoning her at every moment. And he wormed his way into the heart of the Labor Party, and destroyed our chance. I am ashamed of having ever thought him worthy of Labor leadership. I am ashamed that we lost the election. I'm ashamed for my countrymen, that they could even think of giving our future over to the likes of these dull nasty crooked men (for males they mostly are). Ashamed that we are too weak, complacent, powerless, gutless, unaware, and all the rest of our failings that have allowed them to undo Gonski, NDIS, Carbon Pricing, NBN, so many services, all without rising up and saying a flat No to the kind of society they are trying to create. I am ashamed of being Australian now, part of a society now seen worldwide not just as lovable yobs but as racist and selfish beyond all others, the new hypocritical warmongering Pariah state of the West. So it is an irony, the bloke I most admire saying the nicest thing about me ever, when I have never felt such a failure. And most of all I feel a failure to you yourself Ad, I promised us a win and we didn't. Thank you for thinking me at all 'champion', and for the sorts of thing you mention -for there is nothing that thrills me so much as to think that something I've said may have by even a degree raised the spirits of the sorts of Comrades found here. But everybody who has posted here on this thread, and many more, have given more this year than I. And if I were to pick a Champion, it must be *Casablanca*. It has been a hard and largely thankless year for you, but you have persisted, the TPS record remains unbroken, and I just think you deserve special mention. I'll leave it at that, everyone knows the value (or possibly doesn't!) of their own comments. Everyone is unique, and all are precious because every word is voluntary and truly heartfelt. And it gets back to you Ad. Because I'm sure no-one feels the losses of the past 16 months more keenly that you yourself. Well Dear Man you know we will be fighting as never before, the Unions, Labor True Believers, Aboriginal & Indigenous People, people with disabilities, teachers, firemen, nurses, all decent Goodwillians with some fire in our bellies, we will be fighting all the way to the next chance to rid ourselves of this scum. And then indeed, by the Living Dog, VENCEREMOS!

Ad astra

26/12/2014Talk Turkey You write from the heart - that is why we love you. The disappointment you express about Labor's loss, Rudd's treachery, and the sheer incompetence and mendaciousness of our present government, channels what so many feel. You reflect the emotions that so many of us experience. Yet at the end there is always hope: VENCEREMOS - the ultimate triumph that we know will surely occur as Abbott and Co. destroy themselves with every utterance, every action. You may be surprised how much your contributions count. Enjoy the laurels. There's a new year coming up!

Ken

26/12/2014TT Your words are always inspirational, to maintain our rage and keep up the fight. Here on [i]TPS[/i]we fight with words. In our cadre, if I dare say so, I tend to be the revolutionary philosopher, Ad the leader of the political movement, but you are our spearhead, taking the enemy front on, sparing no words in your wrath and inspiring the other members of the cadre to keep up the fight. Viva TT! Never give up and keep stoking the fires.

2353

26/12/2014TT - ^^^^^^^^^^^^^What he said^^^^^^^^^^^^^

TalkTurkey

27/12/2014Folks know Abborrrttt is appalling! Abborrrtt Guvmint polls free-falling! Abborrrtt himself is un-Australian: Cotton runt's a Pommie Alien! "Voter support for the Abbott government has plunged across all states over the past year and is significantly behind Labor in two-party-preferred terms everywhere except Western Australia.A Newspoll analysis published by News Corp Australia shows that the Coalition's primary vote has tumbled 10 points in Victoria and South Australia, nine points in NSW, eight points in Queensland and seven points in WA. In two-party-preferred terms based on preference flows in the 2013 election, Labor leads the Coalition by 60 per cent to 40 per cent in Victoria.In both NSW* and South Australia it's by 54 to 46 per cent and by 52 to 48 per cent in Queensland. Only in WA does the Coalition have a two-party preferred lead - of 53 to 47 per cent." AAP (*NSW 54%? Can that be right?) See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2014/12/27/newspoll-shows-abbott-govt-support-plunges.html#sthash.fSQIEQv1.dpuf Skynews still grasps at the last straw: Headline: "Voter support for Abbott Govt plunges in all states except WA" Hang on Skynews, LNP WA has just lost 7%, that's a plunge, even if it's still leading 53-47. Too hard to grasp I guess. It's all LNP's own work too. You can't think that Labor has been all that pro-active (and that's putting it mildly.) I do wish Bill Shorten would have a real bash at them. Softly softly may catchee monkey but it's no way to attack a PiG~THiNG. Every percentage point Abborrrtt loses is the result of many people losing their jobs, their services, their dignity. So one can't rejoice too much when we "go up" in the polls, it's really only LNP going [i]down[/i], at the price of people's pain. But it's better than Labor going down! What's the LNP to do? Spill and give Asbestos Julie a go? Snotty Joe can't possibly make it now, Turdball has dropped out of sight, Australians won't wear the heartless Christian Morriscum. Naaahhhhh ... I think they'll have to stay with Abborrrtt. It really looks as if they are in a death spiral, ailerons not working, no remedy. [Have you ever seen aircraft in death spirals? Horrible to watch: total aerial paralysis, with insufficient forward movement to create airflow over the lift and control surfaces, round and round and down and down they go!] Changing pilots won't help, especially not a WOMAN! (Though weirdly, it [i]might[/i] help with some, who think *J*U*L*I*A* did a good job! Plus the fact that Abborrrtt himself, as risible Minister for Women, has radicalised women, and they are now Left of men, probably for the first time ever.- As they should be too!) I see no way this nasty and incompetent mob can hope to improve its image now. Yes they might give Bishop a honeymoon, but she is too weak to control her own party for long, let alone convince a pissed-off populace that the LNP has the policies to take us forward. And they are already floundering. It would be sad if Labor only wins by default at the next opportunity, but I guess that would be better than losing. But Oh how I long for someone to give these thugs a good PJKeating!

TalkTurkey

28/12/2014Where have all the Swordies gone, Long time passing? Where have all our comrades gone, That we love so? What's become of all our club? All gone boozing down The Pub! When will they ever learn?! They're welcome to return!

TalkTurkey

28/12/2014That Tessellations.org man in a wheelchair in Hawaii I told you about is still missing! J**** & I are in touch with his brother and sister in Florida, they haven't seen nor contacted him in years but they're trying to find him now we've put them in the picture. Horrible situation, we've spent ages and racked our brains trying to find him. He was very ill, (he's only 53 but he's had several serious accidents + enlarged heart + Type 2 diabetes + short of breath. That all adds up to pretty serious). And the last we know he was "discharged" from a hospital on October 4. That was their word, I do hope it doesn't double for cadavers. But Coroner's Office in Hawaii has no record of his death, and surely they would if he were dead. But red tape, stonewalling and roadblocks are preventing us even finding out that simple bit of info. And the Florida cops won't help his brother atm either. Red tape, "Confidentiality", no-one taking responsibility, damn, What if he needs help? He has no-one in Hawaii at all. It's very distressing, to me & J****, we can't help feeling responsible because no-one else is too, but we can't help him while we can't locate him. It's so [i]Marie Celeste[/i]-esque! And in the meantime we sort of have our hearts in our mouths, not knowing if he's dead or deathly ill. Because we know he [i]can't[/i] be even half-way[i]well[/i], otherwise he'd be working on his beloved website as usual.

Ken

28/12/2014TT I hope everything with Seth eventually works out and that he does turn up somewhere. Yes, it has gone very quiet here. Perhaps some are still recovering from Christmas and some obviously on holidays. Although we have had people reading as the number of people rating the piece has jumped up in the past couple of days - just not staying to comment. I too have been a bit busy but should be able to catch up tomorrow for a more regular exchange.

Bacchus

28/12/2014Ken, The number of people rating the blog is pretty well always more than the number of commenters on the piece. I often think authors underestimate the number of lurkers in the big wide world. Between 10 and 20 to 1 lurkers to commenters would be a reasonable estimate for many blogs, some even higher. A lurker will read a piece, read the comments, nod to themselves, "Yes, I agree with that and have nothing extra to add" and continue on their merry way. Some of those will indicate their agreement by rating the piece. Most lurkers don't know what the rating means though. This piece has also received some support from "old friends" on twitter. TT, Our hearts go out to you and J*** - there's nothing worse than not knowing what the situation is - the natural inclination is to think the tragic worst whilst hoping fervently for the best outcome possible. We hope for the latter. As Ad Astra, Ken & 2353 have noted, you are an integral and most important contributor to [i]The Political Sword[/i] - I see you as the "fire in the belly" here, rallying the troops onwards to certain victory in 2016. As some (in)famous person once said: [b]VENCEREMOS[/b]

Patriciawa

29/12/2014Talk Turkey, I am here! T.P.S. is my first visit every day, Coming to read What you have to say. Yes I do call in at the Pub But only after the Cafe For old time's sake, once my hub. Now A.I.M.N. gets me underway.

Michael Taylor

31/12/2014Wishing all my friends at TPS good health and good blessings for 2015. Your efforts in 2014 have been a wonderful contribution.

DoodlePoodle

31/12/2014Happy New Year to all at TPS. As I watch the year as it was on TV (politics), I have to wonder what the LNP think of the way it is portrayed. Sometimes the truth hurts but I wonder if they would even admit that to themselves. Cheers

Ken

31/12/2014thank you Michael And a happy new year to you and all at AIMN. DoodlePoodle Good to have you back again. Happy new year to you. I don't think the government knows it has done anything 'wrong'. Abbott keeps saying it is on the right track, they have just failed to get their 'message' out. He lives in dreamland but while that is bad for the country in the short term, it is good leading into the next election.

Catching op

31/12/2014Happy New Year to all. Heard Hockey saying the age of entitlement is over. It is time for each to be responsible for themselves. I can only suggest to Mr. Hockey, that he takes his own advice. Yes, and take responsibility for his own actions. 2015 will be a much better year, if this government heeded their own advice.

Bacchus

1/01/2015Happy New Year Swordsters! Here's to a huge 2015 putting the worst government ever to the sword.

Casablanca

1/01/2015Happy New Year to all who dwell here. Also, let us hope that Abbott has spent his last New Year's Eve as a denizen of Kirribilli House

TalkTurkey

1/01/2015Happy new year Comrades. Be resolute this year, don't be afraid to speak aloud in shops and workplaces everywhere. Diffidence is no good. Wear your outrage on your sleeve at all times. This is the only way we will ever retrieve the society we looked set for only 18 months ago. I only wish Labor leadership would go for the jugular. More than anything else that's what has fed my own Black Dog this last year - that our own MHRs seem so bloody bloodless. Defaulting into power, on the back of loss after loss of services, jobs, and national morale, looks possible, but it would be shameful, pathetic. A Pyrrhic victory, having lost everything decent in our society. We really must fight now Comrades. Harder than any of us ever have, at least since the Vietnam War was fought in the streets here. (Where I earned my first arrest! :~) We must pull the fat out of the fire, and be prepared to do whatever it takes. Think resistance, think double-resistance, and double it again. What can you do? If no-one is prepared to strike because of unfair anti-strike laws then we are lost and we deserve to be too. For the same reason that the Dodo became extinct: we've had it so easy for so long we think it's the natural order, and we have lost the capacity to organize and fight. Don't let this be our country's fate Comrades. Just FIGHT! VENCEREMOS!

Curi-Oz

1/01/2015Finally got the house sorted sufficiently to call the family in the rest of the world ... and drop in to wish all here a grateful thanks for the previous years grasp on my sanity and looking forward to the coming year's 'interesting times'. Happy New Year to all

Ad astra

1/01/2015[b]HAPPY NEW YEAR to all who visit here.[/b]

TPS Team

1/01/2015Welcome to [i]TPS[/i] Loz - we hope you enjoy our site. Have a browse around - besides the excellent articles by our writers, you'll find some very useful links on the left hand side of the page by our intrepid news gatherer extraordinaire, Casablanca.

Ken

1/01/2015Loz Welcome to TPS. I do hope you find our 2015 articles interesting and stimulating. If you haven't already done so, I would recommend that you peruse some of our 2014 articles that fit your interests (using the links in the above post). I look forward to your comments and exchanging views as 2015 progresses.

2353

1/01/2015I hope everyone has enjoyed the first day of 2015. May the rest of the year bring all here good luck and fair seas.

2353

2/01/2015It says a lot when the Prime Minister of this country happily discusses on the record that his only cricket skill was sledging. It is an admission that he had nothing positive to contribute so he set about being a bully http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/prime-minister-tony-abbott-reveals-he-was-a-good-sledger-20150101-12gn9l.html

Catching up

2/01/2015Agree with Abbott for once. Sledging is one thing he is good at. In fact the only thing.

Curi-Oz

2/01/2015 I’ve just been reading up on the copyright highlights(http://tinyurl.com/q9kku4p) of the year, and think that this is an ‘arts’ story we missed earlier this/last year about the copyright status of the humble milk crate Ihttp://tinyurl.com/ne8hcry). Milk crates = somewhat amusing Copyright = something that needs a jolly good hard think about, especially where the need for creators of ‘art’ (of all sorts) need to be remunerated appropriately intersects with access and the development of culture, but that is a consideration for another day …

jaycee

4/01/2015 In A Convenient Troth. noun: troth faith or loyalty when pledged in a solemn agreement or undertaking. “a token of troth” Have you ever wondered , along with myself, why in some controversial situations involving either the judiciary, bureaucracy or academia, while the popular opinion rails for the righting of a obvious wrong against what seems an inadmissible proof, yet no headway can be made against what seems insurmountable ‘establishment ‘ or MSM. opposition. Often the call goes out from social media seeking back-up from influential persons of those above institutions…; Judicial authorities, Govt’ authorities and high academic achievers…but all we get , in the main, is an eerie silence. Take the contradiction of the Thomson / Jackson accusations..the former gets humiliated, charged, trial-by-media, is publicly eviscerated..while the latter is STILL swanning around with her “magistrate fiancé” after even being found culpable for questions to be answered in a court of law by the very inquiry that SHE had used to bring down Thomson…WHO, by the by is now acquitted of all major charges and left with a “guilt” of small-change offences…..What gives? And of course, we have the former PM. Of this country being remorsesly hounded by a completely “in-step”, group-think , group-voiced MSM. With barely a dissenting or protesting voice from higher judiciary, academia or independent politics…just the howling cries of “not-fair, not-fair” from us on social media…yet even our deafening outcry brought forward little constructive defence for an innocent party…what gives there too? I have many times raised the suspicion of a conspiracy . Perhaps dwelt on the idea of secret meetings at “The Club” , or some other private gathering where an exchange of conversation aligns opinions and action to be taken or not – as the case may be. But this is not necessarily so, there may not need to be any meetings, no conversations, not the slightest collusion on discussion or exchange of tactics. Perhaps all the time what has always been “in-situ” is a structure I can name as a “Convenient Troth”. An “agreement” in kind has been nurtured for many years in many of our most revered universities and institutions. A kind of accepted “nod” toward each-other that in the case of required back up, “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine”…and ; “One doesn’t ‘peach’ on a fellow .” Perhaps it is more complicated than such a simple phrase, but in the end, I do believe that an “understanding” exists that a path will be cleared, positions granted and glittering prizes awarded to them who “play the game”…The rules being unwritten, but clearly defined, the boundaries unmarked, but clearly aligned on the social-grid of class and education. There need not be any conspiracy, for there already exists that embarrassing but consentual camaraderie that can wince shamefully at one’s lack of courage, but at the same time salve ones conscience that one is part of a greater, more noble confederacy. Consider these several quotes from a very astute early twentieth century social economist : “In the communities belonging to the higher barbarian culture there is a considerable differentiation of sub-classes within what may be comprehensively called the leisure class; and there is a corresponding differentiation of employments between these sub-classes. The leisure class as a whole comprises the noble and the priestly classes, together with much of their retinue. The occupations of the class are correspondingly diversified; but they have the common economic characteristic of being non-industrial. These non-industrial upper-class occupations may be roughly comprised under government, warfare, religious observances, and sports.”…Thorsten Veblen..: ’Theory of the Leisure Class’ “ The habit of distinguishing between the interests of the individual and those of the group to which he belongs is apparently a later growth. Invidious comparison between the possessor of the honorific booty and his less successful neighbours within the group was no doubt present early as an element of the utility of the things possessed, though this was not at the outset the chief element of their value. The man’s prowess was still primarily the group’s prowess, and the possessor of the booty felt himself to be primarily the keeper of the honour of his group.” …Thorsten Veblen…(ibid). “Those members of the community who fall short of this, somewhat indefinite, normal degree of prowess or of property suffer in the esteem of their fellow-men; and consequently they suffer also in their own esteem, since the usual basis of self-respect is the respect accorded by one’s neighbours. Only individuals with an aberrant temperament can in the long run retain their self-esteem in the face of the disesteem of their fellows.”…Thorsten Veblen…(ibid). In A Convenient Troth.

Ken

4/01/2015jaycee Yes, they have their own informal rules that keep them together and on the same track. Abbott, for example, at the IPA dinner with Rinehart, Murdoch, et al. But not 'a greater more noble confederacy' but 'A Confederacy of Dunces'. If you do not already know that book, it is by John Kennedy Toole. A brief outline is here http://www.curledup.com/dunces.htm One of the great modern classics in my view (written in the 1960s but not published until about 1980, eleven years after the writer's suicide).

jaycee

4/01/2015Ken..One has to be careful traveling down the road of social cynicism, it can lead to many "dead" ends...I for one hold to my heart that effervescent immortal tome.."Catch 22" as the prime teacher of cynical absurdity..AND it has if not a "happy ending" , at least hope for something grander! It is a sad conclusion when a raging debate fizzles out because of many 'experts' debating it into obfuscating oblivion. It seems expected that we of the social media blogs, must always defer to a MSM. appointed "expert" in any field currently under debate, rather than relying on our own legion of "in-house" qualified people..We are told to "look to OUR 'Cicero' rather than YOUR nominee"...but I have as little regard for THEIR Ciceros as had the historian,Theodor Mommsen for the original..; " he...sang the great deeds of Marius and his own petty achievements in endless hexameters, beat Demosthenes off the field with his speeches, and Plato with his philosophic dialogues ; and time alone was wanting for him to also vanquish Thucydides..." Such also seem the plethora of MSM. self-promo-ing commentators.

Casablanca

4/01/2015[b]Naomi Klein on fracking, Indigenous rights and Canada's federal election.[/b] Jenny Uechi. Jan 1st, 2015 Naomi Klein's book This Changes Everything, synthesizes much that environmentalists have been warning about the social, environmental, political consequences of climate change. Her thesis that the fight against climate change is intricately linked to the fight against exploitative neoliberal capitalism has sparked intense conversations worldwide. http://ht.ly/GGJKb

Casablanca

4/01/2015 [b]1. Tax evasion by super rich hurts every Australian[/b] Paul Malone. January 3, 2015 - 11:30PM We will probably never know their names, but one thing we do know – one in 20 of the richest people in Australia tried to evade paying their fair share of tax in recent years. By what authority do we know this? By none other than the Australian Taxation Office. On December 19 the ATO ended its amnesty offering a special deal to taxpayers who disclosed previously hidden offshore income and assets. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tax-evasion-by-super-rich-hurts-every-australian-20150103-12gbd5.html via @canberratimes [b] 2. Royal Commission into tax loopholes a must[/b] Barry Dunning 29 Dec 2014, 9:56am Corporate tax dodgers are ripping off the nation to the tune of billions. We need a government that spends less time snooping into our Google browsing history and more time investigating the theft of billions of dollars of tax revenue each year. Barry Dunning calls for a Royal Commission into corporate tax evasion and avoidance. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-26/dunning-royal-commission-into-tax-evasion-a-must/5985834 [b]3. ‘We need permanent revolution’: how Thomas Piketty became 2014’s most influential thinker [/b] Owen Jones. 23 December 2014 Piketty’s book is surely the most influential published by an economist in a generation, infuriating the right as much as it delighted an intellectually starved left. Using a mass of data, the book sought to expose why modern capitalism is an engine of exploding inequality: the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate at which the economy grows, he argues, and wealth is becoming ever more concentrated at the top of society. More explosively, he proposes a global wealth tax as a check on this process, even though he has conceded this is “utopian” http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/22/we-need-a-wealth-tax-thomas-piketty-2014s-most-influential-thinker?CMP=share_btn_tw [b]4. Menzies, a failure by today's rules, ran a budget to build the nation[/b] Richard Denniss 29 August 2014 While Hockey borrowed his “lifters and leaners” line from Menzies, he has not borrowed his fiscal strategy. Spending as a percentage of GDP rose steadily and substantially under Menzies, from 19.4% of GDP to 24.5%. The public sector that Hockey so derides grew by around 25% while Menzies, a Liberal hero to prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott – as well as Hockey – was calling the shots. http://theconversation.com/menzies-a-failure-by-todays-rules-ran-a-budget-to-build-the-nation-30823

Casablanca

4/01/2015[b]1. "Suicides highlight the grim toll of 4 week benefits sanctions in austerity Britain" [/b] Ashley Cowburn. 4 January 2015 UK Department for Work and Pensions investigates 60 claimant suicides, with sanctioning [policy] connected to crime and depression http://gu.com/p/44hpy/stw [b]2. Man with terminal illness told to look for work[/b] Matthew Kelly. January 4, 2015 - 11:07AM "As I am trying to come to terms with a rare stage 3 malignant brain tumour, one thing is driving me incredibly crazy – the strict requirements of the Disability Support Pension," Mr Grayson said. "[Newstart appointments] are very time costly, which I have so little of. I'd much rather be visiting friends and relatives before I die," he said. "The idea of a terminally ill person having to go out and look for a job feels like a kick in the groin." http://www.canberratimes.com.au/nsw/man-with-terminal-illness-told-to-look-for-work-20150104-12hisn.html [b]3. NDIS funding: Cry of blackmail at move to slash welfare[/b] Rachel Browne. January 3, 2015 Critics are wrathful at the government’s claim that welfare must be cut to pay for the NDIS http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ndis-funding-cry-of-blackmail-at-move-to-slash-welfare-20150102-12fg0m.html

Casablanca

4/01/2015[b]1. Cormann was once a little Focker. [/b] John Kelly. January 4, 2015 There was an article in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age today with the heading, “Govt to tackle head on claims it is unfair and say borrowing against our kids is the most unfair act of all”, by Latika Bourke. (see below) Whoever came up with that headline needs fatigue counselling, but putting that to one side, it is the content that, if accurate, displays an incompetence within the ranks of government thinking, which is simply mind-boggling. [b]2. Govt to tackle head-on claims it is unfair and say borrowing against our kids is the most unfair act of all[/b] Latika Bourke. January 4, 2015 - 1:43AM But Senator Cormann warned of the unfairness of expecting the next generations to fund today's lifestyle and said they would face higher taxes and deeper spending cuts if the debt and deficit were not repaired. "Bill Shorten wants our children and grandchildren to pay for our lifestyle today and lessen their future opportunities in the process. We think that's unfair," he said. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/govt-to-tackle-headon-claims-it-is-unfair-and-say-borrowing-against-our-kids-is-the-most-unfair-act-of-all-20150103-12gtum.html
What does two plus 1 equal?