Is Julia Gillard entitled to a fair go?

There are a gathering number of columnists who are writing off Julia Gillard as PM, and the Labor party as terminal. Even previous Labor parliamentarians such as Graham Richardson (Richo) have not just dumped her, but in most derogatory terms; an old Labor stalwart in Phillip Adams is telling her to resign so that his mate Kevin can return; Mungo MacCallum has chimed in, and bloggers who previously have been supportive of her and Labor have joined the ‘she’s finished’ chorus. This phenomenon is either an opinion based on measured political judgement, or more likely an example of groupthink, where the smart operators, who place great store on their reputations, don’t want to be the odd ones out. So like punters always wanting to back winners, they are sizing up the odds and judging that they are so adverse to PM Gillard and her Government that they will place their bets elsewhere.

There are few who give Julia Gillard any chance of surviving until the next election, let alone win it. But Ben Eltham was one. He wrote in New Matilda on 6 September: Can Labor Win? YES THEY CAN!  After giving his well-argued reasons for backing Labor he concludes: “All this sounds like castles in the sky. Perhaps it is. But if someone told you in mid-2008 that in two years time, Kevin Rudd would no longer be prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull would not be the opposition leader, and that Tony Abbott would be on the verge of winning office from Julia Gillard, would you have believed them?” Exactly!

Why is it that two years out from the scheduled date of the next election PM Gillard and Labor is being written off by so many with such certainty? I suppose the very poor polls with record low primary vote and almost record low popularity of the PM give commentators the feeling that recovery is impossible. What a poor memory they have. Do they remember the 1989 Bulletin magazine cover: “Mr 18 per cent. Why does this man bother?” Howard was Opposition leader at the time, and like Premier Jeff Kennett, who was also a bottom dweller in the popularity polls, needed another term to elevate himself. Just two years ago, after the OzCar Grech affair Malcolm Turnbull enjoyed similar dismal polls. Of course, all of these politicians were ‘written off’ by the ‘pundits’. Didn’t Howard describe himself as ‘Lazarus with a triple bypass’ and use ‘Lazarus Rising’ as a subtitle to his memoirs?

Julia Gillard was down to 23% satisfaction rating in the 6 September Newspoll; pretty awful, but not quite down to John Howard’s level (18%) or Paul Keating’s (17%).

So why are so many commentators and political journalists hastening to write her off? Are they suffering amnesia, or is this just the usual rush into spicy speculation, which after all makes such marvellous copy, exciting stories, and juicy headlines for sub-editors? Or are they making a death wish? Or casting a spell that might bring about their editors’ or proprietors’ deepest wish for PM Gillard’s political demise?

Why is it they seem unprepared to give her a ‘fair go’?

This piece boldly makes the case that despite what the opinion polls suggest, the Gillard Government is worthy of the electorate’s support in its quest to reform this nation in a way that will place it in a strong position as it moves into the decades ahead, decades that will see vast technological and economic changes around the globe and in this huge country. A Government that did not prepare the nation for the ever-changing economic, social, geopolitical and physical environment would be negligent in the extreme. Placing the Government’s program of reform against that of the Coalition serves to expose the conceptual and policy barrenness of the alternative government.

Robert Manne, on his new blog on The Monthly: Left, Right, Left on 12 September recalls the reforms that occurred during the time of the much-reviled Whitlam Government with these words: “…in those three years it did more to make Australia a better country than most other governments have been able to achieve in ten. What is vital to understand is that Whitlam and his Ministers only managed to achieve all this because their eyes were focussed not on the opinion polls but on their goal of making Australia a more decent, more humane, more civilised country.”

Before proceeding, let’s get out of the way the performance of PM Gillard and her Government, which the Coalition and many in the media, notably shock jocks and top megaphones such as Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, cast as incompetent in the extreme, without hope of redemption, and therefore deserving of being cast into outer darkness as soon as possible.

No one in their right mind would give Julia Gillard or her Government top marks, but can her Government’s performance be as bad as these adversaries insist? That would scarcely be possible, no matter how hard the Government tried to stuff up. But Tony Abbott and his Coalition members, by creating the slogan: ‘the most incompetent government since Federation’, and repeating it so often and with such conviction, soon had a compliant media echoing it, mindlessly and unquestioningly, and in time the slogan and the belief was embraced by much of the electorate.

So let’s put the record straight.

Climate change
I’m sure Julia Gillard wishes that she had used some other form of words than: “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.” Mind you she meant it and it was only the unique circumstances of a minority Government that forced a change to first placing a price on carbon for a short time until her preferred option, an ETS, came into effect, a scheme she endorsed throughout the election campaign. These eleven words have been played endlessly on radio and TV, and have led to the infamous Jones label ‘Ju-liar’. Accusations of lying over this matter have dogged her in parliament, in public forums, in rallies and in the media, until now it has become received wisdom, political folklore. She lied they say, and must be extruded via a new election called immediately. Her adversaries have been very successful in promoting the ‘liar’ tag and it will continue to haunt her. In contrast, the fact that Tony Abbott lies almost every day, says one thing today and the opposite the next, escapes the wrath of the shock jocks. They will not berate him because they want him in The Lodge despite his habitually lying, deception and mendaciousness. So let’s put her ‘carbon tax’ statement down as a mistake.

The previous history of Labor action on climate change too is unedifying. Kevin Rudd’s deferral of his beloved CPRS is considered by many to mark the acceleration of his decline.

But when all is said and done, climate change science demands that polluters be required to reduce their carbon emissions so as to meet the nation’s carbon mitigation targets. There is also an urgent need to convert our economy to a lower carbon one and thereby boost investment in the renewable energy sector so that Australia can be at the forefront of the clean energy movement around the world. To do less will leave us floundering, uncompetitive among an array of global competitors. In the face of a mountain of negative rhetoric against the ‘carbon tax’, the Gillard Government deserves huge credit for its persistence with an ETS preceded by a price on carbon, now being legislated in parliament.

Asylum policy
PM Gillard’s asylum policy has brought her into conflict not just with the Opposition, which has lambasted her mercilessly, but also the Greens, refugee advocates, many Labor voters, even some in her own party room, and some who blog here who otherwise support Labor. She and the Immigration Department are convinced that boats will arrive in large numbers now that the Malaysia arrangement has been ruled invalid, with the people smugglers thereby deciding who comes to this country, rather than the Australian Government. The western suburbs of Sydney, and in WA and Queensland, where Labor needs to retain and gain seats, are the areas where the greatest antagonism to people smugglers and boat people exists. It seems unlikely that the recent wave of support for asylum seekers could outweigh the antipathy present in those areas. Perhaps this explains in part PM Gillard’s persistence with a regional solution and specifically the Malaysia arrangement. She also knows that an Abbott government will equally want a regional solution, but with just one option.

Although there seems to be general agreement among regional neighbours that regional processing might be a solution to unauthorized arrivals, a problem affecting many nearby nations, the history of attempts to achieve this – East Timor, then Malaysia, and more recently and tentatively Manus Island in PNG – has been beset with difficulties and false starts. Of course those who wish to berate the Government’s efforts make light of the enormous difficulties that accompany negotiations with other governments over such a contentious problem, and sneer at the failure of the Malaysia agreement to pass muster in the High Court, a failure that is blithely attributed to poor preparation by the Government. That the interpretation of the relevant law might have changed since previous judgements were handed down is dismissed as the reason for failure in favour of ‘an incompetent inadequately prepared Government and minister’, who according to the pundits – other lawyers, journalists and the Opposition, should have known better.

It has not been a glorious chapter in the Government’s undertakings, and just when it seemed that the Malaysia arrangement might have stemmed the flow of boats and afforded asylum to some 4000 that would otherwise have continued their wait in Malaysia, it was struck down unexpectedly by the High Court. Opinions now vary from ‘admit all who come and process their claims to asylum onshore, preferably in the community’; to those who, annoyed that people smugglers ostensibly are now set to call the shots, echo John Howard’s 2001 avowal: “We will decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come.”

What happens next is problematic. Tony Abbott’s simplistic ‘return to the Howard Pacific solution and reopen Nauru’ seems likely to founder too, as I suspect Abbott realizes. That is why he is willing to cooperate with the Government to change the law, but only if it enables Nauru and not Malaysia. We will watch this space with interest and anxiety.

Home Insulation Plan
The insulation program was very successful. Yet the moment ‘pink batts’ is mentioned, a snigger emerges on many people’s face, so successful has been the Coalition’s and the media’s derision of this program. Apart from giving employment to vast numbers and keeping many a small business afloat, it insulated a million ceilings with all the benefits that has brought with lower energy costs, less pollution and increased household comfort. But of course everyone remembers the four workplace deaths (due to OH&S deficits), the shonky operators, the rorts and the poor and expensive administration of the plan by a department not equipped to handle such a massive plan. So the Government must be marked down for the administration of the plan but deserves high marks for its overall benefit. But this is not how the media assessed it – only as an abject failure, disaster, debacle, catastrophe – pick your preferred noun. So while it is depicted as a big negative, in fact the HIP was a big positive.

Building the Education Revolution
This is another initiative that is depicted by the media as a gross example of the Government’s ‘waste and mismanagement’, particularly by The Australian that ran a strident anti-BER campaign from the outset. On this week’s Q&A, News Limited blogger Joe Hildebrand reflexly echoed that same tired old slogan. That there was some is beyond dispute, particularly in NSW where the rollout was fastest. There were cost overruns due to insufficiently supervised builders, fraudsters and shonky operators who over-quoted, and there was insufficient consultation in some instances. There was some waste and mismanagement. But that is all the Coalition and the media talk about. Yet three Orgill Reports showed a 97% satisfaction rate among schools that received buildings under the BER, an ageing school infrastructure has been updated, and thousands of new buildings that will serve children long into the future have been added to our 9,600 schools. On top of that the building industry was saved from collapse during the GFC and many thousands kept in employment that otherwise would have lost their jobs and gone on unemployment benefits.

The BER was an outstanding success in many ways, yet its relatively small failures were what filled the pages of the MSM and the news bulletins. It is a classic example of how a success can be turned into a lamentable failure via slogans and a hostile media that found adverse stories more newsworthy than good news stories. And of course we know that this was part of an overall campaign to demean and eventually bring down the Government.

The BER deserves a big tick of approval, no matter what is said to the contrary.

Response to the Global Financial Crisis
Of all the actions the Labor Government has taken, its response to the looming disaster of the GFC was the most commendable, one deserving of high praise. Yet we still have the Coalition insisting that the stimulus was too large and the debt incurred too high, and some economics correspondents, such as Michael Stutchbury of the The Australian, continue to rail against this Keynesian approach, despite all the evidence of its efficacy. Free marketers abhor Keynesian economics.

Despite all the ‘debt and deficit’ rhetoric, Australia’s debt position is miniscule, a fraction of GDP (22%), and less by a country mile than any other developed country. And the promise to bring the budget to surplus in 2012/13 remains a strong undertaking, despite adverse economic circumstances and a heap of skepticism from the Opposition.  

As has been pointed out by Wayne Swan over and again, Australia's post-GFC position is the envy of all other developed nations. Yet the media gives little credit. When did you hear a comment along the lines that we should be grateful for the prompt and ‘decisive’ suite of actions the Government took, and that we can thank it for unemployment around 5% and a booming economy? We know it has ‘two speeds’ with minerals overpowering manufacturing, but the latter is in strife largely because of the high value of the AUD over the USD. We know too that the Government is acting to support manufacturing while avoiding protectionism.

A tax summit is in train that promises to bring about much needed changes to the tax and transfer system, one that is sought by business, industry and community groups. Rationalization of the complex array of taxes is needed to reduce the complexities that encumber business. The issue of middle class welfare needs to be tackled, as well as tax arrangements for the wealthy.

So let all good men and women give the Government a big tick for its GFC actions and its proposed tax summit.

The MRRT
Little needs to be said about this. After an abortive start following inadequate consultation by the Rudd Government with stakeholders about the RSPT, and a fierce campaign against it by the miners, Julia Gillard negotiated a package with the three large miners shortly after her taking over as PM, much to the chagrin of the smaller ones. It will net significant income that is to be used to reduce company tax, increase superannuation from 9% to 12% and ease tax form filling procedures for ordinary citizens. Although not as much as the previous RSPT would have netted, it will provide an income that will also assist the struggling manufacturing industry, crippled by the high value of the Australian dollar.

Health reforms
The Gillard Government has put in place fundamental health reforms after an abortive start by the Rudd Government, one stymied by Colin Barnett, WA Premier. We now have agreement at COAG for increased Federal funding of hospitals and community health services, control vested in local boards representing their communities, and a body to monitor costs to achieve best value for money.

Mental health reforms have been introduced by the Gillard Government, and welcomed by those working in the field and by the community. Disability insurance measures have also been introduced recently that promise to revolutionize the support provided to those with disabilities, sometimes arising from other than motor or industrial accidents, to bring benefits in line with those afforded motor crash victims. A better dental scheme is needed when funds are available.

Paid Parental Leave
A scheme that is modestly generous yet affordable is now in place and much appreciated.

The NBN
The rollout of this most significant piece of infrastructure, akin to the Snowy Mountains Scheme, is proceeding well, with enthusiastic uptakes and competition for early connection. Far from the $43 billion cost to Government touted by the Opposition (some estimates topped $50 billion) the Government contribution is $36 billion, and the NBN Co. believes it will turn a profit as the project approaches completion. The costs involved will be greatly outweighed by the benefits to education, health, business and agriculture; indeed it is now estimated that the cost savings and benefits to health alone will outweigh the costs. The Coalition’s opposition to it and Tony Abbott’s threat to ‘demolish’ it, is one of the more stupid stands taken by the Opposition among many similar decisions.

It will be an outstanding success, and in contrast to the negative slant taken by The Australian, amplified by its fierce denigration of the NBN CEO, Mike Quigley, the NBN will be hailed as one of the finest achievements of the Gillard Government. It deserves highest commendation.

Media inquiry
As this piece is written, an inquiry into the media has been announced by the Government. With the Murdoch empire controlling 70% of newspapers in this country, and with its unremitting and vicious attacks on the elected Government, there is a need to ask how one man can have so much capacity to influence public opinion towards his political ends. His influence is widely known and discussed. An article in Bloomberg: Murdoch Makes no Retreat from Scandals with Attack on Australia Government by Gemma Daley and Robert Fenner states: “The phone hacking scandal in the U.K. hasn’t muzzled Rupert Murdoch in his native Australia, where his newspaper empire is doing more than any other to undermine Prime Minister Julia Gillard…

“News Ltd. has been more emboldened than other media outlets, and the fact they have the majority of ownership in this country means they will have an impact on the way people think,” said Andrew Hughes, a professor who does research on political branding and marketing at the Australian National University in Canberra. “The Murdoch press has its feet on the throat of a government that’s already on the ropes.”…

“It’s not surprising at all that Murdoch is at it again in Australia while the UK phone-hacking scandal is still fresh,” said Tim Bale, a professor of politics at the University of Sussex and the author of “The Conservative Party: From Thatcher to Cameron.” “He tries to use his economic power to get political influence. It’s part of his business model.”

Although denied vigorously by News Limited staff, the truth of the matter seems clear: Murdoch is pushing hard for ‘regime change’ through his media outlets. He wants to decide who this nation’s PM and Government will be, and is using every means at his disposal to this end.

It is to be hoped that the terms of reference of the media enquiry enable a thorough inspection of the whole media in this country.

The Gillard Government deserves commendation for the courage it has shown in initiating this enquiry.

Legislative accomplishments
This piece could be twice as long if all the Government’s achievements were catalogued. Despite being in a minority situation that PM Gillard negotiated with the Greens and Independents, the Government has passed over 190 pieces of legislation without one failure, more by far than in the first year of the Howard Government. And it has done this despite the fiercest opposition from the Coalition and strident hostility from the media.

It has shown its capacity to grapple with the enormous complexities that beset national governments. As Mr Denmore says in his piece on The Failed Estate: Double Fault: “Journalists…cannot see that global issues such as the unregulated mass movement of people across borders, man-made climate change and systemic issues in financial markets are at a level of complexity beyond the ability of mere individual states to resolve.” How right he is. Ought we not commend the Government for tackling some of this nation’s most complex and intractable problems, and doing a sound job despite obstinate opposition and trenchant criticism? Instead, all we hear are accusations of incompetence and ineptitude, as if resolving these complexities was child’s play.

Despite some shortcomings, the Gillard Government has many fine achievements to its credit. It does not deserve the vociferous criticism directed toward it, and PM Gillard does not deserve the vicious demonization to which she has been subject day after day, week after week. Has there ever been a more reviled PM? Has there ever been more disrespect shown to our nation’s Prime Minister?

Julia Gillard has shown herself to be a self-assured, confident and competent parliamentarian and PM, one with well-developed negotiating skills, and with the admirable personal attributes of decency, friendliness, the ability to relate to all sectors of our society, together with persistence in the face of opposition and adversity, and outstanding courage.

Further, she has a vision for this country despite journalists regularly asking: ‘What does she stand for?’ and ‘What is her narrative?’. It’s noteworthy that on this day three years ago, I posted the first definitive piece on The Political Sword – it was titled: In search of the political Holy Grail – the Rudd Government narrative. The same old question is still being asked; cannot the journalists see, or do they choose not to. Julia Gillard has stated her vision often enough as detailed in What Julia Gillard DOES stand for.  

In a nutshell, she has a vision of a land of opportunity, for a great education leading to satisfying and rewarding work for all who can, for fair and equitable working conditions, for a strong economy with surplus budgets and prosperity for all, for infrastructure to support a growing economy, for social security that supports the disabled yet encourages people to work if they can, for a fair taxation system that taxes those best able to pay and supports those in need, for a plan to reduce carbon pollution and prepare the nation for a low carbon economy, for an efficient, effective and affordable healthcare system, for secure borders coupled with a welcome for those genuinely seeking asylum, and a skilled immigration program to support growing, yet labour-strapped industries.

There is no lack of vision, no lack of narrative.

So where has the Aussie ‘fair go’ gone? Why is PM Gillard not entitled to that same fair go? It seems that the outrageously vile attacks that have been made on her by the Coalition, venomous shock jocks, News Limited media, and many others who ought to know better, have taken their toll as reflected in the opinion polls. Is the ‘pecked chook’ syndrome to continue until Julia Gillard lies politically bleeding and moribund, or will the generosity of heart that characterizes Aussies reverse this noxious attack on our national leader, about which we ought to be horrified and ashamed?

What do you think?

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D Mick Weir

14/09/2011Many Happy Returns BlogDadAd and to your obviously tolerant and supportive wife our thanks for lending you to us. :)

Gravel

14/09/2011Ad Astra Congratulations on three years and hope there are many many more. I have read your piece yet, will get back to it tomorrow morning, hopefully. Recaptcha: tribute, ficeded

Casablanca

14/09/2011Ad Astra [b]'thus you shall go to the stars'[/b] and indeed AA you have become a star of the blogosphere! Well done. I'm not sure when I first joined a conversation on TPS but I return because I find the topics well written, well researched and topical. The conversation is with few exceptions, civil and respectful. TPS, to employ a favourite Australian congratulatory remark, [i]'is punching above its weight.'[/i]

Feral Skeleton

14/09/2011Such tolerance and indulgence in the blogosphere is rare and it is a tribute to your good self, Ad Astra, that 'The Political Sword' has the reputation in the blogosphere that it does. All hail the Chief! :) Thank you for giving this particular stray a home, I will never stop appreciating the forebearance you show to me and others who come here, whether they be a friend or a foe. That is what makes The Political Sword one of Australia's pre-eminent political blogs. Though not only that but the wide variety of material we present here on a regular basis. All of it au caurant, well-researched and, in Acerbic Conehead's case, handled with a wry sense of humour. As for myself, I guess I provide the shouty bits. :) Anyway, Ad, let me just say that I hope that you become Australia's first centenarian blogger because your wise perpective on Australian politics increases with every post.

nasking

14/09/2011Congrats to the Political Sword team...you should be proud of yerselves. From previous thread: [quote]Sophie Mirabella, who is speaking at The National Press Club as I type this[/quote] Feral, sorry to hear about yer pharmacy. Sadly, I've heard many a similar story. You should be proud of yerself you gave it a good go. The playing field is full of multi-tentacled predators who have more influence than they should. As for Mirabella & the Coalition re: small business...I don't trust a political group that permitted ABC Learning Centres to go predatory...consuming all before it. I reckon more than a few dairy farmers ain't to happy w/ them either. And the lack of mining resource tax under them was a disgrace...a wasted boom in many ways...imagine how many small businesses coulda been assisted w/ redirected profits. And big business sure did well...them bonuses and CEO exec pays went thru the roof... as for Telstra...sure they provided other companies w/ opportunities...but leavin' the copperwire network in their hands was disgraceful. N'

nasking

14/09/2011[b]Is Julia Gillard entitled to a fair go?[/b] Absofreakin'lutely!!! Okay, now I'll start readin' the post. :) N'

nasking

14/09/2011[quote]There are a gathering number of columnists who are writing off Julia Gillard as PM, and the Labor party as terminal.[/quote] Ad, ain't it tedious? It's like watchin' a bunch of ecstatic college students all pile into a telephone booth...falling all over themselves to join in...be part of the gang...make the record/history books...contortions...faces smashed against the glass w/ a combination of rigour mortis grin & panic, desperation. Some just fall asleep. Over & over again. After awhile the public observers shrug, yawn...and walk away...muttering "Been there, done that...why don't they try something new?"... but regardless...the Murdoch crew yell out "Beat ya to it!!!"...and rush into the booth again...followed by... N'

NormanK

14/09/2011Ad astra Happy anniversary to you and [i]The Political Sword[/i]. It is to your considerable credit that you have been able to maintain the tone and quality of content in a medium that so often descends into banal acrimony. Congratulations.

nasking

14/09/2011[quote]notably shock jocks and top megaphones such as Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, cast as incompetent in the extreme, without hope of redemption, and therefore deserving of being cast into outer darkness as soon as possible. [/quote] For a moment there I thought you were talkin' about them. "A cast as incompetent..." N'

nasking

14/09/2011[quote] But Tony Abbott and his Coalition members, by creating the slogan: ‘the most incompetent government since Federation’, and repeating it so often and with such conviction, soon had a compliant media echoing it, mindlessly and unquestioningly[/quote] I expected no less...based on their approach to the Tampa...Iraq War...AWB...War on Terror...the BER...eventually Rudd... Some stay outa the phone booth...others can't help themselves. N'

nasking

14/09/2011[quote]These eleven words have been played endlessly on radio and TV, and have led to the infamous Jones label ‘Ju-liar’. Accusations of lying over this matter have dogged her in parliament, in public forums, in rallies and in the media, until now it has become received wisdom, political folklore.[/quote] Honest John fibbed his butt off...as did his frontline team on many an occasion..."children overboard" for one. He survived. As for "gospel truth" Abbott...were those anti-carbon price "talking points" mentioned by Lenore Taylor written down? Did the mad monk have much to do w/ 'em? Or is he like John Winston Howard the Pure?...does he "know nothing!"..."talk to my servants...they do all the dirty work". N'

nasking

14/09/2011[quote]To do less will leave us floundering, uncompetitive among an array of global competitors. In the face of a mountain of negative rhetoric against the ‘carbon tax’, the Gillard Government deserves huge credit for its persistence with an ETS preceded by a price on carbon, now being legislated in parliament. [/quote] Indeed. But persistence is one word many of the media loathe to use when it comes to the Gillard government...except in a negative way. Seems to me that the BER has has alot to do w/ persistence...far more useful than flag poles, stamped books & threats threats threats. Okay, this is another informative & useful piece Ad...well done...will finish reading after dinny...or sometime in the near future. Congrats on 3 years of quality. N'

lyn

14/09/2011Hi Ad Congratulations to you and your lovely wife, 2 people that gave me the nicest present of all, a milestone in my life. I am not sure what my anniversary date on "The Political Sword" is, but I remember talking to you about Utegate, so my first comment must have been in 2009, there were around about 4 to 5 comments a day then. See how big you have built our house Ad Astra, it is like a Castle. Thankyou Ad for another magnificent article, another classic example as to why "The Political Sword" was chosen and listed in The National Library":- The Political Sword was selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia. This title is scheduled to be re-archived regularly. The publisher's site may provide more current information. Archived 15 Sep 2010 00:00 http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/120603 http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/5058503 Cheers:):):):):):):):):)

2353

14/09/2011Congratulations on the anniversary AA. I can't remember the first time I came here but it reminded me of the sense of decency that Bryen used to show before his blog got over run with idiots (that usually supported the conservative tribe). To the matter at hand - of course Gillard is entitled to a fair go. Her record (as well as that of Kevin Rudd) in passing legislation that makes this Country the envy of the world (not Wayne Swan's words but the President of the EU) economically and winding back to an extent the worst of the Howard years. In my opinion, the ALP deserves exactly what they will get if they "do a Rudd" to Gillard. Most of Gillard's problem is that she is seen as part of the crew that "did Rudd". The rusted on ALP voter doesn't like her becasue she brought the brand name ALP down into the gutter - the LNP have a very easy target due tot he same circumstances. Gillard limping over the line last election didn't help. The people that put her there need to realise that replacing the PM once is mad - twice would be idiotic.

Casablanca

14/09/2011Settle petal ON THE QT, WITH JUDITH IRELAND 14 Sep, 2011 04:00 AM http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/settle-petal/2291035.aspx [i]In a lull between questions, Gillard and Abbott launched into a heated exchange that was frustratingly inaudible to the non-lip reading members of the public.[/i] [i]Harry Jenkins tried to break things up but the leaders would not be deterred. [/i] [i]Later,Gillard gave the rest of the chamber an insight into the fight, which was apparently about Abbott's unwillingness to amend the Migration Act. ''Members of the Parliament may have seen an exchange between me and the Leader of the Opposition following a discussion of these [asylum-seeker] questions. The Leader of the Opposition said to me ... 'All I get is bile from you','' she reported. ''If the Leader of the Opposition has problems with statements made by me, well, poor petal, but we will have a political contest about those.'' [b]It's hard to say whether Abbott was angrier about Gillard putting their off-record words into Hansard or the fact that she called him ''petal''.[/b] [/i]

Feral Skeleton

14/09/20112353, That's 191 pieces of legislation passed by the House and 13 more CPRS Bills to come! :D

Feral Skeleton

14/09/2011I think you will all appreciate reading this: :) http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2898940.html

nasking

14/09/2011Feral, I reckon Malcolm Farnsworth gives Abbott far too much credit...and is far too critical of the government. Has it not occurred to him that some of us are quite content w/ him stayin' right where he is? :) [quote]That's 191 pieces of legislation passed by the House[/quote] Indeed. Don't forget, sometimes Abbott grins like a loony skull when he's wedged or embarrassed. Sometimes he rants. Sometimes he cycles & swims like a fanatic. It's how he copes. This from Chief Joseph, Nez Perce (Nimiputimt): [quote]I am tired of talk that comes to nothing It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk. It does not require many words to speak the truth.[/quote] For Abbott & Murdoch & Jones in particular: [quote]How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right. [/quote] (Black Hawk, Sauk) N'

Acerbic Conehead

14/09/2011Hi AA, Another great read, full of your usual cogent analysis. In fact, you have given me some background for next week's thread...heh...heh... And congrats also on your three-year milestone. I can't remember how I first noticed your blog. I was probably following a link from someone, who was recommending your article at that time. But, I can remember being immediately impressed by your wonderful writing style, your incisive insights, and your obvious humanity. You make people feel welcome. As you yourself say, TPS is like a family and you are the main reason it is such a friendly blog. Best wishes for the next three years at least!

talkturkey

14/09/2011September 14. 2011 04:25 AM TalkTurkey Exactly one year on to the very minute!

talkturkey

14/09/2011September 14. 2011 04:25 AM Ad astra said: [Yesterday was] "the third anniversary of the launching of The Political Sword. [Today is] the third anniversary of the first definitive piece. To mark that occasion, I will post a piece Is Julia Gillard entitled to a fair go? " Congratulations Ad astra! Blogmaster Extraordinaire I didn't realize this before, but it is also my Sword anniversary! My first post was exactly one year ago today! I don't remember how I came to this blog, in fact I don't even remember how I came to blogging at all, but I do remember that it so happened that I had already written a piece on *J*U*L*I*A*'s brand new Prime Ministership when I came across yours Ad, and I thought This is the site for me! I have never wavered, for several reasons. The first is of course you yourself Ad astra. In my quite long life, not as long as yours but a lot longer than a lot of people ever reach, I have not come across any writer who it seems to me so richly deserves the adjective 'wise'. I have never in any important way disagreed with any of the pearls which you keep casting before us, though fortunately there are few swine that attempt to destroy them, they offer so little disputable material that the greasy pigs can't get a grip, I guess that's bending the metaphor a bit but ykwim. Perhaps the distinguishing mark of this blog is the core of faithful and conscientious contributors who day by day share thoughts and hopes and goodwill here. The quality of comments and commenters here are the sincerest tributes you could ever have, as we know you know well; it must give you a sense of immense satisfaction, even though in the midst of great anxiety for the survival of this, the most progressive yet embattled Government since the great Gough Whitlam (to whom thanks and praise ever.) While I TalkTurkey never suffer anything but self-amusement from ridiculing the wet attempts of our faithful few trolls to scramble this noticeboard of sanity, I do admit over time to having had feathers ruffled on matters of principle by a few of the very bloggers who are most central to the good feeling on this blog, and in turn I have ruffled a few myself (or made fur fly, bones rattle, roses wilt, dogs bark, whatever ). On a few occasions I have been moved to write quite vituperative comments about one or two of them, but never posted them due almost entirely to my respect for you Ad astra, and my concern for this precious unique and fragile forum. I am glad I stayed my hand, it would have been hard to pull back from some of my comments had I posted them, though on rereading them I agree firmly with every word I said then. Others may wish for the sake of this site too, on occasion, to remember 'what wisdom there may be in silence', [Desiderata] because in the end we regulars all love your blog and your comments and our own comments and others' comments and the facts we find here and the friends we make here. And I love being able to use the archive to check on things I've said in times past. I usually seem to agree with me, which is a real relief. If I were to continue now I would have to start naming names of those whom I have come to respect and communicate with, it's half past 3AM and I'm not about to start that, all I will say is that everyone who writes here in a spirit of goodwill is welcomed, valued and considered, it's all down to you Ad astra and the invisible ethereal long-suffering Web Monkey. Thank You Ad astra. Onward now to Win the Wonkleys! And thanks to all the other contributors too, I've had a few cross words but never really crossed swords with anyone here. The Sword itself is the point. Helping re-elect this brilliant government is the goal. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have reposted my first post from 14/9/11. Like yours about the same brand new first Australian female Prime Minister on the same day, Ad, I reckon it stacks up pretty well, and it so happens that it is exactly on thread for once! A bas les detracteurs! NO PASARAN! Venceremos! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ September 14. 2010 08:34 PM Congratulations Prime Minister Gillard to you and all the new Government. A great win for Australia, women in special, and in very particular, us Rangas(!) You have thrilled us with your instant grasp of relevance and your uncompromising responses to media sneers, though imho you are way too subtle for most of them even to realise the rises you take from them. There’s the rub, though: Abbott and his lot fight down and dirty, he’s not just a puncher, he kicks low too, and though (metaphorically speaking of course) he can’t kick you as he could kick a man, (which confuses him a lot), and though you could kick him that way but have never stooped so low, (which is completely incomprehensible to him) the simplistic and agenda-driven media ruck will score him high on points anyway. He and they just don’t realize how much better fighter you are than he, and that has to date given him the great strength and invulnerability which deliberate ignorance of the Bjelke-Petersen stamp bestows. But you have anyway won this bout by that one precious point, and now you have the opportunity to deal firmly with those voices of hate, we all know who I mean. But it won’t help just sweetly to pat their slings and arrows away, they must be smacked back in their teeth! Above all Labor has so far failed to take this action, you’ve all been so Marquess of Queensbury! That won't work on Them! It is excruciating to watch him and Them and their tactics getting away with lies and smears - fair-minded people are yearning for you to give him and Them a big fat lip time and again in the next little while. Julie Bishop would surely love to scratch your eyes out, metaphorically speaking of course,(?!) but again, you are a far better fighter than she. I wish you well, for much rides on your success. TalkTurkey ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Oh and Happy Third Birthday SWORD! I'm going to post this now (10 to 4 AM!) and I'll repost it on the new thread when you put it up, OK Ad?

TalkTurkey

14/09/2011Not talkturkey ! TalkTurkey ! Recaptcha #***ed me around for my Sword anniversary! Oh well anyway Many happy returns Ad and TT!

Ad astra

14/09/2011D Mick Weir, Gravel, Casablanca, FS, Nasking, NormanK, Lyn, 2353, AC Thank you all for your congratulations, good wishes and complimentary remarks to me and my wife, who certainly does contribute through her proof reading of my pieces and by tolerating the time I spend here. What a great family this is. As regular contributors it is you that make this site one that people return to day after day, often hour after hour, long after the theme of the piece has faded. The regular exchange of information, gleaned from a variety of sources starting with Lyn’s Links in the morning, makes [i]TPS[/i] a rich source of political intelligence. There is hardly a need to look elsewhere as the worthwhile links are promulgated here. While there remains so much antagonism to Julia Gillard and her Government we need to write in support, while being critical when that is appropriate. Given that journalists glance at blogsites such as ours, we may eventually persuade them that the Gillard Government is not what it is painted to be, and the alternative, an Abbott government, is an appalling prospect. For you Lyn, April 3, 2010 was when you first posted your links, which you will see under LYN’S LINKS ARCHIVE under the Page List in the left panel. So you are coming up to eighteen months of links – thousands and thousands of them. Thank you so much. What a coincidence TT that today is your first anniversary of joining the [i]TPS[/i] family. What a lot you have contributed in that time. Finally, thanks to you FS and AC, we have managed to keep the site going week after week, as people come back keenly to read what you have to say. So as we move into year four may our efforts bear good fruit abundantly.

Jaeger

14/09/2011Congratulations on your blogging anniversary Ad Astra - and Swordists! Many happy returns. I was pleased today to read that Grog's Gamut (aka outed public servant blogger) is a researcher for the forthcoming Chaser's "The Hamster Wheel" series. Bring it on!

nasking

14/09/2011I just had the strangest image pop into my mind. Boats of refugees leaving Indonesian shores, each containing a compassionate church leader. Weird. BTW, I hope for Indonesia's sake they don't get more earthquakes and tsunamis. They're certainly crunched together on those coastlines. I noticed Nauru is not known for natural disasters. Always be prepared I reckon. These are strange days indeed. N'

Ad astra

14/09/2011Jaeger Thank you. Greg’s engagement by the Chasers illustrates how quality bloggers are becoming recognized and accepted. It is a good sign.

Ad astra

14/09/2011Folks I’ve just watched [i]At Home with Julia[/i], which was pretty slapstick and not funny. I thought the ABC might do better than that. I’m calling it a day.

Raja Cuhe

14/09/2011I do hope that the forthcoming Media Enquiry also looks at the Fairfax Press. They are also hostile to the government and the labour movement in general. This is a perfect opportunity to see their cover blown as well. It is disgusting what they are doing to the current leadership of the Hospital Workers Union. Story after story about alleged secret payments and commissions within the Labour movement. It makes one want to throw up. I have a great idea as to how the bias of the Fairfax Press can be blown asunder if anyone would like to hear it but as a newcomer to this forum I doubt anyone would want to hear it.

debbiep

14/09/2011 And What a fine article to celebrate the 3rd year Of The Political Sword Ad Astra. A great blog with the special ( much appreciated) Lyn's links . Not forgetting the questions, answers and knowledge of the posters combined , which also make it a great blog for me to read daily.. Now, ready for another 3 , lol.... I thank you all....

Wayne

15/09/2011Thank god for small mercies, I had despaired I would read anything so well thought out or researched in regard to our current Government. Sadly I doubt many will take the time to read, anylise and understand the excellent points you make, but I am happy I took the time and appreciate your efforts. I have a new disgust bordering on hatred for our media, once I felt they defended the good but this new batch appear to glory in desimating those willing to make hard decisions and stand on principle. All while deliberately ignoring glaring facts and benefits laid before them. I now hope the enquiry doesnt end up the toothles waste of time prophesised. Will Julia get a fair go, I believe not this year and maybe not the next. Our PM is going to have to fight for every scrap of acknowledgement for Labors efforts policy and vision. The current average Australian seems to have the attention span of a gold fish and is too lazy to absorb information unless spoon fed. Sadly the spoons are held by the poison pen brigade feeding out warped facts, disinformation and outright slander and / or lies. And those that would object challenge and expose them for what they are cannot get an airing due to media ownership and stacked broadcasting. And people claim the Murdoch empire isnt influencing politics in Australia, that one belief screams volumes of the problem of ignorance and misdirection occuring. I hope the people wake up and while this may be coming, its arrival does not appear imminent. Thank god our PM is backed by MP's that have the fight in them to support her and take the party ahead against disgusting attacks and scaremongering. I just hope they have the stamina to finish what they started.

Patricia WA

15/09/2011Raja Cuhe, of course we want to hear it! They're very hospitable here at TPS. Most of them are asleep right now, but here in the west some of us are still awake. Anyway the early birds will be delighted to read and greet you tomorrow! TT - I hadn't realised that you were a very newchum when I found my way here on a link from Miglo at the Cafe on the 19th of September. Like you, I've found this a really civilized spot to come to meet like minded people. I feel as if I've known them forever. So thanks to Ad Astra and Lyn and Feral for building such a warm and welcoming nest for us all. Not so comfortable that we aren't challenged and stimulated though. Happy Anniversary, Ad Astra! [b]Was it really a year ago?[/b] We marvelled at our politicians Working together in Downunderland Where a Rainbow Coalition Like something out of Wonderland Had miraculously appeared. Its members of such quality Spirits rose, the people cheered. A 'kinder, gentler polity' Than this nation's usual habit Had even been suggested By one leader, Tony Abbott. Then strangely he protested Such politics consensual Were not appropriate in Oz. All at once it was essential To change his earlier view because He felt his generosity To some had clearly been abused. Since then he's all ferocity, Angry his offer was refused By wise and independent men. Yes, that was a year ago. And all we've heard from him since then Is, NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO![b]NO!!![/b]

janice

15/09/2011Happy 3rd anniversary Ad astra. I feel privileged to have participated and watched The Political Sword grow from strength to strength over the past 3 years. May it continue to offer quality and interesting reading for many more years. Thank you Ad astra and thank you to all Swordians who have contributed to making this site, if not the best then one of the best, in the blogosphere.

lyn

15/09/2011[b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]Abbott is deserted by mining industry, Ash, Ash’s Machiavellian Bloggery[/i] media cheer squad, that the Prime Minister was a Dead Woman Walking. But now it seems the majority of industry directly affected by a carbon price are looking at what Tony Abbott is doing and calling him ‘Dead Man Squawking’. http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/abbott-is-deserted-by-mining-industry/ [i]Speaker loses patience during Question Time, Naomi Woodley, ABC[/i] 'Today's Question Time was again characterised by spiteful jibes and interjections.The Opposition's focus remained on the Malaysia asylum seeker deal and the allegations facing Labor backbencher Craig Thomson. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-14/speaker-finally-loses-patience-during-question-time/2899344 [i]An inquiry that ignores media ownership is pointless, Tim Dunlop, The Drum[/i] Farr mightn't overtly acknowledge it, but his article is a testament to the failure of the media to do the most basic job we ask of them - to presentinformation without distortion.If we want a better media, this is the number-one issue that needs to be addressed, but no inquiry,no legislation can deal with it http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2899052.html [i]Introduction of Carbon Tax and the end of Abbott, Shaun Newman, Independent Australia[/i] Tony Abbott was stuttering like a second hand Victa because he knew that his scare campaign and his leadership of the coalition was about to come to an end. Australians will see that the sky won’t fall in, that we won’t be ruined http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/introduction-of-carbon-tax-and-the-end-of-abbott/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=introduction-of-carbon-tax-and-the-end-of-abbott [i]Media Inquiry A Welcome Start, Wendy Bacon, New Matilda[/i] At the moment the Press Council strenuously avoids speaking out about how concentration of ownership limits access to information and ideas. Since it is mainly funded by owners, it is scarcely surprising that It tends to favour media policies that favour media owners. http://newmatilda.com/2011/09/14/media-inquiry-welcome-start [i]Media inquiry: Print, online yes. TV no., David Knox, TV Tonight[/i] television and radio were not included in the terms of reference announced by Senator Stephen Conroy. Broadcast regulation is currently under consideration by the Convergence Review.Media ownership is also not part of the inquiry. http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2011/09/media-inquiry-print-online-yes-tv-no.html [i]THEY TOOK OUR MEDIA FREEDOM!, Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison[/i] News Ltd doesn’t care what the terms of the inquiry are, no matter how limited, how politically neutral. ANY change is bad and must be fought. Because of course News Ltd is quite happy with the status quo. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/09/14/they-took-our-media-freedom/ [i]Broad terms for media inquiry but what about ownership, Bill Birnbauer, The Conversation[/i] The inquiry was announced in the wake of the phone hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch’s News International and comes after Prime Minister Gillard accused Murdoch paper The Australian of breaching “all known standards of journalism” by publishing a false report about her http://theconversation.edu.au/broad-terms-for-media-inquiry-but-what-about-ownership-3369 [i]The Oz playing the Manne: why it’s a barracker and a bully, Margaret Simons, Crikey[/i] with this article by Paul Kelly the inevitable begins: The Australian is launching a major response to Manne, and the blurbs tell us that there will be more to come on Saturday, with the usual suspects lining up to respond on the reporting of climate change. http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/09/14/the-australian-robert-manne-quarterly-essay/ [i]ABCTV News24 on climate change, Murdoch thuggery and asylum seekers, Antony Loewenstein[/i] the announcement of a media inquiry is welcome but it appears the main issue will be absent; an investigation into ownership and power of the moguls. It’s unsurprising that the Labor government is scared to seriously tackle the Murdoch thugocracy in Australia – why should one family control 70% of our print media? – but tickling http://antonyloewenstein.com/2011/09/14/abctv-news24-onrs/? [i]The quality journalism project: it’s Mega!, Amber Jamieson, Crikey[/i] George Megalogenis is a popular man, judging by the plethora of nominations we received to have him involved in this project. He spentover a decade in the Canberra press gallery, is a senior writer at The Australian, a regular on ABC’s Insiders, runs the highly regarded http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/09/14/george-megalogenis-profile-quality-journalism/ [i]The irritating Mr Abbott, Malcolm Farnsworth, The Drum[/i] It's his blokey, boofy quality that most gets up the nose of anti-Coalition types. The swagger, the relentless focus on simple messages, the preoccupation with physical exertion, the displays of hirsute flesh – all this grates with Abbott's critics. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2898940.html [i]Julia Gillard’s First Year, The Body Politic Australia[/i] As it happens, almost to mark the anniversary of a year in government, the Parliament began today debating the issue it seems that they’ve spent the last year discussing, the carbon pricing scheme. The scheme is expected to pass the Parliament by the middle of November, http://bodypoliticaus.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/julia-gillards-first-year/ [i]Pratt should have taken Rinehart’s advice , Paul Barry. The Power Index[/i] We find this bizarre. Much as we love a bit a scandal and applaud open justice, is not irrelevance a good reason to keep such stuff quiet?Alternatively, if this is OK for public consumption, why does Rinehart win protection? http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/dynasties/pratt-should-have-taken-rineharts-advice/20110914403 [i]Turnbull and Liberal MPs speak out over Conroy’s NBN claims[/i], The Coalition will upgrade inadequate areas of our broadband infrastructure as a matter of priority – we will deliver fast broadband faster.” http://www.broadbandexpert.com.au/broadband-news/broadband-news/turnbull-and-liberal-mps-speak-out-over-conroys-nbn-claims_773689 [i]The NBN and making movies in Australia,Neerav Bhatt, ABC Technology and Games[/i] The ability to transfer huge data files around the world quickly is a huge asset to the Australian film industry. Griffiths is certain that when the NBN is in place imaginative solutions, that we can't imagine now, will be created. However, there is a fair way to go yet. The NBN could allow innovation and experimentation but companies like AL can't make business decisions around it until it has a critical mass of availability. http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2011/09/13/3316672.htm [i]Rod Tucker on Fibre to the Home energy savings, Video[/i] Melbourne University’s Professor Rod Tucker says a Fibre to the Home network will use half the energy of a Fibre to the Node network .http://www.nbn.gov.au/media-centre/videos/rod-tucker-on-fibre-to-the-home-energy-savings/ [b]Newspapers [/b] [i]Australian media inquiry to consider increasing regulation but won’t change News Corp holdings, Washington Post[/i] But a News Ltd. broadsheet, The Australian, said in its editorial on Wednesday that it welcomed an inquiry that “will shine a light on the half-formed fictions as well as the facts about media behavior.”The reality is that claims of bias are often simply crude attempts to intimidate journalists and editors,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/australian-media-inquiry-to-consider-increasing-wont--9/14/gIQAFtXDRK_story.html [i]Murdoch unlikely to be pressed, JACK WATERFORD, The Canberra Times[/i] His research illustrates what should be obvious to any observer - that The Australian, and Mitchell, hold strong opinions, that they see themselves as leading and pushing opinions, and that they can be shrill and quite unfair in dishing it out. At just the same moment, they are quite precious about any criticism http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/murdoch-unlikely-to-be-pressed/2291032.aspx?storypage=2 [i]Climate debate opens with attack on PM, Brisbane Times[/i] The parliamentary battle over the government's carbon price scheme has begun with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott launching a ferocious attack on the prime minister.Mr Abbott opened his 30-minute speech by declaring the package of clean energy bills http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/climate-debate-opens-with-attack-on-pm-20110914-1k8dd.html [i]Robert Manne throws truth overboard , Paul Kelly, The Australian[/i] Second, his focus is largely on editorials. With the exception of his attack on foreign editor Greg Sheridan, Manne makes no serious critique of the stance of any of The Australian's senior political analysts. He believes the paper has damaged our democracy http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/manne-throws-truth-overboard/story-e6frg6z6-1226136169550

Gravel

15/09/2011Ad Astra Another excellent topic for us to ponder. I know we have to keep fighting against the lies and stupid reporting, deep down I know we have little chance of winning. Just think of all the wonderful things we can say a write under a 'guided democracy' eh! Well at least all the wonderful things we can think without being able to say them. [i]Thank god our PM is backed by MP's that have the fight in them to support her and take the party ahead against disgusting attacks and scaremongering. I just hope they have the stamina to finish what they started. Wayne [/i] Wayne, yes we can admire the Labor party for sticking to their guns, and hopefully, as Ad Astra says, people will eventually see if for themselves. Unfortunately with the media we have at the moment though, I hold little hope. I cannot believe the Australian public could be so susceptible as to believe the rubbish going around, but it is wonderful to find a few oasis' on the internet that have not succumbed to the bullsheet being written and broadcast. recaptcha: scluma dining-room. Dining room is how I feel about this blog, we are all enjoying a great meal and chat around Ad Astra's dining room.

Gravel

15/09/2011Nas [i]As for Mirabella & the Coalition re: small business...I don't trust a political group that permitted ABC Learning Centres to go predatory...consuming all before it.[/i] I had forgotten about the ABC learning centres, that is another wonderful thing Julia and Labor fixed without too much disruption. Well done on remembering that.

Ad astra

15/09/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Mr Denmore

15/09/2011Lyn, did you see the latest edition of The Failed Estate? That the media inquiry shies off tackling News Ltd's abuse of power proves the case for doing so. See The Failed Estate - 'The Untouchables' http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/09/untouchables.html Best Regards, Mr D

lyn

15/09/2011Hi Ad Sorry Ad, another missing link:- [i]The Untouchables, Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate[/i] it is hard to imagine how the Press Council can be given any additional teeth when it is run by the newspaper industry, which in turn is dominated by Murdoch hysterical poobahs in the News Ltd papers and the skinny-suited, funky-spectacled, hair-gelled libertarian shills at the Institute of Corporate Public Affairs as an "attack on our freedoms." Yeah right. News Corp is rotten - and until its empire is broken up and/or Murdoch himself dies - nothing will change. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com/2011/09/untouchables.html Cheers: :):):):)

lyn

15/09/2011Hi Mr Denmore Thankyou for letting us know, I crossed over your post. Ad Astra will be here soon, he will include the Failed Estate on the "Today's Links" page for me, thankyou Ad. Brilliant article, love your choice of words, well said, fantastic. Cheers:):):):):)

janice

15/09/2011I don't know about anyone else but I detect a distinct message that the inhabitants of voterland have reached saturation point with regard to the lunatic LOTO. A lot of the anger towards our PM and her government is dissipating into the ether as people are reacting negatively to the negativity of the LOTO. People are no longer willing to indulge in gloom and doom for another two years so that with the constant news that the sky is about to fall in, that the PM will be gone in two weeks, next month or at least before Xmas, and when they wake up in the morning to find nothing has happened, the rhetoric starts to fall on deaf ears. What is now seeping into those angry minds are thoughts that it is all too wearying and so, those weary minds are rebelling and demanding peace and quiet. Our PM will eventually win her deserved "fair go" and, maybe even the LOTO and his mob will get their "just desserts" and be sent back to the gutter from whence they came.

Ad astra

15/09/2011Hi Lyn Mr Denmore's powerfully worded piece has been added to your LYN’S DAILY LINKS page. He says it the way it is. There should be more of this.

Ad astra

15/09/2011Raja Kuhe Welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family. Do come again and tell us: “[i] …how the bias of the Fairfax Press can be blown asunder”[/i].

lyn

15/09/2011Hi Raja Kuhe Welcome to "The Political Sword" thankyou for your very welcome and interesting comment. [quote]I have a great idea as to how the bias of the Fairfax Press can be blown asunder if anyone would like to hear it but as a newcomer to this forum I doubt anyone would want to hear it.[/quote] We would love to hear what you have to say. In fact we would like to see your comments here everyday, please feel at home. Cheers:):):):):)

Ad astra

15/09/2011debbiep Thank you for your kind words. I agree, it is the quality of the comments from the [i]TPS[/i] family that keep the site going day after day. Wayne Thank you for your generous remarks. We need to go on pointing out what the Gillard Government is achieving and how appalling the alternative is, in the hope that columnists who browse the Fifth Estate will also see this too. janice believes that some of the media-generated antagonism towards Julia Gillard may be dissipating and that there is a growing reaction against the Abbott negativity. Gravel Thank you too for your kind remarks. I believe Julia Gillard can win the next election provided she can go her full term. Will the people continue to follow the shock jocks as they go on emitting their venom when they can see that their doomsday predictions are coming to naught? How long can they stomach the unremitting negativity of Tony Abbott? There is a limit to people’s tolerance. I predict that when the tide turns, it will do so rapidly.

TalkTurkey

15/09/2011Raja Cuhe, Welcome to TPS and please don't doubt that we are all agog to learn of your "great idea as to how the bias of the Fairfax Press can be blown asunder if anyone would like to hear it". Some very good writing around the traps recently, seems that we bloggers are starting to feel our power. Like Feral Skeleton in her comment on Mr Denmore's blog, I think/hope that Sen. Conroy is carrying a big stick behind his back, ready to whack the crooks in the MSM when the opportunity arises. Janice said "I don't know about anyone else but I detect a distinct message that the inhabitants of voterland have reached saturation point with regard to the lunatic LOTO." Well Janice here's one other person agrees, it's taken longer than I thought because of Abbortt's insane energy and the unprecedented sycophancy of the MSM, but when he is gutted and guttered, the distance he has led them up the creek without paddles will make their discomfiture all the more delightful - what did Lyn say, they'll be scratching around like chooks, no offence to the chooks (but Lyn said it funnier.) Wayne said, "I have a new disgust bordering on hatred for our media . . . " Yes and so say all of us with non-far-right views. That disgust and hatred though is at least countered a little by the love and respect that Laura Tingle and a very few others earn by their fearless independence. Just let us resolve never to give up on our quest for decency in the media until we have achieved it. We just have to keep on until Abbortt is abborted, then the game will change.

Ad astra

15/09/2011janice Thank you for your kind congratulatory remarks on the [i]TPS[/i] third anniversary. You are the one who has been with me from the very first day, even before [i]TPS[/i] began, back in the days of [i]Possum Box[/i] where I posted my first blog piece in June 2008. You made a comment on that piece and have been a loyal contributor ever since. Thank you. I agree with your sentiments about the anti-Government angst gradually dissipating and the annoyance rising with Abbott’s negativity.

Ad astra

15/09/2011Patricia WA Thank you for your anniversary congratulations and for yet more delightful verse. You have a talent for capturing the grotesque nature of Tony Abbott’s approach to politics: NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! [b]NO!!![/b]

lyn

15/09/2011Hi Ad Grog as we know him, sure knows how to make news stories, they love to write about him: [quote]Just the job: the tweet CV - applying for work in 140 characters [/quote]Alicia Wood , SMH Greg Jericho, perhaps best known by his Twitter handle @GrogsGamut, knows the value of Twitter in wrangling a job offer. He has more than 8000 followers – among them politicians, journalists and academics – and has attracted praise as well as censure for his incisive political commentary. http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/just-the-job-the-tweet-cv--applying-for-work-in-140-characters-20110915-1kag3.html#ixzz1XyjkMcu2 Cheers:):):):):):)

NormanK

15/09/2011This is what sensible journalism looks like, even when it is an opinion piece. Rob Burgess belongs to a rare breed that needs to be protected and nourished. I say that because even when I don't like the news he delivers, I have faith that he is expressing the truth as best he sees it and most often based on verifiable facts. Oh. for more like him. Julia Gillard and her government might then be given a fair go. [b]Is Abbott starting to feel the heat?[/b] by Rob Burgess [quote]Now that the 18 bills constituting the government's Clean Energy Futures package have entered the gladiatorial pit we call the House of Representatives, the frailty of Tony Abbott's political future is becoming more clear. ******************************************************** Strange twists in political history, though never expected, seem always to arrive. So I will not forecast any certainty to the carbon tax passing, and the inexorable decline of the Abbott leadership. However, like climate change itself, the facts point to a very high probability of these things coming to pass. If I were Tony Abbott, I'd be casting about for risk mitigation strategies before the real heat arrives.[/quote] http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/abbott-starting-feel-heat?utm_source=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Climate%2BSpectator%2Bdaily&utm_source=Climate+Spectator&utm_campaign=43ac2973df-CSPEC_DAILY&utm_medium=email If you have trouble accessing this article, registration is free.

Casablanca

15/09/2011'Dead Man Squawking' Love it!

lyn

15/09/2011Hi Ad Catching Up at Cafe Whispers posts an eye catching article today:- [quote]What do we want?, Catching Up, Cafe Whispers[/quote] Do we want a Murdoch witch-hunt? Do we want a better print media? Is the media OK as it is now? If we believe the media is dysfunctional, why is that so? http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/media-enquiry/#comments Cheers:):):):):):)

Gravel

15/09/2011Thanks to those who are seeing the populace are starting to turn against the negative vibes of Sir Liealot. Unfortunately that ABC radio and TV are sensing the same thing. Each news break on radio is 'the leader of the opposition, Sir Liealot, says....' I apologise to all for my negativeness, I am trying to look at a better future for my kids. I loved watching the Clean Energy Bills being read into House of Reps. We can be almost totally sure that they will pass. That may be a positive platform for Labor to work from.

nasking

15/09/2011Not a surprising outcome...but tells us a great deal about the state of present world affairs...and influence...and why it is difficult, in fact, nigh on impossible for truly centrist, rational & wide thinking leaders in our western nations to survive long enuff to repair many of the ongoin' problems created since the second world war: [quote][b]For New York Democrats, Loss of House Seat Casts Shadows on Another[/b] By DAVID W. CHEN Published: September 14, 2011 New York Democrats woke up on Wednesday morning to an unwelcome new reality — the voters of Queens and Brooklyn had elected a Republican to represent the Ninth Congressional District — and an uncomfortable new question: What went wrong? There was the unhappiness with President Obama, of course, and the state of the economy. There was the Israel issue, the endorsement by former Mayor Edward I. Koch and the weakness of the Democratic candidate, David I. Weprin. But then, too, there was Representative Joseph Crowley. Mr. Wasserman and others noted, Mr. Crowley cannot be blamed entirely for Mr. Weprin’s loss to Bob Turner, a retired businessman, in the special election to fill the seat formerly held by Anthony D. Weiner. Indeed, one can point instead to the president’s sinking approval numbers in the district, widespread grumbling in its heavily Orthodox Jewish community about the Obama administration’s Israel policy, low voter turnout and, not least, Mr. Weprin’s stumbling performance on the campaign trail. [/quote] This from the conservative National Review online: [quote] [b]Ed Koch and NY-9[/b] September 14, 2011 10:18 A.M. By Stanley Kurtz Other than Barack Obama, no single person had a greater impact on the NY-9 race than Ed Koch. The economy and marriage issues were also key, of course, but Koch explicitly framed the election as an attempt to send a message to Obama on Israel. This March 2010 post from Ron Radosh helps make sense of Koch’s decision. Koch is a centrist Democrat, hawkish on defense and supportive of Israel. Like Joe Lieberman, Koch represents the Democratic party of an earlier day. Because of the War on Terror, Koch broke ranks in 2004 to support President Bush’s re-election campaign. Yet unlike Lieberman, who endorsed McCain in 2008, Koch campaigned enthusiastically for Obama in 2008. In Florida that year, Koch assured Jewish voters that Obama would be a strong friend of Israel. Koch also dismissed Republican attempts to cast doubt on Obama’s commitment to Israel as unfounded and hysterical. This helps explain why Koch moved so aggressively to urge NY-9 to send a message to Obama. Koch must feel as though his pledges to the Jewish community on behalf of Obama now obligate him to speak out. You can see Koch’s distress in the message Radosh reproduces at the bottom of his post. Koch wrote it shortly after the first disastrous visit to America by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. There Koch calls Obama’s attitude toward Israel “blatantly hostile.” Koch also clearly believes that Obama has broken with the supportive stance toward Israel shown by every previous president. Koch ends by saying: “Supporters of Israel who gave their votes to candidate Obama–78 percent of the Jewish community did–believing he would provide the same support as John McCain, this is the time to speak out and tell the President of your disappointment in him.” Obviously, Koch feels fooled by Obama. Maybe all those Republican warnings about the significance of the Jeremiah Wright and Rashid Khalidi connections weren’t so crazy after all.[/quote] http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/277173/ed-koch-and-ny-9-stanley-kurtz Now, Democratic party star Debbie Wasserman Schultz is valiantly, understandably trying to downplay the result...but this is how others are telling/spinning it: [b]PolitiFact Florida Our ruling[/b] [quote]Wasserman Schultz defended the defeat of a Democratic candidate in New York's 9th Congressional District by saying that "there is a large number of people who went to the polls tonight who didn't support the president to begin with and don't support Democrats -- and it's nothing more than that." In a low turnout election, where about 60,000 people voted (compared to about 200,000 in 2008), and based on the fact that a Democrat lost and a Republican won -- there's no doubt that there's some truth to the statement. But there are a few problems with Wasserman Schultz's characterization. First, despite who voted there has been a shift in the popularity of Obama in the 9th District -- where 55 percent voted for him in 2008 but only 31 percent approve of him today. That undercuts her claim that people who went to the polls didn't support the president to begin with. And the historical trends show that the 9th district has largely and consistently been a Democratic district. A more complete picture might emerge when and if exit polls are released, but for for now Wasserman Schultz's claim has holes in it. We rate it Mostly False.[/quote] http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2011/sep/14/debbie-wasserman-schultz/debbie-wasserman-schultz-downplays-meaning-new-yor/ And the battle will rage on...but somethin' Debbie Wasserman said in her argument really caught my attention: [quote]"Our chances remain quite strong," DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said on a conference call. [b]"While the Republicans are spending the year courting the Tea Party base and signing onto any pledge the Tea Party demands, the president's out there fighting every day to create jobs".[/b][/quote] Ain't that the truth of it. Furthermore, has it ever occurred to Israel lobbyists such as former mayor Koch that the stumbling & profiteering moves of the NEO-CONS has actually helped to undermine the strength of Israel...and increased the power of Iran...increased Islamic militant recruitment? And, that it's possible the Israel lobby/zionists have been duped by some of their so called Christian & extreme right-wing allies...who might be sitting back laughing & rubbing hands as they watch the implosion of Israel occur incrementally partially due to their advice & their mismanaged war on terror. I noticed the following on Google: [quote][b]Why is Ex-NYC Mayor Ed Koch Supporting Pres. Bush?[/b] - FOXNews.com www.foxnews.com/.../why-ex-nyc-mayor-ed-koch-supporting-pres-... - CachedYou +1'd this publicly. Undo [b]29 Jan 2004 [/b]– [b]The O'Reilly Factor on FoxNews.com [/b]– with Bill O'Reilly ...[/quote] and this: [b]Koch Outraged By Obama's Treatment Of Israel Over Housing [/b]... www.foxnews.com/.../koch-outraged-obamas-treatment-israel-housi... - CachedSimilar You +1'd this publicly. Undo [b]1 Apr 2010 [/b]– Former New York Mayor Ed Koch expressed disappointment in ... [b]Fox News/Fox Business [/b](Article Page: Fox News/SBC/Latino/Fox Business) ... It's totally understandable that former Combat Infantryman Ed Koch, having served honorably & bravely in WW2, would have a special place in his heart for Israel: [quote]In April 2008, Koch announced that he had secured a burial plot in Manhattan's non-denominational Trinity Cemetery, stating that “the idea of leaving Manhattan permanently irritates me,” and that he hoped not to use the plot "for another 8-10 years." For the inscription on his memorial stone, Koch has requested that the marker will bear the Star of David and a Hebrew prayer, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One." It also will be inscribed with the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by terrorists in 2002: "My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish."[/quote] Totally understandable too is Ed Koch's fear of Islamic extremism...particularly as a resident of New York. However, I hope this has not blinded him permanently to the Machiavellian & devious & oft destructive strategies of some in the Neo-con/Republican/Tea Party alliance. Beware the possible wolf in sheep's clothing. Or in this case, the fox. I have never forgotten this film: [b]The Boys from Brazil[/b] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boys_from_Brazil_(film) N'

Paul

15/09/2011Well, what else have they got to talk & write about? Is it sexy to write about the PBO bills, about the "Aged Care Amendment Bill", etc, etc? I think not. There's no bad boys & girls to talk about, there's no loans affairs, no war developing. No story there. But, the MSM, the bloggers, the shockjocks, etc, etc have got to fill this vacuum with something. Something that will sell.

Patricia WA

15/09/2011Thanks, Ad Astra! But I forgot to include your title which was my inspiration! Sometimes burning the midnight oil can cause memory lapses! I'll re-write your anniversary pome at polliepomes today with your title, if I may, which I was trying to incorporate into the perspective of a year gone by. I had started out with [i]Asked if Julia Gillard should get a fair go, Last year most of Oz would've answered "Yes!" But last September we didn't know What lay ahead. Could anyone have guessed?[/i] Now we should look forward to the year ahead! A lot of commentary in the links Lyn has given us today does give cause for optimism.

NormanK

15/09/2011Rob Oakeshott had a good day in parliament yesterday. Firstly getting up Greg Hunt's nose as Hunt was trying to take the moral high ground on democracy. [quote]Mr HUNT: Let me turn first to the notion of democratic respect. The nature of democracy is that parties take to the people a platform on which they seek election. Their fundamental duty is to outline that platform, to seek a mandate and to implement that platform. Mr Oakeshott: Rubbish. Mr HUNT: There will be moments when it may have to change, but not the fundamental nature— Mr Oakeshott: Rubbish. Mr HUNT: I have had enough of you, mate. I have had enough of you, with your performance, coming into this chamber and lecturing people on democracy, when you did not seek information about the mining tax, you did not seek information about water trading, you turned a blind eye to your constituents. So no more cant or hypocrisy. Your electors will no doubt make their own judgment in due course.[/quote] Page 8 Oakeshott then spoke in favour of the Clean Energy Future Bills. I tried to pick some highlights but so much of it is interconnected that I recommend interested parties to read the whole speech (which commences on Page 32) because he pulls apart the Coalition's Direct Action Plan. http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/latesthansard/rhansard.pdf

nasking

15/09/2011[quote]I had forgotten about the ABC learning centres, that is another wonderful thing Julia and Labor fixed without too much disruption. Well done on remembering that. [/quote] Cheers Gravel, but it's hard to forget: [b]ABC rapidly expanded, reaching 43 childcare centres by 30 June 2001. By November 2005, it had 697 Early Childhood Education centres throughout Australia and New Zealand.[/b] In March 2006, it forecast that would have 950 centres in Australia and New Zealand by 30 June 2006. [b]It has purchased the third largest childcare operator in the United States- Learning Care Group Inc. which itself operates 467 centres in the US and other educational facilities in south-east Asia. The purchase provides the ABC Learning with 70,000 additional licensed childcare places in addition to the 50,000 it had previously.[/b] Other mergers with Peppercorn Management Group and the purchase of Child Care Centres Australia helped provide a considerable increase in the number of ABC's centres. The company planned to increases its number of centres by four a week. [b]In March 2006, it announced a bid for Kids Campus, one of its few remaining large competitors in Australia which would give it another 106 centres.[/b] On 13 December 2006, it was announced that ABC would acquire the second largest child care provider in the United States, Chicago based La Petite Academy for 330 million US Dollars [b]as well as the 5th largest provider in the UK, Busy Bees Group, Ltd. With these acquisitions they are expanding into the UK market and increasing their market share in the US to 1%[/b]. It expanded aggressively into the outsourcing of child care services, [b]negotiating deals with some of Australia's largest employers including the Australian Department of Defence which involved taking over the Department's nineteen childcare facilities.[/b] Aside from offshore expansion, the company is also expanding in training and education. It runs the ABC Early Childhood Training College, providing training for childcare workers, publishes a magazine Small Wonders aimed at parents with young children. [b]It was a highly profitable company, in the FY2004/5 recording net profit after tax of $52.3 million on total revenues of $292.7 million.[/b] [b]The six months ending 31 December 2005 showed no slowing in the financial momentum for the company with profit after tax reaching $38 million and revenues of $219.8 million.[/b] and criticismsCritics of ABC Developmental Learning Centres say it is [b]making these considerable profits at the expense of Australian taxpayers whose money subsidises the use of childcare with means-tested tax rebates. ABC Developmental Learning Centres received $128 million of its revenue from government subsidies in the last financial year.[/b] There is also controversy about the dramatic expansion of the company with claims that in some areas ABC - by acquisition - has [b]achieved a monopoly [/b] in the provision of childcare services. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reviewed the company's acquisition of Peppercorn and permitted the deal to go ahead after imposing certain conditions including a requirement to close centres in some areas and agreeing not to purchase in other areas. ABC Developmental Learning Centres is [b]also using its considerable financial resources to support challenges to regulations governing childcare [/b]and enforcing vicarious liability on the company. In one case, in 2006 it challenged a $200 fine imposed by a Victorian Magistrate for the actions of its staff who failed to adequately supervise a two-year old child who escaped from a centre in suburban Melbourne and was found by a neighbour and brought back to the centre. It argued that the company had done all it could reasonably be expected to do to provide facilities that made escape difficult and that any legal liability should rest with the staff involved. In August 2006, ABC Developmental Learning Centres pleaded guilty to 'Failing to Enclose' in the Fremantle Magistrates Court and were fined $1300. A three-year old boy escaped from the centre in Lynwood, Western Australia, through a broken fence and was found by staff in a nearby car park. The company is under investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. [b]Receivership[/b] Despite selling off assets, the company fell into receivership in November 2008 after increasing debt servicing obligations and its auditors were unable to sign off on its accounts. The federal government injected $22 million into the company to keep its childcare centers open until the end of 2008. (wikipedia) ------------------------- This might interest you too: [quote][b]Are our politicians for sale? May 23, 2006[/b][/quote] The Age [quote][b]Nine days ago, Tony Abbott walked into the Atheneum Club in Collins Street and set about making the Victorian Liberal Party some much-needed money.[/b] Inside were about 20 business people who had paid $1400 each to get close to the federal Health Minister. [b]Sponsoring the lunch was the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. [/b]It is desperate for the Federal Government to resist the push by Coles and Woolworths to break into the prescription medicine market. Last financial year, the guild contributed $39,000 to Liberal coffers. This is just one example of a growing trend in which ministers and key MPs are moonlighting as cash collectors for their parties — even if it raises questions about potential conflicts of interest. Privately, [b]MPs on both sides are increasingly worried about the pressure to raise funds[/b]. The capacity to generate money is being viewed as a greater quality than fresh ideas or policy acumen, they say. [b]"We've caught the American disease … we've got a fund-raise or perish mentality,"[/b] said one senior Victorian Liberal MP. "MPs are directed by party headquarters to attend coffees with key business supporters just because it might lock in our next $15,000 cheque."[/quote] [quote][b]Childcare provider ABC Learning Centres contributed $50,000 to the Nationals[/b] following the appointment of former Nationals minister Larry Anthony to its board.[/quote] http://www.theage.com.au/news/in-depth/are-our-politicians-for-sale/2006/05/23/1148150251862.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2 It's quite sickenin' really. One of the reasons I don't trust the coalition...particularly under Abbott. The man has no scruples. I'd luv to know what was said in his conversation(s) w/ Rupert Murdoch. N'

Ad astra

15/09/2011Hi Lyn Thanks for the additional links. Interesting reading. Patricia WA I look forward to your revised pome! NormanK Greg Hunt should know by now there is no value in browbeating Rob Oakeshott. It will drive him away from the Coalition even further.

Ad astra

15/09/2011Folks I'll be out for a couple of hours.

Feral Skeleton

15/09/2011Tony Abbott is a knave and a fool. I have just gotten home from doing the weekly shop, and what do I see on the ABC24 news crawler? 'Tony Abbott hardens his stance against the government's migration law changes.' Now, I know that he thinks he will win the next election with such a landslide as would put a global-warming catastrophic weather event to shame, but doesn't he realise that even if he does achieve this hubristic dream, the Senate will still be against him, ALP+Greens=a bridge too far for even his egotistical expectations. Yes, he also thinks that if he comes up against that particular roadblock his 'Legend in his own Lunchbox' powers of persuasion will bring the electorate on side with his well-oiled wail for a Double Dissolution. Whereupon, he will be able to sweet talk the electorate into giving him untrammelled power in government, to do with as he pleases. But. What he appears to have, conveniently, overlooked, is that any legislation he puts up has to be knocked back twice by the Senate, not to mention the Committee that it couuld be sent away to as well, before he gets his chance to call another election. Then the election has to go on for at least the proscribed minimum amount of time, not to mention the small fact that, even with Abbott's Holy Roller ability to befuddle and bamboozle the electorate, one thing generally prevails in situations such as this. The electorate can smell a fit up a mile away, and the naked grab for power that this Double Dissolution would be. Therefore, it would be no sure thing that Abbott would get the Senate that he craves, in order to put through the legislation that he wants to. So, more likely than not, he will still not be able to get his preferred Nauru Solution through the parliament. Ultimately, that will leave him looking like a very silly shag on the guano rock of Nauru. Therefore, if I were Mr Abbott, I'd be thinking very, very carefully over the next few days about his 'Hard Man' style of political brinkmanship, which he is playing with like fire at the present time, because the plain facts of the matter, absent the politics, are that he will get badly burned down the track, just as sure as the God he believes in made those little Green Apples.

Gravel

15/09/2011Nas I think we would all like to know what the conversation was between Murdoch and Sir Liealot. And we wouldn't be to wrong in guessing if we dared to.

Trevor

15/09/2011FS. Surprising piece in The Oz today, Greg Sheridan had almost the same thing to say. I nearly choked on my coffee. Sheridan takes a good swipe at Abbott for, in his words "arguing a left point of view". Now I think Sheridan's logic may be twisted but now his own cheer leaders are questioning his negativity. Funny to read some of the comments though. The rusted on set accusing Sheridan of being a communist. That crowd really are a hoot, anything but fawning obsequiousness to the leader and they start frothing. But there were also quite few comments from what I guess are Lib supporters who agree with him and commented they were sick of the negativity. So maybe the tide is turning.

Trevor

15/09/2011I managed to watch QT again today and had to laugh at Julie Bishop, she really is out of her league. Jules question to the PM was along the lines of; "A solar company in the USA which had been given hundred of millions of US govt money has now gone into liquidation. Can the PM guarantee this would not happen in Australia under the CEF". When I heard the question I thought, what a dill. Then Julia tonked her over the boundary, by explaining that picking company's for grants was the coalitions policy as the CEF would use market based mechanisms for reductions and have an independent authority to assess technology. Talk about an own goal. It highlights a point I have made earlier, the coalition are lazy. The quality of the questions and the tactics used are lamentable. Without the resources of the public service departments at their disposal they are hopeless. Which is why at is strange that would be putting the public service off side by announcing they will be getting rid of 25,000.

nasking

15/09/2011Indeed Gravel. Now we know the extent of his influence on both the past Labour & election mode Tory parties in the UK, I reckon it doesn't stop at their borders. Lyn, thnx for the links above. Good job as usual. This from Tim Dunlop: [quote]At the end of the day, the only weapons we can deploy against bad journalism are those of the citizen and the consumer. We can take advantage of the new technologies to voice our dissatisfaction in forums (like Twitter) that journalists use, and we can stop buying their products. The one other thing likely to have a positive effect on quality is the competition that comes from diversity, but that is off the table.[/quote] I reckon that the role of Murdoch's empire in relation to SKY NEWS needs to be examined. The national paper, The Australian, should reflect the views of the wider community and be held more accountable for its contribution to biased campaigns...and distortions pushed as fact. The Press Council needs teeth & to be funded differently: [quote]The Council is funded by the newspaper and magazine industries. It relies on publishers and editors to respect the Council's views, to adhere voluntarily to ethical standards and to publicly admit mistakes. It has no legal or legislative power to discipline the press. The Council consists of 15 members, representing the publishers, journalists, members of the public and is chaired by an independent Chairman. It meets monthly, in Sydney and is headed by an Executive Secretary. It has been criticised for being unwilling to censor its members in anything more than a minor manner when guidelines are breached by its members. (wikipedia)[/quote] Examination of cross-ownership laws...the convergance review will probably delve into this area: Convergence Review http://www.dbcde.gov.au/digital_economy/convergence_review However, the problems related to ownership, lack of diversity & public interest in relation to Brisbane being a one paper town...and the influence of certain corporations on local community papers...are going to require examination of media funding & possible subsidies. Frankly, there are days on the blogs it feels like we're the Massachusetts' militias fighting the insidious & overwhelming force of aliens...the bast*rds are everywhere (ironically the series [i]Falling Skies[/i] was on Fox. Like I said, "everywhere". Time to gather the forces of "fairness" & strike back. N'

jane

15/09/2011AD astra, congratulations on your third anniversary and on your post, incisive and well researched, as usual. Of course Gillard deserves a fair go, but this won't happen with the current msm and their constant refusal to call Liealot on his slogans, lies and distortions. I also agree with your criticism of the trendoids who are jumping on the sink the slipper bandwagon and who make no allowance for the pernicious influence of the the msm, which constantly refuses to scrutinise Liealot's lies, distortions and obfuscations, instead whining in true dingbat style about the government's terrible incompetence in not getting its message to the public and its terrible policies. Yeah, good one posers. Has it crossed your tiny, snooty, superior minds that the government's message is constantly misreported and filtered through the Liealot lens? Much as I hate the idea of slogans, I think the government has to fight back at every opportunity with some slogans of their own. Slogans like: Tony Abbott is a liar. Tony Abbott is lazy. Tony Abbott doesn't debate legislation. Tony Abbott can't be bothered negotiating amendments to improve legislation. Tony Abbott can't be bothered earning his hefty taxpayer funded salary. Tony Abbott can't be bothered representing his followers. Repeat every 4 hours until infection is neutralised. Go on Sunrise and Today and serve them up without let up, just like Liealot. I know this is a descent into the Liealot cellar, but sometimes you have to get into the cellar with a very strong high pressure hose and a decent baseball bat and clean the joint up! Break as many bones as you can-no more Ms Nice PM. The enquiry into the msm can't come fast enough asfaic. And there should be no further self regulation, the msm cannot be trusted to regulate itself under any circumstances. And the shock jocks should also be subject to very stringent regulations. When Anal, Hadley, Dolt and co transgress, their punishment should be swift and merciless. I would not be averse to tumbrils rolling into the city square and a guillotine awaiting to administer the punishment! I can knit. It would be fun. And what a glorious sight to see Anal's repulsive head on a pike! Sigh!

lyn

15/09/2011Hi Ad Tony Abbott's doorstop interview today, You won't need the link, I have condensed the interview for you, it's about "SHE" & "HER" [i]Joint Doorstop Interview, Queanbeyan Posted on Thursday, 15 September 2011 Tony Abbott [/i] She has no planB, She’ll get support, she can’t expect, She’s normally, she wants us, She needs to, She wants us, She’d better get, She was a late, she refuses, She’s gone to, she go to, up to her, her style, her meeting, her policy her that if, her policy, her 100% http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/News/tabid/94/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/8318/Joint-Doorstop-Interview-Queanbeyan.aspx Cheers:):):):):):):)

Bilko

15/09/2011Congratulations AA, I backtracked your old comments which I backup and the first one saved by me was 3 june 2009 Titled "The Media and the PM" flash forward to today and nothing has changed the only difference it was Kevin then and Julia now. Yesterday I had Brekkie with a 85 yr old dinky die aussie and she said She cannot stand Julia but detests Abbort more. I put her right on the state of the country which is going gangbusters exports up,interest rates low,unemployment low pensions never been higher.I told her all the cr** in the paper was a beat up. That's fine she says but Julia living in the lodge with Tim is terrible, I told her Julie Bishop is in the same sort of domestic bliss and it does not raise a mention. It seemed that we could have an unmitigated national disaster but living together in the lodge was worse. My final comment was that with all the Cr** being thrown at Julia I think she is doing a fantasic job, her final comment was regarding women in positions of authority and she was in such a position that she had to put up with a lot agro.End of conversation I walked her over to the doctors surgery the reason she was out in the first place.All her input is via TV and radio heaven help us.I just hope some of my pro Julia comments stick.

NormanK

15/09/2011Ad astra Thanks for this article. It seems it is getting harder and harder to swim against the ever-burgeoning stream of negativity aimed at this government. Thank-you once again for maintaining an oasis of good sense. It occurred to me today after Question Time that one of the measures that I would use for judging whether a government was incompetent would be the quality and content of the questions directed towards it by the Opposition. As Trevor has asserted above, they have been very lame of late. More importantly, over the last few sittings of Parliament I can't recall a single question about the NBN - a major and complex project which must surely be open to conjecture with regard to implementation. No questions about the health system reforms. No questions about education. No questions about Industrial Relations. No questions about plain packaging. No questions on foreign policy settings. No questions on major infra-structure projects. No questions about the roll-out of this financial year's budget. And on and on across the portfolios. I may be wrong about this but certainly there has been no concerted campaign on any front other than the CEF and asylum seekers and questions of credibility and reliability. Perhaps this is in part because of Abbott's tactics of trying to fight the government on what he sees as its weak points - carbon pricing and asylum seekers and throw in Craig Thomson as a bonus. Having said that, if there was even a chink in the armour of any minister or department he would be on to it like a flash. This lack of even a brush-fire much less an outright conflagration in any of the other portfolios leads me to believe that this government is anything but incompetent.

Feral Skeleton

15/09/2011Trevor, Of course you realise that Julia Gillard has snookered Abbott over the Asylum Seeker issue. As Bernard Keane laid it out in Crikey, if Abbott agrees with the government and allows their change to the Migration Act through, the Gillard government gets their Malaysia Arrangement up. If Abbott refuses to give her the Coalition's votes, then the PM just turns around and says to the country that because Mr Abbott has refused to join with me in legislating for Offshore Processing of Asylum Seekers, even though that is suppposed to be his professed desire, therefore I have no alternative but to resort to Onshore Processing of Asylum Seekers because the government must have a policy with regard to Asylum Seekers. So, then, when the increased numbers of boats turn up as a result of Onshore Processing, Mr Abbott, who refused to legislate for an Offshore Processing alternative, can be blamed 100%. QED. :) Of course, Abbott will back down. Me, I'm just waiting for that day so I can see the supercillious smirk wiped off Scott Morrison's face.

Feral Skeleton

15/09/2011Trevor, I saw that question from Julie Bishop too. I could not believe that anyone from a serious Opposition would have drawn such a long bow and attempted to fire it at the PM. Chances are anyway, that the entity Ms Bishop was alluding to, was one set up by the Republicans, and filled with their free-loading mates.

nasking

15/09/2011I noticed the ever smug Tim Wilson on SKY NEWS today...he's a cocksure character from a think tank. It's a shame that GetUp doesn't have a spokesman more forceful & quick w/ the retorts...who looks more confident, prosecutes arguments better than the exhausted Simon Shiek. He allowed the brash Wilson to walk all over him. He oft lets Wilson, as do many hosts as well, get away w/ plenty of hyperbole (that's putting it mildly). I noticed Wilson the young sage wrote pearls of libertarian wisdom for The Drum in 2010 - this fella gets around: [b]21 January 2010 Massachusetts' message[/b] [quote]By bailing out failed companies and irresponsible banks Bush's popularity, and the chances of McCain to succeed him, crumbled. Riding on the wave of "change we can believe in", a fresh slate Obama argued against the Bush Administration's economic policies. But since assuming office Obama has expanded the size of government by mobilising public money to bailout businesses that should have been allowed to fail. Bailouts have remained consistently unpopular amongst Americans who are culturally supportive of the free enterprise and the correlation between risk and reward and, sometime, failure and responsibility. But by bailing out car maker General Motors the government has been using taxpayer's dollars to socialise losses and allowed company Directors to flaunt their responsibilities.[/quote] Yes, unfortunately Obama was stuck completing the bailout approach started by GW Bush...even tho the Repugs conveniently ran for the hills at that point in order to later appeal to their Tea Party [b]revolt[/b]ionaries... but I would remind Mr. Wilson of the following: [quote]Last week, GM said it made $2.5 billion in the April-through-June period, its sixth straight quarterly profit since emerging from bankruptcy. [/quote] http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110808/OEM01/308089959/1325 Yep, lots of jobs...regardless of the naysayings of many on the right, including some in the Murdoch empire controlled Wall Street Journal (like I said, "everywhere"). Sure, the Japanese earthquakes had somethin' to do w/ their profits...but that probably helped to offset some of the economic sabotage we've seen from the likes of the Tea Party, certain tight-arsed corporations, republican governors, local officials & ratings' agencies. Looks like Obama got this one right. For the workers & the company. And their families. It ain't perfect. The unions need to negotiate effectively...to get some of them wages up...and some people home. But it worked. If Obama had listened to the libertarians & right-wing think tanks...gawd knows where those workers would be now. And thank goodness our government didn't have a GW Bush. Any cyclists & crusaders on the horizon like Bush? N'

Trevor

15/09/2011FS Did I hear right? At the end of QT I thought I heard Albo say they had offered the coalition an extra 5 hours of time to extend debate on the CEF to 40 hours and they had knocked it back. I was distracted at the time so am not sure but that is what it sounded like. If true I wonder if they will keep up the whining about not enough time for debate?

2353

15/09/2011With all the recent goings on in Parliament - is the ALP lining up the ducks for the wedge of all wedges? Can they capitalise on no one being there when the CPRS Legislation was introduced, the backflip over refugee processing or even the offer for extended time. It really can't be that hard for them, can it? "poor petla" is a start - but there is more media management to do here.

Jason

15/09/2011Happy Birthday to the political sword! Aa FS AC and Lyn, despite our detractors keep up the good work.

Jaeger

15/09/2011AAP reports that 'The house agreed to sit for an extra five hours on Tuesday "to facilitate debate" on the government's 19 carbon price bills.' I think they bickered about it for half an hour this morning, so that may have been what was mentioned on the news?

Feral Skeleton

15/09/2011This Opposition is so bereft of an original thought that they have started to throw back the line "Precious petal" at the PM(in place of something, anything, better). I just think it shows that her "poor petal" admonition of Tony Abbott, cut like a knife and wounded the poor dear's manly pride. :)

Ad astra

15/09/2011Folks Thank you all for your comments. I’ve been off the air for a few hours composing today something for early next week, as I have family commitments for the next few days. Glad to see you back Bilko. Thanks jane for your suggestions about slogans; Lyn for your summary of Sir Liealot’s ‘she’, ‘her’ diatribe; NormanK for your list of non-questions in QT; FS for your astute appraisals; and Jason, Trevor, Nasking, 2353, Jaeger for your always interesting and complimentary comments. I’m calling it a day.

Patricia WA

16/09/2011Ad Astra, I've revised your pome. Hope it's not too long! http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/a-fair-go-for-julia-gillard/

lyn

16/09/2011 [b]TODAY’S LINKS[/b] [i]A Fair Go for Julia Gillard?, PatriciaWA, Polliepomes[/i] the Prime Minister was able negotiate with the Independents and the Greens to form government. Since it’s also the third anniversary of Ad Astra’s setting up of his very successful website The Political Sword this ‘pome’ is for him. http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/a-fair-go-for-julia-gillard/ [i]Time for opposition to stop just saying No, Shaun Newman, Independent Australia[/i] What a sad little party/parties the federal opposition are. With all the challenges in the 21st century that face this nation the Coalition focus upon a few hundred poor souls fleeing torment and torture by boat. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/time-for-opposition-to-stop-just-saying-no/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm [i]It’s the People Vs Alan Jones as ACMA investigates bias , Paul Barry, The Power Index[/i] The Media Watch program suggested that Jones's broadcasts on the carbon tax repeatedly failed both these tests, in that he rarely, if ever, interviewed believers in man-made global warming and failed to give them a fair hearing when he did. http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/power-fail/its-the-people-vs-alan-jones-as-acma-investigates-bias/20110915405 [i]Who’s who in the media inquiry lobby effort? Tom Cowie, The Power Index[/i] Coper told The Power Index. "This was something that was genuinely in the balance. Using NewsStand and other organisations as a vehicle, everyday Australians were able to have their concerns heard that initially resulted in getting the inquiry." http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/guidebook/915408rce=Power+Index&utm_campaign=2bfc1656fe-The_Power_Daily_5_Sept_2011&utm_medium=email [i]The logic of an inquiry into a media model under siege, Crikey[/i] Plenty of journalists, editors and media executives despise the internet not just for undermining their business model, but for undermining the authority and control of public debate they had in the analog era and turning passive consumers into interlocutors and http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/09/15/the-logic-of-an-inquiry-into-a-media-model-under-siege/ [i]On Media Inquiries, Patrick Ashworth, The Sporadic Rager[/i] While News Limited is clearly a corrupt organisation bent on misusing its influence to manipulate the political environment according toits less-than altruistic agenda, other outlets, most notably the commercial TV stations tend to show a similar disregard for the values which we would hope would drive the media, http://sporadicrager.blogspot.com/ [i]A media inquiry , Gary Sauer-Thompson, Public Opinion[/i] News Ltd newspapers daily breach their own Professional Conduct Policy. And yet she well knows that the press do not to present information to citizens without distortion, misrepresentation and deception on issues such as the Iraq war, climate http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2011/09/a-media-inquiry.php#more [i]Media regulation must come from within, Jonathan Holmes, ABC[/i] Anyone who wants to can start up a blog. No-one might read it at first, but with luck and persistence, rather than money, it's possible to reach a significant audience - if not globally or nationally, at least in a neighbourhood or a community of interest. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-15/holmes-media-regulation-from-within/2899904 [i]An Inquiry Should Get The Facts Straight, Jake Lynch, New Matilda[/i] 70 per cent. That’s the extent of newspaper circulation controlled by Murdoch’s News Ltd. The problem set out by Robert Manne, in his Quarterly Essay,is, in a sense, the opposite from the one I have briefly sketched here. The Australian newspaper errs by presenting opinions as facts, but also by presenting facts as opinions. http://newmatilda.com/2011/09/15/media-inquiry-get-facts-straight [i]ACMA has already got Alan Jones and 2GB in its sights | #Ausmedia, Darin Sullivan , the Left Hack [/i] ACMA has confirmed with The Power Index it is investigating three separate complaints of bias or factual inaccuracy against Jones, and another two complaints relating tofellow 2GB presenter Chris Smith. http://darinsullivan.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/acma-has-already-got-alan-jones-and-2gb-in-its-sights-ausmedia/ [i]Media bosses question govt inquiry, David Blight, Ad News[/i] “This inquiry started life as a witch-hunt by the Greens and has morphed into a fairlynarrow look at a mixed bag of issues ostensibly focussed on printjournalism. Any substantive inquiry into the media should cover all media and all media equally, particularly if it intends to investigate the needfor a new overarching regulatorysystem.” http://www.adnews.com.au/adnews/media-bosses-question-govt-inquiry [i]News Limited, carbon tax and the NSW government, Peter Martin [/i] Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's policy director Mark Roberts was more helpful. He emailed Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian's chief of staff and advisers later that day with a "gold mine of attack points!" on the possible effect of the tax on Sydney Ferries. http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/09/news-limited-carbon-tax-and-nsw.html [i]Carbon tax debate plays out just as expected, David Twomey, Eco News[/i] After a full day of debate in federal parliament on the Labor-led government’s carbon price plans it was very much as expected, and then left to an independent to remind everyone that in the end the bills were going to pass into law. http://econews.com.au/news-to-sustain-our-world/carbon-tax-debate-plays-out-just-as-expected/ [i]Gillard’s carbon price promise delivered, Brian, larvatus Prodeo[/i] I thought I’d begin this carbon price legislation post by reminding everyone that Julia Gillard did say, as reported in The Australian, she was prepared to legislate a carbon price in the next term. That was the day before the election. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/09/15/gillards-carbon-price-promise-delivered/ [i]Coalition MPs buy up resources shares, Financial Review [/i] Coalition MP’s have been spending up big on shares in the energy resources sector despite their claims that the carbon tax will drive the economy to the wall"Since we made the announcement on the Carbon price , one in six members of the opposition have brought shares in resource companies. http://www.afr.com/p/business/resources/coalition_mps_buy_up_resources_shares_Ea12S75WC4Fo7ZWgVogIWL [i]O'Farrell Government to rob 68,000 NSW pensioners of millions every year, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices [/i] it would do this by taking 25% of the payment increase from the approximately 68,000 pensioners in NSW public housing, nearly one-third of whom are probably 65 years of age or older.The windfall would come to an estimated $13.2 to $16.5 million annually http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2011/09/ofarrell-government-to-rob-68000-nsw.html [i]How will the NBN benefit us – personally and as a nation? NBN Australian Government[/i] The NBN will enable homes, doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, aged care facilities and allied health professionals to connect to affordable reliable, high-speed and high capacity broadband. This represents a major opportunity to improve the way healthcare is delivered in Australia. http://www.nbn.gov.au/frequently-asked-questions/digital-economy/how-will-the-nbn-benefit-us-personally-and-as-a-nation/ [i]Newman accuses Qld Labor of 'smear', Channel 7[/i] Liberal National Party (LNP) leader Campbell Newman is under mounting pressure to disclose not only his financial interests but also those of his wife, who is part of a disaster recovery business.Lisa Newman was named as company secretary of Majella http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/10255056/newman-accuses-qld-labor-of-smear/ [i]House of Representatives – 15 September 2011. The Body Politic Australia[/i] The House continuing to sit until 5 p.m.—The Speaker adjourned the House until 10 a.m. on Monday, 19 September 2011. http://bodypoliticaus.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/house-of-representatives-15-september-2011/ [i]News Corp shareholders lodge complaint against Rupert Murdoch, The Gaurdian, UK[/i] A prominent group of US banks and investment funds with substantial investments in News Corporation has issued a fresh legal complaint accusingthe company of widespread corporate misconduct extending far beyond the phone-hacking excesses of News of the World. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/13/news-corporation-shareholders-complaint

Bring Back Maxine

16/09/2011Congratulations AA, Mrs AA and regular posters on 3 years of penetrative political insight and analysis. [i]TPS[/i] family's civil political discourse is the standard to which political debate in our country should aspire to. The political debate over next two years is going to be critical for the future of country and generations to come. The fifth estate will play a prominent role in this debate and I look forward to [i]TPS's[/i]part in this role.

Michael

16/09/2011Even The Australian opinionistas like Dennis Shanahan just don't get Shouldabeen PM Tony Abbott's #1 agenda. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/tony-abbott-caught-between-convictions-and-putting-julia-gillard-in-a-hard-place/story-e6frgd0x-1226138230314 finishes with this paragraph: "Gillard is giving Abbott all the political ammunition he needs to say Malaysia is her solution, but he will take the full blame if the immigration system is completely undermined and, if that happens, an early election won't help him." Leave alone the entire concept of Tony Abbott having any "convictions" at all, an "early election" at any cost is precisely what will "help him". He wants government, he wants the Lodge, his family want Kirribilli House. Any small problems that arise in meeting these wants will be easily 'solved' in government. He has Howard's model for that. Incumbency craps all over anything else. Besides, Labor is so on the nose right now, the sheer mathematics of a Coalition win at an election 'tomorrow' would have them in government for three terms at least. No need to repent in leisure for Tiny then, merely, as 'circumstances change', reset policy as the wind blows and the weathervane creaks in response.

lyn

16/09/2011Hi Ad Wow! i just came racing in, pressed refresh and here is "Bring Back Maxine" and Michael. Bring back Maxine so good to read your comment, [quote] I look forward to TPS's part in this role.[/quote] TPS is a winner while we have so many wonderful contributers. You are one of our valuable commenters Bring Back Maxine with your lovely gravatar, what a nice smile on our page. Michael, another delightful report from you . Things must be shakey when Dennis Shanahan begins to doubt anything . [quote]He wants government, he wants the Lodge, his family want Kirribilli House[/quote] Yes and he doesn't care how he gets there, or any consequences that he may face, why worry, when he can just lie his way through as Prime Minister anyway. Here is an article from Vex News that links to the Australian, regarding Abbott's pledge to repeal the Carbon price, not tax. Julia should never have let Abbott get away with saying it's a tax, he shouldabeen knocked on the head. What did Jane say, put his head on a pike and then decide what to do:- [quote]THE VIBE OF THE THING- Why Tony Abbott will never repeal the carbon tax, Vex News[/quote] but whatever the rights or wrongs of it, the politics is clear: the carbon tax and the permits issued under it will almost certainly never be repealed, no matter what Tony Abbott says http://www.vexnews.com/2011/09/the-vibe-of-the-thing-why-tony-abbott-will-never-repeal-the-carbon-tax/ Cheers:):):):):):):):)

Ad astra

16/09/2011LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Ad astra

16/09/2011Patricia WA I read your enjoyable pome on [i]polliepomes[/i] on the iPad this morning in a pathology waiting room. What skill and genuineness you exhibit when you write verse. Thank you for the dedication of your pome to this piece on [i]TPS[/i]. That is much appreciated.

Ad astra

16/09/2011Bring Back Maxine It’s good to see you here again and that lovely photo of Maxine. Thank you for your congratulatory remarks. You are right. The quality of the political debate over the next two years, and quality includes factual accuracy and completeness, will be critical in determining who governs this nation. Since most voters make up their minds about who to vote for via what they obtain via the media, if much of the Fourth Estate continues with its campaign of misinformation, the Fifth Estate will have to vigorously assert its voice. [i]TPS[/i] and all who comment here so comprehensively and regularly, contribute to that end. May we succeed in bringing into the debate the balance that is lacking in the MSM.

Ad astra

16/09/2011Michael Thank you for your link to the Shanahan piece and your comments, with which I agree. At least Shanas can see that Tiny is wedging himself as he tries to wedge Julia. The outcome will be fascinating to behold.

Ad astra

16/09/2011Hi Lyn Thank you for your comments and the link to the [i]Vex News[/i] piece, which is interesting reading. I join with you in expressing delight at Bring Back Maxine’s return and Michael’s always-relevant comments, We off to visit some of the family, so I’ll be in an out of [i]TPS[/i]until this evening.

Gravel

16/09/2011It is great to see both Bilko and Bring Back Maxine here again. I don't want to be personal, but I find it intriguing that you have both returned. Is there any particular reason, or is it just the TPS 3rd Anniversary. Some here have been saying they sense a bit of a change, could this change be a reason you have returned to help fight the good fight here? Sorry to be a nosy posy......I am genuinely intrigued.

Feral Skeleton

16/09/2011Sorry, Jason, but this just came in from Mike Bowers on Twitter: [quote]mpbowers: Insiders ABC 1 & NEWS 24 9am Sunday-The Panel, SMH's Lenore Taylor, the Sunday Age’s Misha Schubert and news.com.au’s Malcolm Farr #insiders[/quote] It's a good panel and we should get some rational debate. :)

Jason

16/09/2011FS, That's ok! Have you seen or heard anything about what Latika is tweeting? latikambourke | 4 minutes ago RT @samdastyari: I have just been notified that The HSU have just disaffiliated from the Australian Labor Party. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-06-02/question-time-live/2741600

TalkTurkey

16/09/2011Bring Back Maxine Welcome back, I keep hoping you will come back anytime you're away for long, and now your pen name and gravatar are matched by this great comment: "TPS family's civil political discourse is the standard to which political debate in our country should aspire . . ." Michael, Trevor, Bilko, Gravel, Jaeger, others I've missed, YOUS are those to whose discourse BBM refers, You make me proud to be part of this site. And Paul, could you please tell us the story of your gravatar, and in particular what is the pointy thing in the right hand of the [kangaroo?] [scientist?] ? I've always wondered. Nasking your output is stupendous. Thank you Bear Man. I seem to think that everybody is starting to tire of Abbortt now, his coffin nails are being forged in the fires of decency and he will be the architect of his own demise . . . Oh and Jane you are a person after my own heart, I love your uncompromising condemnation of him and his R slickers. The Trolls are starting to retreat under their bridges and hide their heads in confusion and dismay . . . All they have left is abuse and they're not very clever at that. Poor precious petals . . . Remember Swordsfolks, nothing succeeds like success, and nothing'll fail ya like failure! We're winning, keep fighting folks, BBM is dead right, the Fifth Estate is feeling its power, and TPS is the place the pundits cannot ignore. [i]VENCEREMOS![/i] :)

jane

16/09/2011The cheerleaders keep banging on about an early election, but marching around bleating that they want an election NOW is about as useful and effective as an ashtray on a motor bike. It ain't gonna happen. TT, thanks for the compliment. I love your take no prisoners attitude to the Liars Party and their cheerleaders. There's no good being nice with that lot, imo. They only understand a baseball to the back of the head. And I can't wait for the billy goats gruff to clean up the trolls. I've noticed there seems to be a bit of panic in the msm air with the announcement of the media enquiry, also some lovies banging on about how it will all be a waste of time (a bit of hair tossing) and there are plenty of regulations in place, and the print media has no influence on public perceptions blah, blah, blah. And that's quite true for those of us who are sensible enough to read TPS, Café Whispers and other blogs and are willing to do our own research. But I think a lot of cheerleaders and assorted other voters, don't get their news online. They read the OO and other Murdoch media and watch the news on the tv, listen to radio and shock jocks and take everything that's spewed out as gospel. Of course there are cheerleaders who get their news online, but what is they actually consume? I'd suggest it's Ltd News, the poisonous Dolt blog and other equally rancid sites, where unbiased truthful dissemination of the news is zero. And I'd bet they never do any research to check the accuracy of the bile they swallow whole. And of course, even if they are presented with clearly verifiable facts, their immediate reaction is to put their fingers in their ears and start chanting lalalalalalalala, so they won't hear anything disturbing like the truth.

Trevor

16/09/2011I may have to weaken tomorrow & buy the Weekend Oz. For those of you who have read Robert Manne's Quarterly Essay, the Oz is tomorrow launching it's Shock and Awe retaliation. Paul Kelly started the response on Wednesday. My bet is they huff & puff about all sorts of things but wont address the substantive claims. There will be a lot of confected outrage and probably more than a few digs at Manne. Manne also has his blog up & running now at http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/robert-manne so I would expect rebuttals to also appear over the next few days. If you have been a regular reader of The Monthly you would be familiar with the drawn out spat between Robert Manne & Gerard Henderson, this showed Manne does not back down & will carry on the fight. This will provide interesting reading for a while.

Feral Skeleton

16/09/2011Jason, I fully expect Kate Jackson to run for parliament for the Liberal Party now.

Jason

16/09/2011jj, And you call "us" dishonest! Nationals MP Steve Cansdell has been forced to resign from State Parliament after admitting to signing a false statutory declaration in relation to a driving offence. The Herald understands Mr Cansdell will make the announcement at his Grafton electorate office at 2pm. He informed the Nationals leader and Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner last night. Advertisement: Story continues below Mr Stoner requested that he immediately resign as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Police. Mr Cansdell entered Parliament in 2003. The resignation will force a byelection in the seat of Clarence on the mid north coast. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/mp-cansdell-forced-to-quit-parliament-20110916-1kd1z.html

Bring Back Maxine

16/09/2011Lyn, AA, Gravel & Talk Turkey Thank you for your kind words. I always feel very welcome here. Gravel, I cannot speak for Bilko, but for myself. I have had several personal problems as well as family problems which have been time & energy consuming. Most of these have now been resolved (I hope!). I've never really been away, just kept a very very low profile ;) Further, being a slow 2 finger typist, who finds difficulty in developing political argument in eloquent prose quickly, isn't conducive to being a frequent poster lol. Since the March NSW state election,I have also become an active member of my local ALP branch again. You know what has been the substantive reason for my political activism resurrection? Tony Abbott and his reactionary thugs. They pose a serious threat to the well being of our beloved country and our planet. They must not be allowed to succeed. I want to do my bit to stop them.

nasking

16/09/2011TT, Cheers. Luv yer passion & unique wordplay. I was thinkin' about [i]homogenisation[/i] today...I'm so tired of seein' all these bland SUITS everywhere. Makes ya wanna scream. In the past I wasn't a huge fan of the fashion industry, tho I did dig clothes that came w/ the funk movement...but over the past few years I've come to appreciate the diversity & colour that can come from fashion...take Indian (like the many spices) & Islander clothes for instance...imagine adding the colours we see there w/ aboriginal painting styles on clothes. I think watchin' Ugly Betty for a few seasons also pulled me in...I luv the cosy colours of her home...and those in the relies' house when she tripped w/ her Dad & sister to Mexico. I can remember goin' to my first ice hockey game in Toronto, Maple Leaf Gardens...Chicago Black Hawks vs TO...the colours on the uniforms were so bold and eye grabbing. And no yukky corporate labels all over them in those days...I just had to grab the Chicago outfit for Xmas. N'

NormanK

16/09/2011Malcolm Farnsworth's recent article on [i]The Drum[/i] has left me with an itch that I have been resisting scratching. The article by Dennis Shanahan (linked to by Michael above) has re-inflamed the bite so I've gone back to find out why Farnsworth annoyed me so much. [b]The irritating Mr Abbott[/b] by Malcolm Farnsworth http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2898940.html [u]The Irritating Mr Farnsworth[/u] It might be entertaining to accept Farnsworth's depiction of Abbott as being irritating but in order to go along with that it is necessary to go along with statements like: [quote]....... the Government is numb with fear of Abbott. ........the latest illustration of his power to get the Government dancing to his tune. .......... unable to wrest control of the political agenda from Abbott. ........ He sat, quietly smiling, saying little, savouring [b]the tangible power he has crafted out of the hung Parliament[/b].[/quote] By what means might we best determine this 'tangible power' that Abbott has apparently crafted out of a hung parliament? I can think of five applicable measures. 1. Opinion polls (as unreliable as I believe them to be). Big tick for Mr Abbott or at least his party for forging ahead on this measure. 2. Amendments forced on to Labor legislation against the government's wishes. Zero. Not one meaningful amendment has been forced through. 3. Government bills defeated in the House by the Coalition winning over cross-benchers to get the numbers required to sink a bill. Zero. Not one piece of government legislation has been defeated in the House of Representatives. 4. Private Member's Bills instigated by a member of the Coalition passed through the lower house. Zero. In this regard the Coalition could just as easily be facing a Labor government with a huge majority. 5. Policy settings that reflect the Opposition's stance and contradict Labor's own. Arguably, asylum seeker policy can be depicted as reflecting the Coalition's policy (I would contend that this is not so but for the sake of this argument I will accept it because much of Farnsworth's argument relies on this premise). Any other policies which can be said to have been unduly influenced by Abbott's 'tangible power'? None that I know of but I'm happy to be corrected. So, on five reasonable, quantifiable measures Abbott at best gets a mark of 1.1 out of 5. "Tangible power'? Tangible in what sense? It certainly is not manifesting itself in ways that effect the governance of the country. I guess from Farnsworth's perspective, opinion polls trump all other yardsticks - the Joker in the pack. What a crock for anyone who cares about governance and not the 'politics' of politics. As for the article as a whole, sure it looks as though it is critical of Abbott and his style but have a look at the following excepts (edited) and imagine that they were part of an article in a music magazine describing an emerging new jazz artist. Sounds like grudging respect and admiration to me. [quote]........ who defies expectations and conventions ....... He refuses to play ....... the way the ...... [/quote][experts][quote] ....... expect. If one approach fails, he moves quickly onto another. Abbott is a radical. He is a conservative whose adherence to conservative ............... principles is heartfelt in theory but disposable where necessary in practice. Abbott irritates the [/quote][critics] [quote]because he doesn't run to their tune. Abbott doesn't play the game the way the self-appointed experts want.  They want him to play his part in some idealised ......... ritual ......... Abbott resolutely refuses.  The wonks don't matter. Through it all, Abbott adapts his strategy to the new age .............. and sails on largely unhindered. It devalues the startling power and clarity of his message, however, to attribute Abbott's ......... dominance to mere luck. It overlooks a skilled tactician at work.  The criticism of his tactics as negative ................ ignores the agile way he crafts his message. Listen to him ................ and you hear a man with a brutal instinct for the cut-through ......... You don't have to like it to recognise it.[/quote]

nasking

16/09/2011I then got thinkin' about the Tokyo Game Show (TGS), Japan's ultimate gaming event...the amount of high-tech stuff bein' promoted and on display is amazing...a real drawcard for some... but images of it on Bloomberg business channel today revealed the patriarchal aspect of it too...it does come across as quite sexist...young women dressed up like girls, dolls, sexy anime characters...I was wonderin' how that was meant to attract women players. My wife luvs Final Fantasy & is lookin' forward to the next stage, to be released in Japan first I here. I reckon she'd find the Tokyo show a bit juvenile. Yet, she's a fan of the games. The game show also got me reflectin' on the high-tech boom...and how we now have a generation of kids born & bred on this stuff...includin' social networking...gameboys...usin' smartphones...Ipads etc... a generation that will not know anything but hi-tech communications...learning to drive in a few years...eventually hundreds of millions of them...constantly needing to keep in touch via cyberworld... and oft distracted. Imagine the car accidents...and wasted driving time...if the appropriate fast trains, subways, clean energy buses, other means of transport & even computerised automatic vehicles & lanes aren't in place? Wasted time driving...when they could be working, reading, doing homework, creating projects, playing games, watching shows, multiple other things if they have the appropriate transport & computerised vehicle/roads planning system in place. N'

nasking

16/09/2011Speaking of juvenile...what kind of age brackets do you think watches a political show like [i]Insiders[/i]? Goin' by some of the music they use durin' the montage sequences you'd think it was for ages 6-12. As someone who listens to a wide range of music from various so called "alternative/Indie" bands incl. alternative country...to blues, jazz, classical, world, electronica etc. in all their various forms & sub-genres...I find the [i]Insiders[/i] stuff really irritatin'...as does my wife. I also listen to some hiphop/rap...but I do hate the sexist, male braggart, cop killer gangsta homophobic type stuff. Apparently this is anti-homophobic: The Tongue - Never Scared http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44LutczsCzw Just sayin'. N'

Casablanca

16/09/2011 This article was first published at InDaily & republished today in Crikey. The bolding of names was my contribution. I started to read this article because I believe that Senator Xenophon had abused Parliamentary privilege. I am now intrigued by the people that Hepworth appears to have in his court. I saw the George Pell interview on the news and found it passing strange that he seemed to be cutting David Cappo adrift and supporting John Hepworth. I also understand from ABC news reports that Hepworth had frustrated and therefore prolonged the Church's investigations by not laying a complaint with the police. I had never heard of Monsignor David Capo before this story broke but clearly he is a man of some esteem to have been appointed to head up the National Mental Health Commission. He was also deputy chairman of the Australian Social Inclusion Board. I think that this story may have a long way to run. 11. Cappo resignation and an unholy can of worms Des Ryan, editor of online Adelaide newspaper InDaily, writes: CATHOLIC CHURCH, DAVID CAPPO, NICK XENOPHON, TONY ABBOTT Monsignor David Cappo has taken an almighty whack, stepping down yesterday as chairman of the new National Mental Health Commission before he had even started in the role. He also quit as deputy chairman of the Australian Social Inclusion Board. Cappo remains the Vicar-General of the Catholic Church in Adelaide. His immediate predecessor in the role was the priest named by Senator Nick Xenophon in the parliament this week. Cappo and the priest know each other well. Cappo resigned after Xenophon used parliamentary privilege to question why the church had failed to act on the alleged r-pe more than 40 years ago of [b]John Hepworth,[/b] who is now an Anglican bishop. The allegations were lodged with the Catholic Church four years ago. Xenophon also shamefully named the priest accused of being involved in the assault. The priest at the centre of the allegations has flatly denied the accusations against him. Cappo has also denied any wrongdoing on his part. "I emphatically reject any suggestion that I or the church handled the complaint by John Hepworth with anything other than proper and due diligence," he said in a statement. Now, there is nothing wrong with Xenophon calling the church to account for the prolonged length of the investigation. Four years does seem to be an inordinate amount of time, even for the church that measures rapid change in terms of centuries. Xenophon does not know whether the allegations are true. They have never been tested in a court of law. Yet he took it upon himself to condemn the man outright. The senator says he has since received hundreds of expressions of support. That’s how a lynch mob typically behaves. Such support counts for nothing except to a man craving popularity above all else. Xenophon’s words were like bullets, precisely aimed to mortally wound. The priest is a dead man walking on unproven allegations; Cappo has been sidelined and the senator is a much diminished figure. Behind the scenes, who actually gains from all this? In Hepworth’s corner is his friend [b]Christopher Pearson,[/b] a conservative weekly columnist for The Weekend Australian, who advocated on behalf of Hepworth’s case in his most recent piece. Pearson is also a good friend of opposition leader [b]Tony Abbott;[/b] and they are both close to [b]Cardinal George Pell,[/b] the capo de capo of Catholicism in Australia, who appears to have sided with Hepworth. "More information seems to be needed to explain further to the public any unusual delays in acting on this complaint and the decision not to stand aside the person who has been accused," Pell said in a statement. Pell's biographer is [b]Tess Livingston[/b], The Australian journalist who broke the story about Hepworth's r-pe allegations. The stories written by Livingston have not carried this declaration. Is this actually a victory for the Catholic Right over the Adelaide "liberals"? An unholy can of worms.

Casablanca

16/09/2011[b]Ooops! An unexpected error has occurred.[/b] [i]This one's down to me! Please accept my apologies for this - I'll see to it that the developer responsible for this happening is given 20 lashes (but only after he or she has fixed this problem).[/i] The poor developer has been lashed so many times that I doubt that she/he has the energy to fix things quickly. This time it took 1 hour to get sorted.

NormanK

16/09/2011A bit more reading for those who just can't seem to get enough (like me). [b]Thinking outside the boxes[/b] by Russell Skelton [quote]The Gillard government has been quietly increasing the number of asylum seekers in community detention. Is this the way of the future? IT'S a fact seldom referred to in the bitter debate over refugee policy, but some 1200 men, women and children - more than 25 per cent of all the nation's asylum seekers - live in the community as they wait for their claims for refugee status to be processed. ******************************************* Fewer than 10 people have had their community detention withdrawn because of ''behavioural issues'' and a small group of Vietnamese unaccompanied minors absconded without trace into local communities. ******************************************* In what must be one of the most significant and least publicised policy achievements of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Bowen, the number of people approved for community detention has soared without administrative trauma from about 30 in October last year to more than 1880. The figure includes a significant number of unaccompanied minors, mostly teenage boys. ******************************************* The Age understands that Bowen has been privately inquiring about the limits of community detention and the capacity in the system for greater numbers. ''We are beginning to pick up signs that this might be one of the options in the mix given the current dilemma with the High Court ruling,'' says a non-government official. ******************************************* The big issue facing the Gillard government is just how many asylum seekers can be processed in community detention in the short term, especially if the option of offshore processing is ruled out. Both the Red Cross and the department believe the system could handle up to 2000 people before the limits on accommodation and caseworkers are reached.[/quote] http://www.theage.com.au/national/thinking-outside-the-boxes-20110915-1kbqq.html [b]Rudd says 'no' to Labor leadership at Asia Foundation event[/b] by Peter Mitchell [quote]DOES Kevin Rudd foresee himself as being prime minister again? He has a one-word answer. "No," Australia's foreign affairs minister said when asked by a member of the audience at an address in San Francisco yesterday.[/quote] http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/rudd-says-no-to-labor-leadership-at-asia-foundation-event/story-e6frf7jx-1226139047866 [b]Coalition's climate change sceptic choice for committee seen as a snub for Hunt[/b] by Sid Maher [quote]THE Coalition has chosen climate change sceptic George Christensen[/quote] (my local member - yay!) [quote]to sit on the key committee that will inquire into the government's carbon tax legislation amid growing acrimony in parliament about the handling of the debate.[/quote] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-plan/coalitions-climate-change-sceptic-choice-for-committee-seen-as-a-snub-for-hunt/story-fn99tjf2-1226138248389 [b]Support for top lawyer[/b] by Michael Gordon [quote]THE legal team that sank the Malaysian ''people-swap'' has taken the unusual step of defending the man who advised the Gillard government it was likely to win the High Court challenge.[/quote] http://www.theage.com.au/national/support-for-top-lawyer-20110915-1kbyd.html So much for the poor preparation by this incompetent government!

Casablanca

16/09/2011[b]Tiny's cavalier waste of taxpayers funds.[/b] Last week a team of senior Commonwealth Public Servants, including the Secretary of Immigration Department, had to fly to Brisbane to brief Tony Abbott on the implications of the High Court decision for the Malaysia Refugee proposal. OK it was not a sitting week and Tony may not have been in Canberra but surely it would have been less of a burden on the taxpayer to fly a couple of pollies to Canberra than to fly a team of senior bureaucrats to Brisbane. What was Tony doing in Brisbane anyhow? What a silly question! He could only have been there to do some road training in the tropics and a brace of construction site stunts! Tonight, a team including the Solicitor-General, will brief Tony in Melbourne. This week has been a sitting week so why does Tony have to be briefed in Melbourne? Is it too much to expect that the leader of the Once Great Liberal Party could forego a bike-ride or a TV stunt scene in a small business in Queanbeyan in order to attend a briefing in Canberra during a sitting week?

nasking

16/09/2011Lyn, once again...thnx for the links. Jonathan Holmes certainly gets one musing: [quote]And the Minister added that none of the journos at that press conference lived in any kind of fear and trembling of the Australian Press Council. That's true too. Most of them would be far more worried about the possibility of being named and shamed on Media Watch. So by all means let's try to find a way to beef up the Press Council. Let's grapple with the vexed issue of how the blogosphere, from Crikey to Kangaroo Court, can be persuaded to submit to its adjudications. But it must all be voluntary. The state, and statutory regulators, must have nothing to do with it. We do not need an ACMA to levy fines on wayward bloggers. The printing presses of the 1640s, through which the Levellers and the Diggers were able to spread their revolutionary creeds, have given way to the stream of 1s and 0s that enable any ratbag or rebel - as well, of course, as the paid columnists of global moguls like Rupert Murdoch - to rant and rave. Yet John Milton's arguments are as valid now as they were then. Truth and understanding are not such wares as to be monopolised and traded in by tickets and statutes and standards. Or, to quote that other revolutionary, 'let a hundred flowers bloom, and a hundred schools of thought contend'. Mao Zedong's problem was that he let them bloom or contend for just six weeks. Australia can surely do better.[/quote] No matter how keen we might be for more government control & interference at times due to frustration w/ the multi-tentacled corporations...we must always remember that the government we support will not be in forever...those tools if put in place will also be used by the next government too...and gawd knows for what purposes. Besides, the best thing to come out of a media inquiry announcement...it grabs the public's attention...and forces them to focus on who the players are, their biases and so on. That's useful. Not only Abbott can grab attention. :) N'

nasking

16/09/2011Even tho I reckon Obama himself is firin' up well lately...I totally agree w/ James Carville that he needs to change a few staff members/appointees...they need to be more assertive...hungrier. I'd start w/ the press secretary...nice fella but they could use a Claudia Jean "C. J." Cregg: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._J._Cregg N'

nasking

16/09/2011Furthermore, as Carville recommends...get prosecutin' some of those bank profiteers & bailout thieves...the public are hungry for it. Geithner has to go: [quote][b]Ron Suskind Book 'Confidence Men': Tim Geithner Ignored Obama Order On Banks [/b] Huff Post ANTHONY McCARTNEY 09/15/11 NEW YORK — A new book offering an insider's account of the White House's response to the financial crisis says that U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner ignored an order from President Barack Obama calling for reconstruction of major banks. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Suskind, the incident is just one of several in which Obama struggled with a divided group of advisers, some of whom he didn't initially consider for their high-profile roles. Suskind interviewed more than 200 people, including Obama, Geithner and other top officials for "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and The Education of A President," which will be released Sept. 20. The Associated Press purchased a copy on Thursday. The book states Geithner and the Treasury Department ignored a March 2009 order to consider dissolving banking giant Citigroup while continuing stress tests on banks, which were burdened with toxic mortgage assets. In the book, Obama does not deny Suskind's account, but does not reveal what he told Geithner when he found out. "Agitated may be too strong a word," Suskind quotes Obama as saying. Obama says later in the book that he was trying to be decisive but "the speed with which the bureaucracy could exercise my decision was slower than I wanted." Geithner says in the book that he did not recall that Obama was mad at him about the Citigroup decision and rejected allegations contained in White House documents that his department had been slow to enact the president's plans. "I don't slow walk the president on anything," Geithner told Suskind. "The Citbank incident, and others like it, reflected a more pernicious and personal dilemma emerging from inside the administration: that the young president's authority was being systematically undermined or hedged by his seasoned advisers," Suskind writes. Suskind states that Obama accepts the blame for mismanagement in his administration while noting that restructuring the financial system was complicated and could have resulted in deeper financial harm. One of the major complaints about Obama's administration is that it was too easy on major financial institutions, including Citi. The president had wanted Treasury officials to focus on a proposal to dissolve the bank, but no plan was ever created, the book states.[/quote] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/15/tim-geithner-ignored-obama-order_n_965404.html Clinton made big changes. Obama should do. BTW, I reckon Perry is [b]terminal[/b]. N'

Patricia WA

16/09/2011Thanks for that breakdown on the Farnsworth article, NormanK. I thought it was pretty iffy after a couple of paras and flipped to something else to read - time being an issue with me, but I'm glad you did a more thorough and critical appraisal for us. I enjoyed reading that! Imagine Abbott's message having [i]startling power and clarity[/i]!

2353

16/09/2011^^^^^^ PatriciaWA - or is it that "just say No" is easy for the Doltards that read and believe Dolts bolgs and columns to remember?

nasking

16/09/2011Remember the case of the opportunistic Coalition member who'd scream in parliament & in the papers & on interview shows about how bad the BER stimulus was for the country...but then show up for the openings...the handshakes & pics to be sent out in local community papers & brochures? There were/are plenty of them. Seems American governors are no better...memories: [quote]Tue Jul 21, 2009 at 05:10 PM PDT. [b]Jindal doles out stimulus dollars, claims credit[/b]by Jed Lewison for Daily Kos. Think Progress flags a gem from America's leading "anti-stimulus" governor: Jindal traveled to Anacoco, Louisiana to present a jumbo-sized check to residents of Vernon Parish. The funds included hundreds of thousands of dollars directly from the Recovery Act — at least $157,848 in Community Block Grant money authorized by the Recovery Act and $138,611 for Byrne/JAG job training programs created by the Recovery Act. Rather than credit the federal government or the Recovery Act he opposed, Jindal printed his own name on the corner of the massive check. This is just the latest example of Jindal's hypocrisy on the stimulus. Earlier this year, Gov. Jindal took credit for $19.5 million in Byrne/JAG grants funded at least in part by the stimulus bill, and three weeks ago, Jindal announced $7 million in stimulus act grants for Louisiana coastal restoration, saying "these funds will enable us to expand a groundbreaking coastal restoration project." In that case, Jindal's office released a statement from The Nature Conservancy crediting the stimulus act. "We are very excited about this project being one of two Louisiana projects selected by NOAA for American Relief and Recovery Act funding," state director Dr. Keith Ouchley said. In his response to the President's address to Congress, Jindal had complained about a similar program which funded volcano monitoring in Alaska. Jindal also requested federal stimulus funding for a rail line between Baton Rouge and New Orleans after attacking the stimulus bill's investment in high-speed rail.[/quote] http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/07/21/756029/-Jindal-doles-out-stimulus-dollars,-claims-credit Are the public really that gullible? Obviously Fox News think so. N'

nasking

16/09/2011hmmm... [quote]"You gotta be for life, I mean how do you get up every morning and look yourself in the mirror if you can’t be for life?"[/quote] — Rick Perry, who has presided over a record 234 executions as Texas governor http://www.dailykos.com/ N'

Feral Skeleton

16/09/2011PatriciaWA, Abbott's messages may indeed have 'startling power and clarity', but they are essentially meaningless. He is a master at seeming like he is saying one thing, when he is either meaning quite the opposite, or nothing at all.

Feral Skeleton

16/09/2011Nasking, I reckon Rick Perry is toast too. I can just imagine Obama's A Team, who were dispatched back to Chicago a while ago now to hunker down and strategise the POTUS' re-election bid, slowly and deliberately gathering together the treasure trove of Rick Perry incriminating evidence to fling back at him should he get the Republican Nomination. There's plenty to work with, as you probably know, from his book which he wrote last year, and which most acknowledge was a bad move strategically, giving the Democrats plenty of ammunition to fire back at him, to the fact that he keeps blithely allowing to be put to death innocent men in Texas, and only the drips in the Teabag movement will cheer that sort of thing, not the great mainstream of American voters. Which doesn't even start on Mitt Romney. He keeps making the mistake of referring to Corporations as people who should have just as much right to an income as the living, breathing sort of person. He's a Mormon. I mean, all you have to do, if he becomes the nominee, is ask him if he believes in Evolution, or umpty dozen other whacko things Jesus Christ Church of the Latter Day Saints believe in or do. Which leads us back to Rick Perry again, or God forbid ( ;-) ), Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin. They're bleedin' Dominionists! So far out on the Right of the Religious Right that their belief set scares even the mainstream of Church-going America. Which path wends it's way past the African American & Hispanic Christian community. I doubt if they'll vote for a party that, like in Arizona, is passing laws akin to racial profiling. Not to mention the fact that Obama has set up the platform on which he will be able to stand as he barnstorms the country in his re-election bid. State after State of crumbling infrastructure which the Republicans won't allow the Congress to pass so as to allow it to be fixed and in order to create jobs for people who do not have them. I think for a start some one said that John Boehner alone has 95 bridges in his State of Ohio in a poor condition and in dire need of the sort of repair Obama is simply suggesting. Which points to the political genius of Team Obama, for mine. They craft messages of elegant simplicity that the electorate can be made to chant for the next 12 months until the election. "Pass the Bill!" At photo opportunity, after photo opportunity, after photo opportunity...:D

Feral Skeleton

16/09/2011NormanK, And George Christensen's practical qualifications for sitting on the Committee reviewing the Climate Change legislation are?

Feral Skeleton

16/09/2011Nas, I think it's in Kentucky, but the Religious Right have finally figured out how to legislatively get around Roe .v. Wade now. They are going to enshrine in law the 'fact' that ' a life' will now begin at the moment of conception. Hence, in Kentucky, you will now become a murderer if you take contraception and prevent the possibility of a life being formed when you have sex, or if you need or want an abortion. The thought of what poor women will now be subjected to and unable to do anything about, fills me with abject horror.

Jason

16/09/2011Sunday morning TV - September 18 #auspol Your guide to this Sunday morning's political and business interviewsFull program listing available at: http://sundaymorningtv.posterous.com/ 8:30am Sky News 601 - Australian Agenda On Sky News Australian Agenda Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey. Plus a look at the Gillard Goverment's media inquiry. Joining host Peter Van Onselen on the Panel, The Australian's Paul Kelly, Jennifer Hewett and media editor Stephen Brooks. 8:38am Ch7 - Weekend Sunrise - The Riley Diary This week political editor Mark Riley looks at carbon, Kevin and Conroy's circumscription. 8:40am Ch9 - Today on Sunday - The Laurie Oakes Interview The weekly Laurie Oakes interview is in hibernation until further notice. 9:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 - Insiders On Insiders this Sunday, Barrie Cassidy interviews the Opposition’s Climate Action Spokesman, Greg Hunt. On the panel: the Sydney Morning Herald’s Lenore Taylor, the Sunday Age’s Misha Schubert and news.com.au’s Malcolm Farr. And Mike Bowers talks pictures with freelance cartoonist, Fiona Katauskas. 10:00am ABC1 & on ABC News 24 repeated @ 5.30pm - Inside Business This week on Inside Business a feature interview with Myer CEO Bernie Brooks. And an interview with Climate Change Minister Greg Combet. They look at ASICs latest move on insider trading. The First Person feature looks at a cereal maker who growing his business with the help of CSIRO’s plant breeders. As well, the latest news from the markets and Alan Kohler’s incisive commentary. 10.00am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.30pm - The Bolt Report - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day South Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenephon will join Andrew. Panelists: former Liberal Leader John Hewson and former Senator and environmentalist Norm Sanders. Plus social media expert Thomas Tudehope 10.30am Ch10 everywhere but Canberra at 4.00pm - Meet the Press - Check local program guides for encore performance timings later in the day Paul Bongiorno is joined by panellists; Jessica Irvine of the SMH and commentator Glenn Milne. Together they interview Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown, and former Howard Government Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone.

lyn

16/09/2011Hi Jason Thankyou so much for posting the Sunday TV program, you are our reliable loyal gemstone. Seems Mr Abbott has made some awful remark today about Pauline Hanson. Do you know what he said Jason? [quote]gordongrahamGordon Graham Tony Abbott's comments this afternoon in regards to Pauline Hanson were beyond horrific #auspol 32 minutes agoFavoriteUndo RetweetReply[/quote] [quote]helishinglyDeborah so can someone enlighten me as to what offensive remarks Abbott made about Pauline Hanson today [/quote]? Cheers:):):):):):)

TalkTurkey

16/09/20112353 [b]GILLARD [i]GOO-OO-OOD![/i][/b] [b]Abbortt [i][u]BAA-AA-AD[/u][/i][/b] That should work. :) [recaptcha: rangera Barry Nearly right both times! ;-) ]

TalkTurkey

16/09/2011Where's this "Once Great Liberal Party" BS coming from? The Liberal Party was [i]never[/i] great. It was always based on Born to Rule, big money interests supporting big money interests. Labor has always led progress in this country, political thought and social justice, public education and public health are prime examples. The misnamed Liberal Party has always and always fought such at every possible juncture. Liberal my fat aunt, great my foot, they're nothing but reactionaries who have never for a moment relaxed their grip on the privilege they imported direct and intact from the English class system. [i]Sir[/i] Robert Menzies, [i]Sir[/i] John Kerr, huh, [i]Sir[/i] Jo Bjelke-Petersen (who [i]perverted[/i] the British Parliamentary system to his own evil ends), such are Liberal icons, great creeps is all. Just because the Liberals today are a braying gang of ignorant malevolent hypocrites today doesn't make them having been great once. They are like their precious island of Nauru, never anything but poop from the outset, just never sunk so low as today. (Yeah and I dig you too Jane! (K))

Ad astra

16/09/2011Folks I've been busy with family matters all afternoon and with finishing my piece for Monday. I've now caught up with your very interesting comments. Thank you. I've just now posted this weekend's stylish satire from Acerbic Conehead: [i]Scarecrow Scamps[/i]. Enjoy the humour. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2011/09/16/Scarecrow-Scamps.aspx

Casablanca

16/09/2011TT I'm the one who has to plead guilty to introducing the sobriquet 'the once great Liberal Party' to this forum. I did it not too long ago but I don't recall exactly on which topic. Clearly, I don't think that the Liberal Party is or was great. However, there are many who believe that it was great and is great, despite Tony Abbott. Others Liberals must have doubts about Abbort but would not be prepared to admit this publically. When I first recommended the term on TPS, I said that I thought that it may have been none other than our esteemed (by us) Prime Minister who used the term during one QT. (Sometimes my memory is spot on but other times it may not be.) Anyhow, to my way of thinking, the descriptor is a nice put-down of Tony’s Liberal Party. I feel that there is merit in using the term as it definitely implies that things have gone pear shaped since Abbort took over the helm and may change when he is removed. I sometimes come up with witty statements in conversation but I rack my brains in print to try for some pithy statements to counter those uttered by Tones. I generally conclude that it is easier to come up with a 3 word negative statement. ‘Stop the boats’ rallies more people than ‘Welcome the boats’. Hey, maybe that is better than I first thought as a counter cry. In this world of 3 second grabs for TV news and short-term attention span it cuts through better than ‘It is our moral and humanitarian duty to welcome any persons who land on our shores and ask for asylum. We should return to principle and decency and adopt a humane approach: this demands onshore processing and early release into the community while claims are assessed.’ ‘This toxic tax’ has rallied those in talk-back land. How about, ‘Actually, Tony it’s a de-toxing tax!’ Maybe that’s too subtle but it might cut through better to the talk-back demographic than a 20 minute lecture on the academic and statistical underpinning of the CPRS, the ETS or its latest incarnation the CEF. I was always taught that the challenge for a speaker was to whet the appetite of the audience to go away and think and do further research into a topic. Once too many details are introduced, a speaker will lose a large proportion of the audience. Discuss.

Jaeger

17/09/2011Casablanca, Google returned several references to PM Rudd saying it during QT: "'I notice that the once-great Liberal Party hauled out the white flag on tax and returned to old faithful,' he said." Julia's three word slogan "Don't write crap" was excellent; it highlighted the poor quality of journalism/reporting of late, and also their obsession with Abbott's TWSs. My responses to Abbott tend to be one word and unprintable. ;-)

Casablanca

17/09/2011Jaeger, Thanks for that attribution to Rudd. He managed to land a few blows in his glory days without much name calling. Abbort has managed to lower the tone (unconscious pun!) both inside and outside the Parliament.

Casablanca

17/09/2011[i]TT since you raised this again today I am reposting my response and that of Jaeger from the last thread.[/i] My reCAPTURA was 'upsettm' Poor petal is upset that the PM is pouring bile over him. TT I'm the one who has to plead guilty to introducing the sobriquet 'the once great Liberal Party' to this forum. I did it not too long ago but I don't recall exactly on which topic. Clearly, I don't think that the Liberal Party is or was great. However, there are many who believe that it was great and is great, despite Tony Abbott. Others Liberals must have doubts about Abbort but would not be prepared to admit this publicly. When I first recommended the term on TPS, I said that I thought that it may have been none other than our esteemed (by us) Prime Minister who used the term during one QT. (Sometimes my memory is spot on but other times it may not be.) Anyhow, to my way of thinking, the descriptor is a nice put-down of Tony’s Liberal Party. I feel that there is merit in using the term as it definitely implies that things have gone pear shaped since Abbort took over the helm and may change when he is removed. I sometimes come up with witty statements in conversation but I rack my brains in print to try for some pithy statements to counter those uttered by Tones. I generally conclude that it is easier to come up with a 3 word negative statement. ‘Stop the boats’ rallies more people than ‘Welcome the boats’. Hey, maybe that is better than I first thought as a counter cry. In this world of 3 second grabs for TV news and short-term attention span it cuts through better than ‘It is our moral and humanitarian duty to welcome any persons who land on our shores and ask for asylum. We should return to principle and decency and adopt a humane approach: this demands onshore processing and early release into the community while claims are assessed.’ ‘This toxic tax’ has rallied those in talk-back land. How about, ‘Actually, Tony it’s a de-toxing tax!’ Maybe that’s too subtle but it might cut through better to the talk-back demographic than a 20 minute lecture on the academic and statistical underpinning of the CPRS, the ETS or its latest incarnation the CEF. I was always taught that the challenge for a speaker was to whet the appetite of the audience to go away and think and do further research into a topic. Once too many details are introduced, a speaker will lose a large proportion of the audience. Discuss. Casablanca ************************************************************* Casablanca, Google returned several references to PM Rudd saying it during QT: "'I notice that the once-great Liberal Party hauled out the white flag on tax and returned to old faithful,' he said." Julia's three word slogan "Don't write crap" was excellent; it highlighted the poor quality of journalism/reporting of late, and also their obsession with Abbott's TWSs. My responses to Abbott tend to be one word and unprintable. Wink Jaeger ************************************************************ Jaeger, Thanks for that attribution to Rudd. He managed to land a few blows in his glory days without much name calling. Abbort has managed to lower the tone (unconscious pun!) both inside and outside the Parliament. Casablanca *************************************************************

Casablanca

17/09/2011OOOOOP! AA I meant to re-post this to AC's new thread but got it wrong first go around. You might like to remove the repeats above. Apologies.

jane

17/09/2011NormanK, you've been too restrained wrt Farnsworth's gigantic pile of plop. To describe his attitude as "grudging respect and admiration", is akin to saying Pol Pot was misunderstood, imo. Even fawning sycophancy is not close enough. The fellow should be confined to the nearest psychiatric hospital and fed enormous doses of truth and relevance drugs, but I fear it's too late for him. [quote]He refuses to play ....... the way the ...... [experts] ....... expect. If one approach fails, he moves quickly onto another.[/quote] Unadulterated bullshit!!!! I'd never ask this twat to look for the butter on an otherwise empty benchtop! His only approach is from Nancy Reagan's playbook-Just Say No. Repeat as often as necessary to brainwash the subject. [quote]Abbott is a radical. He is a conservative whose adherence to conservative ............... principles is heartfelt in theory but disposable where necessary in practice.[/quote] More bullshit par exellence. Liealot's "principles" aren't just disposable where necessary, I dispute that he has [b]any[/b] principles. [quote]Abbott irritates the [critics] because he doesn't run to their tune.[/quote] More bullshit!! Does Farnsworth have a gushing spring of the stuff, which rivals the fountains of the Villa D'Este? The lack of honest scrutiny of Liealot's crap by the likes of Farnsworth are the source of irritation for the critics. [quote]Abbott doesn't play the game the way the self-appointed experts want. They want him to play his part in some idealised ......... ritual ......... Abbott resolutely refuses. The wonks don't matter. Through it all, Abbott adapts his strategy to the new age .............. and sails on largely unhindered.[/quote] Do you mean being truthful and honest, Mr Farnsworth? Is that the sort of idealised ritual you're rabbitting about? Of course Liealot refuses to play [b]that[/b] little game; he'd be stuffed, wouldn't he? Adapts his strategy to the new age???? Did you read this after you wrote it? What new age would that be? 1955, or if you're feeling really racy, 1957? Reading Superman comics and party lines? Sails on largely unhindered by [b]any[/b] objective scrutiny by the likes of you Mr Farnsworth. [quote]It devalues the startling power and clarity of his message, however, to attribute Abbott's ......... dominance to mere luck. It overlooks a skilled tactician at work. The criticism of his tactics as negative ................ ignores the agile way he crafts his message. Listen to him ................ and you hear a man with a brutal instinct for the cut-through ......... You don't have to like it to recognise it.[quote] Oh yeah, Just Say No, truly startling in its power and clarity. And his "dominance" is due soley to the total dereliction by the 5th estate of its obligation to inform the public honestly and truthfully. The agile way he crafts Just Say No? What the hell have you been smoking? Too much red cordial, perhaps? The only thing I recognise in this steaming pile of grovelling excrement, is a spineless, craven sycophant. Casablanca, Wankaphon is a show pony and not to be trusted to do the right thing under any circumstances. Wankerphon is out for Wankerphon, imo, and cravenly slandering a man who hasn't been accused of any crime in Coward's Castle is right up his alley. He's trash, by any measure. If you dig into his past, I'm sure there will be a Liealot adherent.

Casablanca

18/09/2011jane@September 17. 2011 06:01 PM I agree that Xenophon is a wanker. The article that I posted suggests a John Hepworth, Christopher Pearson, Tony Abbott, George Pell and Tess Livingston lineage. What an unholy alliance is that?

jane

18/09/2011Casablanca, it suggests that a shitload of holy water is required.

Casablanca

18/09/2011[i]Parliamentary privilege is used as the WikiLeaks of sex scandals more than anything else.[/i] A flurry of abuses Charles Waterstreet SMH September 18, 2011 Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/a-flurry-of-abuses-20110917-1kevx.html#ixzz1YJEyDWsd reCAPTCHA: secuso loins

Kayla

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Ad astra

20/09/2011Kayla I've just come across your comment. Thank you for it and welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i]. Do come again.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?