Still more on: How has it come to this?

There are many factors that have interacted with each other to produce the result we now see. The first two pieces on this subject examined the Rudd factor, the Gillard factor, the Queensland factor and the Bligh factor. This final piece looks at some other factors that seem to be important in explaining the hung parliament we now have.

The NSW factor

The parlous state of the NSW State Government has had a significant influence on the election outcome. Of all the state Labor governments, NSW is held to be the one most ‘on the nose’. This probably started at the time Bob Carr resigned and has steadily worsened under Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees and even the personally popular Kristina Keneally. Chronic maladministration and corruption has marred successive governments and by now defeat next March is taken for granted with Labor’s primary vote in the doldrums. In fact the NSW Labor Government would have been replaced long ago if there had been an anyway decent Opposition. It has certainly done great damage to the Labor brand in NSW and this was widely predicted to cause a major loss of seats in that state. It was feared the 25% swing against Labor in the Penrith state by-election would flow over into the federal poll, which indeed it did in seats in Western Sydney, but that did not pertain universally in NSW. As George Megalogenis put it: in “…the dead state of NSW, …neither side claimed a decisive vote.” This suggests that although the damage to the Labor brand in NSW was palpable in some areas, it was not universal. In Eden-Monaro, usually considered a bell-weather seat, Labor increased its vote, as it did in the very marginal seat of Robertson.

It is reasonable to conclude that, against expectations, Labor did not suffer as serious a loss as anticipated, although clearly the NSW factor was operating.

The Sussex Street factor

Related to the NSW factor is the Sussex Street factor. Sussex Street is the headquarters of the Labor party where the powerbrokers and party apparatchiks do their subterranean work. Long considered to be the controlling influence over Labor internal politics it has harboured the likes of national secretary Karl Bitar and his predecessor Mark Abib, now a Senator, two men said to be ‘joined at the hip’. These men apparently have a profound influence on personnel selection for federal and state parliaments. Mark Abib was kingmaker for Kevin Rudd’s ascent to power, only to engineer his descent. It seems that the same people must take some responsibility for the condition of the NSW State Government, now rendered unelectable in 2011.

Sussex Street can be held responsible for masterminding not only most of the decisions made about Kevin Rudd’s removal and replacement, but also the timing of the consequent election, and the management of the campaign. Others involved were Bill Shorten, David Feeney and unionists Bill Ludwig and Paul Howes. The term ‘faceless men’ that the Opposition so enjoys using to foster a sinister tone reminiscent of the ’36 faceless men’ mantra of a bygone era, is applied not only to the Sussex Street apparatchiks but to others whose faces we know well.

Along with Labor’s public affairs firm, Hawker Britten, they also seem to provide intelligence for the party through polling and focus groups, and to exercise some control over tactics, especially during election campaigns, including what spokespersons have to say. So they have to take some responsibility for how the Labor campaign unfolded. We would like to know who coined the ‘moving forward’ slogan, presumably fashioned to contrast with the Coalition ‘moving backward’, but overdone. We would like to know who dreamed up the sayings: ‘the Government has lost its way’ and needs to change course and ‘get back on track’, that portrayed the Government as wandering lost in the wilderness, not a great image for a party seeking re-election. Why not say ‘the Government will be adjusting its policies to better meet community expectations’? Or ‘Government policies will be re-tuned (or reviewed or reset or re-aligned) to achieve even better outcomes’? There are plenty of words that indicate a change for the better that do not have a depreciatory ring. What evidence did these PR geniuses use to fashion the campaign messages – focus groups, polling data? If so, they need to review their methods.

Whatever the outcome of the current impasse, Labor supporters will look for a much better performance from those responsible for election campaign messages and management. They need to be replaced or to seriously lift their game. Incompetence in this arena is lethal. Maxine McKew and Anna Bligh certainly think so.

Moreover, Labor supporters will look for greater transparency from its party officials, many of whom seem to operate clandestinely behind closed doors manipulating people, policies and plans without apparent accountability. Let’s see who they are, what they believe, and how they operate. They need to understand that they are accountable to the party and all who support it, not to some inner clique who regard themselves as the kingmakers and masterminds.

The Abbott factor

When Tony Abbott won the Coalition leadership, many, including conservative journalists, declared him unelectable. Not surprisingly, after his poor performance in the 2007 election campaign, his extreme views on such matters as industrial relations and climate change, his radical conservatism as expressed in his book Battlelines, his longing for a return to the Howard era, and his pugilistic, aggressive and combative approach to politics. Add to that his inconsistency, his proneness to thought bubbles and errors of judgement for which he regularly seeks forgiveness, and his willingness to opportunistically change his views, and you have someone who does look unelectable. His admirers say Tony is authentic and that you know where he stands. The problem is that he stands in so many places, and changes his stance so often, that it is hard to pin down where he does stand.

But as of now he has almost made it to prime ministership, and will complete the journey if the Country Independents give him the nod. How is this so?

Although I rate the Abbott factor below the ones mentioned previously, it has had a significant influence. Given his proneness to ‘foot in mouth’ disease, his minders have disciplined him strictly less he implode, as well he might have if left to his own devices. He has devised or was given a short set of memorable, short and snappy slogans which he has faithfully uttered at every opportunity. We know them by heart: ‘stop the waste’, ‘repay the debt’, ‘stop new taxes’ and ‘stop the boats’. What could be simpler, and they tick many of the boxes that are concerning people. ‘Help families’ was added later. The Coalition clearly outperformed Labor with its slogans. Of course it’s much easier to create negative slogans than positive, but why couldn’t Labor have created a similar set? What about: ‘a strong economy’, ‘protection from recession’, ‘friendly family support’, ‘excellent education’, ‘better school amenities’, ‘improved health care’, ‘fairer workplaces’, ‘strong support for small business, ‘faster broadband’, ‘equitable taxes’, ‘a better deal for the bush’, ‘a more prosperous country’, ‘a fair and just society’. It might have been more hard pressed to address climate change and the boat people issue, but it could have been bold and tried: ‘tackling global warming’ and ‘stopping people smugglers’. Ask a random audience what Labor’s key messages were, and see how many have the vaguest idea.

Another aspect of the Abbott factor was that he stayed on message and was allowed to do so by a compliant media that failed to pursue him vigorously enough. How many questioned him about how he was going to stop the waste? How long did we have to wait to know how he was going to repay the debt? All we got was a dubious set of ‘savings’ that only a few economics columnists exposed for what it was, and we still don’t know how reliable the figures are. We know how he will avoid new taxes – he’ll not tax the polluters or the miners. But how will he stop the boats? The best the media could do was to invent the BoatPhone as a light-hearted diversion from the serious and potentially hazardous business of turning the boats around. So if you run slick and superficially plausible slogans and you are seldom challenged by the media, it is easy to sustain a consistent message. Abbott and the Coalition did this, Labor did not. I have argued for months that Labor needed a more proficient public relations outfit informed by educators who knew what they were about. This campaign starkly underscores that need.

Tony Abbott avoided putting his foot in it throughout the campaign, something for which he was applauded. Isn’t it amusing that if one is accident-prone, kudos accumulates as accidents are avoided! Points are gained by not stuffing up, rather than by positive contributions. That has been the Abbott story, and it has gained him a lot with his supporters and a compliant media, which have given him a big tick. Who has ever asked whether his avoidance of mistakes for five weeks equips him sufficiently for three years of prime ministership?

Whether or not he becomes PM, we can expect unremitting aggression and combativeness from him. It has served him well so far, so why would he change? The kinder parliament that he talks about is fiction. He will continue to follow Randolph Churchill’s dictum for opposition leaders: “Oppose everything, suggest nothing, and turf the government out’.

The Coalition factor

This parallels the Abbott factor. Have you noticed how most Coalition ministers were quarantined? The only ones who appeared regularly were Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb, both concerned with the Coalition’s financial plans that Abbott chose to ignore or avoid, and of course Robb was the campaign spokesman. This technique seems to be in favour as campaigns become more and more presidential. Of course Hockey and Robb made a pretty poor fist of explaining the finances, but Abbott would have been worse.

A key strategy of the Coalition was the use of the fear factor, fear of an ‘invasion’ of boat people, fear of overcrowding in city areas and over population with Muslims, all great for dog-whistling, and fear of Great Big New Taxes. Fear was exploited ruthlessly and it did have an effect in the Western suburbs of Sydney and in the mining states. The tactic was to strike fear in the people’s hearts, then promise to protect them. Fear of the boat people is a classic example.

The other tactic was to paint everything the Government did as bad or useless, its efforts as ineffectual or wasteful, its spending as profligate and ill-directed, and the result, out-of-control debt and deficit. The Government was labelled by each Coalition commentator as 'the worst, the most incompetent government in Australian political history’. As Goebbels said, no matter how implausible, if you tell a lie often enough, the people will believe it.

Although the Coalition factor did have an influence, in my view it was less so than the Abbott factor.

The media factor

As there have been many articles written in the blogosphere and by some in the MSM about the extraordinary influence the media has had on this election, I need not elaborate in detail here. There is no doubt at all that News Limited media has been running an anti-Government, anti-Rudd and pro-Coalition line for at least two years. Think back to the early attempts to discredit Kevin Rudd: the Scores incident, the Burke affair, the RAAF hostess episode and the hairdryer beat-up, all of which surprisingly increased his popularity. So the media turned its attention to attacking Government policy: Fuel Watch and Grocery Watch, the stimulus package, the Home Insulation Program, the computer in schools program, the BER schools building program, even the national curriculum and the MySchool website. These were all worthy initiatives, Fuel Watch was stillborn, killed in the Senate; Grocery Watch did not receive the support it needed to work; the stimpak worked brilliantly, and all the others succeeded, some better than others. But it was not the successes that the media highlighted, it was the problems, and there were some.

Take the BER, how much did we hear about the benefit of the program to children, teachers, parents and the community? Precious little! But we heard plenty about the overruns, the rorts, the slower-than-planned rollout, and the dissatisfaction expressed by some principals and parents. The Australian even ran a regular ‘Schools Watch’ section where every problem, small and large, was highlighted. Yet when the ANAO and Orgill reports found that the program had performed well, with only 2.7% dissatisfaction reported in the latter, it was the 2.7% that captured virtually all the media’s attention, leaving unchallenged the ‘waste and mismanagement’ mantra that the Coalition had been reciting for over a year. The media’s role was reprehensible in the extreme as it deprived the reading public of a balanced picture of this massive program, leaving only the negatives hanging out to dry in full public view.

Even this past week, the News Limited media is openly urging the selection of the Coalition to form government and is using polls in the electorates of the Country independents to put pressure on them.

What’s behind this? We all know Rupert Murdoch’s preference for conservative governments and his desire for control of the media to that end, but there may be other reasons. For example is the NBN seen as a treat to the print empire? Is the advertising revenue from government likely to be more under a Coalition Government? Who know what the motives are, but the end result is clear – News Limited wants a Coalition Government.

Let’s look briefly at the leaks.

All journalists love a scoop. So I suppose when someone leaks something significant to them, the urge to publish it is irresistible, and anyway they may take the line that if they do not publish the leak, the leaker will pass it to someone else. Do they ever decide not to publish a leak, in the public interest? Is there a code of ethics that keeps some matters under wraps? If so, what matters?

Anyway, the leaks that were publicized were damaging to Labor. Laurie Oakes made a rare appearance at the NPC to throw his bombshell at Julia Gillard about the supposed deal that she had made with Kevin Rudd to give him another chance to restore his position as leader. He knew that would be damaging to her, and that she would be hard pressed to rebut the charges because of confidentiality imperatives. And it was very damaging. It astonishes me that an experienced journalist, who is not known for his antagonism to Labor, would deliberately act in a way that would damage Gillard and her campaign so profoundly. Seemingly the scoop is more important than the damage inflicted.

Then there were the leaks about Gillard’s attitude in Cabinet toward a PPL and a pension rise, leaving her having to defend her position while sticking to the protocol of Cabinet confidentially. So the electorate was left suspecting that she opposed these measures.

These leaks were damaging and robbed the second and third weeks of the campaign of space to promote Labor policies, as the media obsessively focussed on the leaks. Without them, the outcome might have been more favourable to Labor.

The final leak was about the Coalition’s faulty costings on an item it had submitted. It embarrassed it, but gave Tony Abbott an excuse, ‘a criminal leak’, for not submitting any more Coalition costings to Treasury. No one knows where the leak arose; the Coalition asked the AFP to investigate. As WHK Horwath, an auditing firm, had been engaged two months beforehand to check the costings, one suspects the Coalition’s use of the leak to suspend submissions to Treasury was just too opportune. That leak was damaging to Labor too because it left the Coalition costings free from proper scrutiny.

The leaks were an embarrassment and did damage the campaign. How much, is conjecture.

As in any complex system, there is a multiplicity of factors that operate, and moreover they interact with each other in a way that multiplies the complexity. Any attempt to isolate one factor as the only, or even the most significant, is always going to be suspect, yet that is what some journalists do, I suppose to sound shrewd and in possession of the wisdom of Solomon. This trilogy has not attempted this, but instead had proposed as significant the Rudd factor, the Gillard factor, the Queensland factor, the Bligh factor, the NSW factor, the Sussex Street factor, the Abbott factor, the Coalition factor and the media factor. There are more, but not the space to explore them. But even among the factors described, there is intense interaction, the complexity of which we can hardly imagine.

I trust this analysis has provided food for thought, but sadly no insight into what the future holds for Labor, the Coalition and for the electorate. For this we must await the decision of the Country Independents.

What do you think?

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Gravel

30/08/2010Ad Astra You have done an excellent job with your trilogy. Some of is hurts, but it is closest to what has happened. I with most others here hope that this will change things for the better for Labor. I know that Julia will be an excellent continuing Prime Minister. I am sure Kevin will be treated with the respect he deserves. bilgedigger May I add my best wishes on your recovery, oh and is it a new avatar for you? I may have got you mixed up with someone else. Lyn Keep those great links coming, I know you have been given a wonderful picture prize, you deserve every accolade you receive.

Bilko

30/08/2010AA spot on as usual it confirms in one article the whole mess we now find ourselves in. If labor continue they better get a better PR team, if the libs get in the black hole will become the mantra and the punters will never trust Labor to manage the economy ever again. As you say tell a lie often enough and it will become the accepted fact. I advocated earlier that at press releases if the media keep asking off topic questions say next Q plse or do an Abbott and walk out, the stunned mullets left behind still could not grasp what was happening and all non Murdoch hacks need a heafty boot up their collective rears. One comment from the OH on Windsor on Q&A he supports the libs and she is a pretty good judge of character. Now we are off to the Hospital to see if the OH's plastercast comes off today. keep the faith

Lyn

30/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]One Week on. still no PM, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] the blame game continues to be Canberra’s favourite pastime, as the media both thrashes and exalts the Greens, wonders how a hung parliament will work . http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/30/one-week-on-still-no-pm/ [i]Flaky conservatives by Peter Smith, Quadrant Online[/i] They are there to represent the people who live in their electorates. Will they eventually understand this? Who knows? But their antics so far do not inspire confidence. http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2010/08/flaky-conservatives Oakeshott wants smear calls explained, Emma Rodgers, ABC I do get a sense that they are making this a very difficult process for Tony Abbott to negotiate in good faith on," he said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/30/2996808.htm?section=justin [i]The perils of holding the balance of power, John Warhurst, Eureka Street[/i] The early winners are the balance of power holders, the rural Independents in the House of Representatives and the Greens in the Sena http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=23009 [i]Election Analysis: Pastures Greener?, Simon Hukin, The Angle[/i] It seems that they will, inevitably, become the third power of Australian politics. Whether this is a good thing or a bad one, I cannot say. However, it will certainly be interesting to see how things unfold. http://theangle.org/2010/08/26/election-analysis-pastures-greener/ [i]Jaysus, that fork-tongued sssnake is at it again, Petering Time , North Coast Voices[/i] BARRIE CASSIDY: I must have missed that. I haven't seen him interviewed anywhere. http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/08/jaysus-that-fork-tongued-sssnake-is-at.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FUtodS+%28North+Coast+Voices%29 [i]Kind and gentle no more than words , Phillip Coorey, National Times[/i] When Abbott knifed Malcolm Turnbull less than a year ago - the Liberals' third leadership change in two years - this too was driven by ''faceless'' MPs and senators such as Nick Minchin and Kevin Andrews. http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/kind-and-gentle-no-more-than-words-20100829-13xjs.html [i]Spotlight on Spin, Tigtog, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] the trend towards horse-race commentary masquerading as journalism, it’s worth keeping a close eye on the jockeys all the same. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/30/spotlight-the-spin-19/ [i]I didn't do it, Ben Glover, The Daily Advertiser[/i] According to Mr Schultz, however, the Telegraph's report was so wildly inaccurate that he was considering legal action. http://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/news/local/news/general/i-didnt-do-it/1926799.aspx [i]John Howard's greatest gift? Peter Martin[/i] Ten years of suicide data in the wake of John Howard's decision to ban and buy back half a million semi-automatic rifles http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]A Nation Decides; Are We There Yet…?, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] independents claiming to be “the Devil” in what has been described as a Rambo style assault. Could it be Bronwyn Bishop? http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/30/a-nation-decides-are-we-there-yet/

Ad astra reply

30/08/2010Gravel Thank you for your kind remarks. Let’s hope that Julia does get a change to exhibit her skills as PM. The bullying tactics exhibited by the Coalition in the last week is showing us all what its members will do to gain power. If it succeeds, heaven help us. Bilko Best wishes for your OH today; let’s hope she can discard the cast. Thank you for your complimentary remarks. I agree that politicians need to treat journalists with the contempt they deserve when they ask off-topic questions rather than those on policy and plans. That’s what we need to have answers about, not the ‘scandals’, not the attempted ‘gotcha’ questions, not the ‘will you rule in or out’ questions, and certainly not the irrelevancies.

Ad astra reply

30/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Lyn

30/08/2010Hi Ad Thankyou for another brilliant well thought out piece. Ad, you just keep on giving, we are getting spoilt aren't we. Our commenters are wonderful, making added bonus reading for us each day. I am anxious to see what you think of the independents .

Ad astra reply

30/08/2010Lyn Thank you for your kind comments, you are always so encouraging. Folks I’ll be on the road for a few hours and back at my computer this evening. I look forward to reading your comments then.

Michael

30/08/2010"Mister Hippitty Hop Rabbit" displayed once again on Insiders on Sunday morning his complete unsuitability for high office. He asserted that no doubt the Treasury report on Coalition costings would come out after being presented to the Independents. The figures in the report ever being publicly released left apparently to the Independents who, after reading it, would then explain the details of why they might have decided to support the Coalition in government. No transparency, no placing the figures before the Australian public to let US see what the Coalition has planned for US, but with the gall to demand that Labor be 100% forthcoming on all their election promise costings. But I suspect that the real 'game' here is that, if we never see the hard cold black and white of Coalition costings, Abbott will always be able to lambast the Independents if they go with Labor as being economic illiterates. Or suggest that what Treasury delivered to them was fiddled with to fool the Independents into going with Labor. Or some other utter lie up there with all the others he's spouted since assuming, by his own (and Andrew Robb's) 'assassination' of a national political leader in Malcolm Turnbull, leadership of the Coalition. If he can't be completely transparent and 'collegial' with the Australian people at this stage of presenting himself as capable of Prime Ministership, can you imagine how he would be AS Prime Minister? Well, actually, it doesn't take imagination. All it takes is observation.

Steve1

30/08/2010The Abbott factor was all about leadership, or more correctly, followship. Basically, after the coup against Turnbull, the Coalition stayed unified. Probably out of fear, but unified just the same. No matter how crazy and unworkable the policies they announced wer, no matter how stupid and incomprehensible some of Abbott's comments were, no matter how erratic the political strategies were, they all kept their mouths shut. The conservative media, and the conservatives in general display an incredible ability to stick with a collective position no matter what. Whether it is greenhouse skepticism, terrorism, refugees, broadband policies etc., they all say the same thing, despite knowing what they are arguing is a crock of rubbish. Anyone who steps out of their collective thought group, are put down with a ferocity and vindictivenes that is an example of anyone else who may consider thinking for themselves. there is evry little opportunity for rational discussion on complex social, political and economic issues when one side is totally irrational. Conservatives have been taking the no position on all issues, from the Republic to the environment because if they have a positive position on anything they will crack and splinter. Abbott has been opposed to everything, cobbled together a group of responses that would get them through the election, and everyone else simply followed and kept their comments to themselves.

jj

30/08/2010Everything you see is obviously through an extremely tainted red glass. You say the media is bias in its commentary! Your conclusions are flawed, and based purely on opinion rather than fact. If any of your sheep are going to use this to further their case for class warfare, and conservative hatred than go ahead and do so! You are all just showing your ignorance, and how you find it hard to think for yourselves.

adelaidegirl

30/08/2010Wabbit season! (mur)Duck season! Wabbit season!! Duck season!! Wabbit Season!!! Wabbit Season!!! Ka blamm!

Jason

30/08/2010jj, Yes thankyou for putting us on the right track when it comes to "FACT" in your opinion! Yet when the likes of Bolt or Akerman say the same thing about media bias what say you? I don't need to have class warfare or hatred I also don't need to be lectured! Also who are you to tell people what to believe? I don't hang around churches and tell them not to believe as I'm yet to see any FACT that god exists.

Lyn

30/08/2010 Hi Adelaide Girl You are hilarious.

Lyn

30/08/2010Hi Ad Wilkie has 20 requests, so the others, if they ask for 20 each that will be 80, they already asked for 7, total 87 Whatever is going to happen, I can't see a resolution. [i]Wilkie’s Way, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] Andrew Wilkie has released his 20 point wish list Increasing all Government pensions, allowances and other payments to levels people can actually live on. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/30/wilkies-way/ Wilkies Wishes, Min, Cafe Whispers http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/wilkies-wishes/ Wilkie releases 20-point 'list of priorities' , Thomas Hunter, SMH The priorities follow the release last week of seven demands by Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Bob Katter, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/wilkie-releases-20point-list-of-priorities-20100830-13y87.html?autostart=1

Ad astra reply

30/08/2010Michael Tony Abbott's handling of the costings issue has been appalling. He gives all the signs of wanting to hide something, He has deceived the electorate and would have deceived the Country Independents had not the pressure on him forced his hand. This story is not yet concluded - let's see what comes out of the Independents' assessment of the Coalition costings after talking with Treasury officials. Steve1 Abbott has based almost his entire campaign on negative messages. He seems to have convinced many people to not vote Labor, but of the 5% vote that Labor lost, less than 2% flowed to the Coalition. If he had had a more positive agenda he might now be in government. With such a destructive agenda, we are in for a torrid time if he becomes PM. jj It must be wonderful to be so unbiased, so clear thinking, so assured that what you know is correct and what say is right, so certain that we are deluded, so absolute in your condemnation of our views, our interpretations, our attitudes. Please offer up a prayer to the political gods that the scales may fall from our eyes and the true light shine in to illuminate our troubled souls. adelaidegirl Keep the Wabbit in your sights. Jason We should not expect consistency from jj.

Ad astra reply

30/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

janice

30/08/2010Ad astra, an excellent piece as usual, thank you. I've no idea what the independent trio will do. I have a feeling that they want a coalition government yet know in their hearts that the rabbit and his team are sadly lacking. Wilkie worries me. He comes across to me as being one who will play political games and I would find it hard to trust him, or rely on him when push comes to shove. If Julia gets the nod, I know she will govern well but I do hope she has that sixth sense that warns her when treachery rears its ugly head. Sorry, but I'm finding it hard to get my brain cells working. We discovered very recently that younger son has polycystic kidney disease which is fairly well advanced. So cruel because he's only 44 and always been fit and healthy.

Ad astra reply

30/08/2010janice I'm sorry to hear about your son's polycystic kidney disease. The renal specialists you will be consulting will be able to give you the options that are now available to manage this condition. I wish you and your son well. It's hard to think about political matters when there is family illness. There's not much we can do about the politics at present except hope for a resolution that is good for the country. We know whose hands would be safer to govern the nation. Until the politics is sorted out, you will want to concentrate on the far more important family matters.

janice

30/08/2010Ad astra, I was hoping Julia would be re-elected because the mad rabbit's cuts to health will not be good for those of us living out in the sticks. Son has to travel 3 hours to Sydney to see his Nephologist who was recommended to him by Kidney Health Australia (thank heavens for the internet which gave us the info to contact KHA because otherwise we'd still be being shunted from dr to dr). There's not much we can do about our situation other than worry about it :) My son has an excellent sense of humour and refuses to bow to adversity but he worries about how he and his family will manage in the near future when he requires dialysis and on the kidney transplant list. Even so, he says there are many people with much bigger problems and he's quite right.

glorfindel

31/08/20101. The decision to replace Rudd was a poor decision. 2. The decision to campaign on coalition strengths, such as boarder security was a poor decision very poorly executed. 3. Rushing to the election was a poor decision. "Victorious warriors achieve victory first then go to war. Defeated warriors got to war hoping to achieve victory." Sun Tzu 4. The campaign was a disaster. It's amazing that Abbott didn't do much better. Fortunately the Gillard campaign still had some positives such as economic strength, the NBN and health reform left over from Rudd to campaign on. PS You earlier commented that "some have argued that with polls showing a TPP of 52/48, Rudd still could have won" Not much of a stretch to suggest that the PM leading in the polls could have won the next election. Keep this up and you might as well start writing for the Australian ;)

Bilko

31/08/2010The OH plaster cast is off now having difficulty in keeping her down she will be doing the Tango next. However back in the unreal post election reality, the murdoch war continues unabated, facts are irrelevant rather like the Daleks "exterminate exterminate". As the Jack Reacher book character says hope for the best plan for the worst. Surly some of the stimulus funds went into the independent's electorates, pointing out what the coalition did in the preceding 13yrs ought to be enough to show a difference I hope. My tuppence worth offer Windsor the speaker position where his impartiality will come to the fore. Failing all else my plan is to hibernate until the country comes to its senses anyone know some good spots and where I will also have to improve my dancing skills.

George Pike

31/08/2010Some wise words from Malcolm Fraser last night on Q&A! He made it quite clear that he didn't believe the current Liberal Party was even a shadow of it's former self. He also made it quite clear that he goes along with the mainstream thought amongst Labor supporters that News Ltd carried out a blatantly obvious propaganda campaign, and are continuing to do so...and that the anti-progressive thrust of that campaign is not restricted to Australia. His statements regarding the relevance and adequacy of selected candidates had particular ramifications for the focus of this discussion though. I thought his statements regarding the selection processes of the major parties were right on the money. People are joining parties and being selected for candidature because of who they know and their organisational standing, rather than because of what they believe in...it is as simple as that. Fraser alluded to the focus group and poll driven younger members of the Labor Party who have lost the plot as far as values go...and there lies the single largest factor in the demise of Labor's popularity. He mentioned how a prominent lawyer in Sydney had been passed over for a younger more popular person through the preselection process of some seat or other..and how that act exemplified his thoughts on how intelligent, highly experienced and value driven people were being caste aside to allow novices to take the reigns and massive damage is occurring to the major parties in the process. I think he was referring to both the Labor Party's woes with their "faceless men" and the loss of Faulkner and Tanner as well as the young Liberal who took the reigns in a Queensland electorate. Whatever the failings that are causing grief to both parties are, they need to be rid of them quicktime if this country is ever going to see excellence in governance again. That will obviously mean that, as well as bringing more experience and knowledge into their respective camps, both major parties will also have to pay much more attention towards restoring their core values in order to compel disgruntled voters to return to the flock. Hopefully the current political deadlock will bring about some permanent changes to party procedures that will restore public faith in the country's political system.

nasking

31/08/2010[u]Take the BER, how much did we hear about the benefit of the program to children, teachers, parents and the community? Precious little! But we heard plenty about the overruns, the rorts, the slower-than-planned rollout, and the dissatisfaction expressed by some principals and parents. The Australian even ran a regular ‘Schools Watch’ section where every problem, small and large, was highlighted. Yet when the ANAO and Orgill reports found that the program had performed well, with only 2.7% dissatisfaction reported in the latter, it was the 2.7% that captured virtually all the media’s attention, leaving unchallenged the ‘waste and mismanagement’ mantra that the Coalition had been reciting for over a year. The media’s role was reprehensible in the extreme as it deprived the reading public of a balanced picture of this massive program, leaving only the negatives hanging out to dry in full public view. [/u] Ad astra, of all the things, this angers me the most. All the positive feedback from my wife, a science HOD who worked hard for a year to ensure the BER worked effectively in her school...that has led to an increase in student & staff morale in that lower socio-economic, culturally diverse area...to think that all that was ignored so that scumbag Murdoch and his minions could get the victory they want. By gawd I tell ya, this planet has not been served well by Rupert Murdoch, he is an opportunistic, greedy, egotistical, self-serving wannabe emperor (and to hell w/ those who try to excuse him by the wee bit of charity he's involved in)...that man is as bad-hearted as they come...the amount of goodness and unity & harmony that his media empire has managed to destroy thru their ongoing distortions, hype, sensationalism, character assassinations and downright lies that seems to no bounds driven by profiteering & power-grabbing is almost impossible to calculate now. We live in a Murdochracy, dumbed down...easily distracted...Murdoch's propaganda machine is copycatted everywhere...and there are few guiding principles behind these machines...bar profit & influence. And rigging our economy. Murdoch has won another battle for far too many minds in Australia & elsewhere. And the country once again will be alot worse for it. For as Rupert's dark heart smiles...so many weep. Useful & comprehensive summary Aa, per usual. Certainly Labor shot itself in the foot a number of times...but I doubt many have had to endure the ongoing media assaults they did, considering how hard they were focused on saving this economy from the GFC wave...and trying to do the right thing by many. Rather than just the few. Problem is they got freaked...and were also hampered by Steve Fielding (little small-minded scumb*g)...and they made knee-jerk responses...when they should've started right from the beginning by dismantling the power of that media empire...and the Howard/Murdoch influence on the ABC. Personally, I think applause of Abbott's performance by some is bogus...he made plenty of mistakes...he went from showpony (quite sickening actually) to uninformed negabore... but when you've got an empire and their copycats on yer side...it's easy to get away w/ a lacklustre performance. I will always remember Tony Abbott during the campaign as a “snake oil salesman”. And his supporters as "softly spoken scumb*gs". I wish Labor had held steady, like many of us on the blogs did w/ Rudd...but I guess they were confused & panicked under fire. They've wasted Gillard. She would've been the Deputy PM assett during the campaign that focused on the Sth...but then was free of worries of PM to keep Abbott on his toes...whilst Ruddy could've negotiated w/ Anna Bligh to backoff on the privatisation...and less QLD votes woulda been lost. Instead, we got a circus...tit for tat leaks, internal squabbling, a shocked public feeling like Labor had assassinated its own...and letting the real slayers, the Murdoch empire & some in the ABC & CH. 9 & SMH (Devine etc.) get away scott-free. All bloody pathetic really. But I guess we could expect no less in the Age of Murdoch. N'

Ad astra reply

31/08/2010janice Your son is in good hands with KHA and the nephrologist to whom KHA referred him. There have been great advances in kidney disease, and also in publicising what is available for people with kidney conditions - KHA is an excellent organisation. Both dialysis and kidney transplants, complex though they are, are very well developed and highly successful procedures. Even if Tony Abbott becomes PM, the damage he could do to the health system, especially in rural areas, will be very sharply limited because he would be beholden to the vote of the Country Independents. They would be a brake on any radical attacks on health care funding that he might have attempted if he had achieved a substantial majority. glorfindel There would be many that would agree with you. But we shall never know if Kevin Rudd would have done better. As for your comment about me writing for [i]The Australian[/i], I'm not sure I get your meaning, but that paper would hardly want to publish what I write, although it would provide a counterbalance to the anti-Labor rhetoric which that paper indulges in so often. Bilko It's good your OH is out of plaster. She must feel relieved. The Murdoch war against Labor will continue until the Coalition is in government, this time or later. The assault is unremitting. George I agree that Malcolm Fraser was outstanding last night on Q&A. His comments about [i]The Australian's[/i] continual harping on the negatives while ignoring the positives of government programs, were spot on. We are not the only ones to recognise the pernicious influence of that paper - much of what we now see is the result of its anti-Labor assault over the years. nasking I see you too share the feelings of many who comment here that we are living in a Murdochracy. That is not just pathetic, it is sad that one man, though his multiple outlets all around the world, can weild so much influence.

Ad astra reply

31/08/2010Lyn I have to be away from my computer for several hours, so I'll update LYN'S DAILY LINKS when I return late this afternoon.

Lyn

31/08/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Moral majority, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] The media, regrettably, has almost entirely dropped the ball on this point. Mark Simkin of the ABC last night reported that Labor’s lead had been eradicated by the [b]“latest counting”, reporting in breathless tones on the removal of votes that will eventually be put back in. [/b]http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/08/31/moral-majority/ [i]Cheerleading update, Massivespray, Spray of the Day[/i] Frankly the media have now lost any minor semblance of impartiality they may have retained and are now simply cheerleading for the Coalition. http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com:80/2010/08/31/cheerleading-update/ [i]A Vacuum is not 'Democracy', Piping Shrike[/i] neither side can claim a mandate for government no matter how the numbers stack up. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/08/a-vacuum-is-not-%E2%80%98democracy%E2%80%99.html Vote count strips Labor's legitimacy: Bishop, Sarah Collerton, ABC But Mr Windsor is not in such a rush - he has next week more on his mind. http://www.abc.net.au:80/news/stories/2010/08/31/2997897.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]Wilkie's wish-list overlooks a bridge across Bass Strait , Tony Wright, National Times[/i] quite a wish-list for an MP who squeaked in to Parliament with a primary vote of about 21 per cent, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/wilkies-wishlist-overlooks-a-bridge-across-bass-strait-20100830-147d5.html [i]Dead heat nation, Will Turner, On Line Opinion[/i] Tony Abbott was given instructions to appear as a moderate in the eyes of the electorate after building a reputation under John Howard as a head kicker http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10910 [i]The power of Wilkie, Stephen Mayne, Crikey[/i] the High Court given success would trigger two by-elections in winnable marginal seats that would bring down a minority Abbott Government. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/08/30/how-wilkie%e2%80%99s-early-decision-will-determine-the-government/ [i]What Paul Sheehan forgets: "rural Folk" supported the independents, Tobias Ziegler,[/i] Pure Poison Paul Sheehan engages in some pseudopsephology to try to make the case that the independent MPs should back a Coalition government: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Neither messiahs nor upstarts, The Conscience Vote[/i], Then there’s the argument that the Independents are somehow obliged to crown the Coalition. Why? http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/ [i]Tony Abbott's 'leak' argument hides real motives , Michelle Grattan, National Times[/i]The Coalition's outrage about the alleged leak reeks of hypocrisy. The opposition was delighted to get leaks from then senior Treasury officer Godwin Grech, http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/tony-abbotts-leak-argument-hides-real-motives-20100826-13u6e.html [i]Libs' Bovver Boys Go Calling, John, True Politik[/i] the motive was political bullying, and it appears to be not uncommon among Liberal Party members. Senator Heffernan was former PM, John Howard's, henchman in Parliament. http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2010/08/libs-bovver-boys-go-calling.html [i]What if? Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] slightest change in circumstance or luck could have created a profoundly different Australia to that which we see today? http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/ [i] Who will form the Minority Government, WMMBB, Duckpond[/i] I'm predicting a Labor Minority Government. What could Tony Abbott and team do to change this outcome? http://wmmbb.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/who-will-form-the-minority-government/ [i]Prime Minister in Waiting, Leon Delaney[/i] Not to be left out, National Party members have started making noises about exerting their influence in any potential Coalition minority government. lhttp://leondelaney.blogspot.com/

George Pike

31/08/2010The media have short memories hey! They have apparently forgotten about David Bartlett's promise to hand government to the Liberals in Tasmania if they won the popular vote. The Tasmanian Governor refused to grant Bartlett's wish and told him to go away and try and form a minority government with the Greens...which he did..and it is working just fine. I have just been listening to the Liberal apparatchiks on Channel Nine News trying to tell the world that Tony Abbott is now going to be PM for sure because of the developments...hard to believe these people can actually call themselves Australians when they behave with such a dire lack of truth and integrity. How far can the media go before Australians can justifiably take action to shut them down for destroying our proper democratic processes via propaganda I wonder? People from every level of society are screaming out about the shocking treachery being carried out by the media thugs...it can only be a matter of time before they act. If one thing is for certain, it is the fact that much needs to be done to ensure that the media can never be used in such a democratically destructive way again. An international arrest warrant should be issued for Rupert Murdoch to face charges for subversion and for using the media to propagate propaganda with criminal intent. Mark Scott should be sacked, along with the entire ABC board, for acting against the national interest. He has conspired with the commercial media to undermine the government and to influence an election result. He has also done so much damage to the ABC with his newfound management principles and directives that he has brought the corporation into serious disrepute. ABC radio and television alike have become nothing less than Liberal Party PR devices. That fact, along with the massive loss of quality within and across virtually all of its broadcast content, has relegated the ABC to a vastly inferior service than was the case prior to Scott's arrival.

George Pike

31/08/2010Labor were nearly 500 votes in front again at 11:30....so the Liberals and media yafflers and wafflers will have to eat a bit of humble pie for a while!

bilgedigger

31/08/2010Ad Astra, Perhaps when you get some space and time you might like to give some thought to another post in this excellent series, titled perhaps "What IS the prize". The fighting, the lies, the manipulation of the media etc. might be said to be explained in terms of "power". It certainly isn't about the salary to be earned by a politician even though we are constantly being told this is too low and that our politicians could earn very much more in the private sector, which begs the question of why they don't do that. If it is power, then the power to do what exactly? Ignore the waffle about doing good for the country. It seems to me that over the years, many politicians have done extremely well for themselves presumably solely on the earnings from their time as politicians. This was emphasised during the course of this campaign when I saw one politician being interviewed at home - a home on Sydney Harbour. This was a politician who only had a short spell as a Minister but in the main held none of the major portfolios. Here in Australia we have prided ourselves that in the main we do not get corrupt politicians and this may have been generally true in the past, but as we have seen with the machinations regarding the MRRT and Climate Change there are very big players now in the field. Ad Astra would an article dealing with "The Prize" be something you might contemplate writing? Even if you don't I think the last few posts would have deserved to be nominated for the Walkely Award if qualified. (One further reference to the power of the Murdoch Press and it's mates, the Cato Institute and Koch interests, is in this week's New Yorker (Issue date 30th August) where there is a lengthy article making interesting reading.

George Pike

31/08/2010Labor are 1,500 up now..get the message to Julia before the press club speech?? http://vtr.aec.gov.au/

Lyn

31/08/2010Hi George Sky News have been going on all morning about Liberals winning, also the ABC, but I see at around 11.30 am, David Lipton did the same report, and then said "but that could change", nice of him to report the truth. Julie Bishop was full of venom last night on Late Line, then Leigh Sales said to her in the end, "so are you saying it doesn't matter about the Indepedents then", and I didn't catch what Bishop said. [quote]Labor were nearly 500 votes in front again at 11:30....so the Liberals and media yafflers and wafflers will have to eat a bit of humble pie for a while[/quote]! Strange part I can't get my head around is, what they (MSM) are saying is contrary to everything Antony Green has reported. George, I would love to make those hacks say sorry Oh! dear, what can we do other than keep writing about them. [quote]Mark Scott should be sacked, along with the entire ABC board, for acting against the national interest[/quote] I agree with you, it's like as if the ABC are reporting to Murdoch. Cheers

nasking

31/08/2010[quote]I agree with you, it's like as if the ABC are reporting to Murdoch. [/quote] Lyn, I imagine it has more to do w/ copycatting, competing...add the odd ABC journo/talking head who is looking out for their future prospects and fearful of putting the Murdoch empire offside and stuffin' up a potential job offer...combined w/ those who lean to the Liberal side of politics...and you've got yerself a pretty shallow pool...bar the odd character w/ integrity. Migs over at the Cafe noted: [quote]“Too many Aussies believe everything that’s in the papers. They were brought up in an era when it was the only form of news media so they come to rely on it too much.”[/quote] My reply: Then Migs I’d say they are brainwashed...no less so than members of cults. The mainstream media is full of a lazy, sodden bunch of useless garbage who couldn’t be bothered to get off their butts and check out the many many positive aspects of the BER, roof insulation scheme and many other programs. Better to sensationalise to draw in the crowds. Put on a show...a show filled w/ lies & deceit & hyperbole. A show put on by sycophants of the empire...and money. Many of the media today (w/ a few exceptions...we know who they are, think 'Dateline' as an example) are like those mean-spirited gossips you get in every school, every workplace… I saw the movie ‘Doubt’ today, and it held so much resonance for me in the context of the knifing of Rudd...and this recent election. A quote from the movie: Father Brendan Flynn speaking to the churchfolk: A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew – I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. “Is gossiping a sin?” she asked the old man. “Was that God All Mightys hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?” “Yes”, Father O Rourke answered her. “Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.” So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. “Not so fast”, says O Rourke. “I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.” So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. “Did you cut the pillow with a knife?” he says. “Yes,Father”. “And what were the results?” “Feathers”, she said. “Feathers?” he repeated. “Feathers; everywhere, Father.” “Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind.” “Well”, she said, “it cant be done. I dont know where they went. The wind took them all over.” “And that”, said Father O Rourke, is gossip!” —————–-------------------- It’s what much of the media thrives on these days. And those feathers that stained Kevin Rudd flew everywhere. I hope the journos choke on their wine & food partially paid for by spreading feathers. Cheers...thnx for the links Lyn. N’

tredlgt

31/08/2010 AA another good read thank you .Prime Minister again spoke well at press club . Will be a great shame if NEWS CORP wins and we miss out on Ms Gillard continuing in this job . Australia needs to keep a progressive govt.

nasking

31/08/2010I think in some ways Rudd was like yer typical laid back QLDer in some ways” “she’ll be right, things will work out”...but also a nice kinda nerdy character...the type who occasionally fights back the bullies…but then gets labelled as “a bully”...or “angry” or “petulant” because people feign shock & surprise that a nice nerdy guy can fight back...whispered to by the devious media gossips that “he really is like that underneath”. How many times have we seen the same thing happen in the playground? In school? In the workplace? So, I think after awhile Ruddy gave up on fighting back against the media bullies...I mean who can blame him after the way that selfish SMH journo defined him as “angry” because he dared to defend himself on a beach after being told his past & personality were about to be crapped on from a great height. Instead he got on w/ the job...and stood up to the big miners (yet he couldn’t win, one moment he was a coward – ETS, the next he was too aggressive...typical media games when they smell blood and start tearing into political flesh)... but on so many other things, like Health reform, the GFC accomplishments & the BER, I think Rudd thought, “it’ll come out in the wash, advertising and such”...”during the campaign the people will see the truth”... and being the Christian family man he could offset so much of Abbott’s family way push... but some of the typically highly-stressed, high-octane & wanting things to happen NOW big city Labor folk from the south (Sydney, Melbourne) decided that they needed to get stuck in & have a punch up w/ Abbott (when in fact the alternative media were already doing that for them like in the ’07 election)...whilst the new leadership brought forward negotiations w/ the miners and such... They had no patience...nothing “laid back” about them...lost the Aussie way...that so many QLDers still lived by... and didn’t scaredy chimp Abbott & his minders, including media, see that coming?...goaded the Laborites to make a move on Rudd...ready & waiting for Gillard...ensuring their boy never had to take her on in the ring…just do a “rope-a-dope” routine outside of the ring…hurling negative info, criticisms, insults & negabore slogans at Gillard & her team, left stranded by themselves in the ring...spotlight harsh coming from Murdoch empire & copycats. Abbott had the ART OF COWARDICE down pat. And so Labor lost the QLDers. My Mum who lives here in Brissie and voted reluctantly for Abbott revealed today on the phone that if Rudd had stayed in she & her husband would’ve voted for the QLD boy Rudd. She was disgusted at how he was treated... and she mentioned how she had no love for the Murdoch empire. I know that my wife’s Dad in Forde changed his vote because of that too...they were pissed w/ some of QLD Labor’s moves...but the knifing of Rudd was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Bloody sad really. I said to Mum today, that if Bill Shorten ever becomes Labor leader they will not get my vote. Apart from me & one uncle & cousin my entire family vote Tory. Yet, they liked Kevin. Sigh. Lesson to be learnt Labor: Don’t let yerselves be bullied by the media & the impatient. N’

nasking

31/08/2010The Murdoch empire and others were building the case against Rudd for a long time. The “bullying, angry, control freak, nerdish, boring, unfit, do nothing, fake robotic leader” And then pitting him in the early part of this year against “the authentic action man”. It was like they knew Abbott was coming for a long time. Was all refined w/in a short time from Abbott taking power...by stabbing Turnbull a few mths after his stumble in the Gretched Affair. I remembered this clearly: from Tom Dusevic, National chief reporter for The Australian: [u]This week Tony Abbott spent the best part of a day and a night stranded in the desert wastelands of Kings Creek Station — five hours drive south-west from Alice Springs and in a region widely regarded as “busted-arse cattle country”. For a few hours Abbott had not a clue where he was, with no fuel, no water, no backup, no grog, no maps, a useless satellite phone and with a bunch of journalists — the last people you’d want to be stranded out here with — for company.[/u] The battle within March 19, 2010 [quote]Observing him closely in the Territory, seeing him in action over several weeks at staged events in Sydney and Canberra, you discern Abbott is a natural. John Howard sees someone in his own mould, a man who loves meeting people. Indeed, he is lucky to have a Howard-like recall for names; at tight range, you hear how often he drops a person’s name into conversation, so it settles in his memory and leaves the listener with a warm glow.[/quote] John Howard tips ‘authentic’ Tony Abbott for election battle March 15th 2010 [quote]JOHN Howard has launched a scathing attack on his successor, claiming Kevin Rudd has “done nothing” in government, that the economic stimulus was “too big” and that Labor lacks the courage for reform. In an interview with The Australian, the former prime minister says Tony Abbott is connecting with middle Australia, the “Howard battlers” vital to four Coalition victories, because he is more “authentic” than Mr Rudd.[/quote] —————————– From the same Tom Dusevic back in 2001 writing for Time: John Howard as an Aussie Populist Hero [quote]Often caricatured as a dull man of conviction, Howard is rarely given his due as a populist genius. With aplomb, he put pre-election dollars in the right pockets, appeased the tax moaners, trusted his reading of the nation’s heart – and waited for a stroke of luck. In a year when fear trumped hope and the complacent were vanquished, wily Howard was the man for the moment.[/quote] (Tom Dusevic, Time, 31 December 2001…Tom is the brother of Sam Dusevic at The Australian – Crikey) Seems Sam’s experience must’ve hooked in Tom later eh? N’

Ad astra reply

31/08/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

nasking

31/08/2010BTW, Ad astra, I'm throwing this info yer way partly in case you write a book on this period oneday. :) N'

Ad astra reply

31/08/2010George I agree with your sentiments about the media and the influence of OUR ABC, which has so religiously reflected News Limited, has had on public opinion. These outlets are abusing their position of power by playing a partisan political game overtly and ruthlessly. Thank you for keeping us up to date with vote counts. bilgedigger Thank you for your complimentary remarks. I’ll think about the article you suggest. ‘The Prize’ is an interesting issue, isn’t it? nasking Thank you for your multiple contributions, so readable, so sensible. The ‘gossip-as-feathers-in-the-wind’ story was a superb metaphor. Through your comments and those of the others, the ‘media-as-kingmakers’ theme comes through strongly. This is being echoed from many places. A David and Goliath fight against the power, penetration and influence of the media is being wages by the Fifth Estate. When niche publications such as [i]Crikey[/i] join in and Malcolm Fraser echoes the same anguish at what we see as the media’s pernicious influence, its distortions, its omissions, its ruthless disregard for truthful reportage, there is a glimmer of hope that it may be forced eventually into decent behaviour by the pressure of public opinion. I fear though that if Abbott is made PM, the media that has supported him so strongly will feel vindicated and will unashamedly continue in this vein. Even if Gillard is commissioned to form a minority government, the denigration will continue, but failure to displace her might, just might, put the media back in its box, for a while anyway. tredlgt Thank you for your kind comments. Many are hoping Julia will be allowed to continue, but as it appears to be up to the Country Independents to decide, no one can guess the outcome, although Phony Tony is calling his party ‘the government in waiting’. He either thinks he knows which way they will jump or is trying subtly to intimidate them. Next week I expect we’ll know. At least the Independents are being thorough and circumspect.

Ad astra reply

31/08/2010nasking Thank you. I'll file your references in case I do try one day to write something about this tormented period in our political history.

Country Hick

31/08/2010nasking Thanks for your last few posts - they really resonate with me. I am quite moved by the image of the feathers - moved to great sadness, and some rage that it has been done for either sheer laziness or for completely cynical reasons. It has damaged our community and our sense of trust, as well as damaging a good man's reputation.

Lyn

31/08/2010Hi George At least Julia Gillard did know about the AEC figures at the time of her Press Conference, I am sure it was thanks to you. The msm (I'm so amazed) are not going to say sorry, for all their false reporting this morning. They don't have much to say now, that Labor is ahead again, David Speers thinks it's funny. A couple of applicable links: [i]Who's actually ahead in the two party preferred vote? ( And does it matter) Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] True, but meaningless, if the assertion is that we know now who won more votes in a two party preferred sense. Antony Green, William Bowe and Peter Brent all explain why. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/08/31/whos-actually-ahead-in-the-two-party-preferred-vote-and-does-it-matter/ [i]Labor regains slender lead on crucial two-party vote , Phillip Coorey, SMH[/i] Video clip 10 news Paul Bonjiorno The West Australian National Tony Crook stressed he was independent and not part of the Coalition. He attended a Nationals party room meeting in Canberra and, in return for his support, [b]demanded $860 million in royalties be funnelled to WA each year, plus more GST revenue.[/b]http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/labor-regains-slender-lead-on-crucial-twoparty-vote-20100830-147ea.html?from=smh_sb [i]Abbott ramps up pressure on Gillard as parties pitch for power , Joe Kelly, 11.53am The Australian[/i] [b]We are no longer in Opposition,” Mr Abbott said[/b]. “We may very well be a government in waiting. It's clear http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-ramps-up-pressure-on-gillard-as-parties-pitch-for-power/story-fn59niix-1225912291940

Gravel

31/08/2010Janice I wish you and your son the best. Concentrate on the things you can do and let the rest of the world go by. Your support for your son and his family are the most important people in the world at the moment, and please take care of yourself too. Politics will continue for good or bad, nothing anyone can do can change that now. nasking I have followed your writing since the days of The Road to Surfdom, you have a great way with words.

Lyn

31/08/2010Hi Nasking I look forward to your informative comments, Wow! 3 wonderful posts today, as Ad said so readable, so down to earth, very enjoyable. See Abbott has said he is the Government in waiting now, is there no limit to his ego trips. Julia Gillard performed excellent at the Press Club today, also handled the questions brilliantly. Especially the one about the focus groups, eg. Abbott, Stop the Boats.

George Pike

31/08/2010Australian middle class workers, the vast bulk of the voting population, only watch the commercial television stations, listen to the commercial radio networks and read the News Ltd gutter-rags...so how the hell are any of them getting the true story about what is happening in the political world? The mass propaganda onslaught against the Labor Party from those particular media outlets, which has been in motion since Rudd was elected, has produced the desired political results almost to a tee. Pakistani cricketers look like they are going to face treason charges for cheating at cricket and placing their country under a cloud of shame...yet Australian journalists, editors, producers and media executives can actually run treasonous subversive propaganda campaigns without any hint of retribution. This must change or we will become the laughing stock of the world. Rupert Murdoch is turning this country's governance into his own personal plaything, all to produce outcomes suitable to the corporate sector. The death of any form of carbon price and any form of resources tax being the most obvious targets for such action. Whatever the reason, he must be stopped at all costs, as his behaviour amounts to an abject betrayal of the Australian people, the Australian way and the democratic right of all political entities to fair and neutral treatment at the hands of the media. Where, I wonder, are the legal eagles who claim some sort of ownership over the rule of law...why aren't they coming out of their dens and taking aim at the likes of Murdoch and Channel Nine in order to protect that fundamental democratic right of all parties to be protected from propaganda? They come out and fight tooth and nail for personal imperatives and ideological causes...but stay hidden when it comes to protecting our entire system of governance? Are they just scared to death of the power of the global corporate thugs behind the abuse of our system of government, or does it suit their own political agendas to stay silent on such matters? Whatever the reason, they are betraying the public with their silence and they are desecrating the courtrooms they work within by pretending that everything is above board. They are allowing the media to wrongfully create the environment whereby a pack of second grade politicians can gain control over a major political party, and then go on to very nearly claim government, purely to serve the needs of the corporate sector. So, let's hope this state of feigned indifference to the bandidtry being perpetrated against our democratic system and our national values is brushed aside and those powerful legal entities come to fore and begin to push the likes of Murdoch right out of the picture...I will be waiting with bated breathe for their response, should this message get through to those people who are responsible for maintaining our political integrity as much as they are responsible for upholding the laws of the land...

janice

31/08/2010Gravel, Thank you for your good wishes. I'm afraid I allowed myself a moment of depression mostly because we live out in the sticks which is a worry if there is a medical emergency. I feel better today and as Ad astra has said we are in good hands with the KHA recommended Nephrologist. Lyn, I watched Julia's address to the NPC and agree she was brilliant. Beats me how so many voters fell for the 'stop the boats' rubbish and the non-costed promises.

Lyn

31/08/2010Hi George Interesting comments thankyou George. Somebody in Australia should trying to stop advertising in Murdoch's newspapers: [b]Stop Murdoch Saturday, August 28, 2010[/b] [b]All Around The World People Are Stopping Murdoch The latest is from "Color Of Change" where they are telling businesses to Stop Murdoch by turning off 'Fox' in public places.[/b]"Color Of Change" in the USA is running a campaign against Glenn Beck. Join in! http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/ [b]Call on advertisers to drop sponsorship of Glenn Beck [/b] FOX's Glenn Beck: "This president has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people ... this guy is, I believe, a racist." Beck is on a campaign to convince the American public that President Obama's agenda is about serving the needs of Black communities at White people's expense. It's repulsive, divisive and shouldn't be on the air. Join us in calling on Beck's advertisers to stop sponsoring his show. LETTER: Concerned over Murdoch’s control Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 This man is controlling our political future and he is also doing the same in Britain. [b]In Britain he controls 35 percent of the newspaper market. I don’t know about you, this scares me.[/b] http://www.morningjournal.com/articles/2010/08/31/opinion/mj3237786.txt

nasking

31/08/2010Thanks Lyn, Aa, Gravel & Country Hick for yer kind, supportive words. And good to know other RTS readers are out there. :) Even tho I was highly disturbed by the Rudd knifing & think that in some ways Labor deserves to lose for being so dumb to to be trapped & bullied by the Murdoch Empire & its copycats... I loathe that "snake-oil salesman" Abbott & his bunch of mockers & luddites far more. And would hate to see Murdoch's lot chalk up another win. And I do like Gillard. And other Laborites including Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese, Craig Emerson, Wayne Swan, Jason Claire and quite a few others. They did, w/ Ruddy, some real good stuff. For THE MANY...not just THE FEW. And I will never forgive the Liberal "Old Guard" (Howard's sycophantic lot) for the sucking up to Bush & that damned war. Not to mention their fear-mongering over refugees...and treatment of them. I do hope the "Indies" give Labor another chance...another term. But I also hope the real story gets written oneday. So if you do head in that direction Aa, always feel free to ask me for any material you might need. Tho, Lyn's links are a gold mine. :) As are yer posts on here. Cheers N'

Hillbilly Skeleton

31/08/2010janice, You have my utmost sympathy. I know well how draining it is worrying about the Kidney health of a child. My 2nd son was born with a condition which super-charged his growth, and as a result we, his parents, spent the first 9 years of his life having to take him to have his kidneys checked for fast-metastising cancers, every 3 months, as the Kidneys are one of the focal points of the condition he was born with. Luckily, he came through that period unscathed(I don't know about his parents though!), and now he has a much reduced chance of tumour development. Anyway, my thoughts are with you and yours, and I hope you and your son come out of the ordeal 'Moving Forward' positively. :)

Lyn

31/08/2010Hi Janice I am so glad you are feeling better about your worries today. Best wishes to your son Janice, and best wishes to you. Ad is a Doctor, and I see he gave you some valuable, qualified advice. We are lucky to have Ad, he has given me some advice before about my foot. Must be nearly time for Paddy's latest photo, I was thinking. We just have to hope now the Independents go with Julia, I don't know what I am going to do if Abbott gets Prime Minister. See that the WA guy Tony Crook wants the sun and the moon. Here it is: Pressure on Abbott to deliver , Michelle Grattan & Tim Colebatch, The Age Mr Crook, who campaigned on wanting nearly $900 million for WA regions to match the state ''royalties for regions'' scheme, made it clear he didn't want his agenda compromised. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/pressure-on-abbott-to-deliver-20100830-147cv.html Nationals MP Tony Crook seeks 'fairer' GST deal for WA in return for supporting Coalition , Patricia Karvelas, The Australian “It's obvious (if I sit with the Coalition) the constraints will be more rigorous, I would have thought.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/nationals-mp-tony-crook-seeks-fairer-gst-deal-for-wa-in-return-for-supporting-coalition/story-fn59niix-1225912284047

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31/08/2010Folks What a supportive group we have here on [i]TPS[/i], supportive to janice and her son, to Bilko and his OH, to anyone suffering the trials of ill health in the family as you have had HS. It is heart-warming; if only our politicians exhibited the same concern and love, what a difference that would make to our political process.

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31/08/2010Folks I'm off to watch ABC and [i]Lateline[/i]. Goodnight.

Lyn

1/09/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Who Won the National 2-Party Preferred Vote?, Antony Green, ABC[/i] I do know is that the figure currently displayed on the front page of the Australian Electoral Commission's (AEC's) Virtual Tally Room is NOT the national 2-party preferred vote. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/08/who-won-the-national-2-party-preferred-vote.html [i]Hung Parliament Negotiations Reveals LIBERAL METHODS, Alex Schlotzer, The Angle[/i] if they align themselves with the Liberals, can’t be good for negotiations. It would appear to make the ALP’s case to form minority government all that much stronger. http://theangle.org/2010/08/31/hung-parliament-negotiations-reveals-liberal-methods/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hung-parliament-negotiations-reveals-liberal-methods [i]Old Devils, Politically Homeless[/i] Schultz and Heffernan are frustrated that young Abbott is blowing their last chance, and even more so that he's not consulting them. They don't understand http://andrewelder.blogspot.com/2010/08/old-devils-this-blog-has-long-been-down.html [i]Power has gone to their heads, Michael Gaenda, Business Spectator[/i] Abbott tried to look like Wilkie had handed him a version of the Ten Commandments. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/katter-oakeshott-windsor-abbott-gillard-pd20100831-8TSH4?OpenDocument Gillard's Parliament 'renovation' a surprise-reveal job, Annabel Crabb, The Drum Do you really think that Tony Abbott read every conservative thinker on the globe ... and came out with 'Stop The Boats'? Is that what you think happened?" she retorted. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/31/2998697.htm?site=thedrum [i]Political pain and no gain, John Spoehr The Adelaide Review[/i] It had a terrific story to tell about the resilience of the Australian economy in the face of the global financial crisis. Its stimulus package was lauded internationally as a great success. http://www.adelaidereview.com.au/issues.php?subaction=showfull&id=1282788824&archive=&start_from=&ucat=14& [i]Mandate, mandate, who's got the mandate? The conscience Vote[/i] if you read/listen to/watch the media. There are passionate arguments coming from both sides, and from all areas of the media. http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/ [i]My Take on the debacle, Nicholas Gruen, Club Troppo[/i] ALP sold itself short instead of selling its strengths”. I’ve also done an interview with Michael Duffy on Counterpoint which was recorded last Thursday, but went to air last night http://clubtroppo.com.au/2010/08/31/my-take-on-the-debacle/ [i]Telstra laughs at Tony Abbott with 20Mbps mobile broadband By David Olsen Dynamic Business[/i] Telstra’s roll out of 20Mbps broadband will only cover 50 percent of the Australian population, begging http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/articles/articles-news/telstra-mobile-broadband-business-20mbps-1967.html [i]A Dictatorship of independents? Guy Beres[/i] Clearly the best outcome for all of us – besides the numbskulls who voted informal – would be a further federal election.. http://guyberes.com/ [i]Nobody Is Holding The Country To Ransom, Leon Delaney[/i] asked by supposedly professional media presenters who seem to lack any comprehension of the process, and who really should know better http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010To lyn, AA, and everyone else who passes by to drop off a thought or two, We are indeed fortunate to have this connection through the Internet that allows us to not feel so alone in our day to day lives as we meet to discuss the issues that fire up our metaphorical (pot) bellys, and to download about more personal issues as we feel the need. So I just thought I'd drop in to say that but also to say that I won't be able to contribute much today because I have both of my children home from school, the one with 'the condition' who had oral surgery yesterday to start to correct his malformed teeth and jaw, and the other who has Bronchitis and needs to see the Dr again after one course of antibiotics didn't seem to make any difference! Sheesh! Nevertheless I will make my presence felt again here soon, I will read all the wise words you write(even jj in his own misguided way,lol), and I hope to be back into the fray boots and all, ASAP. Cheers, and have a nice day everyone! :)

jj

1/09/2010Oh please stop winging about Murdoch! So what if the editorials of his newspapers take a stance on some issues which you may not agree with! I dont hear you complaining about The Age or the Sun Herald! Why might that be? Oh that is right because they support the Labor party in their editorials. If you call Kerry Obrien and Tony Jones right wing commentators, than you truly have something very, very wrong with you!

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1/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010Now, before I go off to do other things, let me just make a comment about the Bob Katter interview and the Andrew Wilkie interview I heard from Insight last night. It seems as though, as well as wanting Tariff barriers to be reintroduced, up to a level of 49%(!!!), for Agriculture and Manufacturing, and it seems to me no MRRT, Bob Katter is talking about wanting to have the Aussie $ fixed and not free-floating on the FOREX markets anymore. What an outrageous log of claims. No sane aspirational PM could agree to that, and I note that Julia Gillard has already sensibly refused to do so. Thus, what we will easily be able to assume is that, if Tony Abbott agrees to any of those requests(bar the axing of the MRRT, which he has already flagged), then we adults of a non-politically grasping and megalomaniacal nature will be able to conclude that Tony Abbott is willing to put the attainment of power ahead of good sense, and where such an attitude will lead us, nobody will be able to tell. Not to mention where it will lead the country. Is this not one more reason to agree that the grown-ups in the room appear to be the ALP, who are unwilling to throw basic principles overboard in order to grasp the ring of government? Which also appears to be the case with Andrew Wilkie, who said that he has received a detailed and thoughtful reply from the government already, but it is the case that he will not be able to accept it. Which suggests again to me that the government have behaved like adults and have drawn a sensible line in the sand beyond which they will not venture in order to pander to him. As far as the Coalition goes, I guess they're waiting for a reply from Rupert Murdoch before they give their reply to Andrew Wilkie. :)

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010jj, It is not that 'The Australian' supports the Coalition with their editorials, it is that they do so without taking a balanced perspective on the issues and merely run the Coalition line(or is that the Murdoch line which the Coalition parrots?). Any fair observer can see right through it, except for you it seems, who thinks simply, The Australian, or Coalition=Good; ALP+anyone who supports them=Bad. And you say we're biased? Anyway, if you'd been around here long enough you would have read many comments from us that have a go at Fairfax and the ABC too. Sometimes even for supporting silly ALP positions. Why, you could even class the trilogy of articles AA has just written as criticism of the ALP. Though I imagine you merely see them as apt and appropriate.

Gravel

1/09/2010Hillbilly, I hope your day ends up well for you. I too like the camaraderie on this blog, it is like a political family when you don't have a political family. If only everyone in Australia could have seen Julia yesterday at the press club.......how different would the election have turned out to be. I heard Katter on ABC news am this morning, wow, he did huge rant on tariffs and the such like. We worried about Howard taking us back to the backwaters of fifties, if Abbott agrees to this we as a country are in serious deep deep trouble. I fret for my 2 children and 4 grandchildren's future. Let us hope the other Independents back Labor so we can continue to look to a great future.

George Pike

1/09/2010Foreigners must scratch their heads in disbelief at the recent Australian election result. We have far and away the best performing economy among the western countries, we have a highly advanced communications system rolling out that will meet the country's needs for the next fifty years, we have the health system reforms set in train that the population has been screaming out for decades for, we have an agreement with the major miners that will see the country returned an extra $10 billion+ for our scarce resources, we have every school in the country being assisted with infrastructure and computer spending...etc etc etc. The list is endless, yet we allowed the moronic dogs at News Ltd and Channel Nine etc destroy the value of those massive positives and talked us into voting for a second class group of morons who would have seen every single one of those projects dumped in favour of tax cuts for the wealthy! Seriously folks, those foreigners must think half the population of this country are the blindest stupidest pack idiots on the planet...and they wouldn't be far wrong!

nasking

1/09/2010"I'm finding it hard to get my brain cells working. We discovered very recently that younger son has polycystic kidney disease which is fairly well advanced. So cruel because he's only 44 and always been fit and healthy." Sorry to hear that janice. Sometimes we get so caught up in the politics & media critiquing we miss the important things that really make the difference in our societies and each individual's lives. Perhaps organic vege juices might help yer son a bit. It's hard to say. N'

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1/09/2010jj We are not whingeing jj; we are stating the facts about News Limited as we, and many other commentators, see them. Even a true Liberal, Malcolm Fraser, agrees with us. We DO complain about the [i]Herald Sun[/i]; it is a News Limited outlet, and follows the anti-Labor line. Try reading Andrew Bolt. When did it write a pro-Labor editorial? In our view, the ABC reflects much of what the Murdoch media promulgates, along with its biases. Fairfax media has been more balanced. Please find us one commentator who believes News Limited has been neutral and balanced in its coverage of federal politics and leave the link. You say that there must be ‘something very, very wrong’ with us, I suppose because we see things differently from you. I don’t think there is anything WRONG with you because you take a different view, but I do think I have no hope of changing your mind, that’s all. Do read what HillbillySkeleton has to say. HS You are having a rough time. Attending to the family is so much more important than our political meanderings. I hope things soon settle down for you. The [i]TPS[/i]family sends you our good wishes. Gravel You are right about the camaraderie we enjoy here in the [i]TPS[/i] family. It was a great move this morning when Bob Brown and Julia Gillard signed an agreement that aligns the Greens with Labor. Immediately Tony Abbott said he would ‘attack’ such an agreement. Note the word ‘attack’, Abbott’s [i]modus operandi[/i]. Maybe the tide is turning Labor’s way, but it’s still in the hands of the Country Independents. George You are so right – how can a government that has bought so much benefit to the country and saved it from recession, high unemployment and business failure, be on the verge of defeat – it just doesn’t make sense, not until the malicious, negative influence of the media is taken into account, and then it does. It is clearly not enough to do good things; to survive, a party must have the media on side, but at the very least not venomously antagonistic to it.

jj

1/09/2010The signing of a deal between the greens and the Labor Party has just sealed the defeat of the Labor party in its drive to form government. Katter will now have no option but to support the Coalition, same with the other two; if Abbott can give Wilkie what it is that he wants, than i get the feeling that he will swing that way.

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010jj, In your dreams. Andrew Wilkie will most likely not be bought off with a few beads and blankets from the Coalition. Especially as Tony Abbott has just painted himself into a corner in a Press Conference by stating that he will not back down on any of his previously-stated election commitments in order to secure any of the Independants' support. Now, what does the ALP+Greens Primary Vote equal? :)

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010Ad Astra, Don't you worry about me, I'm the 'World's Best' Multitasker! :)

jj

1/09/2010I dont think the greens would like to add their primary vote to the Labor party. Arent they supposed to be the pure party, that stands for all things right? Then they sign a deal with the Labor Party, a party which has just shown that it believes nothing other than power. They are willing to throw everything that they stood for away, just for power! I believe there will be many angry greens voters out there, who believed a vote for the greens, was a vote for the greens, not Labor

Lyn

1/09/2010Hi Hillbilly [quote]I'm the 'World's Best' Multitasker[/quote] Hillbilly you are the best. Not only a multitasker physically but mentally too, look at the wonderful posts you have written for us. [quote]Tony Abbott has just painted himself into a corner in a Press Conference [/quote] Yes Hillbilly, Abbott said he is upset with the Greens, he said they had this agreement orgainised before the election, campaigning under false pretences, people may have voted differently. All this, how, if he does form a minority Government, can the Greens be expected to co-operate with him. Deal with Greens shows Labor is desperate to cling to power: Abbott, SMH ‘‘I suspect that people may well have voted differently if they had known that the Greens were going to enter into an alliance with the Labor Party.’’ http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/deal-with-greens-shows-labor-is-desperate-to-cling-to-power-abbott-20100901-14mql.html?from=smh_sb The other thing I was really pleased about, was Bob Brown announced that if there is a vote of "No Confidence" in the Parliament against Labor the Greens would not support the vote, which means, if there is a vote of no confidence against Abbott then the Greens would be supportive.

jj

1/09/2010Tony Abbott didnt paint himself into a corner. He is the one looking as though he stands by his commitments. Julia Gillard is the one that looks as though she has painted herself into a corner, because now she looks even more like a woman desperate for power. The Labor Party stands for nothing! For the greens to claim victory in seats like Melbourne is just absurd; without Liberal preferences there would be no greens MP!

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010Here is the text of the new Greens/ALP deal: http://greens.org.au/greens_labor_deal

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010jj, If what you say is correct, how does that explain the Latham Factor and the leaks? Were they put out there by the ALP/Greens pre-election alliance? Anyway, how do you explain the election result of a hung parliament? An ALP/Greens pre-election scam? Also, I'd be interested to know how you would explain TAbbott's Lib/Nat Coalition=Good; ALP/Greens coalition=Bad? That's the sort of inane drivel Abbott was just coming out with. Anyway, all that latest Press Conference was about was Tony Abbott trying to foment dissatisfaction among Greens voters in order to try and drive them to the Coalition at a subsequent election which he will be doing his utmost to foment from today on, now that the Alliance has been formalised between the ALP and the Greens.

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010No Murdoch quid pro quo for support,huh? http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/bbc-to-slash-website-spending-to-save-taxpayers-money-and-protect-rivals/story-e6frg996-1225911623348

jj

1/09/2010No i dont think another election is needed, as the independents now have no other option but to back the Coalition, as the Labor party has now just taken a turn to the left. People west of the divide hate the greens, you obviously couldnt understand that. I have never said coalition=good, Labor=bad. All i have done is outlined why it is that the Labor Party has failed as a 21st century party; that is that they have now displayed that they stand for no one, nor anything.

Jason

1/09/2010jj, Your man looked a little unhinged today, still suffering sloganitis, politically blindsided by the Greens the Nationals tied up,gagged and hidden from view. Yet you say Labor stands for nothing except for power! Just keep putting that lipstick on the coalition pig.

adelaidegirl

1/09/2010Hi janice best wishes to you, your son and his family. In no way do I want to minimise your worry, nor your son's predicament, but I'm living proof that kidney failure can be survived - and not too badly if you're lucky. The drug Epo really improves general wellbeing while on dialysis, treating the incapacitating anaemia related to kidney failure. I was able to continue working part-time during dialysis. It's really important to observe the dietary and fluid intake restrictions too! Also, immuno-suppressant medications (post transplant) are much improved meaning that the range of compatible organs is expanded. Once he receives his transplant, if all goes well, it will almost be full steam ahead (possibly apart from a few irritating and incovenient medication side effects.) I will admit there were times when it was very difficult and distressing but with the excellent support of family and friends I soldiered on. I hope it all goes as well for him as it has done for me. PS - all my treatment has been (and continues to be) through the public health system and I couldn't have asked for better care. I hope this becomes your experience too, however his care is being provided. Cheers - adelaidgirl

Cordles Drills

1/09/2010I think I'm already read information like this somewhere... If I find the soure - I let you know.

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1/09/2010HS Thank you for your link to the story about the BBC and the Murdoch empire. I thought BBC chief Mark Thompson was right on the mark when he said: "[i]Mr [James] Murdoch said the BBC was a threat to commercial media companies, whose survival was critical to democracy. Mr Thompson urged Britain's new, conservative coalition not to cut into the BBC's funds, in response to pressure from Murdoch newspapers.[/i] and later: "[i]He said Sky, owned in part by News, was a 'powerful commercial counterweight to the BBC and well on its way to being the most dominant force in broadcast media in this country'.[/i]" This is what we are up against in Australia with the Murdoch empire putting pressure on the ABC. If Abbott becomes PM we can expect Murdoch to lean on him to restrict the ABC's expansion into 24 hour news services and multiple online services. Murdoch thinks what he does is 'critical to democracy'! We have been warned.

Michael

1/09/2010I don't think anyone here, including jj most likely, will find the quote below at all surprising. Tony Abbott spelling out exactly how he will govern past/through/and over any Independents in the House or Greens in the Senate should those same Independents be gullible enough to give him their support in the Lower House. The man is already confusing Coalition policy with the democratic requirement to have said policy tested in Parliament by a vote of the peoples' representatives. If policy is not legislated but enacted by ministerial fiat or departmental regulations being altered, we are not in a democracy, we are in a dictatorship. Do half of Australia's voters really want the country to be run in an extra-parliamentary fashion like this? I very much doubt it. "Mr Abbott said he can still deliver on his promise to bring back TPVs, establish an offshore processing facility and turn back the boats if he forms a minority government. 'All of those are possible without legislation,' he said." quoted from: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/gillard-has-broken-first-promise-abbott-20100901-14mqq.html

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1/09/2010Michael If Tony Abbott does become PM he may find that getting his legislation through will be somewhat more difficult than just changing a few regulations. The Greens would restrict his more radical propositions once they have the balance of power in the Senate next July, but what will happen until then? I think the move today that aligns the Greens with Labor increases Labor's ability to provide stable Government, certainly once the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate. Will the Country Independents see it that way?

jj

1/09/2010Jason, Tony Abbott stated that he was not going to just trash the election promises he just made to get a deal to form government; you see the coalition has main ideological issues which it does not back away from, whereas the Labor Party has none. Julia Gillard however stated that because they were in negotiations, any of the promises she made could be broken (citizens assembly etc).

jj

1/09/2010AA, Oh can we expect Mr Murdoch to do that. If he is so hostile to the ABC, why did he appear on Australian Story the other night? Unlike the Labor Party who has to bow to the wishes of the Union movement, the Coalition does not answer to anyone other than its constituents. Mr Murdoch could propose all sorts of things to the Liberal Party, but unlike the Labor Party they wouldnt have to do it. Oh and by the way, the Coalition increased funding to the ABC over its term in government, and Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party have said that they are great supporters of the ABC.

jj

1/09/2010AA, Name some of Abbott's "radical legislation".

Jason

1/09/2010jj, Ah yes the union movement, which ones Hillsong, George Pell, opus Dei? " you see the coalition has main ideological issues which it does not back away from" Unless your name is judith Troath or Russell broadbent who said they would cross the foor if Nauru came up!

jj

1/09/2010Jason, Well if those two Liberal Party members hold that view than they are allowed to cross the flaw. You see unlike the Labor Party in the Coalition, if there is a certain piece of legislation which you or your constituents do not agree with, you are able to cross the flaw without any ramifications. Whereas if you did that as a Labor member you would be expelled from the party. One stands for true democracy within party process, the other doesnt. On the issue of the Union movement etc. May you please prove that any of the above organisations

jj

1/09/2010have any blanket rule that they must vote coalition. Last time i checked, both the Labor Party and Liberal Party attended the Christian Lobby Group's gathering in Canberra. As far as i am aware there is no connection whatsoever between opus Dei and the Coalition, and so what if some hill song groups voted for the coalition, they didnt have much of a choice seeing as they believe in god, and the Labor Party leader doesnt (not that i care). On the issue of the Labor Party and the Union Movement. The Labor Party is beholden to whatever the Union movement wishes. Un-elected officials outside the Labor Parliamentary wing control what goes on within it. The Union movement is the majority funder of the Labor Party, without the Union Movement the Labor Party would be broke. The union movement decides who gets what senate spot, and they push extremely hard to get their ex-leaders up into high power positions no matter how long they have been in the parliament for (Combet and Shorten). The Union movement has great influence over who runs the Labor Party (Paul Howes), and they have a huge involvement in the policy crafting that goes on within the Labor Party. Now does the Coalition have to sing to anyone's tune apart from their constituents? NO! Does the Labor party? YES! Having un-elected officials controlling and running a political party is not how parliamentary politics should be.

Jason

1/09/2010jj, I'm well aware of the Labor party rules, but you seem to forget that should you form a minority government you can't afford to have anyone cross the floor!If you started looking at the true state of the next parliament instead of thinking you have a 20 seat majority you will realise most of what you write is waffle.Yes I saw that true democracy when you knifed Turnbull don't patronise us As to the god botherers http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/the-holy-war-on-climate-change/

Ad astra reply

1/09/2010jj You really do make me smile wryly. So the Liberal Party will not back away from its ideological position! What about WorkChoices which Tony Abbott promoted so strongly in government, extolled in his book [i]Battlelines[/i], but then abandoned any change to IR for three years just to clear the decks of the electoral poison of WorkChoices for the election? Is that changing an ideological position? Of course many don’t trust him, and believe that he would try to make the changes he wants by legislation. Then you say Julia Gillard has NO ideological position. You can’t really believe that. Wasn’t she the one that got the Fair Work legislation through that reflects a different ideological position from Abbott? You say she has dropped the Citizen’s Assembly idea. She hasn’t. Do get your facts straight. Don’t believe the ABC if it says she has ‘dumped’ the idea – they get it wrong too. What she has done is to agree to a cross-party parliamentary committee that will include outsiders to consider climate change and how it might be countered. The Assembly has not been dumped – that has a different purpose – to achieve community consensus on climate change. You suggest that Rupert Murdoch appearing on Australian Story means he is not hostile to the ABC. You seem to be innocently naïve. If he wants to exercise control over the ABC, why would he not appear? While that convinces you he is a nice guy with no ill intent, it tells the rest of us that this is part of his softening up process. You ask about Abbott’s ‘radical legislation’. What about his intent to trash the NBN, which is already being rolled out, and which promises to bring such enormous benefits to health, education, business and communications, especially in rural and regional areas? He’s said he will do that ‘to save money’ for heavens sake. Let’s save more money and get back to the horse and buggy and unsealed roads. BTW I’m still waiting for you to send us one commentator who believes News Limited has been neutral and balanced in its coverage of federal politics and leave the link.

Canbra Dave

1/09/2010The thing that has me worried about Abbott is that he somehow believes that finite resources will never run out. He thinks peak oil is an arcane concept. He thinks that mineral resources will never end so it doesn't make any sense for the country to claim more income out of them. When he was 21 he argued that women would never be able to achieve the same success as men due to psychological differences. Now when that opinion is proven to be a total crock he turns around and tells people that what he believes as a 52 year old is different to what he believed as a 21 year old. He fails to see that using this argument we could claim that in 30 years time people will be asking him why he held such lemming-marching-over-the-cliff-to-their-demise and socially depraved views that he holds now.

jj

1/09/2010Look at the Labor party front bench; Hey look at their whole parliamentary team! ex-union worker, ex-union worker, ex-union worker. We have a small business minister who has never had anything to do with running a small business. We have an agricultural minister who has no connection with regional Australia. We have a treasurer who has never done anything outside the Labor Movement. We have a PM who spurts that she has the better economic credentials when she really has none (well actually she has a history that would show that she should be kept well away from our coffers). We have a minister for finance in waiting (Chris Bowen) that was a Union man. Get the gist. Now look at the Coalition's team: -Joe Hockey, Lawyer with an economics degree. -Andrew Robb (finance)worked as an agricultural economist for many years, and as a economic consultant to many major companies around Australia. -George Brandis- ex-Barrister -Ian Macfarlane- off the land, and the ex-head of the Queensland FF -DR Sharman Stone- a qualified tertiary teacher, philosopher, anthropologist. -Malcolm Turnbull- successful businessman and Barrister. -Greg Hunt- an Associate to the Chief Justice of the Federal Court as well as spending time as an intern with the United Nations Centre for Human Rights in Geneva. Barnaby Joyce- accountant Scott Morrison- Background in the tourism industry, as head of the tourism council. And the list goes on. The coalition is a party made up of all the different areas of society, whereas the Labor Party is that of the Union Movement. One is a healthy representation of the community and its views, the other is a party of yes ministers, and the hatred of individual thought.

jj

1/09/2010AA, I suppose you think that all of the communication and internet providers that came out today practically endorsing the policy of the Coalition to be right wing Abbott loving extremists to then, following your logic. Work Choices was defeated by the people of Australia, that is that. Did the people of Australia reject Labor's policies? Well obviously not, that is why we are in the situation we are in; and yet Julia is happy to do so to gain a few votes to form government. On the issue of Murdoch, find me any crumb of evidence that links Murdoch to wanting to shut down ABC news 24 (and no the stuff about him being against Government owned media corporates in Britain is not evidence). On the citizens assembly. The greens have made it clear that they do not want a citizens assembly full stop, and now that the Labor party has signed an alliance with the greens, what the greens say on this matter goes. As Sarah-HY said tonight, "the Australian public voted against the idea...". If Gillard was still wanting the assembly, why didnt she ask for the greens to support it? Gillard herself knows it was a stupid idea that linked her with the do-nothing past of Krudd, and so that is why she shied away from mentioning it at all in her Labor Launch speech.

jj

1/09/2010Jason, Yes and they are still able to cross the floor...it is their right. Do you realise that you have just agreed with something the 'troll' has said? The Labor party does not believe in individual thought, the Coalition does.

Lyn

1/09/2010Hi Canbra Dave You said you are worried. I am worried too: NBN to be axed, stupid alternate no policy, by a "no tech head". BER to be re-orgainised, more likely halted indefinately. Insulation ( Solar Panels) rebates axed. Computers in schools, to be axed. Every child has bible study. Hundreds of Public Servants to be sacked. Boats phone, to turn boats back ( poor tormented people drowned). TPV'S to be re-introduced. Climate Change, Abbotts Army to plant more trees, left to die. 6 months maternity leave, ridiculous. Birth control axed, extreme views. Stem cell never to be approved. Same sex marriage never to be approved, (inflexible, extreme views by Abbott). Never ever Dental scheme. Government funding, welfare and subsidies, never to be means tested. Murdoch 20 million government funding approved. Medicare sold. Rich to be richer, poorer to be poorer There is more, but can't think of them all, of the top of my head. But I tell you I am worried.

Jason

1/09/2010jj, So what? Talk about clutching at straws. All former members of the student union, see jj no matter where you look union members everywhere.

janice

1/09/2010Thank you Hillbilly, Nasking and Adelaidegirl for your kind support. So many wonderful people in The Political Sword community :)

Jason

1/09/2010jj, that should have read all your front bench are all former members of the student union

Lyn

1/09/2010 Julia Gillard She graduated from the University of Melbourne with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees in 1986.[12] In 1987, Gillard joined the law firm Slater & Gordon at Werribee, Melbourne, working in industrial law.[13] In 1990, at the age of 29, she was admitted as a partner.[14] Wayne Swan He won a Commonwealth scholarship to study public administration[3] at the University of Queensland, becoming a lecturer in the Department of Management at the Queensland Institute of Technology (now the Queensland University of Technology) before entering politics.[4] Craig Emerson was educated at St Patrick's College, Strathfield, Sydney University and the Australian National University, Canberra, where he gained a doctorate in economics. Emerson was an economic analyst with the United Nations, Jenny Macklin She spent time in Japan as a student before graduating from the University of Melbourne with an honours degree in economics Macklin was a researcher at the Australian National University in 1976–78, an economics research specialist with the Parliamentary Library in Canberra 1978–81, Chris Bowen University of Sydney, where he graduated with an undergraduate degree in Economics. Stephen Smith where he gained a master's degree in law. He was a solicitor, lecturer and tutor before entering politics. He was principal private secretary to the Western Australian Attorney-General, Joe Berinson 1983–87 Tony Burke University of Sydney, where he graduated in arts and law.[3] Robert McClelland University of Sydney where he gained a masters degree in law. He practised as an Associate to the Justice Phillip Evatt of the Federal Court of Australia 1981–82 before becoming a solicitor and ultimately partner with law firm Turner-Freeman.[1]

Jason

1/09/2010Lyn, thanks for thanks for that, but as you know facts have never been of any use with the story they try to portray. In the twisted world of the far right there is a need to demonise someone anyone, you know the usual suspects unions,boat people,dole bludgers and lets not forget the hot bed of leftism the ABC.

You must be kidding

1/09/2010Hey everbody, I think AA has done a sterling effort on his trilogy but I humbly suggest he has forgotten a few factors. The Disasterous Government Program Factor - unfortunate but a reality The Hyperbole Rudd Factor - much too loquacious and lost direction through his words. The Labor False Promise Factor - too many expectations not met. The backward step on the ETS factor - the start of the serious downfall The Arbib Factor - how can a proud ALP have dropkicks like this guy pulling the strings and last but not least ... the intelligent electorate factor ... the saw through the veneer and voted against a first term government .... amazing. I'll take this opportuntiy to admit two things: I was wrong on the election date ... I never accounted for Arbib. I was wrong on Rudd's length of PM by 12 months ... I never accounted for Arbib. Relax folks ... everything will be okay.

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010The Coalition's Costings have just been relesed by Rob Oakeshott. Tony Windsor says there's a black hole in the Coalition's costings of up to $11b. So that leaves them with a slim $0.5 Billion surplus after scratching heaps of worthy programs and initiatives.

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010lyn, You forgot Nicola Roxon, who was an Associate to Justice Mary Gaudron of the High Court. She's also a young mum and Health Minister!

Lyn

1/09/2010[quote]The Disasterous Government Program Factor [/quote] = disasterous Opposition, party of no, hostile senate [quote]The Hyperbole Rudd Factor [/quote] = MSM bias, destructive opposition [quote]The Labor False Promise Factor [/quote] = objectional opposition, hostile senate, GFC [quote]The backward step on the ETS factor [/quote] = agreement reached, opposition killed of leader, Phoney said no = Minchin factor [quote]The Arbib Factor [/quote] Unfounded statement, unable to backup by proof or facts Turnbull never counted on fake email either, 12 months leader, Nelson 12 months leader. [quote]saw through the veneer and voted against [/quote] I voted against Howard, whata ya know.

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010jj, If you watched the 7.30 Report tonight you would have heard Sen Bob Brown state that Tony Abbott told him in private discussions that he, Abbott, was also prepared to 'modify' his election commitments should he need to in order to get the Independants' support. So, so much for your sanctimonious condemnation of Julia Gillard.

Lyn

1/09/2010Hi Hillbilly How are you going, got through the multitasks ok. No didn't forget Nicola, just run out of energy. Wow! thanks for news about the costings.

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010'Black Hole' in Coalition costings of between $7-$11 Billion($7 Billion if Treasury give the Coalition 'the benefit of the doubt'). Tony Windsor says that the Coalition haven't told Treasury which programs they will cut. He also said that the new ALP/Greens Alliance will make no difference to who he decides to support. The 'Independant Umpire', i.e. Treasury, has spoken! I wonder what spin Ltd News will put on the Coalition shysters' Costings 'Black Hole'?

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010lyn, Multitasking moving along a wee bit slower than expected, but you should have a new post from me by sometime tomorrow(if Ad approves!). :)

Hillbilly Skeleton

1/09/2010*Treasury finds the coalition parental leave policy will cost another $492m over four years. *Treasury finds a $900m "adjustment" to public debt interest savings from abolishing the NBN. *Treasury found expansion of the Education Tax Refund will cost an additional $235 million over four years. *Plus here's the Treasury docs: http://filesocial.com/8ccp51b http://filesocial.com/8c93lzd

NormanK

1/09/2010What is going on in this country? Forget about Through the Looking Glass, this is Kafka at his best. $11,000,000,000. That's nine zeros. That's an awful lot of little black holes. Tony Jones just reacted to the news of this massive costing shortfall as though someone had told him it was going to be 30 degrees C tomorrow. "Oh really? That's high for early September. Now we need to move on to another story." If this doesn't turn into the biggest mud fight of the new millennium, we might as well get ourselves a 'script for Valium and just sit back and relax while the country goes down the tubes. The Coalition have had days to explain to Treasury how their assumptions should be applied and yet there is at least a $7 billion gap. Abbott has mouthed transparency and complete faith in his numbers but hasn't released details of just under $4 billion in programme cuts so that not only do we and the Country Independents and Treasury not know "what" they are, nor can anyone judge if they are costed accurately. If this doesn't blow Abbott's chances out of the water, I fear my head will explode. HS I'm another member of the spelling police. OED has "independent" with lots of "e"s and no "a". Looking forward to your piece tomorrow. I hope to God it is "overshadowed" by Abbott in free-fall. No offence.

Casablanca

2/09/2010Jason, you are right, of course, that jj would not wish to be bothered by facts. Lyn has provided some information above about qualifications and pre-parliament work experience. (BTW Craig Emerson also has experience in the Commonwealth Public Service and in Private Enterprise as a CEO of one company and as a Director of another.) As far as I can ascertain, there is only one member of the Labor Ministry who does not have tertiary qualifications and that is Kate Ellis, Minister for Early Childhood Education & Youth and Minister for Sport. She lists two positions as a Ministerial Advisor in the SA Parliament as her only occupation prior to Parliament. The remaining Labor Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries are all well credentialed and have a variety of work experience between them including academia, UN, Public Service, Retail, Manufacturing, Financial Management, Non-Government Organisations, Executive Management, Journalism, Television, Military, Police Force, Environment Management, Banking, Local Government, the Judicial and Justice system etc etc. Academic qualifications across the ministry include engineering, law, economics and arts at Bachelor, Masters and PhD level. Some, ie NOT all, have held Union Positions either as State Secretaries or in higher office in the ACTU. The old class divisions along worker Vs employer lines or trade Vs University is well gone. jj, Hockey lists his academic qualifications as BA and LLB not BEc Finally, jj I’d get that suppurating spleen of yours attended to as soon as possible.

Jaeger

2/09/2010HBS: "I wonder what spin Ltd News will put on the Coalition shysters' Costings 'Black Hole'?" Apparently the Black Hole wasn't newsworthy enough to make the front pages. Hmm. On an unrelated matter, is there any way to get rid of the spam postings? I assume the links at the bottom of each are full of malware.

Lyn

2/09/2010[b]TODAY'S NEWS[/b] [i]Limbo Dancing, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] work together” to enact reforms that were blocked in the Senate last year by the Coalition and silly Steve Fielding: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ [i]Three Amigos keep the public guessing, Mungo MacCallum, Echo[/i] Abbott has tried to portray this as a win for himself, but in fact it was an inevitable backdown given the circumstances. http://www.echo.net.au/opinion-piece/three-amigos-keep-public-guessing [i]Greens-Gillard deal: who wins?, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] be portrayed negatively by The Australian, which with other Murdoch papers has already launched a campaign to delegitimise Labor and the Greens and demand another election. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/09/01/greens-gillard-deal-the-win-is-in-the-process-not-the-policies/ [i]See, when Labor & the Greens make a deal, they do actually announce it, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] The Greens did the best that anyone could have with the hand they were dealt. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/ [i]Greens-Gillard deal: who wins?, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] be portrayed negatively by The Australian, which with other Murdoch papers has already launched a campaign to delegitimise Labor and the Greens and demand another election. Brown said Tony Abbott had already told him he would be attacking the deal http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/09/01/greens-gillard-deal-the-win-is-in-the-process-not-the-policies/ [i]The Labor-Greens deal, Alex White[/i] Despite my election-related criticisms of the Greens political party, the deal announced today between Julia Gillard and Bob Brown is a good one. http://alexwhite.org/2010/09/labor-greens-deal/ [i]Greens back Labor for Government, The Conscience Vote[/i] none of them want to enter into a binding coalition, but Abbott’s government just might expect them to act as though they have http://consciencevote.wordpress.com/ [i]Election reflections, Tristan Ewins, On Line Opinion[/i] Everything Labor did most of the mainstream media put a “negative spin” on it. Was this just something to do with Australian media culture - or something more sinister? http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10914 Independents' policy advances align better with Labor, Ben Eltham, ABC if you look at the policy issues advanced by the independents, they line up better with Labor's stated positions than they do with the Coalition's. http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/stories/s2999801.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail [i]All down to Wilkie, James Farrell, Club Troppo[/i] They can use the stability argument if Wilkie declares his intentions first http://clubtroppo.com.au/ [i]Talking about our population, Peter Mares, Inside Story[/i] Labor’s Barry Jones called for an “ongoing and informed community debate on population and resource use in Australia.” http://inside.org.au/talking-about-our-population/ [b]NEWSPAPERS BLACK HOLE[/b][i] Windsor says Coalition has costing 'black hole', Business Spectator[/i] Independent Tony Windsor says Treasury has found a $7-$11 billion "black hole" in the Coalition's costings. Treasury then did two separate costings - one factoring in scrapped projects and one without and Mr Windsor said he understood why the Coalition didn't want to release its policy costings during the campaign. He said Labor's costings were in line with those stated during the election. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Windsor-says-Coalition-has-costing-black-hole-pd20100901-8VGTC?OpenDocument&src=hp8 $11b 'black hole' in Coalition costings, Sarah Collerton ABC Mr Windsor has told ABC1's Lateline that the briefings showed a massive hole in the Coalition's costings. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/01/3000068.htm [i]$10b Treasury blow to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott , Phillip Hudson, Herald Sun[/i] Mr Windsor last night said ``I think we understand now why he wasn't interested in releasing the numbers''. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-reports/b-treasury-blow-to-opposition-leader-tony-abbott/story-fn5ko0pw-1225913036545 [i]Online Aunty walks only on left side of the street, Gavin Atkins, The Australian[/i]Negative comments: Gillard, 327; Abbott, 353. Positive comments: Gillard, 197; Abbott, 65. But for every grudging bit of praise, Abbott was attacked many times over: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/online-aunty-walks-only-on-left-side-of-the-street/story-e6frg6zo-12259130085

Lyn

2/09/2010Hi Ad Rel no follow, here is the link again: Greens-Gillard deal: who wins?, Bernard Keane, Crikey be portrayed negatively by The Australian, which with other Murdoch papers has already launched a campaign to delegitimise Labor and the Greens and demand another election. http://www.crikey.com.au:80/2010/09/01/greens-gillard-deal-the-win-is-in-the-process-not-the-policies/

Lyn

2/09/2010Hi Ad Sorry about the heading, today Ad, don't ask me why I put up TODAY'S NEWS" instead of "TODAY'S LINKS". The Costings blowout,took me over, I think, don't know why though, because we all knew they were shonky figures anyway, what with all the evidence.

Ad astra reply

2/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Jaeger

2/09/2010Correction: The Canberra Times at least has "Abbott's $11b 'black hole'" on the front page.

Lyn

2/09/2010Hi Ad More Newspaper's reports on the costings: Abbott's $11b 'black hole', Danielle Cronin, Canberra Times ''We understand now why [Opposition Leader Tony Abbott] wasn't interested in releasing the numbers,'' Mr Windsor said. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/abbotts-11b-black-hole/1930492.aspx Treasury wipes $10b off Lib costings , Phillip Coorey, SMH Video Coalition disputes discrepancies found by Treasury over policy costings believed to total up to $10.6 billion. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-election/treasury-wipes-10b-off-lib-costings-20100901-14nmw.html Abbott Must Explain Budget `Black Hole', Australian Lawmaker Windsor Says, Marion Rae, Bloomberg “They’ll have to be talking fairly quickly to actually explain some of these things away,” Windsor told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio today. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-01/abbott-must-explain-budget-black-hole-independent-lawmaker-windsor-says.html Joe Hockey stands by Coalition costings , Herald Sun Mr Windsor said the revelation makes him suspicious of the Coalition, given its long refusal to submit its costings to Treasury, and he is seeking an explanation. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/joe-hockey-stands-by-coalition-costings/story-e6frf7ko-1225913149922

Lyn

2/09/2010[b]TODAYS' LINKS PART 2[/b] [i]Abbott’s multi-billion dollar black hole, Media Wrap, Crikey[/i] Despite the “end the waste”, “stop the debt” slogans, the budget would be improved by somewhere between $860 million - $4.5 billion, not the $11.5 billion promised by Abbott. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/09/02/abbotts-multi-billion-dollar-black-hole/ [i]Coalition costings - billions of problems , Peter Martin[/i] PDF OF COALITION COSTINGS http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2010/09/coalition-costings-billions-of-problems.html [i]Dude, where’s the $11 billion..?, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] “And I think Andrew Robb came up with some various reasons – legal reasons, the leak and the breach of caretaker provisions.” http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/09/02/dude-wheres-the-11-billion/ [i]$11 billion is quite a hole, Tone., Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] Look, there’s some complicated smoke-and-mirrors bullshit justification for how this isn’t really as bad as it looks, but I’m not all that good with economics http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/11-billion-is-quite-a-hole-tone/ [i]$7bn hole in Abbott's policy costings , Michelle Gratten & Carol Nader, The Age[/i]Video Coalition policies would improve the budget bottom line by just $4.5 billion - not the $11.5 billion claimed http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/7bn-hole-in-abbotts-policy-costings-20100901-14nrb.html

George Pike

2/09/2010Abbott and his mob just don't get it! Bigger surpluses mean less expenditure on worthwhile programs...during Australia's greatest ever period of prosperity! It is ideologically driven spendthrift that will cause great hardship, and eventually, economic malaise. The fact is, the Liberals have been caught out fiddling with the books to make everything look rosy before the election..everything else is spin!

Ad astra reply

2/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Thanks Lyn for another magnificent set of informative links - 24 to date today!

Ad astra reply

2/09/2010Folks Andrew Wilkie backs a Gillard minority Government: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/02/3000874.htm

George Pike

2/09/2010Here's a message I just put on a few walls on Facebook...the "like" ticks are rolling in like never before! I think I've really struck a chord with this one. Tony Abbott is not worried about losing because he thinks the Liberals can do it better, he is worried to death about telling his daughters that they will not be able to avail of the Harbourside bedrooms at Kirribilli House! There go the garden parties with Howard, Palmer, Forrest, Stokes, Gyngell and the Mac bankers etc too..so sad hey! NOT

jj

2/09/2010Wilkie has given no support to ant legislation the Labor Party puts before the parliament, and has said that if Abbott becomes PM he will not block supply, nor support any no-confidence motions.

Ad astra reply

2/09/2010Folks Have just seen Julia Gillard’s press conference following Andrew Wilkie’s announcement of his support for a Gillard minority Government. She was confident, articulate, open and forthcoming. She was prepared to pull up journalists who asked questions that contained errors of fact. It’s high time that politicians put cheeky journalists in their place; I hope this continues. She revealed (as had Andrew Wilkie earlier) that Tony Abbott had offered Wilkie a $1 billion for the Royal Hobart Hospital, but the estimated cost of restoration of the Hospital is less than 600,000 million dollars. To his credit, Wilkie rejected this on grounds of equity – other hospitals need money too. As Julia Gillard pointed out, Abbott does not have a billion dollars to offer – he already has a $4 billion to $11 billion black hole in his costings. Abbott is following the Howard line with the Mersey Hospital, trying to buy support by throwing money around. And yet this is the man that is always accusing Labor of ‘debt and deficit’! This is the man who insists Julia Gillard will do anything to hang onto power!

jj

2/09/2010AA, The problem with Gillard's press conference was that most of what she said was based on nothing but thin air! Name one question the journalists asked that was factually incorrect! Gillard said that Tony Abbott was going to make more cuts to breach the so called gap; wrong! Gillard said that Abbott had cut funding in education, and health; wrong! Gillard stated that her party was $100 million ahead, in the black, whereas the Coalition is $11 billion behind; wrong! Even if the treasury's worst case scenario is right the coalition will still deliver a substantially larger surplus than the Labor Party. Gillard said that this treasury costings saga just proves that Abbott cannot be trusted with the public purse; wrong! What about Gillard's BER program, her involvement in the billion dollar blowouts on the home insulation scheme, and the green loans scheme; does that mean we cant trust her either! Maybe if Gillard could get her facts straight, the journalists would be able to ask questions based on fact. One of the main issues that weighed heavily on Wilkie's mind was the fact that his electorate was a left leaning electorate, and therefor, all along Abbott had to come up with something extraordinary to swing him the Coalition's way. So what does that say for the other independents? Windsor, Katter and Oakshot have electorates that are far more heavily skewed in the favor of the Coalition than what Denison is to the left side of politics.

Ad astra reply

2/09/2010jj You’re wasting space and using up server traffic with your ‘our side is better that your side’ nonsense. Both sides have talent; you have extolled your side; Lyn has pointed out the talent on the Labor side. Frankly, I see Labor as having more talent, but I know you won’t accept that because you see Labor’s ranks as full of ex-union hacks, which presumably means they are of inferior quality and pretty useless. So stick with your perceptions, but please don’t waste our time with them. YMBK You’re back again. You pay me a nice compliment, but point to my omissions. If you re-read the trilogy you will find that all the ‘forgotten’ factors you listed have been covered, but using different words. So we are in agreement. Isn’t that nice. Since only two of your predictions were incorrect, would you like to hazard a prediction about who will form a minority government?

Ad astra reply

2/09/2010jj Isn’t it amazing. I see the Gillard press conference in the way I described it; you see it as a collection of statements that are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Our perceptions are unlikely ever to meet. So let’s not waste each other’s time trying to achieve that. The journalist whose question Julia Gillard answered with the preface ‘let’s get the facts straight’ was Matthew Franklin, an longstanding Government critic from [i]The Australian[/i].

George Pike

2/09/2010Matthew Franklin..what looks like a dog, sounds like a dog, acts like a dog...you get the drift!

Jason

2/09/2010jj, "Name one question the journalists asked that was factually incorrect!" name one journalist! not opinion writers

George Pike

2/09/2010Sneaky type that Forrest hey! http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/forrest-oakeshott-in-joint-call-for-mining-tax-summit/story-fn59niix-1225913465101

Acerbic Conehead

2/09/2010AA, with Andrew Wilkie coming in from the cold and collaborating with Jooles, Tony Abbott must be thinking, “how the hell did it come to this?” Meanwhile, Jooles is delighted that the decision of Wilkie, the ex-spy, will influence the Three Amigos to follow suit. Milking the spy genre, her siren song to the three country conservatives is based on, “Nobody does it better”, sung by Carly Simon, from the James Bond movie, “The Spy who Loved Me”. [warning: the music doesn’t cut in for about 20 sec] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOd1JJvwlM :- ) Nobody does it better I’m well into due process Wilkie knows Tones ain’t half as good as me Amigos, I’m the best :- ) I was lookin’ and thank god Wilkie found me The James Bond of the Apple Isle I pray to heaven above me Like Andy in Tassie You three will support me by a country mile :- ) Cos nobody does it better Though sometimes Tones wishes he could Nobody does it quite the way I do WTF am I so good? :- ) It’s clear with Joe’s costings However he spins ‘em One helluva 7 bill black hole Windsey saw it comin’ So unethically mind-numbin’ Won’t stop the waste, but send us up the pole :- ) And nobody could do it better Tones will turn us into debtors So, like Wilkie, come and join us Oaksey, Windsey and Bobby Katter :- ) Amigos, I’m the best

jj

3/09/2010"a long standing government critic", for god-sake, arent journalists supposed to help keep the government of the day to account! By the sounds of what you say, if you were in charge we would be a dictatorship, with no freedom of speech.

Lyn

3/09/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]The hypocrisy of costings, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] Mr Abbott, the man who remains more likely to become prime minister shortly said this morning, economic competence isn’t about things like costings.. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/09/02/keane-the-costing-of-hypocrisy/ [i]Redefining competence, Crikey[/i] Labor has also been the target of a deliberate campaign of distortion and deceit by News Ltd and, to a lesser extent the ABC, http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/09/02/crikey-says-redefining-competence/ [i]Why the independendents must choose Abbott, Tim Dunlop, BSides[/i] In the meantime, they are consulting with mining magnate Andrew Forest. Presumably they'll also have a chat to the head of the ACTU, though the article doesn't mention that. http://tjd.posterous.com/why-the-independents-must-choose-abbott [i]Why Hockey and Robb must go, Karen Maley, Business Spectator[/i] he must replace those responsible for the disastrous budgetary miscalculations – shadow treasurer Joe Hockey and shadow finance minister, Andrew Robb – with more capable ministers. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Tony-Abbott-election-budget-Coalition-Julia-GIllar-pd20100902-8W5KL?opendocument&src=rss#Scene_1 [i]Could Costingsgate widen? Peter Martin [/i] There's more than the outcome of an election hanging on the costing exercise now under way in the Treasury and Finance departments. http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2010/09/thursday-column-could-constingsgate.html [i]TheAustralian's latest attack on a Green: Making Politics personal, Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison[/i] Grubby, illogical and quite possibly a new record low in the efforts from our national newspaper. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ [i]Wilkie supports “least unethical” party, not the one that offered his electorate the biggest bribe, Jeremy Sear, An Onymous Lefty[/i] Poor Tony. The revelation that his party was dodging treasury costings to avoid voters finding out about the huge black hole in his platform before it was too late, and now the news that he needs all three of the remaining independents – including the one who leaked his black hole – or he can’t form government. http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/wilkie-supports-most-ethical-party-not-the-one-that-offered-his-electorate-the-biggest-bribe/ [i]Australia voted, and now the independents should too , Dominic Knight[/i] Right now, the independents have been given far more say than any one Parliamentarian representing a mere 1/150th of Australia’s voters http://www.domknight.com/australia-voted-and-now-the-independents-should-too/ [i]What's $10.6 B between friends?, Left to Think[/i] $863 million over the next four years - well below the $11.5 billion improvement predicted by the Liberals. .http://lefttothink.blogspot.com/2010/09/whats-106b-between-friends.html [i]Abbott-Hockey Swallowed By Own BlackHole, True Politik[/i] mmm .. what's that old saying??? Oh, yes! "When first you practise to deceive ... " http://truepolitik.blogspot.com/2010/09/abbott-hockey-swallowed-by-own-black.html [i]so much hot air, Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] This is part of News Ltd partisan campaign to delegitimise both Labor and the Greens, and to demand another election. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/09/so-much-hot-air.php [i]Mark Thompson on Murdoch's media dominance ,Gary Sauer-Thompson , Public Opinion[/i] After the shakeout in free-to-air commercial television the laws now function to prevent a Murdoch empire with the run of the press and a commanding position in commercial TV. http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/09/mark-thompson-o.php

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3/09/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Hillbilly Skeleton

3/09/2010George Pike, You are so right about the Conservatives' Surplus fetish. When you think about it it is merely a mechanism to bring about the cancellation of government-funded, public benefit projects and programs which progressive, social democrat parties espouse, so that they might also satisfy a conservative predilection for 'small government' which basically equates to 'give our mates in Private Industry taxpayer dollars to do it'. Also to end up satisfying their other obsessive fetish of driving down the taxation rates, till we get to the almost vanishing point of government wherein control has fallen to the Private Sector. God forbid!

George Pike

3/09/2010Great links Lyn..I've posted a few of them onto the Facebook walls of Labor Connect, Julia Gillard, ABC etc...you're doing a great job...hats off to you I say!

Jason

3/09/2010AA, A story from Mark Scott( ABC Boss) Quality journalism and a 21st century ABC http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/03/3001302.htm?site=thedrum

George Pike

3/09/2010Hi HS, did you see Richard Goyder, the CEO of Wesfarmers, on Lateline Business last night, spouting forth a diatribe that confirms those very fears you alluded to. "It's all about wealth creation..." was his refrain. Someone should point out to him that this country has produced more wealth over the past ten years than in the previous 50...yet the gap between rich and poor widens further, the services continue to collapse under the weight of chronic underfunding, the discretionary income of low income earners continues to fall unremittingly towards a level where it disappears entirely and people like Goyder can only whinge and whine about their multi-billion dollar profits being unacceptably low! He iterated that much more needs to be spent on infrastructure such as, roads, rail, ports, electricty generation...and intimated that less concentration needs to be focussed upon health, education and ...um, ah, oh yeah, (someone whispers in his ear) welfare! Can you believe the audacity of this guy! He is one of the prime movers against the MRRT, which would provide much needed expenditure on infrastructure, because Wesfarmers are also coal miners...yet he wants the government to use taxpayer funding diverted from welfare, health and education to build the infrastructure that his mining operations can then avail of! Don't you worry, that is exactly what will happen if the Liberals get into power. Abbott will give creeps like him everything they want...without question. God help those on low incomes and welfare then! The Liberal's plan to cut financial assistance for disadvantaged students is just the thin edge of the wedge...that plan alone will see the numbers of doctors and nurses being trained plummet to all time lows...the grand plan there being that more and more people will be denied access to the health system thus driving the government's Medicare expenditure down by billions...all to ensure that the Liberals can give the wealthy middle classes the "tax cuts they deserve" and so that the corporate sector can make a few billion more in profits every year...great hey!

George Pike

3/09/2010Channel Seven are running some rubbish about Wilkie "double crossing" the Liberals over the $1 billion hospital promise. Can you believe ANY government would be stupid enough to TRUTHFULLY promise $1 billion for a hospital because one lonely independent member said that's what was needed? What a load of tripe!

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3/09/2010Folks A piece by HillbillySkeleton [i]The post mortem we have to have[/i] has been posted. Enjoy. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/09/03/The-post-mortem-we-have-to-have.aspx

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3/09/2010AC Thanks for another great piece! Let’s hope it turns out that at least two of the three amigos join Labor. The Coalition is certainly turning up the heat on them with its fear tactics of ‘the most centre-left government in Australia’s history with Bob Brown as deputy PM’. If the Coalition does make it to government, it could expect nothing from the Greens. jj What I expect of journalists is accurate reporting of the facts, and if they want to offer an opinion on those facts, they clearly indicate that that is what it is. I do not wish to read partisan advocacy of one party or the other. Yet this is what Matthew Franklin dishes up time and again. That is not ‘holding the government to account’. He might as well be a Coalition publicist. HS When the dust settles, we should write a piece about ‘The Surplus Fetish’ and ‘The Debt Bogey’.

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3/09/2010George The Murdoch outfit is hopping mad that it has come to this where Julia Gillard still might continue as PM. They are pulling out all the stops, as is the Coalition, trying to persuade, cajole, even bully the Country Independents into supporting the Coalition. The tactics have dubious merit. From everything they have said in recent days, and from their past performance as fiercely independent politicians, such tactics are more likely to antagonize than intimidate.

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3/09/2010Jason Thank you for the links to Mark Scott’s piece, which is very interesting reading. But as is so often the case with media people, he failed to address properly the scourge of poor reporting. I thought some of the comments were even more revealing about this than what Mark Scott had to say: [i]"the yank: 03 Sep 2010 8:14:02am The waters shouldn't be murky. Doesn't Australia have any schools that teach journalism? Every journalist should know how to write; who, what, when, where, and why. You seem to blame the politicians but you lot really need to look in the mirror. Great scoops are not made through sitting on buses or repeating pointless gossip. They require effort time and an INTENT to more pass the rhetoric that a pollie wants to hand out. The election was only boring because you guys didnt ask the questions and push like you should have, Kerry O'Brien excepted. Abbott bullied you time and again. Its no good now to blame him, you were the ones that left your backbone behind. Imagine the fireworks if you have pursued Abbott as much about his costings as you did Gillard over Rudd? Imagine how much more helpful it would have been instead of running pointless bias opinion articles after article if you guys had actually written articles that compared the positions of each party in depth without bias? Ah but that would actually require work. ABC along with the other media, with the exception of certain pages of the SMH, where they actually did what I have talked about, failed us. maxwell: 03 Sep 2010 8:32:51am There will always be criticism of the media and its journalists who repeatedly write their own bias into their articles. The media has changed how it reports politics, over the last 15 years the media has become more agenda driven by over controlling editors who believe they have the power to change public opinion. This was more complex in the recent election and journalists became very visible in their writings, going to greater degrees of subtlety in pursuing a particular bias for a candidate. Televised footage on news bites was consistently positively worded towards one candidate and negatively worded towards the other - it was clear, obvious and consistent. Living in SA it seemed slightly less obvious but having just returned from Queensland where there is widespread vitriol and bitterness towards Julia Gillard, it is very obvious. It left myself and fellow business companions asking - How did they become so fixated and bitter? Eventually, the media will be reined in because clearly they have become too power driven and lop-sided - that's right, tilt your head to the side then give the hairdo a slight shake. short memories: 03 Sep 2010 8:41:57am Yank,

You are correct but you fail to recognise the overriding factor and yoke on journalists and journalism in Australia. That is "Editorial Policy". A policy determined by the media proprietors and enforced by well paid editors and editorial staff to ensure the product reflects the political, social, cultural and religious views of the proprietor and those faceless individuals and shadowy organisations that hold sway over the proprietor. This has been the situation since the pre federation Australia colonial days. I'm sure lucrative contract payments ease consciences. And the fact is journalists have to earn money in their career. Happens in the US too as you know. Only Australian consumers can change the commercial media and only electors can force the government into full transparency regarding ABC board and management appointments with stacking to implement the government line forbidden.[/i]

Glorfindel

4/09/2010Hi Ad, The Australian reference was a little attempt a humor on my part. You stated that Rudd, having a lead in the polls, could have won the next election. Which, to my mind, is just blatantly stating the obvious. It's a bit like saying that Rafael Nadal could win the next French Open or that BHP could report a profit next financial year. And stating the blatantly obvious seems more in the realm of the mainstream media than the thoughtful/insightful blogger, hence the "Australian" reference. (RE humor, it's never a good sign when you spend more time explaining it than in the original telling)
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