The Liberals' universal solution to everything: Just say 'No'

Once again the Liberals have shown themselves to be the party of ‘No’. Premier Colin Barnett of Western Australia has taken his bat and ball and gone home from the Health negotiations.

Whenever the Liberals' vote is needed in the national interest they withhold it. Wherever co-operation is required, they are absent. They attend negotiations, but not in good faith, even when big concessions are offered. When they don’t get all they want they either spit the dummy and go home, or, as with the ETS, reneg. They are like barrackers in the cheap seats, big grins on their faces, always with something smart-arsed to say, or with contempt in their hearts, but nothing constructive to add to the debate. No policies, no framework, no ideas, no contributions… the word that best describes their attitude towards governance of the country is ‘No’.

The SMH headline from Tuesday afternoon says it all:

Deal with Labor leaders

I think the voters will be gradually coming to that conclusion, too.

90% of the country (as represented by five Labor premiers and two Labor Chief Ministers) has gone with the deal...not the original deal, but a genuinely negotiated one, with extra incentives put onto the table in answer to expressed objections. Negotiations have proceeded in good faith. There have been hurdles in the way, seemingly insurmountable arguments and objections, but somehow in the backrooms of Canberra and the state capitals, a deal was hammered out.

Except in Western Australia... and wherever it is Tony Abbott is currently riding his bicycle or surfing a breaker.

First we had Abbott's no-policy negativism at the Press Club debate. Abbott was so weak on that occasion he was mauled by a worm. Then Colin Barnett left the country when Health negotiations reached fever pitch in recent weeks. That was his way of saying, 'Eff you all' to the rest of Australia. Recovering from his drubbing at the debate, Tony Abbott went riding his bike as a diversion. Peter Dutton, the Shadow Health spokesman, has been off the air, too worried about cherry-picking safe seats, for months. These losers are supposed to be mature politicians, but their strategy revolves around just saying ‘No’. Why? Because they can.

This negativism abounds in other areas too, especially in Parliamentary proceedings: pointless 'Points Of Order', useless, doomed divisions, filibusters, welching on deals... and then they have the hide to taunt the government for not being able to get its reforms through, as if the Liberals had nothing to do with blocking them!

To asylum seekers they just say, ‘No’. They don't say what they would do. They only ever tell us what they won't do, like the demented nihilists they are.

Egged on by their media cheer squad (thankfully diminishing in size, if not in volume as yet) they have convinced themselves that, if they make things hard enough for Rudd, government will just fall back into their laps. It is so much easier to block and defeat almost every initiative the government tries to get up and running than to contribute constructively and positively. It is also completely, utterly, bone lazy.

Clinging to the last vestiges of anachronistic parliamentary powers left to them after their decimation at the last election, cheered on by a corrupt media run by a wizened, bitter old man in New York, they and their shills stick to the belief that a miracle is about to happen, anytime soon. They mindlessly obstruct everything in order to make government in Australia almost impossible, waiting for the day when the scales will be lifted from what they assume is an adoring public's eyes to make way for their triumphant return, meanwhile conserving as much energy as possible by eschewing policy development, and lately even rational thought.

I am not so sure that the rest of the Australian public, after seeing a universal Health deal put in jeopardy by a Liberal government representing just 10% of the voters, will acclaim Barnett's, Abbott's and Murdoch's unrelenting negativism for too much longer. Over 65% of the Australian public wants health reform. Even in Western Australia the figure is above 50%. We came so close only to see the Liberals' favourite word trump what could have been a truly historic, unanimous, agreement. That word is ‘No’.  It is the shortest, but most appropriate epitaph I can think of for a once great party that had reduced itself to daydreaming about the glory days and putting its periodic electoral fortunes ahead of the country's best interests.

Only they know what's best for Australia. Only they can save us from dreaded change. Only they can be trusted to keep the country on the rails until the hated Rudd is swept away to electoral oblivion later on in the year. In the meantime they just say ‘No’.

 

Rate This Post

Current rating: NaN / 5 | Rated 0 times

David M Russell

20/04/2010Well, well, well! Aren't you glad you've got that off your chest. Gee, that angst and bile must have been building-up for some time now! Yes, it is easy to portray one hold-out as an entire party/movement being recalcitrant. The reality is, however, that many Australians feel deeply mistrustful of the Rudd experiment with national health. For example, billions upon billions of dollars have been thrown at achieving a 'solution'. It is we taxpayers who have to stump-up those funds. The bill stops with us. The greater concern is the federal administration's ability to actually deliver a new health deal. We saw painfully that ceiling insulation could not be achieved with any degree of competence. Now Rudd and Co want to play with people's lives. Yeah, that's got me worried. Worse is that all the promised improvements are just that - promises. And if we've seen anything from Rudd thus far it is that promises are rarely delivered. And then there is the timelag. Most of these purported improvements won't happen for years yet. We are expected to take it all on faith. Well, despite you author's angst I, for one, am happy the WA premier held out.

Ad astra reply

20/04/2010David Welcome to [i]TPS[/i] Please come again. You sense in this piece great frustration at the Liberal Party’s negativism; that’s because many people feel that way, very strongly. It is not just Colin Barnett’s actions about the Health deal, it’s an accumulation of negative action after negative action over the last two years. You say [i]“Most of these purported improvements won't happen for years yet.”[/i] Some of the money begins on July 1 this year, and anyone working in the health field knows that irrespective of the money available, it takes time to train doctors and nurses, to build clinics, to install hospital beds. Unless you feel there’s no room for improvement, why not start now on making them. What point is there in blocking progress? You’re entitled to question whether the Rudd Government can and will deliver, but to assume they can’t and won’t and block any action they propose leaves the nation with the status quo, which two-thirds of the population don’t want – they want the system fixed. BB suggests the Coalition is blocking and marking time until it is in power again. Surely you wouldn’t go along with that. Of course we, the taxpayers, will foot the bill as we always have – who else is there to foot it except those who have private health insurance? But if we want a better health care system we have to pay, so the question again is whether we do or whether we’re satisfied with the status quo. Perhaps one in three may be, but the rest want something better.

lyn

20/04/2010Hi Ad and Bushfire Bill Thankyou Bushfire Bill for another brilliant piece. Ad you are the best ever [b]blog master [/b]quiet, measured, thoughtful and kind, which is evident in your reply to David M Russell. David M Russell I hope you keep visiting here too, I would love you to read these 2 links, if you have time please: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/01/25/The-Grumpy-Old-Denialist-Party.aspx http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/01/22/The-Grumpy-Old-Party.aspx

vote1maxine

20/04/2010Another great post BB! The Liberal Party is displaying that it is rapidly becoming IRREVELANT as a political party aspiring to be an alternate government. What is their policy manifesto that the Australian people can discuss, debate and determine that they are a contender for government? Ok they have a PPL policy that for mammas on $150,000 annual salary paid for by extra tax on business which will be passed onto everyone in increased costs in goods & services. And when the budget is in surplus, we the taxpayer will pay for the $150k salaries that these mammas are accustomed to. Yep I'm really happy to see my taxes on a $45k annual income contribute to keep these mammas to their $150k lifestyles. Will their nanny fees become tax deductible too? O yes there is the Libs clayton climate change policy. A Green Army planting 20 million trees, a few solar panels here and there, and Government subsidies for industries who volunteer to reduce carbon emissions. Then there is their infrastructure policy which continues the massive nationwide infrastructure development that began under 12 years of the Howard government. Sorry couldn't resist a bit of sarcasm :) Wow two whole policies! Well that means just two government ministers to implement them which is in keeping with their small government philosophy. Well David M Russell I disagree with you. Methinks that you are the first Australian tea bagger that I have the misfortune to come across on a blog.

lyn

20/04/2010[b]HOORAY FOR vote1maxine [/b] Excellent comment love this bit [quote][b]Well David M Russell I disagree with you. Methinks that you are the first Australian tea bagger that I have the misfortune to come across on a blog[/b][/quote].

Rx

20/04/2010It depends on the questions you ask them though. I can't see them answering NO to the following questions - (providing their answers were truthful, a big ask for the Liberals) ... "Would you bring back WorkChoices if given the opportunity?" "Would you rip money out of public health and education again so as to direct the money to the private health insurance industry and wealthy public schools?" "Would you put a Great Big New Tax onto big business, the cost of which would be passed on disproportionately to lower and middle income earners so as to subside exorbitant paternity leave payments for top-income-earning employers?" "Would you decry climate change as 'absolute crap' on the one hand, while hypocritically proposing a BS non-core climate action "policy' on the other?"

Rx

20/04/2010Vote1Maxine, I've just read your post, and it's apparent we see things similarly as regards the hypocrisy of the lousy Liberals.

lyn

20/04/2010[b]HI AD AND EVERYBODY[/b] [b]HERE IS OUR FAVOURITE GROG . THANKYOU GROG[/b] NEWSPOLL ALP 54 - LNP 44 by Grog, Grog's Gamut http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

sawdustmick

20/04/2010Ad, Vacuum head is going to be really pissed off now that Rudd has persuaded all but one of the States to back his Health Plan. In the last election we managed to get rid of Core and Non-Core Man now Shanahan expects us to vote for Hyperbole Man. All of us should never forget that Hyperbole Man was the Health Minister for nearly five years in Rodeny’s Government and did nothing to reform the health system. Oh I forgot that’s right he promised a $500 safety net for prescriptions and then blew it out to $1000, however, he explained this was not his doing it was Rodeny’s and the others. I note David Russell Quote” happy the WA premier held out.” Held out for what? Colin Barnett has said that he is only a whisker away from signing up. David you are not seriously expecting the voters to await the arrival of the great Health Plan from TA. Jesus, remember that JWH and Hyperbole man has almost 12 years to come up with a plan. The simple fact is that neither Howard nor Abbott had the balls to step into a Health reform when they could kick the shit out of State Labor governments as the Health System was slowly starved of funds.

vote1maxine

20/04/2010Hi lyn & Rx Thank you for your kind words. The bloggers on TPS and similar sites are the vanguard of the Fifth Estate in the battle of political ideas to form a better society. I hope that my posts (although not as detailed and eloquent as many others here) contribute to this important role.

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010Gidday Sawdustmick and David M Russell. Nice to have you here, even if one of you lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land. David, I went out of my way to stress that today's Health dummy spit was just the [i]latest[/i] in a long line of negativisms. It seems that the Liberals can't say anything else. Even whent hey agreed with the government (or at least came to an arrangement) on the ETS, they welshed on the deal. They're always telling us how they won't allow this, or will block that. Very rarely do we see them tell us what they [i]would[/i] do. It's always what they [i]won't[/i] do. When I say they lately seem to lack the capacity of even rational thought, I am thinking of how they voted [i]for[/i] the abolition of TPVs and now are vehemently advocating their return. That is not rational. It certainly means we can't trust them to stick to anything. It is pure opportunism. They hope we will forget they voted for the bill before they voted against it - equally enthusiastically each time. We won't forget. They have taunted Rudd for two years on the alleged lack of a Health policy. Then, when it is introduced, they say it is cobbled together over the weekend. That such a comprehensive, detailed, consultative process, the result of 18 months of inquiries, meetings, drafting and plain hard work could have been cobbled together "over the weekend" is impossible. But in Liberal Fantasyland, anything, it seems, is possible. Mugs like you swallow the snake oil, hook, line and sinker. The only recalcitrant in the entire nation is the Premier of Western Australia - a [i]Liberal[/i] Premier. Even the posturing Brumby saw sense and came to the party. But not Barnett. He is prepared (one might be unkind and say, "keen") to see the Labor policy torpedoed and bugger the rest of the country. Of course, this is in the context of the Liberals' [i]lack[/i] of any policy at all (Abbott has even admitted it, and his spruikers in the media have tried to make out it is a good thing he is "keeping his powder dry"). Yet, in this light, they are prepared to ruin it for everyone else without an alternative proposition. They just say "no" and mindless followers like yourself cheer them on. The Liberals, [i]your[/i] Liberals, are rendering themselves irrelevant on Health, on the Economy, on just about everything. No-one believes they are "keeping their powder dry". The truth is they [i]have[/i] no policy, and are trying to disguise it by saying "No" to everything. Abbott has boasted this will be his approach. On your own heads be it, but if you believe that the Australian people will vote an Opposition back into government on the strength of it, you are sadly delusioned. Here's a challenge. If you can list [i]one[/i] policy the Liberals have I will send $10 to your favourite charity. By "policy" I don't mean negativism like "We will stop the boats". For that to be a policy they would have to say [i]how[/i] they will stop the boats, and that will nto be forthcoming. I also don't mean vague quotes from Tony Abbott's [i]Mein Kampf[/i], Battlelines. We've already seen a few of Tony's thought bubbles from the book explode in his face when he's announced them before telling the party. I mean [i]real[/i], costed, policies, put together by consulting stakeholders and interested parties, written in English, without epithets like "shit-eating grin" or "toxic bore" in them (including childish sloganeering phrases such as "Great Big New Tax", without reference to wiping your bum with public documents, without wriggle room, without the likliehood they will be changed tomorrow when Abbott changes audience. Find me one of those. Convince me that it's real, and will be taken to the election and not contradicted within a fortnight, and your favourite charity gets the moolah. Bet you can't do it. That's because policy is so hard. Easier just to say "No".

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010Abbott's latest backflip: he's going to stop the dole to under-30s, except he isn't because it's not Liberal Party policy. Change audiences, change policies. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/no-more-dole-tony-abbott-warns-the-under-30s/story-e6frgczf-1225856154348?from=public_rss Two whole days to go from genesis to nemesis.

Mobius Ecko

21/04/2010"The reality is, however, that many Australians feel deeply mistrustful of the Rudd experiment with national health." Really David, can you quantify that? I'm always suspicious, and mostly have my suspicions proven correct, of anyone who states they speak on behalf of, or to know as to what a great number of people are doing or thinking without giving supporting data to that claim. I can just as easily claim that many Australians feel deeply grateful that the Rudd government is doing something with national health. In my opinion, my assertion would probably represent a far greater number of Australians than David's assertion.

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010Abbott this morning on AM did not have one good thing to say about the Health plan. He was asked several questions from different angles. All his responses were negative. One of his big points was that there would be no instant results. He had five years to do something himself without result, when he was minister. His party has no policy on Health. But the only thing Abbott was definite about was that he was likely to block the legislation. Why? Because he can, assuming the gormless Fielding does his usual trick.

David M Russell

21/04/2010It is heartening to see that the wellspring of trust flows ever so sweetly through our political discourse. There are many valid points made thus far on this issue about the Liberals' negativity and lack of policy. Yet, my central concern was - and is - the Rudd administration's ability to deliver on the promises surrounding the health imbroglio. (Oh, and cheap labelling such as suggesting I'm a tea bagger is puerile and pathetic. Not the case and I reject the slur). So, let's revisit my concerns. Rudd keeps spending in a way that I feel is unsustainable. Labor's stimulus programs worked - apparently - at the outset of the GFC threat and, as I've said elsewhere, congratulations to them for that. But once the glaring problems with the BER were being exposed, one would hope a government would have implemented a thorough review and re-evaluation. Ms Gillard simply refused to do so until dragged kicking and screaming to the altar (no matter how biased her suitor, The Australian, may have been). Then it was a case ofGillard saying: Okay, here's $14 million and my handpicked trusty will come back - some day - with a report that will, if it ever sees the light of day (where's the Henry Report, by the way?) exonerate me. No sense of responsibility - in the same manner as Peter Garrett - of being determnined to spend taxpayer funds wisely and well. If that kind of maladministration is applied to health, then the clear likelihood is serious problems - no matter how rose-tinted a view so many Sword bloggers appear wedded to. Of equal concern is the extent to which national economic wellbeing (fiscal responsibility) is being squandered. Throwing megabucks at problems has rarely proven to be a sound solution and the Rudd approach has all the unarguable hallmarks of such a style. You guys want policy from the Liberals. Well, I want sound administration from Labor. You are left frustrated and so am I. We have a stalemate here that is unlikely to be resolved in this tete-a-tete but the isssue merits serious consideration. Two other points: The older heads among you must recognise anbd acknowledge that Opposition automatically carries the tag of negativity. Would that it were not so but it is a reality. The denunciations of the Liberals for this admittedly unfortunate characteristic should be contrasted with Labor's sustained barrage of criticism while it was in Opposition. I think pots and kettles are all being blackened in this respect. Perhaps the biggest issue in all this is Labor's capacity to deliver. Where are the doctors to come from and over what timeframe? Where will the new beds actually fit? And so on. It seems, thus far, that all the promises have been taken on faith. If the Liberals are to be held to account for a lack of policy, then Labor must equally be held to account for a lack of implementation detail. Let's rid this debate of knee-jerk responses and strive to achieve something that will truly benefit future generations. And I will happily acknowledge Labor's contribution - should they actually deliver as promised.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010Lyn Thank you for your very kind comments. The benevolent, caring and enthusiastic approach you bring to this blog site fosters goodwill among bloggers and makes it a pleasure for them to visit.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010Mobius Ecko Welcome to [i]TPS[/i]; please come again. I agree strongly with your questioning of those who assert that they know what ‘many Australians think’. How do they know? Was it gossip at work or at their favourite drinking hole, or around the Sunday barbie that informed them? Or was it a carefully conducted study? We both know it wasn’t the latter. John Howard was fond of the phrase ‘the overwhelming majority of mainstream Australia’ believes or wants this or that, but at least his assertion may have been backed by a focus group study. When others, who likely have no access to such data, make such assertions, they must necessarily be suspect. Yet we hear this sort of talk every day, notably from radio talkback callers, whose knowledge and expertise so clearly exceeds that of the professionals that one wonders why they are limiting their contribution to occasional talkback calls when they ought to be running the country.

janice

21/04/2010The liberal party has become the NO Party since the 2007 election. Prior to being turfed out of office the Coalition parties gleefully dubbed Labor as being "Me Too" without one single thought that perhaps it is better to respect the will of the people and not oppose for the sake of opposing. Opposition Parties have a responsibility to allow an elected party to govern and to deliver the promises it took to the election which won it government. Should an elected government present a bill to parliament which the opposition considers is not in the best interests of the nation and needs improvement, then that is the time point out defects, to question and to negotiate a better deal. However the Coalition, as soon as it hit the opposition benches decided it's job was to oppose anything and everything and NO became the only response. David M Russell, according to polling the majority of Australians want real health reform and since all States and Territories with the exception of WA Premier Barnett (LIB) signed up after stringent negotiations over the past couple of days, I wonder why Barnett refused. Is it because he thinks his holding out will scuttle Rudd's health reform? Does he really think he can single handedly deny the rest of the Australia the reforms the nation badly needs to deliver better hospitals and health care in future? And, like Abbott and his supporters you couldn't resist the broadside regarding the Insulation programme. I'll bet pounds to peanuts that you know full well that no government has control over the nation's dishonest shysters out to make a quick quid. Putting that aside though, thousands of people had jobs they wouldn't have had otherwise and even you stood to benefit from providing work for people instead of handing out unemployment benefits. Nothing irks me more than hearing people rabbitting on that government revenue (taxation) is OUR MONEY. Sure it is OUR money and we elect a government to spend it for us to deliver infrastructure and services. We do not expect a government to accumulate revenue in the counting house as surplus to requirements and pay it back to us in tax breaks and handouts to those who don't need it, while infrastructure crumbles around our ears.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010sawdustmick, vote1maxine, Rx, janice Thank you for your comments. As BB points out, Tony Abbott, quite predictably, has been rushing lemming-like down the negative track this morning about the Health Reform Plan, as did Peter Dutton last night on [i]Lateline[/i], both heading to the cliff’s edge over which they will surely fall if they continue their negativity. How long will the public tolerate their incessant obstruction to sound governance? They continually put the brakes on progress. How can that benefit us? [i]Lateline[/i] last night provided us with metaphor of Federal politics. Putting on her tough girl face, Leigh Sales peppered Nicola Roxon with penetrating questions about the Health Reform Plan, to which Nicola smilingly responded with well-constructed and informative answers that directly addressed Leigh’s questions. Nothing could disturb her equanimity. By contrast, Peter Dutton approached Leigh’s questions with his characteristic sombre face, skirted around the issues, would not commit himself or the Coalition to anything much, and left the impression that the Coalition would do everything it could to obstruct the implementation of the plan. No doubt following its spin doctors’ advice he harped on the multiple layers of bureaucracy the plan would create – the ‘Great Big New Bureaucracy’, and managed to conjure up five layers! He couldn’t describe where they were, nor did Tony Abbott mention more than three this morning! I guess Dutton thought the more the merrier. As I watched [i]Lateline[/i] I thought how accurate was BB in asserting that the Liberals’ universal solution to everything is to – just say ‘No’. David I'll respond to your comments in detail as soon as I can.

HillbillySkeleton

21/04/2010It's equisitely hypocritical of the Opposition to attempt to dun the name of Public Servants, er, Big Bad Bureaurocrats, when they have just come off being the government who expanded the federal Public Service to its largest size ever in the history of Australia. However, I guess they think it's OK as long as you expand it and fill it with WorkChoices compliance officers and Prime Ministerial message units., and not OK with new Public Servants administering a restructuring of our Universal Health system.

lyn

21/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Health reform takes dollars and sense , Mungo macCallum, Northern Rivers Echo http://www.echonews.com.au/story/2010/04/20/health-reform-will-take-dollars-and-sense/ The sleaze factor in election strategies, by Eva Cox, The Stump http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ Liberal infighting breaks out, Mark Westfield, Business Spectator http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Liberal-Party-Brian-Loughnane-James-McGrath-pd20100421-4PU62?OpenDocument&src=sph The Politics of health: COAG and beyond, by Mark, Larvatus Prodeo http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/04/20/the-politics-of-health-coag-and-beyond/ Rudd's tax Trojan Horse, by Alan Kohler, Business Spectator http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/COAG-Kevin-Rudd-GST-health-reform-economy-pd20100420-4NSGE?OpenDocument&src=sph Brass in Pocket, by Ben Eltham, New Matilda http://newmatilda.com/2010/04/20/brass-pocket Abbott slams Rudd on WA exclusion , Perth Now http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/abbott-slams-rudd-on-wa-exclusion/story-e6frg14c-1225855992930 Coalition considers Gen Y dole ban By Emma Rodgers, ABC NEWS http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/21/2878417.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail Deal and no deal between PM and Premiers, daily wrap, Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/21/deal-and-no-deal-between-pm-and-premiers/ “Ban the Dole” Says Tony Abbott,by Reb, Gutter Trash http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/ban-the-dole-says-tony-abbott/ The Rise of the Seniors Party, by Andrew Caar,Chasing the Norm http://andrewcarr.org/?p=1989 Abbott Go West, by Kim. Larvatus Prodeo http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/04/21/abbott-go-west/ No More Dole, Tony Abbott warns the under 30's, by Peter Australia-crying http://australia-crying.blogspot.com/2010/04/no-more-dole-tony-abbott-warns-under.html

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010DMR wrote: [i]It seems, thus far, that all the promises have been taken on faith. If the Liberals are to be held to account for a lack of policy, then Labor must equally be held to account for a lack of implementation detail.[/i] "Thus far" being precisely 18 hours since the deal was announced. It seems that if every detail is not fleshed out then the plan is doomed to fail. Once again, negativism and "No" is the right winger's response. Apart from expecting an entire revamp of the Health Plan to be completely set out for us to digest less than a day after the deal is done (fat chance of that with an antagonistic, lazy and decidedly surly media deprived of a good fight), David's premiss is that this must be a bad agreement because nothing the Rudd government has ever done has worked, except the Stimulus which only "apparently" worked, even if only for a while in the early days. But now that the "glaring problems" with the BER have been exposed, with Gillard dragged "kicking and screaming" to an inquiry, this is a failure too. Where have the problems been exposed? David supplies the source: The Australian newspaper. David admits it is "biased", yet somehow we are supposed to discount this and believe that everything they have said about the BER is true. It must be true because, before any inquiry has reported, David knows there are "glaring problems". He tells us the inquiry will be nobbled, as Gillard has appointed a "handpicked trusty". Presumably only journalists from News Ltd should assess the evidence, the same people who brought us bodgied-up facsimiles of emails that never existed. The same people whose predictions consistently fail to materialise (I'm thinking of Milne and Shanahan here, especially). The same people who misread their own polls. The same people who run the egregious Fox News in the US. One thing we could be sure of: they wouldn't qualify as Gillard's handpicked trusties... David might have a point there. David's argument, taken it its logical conclusion is that the government should abandon governing. They stuffed up Insulation, they've overspent (despite some apparent initial successes), they've borrowed too much, they can't even put up a shade cloth in a school playground properly... David assures us. They should just keep the country on bare life support, maintain basic services, and then hand over to Tony Abbott come the election. David argues from the general to the specific. He writes: [i]Throwing megabucks at problems has rarely proven to be a sound solution and the Rudd approach has all the unarguable hallmarks of such a style.[/i] Therefore any spending is inefficient, wasteful and wrong, especially on Health. So, I suppose David would want the government to [i]reduce[/i] spending on Health as a sign it's on the right path towards reform. He insinuates that all the government has done is spend on Health. Forget the extra beds, doctors, nurses, equipment and so on that are also part of the package: to spend money to achieve these things has been "rarely proven" to work. I guess Rudd should just conscript the extra workforce and not pay them. That way we would save "our money". All the while, the Liberals have no policy. This morning on AM Abbott had not one positive thing to say on the government's Health plan. The depth of the arrogance of such a response, delivered by a man, Abbott, who cheerfully admits he has no Health policy of his own (despite turning up to a debate on Health a few weeks ago to presumably tell us what he'd do) boggles the brain. He spoke, and David parrots, the fact that the WA Premier has not agreed to the plan, as if Abbott hadn't been on the blower to him day and night urging recalcitrance. No, these disagreements just "happen", without external reference or consultation between those who either want the plan to succeed, or want it to fail. In the meantime, because we will have to spend money to get the new system up and running, and (somehow or other) insulation batts and school halls are causally connected to implementing the nation's new Health policy, we should do nothing. David defends the Party Of "No" by assuring us that that's what oppositions are supposed to be: negative. Don't worry that at the last election the main criticism of Rudd from the now (thankfully) defunct Coalition government was that he was too "Me Too" - he agreed too much with Howard (and won the election) - oppositions are locked into negativity. You'd think Abbott would have learnt a thing or two about negativity and its destructive effect on a party's prospects by now, but he hasn't. Neither has David. Abbott at least has an excuse. He is cranky; cranky that Rudd took over his "religion" franchise, took over his "intellectual" franchise, took over his "confessions" franchise and now has taken over his "Health" franchise... and Rudd isn't even a Rhodes scholar! The toxic bore himself, Abbott has finally found someone else he can attach the tag to. No wonder anger and negativity guide his every move. But David has no excuse. To read his two posts above is to read a condensed version of The Australian (somehow "biased" but nevertheless trustworthy). Their standard talking points, laundered through the Liberal Party and back again, get a guernsey in David's posts: insulation, BER, Stimulus, debt... they're all there just as if Shanahan, Stutchbury and Milne had written them themselves. But the worst of it is that he excuses the Liberals' complete lack of Health policy by falsely saying that Labor's [i]real[/i] policy, with near unanimous support from the states and territories (excepting the Liberal state of WA), plus solid polling support, has no implementation detail. The deal was only done yesterday but David, like Abbott wants to naysay it because [i]he[/i] doesn't know how it will be implemented. Why? Because he doesn't care about the detail. He just wants to say "No". He's too lazy to do the basic research for himself. It's so easy to demand that everyone else does the hard work while he, the naysayer, sits back and whinges. This is what Abbott has brought things to: go off for a coupkle of weeks and ride your bicycle (or, in David's case, edit your spiffy blog) while everyone else goes to work for the good of the nation, trying to achieve something... and then come back and just say "No". David, do some reading. The facts are out there. [i]Find out[/i] for yourself. We're not going to do it for you. You style youself as a master communicator... well... [i]communicate[/i].

Rx

21/04/2010Perhaps "David" is just impatient for the Coalition to get back in so they can whittle away the pay and working conditions of his (grand)kids with the appalling SerfChoices.

HillbillySkeleton

21/04/2010 'Der Fuhrer Rudd’s health blitzkrieg' Well, according to Godwin's Law, David, you've just dealt yourself out of the game right there. * 'David M. Russell is a professional communicator with three decades of experience in politics, journalism, public affairs and marketing. His career covers both the public and private sectors with strong exposure to academia. His innovative work in place branding earned him recognition as a leading public sector marketer. His private sector clients have included the Government of Papua New Guinea, NAB, Telstra, Golden Circle, Golden Casket, CSR, Australian Made Campaign and Mack Trucks. David has served as Speechwriter to two Prime Ministers of Papua New Guinea and has authored eight manuscripts including: Living a Life That Matters, Tangled Web, The Reading Room, Jimmy James – A Foreign Affair, The Political Survival Handbook and The Curse of Irrelevance. David is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a former Queensland President and National Senior Vice-President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia. He has won state and national awards for his communication campaigns and holds a Master of Business (Communication).' Lol, a 'Spin Doctor' spinning the Coalition's lines for them on our blog; how ironic from the 'Authentic Action Man's' supposedly spin-free corner. I always knew that meme was just the ultimate in spin, and David has demonstrated it in spades.

HillbillySkeleton

21/04/2010Oh, you mean THIS 'David M.Russell': Brisbane City Council - Lord Mayor's Office (Government Administration industry) Currently holds this position. * Which would be Liberal Mayor, Campbell Newman's office. Hmmm. Blogging on the Ratepayers' time are we, David?

Rx

21/04/2010But .. but .. but ... they say only Rudd spins.

lyn

21/04/2010Hi Hillbilly Skeleton I think you should email Campbell Newman, what do you think Cheers

David M Russell

21/04/2010You funny people! Remarkable that you think I should have something to hide about who I am and what my career has consisted of. It is you, Hillbilly, who hides behind a moniker, not me. And it proffers a fascinating insight, BB and AA et al, that you are happy to publish what your contributors clearly perceive to be threatening actions. It is the clearest illustration of the true nature the sword. And to think that an outsider who endeavoured to engage in a debate of ideas should be treated in this way. Oh, well. Life is all about learning. Enjoy yourselves!

macca

21/04/2010Bye David...don't let the door hit your arse on the way out. Please give my regards to Can Do...and do offer my congratulations to him on what will become the worlds longest mushroom farm( Clem7)

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated.

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010[i]And to think that an outsider who endeavoured to engage in a debate of ideas should be treated in this way.[/i] David writes well (which is a step up from some), but it's still the same old Lib talking points. Most f these points have been argued out long before. No need to feel obliged to repeat yourselves.

HillbillySkeleton

21/04/2010David M.Russell, Don't flatter yourself. What you contributed was not an example of endeavouring to engage in a debate of ideas, but a poorly-disguised attempt at proffering boilerplate Coalition spin.

sawdustmick

21/04/2010David, I hope you don’t believe that TPS bloggers are ganging up on you but really when you say,“Let's rid this debate of knee-jerk responses and strive to achieve something that will truly benefit future generations”. How on earth do you suggest that we do that when the opposition puts now plan forward, has no detail so far on any proposal that Tony Abbott has announced? David it was only a few weeks ago Rudd gave Abbott the opportunity for debate on Health Reform. Did you hear any plan from Abbott? No of course not. Now we hear from Peter Dutton last night on Lateline that they have been working on a Health Plan for twelve months. This must be the best-kept secret in Canberra for someone not to sniff out a small amount of detail. I would have thought that your central concern would have been No Health Policy. The administration of policy as grand as this is always going to have teething problems and in some instances lack of detail. I would like to hear you thoughts on Abbott’s rein as the Federal Health Minister? Do you believe that he has any policy on Health Reform? By all means lets have a debate but lets not pretend that what you have put forward in you comments are anywhere near a truthful and constructive debate about Health Reform

David M Russell

21/04/2010If there IS any interest in engaging in debate then please note: a) I speak for myself and not anyone else (though I am avowed LNP supporter); I do not mind 'losing' debating points against a stronger opposing force; and I don't take bat and ball and go home. The points I raised are sincerely held concerns and almost all of the responses that have been posted have been every bit as cliched and relentlessly pro-Labor as I have been accused of being pro-Liberal. Please bear in mind that individuals who support a particular political entity do not have to religously subscribe to every policy of that entity and many, if not all, do have the capacity for individual thought. The Sword attracted me because it puts those who deserve it to the sword. But what I have encountered today suggests a blind bias and a staunch unwillingness to tease-out ideas rather than the simple expediency of engaging in denunciation. Hold me in contempt if you will for my beleiefs but, for the sake of the nation, do not simply condemn me (or others like me) out of hand. That will not build the Australia I hope we all aspire to.

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010David, I offered to donate $10 to your favourite charity if you could enunciate to me any firm Liberal policy... [i]Here's a challenge. If you can list one policy the Liberals have I will send $10 to your favourite charity. By "policy" I don't mean negativism like "We will stop the boats". For that to be a policy they would have to say how they will stop the boats, and that will not be forthcoming. I also don't mean vague quotes from Tony Abbott's Mein Kampf, Battlelines. We've already seen a few of Tony's thought bubbles from the book explode in his face when he's announced them before telling the party. I mean real, costed, policies, put together by consulting stakeholders and interested parties, written in English, without epithets like "shit-eating grin" or "toxic bore" in them (including childish sloganeering phrases such as "Great Big New Tax", without reference to wiping your bum with public documents, without wriggle room, without the likliehood they will be changed tomorrow when Abbott changes audience. Find me one of those. Convince me that it's real, and will be taken to the election and not contradicted within a fortnight, and your favourite charity gets the moolah.[/i] We don't need the full text and detailed explanation. Just a policy will do, guided by the above rules, just to make sure it's a policy and not a thought bubble. For example, here is the Liberal Party's Health Policy page on their web site: http://www.liberal.org.au/Issues/Health.aspx At the top it has the following words: [b]TELL US HOW... We can improve the health system[/b] It then says: [i]Tony Abbott and the Liberals stand for direct action to put decision-making on hospitals back in the hands of local doctors and nurses. Because even though Mr Rudd says “the buck stops with me”, he’s done nothing to change a decade of State Labor failure. We believe that all Australians should have access to an affordable, quality health care system regardless of whether they live in the city or in regional areas. [/i] ... which is not a policy, just a collection of motherhood-style platitudes. Show us their policy. On Paid Parental Leave it says: [i]The Coalition Joint Party Room this morning endorsed a proposal to introduce Paid Parental Leave if elected to government. The proposal is the first part of our broader package of support for Australian families. ... The Coalition’s scheme will be funded with a 1.7 per cent levy on companies that have a taxable income in excess of $5 million. This levy will affect a tiny fraction of Australian companies: only about 3,200 companies out of more than 750,000, or less than one per cent of Australian companies.[/i] and it goes on to outline more details of the supposed policy. However, Tony Abbott has said he will not permit Labor to break a promise, so the same test must be applied to the Liberals' policies. More importantly, as their PPP scheme breaks the clear promise (made not a fortnight previously to the PPP policy's release) not to increase existing or introduce new taxes, this is a case of gross ambiguity, and does not qualify as a policy. You can't present as "policies" policies that directly contradict each other. That's just having two-bob each way. On the [i]Community[/i] page there is a link entitled "Policy and Media Downloads" which is a dead link. Underneath it there is a single live link referring to PPP. Is that the only "policy" the Liberals have under the heading of "Community"? Get the picture? We want proper, costed policies that are more than wishlists, motherhood statements or thought bubbles, and which can hold up as consistent with other policies, and which pass the "Laugh" test, or else we might think the Libs are just playing with peoples' minds. Policies which evince an intention to just say "No" to a Labor policy are also disqualified, unless they reveal an alternative plan that makes sense under the above guidelines. On this basis, today's Under-30 Dole Disqualification "policy", the "We Will Turn Back The Boats" "policy", the "Nannies For everyone" "policy", the "We Will Stop All Refugees" "policy" and many other "policies" are disqualified. The only thing we know of true Liberal policies is that they intend to say "No" to the ETS, the Medicare Rebate Bill, probably any Health bills that are needed, and a host of others, some of them now at DD-trigger status. I up my offer to a further $5 for each policy after the first one. I don't want to pay more as I'm scared of going broke paying out for so many policies I'm sure you'll find for us. So, go on, David, take the Liberal Party Policy Test and surprise us.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010David While I was out I see there’s been a lot of dialogue about you. Whether or not you are the ‘David M. Russell’ that Hillbilly Skeleton describes, you are welcome to express your views here, but kindly spare us the worn-out clichés that we hear every day from Coalition members and News Limited columnists. Those who comment here are mature people who argue their case from verifiable facts; only in this way can we have meaningful debate. If you are indeed an expert in communication, I expect you would know that while the unthinking might respond and eventually mouth mindless mantras and slogans, thoughtful people seek a little more meat to chew on, a well-fleshed bone to relish. So by all means return, but treat us with the respect that we have built up for each other in the [i]TPS[/i] community over its two years of operation. Thank you though for returning with your further comments, which BB has addressed comprehensively. I won’t repeat his points but there are some aspects that deserve attention. First the issue of oppositions and negativity. After the 2007 election, Tony Abbott said he would follow Randolph Churchill’s dictum: “Oppositions should oppose everything, suggest nothing, and turf the government out”. Abbott has followed it slavishly ever since, more so since becoming leader. Despite the public’s apparent aversion to such negativity, as evidenced by the gyrations of the worm in the Great Health Debate, I expect he will continue in this vein as he knows no other. You suggest that all oppositions are negative and oppose; I agree with you. Labor did so when it was in opposition. My memory of the detail is limited as I was heavily occupied then doing my job, but history records the frustrations the Howard Government had at that time. But does the belief that all oppositions oppose justify such behaviour? It may be naive of me, but I feel strongly that when the people elect 150 members of the House of Representatives and 76 Senators, they expect them to contribute to governing, over and above what they do for their own electorate. Yet we see them aligning in different groups, fighting each other with a ferocity that is at times frightening. This is the product of adversarial politics, which has such a malign effect on our political system. So I don’t buy the argument that because ‘oppositions always oppose’ that it is acceptable behaviour. I deplore it, and the resultant waste of time, energy and resources, no matter what party is in opposition. How much better off this country would be was there collaboration among parliamentarians instead of the usual antagonism, conflict, obstruction and negativity? Next, you express doubts about the capacity of the Rudd Government to deliver. Did it deliver this nation from the recessionary effects of the GFC? Many economists and ordinary people believe it did. Are they all wrong? I know there are still some economists who deny this but the weight of opinion and the hard facts are against them. Now I reckon that was delivering at its best. You somewhat reluctantly concede that it ‘apparently’ worked, but now you worry about the debt incurred. We all worry about debt, but yet we take it on at a personal level to achieve what we want, whether it’s a house, a car, a holiday. The Government took it on to avoid recession, gross unemployment and business failure, and it succeeded. Should it have saved its funds and let these awful things happen? Now we have to repay the debt, just as we do in personal life. Only today it was revealed that Australia has the lowest per capita debt as a proportion of GDP of any developed country. So let’s quit lamenting the ‘debt and deficit’ and get on with repaying it thankful we came out of the GFC so well. What about global warming, still ‘the greatest moral challenge of our time’? The Government delivered an ETS via a multiphasic investigative process that began six months before Rudd became PM, an ETS similar to that proposed by John Howard, and supported, to his eventual political detriment, by Malcolm Turnbull who stitched up a deal with the Government to pass it, only to have the Coalition welsh on the deal and defeat it. How anyone could have the temerity to condemn the Rudd Government for not delivering an ETS when it was the Opposition that defeated it in the Senate defies rational thought. Yet that is what Coalition supporters do. You mention the BER. Like the columnists in News Limited papers, you too condemn this massive endeavour of 24,000 projects in 9500 schools on the grounds of around 100 complaints, many of which have already been shown to be spurious, and the rorts and rip offs that some unscrupulous operators have perpetrated, which are already been investigated by the inbuilt monitoring system, the Auditor General, and now by the specific group Julia Gillard has established. But even that is no good in your eyes – Gillard had to be ‘dragged kicking and screaming’ to do this, and anyway it’s shonky from the outset because she’s picked ‘a hand-picked trusty’. Never have I seen any comprehensive acknowledgement in the media of the enormous benefit of the BER to schools, children, their teachers, and those employed to build the BER. The media’s approach has been: ‘let’s just push that to one side and hammer the Government relentlessly about the flaws’. You may find the public will see the BER differently come election time. Not surprisingly, you mention the insulation programme. The problem there was not the intent, but the execution via a department not geared to handle the administration of such a massive and largely successful and beneficial programme. The shonks, the cowboys, the fraudsters came along in numbers and severely damaged the programme. But the media seldom lays any blame at their feet; it is the Government, Garrett’s department, Garrett himself and Rudd that are the targets, and will continue to be right through the election campaign; no doubt the Coalition ads to exploit this Government misadventure are already in the tin. You say [i] Throwing megabucks at problems has rarely proven to be a sound solution[/i]. What is your evidence for this confident assertion? It’s a well-worn platitude, but have you ever seen anyone cite examples that prove your point? It seems strange to repeat such a mantra when nowadays just about everyone seeking to improve anything in public life says ‘just give us the money and we’ll do the job’. If money is what’s needed to get things done, why would throwing it be such a poor solution? Finally, I hope you will return, but with facts and figures and well-reasoned conclusions to back up your assertions. If you do you may be surprised at the reception you receive from visitors here. But if you prefer to rely on unsupported political slogans that have their origin in the Coalition’s media unit, you will likely once more get the reception that greeted your comments this morning.

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010I disagree with you on only one point, AA. Rudd made his bones before the last election by [i]agreeing[/i] with the Howard government on many things. This was greeted cynically as a political ploy. But what a success it was! I suppose the supporters of the then government, in a [i]brere rabbit[/i] sort of way, might have wanted Rudd to emulate the present Abbott policy - negative, divisive and scattalogical - so that he would lose. If so, it's amusing that the wisdom of the Coalition then - that negativism is a turn-off with the electorate - isn't applied now when they need ideas and support, but are not receiving it. Assuming they wanted Rudd to lose (and absent political insanity), it's the only explanation for their complaint that he shadowed the Howard government too closely. There is a military doctrine called Concentration Of Force, which deals with how an attacking general can gain an advantage over his opponent by establishing a local superiority and exploiting it to the limit in order to punch a hole in the enemy's lines, subsequently rolling up the enemy's forces by an attack from both the rear and frontally. Put another way, this principle advises local concentration rather than spreading resources too thinly. Stated succinctly it tells us to: "Choose your battles. Fight only the ones you can win, and fight them without mercy." Rudd did this in the 2007 election, putting Howard constantly on the backfoot as his troops (in the form of a few well-chosen, tactically positioned and concentrated differential policy positions) streamed through the larger army's lines at points of Howard's greatest weakness and then broke out to attack them from the rear. Elsewhere along the "battlelines" (to use Abbott's phrase) Rudd played a holding action, agreeing so much with Howard as to be accused of being "Mr. Me Too". Abbott, by contrast, is ruled by anger and a natural but uncontrolled instinct of aggression that expresses itself as negativity. His boxer's mentality (well, perhaps the boxing fitted the mentality rather than the other way around) says swing as many punches as you can and you're sure to hit something sooner or later. It is a waste of energy and presents an edifice of obstructionism to the public as well as the government. The Worm showed that every time Abbott took a negative turn in his debating style a few weeks ago his standing with the public (in the form of a studio audience) plummetted. The Coalition, under his leadership, is fighting too many battles. They are impaling themselves on the government's defences all along the line, perhaps winning the odd skirmish here and there but at the same time depleting their precious (and, I might add, scarcer and scarcer) resources. Where they [i]do[/i] break through they don't have the localized concentration of force to sufficiently exploit the situation. It is this irresistable urge to do damage to the government, born of hatred and pique at being "wrongfully" turfed out of office (or so they imagine, Abbott is on record as believing this) that is doing them harm. The suggestion they offered Rudd during the election campaign - "be more negative" - was poor advice then and is still today. They seem to have learned nothing from their devastation at the last election, nothing in the four years since they have won any opinion poll, anywhere. This negativism, the manic search for a silver bullet, a miracle victory, was what ultimately ruined Turnbull (The Grech Affair, despite the later good-faith ETS negotiations won out in the public's mind) and is what will ruin Abbott and his party. I, for one, am glad that they are taking this approach, because in the end it will make Rudd's and Labor's job easier. Every time Abbott says "No" I hear the sound of another nail being hammered into his, his party's and his reactionary philosophy's political coffin. I disagree with Randolph Churchill. Just because he said something about being negative doesn't mean it is correct. Churchill pater died of syphilis, a broken man. His son, Winston, bided his time, waited for his chance and took over when he was best positioned to do so. In the meantime he played ball with various governments, keeping his head down, co-operating when there was no alternative and he finally triumphed. Winston churchill picked his political battles. That he did not always choose his [i]military[/i] battles wisely - from Gallipoli, to Greece, to Dieppe - is an illustration of the old maxim, "Nobody's perfect". Abbott is fighting on too many fronts at once, launching broadside, suicidal bayonet charges against very well prepared defences. You cannot counter a comprehensive, well thought-out, inclusive and consultative Health policy by going for a bike ride and doing standup interviews at the end of the day's journey when you've had your shower and put on your suit. Politics and policy is a serious business, requiring proper attention to detail and genuine effort. Abbott is bringing neither to his work as Opposition Leader. In not being fair dinkum, in relying instead on rude good health and natural aggressive instincts he is frittering away whatever time and energy he and his party have left to them in the few short months until the next election. Two years on into the Rudd government and the Liberals are still languishing in the polls, behind on just about every voting and policy measure and metric (if they [i]have[/i] any policies, that is), flailing away trying to score a king hit that will somehow pierce the skin of the government, in their delusion causing a festering wound and killing Rudd with a spreading infection. It's a fantasy, at least this time around. Daydreams of miracle victories, cheap tricks and - most egregious of all - plenary negativism, are no substitute for solid work that proves to the public that you take your job - and [i]their[/i] aspirations - seriously.

HillbillySkeleton

21/04/2010Ad Astra, if only I could be as reasonable as you. :)

bilgedigger

21/04/2010Ad Astra I very much admire your ability to engage visitors to this site, whatever their political standing or beliefs. David M. Russell's viewpoint is not mine and I think his memory of events is more than a little sketchy but he does provide his point of view, which is what blogs are presumably mainly attempting to voice. I don't agree with trying to silence critics, and believe there is more validity in listening to their comments and then taking time and care to rebut them, as you do. Thank you for that. By the way, Bushfire Bill - Are you telling me that Kevin Rudd is NOT A RHODES SCHOLAR!!!Shock and horror - I guess he must just be one of those "Elites" the Conservatives keep talking about. The next thing I know you'll be telling me that people who use a middle initial in lieu of their full name are not Conservatives.

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010Biley, mate, I sorry to disappoint you, but.... No... I can't say it.

lyn

21/04/2010TODAY'S LINKS PART 2[b][/b] Liberals rocked by leadership feud, by Chris Uhlmann, ABC News http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/21/2878800.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail OUT-RAGE: Liberal fury over Loughnane’s purge, By Vexnews.com http://www.vexnews.com/news/8983/out-rage-liberal-fury-over-loughnanes-purge/ Avoiding the hole in the middle, The Piping Shrike http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/04/avoiding-the-hole-in-the-middle.html#comments Looking for significant and lasting change, by Tobias Ziegler Pure Poison http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/04/21/looking-for-significant-and-lasting-change/ Rudd is running out of time to deliver on health by Bernard Keane, Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/21/rudd-can-change-the-gst-any-time-he-likes-but-there-isnt-much-time/ Abbott abandons half the population, By J Quiggen http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2010/04/21/abbott-abandons-half-the-population/

David M Russell

21/04/2010You really are a wind-up merchant, aren't you AA? LOL! Blithely ignore my statement that I am not an apologist for the Liberal Party and am expressing my own views. But your philosophical blindfold simply will not allow you to see reality. The cynicism that distorts the potential for positive debate harms us all but those who will not listen will never hear. A shame because the legacy of lynch mobs has always been the erosion of freedom. Ciao!

Bushfire Bill

21/04/2010Lynch mobs? Rudd as Hitler? C'mon David, get serious. [i]The cynicism that distorts the potential for positive debate harms us all but those who will not listen will never hear.[/i] Too true, Dave.

Filippo

21/04/2010What i find interesting about David's comments is a lack of recognition of the failure of the previous Government, in which Tony Abbott was the health minister, to deal with Australia's public health system. The coming crisis was evident a decade ago. However, the coalition doesn't want an effective public health system, as it will discourage people from going private. Doctors and nurses don't grow on trees, and the catch-up that Labor now has to deal with will take time. More beds isn't about buying beds. It takes infrastructure and workforce development, which in the health area take longer than in most. Having worked in the public health system for 15 years, i know that the extra $ flowing next year will help people waiting for elective surgery and emergency department care. However, it will not fix all the problems. But some money now, and extra funding over time will improve access to public health services in this nation. Whatever you want to say about Labor, at least in health they have a strategic approach to actually getting public patients' needs addressed in a timely and efficient manner (and that the reason we need this huge investment now is because the other side wanted to force people into the private system by reducing the funding available for public hospital services.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated/

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010David Your rejoinder mystifies me. I suppose you are referring to my concluding statement [i]“But if you prefer to rely on unsupported political slogans that have their origin in the Coalition’s media unit...”[/i] when you protest that you are not “...an apologist for the Liberal Party and am expressing my own views”. I don’t know if you are an apologist or not, and I don’t really care, but when you repeat the same old slogans that the Liberals have been using for yonks, I presume you believe them to be cogent, whether you are an apologist or not. Why do you bring up lynch mobs intent on eroding freedom? Haven’t you been given a fair hearing here on [i]TPS[/i]? Many have taken considerable time to respond to you thoughtfully and in some detail. You should take that as a compliment. If we thought you were inconsequential we wouldn’t bother. No one is trying to lynch you or suppress your right to express an opinion – only trying to get you to provide evidence to support your assertions. So do come back and when you do, please explain to me what exactly is ‘a wind-up merchant’.

lyn

21/04/2010Hi Filippo Love your comment. [quote]the coalition doesn't want an effective public health system, as it will discourage people from going private.[/quote] Couldn't agree with you more. The Private system doesn't work anyway, my own Dr. who has private health cover had to pay $500 for a colonoscopy test for bowel cancer. I had to pay $3000 for the gap to have my foot operated on. My friend had to pay $2000 to have her shoulder operated on. Another friend had to pay $40,000 up front to have her back operated on in Brisbane. I have a friend who had to go on the waiting list to have a gasoscopy done, a test, 3 months and $300 later, the gasoscopy was performed at Maryborough. I have a cousin that has been waiting 2 years to have her nose operated on. How many people out there have had to pay huge sums of money for health care. We have a beautiful hospital in Hervey Bay Qld, plenty of beds, modern, lovely, but if anyone here needs to go to hospital they are sent to Maryborough. We have a population of around 53,000, there are just not enough nurses and Doctors . I come from Camden NSW that has a lovely hospital there, plenty of beds, it is used for old age care, people needing operations are sent to Campbelltown. Then we have Tony Abbott with no policy, already indicating the Coalition will oppose the Governments health reform. The health system in Australia is up the creek, the sick and the poor are being ripped off. Many passing away while on the waiting lists. The private health funds are very selective in what they cover under insurance, it's a rort, (like the education scheme and the insulation program, sarcastic). We have [b]Mr Howard and Tony Abbott [/b]to thank for the system we have now.

Grog

21/04/2010"We have Mr Howard and Tony Abbott to thank for the system we have now." and Michael Wooldridge - don't forget his fine work from 96 to 2001.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010HillbillySkeleton, bilgedigger, BB, Filippo Thank you for your comments. Clearly David does not see me as reasonable, but rather a participant in a lynch mob that eschews freedom of speech. One can only try to be reasonable but it would be folly to be too certain of success.

BH

21/04/2010I think David Russell's problem is that he hasn't encountered bloggers like AA and BB who are able to back up their comments with facts and reason and then challenge him. I notice he hasn't been able to do the same himself and his last comment was extremely childish.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010Folks If you’re interested in what David M Russell writes on his blog-site of the same name, the link is http://davidmrussell.wordpress.com/

lyn

21/04/2010[b]HI AD AND EVERYBODY [/b] HERE IS GROG TO CHEER EVERYBODY UP AFTER THE RUSSELL TRIP, THANKYOU GROG EXCELLENT. Off to the mines with you Work'us Abbott goes Dickens, by GROG, GROG'S GAMUT http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

lyn

21/04/2010[b]Hi Ad and everybody[/b]Please read this blog It's to the Salt Mines with you, by Mac, Ramblings of a political tragic http://moderatelyleft.blogspot.com/2010/04/its-to-salt-mines-with-you.html

Snoozer289

21/04/2010I have to say that this is an amazing blog site, it is informative, but more it importantly it is allowing people to express there point of view. Whilst David has tried to justify his comments (which are fair enough) and others have countered this comments. We need to consider ourselves extremely lucky that we can express our position/point of view without discrimmitation or Violence (more importantly) I am a new blogger, I have read this site (enjoyed) reading this along with a number of similar site for a while and have to finally confess I am a policatical junkie (amatuer) What I find extremely frustrating in the criticisim of PM Rudd and the government by a majority of MSM, Radio and other commentators, without facts. Whilst there are many examples of this daily, today I witness the what was an amazing abuse of controlled commentory. I was scanning Radio channel lsitening to comments to the health debate, when lsitening to a high profile radio station a caller rang in to say something positive about Mr Rudd as soon as she started to speak she was immediately disconnected and then ridiculed. If this is what the right wing and conservative side of policte call open and balance discussion please give me a break. The current MSM commentory remind me of the parents standing on the side lines of their 5 yr old child abusing everybody, but not prepared to get of there fat asses and have ago themselves My comment may not be as informed or in depth and many of the comments I have read, but at least I feel I can express myself Thankyou Snoozer289

Rx

21/04/2010I don't know why he's calling AA a "wind-up merchant". He got a more civil interaction and reasoned response from this blog host, AA, than any of us would likely get if posting on a hostile right-wing blog. He came into the discussion all guns blazing at BB. Then went out of the discussion (if he has actually gone) firing at all the bloggers present with accusations of "lynch mob" and "will not listen". .. And not one word meanwhile about Coalition policy, even though he'd been repeatedly challenged by BB to name JUST ONE fair dinkum policy. But still, I'm not complaining. It's been quite entertaining witnessing policy poverty and spin in real-time on TPS.

lyn

21/04/2010Hi Rx Russell today writes [i]A wordsmith who sells his ability to others., David Russell, Menzies House. [/i]http://www.menzieshouse.com.au/2010/04/women-where-are-you.html#more What do you reckon.

Rx

21/04/2010Lyn, For a professional spin merchant he was hard-pressed to name EVEN ONE Coalition policy. That in itself says more than the spin ever could.

Ad astra reply

21/04/2010Lyn, Grog, BH, Rx Thank you for your comments and your links Lyn. Great stuff on Grog's Gamut as usual. Snoozer 289 You're welcome on TPS. I hope you will return. Thank you for your kind comments. Like you, and many visitors to TPS I am incensed by the continual negative comment in the MSM about Kevin Rudd and his Government. No matter what they do, there is always a downside that is emphasized more than the upside. In my view News Limited is aiming to bring the Rudd Government down with its incessant carping criticism. God knows why when the alternative is an Abbott Government and his very thin frontbench. Fortunately the public seem to have tuned out and no longer give credence to the criticism. Those who visit here may in some small way help to redress that imbalance.

Colen

21/04/2010You are a hypocritical bunch. BB in one sentence you say that Barnett is holding out. I bet you were not critical when Brumby was holding out on the water policy until the election. Was that just a No for the sake of his Labour mates. To have any Government say that there funds are garanteed in 2014 is just a joke. The world changes. Crises arise in months look at the GFC did any one here forecast it. Spending priorities change. If Rudd has over the past two years developed a health policy as you say BB he should have it spelt out word for word. Give me a break. I can promise you that there will not be any catch up on surgery lists. If I am wrong in a year's time I will make a $100 donation to your favourite charity.

Acerbic Conehead

21/04/2010AA and BB, this is a questionable attempt at simultaneously covering the themes of this thread and the previous one on the Insiders program. In view of Kevin Rudd getting a lot of good publicity this week over the health bizzo, Barrie Cassidy wants to spruike the anti-Rudd line even more this Sunday, so he has invited Piers Akerman, Andrew Bolt and Glenn Milne to be the three panellists. However, contrary to Barrie’s instructions, the three truculent Coalition-boosters have been reading The Political Sword, and have decided that they can hide their true political allegiances no longer. All along, they have wanted to ‘come out’ and reveal the revolutionary left-wing sentiments that authentically lay within them. Now is the opportunity for those self-styled InsideOuters, Glenn ‘Marxie’ Milne, Andrew ‘Born-again Greenie’ Bolt, and Piers ‘AK47’ Akerman to strut their stringent anarcho-syndicalist stuff. By the way, Piers has an AK47 with him, which Barrie assumes is a replica he can show to illustrate the fact that Rudd used the real thing to shred the documents in the Heiner Affair. Barrie: And welcome viewers to Insiders, where we try to be the real opposition to the Rudd government, as the official opposition is so crap...except Colin Barnett of course, who is my hero [sigh] Marxie Milne: Yes, the Federal Opposition is indeed moribund and Tony Abbott is the leader of a mangy pack of capitalist running-dogs... Barrie: Errr...I know he likes running, Glenn, but aren’t you taking the criticism a bit far? Marxie: No way, Barrie, I’ll just let you in on a little confidence that I feel I need to break at this juncture... Barrie: Are you sure you want to do that, Glenn – don’t you remember what happened to you the last time you broke a confidence on this show... Marxie: I’ll be brief, Barrie, because I know the few viewers you’ve got left have only a limited attention span – but, Tones told me a while ago that when he was in the seminary he took drugs and he admitted the Catholic Church was the biggest drug-pusher in the area...he said that religion involved “opium in the steeple”... Barrie: Erm...are you sure he didn’t say something like, “there’s no way religion is the opium of the people”? [just at that moment, Piers, who had been snoozing under the heat of the studio lights, wakes up with a start. He commences raving about neo-fascists taking over the ABC and points accusingly at the fancy jugs and ornaments behind Barrie. He bellows that they are nothing but counter-revolutionaries who deserve to be liquidated. He opens up with what turns out to be a real AK47 and blows the crap out of the decor. Barrie is able to maintain enough of his wits to cross over to “Talking Pictures” with Mike Bowers. Unfortunately for Barrie, however, Mike has also been reading AA’s blog and now calls himself “Bolshie” Bowers. To make matters worse, his alter ego is some graffiti-artist geezer who calls himself “Che” and looks like a refugee from a local council ‘work for the dole’ project. Barrie has seen enough and cuts back to the studio. By this time, a lackey has been able to stick a syringe, full of enough full-strength novocaine to subdue a Heiner heifer, into Piers. He is now doing a good impersonation of Phil Ruddock. Then “Born-again Greenie” Bolt starts up. Whatever the question, he just mouths Greenie shibboleths like, “conserve water – drink beer!” and “a Green revolution trumps pollution!” Finally, Barrie has had enough] Barrie: Right you lot...I’ve just about had it up to here with your antics...you can all just bugger off to AA’s blog and write your pretentious “venceremos” verbiage over there...see if I care... Panel: Yeah, carpe diem, comrades! Up the revolution! Socialism or death! Yes we can! Barrie (interrupting): But...just remember this, “comrades” – over on AA’s blog, you won’t get a sausage for all your efforts – over there, you only do it “for the revolution”...heh...heh... Marxie: What...You mean AA won’t be keeping us in the life-style to which we have become accustomed? Barrie: Nope... He-who-used-to-be-called-Marxie: Erm...well...in that case, Barrie, as we are running out of time, can I say for the Coming Week’s Prediction segment that the next NewsPoll will show Tony Abbott with a 99% approval rating as preferred PM...and Kevin Rudd will run off with Cristine Kineally and they will be joint-managers of the Scores Club... Barrie: Now, that’s more like it! I knew you would come to your senses...So, goodbye for now, viewers...I know you will ignore today’s little blip and you will tune in next week when normal programming will be resumed...

lyn

22/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Distraction no detraction from Rudd's health deal, By Barrie Cassidy, The Drum http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/21/2878995.htm?site=thedrum Abbott Unveils “Asylum Seeker” Billboard, By Reb, Gutter Trash http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/abbott-unveils-asylum-seeker-billboard/ Tony Abott and Gen Y by Peter and Nic , Election 2010 http://election10.com.au/australian-election-2010/tony-abott-and-gen-y/ Tony Abbott’s Dumb Idea,The Art neuro webog http://artneuro.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/tony-abbotts-dumb-idea/ Australian oppn suggests cutting under-30 unemployment benefits,Emma Rodgers, Australian Network News http://australianetworknews.com/stories/201004/2878538.htm?desktop Way to attract young voters, TONY, by Steve, Opinion Dominion http://opiniondominion.blogspot.com/2010/04/way-to-attract-young-voters-tony.html OH MY EYES Abbott centrefold in WA newspaper Aja Styles, WA Today http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/abbott-centrefold-in-wa-newspaper-20100421-su1h.html Abbott's Health Dilemma, by Kim, Larvatus Prodeo http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/04/21/abbotts-health-dilemma/ Rudd has Dutton behind the eight ball, Peter cameron, Goldcoast.com http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2010/04/22/210345_peter-cameron-opinion.html Pressure on Brumby defused by Bolt, by Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/04/22/pressure-on-brumby-defused-by-bolt/#more-5828 BBQ Brumby served on a skewer with sauce piquante,Petering Time . North Coast Voices http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/04/bbq-brumby-served-on-skewer-with-sauce.html Honest Advertising Slogans, By Reb, Gutter trash http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/honest-advertising-slogans/

janice

22/04/2010Thanks for the links Lyn. Can't help but notice there is no shortage of articles on Abbott's nay saying and thought bubbles. It seems to me Abbott is boring the hell out of everyone (me included) and he's fast earning the reputation of being The Great Big Clown in the political arena. Colen, Brumby copped heaps of criticism from even rusted-on labor supporters over the 'water' issue and heaps more over his grandstanding re Rudd's Health Reforms. And, you are being decidedly pessimistic regarding health reforms. If all governments sat on their hands and did nothing (like the previous government) because 'it might not work', ' things will change' or 'nothing will solve the waiting lists' then we'd all be up the creek without a paddle. The old adage "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is something you should think about.

Colen

22/04/2010Janice, They have all promised from both sides of the political spectrum and I have yet to see one achieve. They can keep on trying but there is no way. The shortage of trained medical personnel is the biggest factor and heaven forbid we allow imports like Dr Death.

Ad astra reply

22/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated.

Ad astra reply

22/04/2010Colen I’m with janice. John Brumby’s recalcitrance over water allocations and the health deal engendered anger among his supporters. While recognizing that state premiers ought to stand up for their states, we do expect them to also act in the national interest and to get a sensible balance between parochialism and the greater good. Sometime we feel Brumby does not get that right. Your pessimism as expressed by [i]They have all promised from both sides of the political spectrum and I have yet to see one achieve. They can keep on trying but there is no way.[/i] is not supported by the facts. Let me give just one example from my fifty years of experience in the health care field. In the late sixties there was no formal training for family doctors. We had to fashion our own postgraduate experience by spending time in hospitals after graduation, a year each in a general, a children’s, a women’s or a rural hospital. There were no formal education programmes, so we designed our own as best we could. Then in 1972 the Whitlam Government established the Hospitals and Health Services Commission that reviewed community based health care, and responding to a submission from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, funded it to establish what was then called its Family Medicine Programme which was initiated in late 1973 and at its height had 2,500 family doctors in its four year post-intern programme of training in hospitals and family practices alongside a comprehensive educational programme. It was the largest nation-wide coordinated training programme for family doctors in the world. Graduates of the programme sat for the College Fellowship Examination. Subsequently special programmes to prepare doctors for rural practice were introduced along with an additional qualification. The programme continues, administered through consortia of university departments and divisions of general practice. Government regulations were introduced to ensure that doctors practising independently were fully qualified via this or an equivalent overseas programme. As a result Australia arguably has the best trained cohort of family doctors in the world. Although begun by a Labor Government it was continued and expanded by Coalition Governments. This is just one example of monumental changes that have resulted from collaboration between government and professional bodies. There is no reason, no reason at all why similar collaboration cannot occur as a result of the Rudd Government’s health reforms. What is required is for everyone to work for the greater good, put aside parochial interests, turf wars, special pleading, and accept that there will never be enough money to do everything every interested party wants unless we, as citizens, are prepared to pay higher taxes to get it. As so many want more and more but don’t want to pay for it, governments are forced into priority setting. As soon as that happens some feel left out or undervalued, sometimes justifiably, and make their strongly held feelings heard. So in the contemporary debate those in community mental health feel let down, as do those in aged care and dental care. Some say there is too much emphasis on hospital care while others stress the need for more acute hospital beds, especially to relieve the pressure on emergency departments; others say we need more aged care places to take the pressure off costly acute care beds. They are all right. Some academics complain that there has not been enough emphasis on integrating primary care, now to be fully funded by the Federal Government, with other community health services and hospital care. They are right; that should be part of the plan as it evolves. Some, who were involved in earlier versions of our health care system grumble about the scheme’s inadequacies while some now working in the system applaud the initiative. Politicians of course seek to make political capital out of it; an example occurred this morning when Jeff Kennett began by saying his comments were not ‘political’ but then proceeded to blast the Rudd scheme even after acknowledging that it embraced two of his own initiatives – case-mix funding and local boards. So there will be plenty of criticism from those whose interests have not been well enough addressed, those who feel their opinions have been ignored or not sought at all, those who believe they could have devised a better plan, and those who seek to make political capital wherever they can. My plea to you Colen, and to all who find fault with the reform plan, is to take a more optimistic view, accept that the Government has good intent, realize that adjustments will be made as the plan is implemented, applaud the extra money injected into health care beginning on July 1 (in addition to the vast amounts already injected by the Rudd Government), celebrate the fact that at last a Federal Government has committed itself to correcting the faults and resolving the problems in the system we all know about, and embrace a plan that promises to make our already sound health care system into an even better one in which we can take national pride.

Ad astra reply

22/04/2010Folks Lyn and I have added another feature to the LYN'S DAILY LINK page. A third line has been added near the top of the page: [i][b]For contemporary political news in the metropolitan MSM go to Political News Watch.[/i][/b] The words [i][b]Political News Watch[/i][/b] are linked to another page where you will find two aggregators from the metropolitan MSM, [i]Breakfast Politics[/i], that operates on weekdays, and [i]Wotnews[/i] that operates most days. We hope this additional service will enhance your scanning of contemporary political commentary.

Paul of Berwick

22/04/2010Hey David Russell: "But your philosophical blindfold simply will not allow you to see reality. The cynicism that distorts the potential for positive debate harms us all but those who will not listen will never hear. A shame because the legacy of lynch mobs has always been the erosion of freedom." Don't forget about the fable of the "three blind men and the elephant". We all have our perspectives, and things we hold dear (even Holden v Ford, Windows v Apple, AFL v Rugby, etc, etc). The question must be: have you got a philosphical blindfold on as well as others? Also, a suggestion is to be mindful of the following quotes: "Don't judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins" (Indian proverb) "An unexamined life is not worth living" (Socrates) So David, just because someone can pick holes in an argument doesn't mean they have a philosophical blindfold on.

gusface

22/04/2010Nice work as usual bushfire. Ad the updated links is a good idea,kudos to you and lyn :)

Bushfire Bill

22/04/2010[i]They have all promised from both sides of the political spectrum and I have yet to see one achieve. They can keep on trying but there is no way.[/i] ... a sentiment somewhat echoed by Abbott when he stated that unless improvements became obvious within 2 months as a result of the Health policy, he would count the program as a failure. After all, [i]he[/i] is the expert on Health, isn't he? You have to understand Abbott's mind on this. Apart from the plenary negativism he and his party exhibits, he's plain jealous of Rudd. Rudd has stolen a march on Abbott in religion, industrial relations, mea culpas, intellectualism, sheer political tactics, popularity and now Health, all franchises that Abbott thought he owned. It must be driving him crazy with envy that Rudd has made a better use of Abbott's sovereign turf than Abbott has himself. The only thing Abbott can beat Rudd on is his ability to complete an Iron Man race, or ride a bike or a breaker, all things which are fast waning as being important in the public's mind. While Abbott is Captain Catholic, Rudd quietly writes about Bonhoffer and goes to church on Sundays. Rudd repealed Abbott's treasured WorkChoices. Rudd targeted an apology to the nation while Abbott dreams things up to apologize for when no-one is actually accusing him of anything. Even if sometimes lambasted for his delivery, Rudd is universally admired as one of the smartest PMs we've ever had. Abbott, the Rhodes scholar, can't keep his policy stories straight for two days, much less two weeks. Rudd, despite the bleatings and the entrail porings of the Shanahans and the Pearsons of this world, is streets ahead of Abbott in the polls, both personally and party-wize, and is likely to stay there. Rudd, the nerd, the Health amateur, beat Abbott hands down in a debate... on Health. And now we have the beginnings of real progress in this important policy area with the Health Plan. An Opposition's duty is not to oppose. It is to [i]construct[/i] an alternative that the voters think is better than the government's offering. Yes, first you have to criticise the government to get your audience's attention, to get them thinking, but if you don't supply an alternative you're just an old fashioned Aussie whinger. Abbott's party must understand this, must see that it's a losing proposition for him to remain in perpetual "whinge" mode, but they have no alternative. And now they're ripping themselves apart, firing their best man on marginal seats. As I said, it must be driving Abbott and the party crazy. It shows.

Bushfire Bill

22/04/2010[b][i]Editor's Note[/i][/b] Thanks Gusface, and all the new contributors. It's great to see fresh talent come along and put in their two-bob's worth here. Sometimes the debate is edgy and pointed, but everyone gets a chance to say their piece, without editing. The only posts that get deleted (so far) are the spammers' which are, unfortunately, becoming more prevalent. AA and I beaver away late at night getting rid of them. Each is responsible for editing his own threads. Although we haven't specifically discussed it at any great length, I think AA and I try to allow as much free comment as possible, within the bounds of taste, decency and the libel laws. Even outright idiocy is OK as long as it's not offensive. This is mostly due to the calm influence of AA, who has been through a lot more in life (and successfully) than I could probably ever hope to achieve. He's literally seen it all and this has made him a very tolerant person. Extending this benign influence to his blog is a natural progression. I'd like to thank all contributors - from both ends of the political spectrum - for making this task a relatively easy one by self-moderating their posts to keep them roughly on track within the guidelines above, and therefore publishable. Happy blogging!

Ad astra reply

22/04/2010Gusface Thank you for your complimentary remarks. In case new visitors are not aware of where to find LYN'S DAILY LINKS, the link is the top item under [i]site pages[/i] which is situated near the top of the right panel. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Lyn finds contemporary items of interest as she trawls her large collection of media and blog sites, and posts them once or twice a day in [i]Comments[/i]. I copy them to LYN'S DAILY LINKS to enable a running record of them to be kept. When the list becomes too long, an archive will be created.

Ad astra reply

22/04/2010BB Your comments about how [i]TPS[/i] is managed are valuable; and thank you for your kind words. It is gratifying to see how the many newcomers have joined in the discussion. It is salutary for all of us to be tolerant of others’ views. We don’t have to agree with them, and when we don’t we can argue our rebuttals and our own case with vigour, but with courtesy, and as you say [i]“...within the bounds of taste, decency and the libel laws.”[/i]

Colen

22/04/2010AA, Thanks for you comments and the civil response. It is a pity that some of your co- contributors could not have been as responsive to David. It might have lead to some interesting discussion instead of just driving him out of this Blog. Which you say is to discourse about keeping both sides of politic's under the "SWORD". I hope that Rudd's policies do work. However I believe that the apathy and lack of altruisim in the current generation which has developed over time will work against this. It has become the "now" generation and if you and other's disagree please challenge me. I would only be to happy to be wrong. I would like to point out the negativity in certain of your bloggers about the conservative side of politic's and maybe they need to take a hard and long look at themselves before being so critical of others.

HillbillySkeleton

22/04/2010Ad Astra, I have reflected on your wise words today, and, as a believer in synchronicity, I also happened upon the wise words of Jeremy Rifkin in the following article on AlterNet: http://www.alternet.org/story/146388/the_media_and_extremists_are_fanning_the_flames_of_hatred_--_why_is_the_us_becoming_so_uncivil?page=entire What it basically postulates is a new paradigm. I am attempting to take it all on board. :)

Amos Keeto

22/04/2010@Ad Astra... your comment in reply (April 21. 2010 04:13 PM) Is to me, one of the most well thought out, considered, reasonable and polite rebuttal's I've seen in years. Reason and civility can ride side by side on the webs. Who'd have thunk it?

lyn

22/04/2010[b]HI AD AND VERYBODY[/b] [b]DON'T MISS GROG. WONDERFUL PIECE TO ENTERTAIN US TONIGHT, THANKYOU GROG[/b] http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

Grog

22/04/2010"WONDERFUL PIECE TO ENTERTAIN US TONIGHT" Not sure how entertaining it is tonight! Very long and dry.

Ad astra reply

22/04/2010Lyn Thank you for the link to another well written article by the ever-reliable Grog.

Ad astra reply

22/04/2010Colen, HillbillySkeleton, Amos Keeto Thank you all for your comments and generous remarks. I read your AlterNet link HillbillySkeleton, so germane. I thought the concluding paragraph summed up the article so well [i]”Perhaps what is needed is a more transparent public debate around our core views of freedom, equality and democracy. Maybe it is time to suggest a moratorium on the hyperbolic political rhetoric and incivility and begin a civil conversation around our differing views on human nature. This would offer us a moment in time to listen to each other, share our feelings, thoughts, concerns and aspirations, with the goal of trying to better understand each others' perspectives, and hopefully find some emotional and cognitive common ground.”[/i] That is something to which we can all aspire in [i]TPS[/i]. Goodnight.

lyn

22/04/2010Hi Grog You sound down in the dumps. Don't be, everybody on here enjoys your talented writing. Your up to the minute, analysis on daily Political happenings, is second to none.

lyn

22/04/2010Hi Colen You sound sad about David M Russell going away. [b][quote]It is a pity that some of your co- contributors could not have been as responsive to David. [/quote][/b] So I will bring him back for you, today's column, here he is: http://davidmrussell.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/blighs-dry-gully/

Grog

22/04/2010"You sound down in the dumps." Just hard to find a lot of laughs in today's news.

Colen

23/04/2010HI Lyn, Thats for the link. Do you have time for anything else for us rednecks. Grog There is lots of other stuff in the news besides politics. A 6 year old boy being found after going missing over night. That brought a lot of joy to his parents. Be happy the world is not going to end tomorrow. It is the little things that bring us joy. As they say get out there and smell the roses. You never know you might enjoy it.

Bushfire Bill

23/04/2010Don't get too depressed Groggy. The report notes that the householder in signing up agreed the government would not be held to blme for any damages, and that it was the installer's responsibility along with the local state consumer affairs department to sort out the problems. [i]The HIP sought to establish a contractual relationship between the installer and the householder as the primary source of responsibilities. The Work Order Form that householders signed released the Australian Government from all liability for any loss, damage, injury or cost incurred as a result of, or relating to, the installation of ceiling insulation or the installation process. DEWHA therefore encouraged householders to deal with their installer in the first instance, if there were any concerns. If householders were unsatisfied, DEWHA?s advice (through communications activities and call centre contacts) to householders was to contact their state or territory fair trading or consumer affairs authority to complain about the installer.[/i] Page 36 of the report.

Bushfire Bill

23/04/2010Shanahan,of course, blames the government. He's in full triumphant mode today. He reckons he's finally got them, and you can almost smell his excitement. any vestigesof "fair and balanced" reporting are out the door. Almost worse than Milne... almost. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/pm-on-the-run-from-policy-failures/story-e6frg6zo-1225857147540 But you get the feeling Dennis' heart's not in it. I think he knows it's all over for Abbott. Grattan also joins in the head-kicking. There's nothing more pathetic than a clapped out old windbag in a state high high dudgeon, full of piss and wind, signifying nothing. http://www.theage.com.au/national/broken-childcare-insulation-promises-humiliate-pm-20100422-tfv6.html

lyn

23/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Reinvigorating public debate, BY TIM DUNLOP, The Drum http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2879663.htm Insulation rebate canned, by Robert Merkel,Larvatus Prodeo http://larvatusprodeo.net/ THE TONYATOR.By Jason, Groupthink http://www.groupthink.com.au/2010/04/22/the-tonynator/ Power of the states too great , By Mungo MacCallum, Northern Rivers Echo http://www.echonews.com.au/story/2010/04/22/power-of-the-states-too-great-its-time-to-shed-a-t/ Classy, real classy Tony Crikey http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/22/crikey-says-classy-real-classy/ From operating theatre to political theatre, by Graeme Orr, Inside story http://inside.org.au/from-operating-theatre-to-political-theatre/ Australia’s Arrogance of Ignorance,By Simon Hukin:,The Angle. Org http://theangle.org/2010/04/22/the-arrogance-of-ignorance-and-the-need-to-change/ It's Time For Lazy Kids To Get Off The Dole, By James Arvanitakis,Newmatilda.com http://newmatilda.com/2010/04/22/its-time-lazy-kids-get-dole Who should I be reading from the right,By Jeremy Sear, An Anymous Lefty http://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/who-should-i-be-reading-from-the-right/ The High cost of direct action on climate change,by PAUL BARRATT ,Australian Observer http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/ Will the real Kevin Rudd please stand up,by Dave Gaukroger , Pure Poison http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/04/22/will-the-real-kevin-rudd-please-stand-up/#more-5839 Rudd the Hero? by Rocco Blog-Go, National Times http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/rocco-bloggo/rudd-the-hero/20100422-tejs.html Pressure on Brumby defused by Bolt, by Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/04/22/pressure-on-brumby-defused-by-bolt/#more-5828 Australia PM Rudd bounces back in polls , Published: 9:23PM Thursday April 22, 2010 Source: Reuters http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/australia-pm-rudd-bounces-back-in-polls-3485696

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010Colen In response to your plea for more tolerance of the views of others, and your comments about how contributors to [i]TPS[/i] could have been more responsive to David M Russell, Lyn has included in her list of links today one to David M Russell’s blog titled [i]Bligh’s dry gully[/i] http://davidmrussell.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/blighs-dry-gully/ David knows he is welcome to return.

bilgedigger

23/04/2010There are two great links which have been provided here which prompt me to push aside my other work for a moment to post this. Yesterday HillbillySkelton provided a link to www.alternet.net.org/.../the_media_and_the_extremists_are_fanning_the_flames_of_hatred_.._why_is_the_us_becoming_so_uncivil. Today's link from Lyn (we should all stand in awe of her dedication) was to the angle.org/.../ australia's arrogance of ignorance. I believe it is important that we keep the content of both links to the forefront of our minds when considering the why's and wherefore's of current behaviours, here and overseas. Can I also provide a reference to a slim volume published by Verso in 2008 called "The Other" by Ryszard Kapuscinski, which builds on a whole body of work dealing with prejudice and in how we view others and what elements the unscrupulous draw on in pursuing their own aims for power. Kupuscinski posits that the challenge for our time is to understand the basis of the kinds of prejudice and hatred which we are currently being exposed to and our own reactions to various public and private discourses.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010Grog Using your well-documented piece of yesterday as a resource, and with the intent of stripping the raw partisan politics from the insulation story and the childcare issue, which the Coalition and some in the MSM have so damagingly injected into it, I make the following observations: There is no doubt that the insulation misadventure has been damaging to the Government. Despite the laudatory intent of the insulation programme and all the benefit that has so far accrued, clearly the Environment Department was not equipped administratively to oversee such a large programme, to adequately check the credentials of those who applied to be installers, and to properly audit the installers’ claims for payment. Moreover Kevin Rudd’s well-intentioned efforts to remedy the situation once the problems emerged have been frustrated by the complexities uncovered by the Hawke Report which recommends that the programme be discontinued. So let’s lay the blame where it is deserved. The Government must take some of the responsibility. What strikes me as curious though is that so little of the responsibility for the problems, which seem to have been widespread, have been laid at the feet of the shonky operators, the fraudsters, and the frankly incompetent installers. Nor has the industry itself taken any responsibility for the poor outcome. And no state regulatory authority, which as supposed to monitor the industry, has been pinged. It seems that the entire responsibility for the outcome has been laid at the feet of the Government, the Environment Department, Peter Garrett and Kevin Rudd. Why? Because they are easy targets, because there is political mileage to be had by the Coalition and the media in doing so, because that was the easiest way to find scapegoats. Rudd’s much-derided [i]mea culpa[/i] was clearly not enough; more blood was needed, more people’s blood on the floor, and if Dennis Shanahan had had his way, Garrett’s head on a plate as well. He is still fuming that he didn’t get his scalp. Now that the programme has been abandoned on sound advice about the complexity and danger of continuing, the Government is lampooned for ‘breaking yet another promise’, and ‘back-flipping’. What on earth would critics say if the Government said “We will not break a ‘promise’, we insist on proceeding with this programme despite strident advice to the contrary?” All hell would break loose; Shanahan would become apoplectic, and Tony Abbott would explode with a tirade. So as old Johnny said so often, leaders “are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.” The only ‘logic’ operating here is the raw political logic of taking whatever scungy advantage you can, no matter how unfair. So Grog, I guess all this mud-slinging has to be worn; some is deserved, some is not. The insulation saga will be an election issue; how much impact it will have is unknowable. So far it seems not to have had a profound effect. Regarding the matter of building child centres, this has been also painted as another ‘broken promise’ a phrase we can anticipate will assault our ears through the election. The child centre idea was not a pre-election ‘intention’, a ‘plan’, or a ‘proposal’ – no, it must have been a ‘promise’ because only promises can be broken. Changing intentions, plans or proposals does not have nearly the same pejorative ring as does a ‘broken promise’. Again when the facts are examined, was it not the rational thing to do to put a stop to a building programme that on the evidence presented seemed no longer to be necessary, and was threatening existing centres? Now there is already some argument about the veracity of this evidence. Some are saying that there are still pockets of shortage, but those in the industry, both suppliers and bodies concerned with child care, insist there is an oversupply and applaud the Government’s move. No doubt there is some validity on both sides. But what if the Government insisted on building unneeded centres? You know there would be the same response from the Coalition and the media as we are still seeing directed toward the BER programme. Finally, Rudd is being derided on all fronts for not making the announcements himself – as Andrew Bolt puts it sarcastically – sending the janitors out to do the job. These are the same people who criticize Rudd for not delegating, always having his hand on the wheel, of being a ‘control freak’. Yet as soon as he delegates responsibility to his designated ministers, he is labelled as a coward. As Johnny said... You’re right Grog, yesterday was not a good one for the Government, but despite Shanahan’s wishful thinking that it will be ‘terminal’ for Rudd, we know it will not be so. No matter what damage the Government might suffer from time to time, as government’s regularly do, the alternative, an Abbott Government with his paper-thin front bench will have little or no appeal. We saw during the Howard years that he was re-elected several times despite his government often being on the nose, as the alternative, a dysfunctional Labor opposition, was too awful a prospect.

Rx

23/04/2010Lyn, Thanks for your Daily Links. It's great to be able to find in one place links to worthy material that TPSers might not otherwise come across in our meanderings. And updated daily makes another reason for visitors to keep coming back. Plus, the writers of said material get the benefit of the added exposure. Win-Win. Keep the interesting leads coming!

HillbillySkeleton

23/04/2010Do you know what I find the most hysterically amusing aspect of the 'Broken Promise' meme from the Opposition? That the Party of 'Core' and 'Non-Core' promises can stand there and deliver those lines with a straight face.

Rx

23/04/2010Hillbilly, This is a Party whose most revered living figure goes by the nickname The Lying Rodent. I think that fact spells out the nature of their relationship with honesty.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010bilgedigger Thank you for your comment this morning and for drawing our attention to two informative links. The first, mentioned last night by HillbillySkeleton, is the 21 April [i]AlterNet[/i] article [i]The Media and Extremists Are Fanning the Flames of Hatred -- Why Is the US Becoming So Uncivil?[/i] by Jeremy Rifkin, taken from his book [i]The Empathic Civilization[/i] http://www.alternet.org/story/146388/the_media_and_extremists_are_fanning_the_flames_of_hatred_--_why_is_the_us_becoming_so_uncivil?page=entire Throughout Rifkin emphasizes the need for empathy: [i]“the willingness to listen to another's point of view, to put one's self in another's shoes and to emotionally and cognitively experience what they are feeling and thinking.[/i] His conclusions are worth noting: [i]“No one would deny that there is merit to our long-standing ideas about freedom, equality and democracy-especially the notions of personal responsibility, self-sufficiency, and the protection of basic economic and political rights. Still, it's hard to deny the fact that a younger generation is beginning to broaden and deepen its sense of freedom, equality and democracy in an increasingly interconnected, interdependent and collaborative world. “Perhaps what is needed is a more transparent public debate around our core views of freedom, equality and democracy. Maybe it is time to suggest a moratorium on the hyperbolic political rhetoric and incivility and begin a civil conversation around our differing views on human nature. This would offer us a moment in time to listen to each other, share our feelings, thoughts, concerns and aspirations, with the goal of trying to better understand each others' perspectives, and hopefully find some emotional and cognitive common ground.”[/i] The second, [i]Australia’s Arrogance of Ignorance[/i] by Simon Hukin on [i]THEANGLE.ORG[/i] is a fine piece, http://theangle.org/2010/04/22/the-arrogance-of-ignorance-and-the-need-to-change/ Two paragraphs stood out: [i]"It is time for the intellectual to reclaim the territory to which they are rightfully entitled. We need a rallying cry for reason; a call to arms – we must recapture the ground we have lost to the complacent, apathetic and the ignorant. Furthermore, we must convince those who are unintentionally ignorant to embrace the pursuit of knowledge. The three pillars of any strategy to achieve this must be language, truth and logic – plain honest speech, transparent political doctrine, detestation for euphemism and falsification, and logical debate. These must be had in public debate, education, and life in general. “The only resources one requires to be worthy are the capacity to think logically, to communicate such thought, and to be intellectually honest at all times with oneself and others. If one has guts, one can shred dreadful arguments simply and wonderfully. One needn’t be of heroic stature. These qualities of intellectual heroism are available to ordinary people, they only need stop making excuses for themselves and for others. This is a challenging notion. It requires a commitment to truth – for people to adopt the line “I won’t tell any lies even if it suits me, or my cause” as personal dogma, examine their own positions and denude themselves of the comfortable untruths they tell themselves in order to maintain that comforting inner glow.”[/i] These pieces align with the approach that we are creating here on [i]TPS[/i]. They are recommended reading.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010HillbillySkeleton, Rx Tony Abbott might benefit from reading the two articles mentioned above. It is ironic that the party of 'core and non-core promises' is so worked up about this Government's 'broken promises'. They now have quite a collection, which no doubt we'll see over and again during the election campaign.

janice

23/04/2010 Ad Astra wrote: [quote]What strikes me as curious though is that so little of the responsibility for the problems, which seem to have been widespread, have been laid at the feet of the shonky operators, the fraudsters, and the frankly incompetent installers. Nor has the industry itself taken any responsibility for the poor outcome. And no state regulatory authority, which as supposed to monitor the industry, has been pinged. It seems that the entire responsibility for the outcome has been laid at the feet of the Government, the Environment Department, Peter Garrett and Kevin Rudd.[/quote] That is precisely what bugs me as well Ad astra. Why is it that people are ignoring the culpability of the fraudsters and incompetent installers and why has the industry itself allowed the whole blame to fall on the government? There is something very wrong with our society when even honest people are prepared to blame the government when unscrupulous, dishonest shysters take advantage of a government programme designed to provide work to thousands and keep businesses afloat during a severe economic crisis. It is my hope that many, if not all, of these fraudsters are rounded up and brought to justice.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010Folks Further to my comment to Grog this afternoon (12.55 pm) about the insulation scheme, now enjoying the acronym [i]HIP[/i], do read Bernard Keane’s article in [i]Crikey[/i] today that I’ve just come across: [i]Peter Garrett is exonerated, nobody cares[/i]. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/23/peter-garrett-is-exonerated-nobody-cares/ The Hawke Report: [i]Review of the Administration of the Home Insulation Program[/i] is here as a PDF file: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/publications/energy/home-insulation-hawke-report.aspx For those who may not be able to access it, it begins: [i]“What really went wrong in the insulation saga? Veteran ex-bureaucrat Allan Hawke was commissioned to find out, and the Government released his report yesterday as part of its announcement it was killing off the program’s replacement. Its contents have either been ignored by the media or, in the case of The Australian, entirely misrepresented. “I’ll get to the wonky systemic stuff in the moment, but the first thing to say is that while the report focuses on the systems put in place to implement the program, it makes some quite clear statements about the role of Peter Garrett in his administration of the HIP program. “On the deaths associated with the program (associated by the media, that is), “the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts was briefed on these issues and responses by both Mr Garrett and DEWHA were appropriate and timely.” “On broader risk issues, ‘when issues arose, DEWHA and the Minister worked quickly to address them. DEWHA engaged with industry, listened to their concerns and briefed the Minister on necessary changes to the program. Warnings were heeded; however, this was largely reactive.’[/i]” The rest of the article exposes how unreasonable the trenchant criticisms of the HIP were and still are. Keane concludes: [i]” This report and Rod Tiffen’s brilliant dissection of the media coverage of the insulation issue have shown how facile the ‘analysis’ provided by journalists, including most of the Press Gallery, has been of this story, and most particularly the role of Peter Garrett, allegedly the ‘bungler’ responsible for four deaths. Then again, journalists have already moved on to bewailing the fate of the industry affected by the closure of a program the media criticised so heavily.”[/i] The Rodney Tiffen dissection to which he refers is a 26 March piece on [i]Inside Story: A mess? A shambles? A disaster?[/i] http://inside.org.au/a-mess-a-shambles-a-disaster/ Here we have a grotesque example of how the media, prompted by the Opposition to do its political work for it, has distorted the truth, hidden it, misrepresented it by selective reporting, and embellished the discourse with a full hand of pejorative labels: bungled, botched, flawed – you know them by heart. This misuse of public dialogue is obscene, malignant and seemingly designed with one purpose – to berate the Rudd Government and precipitate its fall. We in the blogosphere, relatively powerless as we are, must strain every sinew to counter this assault on fairness and decency in public discourse.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010janice Bernard Keane's article mentioned above will interest you: [i]Peter Garrett is exonerated, nobody cares[/i]. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/23/peter-garrett-is-exonerated-nobody-cares/

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010janice Here’s another excerpt from Keane’s piece: [i]“Hawke also has this to say about the program overall. “Any objective assessment of the HIP will conclude that, despite the safety, quality and compliance concerns, there were solid achievements against the program objectives. At the time the program closed on 19 February 2010, over one million homes had been insulated. Many low income households participated, with the prospect of significant savings on energy bills in years to come. At its peak (in November 2009), the program had registered over 10,000 installers employing thousands of largely low-skilled workers…[/i] and [i]“It may be a peculiar Australian trait to bank or play down good news while examining the entrails of shortcomings in minute detail. Such is the case here, as the success of measures to deal with the global financial crisis risk having some shine taken off them by the so called HIP bungle. Bungle is actually a furphy because the many positive outcomes (already and potentially) flowing from the HIP serve to address long standing problems besetting the industry.”[/i] Isn’t it amazing – among the incessant brickbats, vicious disparagement, and accusations of causing deaths, countless fires, thousands of electrified ceilings, and an indeterminate number of frightened householders, the programme actually did meet most of its objectives – insulating a million homes while engaging hundreds of small businesses and employing countless tradespeople.

lyn

23/04/2010Hi Ad [b]Allan Hawke was commissioned to find out, and the Government released his report yesterday , [b]Its contents have either been ignored by the media or, in the case of The Australian, entirely misrepresented[/b][/b] It's sad and just awful what the opposition and the media did to Peter Garrett

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010[i]Morgan[/i] today 56/44 [i]"In mid April support for the ALP is 56% (down 2%), a strong two-party preferred lead over the L-NP (44%, up 2%) according to the latest Face-to-Face Morgan Poll conducted over last two weekends of April 10/11 & 17/18, 2010. "If a Federal Election were held today the ALP would win easily, according to the Morgan Poll. "The ALP primary vote is 43% (down 5%), ahead of the L-NP (37.5%, up 1%), while looking at the minor parties shows support for the Greens (12%, up 3.5%), Family First (2%, down 0.5%) and Independents/ Others (5.5%, up 1%). "The weekly Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating for April 17/18, 2010 has fallen over the past two weeks, down 4.0pts to 123.0. "The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is now at 126.5 (up 3.5pts) with 55% (up 2%) of Australians confident that Australia is ‘heading in the right direction,’ compared to 28.5% (down 1.5%) that say Australia is ‘heading in the wrong direction.’ "Gary Morgan says: “Although Australians believe the country is going in the right direction domestic issues are at the forefront today. The latest Morgan Poll conducted over the past two weekends shows Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s ALP (56%, down 2%) conceding ground to the Opposition L-NP (44%, up 2%). The fall in support for the Rudd Government came as Prime Minister Rudd argued with Victorian Premier John Brumby and Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett over the proposed national health takeover in the lead-up to this week’s COAG meeting. “The largest beneficiaries of the Rudd Government’s (43%, down 5%) falling primary support are the Greens (12%, up 3.5%), more so than the Federal Opposition L-NP (38%, up 1.5%). This is not that surprising given that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has yet to come out firmly in either support or opposition to the Government’s health plan. “The strong rise in support for the Greens to the highest level ever recorded by the Morgan Poll follows the Greens high profile while negotiating to become a part of the Tasmanian Government — the first time the Greens have gained such a position in an Australian State Government. In addition the Greens have received much publicity with their very strong resistance shown by the Greens against the Internet censorship proposed by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. The Federal Opposition is yet to make its mind up on this issue. “Today’s Morgan Poll was taken before the Government’s decision this week to scrap the bungled home insulation scheme, estimated to have cost millions of dollars, and the decision to not go ahead with the building of over 200 new childcare centres around Australia. The Government now claims that building these childcare centres would actually hurt ‘working parents.’”[/i] Note that although Labor lost 5 points in primaty vote, all of that except one point went to the Greens, most of which turned up in Labor's TPP. Even when Labor dips, the Coalition is not the main beneficiary. The 56/44 TPP is in line with the contemporary trend.

sawdustmick

23/04/2010Ad, I bet those one million plus homes owners that received free roof insulation are screaming all the way to the bank and cursing the Rudd Government for saving them about $200 a year on their power bill. I think Rudd has definitely lost their vote.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010sawdustmick Yet we never hear from these satisfied customers - only from those who have a complaint, which the media has an uncanny knack for fossicking out. You're right, with satisfied outnumbering dissatisfied by a large factor, I wonder what effect will that have on voting patterns?

Omer Draudt

23/04/2010I really liked your blog today. I appreciate you taking the time to share this with us.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010Lyn You can bet that there will be no redress for Peter Garrett from the media (we know there will be none from the Coalition) who clearly got it wrong. It would wound too severely the pride of the guilty journalists to admit an error of judgement.

lyn

23/04/2010Hi Ad Ad,Rx,Bilgedigger, Colen Thankyou all for your kind comments and encouragement, there is some good stuff out there. Bilgedigger those 2 pieces, Alternet posted by Hillbilly Skeleton and Angle.Org are worth filing forever.

David M Russell

23/04/2010Well, here goes . . . I now think my big toe is wet. Enough has been said about other things so let's move on. It's obvious we are poles apart in our basic political orientations and you ain't gonna convert me and I ain't gonna convert you. it don't matter, does it? But there are a wealth of aspects of political discourse that are worthy of teasing-out and I suggest we explore some of them. I don't mind dollops of rancour but if it's overwhelming, there's just no point and I'll bugger off. Nor would I expect any tears if such eventuates! LOL. So . . . here goes. I was intrigued by the Rodney Tiffen dissection commentary. Yes, there is a plethora of fairly futile labelling goes on. I am an arch exponent so I regard myself as guiilty as anyone else and perhaps even more than most. But it's why this is so that merits consideration. I consider it a failure of our media (and having been a journalist I have some understanding of the sector). What I find most depressing is the lack of quality print media. I know you guys are appalled by The Australian and even I find their slantedness beyond the pale (though I am aympathetic to their viewpoints - generally). But it is a perversion of that most fundamental journalistic dictum of impartiality. Leave the partiality for commentary but just report the facts. The Sydney Morning Herald was once a wonderful journey into quality journalism. As with The Age (god, don't we miss Graham Perkin). The void is dreadful. But the masses don't peruse these journals. That's left to freaks like us. They consume television (and radio to a lesser extent) and their view of the world is pathetically distorted as a consequence (whether left or right, doesn't matter - we are growing 'vegetables' but infortunately we will all pay the price for that eventually). Television news is the most pathetic parody of the basic tenets of journalism and it distorts the entire news agenda as well as the masses' understanding of issues. Our soceity is being perverted by this rubbish and yet it goes without much clamour. Wat can we do to redress the situation? Blogs enable us aficionados to get it off our chests but ours is such a small niche. We ain;t gonna convert the world this way (and, consider the idiocy that appears on so many blogs anyway, we're all doomed!). So, if there is any interest, let's explore this and see what we come up with. There is much more I would liek to say on the issue but I've gotta go cook pizzas for the family! But let's get some constructive dialogue happening and see what we come up with. The Arch Fiend!

Colen

23/04/2010AA, The Hawke report was only given to the journalists late so they could have missed the papers deadline. It seems that Rudd and the editor of the HS had a little fraca. This has been kept quite. The P.M.'s cantankerous other side is being outed. Now if this was the lying rodent what do you think would have happened. I can hear all those comments e.g. "What do you expect from a whinging conservative." "Disgusting." When the shoe's on the other foot you have got to be prepared to cop it. Lyn, Thanks for the links. AA, I believe that Lyn should also have a medal and post nominals. How about "LM" Link Master.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010David It’s good to see you back. I trust you will not feel bruised this time around. Although our political orientations are clearly very different, I do agree strongly with your comments about the media. In fact the distortions the media perpetrates endlessly was the one of the two reasons [i]The Political Sword[/i] was created – politicians were of course the other target for the sword. Just today as I listened to ABC radio in the background, I marvelled and fumed at how readily the news bulletins distorted the facts. For example John Brumby’s statement that the resignation of CFA Chief Russell Rees would enable another chief to be appointed in time for the next fire season became “Brumby [b]welcomes[/b] Rees resignation”, and Rees’ answer to the question about why he was retiring that it was his own decision for the good of the CFA to allow another appointment before the next fire season, became “Rees denied he was [b]pressured[/b] into resigning”. Then there was lots of talk about him being ‘pushed’, ‘scape-goated’, worried about how he would come out of the Bushfires Royal Commission, all speculative comment from junior news writers, who think they are entitled to insert their opinion into the factual account of the event. They seem incapable of reporting the facts the way they are presented: “Russell Rees resigned today stating that he had done so now to enable a replacement to be appointed for the next fire season.” It is the frequent insertion of journalists’ interpretation and opinion into a factual account in a way that obscures which is which that annoys me most. It is arrogant and misleading. Enjoy your pizzas.

Agnes Mack

23/04/2010 News Ltd’s response to the Melbourne Storm rorts is interesting , to say the least. John Hartigan said “elaborate collusion and the scale of the deception has been concealed from News Limited and it is our understanding that it has been concealed from the Board of the Storm". In other words, don’t blame us because we weren't actually doing the rorting ourselves. Contrast that with News Ltd’s treatment of the Home Insulation Scheme and the Building the Education Revolution, where they have held the Rudd Government responsible for the misdeeds of every shonky operator or over-charging builder. News Ltd has called in auditors and put other remedial measures in place. The Government took similar actions when rorts came to light, but the News Ltd attacks continued with undiminished ferocity. What's the betting that News Ltd will now go on a crusade against "rorts" in the Green Loans Scheme, not at all abashed by their own experience with rorts they say are outside their control? I guess we won't see News Ltd acknowledge that they have been victims of the same sort of unacceptable business practices as the Government. They will most likely renew their attacks with even greater vigour, shrugging off any suggestion of blatant double standards.

HillbillySkeleton

23/04/2010David M.Russell, It's good to see that you have taken your lumps and returned to the fray. Welcome back! It's refreshing to see a blogger with Conservative sympathies actually admit that they may have ventured into the realm of boilerplate venting against the Rudd government, but then reassess and recalibrate, whilst not betraying their core beliefs. I hope that you will approach all our blogs in the future with such equanimity and rational thought.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010Colen You seem to have more information than we do – that [i]“Rudd and the editor of the HS had a little fraca. This has been kept quite. The P.M.'s cantankerous other side is being outed.”[/i] How do you know this? I’m surprised the media has missed this. But perhaps it hasn’t and it will end up in a piece by Shanahan or Milne; they collect such occurrences to go with the Scores episode, the Burke affair, the hairdryer saga and the ‘rude to tearful RAAF hostie story. They may end up exhibiting their collction on the ABC’s Collectors. I do agree with your comments about Lyn. She’s a gem.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010Agnes Mack You so tellingly expose the sheer hypocrisy of News Limited. They are the innocents deceived by dishonest frauds - how could they know? But Garrett should have known about the insulation frauds, of course

HillbillySkeleton

23/04/2010Colen, If I had to put up with the character assassination and 'Blackguarding' which the PM does, on a monotonously regular basis from News Ltd. tabloids especially, I would get a little hot under the collar as well. All care to get the smear right, and no responsibility for the veracity of the line nor the consequences for the PM and his government appears to be their credo. It's just wrong, plain wrong, and the fact that the Editor of the Herald Sun may use his bully pulpit to besmirch the PM's character, again, with the story of the PM's reaction, in a 'poor, poor, pitiful me' voice is just as grubby as tabloid journalism can get. If he provoked the reaction, with his out-of-control anti-government agenda, then he shouldn't be at all surprised at the result.

David M Russell

23/04/2010Ah, I've missed you guys! (two pizzas down, two to go!). Seriously though. it was what I thought TPS was about (standards of journalism/commentary) and what we might be able to do about it. I am sure we can have lots of erudite fun, some scandalous/outrageous good times and help improve the world! But, seriously, we really do need to change the media landscape. I truly fear for the future of the world, the way things are going. Nor is that a silly puff statement (I hope). The media exert such massive influence on society/ies (and refuse to exert a massive influence for good that they could exert) thatpeople like us surely must take up the cudgels to achieve some meaningful reform. Oh, I'm not pollyannish enough to think we'll transform the world but, hell, if we don't, who bloody will?

lyn

23/04/2010Hi Colen I enjoy your comments and points of view, but most of all your sense of humour.

lyn

23/04/2010HI AD AND EVERYBODY EVERYBODY SHOULD VISIT GROG IT'S FUNNY, GOOD ON YOU GROG [b]After such a long, dry post on childcare and insulation, have a laugh [/b] STEWART TAKES ON FOX AND THE DECIMAL SYSTEM http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/

David M Russell

23/04/2010Having just wateched some dreadful mulch on TV, another - more pressing - issue has occurred to me: the commercialisation of Anzac Day. And, many of you will be pleased to note, News Limied is a key transgressor. Producing a map of various conflict sites in The Courier-Mail but probably in other stable products (I think - was cooking at the tme). But it is indicatove of a wider annexation of a national symbol by commercial interests. Not sure how this escalating trend might be stopped but the practice of for-profit entities wrapping themselves in the national flag appropriated from Anzac Day reminds me of nothing so much as Pauline Hanson. Frankly, I think it is something that started from sound beginnings but which has grown to be a carbuncle on a profound and (in a non-religious sense) sacred part of our history: indeed, a defining national characteristic. What the hell do we do about it? [and I apologise for nominating a problem without a potential solution: hate that!] But I'll apply my mind to it.

bilgedigger

23/04/2010Come on David, be a real pal. Give us just a little hint as to your second name.

lyn

23/04/2010Hi David From your column today [quote]The perfect time for Labor spinmeisters to slither out from under. And slither, they did[/quote]! (as Grog put's it in his column yesterday). [quote]So why did the Government announce this back down? (And I don’t mean today – because I doubt the NRL would have let the Government know what it was about to do with the Strom – why would they? There’s no Government issues at play) Why announce this now prior to the election? If you want to be cynical the Government could have let it slide – say they’re in the process of building them etc etc, and then dump it after the election – breaking a promise of a previous election is not going to hurt as much as breaking a promise of the most recent one. [/quote] Recommended reading for you, Grog is one of our regular visitors on The Political Sword. http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/04/insulate-damage-and-hope-storm-blows.html

David M Russell

23/04/2010Oh, come on, Lyn. Surely that naivete is not a defining characteristic. Conteporary spinmeisters work on cycles that are measured in minutes, if not seconds. I don't like it (and I'm so old I'm in awe of their capabilities) but it is a reality. Political preference may dictate that you see such timing as serendipitous but harsh reality dictates that it is just clever. And the same principle ( and practice) applies to both sides of the divide. Live with it, mate!

lyn

23/04/2010Hi Ad I know you weren't the only one to be suspicious. Because now this, Tony Abbott has made the same accusation: Rudd accused of burying bad news, By Sabra Lane, Abc news 1 hour ago http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/23/2881531.htm

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010Agnes Mack Take a look at James Thomson's pirece on [i]Crikey: The buck stops with News Ltd in the Melbourne Storm scandal[/i] http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/23/the-buck-stops-with-news-ltd-in-the-melbourne-storm-scandal/ You’ll enjoy the irony.

lyn

23/04/2010Hi David My comment and link to the ABC has crossed over your last comment. I agree with you here: ([quote][b]harsh reality dictates that it is just clever[/b][/quote]) I will say that I am naive in so far as this: ([b][quote]Contemporary spinmeisters work on cycles that are measured in minutes, if not seconds[/quote][/b]). You are much more wordly than me, that is evident in your writing skills, I am just a humble link girl that likes to read and follow politics.

Ad astra reply

23/04/2010David You'll be interested to know that tonight on ABC Melbourne 7 pm News, Russell Rees, CFA Chief, has 'fallen on his sword'. Isn't it pathetic, and incompetent? By tomorrow he may have immolated.

David M Russell

23/04/2010Middle name is Matthew. The rather more interesting item is that it was on 7.30 Report last night (I think - it could have been the close to the ABC News) but Chris Uhlmann (I think it was - sorry we old folk forget so much) but who declaimed: If Labor thinks this is clever spin doctoring they are sadly mistaken (Hey, those are not in any way his exact words but that was his sentiment). And I was startled. Me, a Conservative. Here was a senior ABC identity attacking Labor for its media 'management'. A rare thing, I'm sure even dedicated Labor supporters would agree. Which raises the issue of just how 'on the nose 'spin meistering' has become. I think the Australian voting public has finally become fully aware of the manipulation that has been happening (from both sides, in equal measure) and simply won't wear it any longer. I honestly believe we are truly entering a new era of political 'life' (which includes all sorts of customary political practices). If so, we are enterig interesting times.

lyn

23/04/2010[b]HI AD AND EVERYBODY[/b] [b]DON'T MISS GROG, BRILLIANT AGAIN AND STILL[/b] Corporal Tony wants to go the War, by Grog, Grog's Gamut http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/04/corporal-tony-wants-to-go-war.html

David M Russell

23/04/2010No, Lyn, for all my faults (and they are legion, as my wife would attest) I am assuredly not sexist and I am not an arrogaht male. I used to be worldly (or so I thought/or hoped) but maybe I just deluded myself. Now I'm an old guy trying to still be relevant. And it's hard yards let me tell you. I'm yesterday's man but feel a need to exchange ideas so that wisdom will not be lost. I'm apparently unemployable because I'm too old or over-qualified and it hurts like you can;t believe. Most assuredly I don't profess to have wisdom. Not at all. Just been around for quite a while. But I just love debating. And sharing concepts with good people. Any of us who care just want a better world,eh?

Snoozer289

23/04/2010David, It is great to have you back, and I am glad those Pizza's are going down well (hopefully with a few beers) Like you and everybody else regardless off our policatl persuasion and views we do need to change the Medis landscape and influence. I do think that whilst people like us are more sensitive to media commentary, I think we will find that the majority of people are already awake to the exaggerations of the MSM and the headlines and lead stories are dismissed as over the top and exergrated. I am starting to think that a lot of people see the MSM more as gossip columnist rather than journalist. There are plenty of examples of this recently when our MSM lead stories are more concerned about Laura Bingle or Brett fervola than they are about news that concerns them. The current affair programs are viewed more as contrived and manipoulated stories rather than real life and factural (unlike 10 years ago) Whilst I do not dismiss the influenece of the MSM on some sceptical or vunerable people I believe that the MSM has lost its creditability with the general public. However, I still agree that we need to take advantage of site like this to express our views and frustrations and debate each other.

Rx

23/04/2010[blockquote]... And I was startled. Me, a Conservative. Here was a senior ABC identity {Chris Uhlmann} attacking Labor for its media 'management'.[/blockquote] Uhlmann is a fellow conservative. (The ABC is not the leftist sheltered workshop the Right has for so long led us to believe.) Do some research on his past political forays. Perhaps it's simply that the "conservatives" out there have for so long made an art form of attacking the ABC for alleged "bias" that the cowed organisation now bends over backwards to attack Labor - so as not to appear biased against the conservatives. [blockquote]Which raises the issue of just how 'on the nose 'spin meistering' has become.p[/blockquote] If spinmeistering was "on the nose" as you suggest, Abbott would never get a look-in. But that's not the case. His face/talking points (and those of his Party) are on the ABC and other media organisations' news bulletins around the clock. His entire current political profile is kept buoyant by relentless, 24/7 working of the media by the spinmeisters in his office, and an obliging media.

lyn

23/04/2010Hi David Thankyou for your last comment. You do write well David, with engaging words for one to think about. I have posted links to your blog in the past, depending on Ad's topic and your topic also the conversation here. You will get a good debate on the Political Sword, please stay and get to know us we really are all good people here. You must be a good husband making pizza's to save your wife cooking, good stuff. Cheers

Rx

23/04/2010Hi Ad Astra or BB, Could you possibly correct the formatting tags for my post? Thanks.

David M Russell

23/04/2010Rx, No, I have not formed an opinon of Uhlmannn's potential or actual 'bias'. Yes, I fall into the category of conservatives who believe the ABC has an inherent bias. I do not believe - and never have - that it is an organisational bias. It is just the nature of the beast. Younger journalist tend to have left leanings. Just as I had when i was young. That is simply part of our process of maturation. But any reasonable person would have to admit that it would be hard to classify the ABC as part of a right-wing conspiracy, eh? Come on! Lyn, I'm sure my wife could catalogue a list of imperfections that would take generations to peruse (if she could be bothered - and I can assure you she has no such desire. Just sharing the ame bed with me each night is enough of a sacrifice!) But, Rx, surely you cannot honestly believe that spinmeistering is a conervertaive pregrogative? Mate, get real. Honest to god, I wish our side could do it as well as Labor does. They perfected the art in this country. And good luck to them. It was a legitimate practice. And it is still widely used. I, personally, just happen to believe there is a better way and I hope to use that for the benefit of conservative politics one day. You'll probably hate me for it (if I'm successful) but that's the nature of the swings and roundabouts' nature of politics. Most of you guys would hope (reasonably) to have Labor in office for three terms out of four. I hope to engineer the conservatioves into office for three terms out of four. That's the bottom line (for me). Meantime I hope to have some fun, make our political discourse somewhat less rancorous and build a better nation that serves us all well. I do not see that there is much between us. yeah, we might die in each other's arms on the barricades but our aspirations, I fundamentally believe, are not that different. In fact, I think there's really a hair's breadth in it. But I repeat my initial (perhaps recent is more accurate) assertion that I don't have aspirations for converting anyone. None of you could convert me so why would I believe the opposite? Let us just enjoy the encounters.

Agnes Mack

23/04/2010Thanks for the Crikey link, Ad. A good read. Agnes

lyn

23/04/2010Hi Ad and everyone Rx Sky news is reporting that Tony Abbott has dumpted vitriol on the Government over the axed insulation scheme. Vitriol savage sarcasm,acid, what next.

HillbillySkeleton

23/04/2010I'd like to know where Tony Abbott is getting his information from which suggests to him that the Australian public would approve of the idea of putting more Australian soldiers in the line of fire in Afghanistan. However, as(I think) Greg Jennett on ABC News suggested tonight, whether he knows it or not, by the time Tony Abbott gets to make the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, should he win the election, it would become a redundant issue as the US has already made contingency plans to replace the Dutch forces returning to Holland who are presently stationed in Helmand Province with the Diggers. Which leads me to conclude that this was just another case of Tony Abbott seeking to take advantage of the fact that it was ANZAC Day weekend to opportunistically deliver a typically hairy-chested speech at 'The Sydney Institute', which he hoped would get him kudos with the electorate. No doubt the Murdoch Yellow Press will run with it throughout the Long Weekend to the hoped-for advantage of Tony Abbott and the Coalition. This is why I cannot stomach the idea of Mr Abbott being our Prime Minister. Can you imagine how he would cynically exploit the spoils of office to his own, and his party's advantage? Kevin Rudd's 'spin' would be as nothing compared to what Tony Abbott would conceive of. It's no wonder that behind the scenes the Liberal Party are tearing themselves apart, if the sacking of Deputy Director James McGrath this week is anything to go by, plus the entreaties being made to Malcolm Turnbull to reconsider his resignation from the seat of Wentworth. I can only hope that the electorate is not bamboozled by Abbott, because, as the Jeremy Rifkin article, 'The Angle' piece, Nick Clegg and Barack Obama, are trying to say, but who tend to be drowned out generally by all the tentacles of the Murdoch Squid Media, we no longer need to follow along in the trail of the politics of confrontation and Machiavelli. We need a new paradigm. And hopefully the younger generations will be smart enough not to be co-opted by these corrupt old men.

HillbillySkeleton

23/04/2010And that those who are younger than we will lead us out of the political wilderness where those corrupt old men would wish to lead us, and leave us, up a dry gully, while they garner unto themselves the spoils of their victory, their ill-gotten gains.

HillbillySkeleton

23/04/2010I know this is quite old, and it is about the Republican Opposition to President Obama in the US, but it is still incredibly apt and pertains to the Coalition, 'The Party of No' here in Australia now: http://blog.buzzflash.com/davidow/106

Beats Planet

23/04/2010Bill, you said "No policies, no framework, no ideas, no contributions… the word that best describes their attitude towards governance of the country is ‘No’." WHY does your country allow this to happen? Is it not that things happen when you allow it? A national concern is everybody's concern. I mean the power of the people is more than that of some few who do not deserve the position where they are.

lyn

23/04/2010Hi Hillbilly Thanks for the link to Buzzflash, excellent [quote][b]Sometimes one feels that the only thing left to say in response to all the nonsense is "oh please just shut up."[/b][/quote]

Canbra Dave

24/04/2010In regards to the ETS I would think that most people would be grateful that the Liberals ended up saying no to the deal. Remember that part of the scheme would see billions and billions of dollars in handouts to the big polluting industries. Presumably so they wouldn't suffer lost profits resulting from being forced to produce less carbon (which is like kind of the whole point of a cap and trade system). I think the official line given was something like 'to ensure there are no job losses', again ignoring the fact that what we should be aiming to do is redirect those jobs into renewable energy industries. Bernard Keane lays the smackdown in a blog post here (which may have already been posted) - http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/04/22/official-carbon-leakage-is-wildly-overstated/ "The compensation being handed to the biggest polluters will cost, on average, $65,000 per job. In the aluminium industry, the cost is as high as $180,000 per job. It would be far cheaper simply to let it close and pay displaced workers average weekly earnings." Remeber, there was a reason why the Greens voted against the scheme as well. In regards to asylym seekers I would think it pretty obvious what coalition policy would be. A return to the Howard era policies like the Pacific Solution. I did laugh at an episode of Q&A a few weeks back, when Kelly O'Dwyer turned a question about why the coalition uses dehumanising terms for asylum seekers into raising the issue of 'Labor's failed polcies'. Even Tony Jones called her out on that one.

lyn

24/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] The Precious lives of others, by Mac, Ramblings of a political tragic http://moderatelyleft.blogspot.com/2010/04/precious-lives-of-others.html How is this "conservative"?, By Jeremy Sear, Pure Poison http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/ Feints and smart footwork BY ROSS PEAKE,Canberra Times http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/opinion/editorial/general/feints-and-smart-footwork/1811136.aspx Putting patients before premiers' egos,By Michael Mullins, On Line Opinion http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=10323 Post-COAG triage,by Sue cato, Business Spectator http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/COAG-health-reform-Kristina-Keneally-Rudd-pd20100422-4R2QT?OpenDocument Kevins Spin Doctors,Friday Mash http://www.fridaymash.com/weekly-mash/politics/kevins-spin-doctors Laurie Oakes ensmallens the Prime Minister , Garth' posterous, http://maniraptor.posterous.com/laurie-oakes-ensmallens-the-prime-minister ex-Australian Rupert Murdoch, as the owner of 40% of Britain's newspapers is repeatedly exposed for desperately trying to influence, yet again, who will be elected prime minister : by DARRYL MASON, The Orstrahyun http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/2010/04/actor-simon-pegg-sums-up-mocking.html Schools built on skilled Labor, Educated Guess http://www.educatedguess.com.au/blog/2010/04/schools-built-on-skilled-labor/ The Week That Was, Sportolotics http://sportowens.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/the-week-that-was-2/ Why are we fighting in Afghanistan, By Brian Walters for Melbourne http://brianwaltersmelbourne.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-are-we-fighting-in-afghanistan.html Media management - the labor way, by David M Russell http://davidmrussell.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/media-management-the-labor-way/

vote1maxine

24/04/2010Hi David Some of my closest friends are Conservatives who share a belief in building a better society although from a different view point and we respect each others views. We can have a rational and robust discussion and usually end up agreeing to disagree. We still remain friends. It is those who oppose everything that the Rudd government does or proposes, who deny positive outcomes (eg avoiding a GFC induced recession), undermine acting in the national interest and our children's future (eg taking massive action in tackling climate change) that really gets my goat. Especially when they propose no credible alternatives. BB's article "the liberals' universal solution to everything: just say 'no'" clearly underscored this. Furthermore, I see these people as acting solely in their own interest and don't give a toss about others. So when you described BB's article as "that angst and bile" I immediately saw you as one of those I described above. However, I welcome your recent comments and agree with some of them. I hope that these set the benchmark for future contributions. There are few issues that are black & white. Even I, who regard John Howard as one of worse and divisive PMs, acknowlege that he did contribute some positive outcomes (eg gun control). I look forward to your future contributions that will prove that I was perhaps too quick to judge you and that we can engage in rational robust debate which is the foundation of the TPS.

HillbillySkeleton

24/04/2010David M.Russell, Au contraire. If you want to see a Conservative spinmeister at work you have to look no further than Tony Abbott. Black could be white and if it suited him to say so he would say it with a straight face and a line ready-made for the tabloids.

Ad astra reply

24/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Ad astra reply

24/04/2010Rx This blog engine, while allowing comments to be deleted, does not permit comments to be edited. This engine uses square brackets for emphasis. For italics, use square bracket i square bracket followed by the text to be placed in italics, then square bracket /i square bracket. The same applies to bolding using b between square brackets and at the end /b between square brackets. Alternatively, you can use the biuquote in orange above the comments box to do the job. Just highlight what you want in bold or italics or underlined or as a quote, then click b, or i, or u, or quote, and the highlighted text will be automatically given the emphasis you desire. Because the options b, i, u, and quote are so close together you’ll have to be precise in selecting the one you want. Although it’s tedious, it can be done. I hope that helps.

Ad astra reply

24/04/2010Folks I'll be on the road for a few hours - back late afternoon

Acerbic Conehead

24/04/2010AA and BB, as you know, Tony Abbott has suggested we discuss saying no to paying the dole to the under-30’s. Well, in fact the Seven Coalition Dwarfs have decided to put their money where their mouths are and head off to the mines of Western Australia. The fact, however, that each of the seven is only 29.5 centimetres tall might also have something to do with their decision. So, besides Doc Abbott, there is Grumpy Wilson, Dopey Barnaby (who can’t count), Sneezy Julie (who is allergic to writing her own material), Happy Mal (who is glad he’s not the leader any more), Sleepy Phil, and Bashful Godwin (who is perennially embarrassed at getting caught out). In WA, in their What’s-yours-is Mine they are supposed to be digging for precious policies, but, instead, spend all day playing their favourite board-game, “Haven’t a Cluedo”. At the end of another typically unsuccessful day, they call it quits and decide to head back for some refreshments and shut-eye, to the shack they now call home. They rev up the quad-bikes and drive off into the setting sun. Later, back at the hacienda, they are trying to build up enough courage to go inside to face their house-keeper, Snow White Gillard, who they know will not be happy at yet another fruitless day of ‘excavating’ at the mine. Snow White, hands on hips, is already standing at the door, glaring at them accusingly. Doc Abbott: Erm...hallo Snow White...and don’t you look ravishing as usual... Snow White: Cut the People Skills crap, shortie – you know it doesn’t cut any ice with me...And talking about cutting, I can see from the pristine state of your fingernails, you lot haven’t done a hand’s turn all day in that mine of yours – so, get inside, eat your supper and get straight to bed... [there is a door into the shack especially for the dwarfs – it is exactly 30 centimetres high. They despondently troop in and get stuck into their evening meal. As usual, Snow White has done the cooking. The grub is fantastic and there is lots of it. It’s the sort of stuff Doc and the other dwarfs relish – heaps of steaks and pastas full of protein and carbs, followed by lashings of desserts and cakes. It’s a spread that would make dinner-time at Hogwarts look like Bob Cratchit’s usual Christmas lunch. And Snow White has done the ironing as well, which suits Doc as he hates ironing. Suitably sated, they troop off to bed; get up the next morning; get threatened by Snow White that they better find some precious policies in the mine today; head off to their pit; play “Haven’t a Cluedo” all day; go home; get roused for returning empty-handed (again); eat another slap-up meal; go to bed...This goes on for weeks and weeks. Eventually, Snow White has had a gut-full. The Seven Dwarfs have returned home with no precious policies one time too many] Snow White: Right you lot...that’s it as far as I’m concerned...You obviously need some expert help to find the precious policies in your mine...and I think I know the very guy who will make you lift your game... Doc: Who’s that, then? Snow White: He’s from the Toxic Bore Excavation Company – I think you might have heard of him... [groans loud enough to be heard as far away as the Mines of Moria emanate from the depths of the Seven Dwarfs’ diaphragms] Doc: Noooooooooooo...Not him! That bloody slave-driver will have us working 20-hour days with no penalty rates or even piss-breaks... Happy Mal: Sounds like WorkChoices Mark II to me...heh...heh... [Snow White isn’t paying any attention whatsoever to their whinging and gets out the wooden spoon, driving them towards the little dwarfs’ door. As usual, Doc is first to enter, but, this time, he hits his head against the top of the entrance. The others stop dead in their tracks, wondering what’s going on] Doc: Ouch! That hurt! Good job I had my surf-cap on or it would have been worse...Now, what idiot reduced the size of the door-way? [all eyes turn accusingly to Snow White] Snow White: Wasn’t me! Actually...I think I know what’s happened...With all that good food and lack of exercise, you’ve got bigger! [Snow White gets out the measuring-tape and, yes, they have got bigger! They are now 30.5 centimetres tall!] Doc: Yippee! This is our ticket home guys – as we’re now over-30, we qualify for the dole back over east – and also we don’t have to work for that Toxic Bore dickhead after all... [deliriously happy now, the Seven Dwarfs set off on the long journey back east, singing their song, “Heigh Ho, it’s on the dole we go”, as they disappear over the horizon. Snow White, watching the little shapes fade into the distance, is singularly unimpressed] Snow White (to herself): Huh, what a crowd of losers...But, I suppose, as someone else once said, “the poor will always be with us...” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aURThUaRjCc

janice

24/04/2010David M Russell, I'm glad you came back. Like Vote1Maxine I too have conservative friends with whom I am able to have rational and robust discussions. I agree with you re the media journos who, rather than report the facts, present their own personal opinions to their readership. This is my big beef with the ABC because I remember well the time when it was almost impossible to discern which journo was 'right leaning' and which one was a 'leftie'. When a political scandal hit the headlines most of us tuned in to the ABC to get the facts. It irks me no end to see and hear our ABC parrotting verbatim the headlines and opinions that come out of the Murdoch press. Murdoch has managed to get his grubby fingers into all sections of the media in this country and the sooner he kicks the bucket the better so far as I'm concerned, but he has an inherited longevity on his side so even though I'm probably looking at my last decade, the old bugger will no doubt outlive me. Hillbilly, [quote]This is why I cannot stomach the idea of Mr Abbott being our Prime Minister. Can you imagine how he would cynically exploit the spoils of office to his own, and his party's advantage? [/quote] The mind boggles at even the thought of Abbott as PM. The more I see and hear of the man the more I think he has more than one screw loose in his brain. Besides, I wonder whether his supporters consider the folly of having a PM more dedicated to iron-man races, bike marathons and extreme physical fitness than putting in the time and effort to run the country. IMHO the man has not earned half the remuneration he's been receiving from the public purse over his entire parliamentary career.

lyn

24/04/2010Hi Acerbic Conehead You are delightful.

David M Russell

24/04/2010Acerbic: love your work! Great writing. Well done. Thank you, Janice (and to Maxine - I have wished many times I had not used 'bile'. Cheers)

Bushfire Bill

24/04/2010Rx wrote: [i]Could you possibly correct the formatting tags for my post? Thanks.[/i] Thye only posts we can edit are the main posts (the ones written by us). As for user posts, we can only delete them (no "Edit" option). This leaves the only possibility for me to copy it first, delete it, reformat, and re-post, but it will then be out of position (i.e. appended to the end of the thread). If this is what you want, let me know. BB.

Acerbic Conehead

24/04/2010Lyn and David. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the rest of your ANZAC weekend. And Lyn, thanks again for your great links. On Jack the Insider's blog last night I was able to use one of your tips to direct a reader who requested the 'doctored' photo of Tones published in the WA PROSH newspaper.

Bushfire Bill

24/04/2010It's unusual to see a spam post actually commenting specifically on the topic, so I let Beats Planet's link to something-or-other to do with "beats" (whatever they are) to stand as a fair comment. Beat's Planet wrote: [i]Bill, you said "No policies, no framework, no ideas, no contributions… the word that best describes their attitude towards governance of the country is ‘No’." WHY does your country allow this to happen? Is it not that things happen when you allow it? [/i] I've often wondered that myself. For one thing, it has a lot to do with the influence of the Murdoch publishing empire. Murdoch controls 70% of all news outlets in this country. It is literally impossible to imagine Australia without this lack of balance, as it has existed for decades. He controls the sole newspapers in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, 3 out of five in Sydney, half in Melbourne. I'm sorry, but I don't know the figures for Tasmania. and that's just capital cities. Add to this his substantial ownership of cable TV here (including ths SkeNews channel) and much of the book publishing, and you can get an idea of just how much influence he wields in a small country. I think he sees it as his personal fiefdom. He's always had a "soft spot" for Australia, as this is where he emerged from first, before he took on the world. He is regarded by many as "Australian" although he gave up his Australian citizenship so he could start a TV Network in the US. The dreadful "Fox News" is the worst example of what he can do, but in some ways at least it wears its heart on its sleeve. The more insidious infiltrations occur when he takes a softer approach, as in The Australian, his Australian "national" newspaper, which claims to be above the petty politicking of the other rags. If you're going to tell a lie, tell a big one. Because The Australian is the only national newspaper, it claims bragging rights as the "paper of record" here. News Ltd. (Murdoch's company) even owns half of one of the football leagues here, including complete ownership of one team which has just been involved in a salary cap scandal (paying their players more than they are allowed to under League rules, off the books). Of course News Ltd. disclaims any knowledge of fraud or malfeasance, saying it was hoodwinked by its own team managers. News's condemnation in its newspapers has been louder than any other media organization's, which brings to mind two quotes... [b]Casablanca (1942)[/b] [i][/i]RICK:[i] How can you close me up? On what grounds? [/i]CAPTAIN RENAULT:[i] I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money] [/i]CROUPIER:[i] Your winnings, sir. [/i]CAPTAIN RENAULT:[i] [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much. [aloud] [/i]CAPTAIN RENAULT:[i] Everybody out at once![/i] and [b]Hamlet Act 3, scene 2[/b] [i]QUEEN: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.[/i] ... but I digress. On any one day in Sydney, newspaper readers are treated to the tabloid Daily Telegraph, the right-win "newspaper of record" The Australia or The Sydney Morning Herald. Of the three, the Herald and the Australian are broadsheet format, and thus too unwieldy to read in a commuter train. Only the Telegraph alows you to turn the page in cramped quarters. It's a "tit-and-bums" publication, peppered with celebrity gossip, "shocking revelations" and short, punchy articles written from a right-wing, tut-tutting point of view. It is always kicking someone when they're down, plus it has lots of Murdoch's favourite "arms length" investment covered: Rugby League football. I find it unreadable myself, but it is Sydney's highest circulation newspaper, having three editions per day. In other capitals the [i]only[/i] choice is a Murdoch newspaper. Without writing a long article on the farce of News Ltd. papers, let me just say that much of what they write is only half the story, the rest is made up, and they are nearly always anti-Labor (= US Democrats) and pro Establishment. The same happens in America and the UK, where they have picked the Republicans and the Conservatives respectively to push as the next government. If you're still around, Beats Planet, I hope this clears a fewof your questions up.

Rx

24/04/2010 David M Russell wrote: [b]... surely you cannot honestly believe that spinmeistering is a conervertaive pregrogative? Mate, get real. Honest to god, I wish our side could do it as well as Labor does. They perfected the art in this country. [/b] A conservative prerogative? No, I don't believe spinmeistering is a conservative prerogative at all. In fact I'd be be surprised if anyone - outside of a totalitarian right wing political position - [i]would[/i] believe that. Of course both sides should be 'allowed' to do it. What I do believe is that they do it (spin) "better" than Labor does. By "better", I mean, in the pervasiveness and overwhelming volume of spin and propaganda generated. It took me a good amount of searching to find it again, so I'm happy to be able to reproduce below the gist of a comment made on the general topic of spin to the 'Jack The Insider' blog by commenter, "Bassman" (whose pieces are always good value). Bassman wrote: [i]"... the Libs usual form of attack...whinge whinge whinge-no policies-just whingeing. And it is a successful tactic. The Libs are GREAT at Mantras that they get the electorate to learn off by heart-Labors Black Hole,17% interest rates,UNION BOSSES UNION BOSSES(under Howard). The new one is The Great Big Tax (er not the GST I might add!)...get ready to hear this 100 times a day up until the next election. ... but Labor is NOT good at negative politics.Not good headkickers.Have a listen to 2UE and 2SM.These stations have heaps of feeder stations across the country.They give a 6 hour a day thrashing to Labor EVERY day. Abbott and Co appear regularly but few Labor politicians front to defend their own.Howard knew the power of talkback radio. Rudd doesn’t."[/i] http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/jacktheinsider/index.php/theaustralian/comments/forget_the_polls_let_battle_begin/P25/ Ah, yes, Who do you trust to keep interest rates low? ... We will say who comes to this country and the means by which they come... Kevin Rudd: all spin, no substance... Soft on border protection... The Rudd Recession... Slogans, slogans, slogans. Heck, you've heard the historical one: "All The Way With LBJ". Guess who? It's not just the relentless repetition of rhetoric either. It's particularly insidious when propaganda is deployed at public expense. And here, the Coalition is the undisputed record-holder. The Public Relations Institute of Australia, 1 September 2008 wrote: [i]"Last year, the Australian {Coalition} Government spent more money on advertising than Coles, Holden, McDonalds and Coca Cola and the Howard Government spent more than $1 billion on advertising in its 12 years," Dr Kerr said. ... "The fact that government advertising expenditure has had sharp spikes before the past six elections highlights the impression of government misuse of public funds for party ends." ... She said Australia had [b]the highest per capita spending on government advertising in the world[/b].[/i] http://www.pria.com.au/news/id/532 {my emphasis} But the Coalition are always so careful with our money, aren't they!?! (That's what their spin has always told us). ________ Here's where the Coalition were caught out running what amounted to Liberal Party advertising under the guise of 'public service announcements' in the period just before an election. 'The Canberra Times', 17 May 2007 (reproduced via the 'Australian Politics' website): [i] ... The Howard Government has gotten into hot water before over the timing of these ads. The $6.1million campaign was first launched while the Government was in caretaker mode before the 2004 federal election. Mark Latham's opposition cried foul over the ads being run during the election campaign, arguing that they were designed to scare people into voting for the Howard Government rather than provide information to the public. As a result, the ads were tagged as "Authorised by the Australian Federal Police" in an attempt to distinguish them from the Liberal Party's election campaign advertising.[/i] The Canberra Times goes on to say: [i]... In the year before the 2004 election, the Howard Government spent about $143 million on "public information" campaigns, such as Strengthening Medicare. These campaigns were ostensibly designed to communicate vital information to the public; however, the ads were heavy on emotional rhetoric, and light on substance. In a pre-election climate, they served as a reminder that the incumbent government was busy, making decisions and implementing changes in the best interests of Australians. Lecturer in media and communications at the University of Melbourne Sally Young ... {said}: In modern politics, mass media advertising is considered a crucial factor in deciding election results particularly by the parties themselves. The financial and bureaucratic resources of government puts the incumbent at a distinct advantage.[/i] http://www.australianpolitics.com/words/2007/archives/00000136.shtml ________ Again helping themselves to taxpayers' money ... [b]Liberal mates milked millions from Howard's ad bonanza[/b] Crikey.com.au, 13 March 2008 http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090313-Howard-micro-managing-advertising.html [b]Report slams Howard govt advertising approval process[/b] ABC News, 5 March 2009 http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/05/2508296.htm?section=justin There are plenty more reports revealing their status as Spin Champions if you're motivated to go looking. Google is your friend. In the meantime, I would be interested to hear you substantiate please, beyond mere assertion, your opinion that: [i][b]I wish our side could do it as well as Labor does. They perfected the art in this country[/b][/i]

Rx

24/04/2010Thanks Bushfire Bill. I wasn't sure whether the blog software allowed you to edit commenters' posts. As it apparently does not, please leave my misformatted post where it is. No harm done. :)

HillbillySkeleton

24/04/2010As someone at HuffPo commented recently about Fox News in the US, but which applies universally to Murdoch Inc.'s media empire, "They don't report the news, they just report Conservative opinion."

lyn

24/04/2010Hi Hillbilly Skeleton Same going on in the UK The New York Times, Post-Debate Spin in British Newspapers, http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/23/post-debate-spin-in-british-newspapers/ Rupert Murdoch’s sprawling media empire — has been relentless in its attacks on Brown, using him and his party as target practice Britain's newspapers takes sides in country's increasingly tight electoral race. Politics news http://blog.taragana.com/politics/2010/04/23/britains-newspapers-takes-sides-in-countrys-increasingly-tight-electoral-race-30676/

lyn

24/04/2010Hillbilly I forgot to put this link up, you see Tony Abbott is going on another bike ride tomorrow 3 days, what a joke, wonder is he taking holidays this time. 7 days and the budget comes out. [b]Lycra clad rides again By Joe Hildebrand From: The Daily Telegraph[/b] http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/

lyn

24/04/2010Hi Hillbilly The above link was supposed to take you to Adelaide Now, so I've put it up again Lycra lad rides again, Adelaide Now, Be careful of your eyes when you open the link http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/entertainment/confidential/lycra-lad-rides-again/story-e6fredq3-1225857615067

Ad astra reply

24/04/2010Folks Back on deck again. I see you've been busy - I enjoyed reading the many comments. LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx Lyn, you should start a gallery of Tony in Lycra. I wonder if the Labor spin doctors are collecting them for the election campaign? AC Another great piece of satire. Thanks for lightening our days, which are often too heavy with political reality.

Chris

24/04/2010I cannot believe that Abbott is off on another bike ride. I made light of this here, http://sportowens.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/tony-abbott-could-he-be-suffering-from-body-dysmorphic-disorder/ but now I am beginning to wonder if Abbott might have an illness. At the very least, I wonder where he is finding the time to work. I guess his "no dole for under 30s" policy answers that question.

Calligula

24/04/2010Chris, Your - "I guess his "no dole for under 30s" policy answers that question." Yep. The double standard does exist and works well for his sort all right.

Ad astra reply

24/04/2010Lyn Your UK links reveal a frightening picture of the way in which the newspapers set out to influence the outcome of elections, and the pernicious and pervasive influence of the Murdoch press, which sees itself as the kingmaker. We are seeing this unfold before our eyes here. We need to sustain our attack on such partisan and dishonest advocacy.

Calligula

24/04/2010That baldy bloke up top of the comments has a bit of a blog that seems rather short on comment. Reading his effort above I now understand why. I have also checked out why his blog is short on comment after taking some hours to send him along reasoned comment. They appeared for a while then were deleted. Appears he doesn't like pure, cold, reason from a commie like me. So to copy Dave Russell's words - "Well, despite you author's angst I, for one, am happy the WA premier held out." And of course he is - as I'm sure he'd also like to see that caring Mad Monk become PM and order our kids into the salt mines. The shaven head on one the hairy chest, the other. Two saggy gutted ex alpha males denying chronological decline I opine that they're probably mad as cut snakes both of 'em. Hey. I thought it was we commies who ordered innocent people into the salt mines. Bob Menzies must have told me crammers !!

lyn

24/04/2010HI CHRIS You have an excellent blog, I have enjoyed your columns in the past. I think I have posted your blog on daily links before, you are in my files, with a star icon, denotes to be read every day. I also noticed you have a link in your side bar to the Political Sword, thankyou, Ad will be very pleased. [b]The Week that was. by Chris, SPORTOLOTICS[/b] [b]http://sportowens.wordpress.com/[/b]

Chris

24/04/2010Thank you Lyn, much appreciated. I just wish I could post a bit more regularly.

Paul or Berwick

24/04/2010I wish we had someone like Jon Stewart here, and I hope NL doesn't become as purile as Fox is. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/arts/television/24stewart.html?scp=2&sq=jon%20stewart&st=cse

Ad astra reply

24/04/2010Chris You may be onto something with your provisional diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder. I was wondering whether Tony was becoming dependent on the endorphins his extreme exercise generate. Thank you for listing [i]The Political Sword[/i] on your blog site [i]Sportolotics[/i], which I have added to the list of blog sites under ‘Social and economics blogspots’ in Blog Watch which is listed under ‘site pages’ in the right panel right under LYN’S DAILY LINKS.

lyn

24/04/2010Hi AD, Thankyou for your reply, the Murdoch Press in the UK yes it's scary, Which Government allowed one person to rule our country, wonder how huge the kick backs where. I think we all know the answer. Maybe the Paywall will fix up some of the problems. I believe Rupert is taking his newspapers out of Google search very soon, Rupert's comment was, "why should people be able to read a short headline, then just go to the online news from Google and read one headline". Of course this has the potential to be a very bad move and could backfire on poor Rupert. This by son James to a rival newspaper The ad stated: "Rupert Murdoch won't decide this election - you will Murdoch son ambushes Indy editor,by Ben Fenton, FT.Com http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/77746de4-4e6f-11df-b48d-00144feab49a.html

lyn

24/04/2010Hi Ad and Everybody I was just thinking something. We could all go place comments on News Ltd columns, then link back to The Political Sword. We have a bit of time before the paywall goes up.

HillbillySkeleton

24/04/2010lyn, You know, in these days of the iniquitous international influence of Rupert Murdoch, I often wonder what has happened to good old journalistic integrity? I put it down to the wiping out of Unfair Dismissal provisions and the rise of contract work. As a journalist for anything other than a Public Broadcaster like the BBC, or the ABC, you are constantly having to please your boss, or you are out the door.

Calligula

24/04/2010Hey Acerbic Conehead - Above - You missed a great line and an old joke. What happens when Snow White is 'indisposed'. Well, the whole dwarf band all get up Grumpy. No - back you lot - I'm not being disgusting. Just pointing out what happens in politics if there is a power vacuum for a second.

David M Russell

24/04/2010Sweetheart darling, Caligula, commies like you give the rest of us reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Don't ever give up your beliefs, honey. Now, seriously, I have no recollection of you providing me with comments. Did you do so under your real name? Or were you just horsing around? Love that body dysmorphic stuff, AA. My self-loathing must be what drove me to liberalism. Still, I'm sure Caligula's penchant for gulags could cure a lot of things. But to put puerile things to one side (so as not to reinforce Lyn's assessment of male shortcomings any more than is already warranted) let's talk about something sensible. I have been deeply disturbed by the coverage of ANZAC Day over the past week or so. The trigger (as I recall) was Peter Harvey spruiking for Telstra. His performance just defines lugubrious (and I could listen to that basso profundo for hours). But, seriously . . . I think the ANZAC tradition is a vital and intrinsic element of our national character and identity (even placing jingoism to one side). But here is Telstra appropriating a core element of our national identity to earn revenue. It is subtle, it is clever and it is disturbing. We also have organs like The Courier-Mail (and, presumably, other News Limited publications) producing high-quality lift-outs. Sure, these can legitimately be described as 'educational tools' or souvenirs, or whatever the spinmeisters might like. But it is inherently designed to build readership. The TV current affairs programs are similarly full of ANZAC segments which, too, would be described by their producers as honouring national traditions or sentiment. But, equally designed to build audience numbers. It is the same with radio. Where is there a valid dividing line? At what point does media coverage of a national symbol stop being a community service and descend into image-enhancement and profit-mongering? Does this concern others? Is there something that can be done about it? I cannot see a valid means of preventing this type of activity (the framing of any kind of law or regulation would be horrendous in its potential implications) but I am saddened by the appropriation of such an important national symbol for commercial purposes. It just reminds me of Pauline Hanson draped in the Australian flag and that sends shivers up my spine. Does this concern others?

lyn

24/04/2010Hi Calligula I am interested in what you have to say in your comments. Thankyou for coming to The Political Sword and voicing your opinion, Ad Astra and all of us, appreciate you coming here. We all hope you will come back again. Oh by the way, I don't know if you are a boy or a girl, David knows.

lyn

24/04/2010Hi David I agree with what you are saying, but I can't comment too much. My father served in world war 2 in Borneo, he died at 59 with a bayonet under his pillow, and a spent hand grenade, the mental effects were horrific. My uncle, (mothers brother), was declared dead after 7 years, he died in the fall of Singapore aged 26. I am reading Danny Dunn by Bryce Courtney at the moment, about half way through. very, very sad. Please read Danny Dunn you can. I remember by myself.

HillbillySkeleton

24/04/2010David M.Russell, I think ANZAC Day is overhyped and is used by the media, and especially so by Howard's government, to play into the increasing normalisation of the militarisation of our societies. It is for this reason also that I refuse to buy or make Anzac biscuits in 'commemoration' of the day. I believe a minute or two of quiet reflection on the day is enough and should be all that is required of us. The Dawn Service and the March are OK also, but they shouldn't be hyped up out of all proportion.

HillbillySkeleton

24/04/2010lyn, Can you find more information about the invasion of 'The Independant' offices by James Murdoch? That FT.com story was very brief.

HillbillySkeleton

24/04/2010Eww! Too much information in that photo of the Lycra Lad! lyn, why did you have to do that to us? :)

lyn

25/04/2010Hi Hillbilly Too much information, but it hurts my eyes. I have found some links for you that are amazing. http://www.beehivecity.com/newspapers/james-murdoch-should-leave-the-independent-alone/ http://www.mediaspy.org/report/2010/04/24/uk-tensions-rising-in-media-election-coverage/ http://www.businessinsider.com/ruperts-son-james-murdoch-storms-into-newsroom-at-rival-newspaper-what-are-you-fing-playing-at-2010-4

Eccles

25/04/2010I find it hard to imagine why the ALP has such difficulty getting its message across. I could never understand why a balanced view of the Keating economic reforms kept getting obscured during the Howard government years, especially until the former reserve bank governor made them explicitly clear.

Bushfire Bill

25/04/2010What I don't get about David is why he is so averse to spin doctors when he is one himself... self-confessed even. It's like Abbott, the politician, telling us during the Republican campaign that we shouldn't ever trust a politician. Speaking of Abbott, my sister's theory is that the bike-riding and running is therapy, a sort of self medication. The pain from the exertion takes his mind off the voices in his head until the endorphins kick in. Occasionally, like the other day, there isn’t a bicycle to be had, and this is when the demons take over, whispering, “Go on, Tony. Say it. You know you want to. Dare ya!” So out he comes with a plan to send troops to Afghanistan so that conditions there can only get harder for the locals, forcing refugees to flee so he can turn the boats back when they arrive, unless the under-30s press-ganged into service in the northwest somehow do it for him. There’s a connection there somewhere. Tony just needs a bit longer with the “little people” just behind his eyeballs and he’ll figure it out. Tony is like one of those little kids that the aunties think is hilarious when he’s caught being naughty. “He’s so clever,” say the aunties, “the way he talks himself out of trouble!” Eventually you get addicted to this and even when you’re not in trouble, you go looking for something naughty to confess to. It can be anything... breaking all the 10 Commandments (except murder, and only for want of opportunity) will do, or parroting on about his sex life on the campaign trail... anything. Then you can charm the aunties all over again by being clever. It’s the applause that Tony’s addicted to. Make up a policy, get everyone outraged and angry you didn't consult them, or laughing because it doesn't make sense, and then talk your way out of it by saying it's not really apolicy or it's in your book, so it must be fair dinkum. Or just say, "That was then. This is now" (his excuse for the PPL policy backflip on the policy itself and the taxes needing to be raised to fund it). Pure Tony Abbott style. He’ll get ihis kicks any way he can. Combine this compyulsion to confess to anything and everything with the sound of the tom-toms in his inner ear, tormenting him, accompanied by demons in his head telling him to be naughty, and no wonder he goes bike riding. The only thing that surprises me is that he’s got the guts to come back, it must feel so good out on the road, doped up with endorphins, without the voices.

HillbillySkeleton

25/04/2010C'mon Eccles, do a Gravatar!There are lots of really good ones to choose from wrt your namesake. :)

Rx

25/04/2010All the extra funding for mental health - Abbott should be down on his knees thanking Mr Rudd. [b]Fed govt to double mental health funding[/b] http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/fed-govt-to-double-mental-health-funding-20100130-n5dj.html [i]The Rudd government says funding for mental health initiatives is set to double over the next four years, after advocates warned of a 400 per cent blowout in the cost of a key commonwealth program.[/i] The Age, 30 January 2010

HillbillySkeleton

25/04/2010What an asset the Rudd government have in Dr Mike Kelly. I have had the pleasure to meet him personally, and let me tell you he is even nicer in person than he appears on TV and in Federal Parliament. Might I also note that it has been the ALP who have had distinguished Military Veterans join their political ranks, like Graham Edwards and Dr Kelly, as opposed to the Coalition, who just get all hairy-chested like Abbott this week, and commit an already overstretched Australian Military to a campaign that actually now needs less military involvement and more Afghani capacity-building capability.

Bushfire Bill

25/04/2010Here's one Liberal at least who didn't say "No"... http://www.smh.com.au/wa-news/my-affair-with-buswell-greens-mp-adele-carles-confesses-20100425-tksk.html

mick smetafor

25/04/2010"Where is there a valid dividing line? At what point does media coverage of a national symbol stop being a community service and descend into image-enhancement and profit-mongering? Does this concern others? Is there something that can be done about it? " david i share your'e concern.much to my disgust,last week i got pamphlet in the mail from my local state member helpfully advising me about local anzac day functions.it was replete with photos of diggers with guns and bayonets in action and also the ugly smiling mug of you know who.i"ll bet the bastard has never been within coee of a loaded gun but you would think he had won both world wars by himself.

HillbillySkeleton

25/04/2010Bushfire Bill, Interesting isn't it how the Party of 'Just Say No' are the ones with the least self-control? Tony Abbott is proud of himself for having broken 9/10 of the Ten Commandments and loves disporting himself in the media in tight lycra leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination. If you have to choose between the Jocks and the Nerds to run the country, my vote will be with the Nerds every time. At least they are smart enough to know the Golden Rule, 'Keep it in your pants!'

lyn

25/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Andrew Leigh for Fraser,by Possum, Comitatus, Pollytics http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/04/24/andrew-leigh-for-fraser/ Andrew Leigh for Fraser, by Robert Merkel, Larvatus Prodeo http://larvatusprodeo.net/ A win for economics, a win for Parliament, a win for my suberb, by Peter Martin http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ Abbott wise to wait for Rudd's blunders ,Laurie oakes, Daily telegraph http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/abbott-wise-to-wait-for-rudds-blunders/story-e6frezz0-1225857612512 Abbott's warmongering ways show he's just another pollie willing to advance his own interests on the backs of the fallen,by Petering , North Coast Voices http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/04/abbotts-warmongering-ways-show-hes-just.html Tony's been thinking again. Doh! by petermcc, Chicken Scratchings http://petermcc.vox.com/library/post/tonys-been-thinking-again-doh.html?_c=feed-atom return of the 'dole bludger' ,by Gary Sauer-Thompson ,Public Opinion http://www.sauer-thompson.com/archives/opinion/2010/04/return-of-the-d.php The Australian Piles on the Lawyers to hide it's secrets, By Darryl Mason, The Orstrahyun http://theorstrahyun.blogspot.com/ Maybe if we dig a moat, by Spock, Groupthink http://www.groupthink.com.au/2010/04/24/maybe-if-we-dig-a-moat/ Christopher Pearson, a soupcon of Michael Foucault, a dash of Abbott and Gillard, and dropping a tab at Zabriskie Point. The Loon Pond http://loonpond.blogspot.com/2010/04/christopher-pearson-soupcon-of-michel.html The rise of the greens and why the liberals need to wake up , by David Byrnes, The Byrnes Report http://davidbyrnes.wordpress.com/ TAINTED LOVE: VEXNEWS scoops all as WA Greens MP Adele Carles admits love affair with Liberal Treasurer Troy Buswell, by Vex News http://www.vexnews.com/news/9040/tainted-love-vexnews-scoops-all-as-wa-greens-mp-adele-carles-reveals-love-affair-with-liberal-treasurer-troy-buswell/

janice

25/04/2010Another 'sex' scandal, BB. What bugs me is why a woman would run to the media to publish her sexual exploits (sordid or otherwise). Of course the media loves such stories and don't give a twig about the families they hurt in the process of publishing the dallyances of high profile people and politicians. Extra-marital affairs go on within the community with impunity and it has always been thus - why do people have the notion that politicians should be any different? Mostly, those involved are discreet or, at least, try to be discreet.

Ad astra reply

25/04/2010Folks LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx I'll be away until this evening.

Bushfire Bill

25/04/2010I find it difficult to believe that the "No" party is still putting out thought bubbles, talking points and fr'instances and are kite flying so close to an election. No-Dole-For-The-Under-30s, more troops to Afghanistan so we can punch above our weight, the PPL scheme that benefits the most well-off workers and makes large companies pay for not only theri competitors' employees to have babies, but also for the babies of public service employees, the Everybody-Gets-A-Nanny policy, half-baked, uncosted Health lightbulbs... and there are many more. In the meantime, their "strategy" is to deny the government its legislative program because Abbott thinks Oppositions should oppose (plus whatever specific objections they cook up). Even when they [i]do[/i] a deal, as on the ETS, they renege on it. Their single Premier is attempting to stall a Health policy that has the support of state and territory governments representing 90% of the population (and which enjoys over 60% support among voters according to opinion polling). In their leadership circles, Abbott goes off surfing and riding bicycles for days at a time. Joe Hockey tells us that he'd drop his political career in an instant if his wife asked him to (admirable, in one way, but hardly the stuff of committment to leadership). They hound Turnbull out (but now they're trying to get him to come back). Nick Minchin, the kingmaker, leaves the parliament. Their Health Shadow Minister, Dutton, doesn't ask any questions about Health, but is described as "impressive at the despatch box" (admittedly by Glenn Milne). Their Manager Of Opposition Business, Pyne, is revealed as betraying his leader, Turnbull, by being Abbott's numbers man in the recent spill. Howard, Costello, Nelson and Vaile are all gone. Their Policy Committee has come up with no policies, preferring to plead with bloggers, via their web site, for ideas. They have not won any opinion poll for almost four years (the last one was in August 2006). They have lost their lead even on Managing The Economy. They deny the severity of the GFC, harp at the overwhelmingly successful BER and, while preaching the dangers of debt, refuse permission for the government to claw back Medicare Rebate money, $2 billion dollars worth, from wealthy taxpayers. They berate the government for failing to pass the ETS and Fuelwatch, when it was their votes in the Senate that caused these measures to fail. And yet, sections of the media consider them to be a serious Opposition, even a serious alternative government. They have lost or alienated their best talent, given up on serious policy, exist on thought bubbles and uncosted brainstorms, and go off bike riding when the going gets tough politically. They are lazy, rudderless and negative. Their leader is a part-timer. They prefer the veto to working for a living. They wait, like Cargo Cultists, for the big silver bird to drop power back into their laps. There are only a few months to go to an election and they have done nothing except be angry. What can these people be thinking?

Rx

25/04/2010Bushfire Bill, It makes one wonder what an even more sorry state they would be in if they didn't have the overwhelming majority of the media wrapped around their finger.

HillbillySkeleton

25/04/2010Bushfire Bill, You forgot these gems of Coalition policy-making: 1. They have a big new Boat Truck driving around Perth emphasising the one concrete policy that they have enunciated clearly, that is, a return to the halcyon days of Howard/Ruddock Immigration policy, with a revivified 'Pacific Solution' by another name, the return of Temporary Protection Visas, and a shot of live fire across the bows of any Asylum Seeker boat that gets into our coastal waters. Don't forget that TA flagged the purchase of 2 new pilotless planes this week especially dedicated to the task of monitoring the seaway between Sri Lanka and Australia, in order to send the info back to the Naval vessels on standby awaiting orders from Cap'n Pugwash in Canberra to blow 'em out of the water! Also, if that doesn't succeed they can turn to the covert towing back of boats that Downer spoke of recently. 2. I believe that Dutton actually let slip that the Coalition do have a Health and Hospitals policy, which they have been working on for the last 12 months, ready to go when they can see the most advantage for themselves in releasing it. I believe it will involve 100% Federal funding of Health, bypassing the States' big, bad bureaurocracies entirely and passing power to Local Hospital Boards, one for each Hospital. In other words, a recipe for a semi-anarchic dog's breakfast. Also, as far as other Health policy goes, we have heard the Medibank Private sale announced. Added to that was TA's justification for blocking the Means Test for the Private Health Rebate, by saying that he was doing it because he believed in encouraging people into the Private Health system. Whilst that is a reprehensible thing to say, at least he was being honest. 3. IR policy. The Unfair Dismissal provisions will make a return, tho' this time they will only apply to Small Businesses with <5 employees(to begin with, I would hazard a guess). Individual Contracts/AWAs would be back. ABCC retained. Minimum Wage tribunal returns. Unions shut out from workplaces. Negotiated contracts banning strike action. You could probably imagine a few more of your own. I'm sure the H.R.Nicholls Society, of which Tony Abbott is still a member, would be able to supply some more grist for the Dark Satanic Mills, lol.

HillbillySkeleton

25/04/2010Wow! I just caught up with lyn's Daily Link to Larvatus Prodeo, and the news Professor Andrew Leigh has been chosen by the ALP to replace Bob McMullan in the seat of Fraser in the ACT, AND Chris Uhlmann's wife, Gai Brodtmann, has received the pre-selection nod to contest the seat of Canberra! Both very talented individuals that will keep on taking the fight up to the Coalition and provide a deep well of talent to draw on in the future.

lyn

25/04/2010Hi Bushfire Bill, They sacked their marginal, seat campaign Manager. Peter Dutton Left his electorate and then went back (loyal, eh). Julie Bishop is deputy in name only. Barnaby has been told to shut up. Joe Hockey gets crankier every day, they call him jovial Joe. Andrew Robb finance ,is in Italy on a holiday, when the tax review is about to be released. Their leader is on another bike ride. They selected a 19 year old (looks 16)for Mal Broughs old seat Longman. All under 30's have to go to the mines. They want Malcolm Turnbull to stay, (loyal eh).

bilgedigger

25/04/2010Tony Abbott surely is participating in this latest bike ride not because of any great physical need but purely because he can make use of the delightful Sophie Deloize as a cover to guard against criticisms of his need for perpetual exhibitionism. I'll bet there will not be one photo opportunity of The Great Pretender on his own. Sophie has more than demonstrated her boundless capacity for endurance during her short life. I really hope that Abbott and the Liberal Party media minions do not stoop so low as to use her as a publicity drawcard for Abbott rather than the cause for which she enlisted, but I wouldn't bet any money on it. Cynical on my part I know but I don't think Tony Abbott really does anything just because he likes it but mostly for what he can gain from it politically.

HillbillySkeleton

25/04/2010lyn, I found this blog by Andrew Carr informative: http://andrewcarr.org/ Could you please add it to your 'Daily Links'? I think others might find it appealing also. Cheers, HS

Calligula

26/04/2010Dave Russell says - April 24. 2010 09:12 PM "Sweetheart darling, Caligula, commies like you give the rest of us reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Don't ever give up your beliefs, honey. Now, seriously, I have no recollection of you providing me with comments. Did you do so under your real name? Or were you just horsing around?" And I reply - No Dave. I wasn't horsin' about. I wrote you in good faith to your pages. You published one or two then worked out I wuz maybe not a redneck like - Bottom line is you published - then deleted - which is your Common Law right but morally places such action beyond the pale. As mentioned - it is irksome to spend hours reading away - composing some input - then having it 'turpsed''. In your case with your pages it strikes me you just delete anything at even the slightest tangent from your little world view. For you - that must be something like living in a turnip. I had believed you had accepted my contribution to your thread about Fitzgerald A's comments about the failure of governance in modern Australia. I may have suggested that Fitzgerald was a very courageous man to say what he said at this stage of his life. I'll say it again now - I have the highest regard for what he said and it is to our shame that so little notice was taken of the pure intent of his language by a population so much needing such advice and guidance. I am toying with asking the moderator of these pages to give me leave to likewise respond to your comment above. I'd love to but am sure If I responded in like fashion that I'd be given the sack from these pages forever. But since Dave you recognise Caligula - as opposed to Calligula - then mention horsing around - it seems that you may have read Robert Graves at least. Or perhaps Suetonius? Just remember Bucko that my ancestor made his favourite horse, Incitatus, a Senator. He may have been more useful then than a certain braying ass we now have in Reps? And if you insist on calling me 'sweetheart darling' I can only assume that such is your wayward and so secret inclination - you big hunk, you. But what might one expect from a Queensland public servant but to drive any advantage he might?

lyn

26/04/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] Five Common misconceptions ,BYRalph Buttigieg, The Western LINES http://www.thewesternlines.com/2010/04/five-common-misconceptions.html ACT Labor Members rebel against factional deals, by Bernard Keane, The Stump http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ Have just seen a headline that Tony Abbott wants to send more troops to Afghanistan which is another predictable and despicable use of ANZAC Day. horshamdirect.com http://horshamdirect.com/blog/the-anzac-tragedy-continues Tony Abbott continues his LOVE AFFAIR WITH HIS OWN IMAGE, North Coast Voices http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com/2010/04/tony-abbott-continues-his-love-affair.html Winning the Social media vote, by Melinda Varley, Business Spectator http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Social-media-twitter-facebook-youtube-blogs-politi-pd20100422-4QVH8?OpenDocument Moving day approaches, but should Buswell go? ,by Chalpat Sonti, National Times http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/politics/moving-day-approaches-but-should-buswell-go-20100425-tl04.html The job of being a lickspittle lackey to Chairman Murdoch's media empire is always a tough one, Loon Pond http://loonpond.blogspot.com/ Dropping the drop off, by Eva Cox, The Stump http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/04/24/dropping-the-drop-off/ The Return of the rank and file,by Andre Carr, Chasing the Norm http://andrewcarr.org/

Ad astra reply

26/04/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HillbillySkeleton

26/04/2010'Loon Pond' today waas absolutely , laugh out loud, brilliant. I recommend everyone read it. :)

Ad astra reply

26/04/2010Folks Today is a special day for [i]The Political Sword[/i] community – we have a third contributor of original pieces, someone you know well, HillbillySkeleton. She has offered to write a series of commentary pieces in the run-up to the federal election. The first in this occasional series – [i]Which Tony has the twin? Or, 'Change You Can't Believe In'[/i] has just been posted. Salute and enjoy our new author. http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2010/04/26/Which-Tony-has-the-twin.aspx

Ad astra reply

26/04/2010Folks I'm closing comments here to block out the spam. See the next post, authored by HillbillySkeleton.
How many oranges do I have if I have 3 oranges and take ONE away?