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Bill, surely you don’t think Tony’s going to read your petition

‘Support our TAFEs’ said the email from Bill Shorten. Bill went on to say:

Information Technologies, Engineering Technologies, Graphic Design & Cloud Technologies…

We know that Australians studying at TAFEs now are getting the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.

At a time when our economy is undergoing rapid change, the need for skilled people has never been greater.

Unfortunately, Tony Abbott & the Liberal Party missed the memo.

Today, on National TAFE Day, a paper by the Prime Minister’s Department has revealed a plan to cut every single dollar of funding to Vocational Education and Training.

This is awful news for skills in our country. The Abbott Government has already cut over $2 billion from skills and training, including $1 billion from apprentices.

We need to make sure people know about Tony Abbott’s plans for the hard working students and teachers in our TAFE community.

Let’s bring this PM back to reality on this. Will you add your name to say you’re backing our TAFEs so we can show Tony Abbott how unpopular his plan is?

It’s tough out there if you’re looking for a job. The last thing young jobseekers need is Tony Abbott undermining the training that helps them into work. On top of that, mature age Australians are crying out for the opportunity to gain the kind of qualifications TAFE can offer.

Let’s tell Tony Abbott to encourage more people, not less, to get the opportunities and the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

Please add your name so Tony Abbott knows we won’t cop his plans to hit hard working students and teachers with cuts to our TAFEs.

Thanks for standing with me on this,


When can I scream?

Let’s bring this PM back to reality on this . . .

Let’s tell Tony Abbott . . .

Please add your name so Tony Abbott knows . . .

Thanks for standing with me . . .

I have a better idea – and I’ve written about this here before – YOU bring the PM back to reality on this; YOU tell Tony Abbott; YOU let Tony Abbott know; YOU stand up yourself.

Instead of being a Minnie-me to Tony Abbott how about you grow some balls and take Tony Abbott on. This ‘please sign this petition’ is absolute bullshit. You are the Leader of the Opposition and you are entrusted with the task of holding the government to account.

Instead, all you do is hold hands with them.

Urging people to sign petitions, no matter how worthy the cause, will not win you an election. And did you hear? There could be one around the corner.

And why could there be one around the corner? Well I’ll let you work that one out for yourself. But here’s a hint: it could have something to do with you.

In the meantime, you want us to sign petitions.

You are always sending out emails asking us to sign a petition.

Now tell me, how many of these petitions have actually worked?

By the way, I’ve unsubscribed from your email list. I get nothing but petitions. Not policies. Petitions.


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  1. babyjewels10

    So true.

  2. jagman48

    Well I’m sure that will help. One less email address.

  3. Kaye Lee

    I remember seeing Bill addressing a Labor Party conference. I can’t even remember what he was talking about as he led to his crescendo where he called out “Are you with me?” to which there was a half hearted yes from a few of the faithful. It was embarrassing. About as inspiring as a wet sock.

    And then we have the Abbott fanfare with people waving blue placards and screaming out and clapping regardless of what he says.

    Policy has been outsourced in this country where you can buy the result you want. But politics is very much alive, even if festering. Have a look at the front pages of the Murdoch media and remember that every one of our Prime Ministers, Labor and Liberal, goes to visit him. He summons, they come. Gillard and Rudd may both have taken swipes at him but they too went when called.

    And look at the people they pay homage to. The biggest tax evaders in the country. The ones who have legislation changed to further their interests. Yet Rinehart will tell you she has single-handedly saved this country. Their megalomania knows no bounds.

    How many deaths has Murdoch indirectly contributed to by using his papers to back wars, block action on climate change, condemn asylum seekers, and vilify welfare recipients?

    Are there no decent courageous people left in this country who would tell Rupert to ring their secretary to make an appointment, or better still to send his concerns in an email to their office, and remind Gina that WE own the resources that have made her a billionaire?

    Or is it that decent people wouldn’t waste their time in today’s politics?

  4. virtualnonsense

    I’m trying my hardest to not engage or read or follow what’s happening in politics at the moment, because it’s just so dispiriting. Yet I find that I can’t avoid it, no matter what I do. I too am tired of these stupid petitions from Labor – what the hell ARE they doing? I don’t hear a peep from them or what they stand for, other than sign this petition and that petition, or as you put it as ‘Minnie-me” to Tones. This week’s been a shocker with the fall-out from the Mallah comments on Q&A still being used to ‘terrorise’ and rush in new/more legislation. What I would like to know, is why isn’t the media talking about Tafe? And if this Mallah comments hadn’t happened, what would parliament been talking about then? What’s been put on the back-burner for the sake of ‘national security’? What’s happening with education, hospitals, infrastructure, climate change…?

  5. Kaye Lee

    virtualnonsense, one thing that is keeping me going is the talks in Paris later this year. They will not be able to hide there. Also what happened to Tony’s COAG retreat? That would also be “feisty” one would imagine.

  6. diannaart

    Gee Bill, if you’re going to actually go to the effort of submitting a petition, could you make it about saving lives?

    Politicians ignore questions about detention of refugees

    It is a miserable thing to report, but our politicians who inflict unspeakable misery on refugees are apparently not willing to explain themselves.

    An Australian citizen recently wrote to six Federal MPs asking a couple of very simple questions. Each letter was less than a page long. Five of the six MPs simply ignored her letters. Apart for being bad manners, it shows utter contempt for the electorate. The worst offenders – the ones who simply ignored the letters – are:

    Josh Frydenberg – ignored every letter

    Kevin Andrews – ignored every letter

    Sarah Henderson – ignored every letter

    Michael Sukkar – ignored every letter

    Alan Tudge – ignored every letter

    The only MP who responded to the letters was Barnaby Joyce. He referred the letters to the Minister for Immigration.

  7. virtualnonsense

    Kaye, I understand what you’re saying and I keep thinking that the next upcoming event will shine a light on this government’s complete ineptitude. So far that hasn’t been happening. Yes, a part of me hopes that Paris may be the place where they ‘can’t hide’, but a big part of me knows they’ll also spin what they want to tell the electorate. I am so frustrated and simply am at a loss as to why msm isn’t standing up to the buffoonery of this government. *weep*

  8. Harquebus

    The descent continues. A symptom only and ultimately caused by our debt based economy and the use of fiat currency. Real wealth and savings went out the door years ago, along with surplus energy.
    Why have they resorted to this proven failed system? They have no choice. Declining productivity due to resource depletion has made paying off debt impossible so, they just keep issuing more debt. Even Joe Hockey has urged us all to go out and borrow more to keep their ponzi scheme going just that little bit longer.

    Training the workforce for future opportunities will be throwing bad currency after bad and they know it. Graduates will have no chance of paying it back. There is only so much energy to go around and this is just another early casualty. More will follow as sure as night follows day and complaining won’t do any good. We are facing physical realities only, our politicians haven’t realized it yet.

    I know that I will cop heaps for this, again, however, only when things reverses and really start to improve will I eat my hat.


    … its puzzling… Even more puzzling is that the ALP don’t seem to be gauging the feel of how their traditional support base is feeling on the matter of Shorten as leader. You would assume they would be reading every forum on The Guardian, AIM, New Matilda, the Conversation, The Age etc, to gauge his popularity and do something about it. I’d like to think they are, and this is the conversation at ALP HQ…

    “This government is killing the country. How are we going to get them out as quick as we can?”

    “Well, they won’t call a DD – because that might bring back a worse senate for them, so we’ll have to draw them into an early election. But how…? I know, we’ll need to let them think its winnable, so that means we need a piss-weak leader – Bill will be perfect. He’s got the union background, the behind the scenes backstabbing MO, and the public seem not to trust him.

    “We’ll make him suck up to the LNP, sow a few crumbs to get him up before the Royal Commission, and then bang, when they call the early election, Bill steps down on, say, medical grounds, and we put up a more popular leader up instead!

    “How about Tanya – since that would annoy the Libs the most?

    “Like it! Plus this throws all their pre-election planning, and campaign material focused on Shorten out the window, and will leave them pretty much spooked! Who knows, they might even knife Tony before the election and get in the bold Malky, just like we did to Julia. That might save us from ScoMo too”

    “Great idea – sounds like a plan.”

    As said, I’d like to think that this is the plan, and if it isn’t, and they read this, then maybe, just maybe, it might become the plan…

    Because the current plan is shithouse.

  10. Michael Taylor

    I received that email yesterday too. Today I get another one wanting me to sign a petition about TAFE. Two emails in two days wanting me to sign a TAFE petition.

    Meanwhile Tony Abbott is scaring everybody to death about terrorist threats.

  11. labyrinth1205

    Dispiriting is spot-on. My wife is just back from San Francisco and is incredulous at how passive we’ve become in accepting the profound changes wrought by Abbott to our society and country .

    I’ve given Shorten a very long rope, but now accept that he is just too compromised, too needing to be liked by people undeserving of respect, too wedded to short-term tactical nonsense without any evident awareness of the future, too lacking in curiosity, and too lacking in courage.

    No standout ready replacement either. The ALP needs a leader intellectually and emotionally equipped to re-imagine the ‘reason to be’ of the Party and commit to the hard work: working within the Party, kicking the requisite bums if necessary, and convincing the Australian people that change is real.

    Time for a draft. Any suggestions? I can only think of Steve Bracks.

  12. DanDark

    “Support our TAFEs’ said the email from Bill Shorten. Bill went on to say:”

    Well knock ,me over with a feather, now Labor supports TAFEs’, he is bipolar old Bill the Dill
    It was Gillard and Little silly Billy who closed our towns TAFE down, so now if anyone around here
    wants to go to TAFE they have to dodge the kangaroos, the bushfires
    and drive on the worst roads in state to get to one, so for those who are to poor to drive
    they now have to drive 70ks away from here, 140ks round trip and the road has no mobile coverage
    so if ya break down, ya stuffed, if ya hit a Roo ya, if its a bushfire ya stuffed,
    its a dangerous drive especially for young inexperienced drivers and when you have a cop/marked highway patrol car
    following you for 60 ks of the trip like my 20 year old son and his young female friend did recently

    It just makes that trip almost impossible, I wanted to put a complaint in about the cop, but my son said no don’t Mum
    then they will get me, he has a perfect driving record, no criminal offences, so why does a cop follow a young man on a lonely country road for 60ks, he wanted my son to panic and maybe try and get away ?,
    so the cop had a justified reason for a high speed pursuit around the bends and up and down the mountains?,
    and when my son and friend were killed as a result, he would have had nooo witnesses, but my son said he drove at 80ks all the way as it is a dangerous road and he was doing the right thing, but he felt intimidated and scared and didnt know what to do,
    whether to pull over or just keep driving, the poor kid was scared when he got home that’s for sure.

    I said next time it happens you pull over and ring me okay” the cop had numerous chances to pass him,
    all his young friend could say was “OH God” the whole way, and they had done nothing wrong, that is harassment and intimidation
    and just being an arsehole cop cos he can be.

    OMG what is this country coming, we need real people in parliament not these bunch of f*cknuckles,
    Toxic Tony, Silly Little Billy and all the other leaches who call themselves politicians…
    pffft pffft pffft

    Geeezuz Bill how many stupid pills did you take before you held up this petition for the cameras.
    If you did your feckin job Bill their would not have to be petitions to save anything worthwhile to the people.
    Bill is a fool and needs a memory jolt, a past back to labors detrimental cuts and slashes….

  13. David

    Talking of Bill (I’m your mate Tone) Shorten, here are his obedient Senators, the where the Govt go we go, Opposition doing their stuff voting with the Govt against a Hanson-Young amendment to give Dutton and his bullying, intimidating, women and children sexually abusing representatives on Manus and Nauru, 100% authority to be answerable to Dutton only. No Courts required.
    A shameful episode in Labors existence.

  14. mmc1949

    Similar to labyrinth1205, I gave Shorten the benefit of the doubt for a while. There was some logic to sitting back and doing nothing, allowing Abbott to self-destruct. But as time went on and Abbott became more and more fascist, we needed to hear from the opposition but the silence continued. From silence it has gone to actual endorsement of LNP policies.
    No matter when the next election is held, I fear Abbott will walk in.
    At this stage I’m thinking, all that Labor stands for is post-parliamentary perks. Opposition is a comfortable place to be. You do nothing and still walk away with the golden handshake.
    Whither my country?
    Wither my country 🙁

  15. australianphotographcollector

    Spot on Roswell. Labor sits on its hands asking us to stand up. Your being paid to be an opposition Labor, get off your arses!

  16. Harquebus

    Any economists out there? Here is an example of the caliber of our politicians.
    The South Australian Labor treasurer, discussing current low commodity prices, has stated that, “When the price drops, demand drops.”
    No wonder we’re in it. A total bunch of incompetents the lot of them.

  17. eli nes

    Sadly little billy dropped gillard because she was a women, he could have attacked abbutt’s and ch7/9 sexism but he seem too frightened to go on the morning shows as he and labor have no planned responses.
    Worse is labor’s ‘opposition’. The two recent opposition moves were ‘paying people smugglers is ‘gross’ and ‘don’t worry about shorten’s lies look at he rabbott’s ‘lies about debt’.
    Embarrassingly for labor, the first by the PM of NZ and the second by clive palmer.
    The two areas of vulnerablility to the rabbott have been studiously ignored by labor on the commercial stations.
    The fta debacle with no attack on robb(hiding behind his depression?) and the Holy Father’s climate change but no attack on the rabbott. The coalition constantly show their religion, constantly flaunt convention, constantly milk the media bias on the morning shows, constantly lie about labor’s economic mismanagement and lie about a debt crisis.
    Not to mention sending 100s of billions overseas for ships and planes, up to $96000 debt for the non-academic school leavers, the unemployed and lowest paid workers(do you know how much a waiter/bar staff course costs???)
    it is flaming shameful, bill!

  18. mars08

    Sending out emails… urging people to sign flaccid, worthless petitions …?

    Oh that is brilliant. Bravo!

    Such a splendid way of conning the faithful into believing the ALP still has a useful purpose… without the party actually having to do something or take a strong public stand on anything. A nice distraction from what Shorten is actually doing.

    Opposition by proxy. Oh my…

  19. Harquebus

    COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have people stop looking for work.

    ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an Economist.

    COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

    ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a Politician.

    — zerohedge

    Gave me a laugh so, I thought I’d share it.

  20. Matters Not

    Tony Abbott is scaring everybody to death about terrorist threats

    Well I agree that’s his intention but how successful has it been? Bludger Track for example has it 52.4 to 47.6 to Labor even after an ‘election budget’ and Abbott in best ‘Gish Gallop’ mode.

    BludgerTrack: 52.4-47.6 to Labor

    Nevertheless, at a deeper and more significant level, there is no sign of ‘visionary’ Labor Leadership. Shorten et al are playing in Abbott’s ‘ball park’. At best, they are responding to his agenda. It would seem they’re reduced to ‘reacting’. Never leading.

    I yearn for ‘leadership’ (quite separate from the ‘leader’ concept btw) which is not evident across the board. Chris Bowen seems to be contributing as does Catherine King, Mark Dreyfus and a few others but overall it seems that they are waiting to ‘inherit’ rather than ‘seize’.

    Very sad.

  21. kerri

    Is there any left left?

  22. Matters Not

    urging people to sign flaccid, worthless petitions

    Not sure how worthless ‘petitions’ are. I note tonight that the Senate rejected the notion that SBS double the amount of advertising in any one hour. Now that’s a good result.

    I note also that so many of the cross benchers voted against the deregulation of University fees .

    I could list other examples. Not suggesting ‘petitions’ are ‘causal’ (or perhaps just coincidental) but beggars can’t be choosers these days.

    But maybe it’s just better to close one’s eyes, put hands over ears and hide under pillows.

    Has anyone any evidence that the latter works? Anecdotal or otherwise?

  23. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    Next election, my last two votes, in downward order will be: Next to last – Labor; Last – Coalition.

  24. Matters Not

    my last two votes, in downward order will be: Next to last – Labor; Last – Coalition

    Rosemary, I think I’m with you.

    But not sure whether you’re referring to the reps or the senate. Please explain.

  25. keerti

    Bill you’re a pissant! nuff said.

  26. Matters Not

    Bill you’re a pissant! nuff said.

    Powerful argument keerti.

    I’m now totally convinced.

    Or was that just a comment?

  27. keerti

    Clearly just a comment! There is little point in egaging brain to talk about shorten, or to him. He backstabbed the one labor politician who had any ability and that is all he is good for…backstabbing.He has shown no leadership during the last eighteen months and the latest “brown nosing” in passing dispicable biils (environmental and refugee) fills me with disgust. If labor wants to lead and not just be government then it will need someone else. Perhaps Julia…….. I don’t see anyone else with any balls…..

  28. Harquebus

    On my ballot, I always start with the last and count down from there. It’s easier that way.
    Mark Butler and Penny Wong is where I will be starting from next election.
    Up yours Bill you traitorous bastard. I will never forgive you for your capitulation on data retention.
    I never forgave Kim Beazley for voting with John Howard to give the ADF the authority to shoot us either.

    The Labor Party has a good record with our liberties. They have been very consistent in eroding them.

  29. stuff me

    Sadly, I have to agree with this article. It wont stop me voting ALP because the light on the hill will shine again one day, but there is no doubt its broken at the moment. Current LNP govt, worst govt ever, they are fascists.

  30. townsvilleblog

    Shorten has been exposed and will front the royal commission into union corruption in August/September to answer to the allegations of sweetheart deals to cut workers entitlements with regards to remuneration and conditions he is simply a twister, someone who outwardly makes all the moves you would expect to be made, but who secretly plots against his stated goals. If Shorten had any conscience he would resign his parliamentary seat and thus throw the Labor Party leadership open to a person who really does believe in the stated aims of the labour movement.

  31. townsvilleblog

    stuff me, I agree with you which makes it even more important that we get a leader of substance.

  32. mars08


    …throw the Labor Party leadership open to a person who really does believe in the stated aims of the labour movement.

    I am not being sarcastic and I’m not trying to provoke.

    Frankly…. does the ALP (in 2015) still see it’s role as representing “the labour movement”? It’s that a role that the majority of ALP members sincerely want? And what are the STATED aims of the party which express this desire?

  33. Shane

    Has anyone told him what a “policy” is? I cannot choose liberal but the alternative is also a muppet

  34. Terry2

    Very unhappy to see Shorten meekly voting with the government on the hastily put together legislation to make paying PNG and Nauru for detention centres legal.

    I understand that both parties support offshore processing (i don’t) designed to remove these unfortunate people from the jurisdiction of the Australian courts and Human Rights Commission, but surely Shorten could have made his support conditional on the Abbott government accelerating the processing of these asylum seekers and where found to be refugees resettling them and where not, to return them to their countries of citizenship.

    As far as I’m aware only four people have been moved from Nauru ( to Cambodia) since the coalition came to power in September 2013 and the one genuine refugee that we know about on Manus was not permitted to leave the island to attend job interviews in Port Moresby.

    The question has to be asked, as the boats have been stopped why are we keeping these people indefinitely detained ?

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