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Day to Day Politics. ‘Bashing Billy Shorten’

Friday 15 January 2016

1 Yesterday, I copped a bit if flak (on Facebook) from people who thought I was doing a bit of Billy Bashing when I offered some advice on how the Labor Leader should confront an election year. I did so because I for one am sick of the political scam that takes place in Australia every three years or every day for that matter.

Australian politics has for some time been suffering from the longevity of sameness. I advocate a change in the way it is practiced. It is time for us to reevaluate just what it is we want from our democracy. We don’t have a representative democracy that is participatory, one that administers for the benefit of all.

Because change is anathema to the conservative mindset it is more difficult for them. For progressive democrats it should be uncomplicated.

Anyway I was simply putting a point of view that going through the motions of a bland boring promises, promises, a traditional election campaign year would not achieve a Labor victory. I pointed out that being emphatically brazen by giving back the democratic process to the people just might.

We are at a point in time in our history where ‘change’ demands it be listened to. Where the events of recent times scream for it. It only requires a voice to demand it on behalf of the people.

The definition of servitude needs to be indelibly engrained into the minds of those seeking election and the self-serving attitudes that now exist need to be purged from the minds of our current politicians.

For too long we have suffered the indignity of insulting propaganda from all parties. So much so that if it wasn’t for compulsory voting no one would bother.

An example is Bill Shorten’s three-week tour to tell everyone he thinks an increase to the GST is a bad thing. Now I happen to agree, but really. It’s not a Coalition policy and possibly won’t be. I find that sort of electioneering insulting, in the same way as I have the deplorable policy announcements of the Government, while we have all been at play.

What bullshit they perpetuate when they say that they never underestimate the intelligence of the Australian people.

Yesterday I suggested that Shorten take a leaf out of the Bernie Sander’s book of how to do politics.

People like Sanders have a way of grasping the intestines of an argument and presenting a plausible answer that is simple to understand, and at the same time enthuses and leads people into an all-embracing narrative that inspires.

Others like the ill of mind conservative Donald Trump see complex problems and impregnate them with implausible black and white solutions.

We live in a society of our own making. One in which the cult of personality is the doorway to political success. All I am suggesting is for Shorten to take the bull by the horns, turn politics on its head, show Australians a new politic, embrace the people and present an inspirational narrative of how he sees the future. The same old, same old, way of politics will not see Labor in Government. It needs the ‘wow, he would do that factor.’

In my defence 1. Billy bashing.

2 If only President Obama had control of the Congress what a difference he might have made to that country. Pre Reagan I admired the bi-partisan quality of their politics.

This from his State of the Union address:

“Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have a go at it, you’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.”

3 Conversely they may be on the brink of electing a man who two world leading countries are considering banning entry to. To think that the Republican Party could ever consider a man like Trump as a nomination to run for the Presidency illustrates just how low the GOP have fallen.

4 Fairfax reports that new parents in low-paid jobs stand to be $10,500 worse off under a Turnbull government paid parental leave plan intended as a compromise on cuts proposed by Tony Abbott, according to new university research.

The research, commissioned by women’s group Fair Agenda and conducted by the University of Sydney’s Women and Work Research Group, shows mothers who work in healthcare, teaching and retail could lose between $3942 and $10,512 under the compromise policy.

One can’t help but think that the real agenda of the conservatives is to shift wealth from the bottom 97% to the top 3%.

5 “It is vitally important, both as a matter of social justice and political reality, that structural changes are seen as being fair across the board”. “That means not only must tough decisions be justified, but that the burden of adjustment is not borne disproportionately by one part of the community.”

There was once a women who said ’please explain’.

‘There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.’

Crisis support service ‘lifeline’ recorded more than one million calls for help in 2015, the highest number in its 52-year history, and its busiest four months on record from September to December (peter shmigel ~ lifeline).

6 And so it seems that, after one week, I have finally managed to catch up on the Day to Day political musings of our politics. My reverie is now broken. Nothing has changed. We are still being subjected to everyday propaganda from our politicians and our media. We are being badly governed. Injustice abounds. Lies manifest. The powerful seek more of it. Capitalism wants more profit. Turnbull’s prescription is innovation but is led by others. My despair is sullen but my hope untouched.

My thought for the day.  

“Question everything. What you see, what you feel, what you hear and what you are told until you understand the truth of it. Faith is the residue of things not understood and can never be a substitute for fact”.

 

140 comments

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  1. Blair

    Excellent, in 2days you have given Billy more media space than the last 6months, now about those 50 Labor policies….

  2. lawrencewinder

    I agree… Willy Shortstuff doesn’t cut the mustard. The agenda of “The Coot’s-with-Queer-Ideas-from-a-Parallel-Universe” (aka IPA) is being implemented more thoroughly under Malcon than it was under Rabid-the-Hun. That the supine public are not marching to the barricades is proof of their interests being well and truly, stupidly self centered. History will judge us badly….if we remember.

    “engrain” ….Ingrained?

  3. Terry2

    We have now had two high profile political identities forced to resign their jobs based on allegations – which they deny – of sexual harassment in the workplace.

    Conveniently the accused are both called Jamie – perhaps their parents should be taken to task while we’re at it – Jamie Briggs (Liberal) and Jamie Clements (Labor) so all is square, or is it ?

    In both cases the accused parties maintain innocence but in both cases media and political pressure has forced them to resign. What concerns me is that whilst these allegations are obviously serious we seem to have exacted the punishment before the evidence has been tested or the cases investigated.

    Who’s to say that the allegations are not spurious or politically motivated ; in other words why has due process and natural justice not been applied ?

  4. mars08

    … change is anathema to the conservative mindset it is more difficult for them…

    I suggest that today’s “conservatives” have no problem with change… if it serves their ideology. They’re happy to demolish parts of the existing structure if it gets them what they want.

  5. andrea

    Bill Shorten just isnt on top of it. His media appearances are so scripted and poorly read. He repeats phrases to try to get his point across like were all thick (tho lots of them do that). And all he ever does is offer inane criticisms of the libs. Australian politicians a very sad bunch atm

  6. John Lord

    Blair. I have been focusing on a new way of doing politics. A new approach for winning the next election. I acknowledge the 50 policy announcements but how much better had they been incorporated, married if you like into a new narrative.

  7. terry

    John , politics in this country is all about the money and a plastic number of citizens and especially MEDIA want to bes that cant get their head out of the latest eye phone not about policy , 54% to 18% .another example save $500 a year on your electric bill by getting rid of the carbon tax and pollute as much as you want , if shorten and the whole party stated that they would do the same job for half the money , they would be a shoe in , that’s how petty the public has become

  8. Patrick

    I see you are still Bill bashing(a term borrowed from “news and politics”) although you try to be more subtle with your attacks and what has Obama got to do with anything, that is American politics. Bill shorten is the leader of the labor party and we should give him all our support because it’s an election year, and also he would be very hard to remove at this late stage, so it would be nice to show him our support instead of denigrate him at every statement he makes to get the labor parties message across.

  9. Steve Laing

    Well said John. Why the ALP continue to play a game where the cards are so clearly designed to be stacked against them is unbelievable. They need to advocate a change and, like Penn and Teller, reveal the trickery that is being used behind the scenes primarily by the LNP, but to a lesser extent the ALP, to game the system and to trick the electorate. Campaigning against GST changes that haven’t yet been announced will likely be thrown back in his face if the Libs get tricky and announce they won’t do it before the election. The fact that they’ll find some excuse to do so once re-elected is straight out of the playbook. This isn’t about the parties or the policies. If this country is to have a future that is truly democratic, that will allow us to deal with the reality of climate change, and the changing economy, we need to substantially improve how policies are developed and decisions are made at the federal level. Currently Shorten is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  10. Stove-pipe

    What’s wrong with bashing Labor? If Bill Shorten hasn’t yet shown an alternative, he never will, election or not. The liberals will win the next election and all your nightmares will come true. It’s almost a certainty that Bill won’t win the election, and I think that’s probably for the best. He’s not a leader, nor has he ever been. He’s a strategist, and he’s proving to be pretty poor at that as well.

  11. Jaquix

    I agree that Bill Shorten is not the leader the Labor Party needs right now. It needs someone who gets our attention, says it like it is, not these “I believe” and “I think” boring wishy washy comments. On the other hand, I think he has done a good job of uniting the Party, in a way that the Liberal Party is definitely NOT united. Malcolm’s personality and popularity will almost certainly deliver us another dose of so-called Liberal policy. Bill Shorten is just not hitting the spot. Going on about the GST which is not high on the Liberals agenda, when he could be attacking their debt and deficit, how they have disadvantaged so many more etc etc. Malcolm only has to come out and say we are not touching the GST and Bill is up the creek without a paddle. He should have chosen a more general agenda for his tour!

  12. Katrina Logan

    John Lord.
    It seems you just get your information from MSM and parrot whatever they are saying .
    “An example is Bill Shorten’s three-week tour to tell everyone he thinks an increase to the GST is a bad thing.”
    Thats what MSM said too and stopped there, like you did .
    I attended 2 of these Bill Stops , and he did address the GST, but also something about attacks on Medicare and some rheumatism medicine {I think it was} which will increase significantly, he spoke on Higher Education costs, and was answering questions from the Media as well as the public on a whole range of things {then I left} but he was still going .
    I am not a fan of Bill but at least you should report what he did, not just the bits that are convenient

  13. Catherine Wallace

    No matter what Bill says or does he is denigrated even by those who are supposedly on his side; He is a cautious hardworking politician not a show pony. He is who he is an who has been chosen democratically by his peers and party members combined. If we want a Labor government stop carping and get behind him.

  14. Ross

    John, the law of averages says there must be one or two honest decent people in parliament but these two, whoever they may be, are keeping their heads well down as not to be seen as different to the rest of the inept, incompetent, lying, rorting, rabble that infest our federal parliament.
    Of a recent, and unverified, social poll, on a scale of 0-50, 0 being paragons of honesty, virtue and light and 50 being frock wearing paedophile priests, politicians came in at 48.
    In this election year whatever bustling Billy Shorten or any other politician says will most likely be treated with complete and utter disdain by the majority of the electorate.
    Sad but true.

  15. Katrina Logan

    “JaquixJanuary 15, 2016 at 10:51 am
    I agree that Bill Shorten is not the leader the Labor Party needs right now”
    Are you a member of the Labor Party and vote to elect him?

    The Labor Party chose Shorten.
    To my knowledge there is no move to remove him , so he is their choice .
    If you don’t like him, don’t vote for him if he happens to be the Member in your electorate .
    It seems it is only those on the outside looking in who don’t want Shorten as Leader
    If that wasn’t the case, Labor would remove him.
    They have experience at that sort of thing

  16. Graeme Henchel

    I’m sick of media focusing on personality. The messiah myth. All I want is a genuine debate on real issues. The coalition’s economic performance is atrocious, their policy settings disastrous, their ideology corrupt and their personnel incompetent. If the election is fought on policy Labor will win hands down. Of course it won’t be because the electorate, through the media will be distracted by irrelevant side issues. There is no Bernie Saunders in Australian politics but there is a policy contest that Labor can win.

  17. mars08

    It’s fascinating.

    Whenever there’s an article criticising Shorten, we suddenly see a bunch of comments defending him, from people who seem new to this forum. And then they go silent again…

  18. stephentardrews

    Well said John the ALP is a toothless tiger running on worn out platitudes that have continually failed to set a revisionary agenda.

    They seem the be very happy in their pseudo progressives skin underscored by economic rationalist imperatives while drinking the debt austerity cool aid.

    No sign of embracing a Federal ICAC. One does not need to wonder why because they too have had their fingers in the till. So rather than attack social injustice front on they release a 50 point plan with no underlying sound meta-theoretical framework for change hoping we will all drink the bland meaningless GST cool aid.

    Those of you offended by Johns critique of Labor better have a look at yourselves because your reaction wreaks of habituated privilege rather than dynamic critique and progressive change.

    Play the points not the man.

    Labor is offering nothing new while it is controlled by the right who are happily ensconced it the travesty of neo-liberal supply side austerity economics. No vision, no alternative and most importantly endless shifting the goal posts which is not change it is simply massaging an already dead economic system of gross inequity and redistribution of wealth upwards.

    Labor in the UK and Democrats in the US are confronted by true progressives in the ilk of Jeremy Corby and Bernie Sanders. Labor in Australia represents a bunch of habituated unimaginative wets wallowing in the most draconian and unequal corporatism that has robbed us of democracy.

    By supporting TPP and ISDs clauses labor has shown its real character or lack thereof. Even without ISDS these trade agreements are a gift to corporations that rob ordinary people of their sovereign rights in the name of a dystopian drive for global corporate hegemony.

    Don’t give me any more of the poor Bill is treated badly bullshit Labor and Shorten are part of the problem of entrenched global corporate greed.

    No Federal ICAC, support of TPP, nor challenge to the debt myth and austerity just a 50 point plan of bland wishful thinking that will not get up unless Labor develops a front on challenge to unbridled corporate greed and redistribution of wealth.

    Whitlam had a vision Shorten has a safe little padded cell embracing tradition while holding real change and critique at bay.

    I remember my working class Labor heritage while many these days compromise because it is the easy and safe way out.

  19. Steve Laing

    Well said Stephen. The ALP seem to have no appetite for real reform, and whilst we keep playing that game, the Liberals will keep getting their hands on the tiller, with increasingly rightwing policies and leadership. The system is screwed. How else could we have got a third rate brain as we did with Tony Abbott as PM? How else could his leadership have been overthrown by just 55 people? Representative democracy? You are having a laugh! Supporting Shorten and the ALP just because they aren’t the LNP might achieve some minor respite for a few years, but the LNP boomerang will return, and no doubt will be even more severe. Austerity in the UK is killing people, and hasn’t achieved any meaningful decrease in their debt, but the privileged political class of the major parties just fiddle whilst Rome burns.

  20. John Lord

    Judging by many of the comments here I am not convinced that those doing so actually read it. Either that or I need treatment. I appreciate other views but few of these address the central thrust of my piece which was a different way of doing politics. Nowhere have I said that I don’t support Shorten. How very confusing.

  21. terry

    we had a visionary , the people loved him and he proved he loved the people and his country though the GFC. what happened to him ? twiggy forest and the multinational companies he attacked to pay their fair share .most of these politicians ,lawyers, bankers and retirees are invested. “inside trading” in these multinational companies . twiggy forest told him he was gone, seen it with my own eyes .no wonder why the people in his own party attacked him , they are invested up to their eye balls . coal is here to stay and we will keep mining it and selling to third world counties even though it risks the very core of our own children and their future . cretin couldn’t hold her tongue. 6 year plan , they lied, cheated, destroyed and paid off many people not to mention the media , how could we forget , to win the last election, all with multination pooled money . they know they have to destroy any resistance. example, the union movement , the labour party and especially the creditability of bill shorten so its a little wonder there was a response . when twiggy forest can make government policy and a millionaire can run around like a movie star with no creditability except the morels he once believed in, im buggered if I know . just vote labour

  22. hforward22

    You make some good points John. But you built me up to where I was expecting some concrete solutions and ideas.. I didn’t think you provided any of those.

  23. Roswell

    hforward22, if you were familiar with John’s work you’d notice that he has often come up with solutions. This post is merely an observation, and a good one at that.

  24. Steve Laing

    What kind of solutions are you looking for hforward22? I’ve also been working on some concrete solutions and ideas for adapting the democratic process to be more effective (essentially by getting rid of parties and the affect of their vested interests) and making every elected member (with all their disparate views) part of the process of developing ideas and putting them into practice (you know, like what most successful organisations manage to do). It’s still very much a work in progress (which has been interrupted by getting back into the workforce), but I’d welcome thoughts and feedback. http://www.makeourvoiceheard.com

  25. terry

    in the end there is only two choices , either you want another 3 years of this government or 3 years of a new labour party . pretty sure shorten is pretty used to being bashed by now . my mother confused me John, don’t take it personally you can be the right wing of the AIM :] I like reading your work and knew exactly what you were talking about , I like the day to day . its a lot better here than the MSM forum, the articles are real , spell check is made for dummies and you don’t get abused half as much

  26. hemingway13

    I concur that Bill Shorten and his shadow ministers need to undertake a crash study of campaigns in the nature of Sanders’ and, say, Obama’s in 2008 outwitting of the wily Clintons and then maverick McCain.

    However, it was saddening that you resorted to such a negative attitude in asserting that the high level of propaganda from all parties would justify no one bothering to vote if it wasn’t compulsory. That attitude is how American billionaires, particularly Murdoch’s media machine, have manipulated recent Congressional midterm elections, how the donkey voters in Australia’s House combined with quota-generating plots in our Senate elections chunder up the Family First types, the disguised Libertarians, the Fred Niles zealots and sundry unrepresentative swilliticians who wield, all too often, excessive power over national policies.

    If the trend here that younger people are not bothering to register to vote (estimated at close to a million already) becomes the norm, then this could very easily result in electing a plethora of conservative pollies that copycat the National Party’s diabolical endeavours, egregiously pork barrelling for their home states/regions and religiously opposing progressive social and environmental legislation. I can just picture an even more destructive farce than the current NSW upper chamber of horrors.

    The percentage of times that I’ve filled out the ballot with any degree of enthusiasm would be around 25%. And yet, casting my vote in some of the elections for which I had to hold my nose while choosing the least of evils proved to be way more important.

  27. Douglas Pye

    For what it’s worth I totally empathise with you John! From the lofty perch of my 82 years – the adult end of it thinking as a Social Democrat – may I observe that we, along with the rest of the free democratic World, have been sold the personalisation of the party politic viz. referencing the Party in the Name of the leader!!

    This ever so smart media (psychological) move has totally Bastardised the Political Landscape! … trashed it to the extent that the populations are induced to see themselves as pretty much in the mould of serfdom, dressed in modern lineage! … of course this shift is not widely recornised, simply because there has been no History of substance taught in the school system for decades … is this correct??

    Social change is rendered generationaly and we’ve been seduced into lethargy ! Australia has all the ingredients to be a stand out Society in the entire World ….. simply by bucking the current corrupt system! Think Iceland as one tiny example?

    I’m here to simply make the above points without ‘ramble’ . Please keep up the good work AIM Team – & who witnessed and enjoyed the ABC show @ 9.30 last night ? – from our past, perhaps AIM could easily find inspiring Australians ( and times ) to write about from the twofold perspective of history and highlighting how close we are to replicating the ‘ sorry / sordid ‘ times of the 1700/1800’s World Wide … the common theme of MONEY may also show up! …. With my Warm Regards … D …

  28. Lawrence S. Roberts

    tweedle dum and tweedle dee. The Labor Party are part of the problem.

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    It’s not ‘Bill bashing’ if one is trying to blow passion into the airways of Shorten. I wouldn’t have growled at you, John like those other nasty people on social media!

    Also, I like your recommendation of inspiring Bill to follow the lead of Bernie Sanders. Sanders is capturing the imagination of a nation that doesn’t have to vote, but might be waking up out of its slumber by actually believing things can change for the better. Aussies need to see a big difference between what the LNP Degenerates pretend to offer and what Labor with the help of sympathetic allies in the Greens, sane Independents and Progressives will work for. That’s where Bernie Sanders’ big ideas are precious.

    Afterword:
    I was reading the good news story of Bill Shorten and the little autistic boy just before on Twitter. That is a heart-warming story that does Bill’s image a lot of good. I don’t doubt he’s a nice man, but he needs to show that niceness can also be dedication to making us happy in other ways like showing leadership and compassion for down-trodden un-employed and under-employed people just as much as he cares for the workers like raising unemployment benefits to the minimum wage.

    I’m sure if that were the case, many of those presently languishing on Newstart would be prepared to commit to more community-centred programs as envisaged by MMT proponents, especially if those community-centred projects were aligned with career building potentials.

  30. win jeavons

    I also have deplored the undue emphasis on ‘the great leader. In a democracy every elected member should contribute to robust debate, now we have too many in the game for a professional career not for the service of their electorate , let alone the Australian public. There are too many lawyers and money spinners, too many serving the big end of town. I would like to see small farmers, teachers, scientists, educators, housewives and pensioners in the House, and a good selection of independents. I loathe the cult of celebrity in all its guises, but specially in Parliament. Throughout history “great leaders” have caused too much death and destruction, and conservatives are still at it, as in Kevin Andrews comments about war in the Middle East . We women don’t make babies just for cannon fodder neither for workers to spend their lives to enrich the plutocracy .

  31. stephengb2014

    My problem is not Bill Shorten the man but BillShorten the face of Labor.

    He hs to grab the voters and he has not to date, and is at this stage unlikely to, unless he takes note of the stuff that John Lord, John B Kelly, Kaye Leigh etc write on AIMN, and gets real.

    At the moment it would seem that he has not even been able to inspire rusted on Labor supporters

    BILL – THAT IS YOUR PROBLEM

    FIX IT or you will NEVER BECOME PRIME MINISTER

    IT IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT

  32. Blair

    John, I agree a narrative must be created and sold to the public. How can this happen when the MSM won’t run anything about Labor policies, or anything remotely positive about Shorten. Our media laws are unbalanced, the existence of your erstwhile publication proves that. I’ll vote for whoever can break Murdochs monopoly.
    And thanks for your continuing contributions, I always find you thoughts entertaining and, sometimes provoking. All power to you.

  33. Wayne Turner

    I normally agree with you John. But I have to disagree with you on this part: “An example is Bill Shorten’s three-week tour to tell everyone he thinks an increase to the GST is a bad thing. Now I happen to agree, but really. It’s not a Coalition policy and possibly won’t be.” –

    For once Shorten is doing the correct thing about getting out to the people to talk against a possible GST increase by the Libs.He and Labor certainly can’t get the message out via the Libs BIASED MSM. Also,I especially disagree with the part that it’s NOT Coalition policy and possible won’t be,so Labor shouldn’t be speaking out against it. With these Libs track record,I do NOT believe the Libs denying they will increase and/or broaden the GST.The Libs ONLY get honest about policies AFTER an election,and NOT before.Especially when said policy is seen to be unpopular with the electorate. This is the same party of “no cuts to…..” BEFORE the previous election,and then cutting all they promised NOT to cut. Also,Turnbullsh*t is NOT to be trusted with his view “Direct Action” is NOT good policy for years,now suddenly is,and Turnbullsh*t let parliament decide on same sex marriage to now a non-biding (waste of money) public vote. Of course on this tour Shorten MUST point out how these Libs can NOT be trusted on promises and that Turnbullsh*t is a phoney that sold out his views for power.

    Finally,if Labor can go hard on policies,for (Labor policies) and against (Libs policies),plus on the Libs history of LYING. They have a shot at the next election. Of course Labor also have to go up against the MSM too,so have to by pass them,and make it about Turnbullsh*t’s and the Libs lack of credit ability and POLICIES. If it stays about (shallow) “personalities”,then Labor has no chance,because Shorten has no personality,substance of policies is more important and should be the deciding factor.

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    win jeavons and stephengb2014,

    my solution to Labor’s malaise is: don’t make it all out about Shorten, even if the media do.

    While we probably agree the MSM stand for Manic Subordinated Maliciousness in most cases, Labor needs to push forward all the Labor MP’s who have responsibility for shadow parliamentary positions to stand in the camera lights and take the heat away from Shorten.

    Bottom line is the voter doesn’t usually vote for Shorten in reality, s/he votes for the party (if you vote Labor that is!)

    Make the media focus on Labor, the team, and not just the figurehead, who is struggling to make an impact and with respect, maybe that’s fair enough considering the magnitude of the responsibility.

    That’s probably why that ugly scumbag Snotty Morrisscum has succeeded in ascending in the LNP despite his abuse of multiple portfolios while in government. He has divided the focus away from the leader. They sure needed that with rabid Abbott at the head but they also really need it now too with smarmy Turnbull there instead.

    I also agree with Wayne Turner that substance of policies is most important. Fair, equitable, compassionate.

  35. Wayne Turner

    Spot on Blair. Our MSM have long ago and continue to ruin our so called democracy.They are just the promotional wing of this Liberal party,owned by too few,and are BIASED and UNDEMOCRATIC which is bad for our country.

    Also, Jennifer indeed – Labor MUST make it about policies and the party.If they allow it to continue to be ONLY about the figure head Shorten.Labor have zero chance.Labor MUST play the it’s “the team” and “policies.”

  36. Matters Not

    If the next election becomes the ‘personality contest’ of ‘Shorten versus Turnbull’, then it’s ‘game over’. Turnbull is the victor. No argument.

    But the ‘political agenda’ isn’t a ‘given’. The ‘political agenda’ is a ‘construct’. The ‘issues’, how they are ‘framed’, ‘presented’, ‘discussed’ and the like are always up for ‘grabs’. Just look at what Abbott did. He made the ‘debate’. And the electorate should be constantly reminded as to how they were fooled.

    For Labor to be competitive they must go on the front foot and stress (here’s a slogan) it’s all about:

    POLICIES NOT PERSONALITIES.

    Repeat after me, it’s Policies that matter. Not Personalities.

  37. Bacchus

    A heads-up Matters Not – look out for an upcoming three-part series on this very topic (framing) by Ad Astra starting next Wednesday over at The Political Sword 🙂

  38. Roswell

    Shorten has been confidentially arguing that the next election will be about policies. I wish it were the case. It might be the case for you and me, but unfortunately not all voters see it that way. He’s unpopular and many will vote accordingly.

  39. trishcorry

    No doubt Bill bashing has become somewhat of a sport, particularly on social media. In my opinion, this has come from a strategy where Shorten did not play attack dog tactics with Abbott. The more the spotlight was on Abbott and not Shorten, the more Abbott drowned, as is now history. (I do note that even four corners credited Abbott with the downfall of Rudd/Gillard/Rudd to Abbott and the downfall of Abbott to well, Abbott. They painted Turnbull as a good little boy, not making any noise, just waiting to take his crown. They made no mention of Labor’s opposition to key coalition policies, just the cross bench’s opposition and they made no mention of ‘small target strategy’ in relation to Shorten, which in my view, is exactly what Shorten was aiming to do. Keep the spotlight brightly shining on an incompetent fool).

    It was a shock to me that the Liberals overthrew their prime minister, particularly after this is all they spoke about in opposition. I support the tactic used by Shorten against Abbott. However, the implications of voters seeing Shorten as non-aggressive after a period of a very aggressive opposition, hasn’t played well. However, I think if Shorten played attack dog tactics, it would have given Abbott something to feed off of and he still would have been PM today. Abbott is good at making lots of noise that makes people take notice, even if he isn’t actually saying anything.

    We then have had the period of Turnbull coming into the fold. Everyone was so relieved that Abbott was gone, Turnbull was the automatic Messiah. It is kind of like being absolutely blind drunk and your quick pick comes up with the 10 numbers! Automatic Messiah. The public knew absolutely nothing about him, but he was the man, even though he has failed once before, was caught up in the embarrassing Grench bungle, he was the man.

    Shorten has been slow and steady in pushing out Labor policy to those who will listen. With the MSM relatively hostile towards Labor, Shorten doing face to face community forums is extremely important. Labor in QLD won on a grass roots campaign along with the ETU not for sale campaign. Regardless of whether they have confirmed GST is policy, they have tabled it for discussion at COAG. By Shorten angling at the GST – something easy for the public to digest and think about, he will be forcing Turnbull’s hand to debate wider tax reforms, therefore exposing whether Turnbull will indeed get serious on tackling the big end of town. Turnbull just wants to ease into elected PM as much as he has by overthrowing Abbott. In all fairness, Turnbull also has zero vision for the country. Something the crux of this article plays on for Shorten. Shorten is playing at drawing Turnbull out where he can be challenged and can’t just stand there and waffle. I think that is a good thing. If Turnbull refuses to debate, the question is, will the public see Turnbull as weak? Will the MSM even make a note of it in some paragraph on page 25, bottom left hand side? Who knows? If they don’t Shorten will need to act on that and change tactic.

    Turnbull’s attempts at vision have so far been attacking the middle income earners and the disadvantaged by staying with Abbott policies and piggy backing on the back of Labor’s innovation policy. Now we have wind that a key tech journalist was gagged by the Govt to discuss the NBN, how serious Turnbull is on innovation can be targeted. It is up to Shorten and Labor to hammer that home. Shorten has been very consistent on GST, Penalties and standing up for cuts to health and education. In an election period, these things have proven to be very important to voters.

    My criticisms regarding Shorten is he uses passive language instead of positive or active language. In my opinion a shift in the words Shorten uses is paramount to more people taking notice. He also does not use emotive marketing to it’s full effect. I see slight glimpses of emotive marketing, but nothing close to the emotive marketing of the work choices campaign. My other criticism is that he isn’t Jason Clare, but then, not everyone can be 😛

    Although many people active in politics on social media are getting anxious, annoyed and frustrated with Shorten, It has been said that the attention span of the swinging voter is about eight weeks. Politics rapidly changes and Turnbull is yet to bring down a budget (if he will). When Shorten is given a platform such as Q & A, he has proven that he can really shine. He engaged on Q & A with every question, not deflecting and with sincerity. I have attended a community visit to the party faithful by Shorten and he blew me away. Absolutely nothing like on television. Articulate, engaged and passionate.

    Now we are in the phase of an election year, where Turnbull as sitting PM cannot just sit there and waffle. He too must have a vision for Australia. Turnbull does not yet have 50 policies shared with the Nation, we really don’t know what Turnbull is about yet. We do know that he is about favouring a GST increase and/or broadening the base, attacking workers by cutting penalty rates, cutting Medicare, attacking parents with babies, attacking health and treating Gonski as a joke. His track record for the NBN is dismal. The problem is, so many people are focused on Shorten bashing, much of this isn’t given the energy it deserves either.

    The question is, why do people prefer a man with a nice smile in a suit, who will do all of these damaging things, to a quieter more (seemingly) introverted man who stands against all of these damaging things? It’s a great time to be an Australian, can only go so far, or can it?

    Shorten’s vision for Australia is ramping up education in the fields of the jobs for our future with the downturn of mining and manufacturing. His vision is also about supporting innovation and entrepreneurs to create and develop new jobs and industry. His vision is to return to a fair Australia, where the middle and lower income classes are not stigmatised, but supported. His vision is to be able to spend money on the public more effectively by ensuring the top end of town pays their share. His vision is for an Australia where workers wages and conditions are protected. His vision is for strong action on climate change and a shift towards renewables.

    Many people see this, but there are just as many or more who don’t or don’t want to discuss it and that is a problem.

    I often wonder what would happen if those who waste their energy on Shorten bashing, used that energy to promote that Shorten and Labor stand up for Australians against Turnbull and Abbott’s harsh cuts, and start talking about Labor’s vision for the future, what the emotional contagion affect would actually be.

  40. Roswell

    Trish, you give me hope.

  41. Wayne Turner

    “The question is, why do people prefer a man with a nice smile in a suit” – The ignorant,who do NOT understand policies,so just favor who sounds good instead and who is propped up by the MSM.Sadly,our so called demcoracy doesn’t work because the ignorant and gulllible far out number the informed.

    Turnbullsh*t = all style and no substance.

  42. Jaquix

    Another good article. Agree about Shorten’s passive speaking style – it drives me to distraction as it is such a wasted opportunity, and so easily corrected – even a few Toastmasters meetings would or should be of benefit. Or private coach. This is where Turnbull has it over Shorten – the silver tongue will hoodwink so many. Ive seen Shorten deliver rousing speeches but on tv interviews is wishy washy with all those ums and ahs reducing his credibility to near zero. As if he doesnt know what he is talking about. It is a habit, easily overcome. Please someone, drag him to someone for a few sessions so he can sound convincing. Its essential he can sell the message, or else…..

  43. townsvilleblog

    Shorten is not a leaders boot straps and his “silence” in the face of the most extreme right wing government this country has ever seen is testimony to his job as Opposition Leader, he simply hasn’t got a clue, worse still it is he and his mate Howes skulduggery which ayhs caused good people like Greg Combet to pull out of politics in general. Depriving us of a probable “great” leader.

  44. Steve Laing

    The LNP and their cronies know how to play personality politics (as evidenced by their ability to get elected without any clear policies, just a bunch of slogans), and so a key part of that was to smear the opposition leader. This has been achieved, and even if much of what has been thrown has been untrue, shit sticks. Trust is a massively important factor in peoples voting habits, and this trust is reflected in opinion polls. Unfortunately Shorten, however good me may actually be, is “perceived” by many to be a poor leader. End of story. He won’t WIN the next election no matter how good the ALP policies are. But the question is, just like the last election, can the LNP be made to lose the next election? Can Shorten get in by default just as Abbott did?

    If I were the ALP, I’d be trying to take a more team based communications approach. Take the focus of Shorten and put it back onto the team (and there are a number of players in that team who are popular, smart and aren’t tarnished). If this is made to be just about leaders, he will struggle against the suave and sophisticated Malcolm (just remember how even Obama was apparently seduced into offering him a personal invite to the US). The MSM will play on that, but Shorten must avoid those presidential style leadership debates if he can. In fact, if Turnbull doesn’t take him up on his tax debate offer, then Shorten has the perfect opportunity to say no to any future ones. Shorten would also do himself a big favour by encouraging the Greens into the debate. They may not agree with their policies, but if he can be seen to be open to listening to different opinions, and handling them with decorum (instead of trying to belittle and bully which is LNP tactics), that might also reveal a more collegiate, collaborative style of decision making which this country desperately needs.

  45. Katrina Logan

    So the new sport of the so called progressives is “Bash Billy”
    Now it doesn’t matter that he is out there having a go, and chances are, a lot of you wouldn’t vote for him or his Party anyway, but he and a lot of his colleagues are out selling the message despite a Media blackout on all things Labor .Still the aim of the game is to get out and sell.
    Which brings me to an idea .
    For all you latte lovers , here is a game you can play while sitting in you little “green” coffee shop or whatever venue is trendy at the time .
    What about a new game called “Where’s Dickie ” , same rules as the old favourite “Where’s Wally”
    Now the little “green clique” on here go into mild hysteria over Bill, but Dickie is missing !!
    Could the last person who saw Richard Di Natale please report in .
    Was his last public appearance when he sold out on Tax , or was it when he suggested the Greens might be interested in an Alliance with the Liberal Party .
    We need him out there making some more blunders .
    Oh ho, now I figured it, they hid him away so he can’t

  46. Jaquix

    Agree with your suggestion to Bill to put forward the Team Approach. Ive seen them do this and it goes down really well, shows how united they are (unlike Libs contradicting each other) and would help restore the trust factor you mention, and take the heat off Shorten, who deserves a big pat on the back for uniting the Party.

  47. thebustopher

    Having read the comments here I am thinking this: why do people need to explain what Shorten is doing, bemoan he’s not getting MSM coverage, and point to his effectiveness at Town Hall type gatherings? A good leader should be able to achieve that him or her self, and not rely on third parties to do it. With Shorten as leader, I just cannot see the ALP winning the next election, which will be an absolute catastrophe for people who need help from a government. The Libs will continue to help people who don’t need help, and the differences between haves and have-nots will become even greater.

    Out on Facebook you get accused of not being an ALP supporter if you attack Shorten, or even encourage him to pull his socks up. But it’s my view that keeping Shorten as leader will see the ALP lose. Following that logic, people who want an ALP victory should want an ALP leader with half a chance at achieving it. I reckon a stack of Libs are out there drumming up support for Shorten under the guise of calling themselves True Believers. On social media it can be impossible to know exactly which side ostensible rusted-on Shorten supporters are on.

    Who would the Liberal Party prefer to fight an election against? A poll on one Facebook group has it overwhelmingly as Bill Shorten. So this is the change the ALP needs.

    As for myself, Gillard’s Malaysia solution led me to resign from the ALP after nearly 20 years, and Richard Marles’s endorsement of boat turnbacks finished me off from the vague thoughts I was having of re-joining. Greens get my number one this time, and while the ALP will always get a higher pref than the Libs, the ALP may well not get my number 2 this time…

  48. Mercurial

    Shorten’s and the ALP’s approach on GST show that nothing has changed. Fear still rates highly; even fear of something that we don’t even know is on the cards yet. Sure, it’s the LNP MO: have the ‘conversation’ before dropping the bomb – talk about the possibility of raising the GST, ignore the arguments against it and implement the raise, denying there were any negative comments in the conversation.

    You are correct; Shorten needs to embrace change. Instead of fear mongering about the Libs snitching 5 cent pieces out of everyone’s purses, how about a statement about the government’s appalling handling of revenue, and how, if Australians want the things of the future, government needs to increase revenue back to historical levels in order to invest in things like a proper functioning NBN which will bring untold benefits to the country.

    Just an example of how government investment works: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2013/09/19/3852140.htm

  49. John Maycock

    Katrina LoganJanuary 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    You ask where Richard Di Natale is ?
    It seems he is out there playing footsie with the right and stripping away more Greens members rights ,

    “Greens pitch to the ruling class: “You can trust us”

    Richard di Natale has a simple pitch to the bourgeoisie, “You can trust us, we’ll play by the rules”.

    In a puff piece in this weeks’ Australian Financial Review, di Natale and Peter Whish-Wilson are keen to highlight just how trustworthy they really are.
    First, they’re keen to point out that as a parliamentary party, they are no longer beholden to Greens members and internal democratic processes:Greens finance spokesman Peter Whish-Wilson, a former investment banker, has also revealed how the party’s newly operational “lightning” decision group has helped them seal deals with the Turnbull government, some of which one senior Greens source said “would never have happened under [former leader] Christine Milne”.

  50. Steve Laing

    Are you suggesting that doing deals with the LNP is something Labor would never do, and that only the “traitorous” Greens might? If so, then I’m afraid you are in complete denial.

    It would do both the Greens and Labor good to be seen working together to rid ourselves of the LNP. The right prefer to divide and conquer. Collaboration isn’t always easy, but it usually generates better results.

    For the record, I have no affiliation with any political party, and vote simply for whom I think is the most able candidate.

  51. mars08

    Katrina Logan:

    So the new sport of the so called progressives is “Bash Billy”

    Oh bravo. Nice… you start you comment by tagging everyone who criticises Shorten as being insufficiently progressive. Then you assume that those same people (despite evidence to the contrary) MUST be long-time Greens supporters… and throw in a reference to latte for good measure.

    Then you go on to berate to Greens for selling out to the Coalition by negotiating with them.

    To quote Sir Humphrey Appleby… how “extremely courageous” of you

  52. John Maycock

    Steve Laing, mars08
    I see Katrina Logans comment as being pretty apt .
    It is one thing to agree with the LNP once or twice but to consider an Alliance ?
    An LNP/Greens Government ?
    Now that must cause even fair dinkum Greens concern ,
    It does elsewhere .
    “Comments yesterday from Greens political party Leader Richard Di Natale suggesting that the Greens would consider entering into government with the Liberal and National Parties are deeply concerning for progressive voters.
    When asked about supporting major parties in an interview yesterday, Senator Di Natale said:

    You have to make these decisions election by election. You work out whether you can strike a formal agreement with one side of politics or the other.

    At precisely the time when Malcolm Turnbull must be held to account for his abandonment of principle on climate change, marriage equality and other issues, the Greens Party Leader is leaving open the option of supporting a Liberal Government.”

    says it all really ,
    do you agree with Richard

  53. mars08

    @John Maycock… read my comment again… and AGAIN, if need be.

    Once again you assume that anyone who criticises Shorten is a rusted-on card-carrying Greens supporter.

    It’s bloody hilarious… and quite absurd!

    BTW…. even if Di Natale somehow entered a formal, binding alliance with the Coalition… how many Greens voters to you imagine would rush into the arms of what passes for Labor in the 21st Century?

    Keep the home fires burning, mate.

  54. Peter from Brisbin Australia

    Thankyou SAndrews. This is the true state of politics in Australia. We a bound by incompetence, middle of the road corporate politics and fear of media to drive our politics. A recent comment that God must love stupid people because he made so many. And that they voted Lie-bral COALition is the proof. This leaves me with despair and fear that we will see the same nutters in again. And while there is no real policy or intention of raising GST, a vote for the LNP will just confirm in their minds that the rise is OK.

  55. John Maycock

    mars08
    Thats the whole point ,
    I don’t think any of you Greens would jump into the arms of Labor .
    I think after all these decades in the political wilderness they would do anything for a bit of power
    And to save you any concern, I don’t vote Labor
    You will get the LNP government , maybe with the Greens as partners, and for more than one term , and I’m glad I’m out of the country

  56. mars08

    1. I am not a Greens member or a rusted-on Greens voter.

    2. I suspect that “fair dinkum” Greens would want to be in a coalition with (or support) ANY party which does not have a true progressive agenda. That includes Labor.

    THAT’S the whole point.

  57. Miriam Possitani

    mars08.
    Actually, I have had fully paid up Greens Party members tell me that they would vote LNP before Labor because of the way Labor people treat them online .
    That is what I call commitment
    and you wonder why the LNP will win the next election easily ?

  58. cornlegend

    Miriam Possitani
    I’ve had them tell me the same .Given the Greens send 10% of their preferences to the LNP I guess thats expected .
    I too think it will be an easy LNP win

  59. mars08

    Miriam Possitani… Ian NOT a paid up Greens member and I’m not too impressed at the way they react to me… or others who question Labor’s current policies, strategy or actions.

    Until Kim Beazley’s shameful, unquestioning support for Howard’s Tampa adventure, I was an enthusiastic Labor voter. That event and other decisions that followed made me reassess my position.

    Labor is not the party I thought it was. They have decided to pitch to a different audience. I didn’t push them away. Politically, I stand in the same place I did 20 years ago (maybe even a tiny fraction to the right). I, like many on this forum want socially and financially progressive policies. We didn’t walk away from Labor… they intentionally left us. And now we won’t be taken for granted.

  60. mars08

    @cornlegend… I’d wager that the ALP could get 100% of the Greens preferences, if they were willing to negotiate and slow their rush to the right.

  61. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So rusted-on Labor supporters, why haven’t you and Labor encouraged the Greens into an Alliance? Why hasn’t Labor differentiated itself much more from the thugs in the LNP so the decision would be easy to form the Alliance with Labor and not LNP?

    If Labor starts showing bravery on the important socio-economic issues that address the needs of ordinary Aussies and ALSO marginalised people on welfare, in detention and languishing in unemployment, there would be more reason for the Greens to win some extra brownie points with the electorate to be going for the moral high ground that they have been identified with first for advocating human rights for asylum seekers, refugees and dignified, livable income on Newstart.

    Labor and Labor supporters need to stop falling for the LNP trap of ‘divide and conquer’.

  62. cornlegend

    mars08,
    No negotiations, no deals , no alliances, I think Premiers, senior ALP MPs, and others from within have made that clear .
    once bitten twice shy

  63. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Then cornlegend,

    those Premiers, senior ALP MPs and others from within, sentence Labor to more years of solitude and the rest of us Aussies to more years of destitution.

    Such dogmatic and stubborn denial of how good governance could eventuate by collaborative negotiation between Labor, the Greens, sane Independents and upcoming Progressive parties, will be a bad legacy for modern Labor to live with.

  64. mars08

    Oh wait a minute…. hmmm… so all those times that the ALP went along with the government on things like data retention, citizenship laws, asylum seekers, asset sales and privatisation, troop deployment, trade pacts, welfare reform… those WEREN’T negotiations or deals?

    Then WTF was the bloody point?

  65. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith.
    No, it needs far more than die hard Labor supporters to remove the LNP
    I think it is inevitable that the LNP will win a couple more terms ,
    Internal Labor Party polling is bad, the poling in seats where there is going to be a mass exodus of sitting Labor members ,retiring to take advantage of pension options is really poor and the vibe from voters and commenters on sites like this have me just sitting waiting for the fat lady to sing .
    I feel really badly for all those who will be victims of the LNP and fear even more them controlling both Houses .
    My personal option has been to “LNP proof” my family as much as possible

  66. cornlegend

    mars08
    oops, I left out…. No negotiations, no deals , no alliances, ……….with the Greens

  67. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    cornlegend,

    Labor needs fire in the belly, not lay down and die. No, it is not inevitable for the LNP to win a couple more terms.

    Labor would be on an immediate winner if Labor Premier Palaszczuk in Qld was informed by BIG voices within Labor that there are to be NO agreements to be made with Adani, so that those environmental vandals are kicked out of Australian waters before they bugger up our Great Barrier Reef.

    This would be a very big turn on to dedicated and honest Greens supporters because they would see there is a Big difference between what the LNP Degenerates are prepared to do regardless of the environmental destruction.

    Think Big, Labor. Think about the issues and decisions that the LNP are hated for, and see how Labor can provide far different options that will encourage people to respect you again.

  68. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Sometimes, when you see the disaster that is likely to be 2016-2019 , and the carnage , it mightn’t be a bad idea not to be behind the wheel
    Makes it easier next time round ,
    just saying :-}
    I’m thinking seriously about doing a “Prince Leonard of Hutt” and declaring my properties as Principalities :-}

  69. mars08

    cornlegend:

    …No negotiations, no deals , no alliances, ……….with the Greens…

    Huh? Whoa there! Yet it’s okay to condemn the Greens for occasionally negotiating with the Coalition government? And it’s all the rage to blame the Greens for weakening Labor’s chances at the next election??? Interesting! Charming! Or as Miriam Possitani would say “That is what I call commitment”

  70. cornlegend

    “blame the Greens for weakening Labor’s chances at the next election?”
    No, ultimately it comes down to the voter .
    You get what you vote for and that looks like being LNP .Labor have chosen “No negotiations, no deals , no alliances, ……….with the Greens…”and I’m fine with that .
    Voters will have a choice, more LNP or not .as far as I’m concerned Greens don’t even come into the equation
    It will be LNP or Labor .and as this is a democracy there’s not much I can do about it other than be prepared

  71. mars08

    As this is a democracy? So it’s democracy that’s the stumbling block? Well it couldn’t be Labor’s cantankerous attitude, right?

  72. Steve Laing

    Apparently so mars08. The rusted on Labor supporters seem to be spouting “my way or the highway”. Why on earth would you paint yourself into a hole that you can’t get out of? Gillard ran a very effective government that was in part brought down by having that attitude prior to the election regarding the carbon tax, which she then had to renege on when the practicalities of running a coalition effectively got in the way. Such an inflexible approach is bad politics, and it would seem that some Labor supporters would rather have an LNP government than entertain a repeat of the highly effective Gillard government. It defies logic.

  73. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said stephentardrews @12.05 on 15/01 and steve laing for posts on 15,16,17 January.

    I’m starting to think we lot, who are trying to wake Labor out of their slumber, are the only ones, who care about the coming election and how to annihilate the LNP before it destroys everything we hold dear in Australia.

  74. cornlegend

    “As this is a democracy? So it’s democracy that’s the stumbling block?”
    What ?
    There will . after the election be a Labor or LNP Government . That is democracy , the peoples choice ,
    there’s not much I can do about it other than be prepared.
    What part do you not understand ?

  75. cornlegend

    Steve Laing
    If I am the “The rusted on Labor supporters ” think again .
    The monthly donations from my family and I have stopped, there will be no working on elections, and no vote for them if the Martin Ferguson issue isn’t brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
    That does not change the fact that the only party that has any hope of unseating the LNP is Labor, the rest is a bit of a side show .

  76. Steve Laing

    Actually that is where you are wrong. There are seats where Labor have absolutely no chance, so, like 2010, your side show might turn out to be the main attraction. And that would be my preference, though with luck those in that shared government might try not to make the mistakes of the last one. But Di Natale seems a bit more open to compromise than previous Greens leaders have been.

    One reason that Gillards government was so good, was because they were forced to make consensual decisions – the extra scrutiny stopped the groupthink we see when parties get into power with majorities. Like the current debacle.

  77. mars08

    @cornlegend… the part I don’t understand is dismissing an alternative, cornering the voters and purposely restricting the choices put to the electorate.

    What part do YOU not understand.

  78. cornlegend

    mars08
    Because I’ll take odds, there will only be one of 2 choices Labor or LNP .
    Labor have made it clear there would be no deal with the Greens .
    The odds of a minority government ever happening again are minimal
    No one is ” purposely restricting the choices put to the electorate.”
    There were 40 odd Parties and a tablecloth size Senate ballot paper for the electors to chose from so they weren’t lacking in choice
    and no one to my knowledge was ” purposely restricting the choices” and how would you try to enforce that concept anyway .
    The privacy of the ballot box is there for all, and how to vote cards from most is at their disposal

  79. mars08

    @Steve Laing…. it’s painfully clear that you are correct. The ALP is stuck in the bloody-minded “my way or the highway” mentality.

    One of the two bakers tells me that the only choice in town, is either a chicken pie or a meat pie. I don’t like chicken pie.

    The baker next door is selling the meat pie, and ONLY the meat pie. I’d like a meat pie with sauce. I’m told emphatically that “there will only be one of 2 choices”. Chicken or plain meat. Definitely no meat pie with sauce. No negotiations! So, will it be chicken pie or meat pie?

    Ha. Screw those idiots…! I’m going down the road and get a pizza!

  80. cornlegend

    enjoy your pizza,
    want to bet the rest of Australia pick the meat pie or chicken pie .
    Note, pick, nobody forces them

  81. John Maycock

    mars

    Why don’t you just accept that without coercion or force or by some almighty influence of commenters on this site 91.4% of all voters in Australia don’t think the Greens are worthy of their support

  82. cornlegend

    John Maycock
    Actually John using the scenario mars08 provides it would be more like this .
    There is a food court with 40 different vendors offering a variety of goods
    Most people don;t like the specialty lines prefering either meat pies or chicken pies .
    A couple of disgruntled customers want the meat pie vendor to add 8.6% pizza to the recipe
    The pie vendor thinks that will just pollute the product so sticks with the meat pies .
    He knows , given the choices available, the customers will freely without influence choose either the meat or chicken pie .
    Of course, 8.6% would prefer pizza, so they are free to trot of and buy it, or one of the 37 other products on offer

  83. mars08

    Yep. Until something better comes along… I pick pizza.

    But you still don’t get it do you, cornlegend? I don’t expect the baker to add 8.6% pizza to his recipe. Just some sauce to make it more palatable.

    But whatever…

  84. cornlegend

    I get it, but you don’t , only 8.6% might find it more palatable, but the rest still prefer the good old meat or chicken pies .
    The sauce apparently isn’t to too many peoples taste
    Why not use a car ,
    THe Ford or the Holden .
    The option is the Holden with a Volkswagon boot
    now 8.6% might find it attractive but it hardly seems like a seller

    Again, you favour pizza, good ,
    Let the meat pie eaters enjoy theirs
    They aren’t forcing you to splatter pie all over the top

  85. mars08

    Frankly I’m done with this shit.

    One final time. I don’t expect Labor to adopt all the Greens policies, I’d just be happy for them to reconsider the nastier policy positions they have shamelessly, cynically, lazily copied from the Coalition over the past decade. I would like them to return to a truly progressive socio-economic agenda.

    If that’s too much to ask, if they’d rather pitch to a different crowd, if they can manage without the voters they’ve lost to the Greens… thats cool too. Just don’t dump on those disgruntled former Labor voters who have looked elsewhere.

  86. Miriam Possitani

    mars08
    Hey, before you “are done with this shit ”
    Just tell me again why it is Greens supporters are so desperate for some alliance, deal or whatever .
    Is it so the Greens can finally gain some credibility and try to tell Labor what to do?
    Do the Greens think Labor are devoid of original thought , the did handle the GFC, invent Medicare, NBN, NDIS all on their own , and what of all the good hardworking ALP members ?
    They get to pick their Leader, shouldn’t it also be put to them any amalgamation
    I don’t see Rank and File Labor members on sites screaming for any deals with the Greens .
    Is this not just a self interest self preservation stunt by the Greens .
    and don’t give me pizza

  87. Roswell

    You ask a lot of questions and demand answers, without answering anything yourself.

  88. Katrina Logan

    I was about to ask the same question but was choking on my weetbix, laughing at the meat pie theory .
    I don’t see Labor members clamouring for this “negotiations’ with the Greens just those who declare they would never vote Labor wanting a say in how Labor operates .
    Aren’t the Greens capable of standing on their own ? do they need to get a piggyback to power .

  89. Miriam Possitani


    RoswellJanuary 18, 2016 at 7:17 am

    You ask a lot of questions and demand answers, without answering anything yourself.”

    Where and when ?

  90. Roswell

    Everywhere.

  91. Katrina Logan

    Rosswell,
    You did introduce yourself as a moderator when you sussed me out as a newcomer .
    Just a quick question, is it your job as a moderator to ride protection over the “clique ” on the AIMN and check the questions ?
    Could you direct me to ANY other person other than Mirian Possitana that you have directed questions such as
    “You ask a lot of questions and demand answers, without answering anything yourself.”

    Is this a new policy that Moderators will screen comments to ensure answers are given {by all, not the targeted few} ?
    I answered questions from the clique till I was blue in the face , but got few answers back , just a question answered by a question
    I will be pleased to follow your progress if this is new policy .
    If I can’t get answers do I notify you ?

  92. Roswell

    Katrina, I wasn’t posting my comment as a moderator but making a personal observation.

    But on another personal observation, I believe that Miriam has no purpose here other than to disrupt or derail.

    That’s just my view. I could be wrong.

  93. Miriam Possitani

    Rosswell,
    I don’t live on this site like some and may have missed the opportunity to respond as I am an open book .
    If you would be a bit more specific than “everywhere” i would double back and respond .
    It would have been an oversight not an evasion .
    Good to see this must be policy now, as I too get frustrated with non answers and know now I can call on you to resolve the issue ,
    You are a moderator aren’t you ?
    nb. I will be out for a few hours, so no not evasion, just not present

  94. Roswell

    You’ll be out for a few hours? Damn, we’ll miss you.

  95. Miriam Possitani

    Will you ?
    I bet you say that to all the non “green clique ”
    Maybe you could track down some of my alleged non answers in my absence ?

  96. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Katrina Logan,

    any critics of Labor’s ‘lay down and die’ surrender on this site are not necessarily Greens supporters, although many are and good on them.

    I want an Alliance that brings together the Greens, the Progressive parties and sane Independents and I’m inviting the progressive members amongst Labor to get involved too.

    I want an overhaul of this LIBLAB flipflop duopoly, which for too long has concentrated on if it’s not Labor in power, it’s the LNP and look where that’s got us. A supercilious, arrogant, greedy, uncaring LNP Government and a weak, ineffectual Labor Opposition.

    No we don’t just want to piggyback on Labor’s glory because let’s be honest, where is the glory these days? Labor should stop resting on the laurels of the past. Labor has blown most of that goodwill in recent years by its reprehensible treatment of the most vulnerable, namely asylum seekers but not forgetting people languishing on welfare, who DON’T want to be there but they are because of their age, their gender, their disability, their location. I have not heard Labor say what it will do about raising the benefit to a livable level as the Greens do, have you?

    So, instead of bashing anybody who dares to speak out and tell Labor to wake up OUT of its slumber, tell Labor to KEEP fighting because while there is still a chance to win this next election, they must keep trying and be seen to be forming working alliances with progressive partners and working to improve this failure of a duopoly voting system.

    PS Well said, Roswell.

  97. Roswell

    Jennifer, that makes sense.

  98. Katrina Logan

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith,
    Almost all who want this deal or alliance seem to vow to never vote Labor .
    Now someone in the comments above mentioned there were 40 Parties contested the last election .
    Why are you not trying to create this Alliance out of the Greens and the other 36-37 ?
    Why is Labor such an integral role in you grand plan if it isn’t only to give some credibility .

    Why would you even contemplate doing deals with as you describe them “LIBLAB flipflop duopoly,”and link up with a ” a weak, ineffectual Labor Opposition”
    You want to pin your hopes on a Party you describe as “its reprehensible treatment of the most vulnerable, namely asylum seekers but not forgetting people languishing on welfare, who DON’T want to be there but they are because of their age, their gender, their disability, their location”

    WHY, if they are all that would you want to even contemplate doing deals ?
    If Labor are all the horror things you describe above , surely you would ban them, not invite them in
    Check out the AEC website, I’m sure it will list the other 30 plus parties for you to negotiate with , as it seems from comments and media statements Labor want no part of deals

  99. Katrina Logan

    Jennifer,
    Why would I ” tell Labor to KEEP fighting because while there is still a chance to win this next election,”
    surely after all that you list as wrong with Labor you wouldn’t want that ?

  100. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    That’s Labor administration (backroom boys and girls in the shadows) saying they don’t want deals. I still hold belief that there are individuals in Labor who would be suitable to join the Alliance because they still hold their values and principles as more important than their factional hold on power.

    By the way, did I say I wouldn’t want others from the assorted 36-37 parties you so kindly inform us there are? Only those with progressive, equitable, innovative, fair principles and values will be encouraged to join. You failed to notice my premise that I also want the sane Independents like Wilke, who already hold parliamentary positions and respect in the public’s imagination.

    Bottom line Katrina is that sooner or later my Alliance vision will eventuate, so your Labor has to ask itself, does it want to be involved to avoid its own extinction, or will Labor just stay ignorant, ignored and useless?

  101. Katrina Logan

    ,Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    ” so your Labor”
    Where did you get that idea ?
    I have never been a member of Labor ,supported them, nor would I .
    I made that clear on this site months ago , which Roswell could verify, as he checked me out when it was obvious I wasn’t a yes person for the little group on here .
    My next election will be the first in which I vote and that probably will be A.L.A.
    I have just been amused at how many “anti Labor” voices are so desperate to get Labor into bed with the Greens , and that can only be to try to preserve the Greens and give them a sense of importance

  102. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well Katrina, I’ll give you one thing, you’re not too squeamish not to declare your political persuasion.

    But, be careful what you wish for with small government. The emphasis should be on well-run, representative, equitable government not small government because parties that promote that principle are usually the ones that believe in privatisation of central assets, which means the rich get fatter and the poor die.

  103. Steve Laing

    ALA. Of course. So why do you come here? Just to troll? Is that because there is nowhere else for ALA supporters to go for political discourse?

  104. Katrina Logan

    Why, ?
    Do you think I need to be one dimensional like a lot on here ?
    I have a strong commitment to the environment , believe climate change is cause by us, campaign regularly for the Reef, and have a strong social commitment for universal health care and quality education .
    I am also extremely active in the Anonymous doxxing campaign of ISIS and actually spend most nights hacking .

  105. mars08

    @Katrina Logan … frankly, as a non aligned, former ALP supporter… I don’t give a rat’s arde about any formal alliance between the Greens and the ALP. Any such agreement would probably have as many negatives as positives.

    What really does piss me off is the whining ALP blowhards who expect people like me to ignore my values, abandon my principles and vote for today’s pissweak version of Labor just because it’s supposedly my only “realistic” choice.

    If Labor ends up with my vote, it will be through a preference deal. They no longer deserve my primary vote.

  106. Steve Laing

    Well put Mars08. It would seem from your comments Katrina, that the right have sucked you into their paranoid dream to find a new enemy. Good on you for fighting ISIS, but remember that their biggest targets have been other Muslims, not the west. The ALA are simply fearful racists from what I’ve seen to date.

  107. Katrina Logan

    Steve Laing.
    Then I must be one of the majority of Australians who have been “sucked in by the right”
    70+% in fact that have had enough of asylum seekers and particularly muslims with their sicko religion

    mars08
    I didn’t see anyone forcing you to vote for “ALP blowhards who expect people like me to ignore my values, abandon my principles and vote for today’s pissweak version of Labor”
    Surely you have enough courage to vote for who you like , and from what I read it was a persons personal opinion ,not some arm twisting to force you or anyone else to vote in a particular way .

    I just saw the comments you likely refer to,
    Do you disagree we will either have a Labor or LNP government ?
    where were the strongarm tactics used on you ?

  108. mars08

    That’s a nice strawman you’re building, Katrina. Did I say i was pissed off by the strongarm tactics? Did i mention i was somehow being “forced” to vote for a particular party? Did I say anyone was using strongarm tactics?

    “What really does piss me off is the whining ALP blowhards who expect people like me to ignore my values, abandon my principles… ” That’s what i said.

  109. Steve Laing

    How old are you Katrina? How many Muslims do you actually know personally to base your opinions on?

  110. John Maycock

    mars08
    That was an interesting little exchange :-}
    You couldn’t win the argument even with your pizzas so you revert to namecalling ?
    Is that your fallback position ?

  111. mars08

    It’s my fallback when I ‘m sick of continually explaining something to tedious imbeciles.

  112. Roswell

    John Maycock, you have a go at someone for name calling, and then in your very next comment you proceed to denigrate them. That’s poor form.

  113. mars08

    Don’t worry about Mr Maycock. His words are meaningless. I can’t understand what he’s getting at. Mainly because I DON’T WANT TO understand.

    Too bad he doesn’t see how dumb it made hm look.

    Oh my… this is easy…

  114. Katrina Logan

    rosswell,
    Aren’t you supposed to be a moderator ?
    Did you see where the name calling began
    Don’t worry John Maycock ,it happened to me too
    Roswell has a sole purpose in life, defend the clan regardless
    Tell me again, what does the I in AIMN stand for ?

    John, acceptable words seem to be bogan, moron, imbecile , you could have used those they all would have fitted .
    Polish up your badge Roswell, the truth is out there . and don’t worry about banning me , you lot are too cosy a little clique to be taken seriously

  115. Roswell

    Oh FFS, give me a break. I just help out with the moderating here. I don’t own the place.

  116. Miriam Possitani

    Rosswell,
    Hi I’m back, bet you are pleased .
    Do you give the same welcome to others that you give to me ?
    Have to agree with Katrina Logan on that one buddy .
    Is there a list of rules for the AIMN ?
    Can the in crowd be childish name callers and throw petty insults
    Now, Roswell, we all know what FFS means , why was John Maycroft, a non incrowder lectured for using the F word but other insults and demeaning terms left unabated
    It is ok for you to show your biases but could you be just a tad more “moderator like ” in dishing out fair and impartial treatment
    and insults for that matter .
    Really, is there a code of conduct for the AIMN , or 2, one for the “clique” one for others ?

  117. Roswell

    OMG you’re a pain in the arse.

  118. Roswell

    Are there any rules here? The only one I’m aware of is that we don’t tolerate trolls. I’d call you a troll.

  119. mars08

    Are they particulary accomodating and meticulous over at the Australian Liberty Alliance site?

  120. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Katrina,

    Re your comment @ 11.19am, “70+% in fact that have had enough of asylum seekers and particularly muslims with their sicko religion”

    have you actually got around to answering Steve Laing’s question about how many Muslims you know to base your opinions on?

    Perhaps you would like to enlighten us on your answer before you hurl abuse at others, who are actually making an effort to support their comments.

    You certainly would enlighten me because I was beginning to think unhesitatingly that ‘Anonymous’ representatives such as yourself, were the good people. But I will be more guarded in that now that I know YOUR generalisation that all” asylum seekers and particularly muslims have a “sicko religion”.

  121. John Maycock

    I can answer this for her in case she doesn’t return .
    Some months ago Katrina was very open and forthcoming about her activities .
    I also recall the owner of this site thanked her for being civil and tolerant .
    She told that she had had run ins with local muslim youth , was helping recruit at school and UNi for an anti Muslim action group {the name escapes me } , her opposition to asylum seekers and particularly Muslims .
    Of course, she came under attack , Mars08 being one culprit , and I think even Roswell waded in at some stage .{I’ll have a search for that one }
    I’m sure as a Moderator, Roswell would have access to Katrinas posts and could refer you to the particular articles .
    No matter how you try to paint it , she was always very open with her thoughts and opinions

  122. John Maycock

    “I’d call you a troll.”
    Gee that gets thrown around a lot when you disagree with some on here

  123. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I think it is important that people of different political persuasions enter the discussion as long as people of those different viewpoints listen and respond thoughtfully to each other. Deliberate obfuscation of another’s argument by belittlement, complex counter arguments, strawman examples etc are not acceptable and if some play at that game, they can hardly be surprised, if it happens to them or someone they sympathise with.

    Having said that, in my brief time of reading Katrina’s comments, I appreciated her candidness, even though I honestly believe she would benefit from a more circumspect approach to criticising whole categories of people. That would be a Win-Win for everybody because it would help to develop understanding.

  124. mars08

    A culprit… that’s me alright! Sums me up perfectly. Oh John, you are so precious!

    Now, about my “attack” on Miriam….? It sound aweful Care to fill us in on the horrid details?

  125. John Maycock

    mars08
    see, my earlier evaluation was right, you do have comprehension problems .
    ” “attack” on Miriam…”
    Where was this mysterious event ?
    I Definitely was right earlier

  126. John Maycock

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    If you ask the Protector/Moderator, he should be able to direct you to the article Katrina was involved in discussion on

  127. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    No John, I won’t ask. I’ve said what I consider to be fair in the circumstances. If you would like to ask, go ahead.

  128. mars08

    John Maycock:

    Of course, she came under attack , Mars08 being one culprit…

    Uh, derp…?

  129. John Maycock

    mars08
    derp alright .
    You really do have comprehension problems or alternately you are as thick as a brick
    Show me where Miriams name was mentioned ANYWHERE
    It was in regard to K.A.T.R.I.N.A , all about KATRINA
    “Some months ago Katrina …………..
    OMG . I give up with you …………..derp

  130. Steve Laing

    Jeez John, what is your problem? You’ve added absolutely nothing of value to this conversation, and yet think it gives you the right to go about antagonising people. Are you the front end of a donkey?

  131. mars08

    hehehe… ooops. Sorry to get you so worked up over my little typo, John. I was quite careless of me. Anyhooo…

    …about my “attack” on K.A.T.R.I.N.A ….? It sounds aweful Care to fill us in on the horrid details?

  132. randalstella

    Thanks to Jennifer for trying to encourage some discussion.

  133. mischmash1m

    I’m not going to argue, bash Labor or have a discussion with Geert Wilders the Dutch hate speech politicians ALA party. At such a critical time in politics and the future for our children I’m voting Labor 100%. They will protect Medicare/PBS, affordable education and bring back their world acclaimed alternative/solar energy industry destroyed by this flat earth govt. The Greens may look good with all their protesting but they get nothing done and the shame is they gave us Tony Abbott. Go Bill Shorten..major architect of the NDIS and a great fighter for workers rights his entire adult life. Nit picking over personality is plain stupid..it’s not a Turnbull Hollywood beauty contest…the photo of Bill that you used John is so Murdochesque.

  134. townsvilleblog

    John, people still within the ALP do think you are bashing Billy if you dare to offer a suggestion about his actions. They come out fighting at the drop of a hat. Most trying to protect their precious party, most have no idea on who makes the decisions on policy, who runs the whole show, they just go along for the ride. Believing that the leader and the party can do no wrong, believe me there is plenty wrong internally in the ALP Qld Branch, and I assume other State branches. So please continue to share your opinion on Billy but always finsish with: no malice.

  135. townsvilleblog

    mischmash1m read above please!

  136. Shogan

    Wow, 135 comments seems like it might be a good debate about “Where’s Bill” but after reading through them all it turns out that half a dozen or so people have been hogging the debate with 80 odd of the 135 comments saying how Bill doesn’t cut the mustard & Labor will never win with Bill which seems a bit odd seeing that Labor has been leading in the 2 party preferred polls since the last election.

    I seem to remember during the holiday season this time last year almost everyone jumping on the trash Bill band wagon but when business resumed again Bill come out firing on all 8 cylinders & set the agenda right through to the election & came within a whisker of unseating a first term government & the last time a first term government lost an election was way back in 1931.

    So not a bad effort at the last election then, especially from how far back they came from & Labor will start from a much better position at the next election because of all their efforts last year & while no one’s happy with losing, you can take a lot of positives from a loss & build on them which makes for a positive result next time around.

    One thing Bill has done is brought the party together & got them working as a team & this has been the case again so far this year with various members of the shadow ministry speaking out about the government’s largesse with the travel & expenses debacle which, along with public disgust, has seen Suss-An Ley resign from the ministry & the FiZZA having to finally respond to the Entitlements & Claim Reforms that have been sitting on his desk for almost a year.

    That’s not the end of the expenses claims debacle though as there are many other shady claims that have now come to light that the FiZZA will have to deal with as well as having to manage a cabinet reshuffle & dissent on his back bench so just relax a bit folks & sit back & watch the LNP fragment around their own self interest & enjoy the modern day mixture of “The Gilles Report, Australia You’re Standing In It & Rubbery Figures” & then judge Bill Shorten on his actions when he returns from a well earned holiday, which I doubt has been all holiday.

  137. Jaquix

    Im with you Shogan. I notice this blog is a year old, yet we are still having to say the same things! Only, of course, there is additional material to be furious about, like the “entitlements”, and Centrelink debacle. Bill Shorten has worked miracles with the party, they are obviously united (which doesnt mean they dont have some individual views either) and they seem to be a hard working, united team, who have worked on policy. The Libs are lazy and dont bother with that – their “policy platform” at the election was airly brushed aside as being “The Budget – its all in the budget”.

  138. Jaquix

    See today the results of a small (2,000 p) ReachTEL poll, that the Coalition sink further and further, the result showing 54 to Labor, a mere 46 to the Libs. That was before Sussan Ley’s debacle reached full steam. So, slowly but surely. One Nation garners lots of attention from the media, far more than they warrant. It seems that their support is being derived from disenchanted Liberal voters who just could not bring themselves to vote for the only viable alternative, the Labor Party.

  139. LOVO

    I was going to comment. .but I decided not to……I didn’t want to come across as to *clique-ish*. 😯
    …..besides…it’s all Roswells fault?

  140. Roswell

    Of course it is. I confess. ?

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