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Day to Day Politics: Just Talking Heads

The Coalition regrets having to announce that good government has been further delayed. At least until after the next election. Circumstances beyond my control.

I wrote this in jest just a few short days ago. But sadly for the Australian people it is a fact. During his tenure as PM Tony Abbott promised on many occasions to give us good government. Malcolm Turnbull, his replacement, it seems is also incapable of delivering. So with just a few months until the election it seems that for the term of this Coalition Government, good governance will have taken a vacation. It will have been on hold for three years. It was just an illusion.

But who is Malcolm Turnbull. He is a Republican leading a party of Royalists. A Prime Minister of Australia in which all state Premiers (except WA)and Opposition Leaders are republicans makes it more absurd. He is, despite his current utterings, a believer in doing something about Climate Change but the leader of a party that has many influential climate deniers in its ranks who think more about capitalist greed than the future of our children.

He is a committed believer in marriage equality leading a coalition of homophobes. He also leads a government intent on imposing its own religious values on a society rapidly backing away from religiosity.

Malcolm Turnbull is in effect an enormous contradiction.

He came to the job promising much. After Abbott’s calamitous period marked by ‘wars’ on everything he seemed like a breath of fresh air. He told the public everything they wanted to hear. No more slogans. Transparency, optimism and fairness would be the order of the day, he would respect the people. Things would be different. The public loved his enthusiasm.

However, after six months of heavily overdosing on syrupy over saccharised sweet talk he still remains in the concept of old politics. He gave promise to a new paradigm but other than style the prototype is still the same.

Lenore Taylor got it right when she said:

“He promised to “respect the intelligence of the Australian people”, to end the three-word slogans and instead advocate and explain policies he believed in.”

“But Malcolm Turnbull’s great dilemma was obvious as soon as he became prime minister. The public liked him for promising to be different, but many of his colleagues only voted for him because he told them he’d be pretty much the same.”

“If he can’t begin to resolve this dilemma quickly, Turnbull’s perceived authenticity – the view that he is a man true to his convictions, a different kind of politician – could quickly turn into a perception that he is an opportunistic fake, just more of the same.”

And it has. After 6 months of repetitious talk about coloured papers, taxation reform, proposals plebiscites and lectures about there’s never been a better time to be, well you name it, he has been a most indecisive leader.

The lack of any policy difference between him and Abbott is startling. The reason for this is probably contained in Lenore Taylor’s words:

” … his colleagues only voted for him because he told them he’d be pretty much the same.” As Abbott.

He has shown little desire to be his own man. Unlike most incoming leaders there has been no inclination to put his stamp on the party, instead allowing members free rein to run with their own ideas. Abbott, Andrews, Barnardi and others seem to be determining policy.

People are now questioning what they got. He has done an about-face on policies he once championed. He seems to be a leader captive to the extremists of his party?

Yesterday it finally dawned on him that the electorate have woken up.

All talk and no action’ rings the accusation. So he meekly fronts the cameras and tells us that all the talk and talk and talk about economic, and in particular taxation reform, will be revealed in the May budget with the door open, after more talking to other announcements before the election. The GST is being talked down. See what too much backbench talking can do.

It is all very mystifying because since day one they have said they had a plan. It seems like the original plan was to open a discussion to talk about creating one to replace the existing one. Now the plan has become a blueprint.

At least they will be able to skite to their tea party friends of the longest filibuster on record.

So we will have more talk about things that may or may not be included in tax reform. Around three months of it actually. I wonder if all the repetitive talk about what you may or may not do is sustainable without losing credibility. I mean they won government on budget crisis spin but after two and a half years need more time to talk about it. Perhaps they didn’t get their point across.

We will hear much more talk about what is on the table, what proposals will be talked about more than others. There will be talk about what will be ruled in or out together with discussion on the fairness of it all and how it will affect the future. They might even talk about delaying any decisions to give themselves more time to talk the issues through. Even a series of conferences titled ‘Talk Fests for Better Decision Making’

‘Gunna’ Morrison could give the keynote address.

My thought for the day:

The ideas of today need to be honed with critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of enquiry so that they clearly articulate the currency of tomorrow’.


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  1. Terry2

    Turnbull’s inability or unwillingness to be his own man and walk away from the mean spirited and misguided policies of his predecessor became starkly evident when he tried to link the welfare and well-being of asylum seeker children in Australia with sending messages to people smugglers in Indonesia on how tough we are.

    I think we all understand that the fortress Australia policy known as Sovereign Borders and carried out in waters to our North by our navy and Australian Border Force is working. Working in the sense that we are apprehending boats, bribing the crews where necessary, turning them around and transferring the problem to other countries in our region.

    This policy is completely separate and distinct from the policy of indefinite detention of those who made it several years ago seeking asylum and who have become unwitting pawns in a cruel political game of ping-pong ; imprisoned on small islands under the smoke screen of ‘processing and resettlement’, a euphemism for ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and, importantly, beyond the reach of our courts or those of the international community.

    Turnbull could show himself to be a statesman and give Australia back some of its lost self esteem if he were to come our decisively and commit to closing down forever the internment camps on Nauru and Manus Islands – we don’t need them !
    The resettlement of these damaged people in Australia will take care and compassion equal to that extended to those coming out of the concentration camps after WWII and we owe it to them to treat them with dignity as fellow human beings.
    Turnbull may cop some flak form the shock-jocks and the extreme right of his party and from those low-life who take pleasure from the punishment and pain of others but he doesn’t need their votes anyway and he could wear their disdain as a badge of honour.

    I have all but given up on Shorten in any way differentiating himself from the Liberals and, sad to say, cannot at this late stage see Labor exciting the electorate sufficiently to get themselves elected.

  2. Graeme

    We should be calling this the “Turnbull-Abbott” government. (Remember MSM’s labels…… Rudd-Gillard and even Cain-Kirner way back when in Victoria)

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    A compassionate and insightful comment, Terry2.

    I agree it would be to Turnbull’s advantage to show some leadership now and do the compassionate thing for the concentration camp detainees. But he’s too much of a wimp, I assess.

    As for Shorten, I am continuing to ‘beseech’ him to make friends with those other progressives I advocate, namely the Greens, the Progressive Parties and sane Independents. The Alliance is the only way we can build up the political momentum and awareness in the community before the next election that there is some political deliverance away from the neo-conservative austerity of the LNP.

    Shorten and Labor have had their chance to make significant stands on social issues in the last 2 1/2 years and they have been shown to be wanting. I suggest Shorten is also hamstrung by the neo-conservative Right of Labor, who are perfectly happy with economic policy based on economic rationalism, which confines every socio-economic measure to mere $ value. As soon as that bunch of neo-cons are permanently dissolved on the Right ranks of Labor, the better!

    Good comment also Graeme. I’ll attempt to implement your suggestion in my comments, as it is an apt observation.

  4. Steve Laing

    Totally agree. The new emperor is as unclothed as the last charlatan. Another one who seems to believe that simply their presence in the big chair will be enough to turn things around. Whilst accusing Labor of being poll driven, it appears that GST may soon be off the table because the polls aren’t going for it. According to ScumMo, we are having a conversation about tax, but without any details of what they will finally propose. How does that work? And yesterday we had the highly unedifying sight of Dutton claiming to not have seen some new proposals on making immigration even harder. Is he trying to convince us that policy these days is being dreamed up purely by public servants, with no direction from the minister? If so, then we are really in a fine state of affairs, but it would explain why none of those elected seem to have a bloody clue about anything of substance. Instead we get motherhood slogans of jobs and growth, and it’s all Labours fault repeated ad infinitum.

    Having given up on the ABC, and to some extent the fawning ladies at the Guardian, it seems that only Laura Tingle has the chutzpah to say it how it is, and I believe for her the patience is thinning and the penny has nearly hit the ground. May the wider ridiculing of this prevaricating peacock begin.

  5. Wally

    Is this an honest change in direction or smoke and mirrors to make the government look good heading toward an election? A back flip and increasing the GST after winning the next election would not surprise me, the LNP have a proven record of doing whatever it takes to win votes then breaking the promises.

    THE Government has sharpened its focus on cutting tax breaks on negative gearing, capital gains and superannuation, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ­remains unconvinced of the merits of raising the GST to 15 per cent.

    Mr Turnbull yesterday continued to wind back expectations that he would push ahead with the GST rise, insisting any change would have to drive jobs and growth.

    It’s believed he is still unsure if a GST rise, which would allow big income tax cuts, would give enough of an economic boost.

  6. Geoff Andrews

    I am reminded of the marching song of allied troops in WW2 that would seem to fit in with the tone of this thread. I have replaced Hitler’s, Goering’s, Himmler’s and Goebbels’ names respectively, to save embarrassment to their descendants.
    (To be sung to the tune of “Colonel Bogey”.)

    Scotty, has only got one ball.
    Tony, has two but very small.
    Petah, has something similar,
    But poor old Turnball’s, got no balls, at all.

    Now, all together now……
    Scotty, has only got ….. etc

    To be sung by a chorus of, say, 50 at every public appearance of Scott, Tony, Peter or Malcolm.

  7. whatismore

    One of your best yet, John. Good to see some of the msm are waking up although the Guardian should have been on to this long ago.

  8. Wally

    Geoff Andrews

    Sung to the march “Colonel Bogey”, the first line in some versions is “Scotty has only one brass ball”.

    Brings back memories of many bus trips when I was in primary school.

  9. Terry2


    under the new citizenship laws you could face deportation and loss of citizenship for that : five years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London no less.

    No mention of Dutton in your ditty – currying favour perhaps ?

  10. Geoff Andrews

    Our bus trips involved singing “Bullshit, that’s all the band could play” etc.
    I googled “hitler has only got one ball” and found dozens of variations plus lots of other marching songs that the Australians sang.

  11. sandrasearle

    Great article once again John. The comments from Terry2, Jennifer Myer-Smith, Graeme & Steve Laing are thoughts that many of us here on TAIM are so concerned about. I was so concerned after hearing Bill Shorten giving an interview on TV yesterday about how he supports the LNP’s Border & asylum seeker policies that I sent a message on Twitter asking him to reconsider their support because they will be losing many people who would normally vote for them.

    I have never been a member of any political party in my life, been a swinging voter times then a Labor supporter but when Labor decided to send asylum seekers to Manus & Nauru in support of Abbots ‘Stop the Boats’ policy what on earth were they thinking. Did they actually believe that those poor people were actually going to be processed properly especially when we, the people of this country, were kept in the dark by Morrison. Bill Shorten now, is caught between a rock & a hard place & trying to play tough on boarder protection.

    Jennifer, you want an alliance to happen between the Greens, progressive parties & independents. Have you looked at the policies of the Labor Coalition Party? Surely if they could all get together they would gain many followers. Would that be enough for Labor to say to the right wing of their party that things need to be changed & quickly.

    We need action to be taken now.

  12. Owen

    Just delay tactics for the GST unpopular before the up coming election.

  13. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Sandra Searle,

    yes, The Labour Coalition is interesting too. If Labor is not careful, we won’t need them as part of the Alliance anyway and they will be out in the cold like the LNP.

  14. diannaart

    What is it with the Labor right faction destroying any remaining credibility of Labor’s?…. sorry, answered my own question.

  15. cornlegend

    I would suggest The Labour Coalition get their arse into gear and get registered, the election isn’t far off

  16. diannaart

    I think I know how you feel, Cornie, I wish that the LNP and Labor would break up their coalition of policies on refugees, mining, subsidising private schools, the chaplaincy program… the election will be here before we have time to say, “republic”


  17. corvus boreus

    A laboured point. 😀

  18. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you’re starting to sound like a convert like corvus boreus.

  19. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    NAH! I got my bets on with TomWatterhouse dotcom when the LNP were at $1.50
    now they are into $1.10 and Labor have blown out to $6.50 .
    I did have a bet on Abbott getting beaten by anyone at $9 for a bit of fun .
    At least the LNP winning will contribute towards a holiday and get me away from the scumbags for a while

  20. cornlegend

    “I think I know how you feel, Cornie”
    Hey mate I.m not supporting them .
    It’s just if they don’t get organised and registered , no one will be voting for them
    Last Senate election ballot paper was a table cloth , this one is shaping up as a king size sheet

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you don’t have to advertise that little worm Waterhouse thanks to make your point that you haven’t seen the light yet!

  22. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Little Tommy gives the best odds 😀

  23. corvus boreus

    A king size sheet for a senate ballot, and only the ‘options’ of voting 1 above or all (=/- 150 candidates?) below.
    Gee, wouldn’t some voting options in between be nice?

  24. cornlegend

    corvus boreus
    I’ve started reading the links you supplied , more certain than ever there must be a better way but without penalising smaller and single issue parties .
    Not that I like them but they all deserve their go .

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What happened to the Senate voting changes where a third option of ten preferences below the line that corvus was talking about the other day?

  26. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I hear *crickets* in response to my last question. I must have said something…

  27. cornlegend

    Who was that addressed to ?
    It’s raceday !!

  28. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Oh ok, if you insist!

    It was corvus boreus, as I recall, raising the point the other day!

  29. corvus boreus

    Jennifer M-S,
    Here is the most recent article mention I could find, which indicates continued prattling and plotting..
    Unless the reporting has strayed it would seem that the model favoured by Mal’s mob differs slightly from the primary recommendations in also seeking to extinguish the effect of preferencing after the sixth vote (for a 1/2 senate ballot).

  30. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I am aware of corvus boreus ideas.
    Just to fill you in, just in case you missed it corvus boreus asked my opinion, I said I didn’t have one ,would need to read up on things as I had had a couple of months in Ireland, a break from OZ politics Etc he suppied links , I explained I would get to them but had a granddaughters birthday celebrations, her going for her pilots licence, me going to Canberra etc and I would read the links when I got time and let him know my opinion.
    corvus boreus was fine with that .
    I hope you are

  31. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks cornlegend. Yes, I am.

    You might be interested to know that I have begun to contact certain Labor pollies to see if they will speak with me when I come to Canberra myself to discuss my advocacy of an effective, working Alliance between Labor, the Greens, the Progressive Parties and sane Independents. I will also remember The Labour Coalition, as a possible inclusion.

    I will seek such meetings with selected Greens and Independent MP’s too.

    I have also told those that I have chosen thus far that I want to give them insight into my personal circumstances, so they have a realistic understanding of what life is like for an energetic, bright, well-creditentialled mature age woman to be languishing on unemployment despite her best efforts to gain meaningful employment. While I’m about it, I will also be advocating my concept of Micro-Finance Grants and Micro-Credit Loans designed to provide much needed finance on equitable and accessible terms to the most needs-based people, who are currently unemployed or under-employed in a job market that offers very little or no hope otherwise.

    I will also see the same certain Victorian MP’s in their Melbourne offices, if they will let me.

    My problem might be that the ones, I would see benefit in speaking with considering they are Left or Centre Left Labor, are not my electoral representatives and they seem to have potential walls ready to erect to deny me access to their face to face meeting time in Canberra and Melbourne where it applies.

    If Labor is to be taken seriously by the wider electorate, these barriers need to come down.

  32. Geoff Andrews

    The third line refers to Dutton -“Petah” to rhyme with “similar”. I think it almost works.

  33. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    “If Labor is to be taken seriously by the wider electorate, these barriers need to come down”
    What barriers? you are creating barriers that aren’t even there
    Which Labor politician has refused you access ?
    Have you forwarded them advance copies of your agenda so they can be aware and make some interim investigations, or at least have an advance basic knowledge of the issues to be discussed ? have you asked your local Federal MP to assist you in arranging appointments?
    If you do than it would speed up the process of you getting a quick response/decision.
    A bit of advice, if you make an aappointment and they ahve know knowledge of the issues you wish to raise the process will be drawn out .
    If you provide them with a draft of your objectives prior to the meeting you will get a far more rapid response.
    I am only offering these suggestions as a help to you , disregard them if you like .
    I have been meeting with pollies{from all parties} for too damn long and must say I don’t have trouble gaining access to any.
    Use your local member for you initial contacts, that’s what they are there for ,

    “If Labor is to be taken seriously by the wider electorate, these barriers need to come down.”

    It’s not a good idea to create a mindset of “barriers” when at this stage there are none to “come down”
    good luck in your quest
    p.s .I actually had quite a cordial time myself up there with MPs and Senators from a range of Parties

  34. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I would offer to assist in getting you some appointments, but inevitably it would be seen as some subversive plot or conspiracy , so I won’t

  35. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    so far I have received back Two (2) automated responses outlining certain conditions that apply for those particular pollies to meet with people. They prioritise the necessity that a person is their constituent. In my most humble opinion, that should NOT be a barrier because a person might want to be contacting that pollie because of political affiliations, and more importantly, very important issue concerns that need solutions.

    My email contact to each pollie has clearly outlined the topics I wish to discuss about my circumstances and about my concept of The Alliance.

    Also, since I’m prepared to do the hard yards to make my way to Canberra, I won’t say no to your assistance for my passage to meet with leading Left and Centre-Left Labor pollies, including Albanese, Giles, Butler, Watson, King and even maybe Plibersek, if she has time, as Deputy Leader.

  36. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    Sorry, my last offer copped all sorts of allegations and rejection ,

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    OK cornlegend,

    thanks anyway.

    Regardless of the internal faction struggles, I will seek face-to-face interviews with these self-confessed Left and Centre_Left Labor Pollies. Won’t look good if they don’t respond and agree.

    Perhaps cornlegend, you could speak on my behalf considering I have already stated my case by email.

  38. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I suggest you seek out randalstella

  39. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My take on you cornlegend and randalstella is that you are BOTH decent men.

    I seek support from both of you OR either of you for my L_O_N_G venture to Canberra to seek the official face-to-face representation of each and every Labor, Greens and Independent MP that I seek a forum with.

  40. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    now that I’ve decided to go to Canberra at my initiative and my expense, what help can you offer to help me on my voyage?

  41. Terry2

    Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, may just have broken the log-jam by offering to take the asylum seeker children and their parents.

    The letter from Andrews to Turnbull reads, in part :

    ” I write to inform you that Victoria will accept full responsibility for all of these children and their families, including the provision of housing, health, education, and welfare services,”

    “Given we stand ready to provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment for these children and their families, there is no justification for their removal.”

    Finally an act of political leadership that surely Turnbull cannot ignore.

  42. Anne Seville

    Cornlegend, I read the personal slurs on the other post and feel you are justified in saying no

  43. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I’ll be up there on 23rd Feb for 3 days so let me know how you go

  44. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I’ll aim to be there for 2-3 days around the 23rd Feb. If you can open doors to pertinent Labor and other people, I would be most appreciative.

  45. cornlegend

    Jennifer, you seem like a nice lady so let me give you some advice
    What you do with it is up to you ,
    If the main reason you are going is to discuss the “Alliance ” I wouldn’t like to see you waste money and time ,and would strongly suggest that you pursue it either through your local member or by email or other means .The other issue of micro finance/loans, you may have so better luck with .
    Mind you , I am only speaking in regard to Labor politicians, not the others .
    The rules of the Labor Party preclude involvement in activities such as “Alliances” membership of other parties etc and this is clearly spelt out in Labor Party rules .
    Every member on joining agrees to a clause, “I hereby pledge myself to the Australian Labor Party to faithfully uphold to the best of my ability its Constitution and Platforms and to work and vote for the selected Labor candidates. I am not a member of any other organisation which pledges its members to support candidates for public office. I will forfeit my membership if I nominate against any endorsed Labor candidate. If I employ labour, I will actively encourage trade union membership”m There are other clauses
    For MPs etc it is more strongly enforceable .
    I am sure you have heard of “crossing the floor” and its ramifications to Labor MPs ?
    There are other rules and statutes, but I hope this will suffice, to at least let you consider your way forward

    I am only trying to be helpful and save you some cash, but it is up to you .
    This is just advice for you to heed or reject , it’s up to you

  46. Miriam Possitani

    Why do you bother cornlegend, it’s time you grew some.
    Last week you were the bad bastard, not even to be trusted with a piece of paper
    It’s time the leader of the alliance and Randallesta did it all on their own after the bad tongued you and didn’t even come good with a reason for why you copped shit off of them
    Not really heroic of them, so cut them free and tell them SFA

  47. Florence nee Fedup

    Could not Shorten extend campaign against GST led to this government being unable to raise or extend it’s cover.

    An action that Shorten was condemned for.

    Labor needs to keep the focus on taxation, especially GST. Other issues have to be put on back burner for the time being.

    PM had terrible time last week. Labor handed him enough rope end of QT with his bullying of the ABC over their reporting of his MTM mismatch broadband,

    The PM is far from getting control of the political agenda now and for upcoming election.

    His government is slowly unravelling.

    Shorten has since beginning of the year, ramping up his public image, speaking out on more issues.

  48. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks cornlegend,

    I’ll take on board your thoughts.

    Miriam Possitani,

    run away back into your dark, reactionary corner on the Right.

  49. randalstella

    I am certainly not a Greens partisan. Nor am I identifying Jennifer as such.
    I want to save Labor from its abject capitulations to the Libs, and see no pragmatism in the remorseless suicide of its right to claim advocacy for the powerless. It will end up constituted of wheeler-dealer blockheads. It has lost an enormous amount of intelligent and community-spirited talent over the years, because of the vicious war on truth and fairness waged by the Libs and its Media.

    Among other things, because of your very many scathing and aggressive anti-Green posts on the web, I was very dubious about your offer of help to Jennifer. Relatively mild on this site, your attacks have continued up until your offer to her. They appear an obsession.
    I found the offer very odd. And I would think your mates would also.
    I posted a very brief warning to Jennifer, with no further comment, publicly or privately. The stuff about ‘conspiracy’ etc is all your own imagination. Which raises your regard for convenient fictions to make a case, that seems far more like barracking.

    However, your persistence in expressing a willingness to help her does seem genuine.
    It might be because of the dire state of institutional progressive politics. On this you could count me as an ally.
    Your long commitment to traditional Labor causes for those in most need in this country has my respect. I hope you can help her with your experience, and your contacts.
    As you point out, Labor is pretty closed by rules of membership. But it does depend on the approach. It is the informal idea that matters; particularly as progressive politicians have to deal with fortress Australia (Media, private vested interests, factional deals) every day.
    I second your advice to her to send short, summary material to those she wishes to see, as it gives them a picture of the aims, and makes an appointment more likely.
    I wish the best for both of you.
    If you get the chance, don’t miss Glenn Lazarus.

  50. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    Lazarus is definitely on my list to see, if I can.

  51. Miriam Possitani

    Of course you bad mouthed cornlegend, guilt by suspicion for him offering to deliver a paper
    You made it personal with the innuendo
    I hope he stays miles away from the pair of you, don’t remember the little exchange?
    llaFebruary 1, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Watch out. Be warned.
    I can’t put it simpler.

    It is up to you.
    It should not be taken on face value.
    It is not scepticism that you would encounter.
    Make your own contacts. Then you can trust how the contacts are made.
    I have some info for you that for the sake of this thread and the article above it, I will not post here.
    Would you like me to send it to you through Michael, as an attachment that you can read?
    I advise you to do nothing on this ‘kind offer’ until you hear from me.

    from Jennifer

    Yes randalstella,

    please send it via Michael.

    I have work to do that cannot wait.
    I will send it to you in the afternoon.
    In the meantime, please do nothing on the offer

    randalstellaFebruary 1, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    What makes you assume it is going nowhere?
    I am pretty sure it has gone somewhere, already.

    from Jennifer

    diannaartFebruary 1, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Coz cornlegend rescinded offer….

    if I am missing something please enlighten me.

    randalstellaFebruary 1, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I have decided that it is not for you to know.
    It is my judgement for the sake of the decorum of this site.
    I will not respond to you or anyone on this matter at this point

    Remember the little exchange?

    Randallstella you created this shit with your spiteful messaging above
    If Jennifer needs help you get off you whining arse and do it “for the sake of the decorum of this site”
    your need to apologise properly after the slurs

  52. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    calm down. You don’t need to get your knickers in a twist. I’m not denying anything.

    Are you trying to make trouble again now that our various exchanges (randalstella’s, cornlegend’s and mine) are finding some common understanding?

  53. diannaart


    Watching the conversation gradually and tentatively open up is a sign of hope for me (would love the opportunity for a one on one with Lazarus, Wilke and Muir).

    Thanks to Cornlegend for explaining membership rules – makes things tricky, but not impossible – doesn’t prevent Labor from preferencing other progressive parties and independents – that alone is a positive sign of solidarity.

  54. Terry2

    Surely this is a computer generated ‘bot : quite clever technology but needs more work to coordinate its algorithms so that it makes sense.

  55. cornlegend

    please back off.
    What I do in my private life is my business and I would ask you to give it a rest .
    Good luck to Jennifer on her quest , just not with me involved .
    There are scumbag LNP out there to fight people .
    Know the real enemy

  56. Miriam Possitani

    I intended to, bit now I see it appears you aren’t one of the protected little clique who can slander and get away with it .
    A defence of you against the Green clique and it gets deleted, so I guess Roswell has been doing his usual protecting .Never mind cornlegend vote Green and you might make it to the in clique too

  57. corvus boreus

    The repetitious tactics of a small group of ‘reclaimers’ in seeking to increase division amongst progressives (esp Labor vs Greens) by constantly disrupting discussions with obvious attempts to forment personal conflict is becoming extremely tedious.

  58. mars08

    @corvus boreus… I think most of us know that the small group of ‘reclaimers’ is far smaller than they appear.

  59. @corn.legend

    2 of the tame clique attack so what’s new?
    Green, or shut down comment

  60. corvus boreus

    You’ve changed, man. 😉

  61. Michael Taylor

    I doubt very much that was the real Cornlegend.

  62. corvus boreus

    Michael Taylor,
    Me too, hence the wink.

  63. Miriam Possitani

    OMG, now the Green police are onto you if you change your avatar. Do the clique get such scrutiny?

  64. The AIM Network

    OMG, now the Green police are onto you if you change your avatar. Do the clique get such scrutiny?

    What on earth are you on about? Or was it just another one of your pathetic smart-arsed comments?

  65. The AIM Network

    Besides, how do you know it wasn’t someone from the admin team here having a joke? Perhaps you have some inside information.

  66. Kaye Lee


    You seem an intelligent woman, why be continually deliberately confrontational? You very rarely speak about issues seeming to prefer commenting on the commenters. I have been writing here for years….there is no clique. I think everybody here has disagreed with me at times as would be expected. This site is about sharing information and ideas, not fan clubs. Some people have been conversing for a long time. Don’t mistake respect for some form of groupthink. I would say the majority of contributors share a philosophy of social justice, equal opportunity, a helping hand for those who need it, and concern for the environment. Watching what our politicians are doing and discussing alternatives is important. We need to overcome the misinformation we are given rather than denigrating each other.

  67. cornlegend

    Bloody hell, so much to fight, so much wasted energy .
    I guess I have a namesame from an alternate universe because I didn’t change mine .
    Now it may not be of interest to anyone but when the internet was all new to me two young blokes in a class I was taking opened me an email account . I didn’t much like the title {cornlegend} but thought I would change it once I learnt a bit .
    Unfortunately , shortly after, one of the young fellas got killed in a car crash so I kept the email address and the name as my way of remembering him .
    Those of you who have known me online for years would probably recognise I have changed nothing in usernames/avatars in all that time.
    The above {@corn.legend} is not me and I have no association with it or the comment.
    I don’t need any help, I manage to get into enough shit on my own thank you 😀

    Turnbull looks very likely to win so what about using the energy expended on this rubbish to try to beat him or at least minimise the damage
    Whoever you are, fight Libs not those fightting Libs
    I’m sure Michael could check back for years here and at Cafe Whispers to verify my avatar/username and email

  68. @mars.08

    Mirinim doth protest too much, methinks

  69. Michael Taylor

    Cornlegend, you’re the real deal. 🙂

  70. mars08

    @Kaye Lee… if you can stomach it, watch a couple of FOX News shows. You’ll notice that confected outrage and playing the victim are wildly popular tactics. With the right, receptive audience, it works a treat.

  71. randalstella

    If you’re there.
    I thought that you and cornlegend were discussing some cooperative thing where he would help you with contacts.
    That would be good.
    Is that happening?
    Otherwise, things are as clear as mud to me.
    I thank cornlegend for his response and I hope it leads to some good.

    It is for longterm consequences, you understand?

    You may know all about this, but…
    Please personalise your communications to those you seek to meet, expressing your concerns from your point of view.
    Try to angle this initial printed communication to something that you know interests the specific politician personally.
    Make it brief.
    Aim to get the germ of an idea across.

    When you meet them, open with your idea and its importance to you – and aim for a discussion. Don’t load your side of the conversation down with details or anything like a speech. It’s an idea you want them to think over as they go about their work. Make an impression that you think the pollie might be important for the future you want. Again, if you can, play on their major interests.
    If they are interested, let them make it their own idea.
    They get plenty of petitions and demands. Make your approach a break from that, some time off. Easy-going and heartfelt. Something different that they will remember pleasantly. Sympathy for their role etc. Enjoy yourself.
    If you meet enough of them, you will get stony silence. But the next person might be great, even fun. You’ll be surprised at who has a sense of humour.
    They are very pushed for time. Broadly rehearse what can be done casually in ten minutes. Rather then repeat yourself, prepare facets of the same point to mention.
    And listen – even to tedious crap. You never know it might turn to gold.
    Good luck. You’ll do well.

  72. cornlegend

    “I thought that you and cornlegend were discussing some cooperative thing ”
    No, I thought you were aware of the situation
    “Among other things, because of your very many scathing and aggressive anti-Green posts on the web, ,,,,They appear an obsession.”
    No, not an obsession, I just have absolutely no time for them {The Greens}
    “I found the offer very odd. And I would think your mates would also.
    I posted a very brief warning to Jennifer,”
    I suggest they wouldn’t and your warning to Jennifer was a little more that an innocent brief one
    Let me put this to rest for good .

    Jennifer speaks of the Alliance and from early on I tell her I think it has a snowflakes chance in hell of getting off the ground
    I was quite open in my opinions
    I got an email that an online poster Russputin was in some way assisting Jennifer
    Russputin has been a passionate advocate for Craig Thomson from the start of that sorry saga and he and I have been online friends for years
    I thought, as a favour to a friend I would hand out any info they wanted distributed as I would be in Canberra seeing quite a number of MPs and Senators.
    No lobbying, nothing just handing out whatever Jennifer had written . I would print out and distribute for her

    That is when you interjected, warning Jennifer of some unknown dramas

    I withdrew my offer

    I made it clear I would take no further part, and as you seemed blessed with knowledge of some concerning issues, I suggested maybe you would step in and assist .
    Jennifer then asked you if you were offering assistance
    I stayed away from the topic until I knew Jennifer was going to Canberra at her expense and having read of her personal circumstances I offered some further advice that may save her using money she may not be comfortable spending
    There are many more obstacles for her to overcome, as talking to Labor or Greens MPs, won’t further her cause, it will only provide info for them,in fact, Jennifer will be talking to people with NO ability to implement what she seeks in regard to “Alliances’ other than the Independents

    I was of the impression you were assisting Jennifer

    My withdrawal of offers of any assitance remain
    I don’t want others assuming I have some ulterior motive or “others might “find the offer very odd” and
    post more “warnings to Jennifer,”

    However, I do wish Jennifer and yourself, and Russputin if he gets involved good luck in your venture if that is what you are willing to put your time, money and effort behind

  73. randalstella

    If your offer were genuine, why not renew it?

  74. cornlegend

    So, I wrote that response for nothing, as obviously you didn’t read it .
    Jennifers printouts would have been handed out a week ago , but for your intervention

    “My withdrawal of offers of any assitance remain
    I don’t want others assuming I have some ulterior motive or “others might “find the offer very odd” and
    post more “warnings to Jennifer,”

    What is the old saying?
    Once bitten twice shy

  75. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks randalstella and cornlegend,

    for imparting your knowledge in considered and considerate manners towards my concept and preparedness to meet with specific Greens, Labor and sane Independent MPs in Canberra.

    I have already received back one positive response and will be enquiring as to the others today.

    randalstella, I have already given them all a summary of my motives for wanting to meet with them, so it will be interesting to see if they will meet with me.

    Another point for discussion is that I have also told them that I advocate for effective micro-finance for grassroots people, even unemployed and under-employed people, who have great ideas, skills, experience and qualifications BUT NOT the finance to get their worthwhile projects up and running.

    Micro Finance Grants and Micro Credit Loans will provide them with sustainable self-employment that will take the pressure off welfare and health budgets as people escape languishing on unemployment and poverty. StartUp funding (LNP style) is already revealing itself to be available for already well-resourced bodies (too bad about the most needs-based impoverished citizens!)

    Thanks again randalstella and cornlegend for engaging in the conversation and doing your best to give good advice.

  76. cornlegend

    Actually Jennifer, the fake @cornlegend had me looking back on some issues and the avatar I use .
    A friend emailed me a conversation I had on IA where we were having a bit of a joke about “big parties” back then
    Thought you might like to see my response then

    Oct 29, 2013

    Here’s a thought .
    Given there are now 53 small Parties outside the ALP and LNP {based on 2013 election all drawing a few votes, why not do something like convene a meeting of the 53,plus the 1030 odd Independents, come up with some unity policies , pool your resources, and run as one big Party .
    I’d love to get an invite to the inaugural meeting :-}
    Geez that would be fun”

  77. randalstella

    Yeh, I read it. Between 3 phone calls. Hope you don’t mind.
    Very scholarly. Besides the useless snipes at me, it argues how odd the offer was in the first place. Doesn’t it?
    It also shows why Jennifer needs to have personal control of her material and make the initial contact her own, in her own independent way.

  78. Backyard Bob

    I have to agree with Cornie that approaching the ALP regarding any sort of political “alliance” is a waste of time. No-one will enter into any discussion of that type with Jennifer. As Cornie suggested, the ALP constitution and charter just don’t allow for it. However, speaking to certain Independents and micro-party reps might be a useful exercise if only in the sense of getting a greater awareness of how the “system” really works. But I do hope Jennifer is prepared to be disappointed by the response she’ll get from Labor.

    I mean, let’s face it, if Labor had any interest or saw any merit in such a thing, do we imagine they wouldn’t have already pursued it?

  79. randalstella

    Ah, Jennifer,
    I like the idea of the micro-financing. It gives you a link between the people you see.
    Don’t try to see too many.
    Take an old friend with you on the trip. You’ll need liquid refreshment and a good pal after it all.

  80. randalstella

    Yes, Jennifer,
    Rule out the Labor ones – unless you get an extraordinary response from someone; say a close colleague of Melissa Parke. But that also is likely to be crushed anyway.
    But I want to encourage, not discourage you. Labor will have to change if there is to be any kind of effective alliance in the near future.

  81. cornlegend

    Backyard Bob.
    As a Labor person as you said somewhere else you would know, the ALP have tactics committees, strategy planners , negotiating committees etc .
    They are not alone in that as the Greens also operate on the same concept .
    An example as quoted SMH “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”
    The MPs know about it after the deals are done .
    Some have said it is possible because they do it for Preference deals , but those to are done by the Party , not the MPs and again the pollies find out later .
    An example, and NO, I’m not singling out the Greens because Labor do it as well , of a preference exercise “A Greens preference deal has snared votes for Sarah Hanson-Young while funneling preferences to conservative former HR Nicholls Society board member Bob Day, who has the effective balance of power.Senior party powerbrokers, including Brown, resigned Christine Milne chief-of-staff Ben Oquist and Hanson-Young herself decided to throw ideology to the wind in South Australia, placing the Palmer United Party and Katter’s Australian Party ahead of Labor and other micros ahead of Nick Xenophon’s No. 2 candidate Stirling Griff. The approach angered Labor with senior figures now extremely reticent to deal again with the Greens in 2016 — a scenario that if rolled out nationally could deny the party a single Senate seat.

    It has also caused consternation inside the Greens with other states irate at the perverse consequences of “dealing with the devil”.

    It’s Family First’s Day thanks to Greens preferences in Senate race

    Jennifer needs to head to Head office of both Labor and the Greens , as that is where the decisions are made .
    Mps and Senators are there to represent their constituents but also to further the Aims snd objectives of their Parties .

    Just trying to save you money Jennifer
    If you don’t want my advice, at least heed Backyard Bobs

  82. mars08


  83. cornlegend

    “say a close colleague of Melissa Parke”
    Melissa is not contesting the next election .
    60% of current MPs are resigning and will not contest the Election when called .
    Changes to Allowances, benefits etc has sped up their departure .
    I don’t think they would be too bothered by Alliances, as they won’t be there and would have no say regardless .
    Your easiest method Jennifer is don’t listen to any of us and seek out your local MP to direct you

  84. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks randalstella,

    I’m contacting Melissa Parke and hopefully close colleagues too.

    Thanks cornlegend,

    I’m not ignoring your good advice. Unfortunately, my local MP is a Liberal (one of the better ones, Russell Broadbent) but I could hardly talk about the Alliance with Greens and Labor with him.

  85. randalstella

    Forget Labor head office as first contact. They would effectively turn you away.

    Don’t deal with administration anywhere any more than necessary for making appointments. Their default approach would be to get rid of you. Don’t bother with substitutes for the sitting member, unless you know the sub personally.

    If you get any replies worth much from Labor, I would be surprised. But you never know. Not all of them are reductionist zealots. Of course not. Maybe generally you should heed the insistent ‘advice’ to stay clear of Labor. For example, I wouldn’t offer your ideas to Albanese any time soon.

  86. randalstella

    On Craig Thomson

    I am concerned about the compromise of all aspects of due process by the Media circus. The Craig Thomson case involved a calculated obscenity against objective and fair adjudication, run by Abbott’s gangsters and the Media.
    Craig Thomson was very badly treated by the Media and by authorities. He received the most undue punishment by the MSM and their matey collusion with showboat cops. I have posted on that a number of times, including on Wicks’ site.
    Craig may not be a bad bloke. I feel sympathy for him, and wish him well. But he is no Union hero/martyr. I have fought against corruption in a Union, for the sake of the hardworking people who do an indispensable job for their members. We have fought and removed a similar rip-off.

    Craig was the soft underbelly of Labor and the Lib gangsters know how to skewer.
    While the cases against Craig were underway, hordes of fantasists habitually gathered on another site to rail against reality, using the excuse of his undoubtedly unfair treatment. They turned feral on people who dared to raise clear evidence of his guilt as if that were support for his unfair and prejudicial treatment. When politics descends into barracking as if for your footy team, truth is imagined a minor irritant, that enough bluster will deal with.

    I don’t live on the internet. I don’t know Russputin, of recent commendation hereabouts. But I’ve looked at a couple of posts by him. As Russ refers to a woman target of his censure as a ‘scubber’ I guess he is an older male.
    Does he(?) accept that Craig Thomson rorted HSU members? If he doesn’t, you should stay a million miles from him.

    I hope that he is otherwise. But the little that I have read is not very encouraging. For example, referring to Craig: “This has been an unending vicious vendetta, against a very decent individual, who just happened to be a Labor politician in a hung parliament, that the banksters wanted rid of”. I might even agree with most of that, but there just happens to be the omission of what just happens to be Craig’s guilt on at least several charges.

  87. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks randalstella,

    for all your good advice. My decision to go to Canberra is my decision and according to what I see needs to be achieved. I welcome all your and other well-informed people’s insights.

    I am generally an open book and I am not holding my breath, but I’m willing to give a range of progressive pollies in Labor, the Greens, sane Independents a far go. Whoever responds to my request, as has the honourable Rachel Siewert of the Greens, s/he will gain my respect for taking their primary role, as a representative of the Australian Parliament, seriously.

  88. diannaart

    Wishing you all the luck in the world – maybe, just maybe, you”ll have something good to bring on home – no matter if not, we can all learn something, even it is just who not to waste time on.



  89. Backyard Bob

    Let’s say I’m a Labor Party official with clout, just for the sake of the exercise. Could someone sell this “alliance” concept to me in a single paragraph? I confess the actual point of it (and its actual nature) is rather nebulous to me.

  90. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    What is nebulous about forming a formidable political front that will offer progressive, alternative, sustainable options for the sake of the 99% while annihilating the regressive LNP mis-government?

  91. Backyard Bob


    Those are highly charged words, large in their ambition but empty of practical substance. Labor is already everything you just described. What are you offering as electoral benefit, and following that, what are you offering in terms of ideology and/or policy that isn’t extant in Labor’s complex tapestry of policy alternatives? Do you seriously imagine that policy ideas proffered by the Greens, various progressive and mico-parties aren’t already part of the broad scope of ideologies that make up the Labour Movement?

    [Please note I’m role playing here – somewhat]

  92. cornlegend

    “Don’t deal with administration anywhere any more than necessary for making appointments. Their default approach would be to get rid of you. Don’t bother with substitutes for the sitting member, unless you know the sub personally.

    If you get any replies worth much from Labor, I would be surprised. But you never know. Not all of them are reductionist zealots. Of course not. Maybe generally you should heed the insistent ‘advice’ to stay clear of Labor. For example, I wouldn’t offer your ideas to Albanese any time soon.”
    Wow , the 30 plus years I spent working for a range of politicians, the Labor Party and Unions was wasted .
    I just needed a quick paragraph or to from Randalstella to sort it all out

  93. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I acknowledge your wise insider knowledge and your advice is much appreciated, but I have to agree with randalstella that it is often very wise to by-pass admin staff whose heads are bigger than their due responsibilities.

    I see the wisdom of randalstella’s advice and that is why I will by-pass gatekeepers, if I can.

    And, if I can’t, I will make a nuisance of myself until I get a response from those I want to see.

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