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Direct Action, Julia’s Questionable Behaviour and Why Journalists Shouldn’t Comment On Polls

Ok, it’s all very well for me.

I sit here and just blog when I feel like it. I don’t have deadlines, and my mortgage doesn’t depend on writing the sort of … er, stuff … that passes for journalism in this country. I was going to write “shit”, but then I realised that shit can be used for fertiliser so it does have some uses.

If you do a search for “Firms Eager For Direct Action Money: govt”, you’ll find a number of articles … All of which seem to use the same headline. Which is interesting as it seems many of them are just using the Government’s press release. Although, I must commend a number of the sub-editors for using a lower case “g” for government as this seems to suggest that they’re aware that the current mob could limbo dance under a snake.

Yep, it seems that many firms are eager for the money. Strange that the headline wasn’t that they were eager to actually cut emissions. “Show me the money,” as Cuba Gooding Jnr. repeated in that Tom Cruise movie which is most famous for “You had me at hello.” Similarly, it seems that the gOVERment had many firms at “Here’s some money. Take it, because a carbon tax just wasn’t putting a big enough hole in the Budget and we can’t keep talking about Labor’s Budget Emergency if the Budget actually improves … ”

Well, personally, I’m eager for the direct action money too. If you give me some of it I’ll piss off overseas for a couple of years and reduce my emissions. At least in Australia. Of course, I’m not a firm. Firms won’t do that. They’ll stay here in Australia. Unless they’re a car company.

Mm, maybe Toyota should have held out for another year, applied for some of the direct action money, then just closed down their plants here and said, “Hey look how effective we’ve been at cutting emissions.”

Still, for me, nothing beats some of the headlines about Julia Gillard and the finding that there was no evidence of criminal behaviour. The “left-wing” Fairfax Age used the comment that her behaviour as a lawyer was “questionable” as the headline for their front page story instead of pointing out that there was no evidence of criminal behaviour. Without going into an in depth analysis of the entire Royal Commission, one would have to suggest that it goes without saying that some of Gillard’s behaviour from that time was “questionable” given that she was called before the Royal Commission and questioned.

But ignoring the semantics, I look forward to similar headlines when for example, let’s presume no charges are brought against Arthur “I can’t remember what I did for $200,000 but I’m sure that they got value for money” Sinodinos, and the newspapers decided to point out that his memory must surely mean that he needs to stand down from Parliament as you can’t have someone with that sort of recall representing the people. When Bronwyn calls on the Honourable Member for Sydney and he stands up, it’ll be embarrassing because he’s actually a senator and he’s wandered into the wrong house.

I guess, I shouldn’t refer to the Speaker as Bronwyn. It’s disrespectful and one shouldn’t be disrespectful to such an important position where independence is extremely important and Bronwyn Bishop has certainly asserted her independence. Henceforth I shall refer to her as Madame DeFarge, who was also a fictional character.

As for opinion polls, after reading today that the Coalition have “clawed back support” and “narrowly” trail the Opposition, I just want someone to please point out to journalists that polls acknowledge that they have a margin of error of 3%. That means that if they move less than 3% it actually means nothing. So pointing out that this poll has a margin of error of 3% and then analysing a 2% swing either way makes about as much sense as me saying that I can guarantee tomorrow’s Cup winner: It’s between Mutual Admiration and My Ambivalent … But I want a margin of error of ten lengths.


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  1. Terry2

    Polls are a worry – the ABC DRUM online polls are a good example.

    The other day they ran a poll asking if you agreed with the government bypassing the parliament to get their fuel excise tax through : there were 12,500 votes which is quite phenomenal for this site and 57% approved of the government’s tactics in bypassing the parliament.

    Seems to me that polls can tell you what you want to hear.

  2. Matters Not

    Thought the quote of the day came from Ian Verrender

    “You know what the main difference is between us?” he asked. “The (Labor) government wants to take money from polluters and give it to taxpayers while the Coalition wants to take money from taxpayers and give it to polluters.”

    Surely Shorten et al can develop a ‘slogan’ or two around that concept. Cathy Wilcox certainly can.

    and those aged 65+ still clearly favour the L-NP 56.5% cf. ALP 43.5%.

    With respect to the age category, I’m in the frame but I fall into the 43.5% minority. I always knew I was ‘exceptional’ in the sense that a ‘radical’ youth didn’t become a ‘conservative’ oldie. Just sayin …

    I just shake my head and console myself with the knowledge that lots of the conservatives are a dying demographic. Always an optimist.

  3. stephentardrew

    I am with you Matters Not.

    Scare the hell out of me the old buggers. Just don’t seem to belong to this mob.

    Yep better off pushin up daisies those conservative geriatrics.

  4. Rob031

    Julia Gillard came to Newcastle today to the Town Hall – and a hell of a lot of her books were sold. She gave an hour-long interview with a journalist from the Newcastle Herald, and then answered audience questions for a further half hour. The last question was about whether she would like to run as a replacement for the now-discredited-by-ICAC Lord Mayor and property-developer. It brought the house down. She said Ta and courteously declined – as she lived in SA.

    The Town Hall has absolutely packed. There must have been several thousand people there and finding somewhere to park resulted in a great deal of exercise for a great many!

    She was terrific and we all stood up at the end and (in Fred Dagg’s term) ‘ovated’ for ages. I’m looking forward to reading her book.

  5. Möbius Ecko

    Newspoll shows the greatest gain for the ALP in three months.

    Yet apart from some short ticker text on Sunrise this morning I would not have known this. ABC News did not mention it at all in their early bulletins nor have it in their ticker. On the other hand when the Essential poll, the only one, showed a small claw back by the L-NP the ABC splashed that news everywhere and as a lead item.

    So this is a taste of the next election year which will be a repeat of when Labor was in power. All bad news for Abbott and his woeful government will be buried or played down, anything remotely positive will be exaggerated upwards whilst the opposite will happen for the Labor opposition.

    No matter how the right attempt to spin it these polls and the ones previous are terrible for Abbott. Not only has he had the worse new government polling in Australian history this has continued more than a year into his stewardship. This despite having massive resources at his disposal including the MSM, big business and very wealthy backers, and despite running hard on the conservatives favourite tactic that nearly always gains them ground, instilling fear.

  6. Möbius Ecko

    …when the Essential poll…

    Sorry that should be Fairfax poll.

  7. Carol Taylor

    Terry2, with regard to the result from ABC Drum, I would suggest that the Young Libs were very busy that morning.

  8. Kaye Lee

    I thought the Young Libs only worked under of cover of darkness wearing black as all young people of principle do…errr….

    “They were Young Liberals on a covert mission, codenamed Black Ops. The dress code was black, the meeting time was 10pm, and it was BYO ladder. Their mission: to tear down ”illegally” posted campaign posters on telegraph poles, allegedly including their own.”

  9. stephentardrew

    Mobious: Agreed.

    There is a lot more to play out yet. The one thing that will keep voters on track will be a drab or worsening economy after Sir Frankenstein claimed to be all things to all people and the messianic Saviour of a fractured nation. Trouble is he has rendered it so far to the right of middle there is no going back even with budgie super glue. The image is being set in concert and as the dried on hit the airwaves in panic they will keep leaking the wavering doubters. The cry it’s all Labor’s fault will shrivel up in an ocean of worsening inequality and suppression of wages and conditions.

    Remember this is a global push by the right to destroy work conditions and wages for middle and lower income earners and they cannot stop their little slathering greed-infested substitutes for brains. Europe is a basket case while the US is simply full of the weird and dysfunction thanks, in part, to Doctor Evil – Mr Satanic Pox on Fox. I don’t think we have seen the swing amongst even a small portion of aged pensioners, which could help win marginal seats, yet.

    If, as we hope, Labor has a well planned pre-election strategy things can only get worse for team Fluster, Bluster and Avaricious Greed. Journalist on marginal publications can only hold out so long against the trend because, after all, they need to cut their losses and backing a looser is poison. Just forget about Fox. So do not despair. My advice to the those in anxiety mode – when in doubt stop reading MSM blogs, with the exception for the Guardian of course. Does wonders for ones mental health.

  10. Kerri

    Terry2 in a recent Drum online poll the figures changed violently in a half hour. I contacted them and asked what happened? They recontacted me a day later and reported the poll had been trolled and they found many votes coming from the same 6 addresses. They removed them and the final result was more realistic. Yes you definitely can’t trust polls on face value. At least it appears worth questioning the ABC polls???

  11. John Fraser


    An email I sent to the Royal Commission into Unions 31/10/14 :

    "How is it that Counsel assisting the Commission, Jeremy Stoljar, is able to make an adverse finding against former Prime Minister Julia Gillard when Kathy Jackson of the Health Services Union (HSU) was questioned (with legal representation) long before the former P.M. and there has been nothing forthcoming from the Royal Commission into allegations surrounding her , Marco Bolano and Jamie Martorano."

    The response :

    "Dear Mr Fraser

    I refer to your email dated 31 October 2014.

    We thank you for the information you have provided and your interest in the work of the Royal Commission.




    Shit !

    No, sorry ….. "shit" is useful as a fertiliser.

  12. stephentardrew


    I thinks thou dost expect too much.

    Quietly wander off into your leftist corner and cry into your do gooder tissue.

    Now piss off and mind your own business.

    Feel better now don’t ya luvy.

    Ain’t democracy great?

  13. Roswell

    Keep at ’em, John. They’re starting to crack. :mrgreen:

  14. David Somerville

    The “questionable” comment my Mr Stoljar is not a good look for a supposed legal eagle, it has a slight slur about it, guess he didn’t like being defeated by Julia.

    Methinks he should look up the meaning of “demean” and “denigration” in the dictionary and phrase his comments in a more careful and respectful manner.


  15. Sir ScotchMistery

    And of course the other shitty bit is that people like BHP-Billiton will get the cash and repatriate it, since they aren’t really much chop as members of “team australia” (no cap deserved by either).

    How many of us are starting to go into the inbox and be completely disengaged by this maggot and his mates?

  16. Annie Byam

    Another goodie Rossleigh.

    Ref : your comment …….. ” If you give me some of it I’ll piss off overseas for a couple of years and reduce my emissions. At least in Australia. Of course, I’m not a firm. Firms won’t do that. They’ll stay here in Australia. ”

    Firms do something else though …. which has little to do with emissions ( I think ). …….. They sell off people’s jobs to India and other parts of the world – the Pacific region …. to answer ‘customer service’ queries.

    I have absolutely NOTHING against Indian folk – they are usually nice and try to be helpful …….. but hell’s bells …. they work for peanuts, the Aussie ‘firms’ take great advantage of that – while Australians lose their jobs because of it. Not to mention, the difficulty one can have in understanding their rapid manner of speech ( the Indians I mean ) ……. and how difficult it is to understand how they are trying to help. I think they probably do a good job and know their work ……. but !! …. damned if I can figure what they are talking about. ….. I often ask to be patched back through to an Australian office. I HAVE to. … that works – sometimes.


    Cruella De-Ville sounds like a good name for Madama B. Bishop as well. ….. But I do like the Madame de Farge moniker.

    Ah – I have my Bishops mixed up ( not a good thought whichever way you read it ) ….. It’s Madama J. Bishop who should wear the Cruella mantle. It would suit her methinks.

    Both Bishops are mistresses of the death stare, and the ‘ look-at-me-I’m-tough-stuff ‘ stance. – . Stupid witches with a capital … B.

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