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It’s been confirmed: Those of unsound minds are leading the Nationals

I know I rise early and sometimes in the changeover from bleary eyed half asleep writer to the wide awake writer for The AIM one is apt to misread headlines. But no, there it was in the boldness of stark big black type:

“Nat’s leader links emissions to night sport”

I know LNP MPs frequently make the most outrageous statements on many matters but to say that pursuing a target of 45% emissions would put an end to sport under lights was a bit of a stretch.

“I mean sure, go down that path, but forget night footy, forget night cricket”

And it didn’t end there. The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia went on to say that:

“You’ll have pensioners turning off their power because they won’t be able to afford it, and they’ll be shivering all winter, and they’ll be melting all summer.”

These comments by Michael McCormack were the follow up to last week’s gaffe on The Project, where after a question from Waleed Aly he was unable to think of just one, yes just one time when the National Party had supported farmers over miners. All to often he is caught with his pants down exposing his inabilities.

As a leader Michael McCormack shows little capacity for it. The Aly slip-up is just one of many illustrating his incapacity to think on his feet (or his bum) in this case.

Barnaby Joyce has the same problems when it comes to leadership. Here are a couple of snippets of my thoughts on The AIM from a time now past:

“Leadership demands more than just a ‘retail’ personality. It requires, in the sense of leading a country, a deep insightful worldview. Anyone who has seen Joyce on a Q&A panel with guests who present an understanding of life in all its variances will acknowledge that he has not the capacity to appreciate life beyond politics. He is like Abbott, caught in a world that the rest of us have left far behind.”


“Bad policy.Allowing – and maybe even actively supporting – water theft in the Murray Darling Basin. Positive support for coal, opposition to renewables and inaction – or waste of money on Direct Action – on climate change. Pork barreling in rural electorates. These policy disasters stem from the same sense of entitlement that Joyce showed in the conduct of his affair, but have much more significant results. They are the real legacy of Barnaby Joyce”

The National Party no longer represents country folk. It hasn’t for a long time. And it’s not just farmers over miners. When is the last time they have stood up to the Liberals insisting, for example, on a world class NBN for their constituents. Can you remember when they emphatically said NO to a Liberal leader? And it would seem that farmers know more about the environment than the Nationals and they are doing their utmost to protect it but it would seem that Barnaby and Michael think climate is the thing you do with a ladder.

All they do is vote with them. They never initiate policy. With only around 3%of the vote they gain 9 House of Representatives seats compared with the Greens 9% and one seat.

Now it seems that the Nationals, well some of them, led by the irrepressible Barnaby Joyce want a coal power plant built in Queensland and for the taxpayer to foot the bill. And it’s just two months before the election. You would have to be nuts. Such things are only ever done by unsound minds.

This week Barnaby Joyce laid out his claim to the leadership saying that he was elected Deputy Prime Minister at the last election and would stand again if the leadership ever came up. Without realizing just how on the nose he was he had said that the Nats were not married to the Libs. Most times what Barnaby says is politically unfathomable. Just bullshit in the “look at me manner.”

McCormack, in a grubby reply said he understood what it took to have a successful marriage:

“I understand when you have a marriage that it’s a two-way relationship,” he told reporters in Queensland on Monday.

“You don’t always get what you want but you have to work together to build better outcomes for your family.”

It was no doubt an unnecessary reference to Joyce’s recent much publicised marriage breakdown. Also an unnecessary reflection on today’s politics.

Joyce retorted:

“I would hope nobody in politics revels in the personal issues of others and I hope that this is not the case this time.”

Another example of his character is in 1993, McCormack published a controversial editorial in which he blamed homosexuality for AIDS and criticised pride parades. He wrote “a week never goes by anymore that homosexuals and their sordid behaviour don’t become further entrenched in society. His article was the subject of three complaints to the Australian Press Council.

His remarks resurfaced when he embarked on a career in politics, and he issued further apologies in 2010 and 2017, stating that he had “grown and learnt not only to tolerate, but to accept all people regardless of their sexual orientation or any other trait or feature which makes each of us different and unique”.

Despite his apologies, the controversy resurfaced after he became Deputy Prime Minister.

In other editorials, he called for the return of caning in high schools, saying; “there is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with students being given a ‘stinging reminder’ about how to conduct themselves.”

He even wants the Death Penalty returned.

So here we have two dunderheads fighting over the leadership of what is really a country party whose members are not the least interested in the egos of two small minded politicians who have little to offer in the way of leadership.

Joyce in his usual warped state of mind reckons he is “The elected deputy prime minister of Australia.”

While McCormack reckons he is but few can remember his name.

An observation

In the recipe of good leadership there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It however ranks far below getting things done for the common good.

Labor’s shadow treasurer Chris Bowen” probably summed it up with this tweet:

“It’s a Venezuelan style stand-off between two blokes who think they are the deputy prime minister. I reckon we just give Tanya Plibersek the job.”

They have nothing positive to say about water, energy, and food or the environment. All of which are in their natural domain. In fact they have little to say about anything other than themselves.

The reality is that they are not a party of or for women. They have little to say about the status of women in their party. Women however have much to say about them.

This for example from Farm succession planner, farmer and 2013 New South Wales Rural Woman of the Year, Isobel Knight said Joyce was not the right person for the leadership and it was a common view in his seat of New England, where she lives.

“I don’t think he is the right person to be in leadership regardless of which side of politics you support, because of his personal integrity and lack of respect for women as well as his adherence to mining interests over farmers,” Knight said.

Loud mouth Joyce never seems to take into account the gravity of what he is saying. He just opens his mouth and lets it rip. When and if a Royal Commission is held into the Murray-Darling Basin plan, Joyce may find himself sorted out from a million others who were incorrectly baited.

I live in the country in the Seat of Gippsland, held by National Darren Chester. For a brief time he became Minister for infrastructure and was able to use his influence to have the City of Traralgon gain an Olympic size swimming pool, a new theatre complex and the refurbishment of the existing basketball complex.

Otherwise it never would have happened. I only mention this because Mr. Chester is a man of quiet dignity, who without much fuss, is determined to get things done for country people. He is enlightened and progressive. Much against National Party policy he was at the forefront of support for Marriage Equality.

I expect the Nationals to take a big hit in the next election. They deserve it. In failing to stand for policies that effect country people and simply caving into the Liberal Party at every turn it has diminished the public view of the party.

Together with having leaders who display all the signs of crazed unsound minds the party has lost so many folk who had always thought of it as their party.

On Tuesday 12 March Fran Kelly interviewed Joyce on Radio National. He became so deranged that Kelly had to ask him to calm down. Former Senator Amanda Vanstone in a tweet has also expressed concern about his mental stability.

The National Party is without leadership and presents itself as a party of ageing country bumpkins or chooks all running around with their heads cut off.

They need to ask themselves if they should revert to the name of Country Party and be fairdinkum about representing them or get to hell out of politics altogether and concentrate on baking pumpkin scones.

My thought for the day

At some time in the human narrative … in our history, man declared himself superior to women. It must have been an accident, or at least an act of gross stupidity. But that’s men for you.

PS: No night footy at the “G”. Now who said that?

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  1. Sam

    Australia on its own cannot solve global warming but it can make life a little easier for those struggling to pay power bills, while balancing the obligations for the environment. Coal is not the only enemy here but it must be and will be for a long while yet, a part of the current energy mix in this country

  2. Ross in Gippsland

    The soothsayer warned “Beware the Ides of March”.
    Whatsisname would be well advised not attend any meetings in the Senate tomorrow.
    If he does we may hear those immortal words.
    Et Tu Barnaby.
    Wouldn’t that be a prize rib tickler?

  3. New England Cocky

    Oh, John Lord, you’ve done it again!!

    “Barnaby Joyce has the same problems”, little capacity to lead water down-hill with a sharp stick, caught in the world of his self-entitled imagination, yapping thoughtlessly in favour of the mining industry (that employs only about 2% of the Australian workforce) on demand from his principle political financial patron, the mining lap-dog in the Canberra kennel, ensuring that broad acre farmers have good reason to remember that their reported excellent cotton production during droughts comes from first & only use of MDB water extraction so that the few pay (the unelected political hacks of the National$?) to benefit at the cost of the many.

    “The National Party no longer represents country folk. It hasn’t for a long time.” Indeed, I have been actively involved in politics for over 40 years and the late David Drummond (retired 1961) was the last MP for the then Country Party who achieved anything of consequence for the New England electorate.

    All the significant public infrastructure projects have occurred because of Independents like Tony Windsor, Richard Torbay (before he was conned into joining the Nat$), Chaffey in Tamworth and the late Bill McCarthy (ALP) Armidale & Northern Tablelands.

    Sadly, there remain too many Dad & Dave local yokels in New England who believe that Nat$ politicians have the same vision for a viable growing economic future for northern NSW that inspired the founders of the original Country Party in 1916. The Menzies view of “Reds under the beds” is alive and well over 60 years after it was disproven beyond reasonable doubt.

    The agricultural industries are now only about 4% of the voting population, yet in the about 60 towns smaller than about 50,000 (Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Tweed Heads, Port Macquarie) the squattocracy remain a major social and political force even though the majority are living in genteel poverty on bank overdrafts created by the sweat of their grandfather’s brow, asset rich and cash flow poor. A 1280 acre grazing property can be most economically managed with skilled weekend labour allowing the grazier to get a job in town to pay the bills.

    Over 50,000 population and the local business community are recognising that agriculture has become economically irrelevant due to the many financial parasites over-charging for irrigation water, stock & station services, indeed anything to do with agriculture. Instead, the growing disposable wealth of “town workers” sees more sales of new cars and other luxury items into town families rather than farm homesteads.

    The biggest export from New England is our very talented kids, who must emigrate to metropolitan centres for most professional education and skilled trade opportunities. The career zenith for those who choose to remain becomes checkout chick at the national supermarket, bowser boy on the pumps at the local international brand service station, or unskilled wage slave labour for often unscrupulous retailers and other business entities.

    Still recent research suggests that many males in New England envy Barnyard’s philandering life-style on the public purse. A 2019 political opinion survey suggests that voters “want to protect the local boy who must be better than any (suspicious) outsider”, the future is something that occurs elsewhere, and “we’ll be right ‘cos the wool price is rising (off a foreign buyer induced 20 year price suppression)”.

    Perhaps the saviours of New England will be the straight thinking country women who have carried Australia agriculture for the past 230 years.


  4. whatever

    NSW Nationals are pledging $25 million for the “Bradfield Scheme” of river diversion, which is a 90-year old half-baked idea based on bad mapping data.
    Like the Federal Nationals, they are getting all their policy ideas from talkback radio.

  5. Kronomex

    ““Beware the Ides of March”.” should read “Beware the Idiots of March, April, May…Heck, the Whole Calendar Year.”

  6. Alcibiades


    Larf me arse off each & every time the Beetrooter tries to emphasise the unacknowedged true value of the Notionals within the COALition, proudly declaring only the Nats won a seat last election. Yep, ’twas a Liberal seat, wahahaha.

    They’re facing a loss of three seats, possibly more. There will be no party status for them after the polls.

    Good on ’em, stay in the public mind as much as possible lads, duke it out, give it your very best(worst) shot … 😉

  7. Henry Rodrigues

    New England Cocky…….. Your post is the best insight I have read into the politics and the behaviour of rural pollies and the poor deluded country folk, farmers and others who vote for them, time and time again. One only hopes that these voters will wake up and remove the blinders from their eyes and finally see the Nationals and their mad leaders for what they really are, blood suckers. charlatans and outright crooks. Thank you once again.

  8. Alcibiades

    Stable Government ? Constant good news ? And another ones gone …

    Liberal MP Craig Laundy to announce future plans SBS News

    the decision has been kept under wraps while the prime minister finds a high-profile replacement to parachute into the seat.

    Extensive unvarnished comments re the current voters views of the Nats, from the NFF and State branches no less …

    Rural women condemn Barnaby Joyce & Nationals leadership The Graund

    Party branded a ‘headless chook’ and accused of turning a blind eye to Joyce’s past in order to raise funds …

  9. Kaye Lee


    Your fixation with class wars is part of the problem. That is exactly the line that the Coalition are pushing – aspiration vs envy.

    The Joyce thing is indicative IMO. When money talks, integrity is irrelevant.

  10. Kronomex

    Well that will probably set off a fuse for Mr. C. Kaye Lee. 🙂

  11. Kaye Lee

    The only fuse I want to ignite is the one leading to a bomb under the festering nest of corruption and ineptitude that pretends to be our current government. I think we are all united in that goal.

    PS To anyone who may be looking at what we say, I do not mean employ any sort of incendiary device. The election will do. How many more sleeps?

  12. wam

    You have to wonder about the media. These lnp ‘economic managers’ intone the plight of pensioners on $18000 but voted to keep people on the dole at about $12000 for 5 years before they get the pension. You would think some journalist would make a connection.
    Your thought is founded on god being a man and he made adam from scratch and then formed eve from adam. To make sure that adam is the top dog he gave women the 25% unclean downtime.
    All but the last is bullshit but it sounds good to the men of god and their women.

  13. Kronomex

    On a side note: WTF!


    “Emergency services in Australia are asking the public to stop calling triple zero about Facebook and Instagram being down.
    Queensland police reportedly issued a warning to the public while the SES in South Australia took to twitter to also remind people not call emergency services.”

    I really don’t know whether to laugh or…jeez…

  14. Kronomex

    “The only fuse I want to ignite is the one leading to a bomb under the festering nest of corruption and ineptitude that pretends to be our current government. I think we are all united in that goal.”


    Let’s just hope Scummo doesn’t try to string the election out until October in the vain, but utterly futile, hope that things will get better for the LNP.

    “How many more sleeps?” Too many, way too many, May seems so far away to remove what can arguably described as the most corrupt and closest thing thing we’ve seen to a full on fascist government.

  15. Michael Taylor

    What a great time to be a political tragic.

    In Australia we’re witnessing the implosion of the LNP; in the USA there’s Trump’s meltdown along with his minions falling down like tenpins; while in the UK the Brexit shambles is becoming more shambled (May will fall and so will Brexit).

    Who else is getting less sleep than normal?

  16. Harry

    Desperation political nonsense by the Nationals; they sense the end of the gravy train. Its the last few rolls of the dice.

    John Lord: I also live in Darren Chester’s electorate and agree he is one of the more sensible, measured few that the Nationals have. But he was axed from the infrastructure portfolio because of the hard right’s dominance.

  17. Kaye Lee

    I agree about Darren Chester and actually contacted him when Barnaby was imploding asking him to run for the leadership. If I was cynical, I would say he is timing his run but, despite my overwhelming disgust for this government, I think he is actually a decent man – well, as far as you can be whilst being a member of a party and coalition that have gone mad/bad.

  18. Acibiades

    Endless corruption …

    High risk and inflated: Australia’s contract for food on Manus Island

    A Papua New Guinea company paid $82 million by Australian taxpayers to feed and house asylum seekers on Manus Island is suspected by its own bank of inflating invoices, while making millions of dollars in profits.

    The Home Affairs department let the contract, without competition, to a politically connected company, NKW Holdings. Leaked emails from the company’s bank say the contract was a “much needed lifeline” to the struggling company.

  19. Joseph Carli

    KL..This is not a class war any more, it is the blatant and incontrovertable collapse of the ethical and moral base of a complete class…; the middle-class…the “war” is just that class trying to cling to power. As explained in the piece..: we are seeing a complete collapse of the capability of that class to govern capably and honestly.
    The middle-class is going like the old aristocratic class of yesteryear…it is finished as a cohesive and collective class..The only solution is for the educated working classes to take command of governance….It is the only solution..

  20. Kaye Lee

    I disagree Joseph. Individuals are corrupt or ethically bereft or just plain greedy or dumb as a post or desperate to be accepted by the group.

    The death of the middle class would lead to an extreme stratification of society. We would be back to feudal times. You have still never provided an explanation of “middle-class” but I sure don’t want to start those arguments again.

    Peace be with you and remember that we are on the same side.

  21. Joseph Carli

    I HAVE provided an identity for the middle-classes, it is just that YOU do not listen…except like the the empty echoes of your own opinions…and we ARE NOT on the same side…fix THAT most assuredly in your consciousness!…fix THAT most solidly in your mind!

  22. Diannaart

    One man believes he is the true elected deputy PM and another believes the same. Neither, even combined, could put together a logical thought, let alone grasp the enormity of responsibility, consideration and vision the job requires.

    Both appear to be bogans. Well Joyce is, in spite of privileged upbringing.

    Class has nothing to do with wealth or lack of, it is about character, accountability, compassion, this stuff cannot be bought it is learned by the examples of others and we lack such exemplary leaders.

  23. DrakeN

    Joseph, do catch up with 20th century Australia before attempting to comment of the 21st century one.
    “Class” became simply a matter of who could extract the greatest amount from the common weal many, many years ago.
    There is nothing rigid about it except that having an inherited ‘head start’ often helps in one’s ambitions.
    The world’s wealthiest are a class apart, by the very nature of their tiny cohort of colluders.

    Warren Buffet, one of those few, expressed the position astutely when he proclaimed:
    “There’s Class warfare alright, but it’s my Class, the Rich Class, that’s making war, and we are winning.”

    The hollowing out of the mythical “Middle Class” began with the Reagan/Thatcher/New Labour/Keating Neoliberal policies half a century ago.

  24. Joseph Carli

    DrakeN…you’ve just contradicted yourself every time in every sentence you wrote…you don’t even know what you’re talking about!!..YOU must be middle-class…
    As for Diannaart…I hereby rename YOU : “22 MPA”.

  25. Phil

    Joseph Carli.

    Your comments are correct. Where I grew up I never met anyone middle class until I was about twelve. The class divide still exists and if anything it is getting worse. Anyone who hasn’t experienced being poor wouldn’t know the difference.

    The suburbs we live in are separated by class, the planes we fly in, the health system, education, the judicial system. There are exceptions to the rule but people with means, never suffered the ignominy of capital punishment. This was mostly reserved for poor people and under menschen the list goes on. Anyone believing it doesn’t exist must live under a rock. The most fascinating example of double standards is the case of Lieutenant Colonel Cate McGregor the trans gender in the Australian Army who is treated like Royalty. If that would have been Pte Snerdly the camp toilet cleaner he/she would have been discharged quicker than the speed of light. No middle class Bwaahahahahaha. You can’t make this stuff up.

  26. John

    From the discussion above of those who claim power and of their failure to consider the rest of the citizens of this nation, coupled with the theater of Pell’s sentencing for the abuse of the powerless and his assumption that he was above the law, I would strongly suggest that it is time for a “Revolutionary Reformation” to re set the system to a more just and equal system.

    Time to question the divine right to rule, and the assumptions that the poor are poor only because they do not make the effort to do better. This alleviates the rest of society from questioning our education and health policies and the impact of the abuse of monopolies etc. Why do the profit per sq m of display space for fruit and veggies far exceed that for manufactured products, while the farm gate prices are very low in our standard supermarket.

    I saw this first hand in Tas, when talking to a farmer growing freezing peas under contract whose crop was left unharvested as peas from NZ were imported at about $0.20 cheaper so the super markets did not want them. He was not happy!

  27. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think anyone has suggested there is no such thing as middle class but to state there has been a “blatant and incontrovertable collapse of the ethical and moral base of a complete class…; the middle-class” is something I cannot agree with.


    My reference to being on the same side was in wanting a change of government. Please excuse me, I did not realise you were a Coalition voter.

  28. Joseph Carli

    No, Kaye…(sigh!) I suppose you can not…

    ” And what do we find?

    Given that the upper-middle classes control the financial houses of the nation, the politics of the nation, the security, policing and judicial authorities of the nation, the corporate boards, the public utility authority boards, the control of the major communications, health, education and river and water management boards of the nation…etc…and given that there is hardly ANY ONE of those above authorities, boards, banks and political institutions that have not been corrupted, out-sourced, damaged and in some cases sold off and destroyed….one is inclined to inquire..: Just who the hell is in charge of this nation??”

    From :

  29. Diannaart

    The likes of Pauline Hanson are middle class, I don’t think so.

    Claiming there is a single homogeneous group liable for all of society’s ills is nonsense. Murderers, child molesters, fraudsters, liars, bullies and other abusers are to be found from the working class on upwards.

    A holocaust on the nebulous and changing middle class would solve nothing.

  30. Phil

    It doesn’t have to be just an ethical or moral collapse of a class to ‘ Collapse ‘ the working class are collapsing financially and it is gathering a pace. Anyone under any illusion to what is going on with class, should take a look at the latest budget handed down by the Trump administration. The middle class is collapsing alright and they are doing it to themselves.

  31. Alcibiades

    Global chaos as Instagram outage blocks access to sponsored opinions

    Instagram went down overnight, preventing millions of millennials from accessing Selena Gomez’s latest sponsored posts.

    “I don’t think I can survive without knowing what Selena has been paid $500,000 to say she’s into,” one frustrated fan Snapchatted. “I’m going to have to go shopping and buy things I like myself. And what’s the point of that?”

    “I’m lost,” said one young woman, via the now-unfamiliar means of opening her mouth and speaking rather than sending Instagram DMs …

  32. Matters Not

    Class is a concept – an intellectual construct which can (and is) defined and redefined on an ongoing basis. Some find that dividing/categorising society into X classes and outlining the characteristics of those divisions is useful. Others find a more coarse categorisation is preferable while others find a more finely grained schema to be more useful. If one has the theory that class divides still exist, then you will undoubtedly find evidence to support that theory.

    One recent study in Australia found it useful to use 6 divisions – The precariat; Ageing workers; New workers; Established middle; Emerging affluent; and Established affluent. Variables considered under those headings include: household income, employed/unemployed/retired/full-time/part-time, age, occupational prestige, status, wealth/assets/savings, cultural capital and so on. But there are no rights or wrongs. Just useful or not. Don’t like their descriptors – then use others.

    Sociologists, educators and a whole host of other researchers find the class concept to be useful because of its predictive power. Thus, as a concept – a useful intellectual tool – it’s likely to be around for some time.

  33. Michael Taylor

    Just about everything is a construct, MN. Even Aboriginality.

    Aboriginality was constructed by white people to tell black people who they were.

    Aborigines didn’t even know they were Aborigines until the white fella pointed it out to them.

  34. Joseph Carli

    I have noticed there is at present in the MSM and many social media commentators, a sophortitic blanket being thrown over the shortcomings of middle-class management…a kind of “apologista” for the acute failings of micro and macro management of those departments they are most prevalent; overseeing through government authorities and judiciary, those arms of banking, corporate integrity, wage exploitation, aged/disability care and all the rest…and the common connection between the CEO’s of those egrigeous corp’ boards and managerial positions and the overseeing authorities is the age-old familiarity of the “old school tie”..or it’s equivalent in club membership, where the relevent heads of those gov’ authorities would rather “Go and have a chat with the fellows…” rather than just do their expected duty!
    And so we have those apologist middle-class excusers promising to do better in the future…because ;”You, the public deserve it!”….F#CK IT!…just do your bloody job now for a change!
    There IS a network of upper middle-class people, either harking from expected prestige or seriously (like the Duttons of the world) aspiring to be part of ‘the gang”…
    And it is middle-class behaviour to – the – bone!

    Getting the middle-class out of governance is just the beginning of the solution!

  35. Kronomex

    Round and round the class argument goes…again.

  36. Alcibiades

    Nats facing crucial leadership crossroads & electoral drubbing (SBS News)

    … Five of the Nationals’ 16 lower house seats are at risk – three in Queensland and two in NSW.

    Queensland is the epicentre of nervous Nationals in knife-edge contests pushing for government investment in a coal-fired power station, a cause Joyce has led.

    Half of the party’s six coal crusaders are under pressure to retain their seats, with Michelle Landry in Capricornia and Ken O’Dowd in Flynn most vulnerable.

    Fellow Queenslander George Christensen’s seat of Dawson is less likely to fall but remains in play while the coalition continues to lag in the polls.

    In NSW, former independent Rob Oakeshott could capture Cowper with the Nationals running rookie candidate Patrick Conaghan to replace retiring MP Luke Hartsuyker.

    On Cowper’s northern border, Kevin Hogan faces a fight to retain his seat of Page.

    And the Nats’ numbers in the Senate could be cut from six to four, with seats in Tasmania and NSW on the chopping block…

  37. DrakeN

    “DrakeN…you’ve just contradicted yourself every time in every sentence you wrote…you don’t even know what you’re talking about!!..YOU must be middle-class…”

    There he goes, spouting grand assumptions in absolute self confidence as usual.

    PS My Dad was a builders’ labourer, son of an underground coalface worker, my Mam the daughter of an impoverished primary school teacher and a housemaid. They both lived through the very worst effects of two world wars, the Great Depression and starvation during the coal barons’ shut-outs.
    As a family, what few luxuries we enjoyed were almost all second-hand; we did not have a private motorcar until 1958; we did not have television until 1963 when a used one was given to us; we all went to the local council schools and only my younger sisters went on to tertiary education – courtesy of government grants.
    A real “Middle Class” background.

    One thing I can say about Joseph is that his writings here border on inverted snobbery of the worst kind.

  38. Andy56

    I find all this nonsense about class tedious. Its all about the way society was structured all those years ago. Lets face it, Ayn Rand did influence an awful lot of people and its only now, when we realise what a wank she was, that some of us have called time. Mind you, it hollowed out a great mass of aspirationals. Its only those at the top who have gained, everyone else has gone backwards. I mean ” its my money, my ideas so why should i be forced to share”. The IPA agenda has Randism as its holygrail. Add the effects of technology with a mixture of laizes faire economic management and we have the perfect storm.
    To say its class war is fairly shallow analysis in my opinion.
    Its an ideological war we are in the middle of. The american form of capitalism has been the predominante ideology both major parties have accepted to some degree. Its only now , under Bill that labor is looking to throw the shackles a bit. We the public, on the other hand are sick of privtisation and laizes faire economic management. I for one want proper planning experts not politicians designing things. We all know how the NBN went from world leading to last in the queue, politicians way way outside thier capabilities designing things. A commercal banker only knows how to feather his own nest. A guy who got kicked out of the priesthood school and landed a rhodes schollarship certainly had no idea about how to be an honest politician or stay out of everyone’s bedroom.

  39. John Lord

    I have just come back to the comments and I’m overwhelmed by the amount of comments and the depth of them. However might I just take a moment to congratulate all those young people who are taking time off school to protest about the lack of action on climate change. It’s a pity us adults didn’t have the same courage. Or better still the government.

    And Kaye I don’t know who is on what side of what argument. But can I be on yours.

  40. Rossleigh

    Personally, I’d like to blame the working class so Scott can’t accuse me of stoking the politics of envy!

  41. DrakeN

    John Lord, I endorse your comment refering to the schollchildrens’ day of protest – it is their future after all and they should be congratulated, not condemned, for their action.

    On the other hand, let’s not play ‘sides’; just deal with fact and rationality – like Kaye 😉

  42. Kaye Lee


    To some degree it was your writing that got me started. It is me who has joined you in your tireless fight informing us, making us think, and demanding better.

    Re the kids strike, that fool Kevin Donnelly has joined the fray saying the movement was the product of “biased” academics and failings in education.

    “I’ve just been on the Strike 4 Climate webpage, where you’ve got seven or eight-year-old kids barely out of nappies being involved in a strike,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide. “A lot of these students are barely literate or numerate. I think it’s absurd.”

    Dr Donnelly, an education expert (?????) who has written about political correctness which he says is “destroying” Australia, said 1,000 international scientists had dissenting views about the cause and extent of climate change.

    He said there had been next to no recognition of this by academics who support the striking students.

    “It’s all very well to be politically correct, but there’s no rationality or reason behind it that stands up.”

    This is the idiot that Abbott got to review the school curriculum.

  43. DrakeN

    Rossleigh, to the tune of the Internationale – altogether now:

    “The working class can kiss my arse; I’ve got the foreman’s job at last.”

  44. Diannaart

    ” … where you’ve got seven or eight-year-old kids barely out of nappies being involved in a strike … “

    What kind of 7 or 8 year olds does Donnelly encounter?

    RWNJ’s not thinking things through. Again.

  45. Michael Taylor

    Carol and I will be marching with those kids tomorrow, and we do so proudly.

    I was a school kid in 1968 when our teacher (Mr Mableson) told us that the planet was warming. Fifty-one years ago! Fifty-one years of inaction. Maybe we should have marched way back then.

    (Me and my mates were too busy wagging school though: catching the train into town; going fishing in the creek; smoking and bushwalking in the adjoining scrub).

  46. andy56

    then you get the comments like Sam”s. Sorry to offend you, but offend i must.
    Your a fine selfish dick with no sense for indepth analysis.
    Selfish, yes selfish. If my taxes are so small, can i just neglect paying?
    Fuck no, you would call me a LEANER.
    You have no ability to analyse things critically. Where you been the last 15yrs?
    Privatisation and Tony Abbott ring a bell? Governments absolving themselves from governing by privatisation-outsourcing one of its primary functions. No significant new power generation built and aging coal power stations are why prices are high. And why wouldnt the big players game the system? Just close another coal station and watch the price jump. People have taken it on themselves with PVCs on every roof. This is distorting the market because the regulators dont have a clue, why else would any major decision take 5yrs. You have to question their abilities.
    Climate change is happening in front of our eyes yet a large section of the populace think we can hop, skip and dance around reality. Where is the intellectual rigor? If you know its happening, you just wouldnt add to it at any cost.

  47. Diannaart

    Here is some advice for the school kids, firstly, don’t take any more advice from adults and secondly forget about us (adults) and save yourselves. Do whatever you have to do.

    First Dog on the Moon

    Arguing among ourselves achieves nothing. Except for those who thrive on dissent, discord and vitriol – these old sorry, saggy arses are to be avoided at best, ignored at worst.

    I am busy ignoring Abbott wotsisname, Joyce wotsername, Dutton WTF are you? I’ve forgotten the rest already. Feeling better.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Donnelly, in his curriculum review, said we should stop teaching sustainability, critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, ethical understanding and intercultural understanding.

    He wants “A greater focus on Western civilisation and Australia’s Judeo-Christian heritage” and “more emphasis on morals, values and spirituality”. This politically correct climate change rubbish should be banned apparently.

    Zis is KAOS. Zere vill be no critical thinking by children here!!!!!

  49. Diannaart

    Donnelly who?

  50. Kaye Lee


    I just had a few days away with my bestest girlfriends. It was great to have a break from ridiculous politicians. They are intelligent aware women and we did discuss some politics, but it seemed paltry in comparison to other things we discussed. I like your thinking.

    What really frustrates me is that we know what we have to do. Morrison was overstating it when he called himself a brick wall. The weight of the people tore down the Berlin wall. Scott ain’t even a picket fence.

  51. Phil

    ‘ PS My Dad was a builders’ labourer, son of an underground coalface worker, my Mam the daughter of an impoverished primary school teacher and a housemaid. They both lived through the very worst effects of two world wars, the Great Depression and starvation during the coal barons’ shut-outs.
    As a family, what few luxuries we enjoyed were almost all second-hand; we did not have a private motorcar until 1958; we did not have television until 1963 when a used one was given to us; we all went to the local council schools and only my younger sisters went on to tertiary education – courtesy of government grants.
    A real “Middle Class” background.’

    Sheer bloody luxury. We lived in shoe box with bed mattresses filled with gravel with three to a bed. We ate reconstituted soup strained through an old sock. You sound middle class to me.

  52. Phil


    Monty Python I never get sick of it.

    It can go over the head of some. 🙂

  53. Patagonian

    And let’s not forget the comments of that braying ass Craig Kelly, who has on more than one occasion linked rising power costs, renewable energy and apartment living to the number of children drowning in Australia.

    “The barriers to achieving quality swimming and water safety education for all Australian children are many and varied and include factors such as COST and time to access lessons, access to facilities, insufficient resources and insufficient capacity ……. these barriers appear to be increasing over time ………”

    It’s should be self-evident even to a self-righteous leftist ; The biggest cost of running a learn to swim centre is the cost of energy – Energy to run the filtration equipment, energy to heat the water.

    And when governments have policies that cause the price of energy to increase – that increases the costs of operating learn-to-swim centres, and these higher costs are in turn passed on in higher prices for swimming lesson.

    And by making swimming lessons more expensive, some parents are going to be unable to afford them for their children.

    The result, less children having basic swimming and water safety skills, placing them at greater risk of drowning.

    Its simple : swimming lessons save lives. The higher the costs of swimming lessons, the less lives we save”.


    “The issue I see going forward is if we look at our housing policies in our cities, we’re having more and more children growing up in high-rise apartments where they’re unlikely to have a backyard swimming pool where they can learn to live,” he said.

    “I think of my experience growing up in Peakhurst, just a middle class suburb in the south of Sydney, many of our neighbours had the simple backyard swimming pool… we got in as kids and we learned to swim. That opportunity will be denied to thousands and thousands of young kids because of the change of housing policy in this nation where more and more children will be growing up in high rise apartments.”

    This sort of idiocy is off the charts.

  54. Kaye Lee

    Kelly is hilarious, until you remember he makes the law in this country and, when the people in his own electorate decided he was too much of a nutter to represent them any longer, the PM interceded to save him like he was some sort of asset.

    Shakes head…..

  55. Diannaart


    Back at you.

    Said this before, will say it again, Shorten, you’d better hit the ground running if there is any chance of mitigating years of inexcusable, deliberate and self serving ineptitude.

    Kaye Lee

    Last time I had a wonderful, brilliant, energising weekend away with my besties was before 2009. I remember this because we stayed in Marysville before Black Saturday. We can forget the arseholes who speak nothing but rubbish, we never forget our friends. Nor do we ignore the reality facing us.

    This Friday 15 March, thousands of kids across Australia will strike from school to demand our government take urgent action to stop climate damage.

    They’re part of a global movement of young people speaking truth to power and showing what’s at stake if we keep digging up and burning fossil fuels.

    On Friday 15 March, the kids are asking all of us – kids, adults and everyone in between – to join them. Will you be there?

  56. New England Cocky

    Just returned from the Students Climate Action Rally in Armidale Central Park NSW. Estimated about 300 present, about half adults. A march through town following the rally caused a welcome stir both for and against the protest. Shows that some regional persons are able to think and understand the problem created by the present environmental policies.

  57. DrakeN

    Alcibiades, touché!


  58. paul walter

    The result of crank Rightist psyops is seen in NZ today with the barbaric attacks on people worshipping in their mosques in Christchurch.

    The rightist fantasists have to be chucked and this time we may see them consigned to the deserts of irrelevance where they belong for good, without their own alienated moderates to smooth talk them out of trouble after the election.

  59. helvityni

    Yes Paul Walter, and he is an Aussie born man from Crafton, not black, brown or yellow….and he’s a right-winger…

    No doubt it’s still somehow seen as Labor’s fault…

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