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Maybe we marched against the wrong party

‘A government is only as good as its opposition’.

That old adage has been been thrown around for as long as I can remember and has been cited more times than I would care to count.

And it holds true in Australia’s political theatre.

We clearly don’t have a good government at the helm. This must then imply that we don’t have a good opposition.

Certainly, we don’t.

The Shorten Opposition is so demonstrably soft that I’m half inclined to suggest that the anger and frustration from the March in March should have been aimed straight at them. They are not performing as an opposition should. Simple. The government could (possibly) be a better government if the opposition would be a better opposition. But at the moment they don’t seem capable.

Show me just one Labor voter who is satisfied with their performance.

They have sat back and lazily watched the Abbott Government stagger from one debacle to another. Lies go unchallenged, policy backflips are yawned at, attacks on workers and welfare recipients are waved off as an apparition and they have adopted a ‘ho-hum’ attitude towards Tony Abbott’s gross incompetency.

Where have they been hiding? Why aren’t they saying anything that might hold the government to account? Why is it up to the social media to do all the talking for them? Where were they when people marched in the streets for them?

The political landscape has changed irreversibly since Labor last occupied the opposition seats. It has become meaner, nastier and more viral thanks largely to the previous opposition leader. Labor do not have to go as far as emulating the behaviour of that man – and I hope they don’t – but they certainly need to abandon their wet lettuce approach.

Many have suggested that all Labor need to do is sit pretty and wait for Abbott to fall on his sword (and that fate is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility). The latest opinion polls do not look good for him and Labor no doubt are buoyed by the result, but like every other response to the negative aspects of Tony Abbott; they lack the initiative to capitalise on it.

In fact, in the six months since they ‘won’ opposition they have ignored the chance to take the initiative on any life-line Abbott has gifted them.

They are, collectively, timid in the House and they lack the mongrel outside of it.

As a self confessed Labor voter it’s difficult to sustain my patience. As each Abbott disaster has been left unmolested I reassured myself that the next one wouldn’t be. I took some comfort in the assumption that they might just one day stand up to the wrecking machine. I keep waiting for them to strike, as do most Labor supporters, but I can no longer be tolerant with the constant ineptitude. The tipping point was the dismal interview Julie Bishop gave to the BBC and more to the point; the ‘no comment’ response from the opposition to what was an absolute and monumental stuff-up from the Foreign Minister.

That interview was almost two weeks ago. They’ve had two weeks to respond to what was a massive furphy, or should I say a ‘massive lie’. In the interview she claimed that:

… asylum seekers ”are processed in third countries, and then we look for resettlement in other countries, including in Australia …

That alone should have been enough for the opposition to emerge from their hiding place and shout from the rooftops that her own Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison have repeatedly declared the exact opposite. How many times have the government said something along the lines of ‘they will not be settled in Australia’?

On the world stage our Foreign Minister delivers an outright lie and not once (to my knowledge) has the opposition attempted to not only expose that lie, but hold her and her government to account over it. They’ve had two weeks. They blew it.

In six months they’ve blown everything.

Bill, are you listening?

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119 comments

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  1. Tracie

    I’ve become dissatisfied too.

  2. James Synot

    After just watching question time, I tend ta agree. Another inept performance but I must admit it must be incredibly hard with bishop and her blatant misuse of the speakers powers.

  3. diannaart

    Labor did little to stand up for itself during office (Misogyny Speech excepted) and now, in opposition does Eff-all with the daily bounty of nation destroying crap being dumped on we, the people, by a bunch of bullies who never should have such opportunity to live out their selfish fantasies – Abbott and his cronies must think the Federal Parliament is a euphemism for brothel – that is how they are treating us – as things to be used.

    Note to Bill Shorten – the March in March was not in support of you or your policies any more than it was for Abbott.

  4. Linda Williams,s

    I don’t agree. I watch parliament every day. I think the Labor side are quite fearful at the moment. They try every day to hold government to account, to ask for explanations. Something very scared is happening in Lower house (I don’t watch the senate). The speaker is allowing nonsense every day. Coalition MPs rant on about why hey hate labor, why they are stupid, dumb, ignorant, lazy and stupid. The speaker told MPs last week that they did not have to answer questions! told off labor MPs for asking the same question over and over (with no answer) this is so dangerous yet it’s getting very little attention. Democracy is crumbling.

  5. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    I agree with Diannaart. The March in March was not in support of either party. It was a march for the democracy that is being trashed by too many parliamentarians who are in politics for their own benefit. They definitely are not there for the majority of the people of this country even if they try to tell us that they are.
    Parliament is a complete farce especially in QT. Both sides are full of spin doctors trying to convince everyone that their way is the right and only way. Well, I would say to the majority of parliamentarians of both sides: You need to grow a spine, stand up for real democracy, just like those who joined in the March in March & let your leaders to rethink their leaderships.
    We are sick & tired of being treated like mushrooms & we are putting you all on notice!

  6. scotchmistery

    I just rang Bill Shorten’s office and offered Bill a slot on a spinal implant program.

    The staff member didn’t understand what I meant. I doubt Bill would either.

    Enough said really.

  7. Cowboy

    What utter nonsense. The government have all but shut down parliamentary debate through sandbagging and having a speaker so disgustingly biased that it is impossible for the ALP to have much of an impact there.

    If that’s not bad enough, outside of the chamber the Libs have a congaline of media moguls lined up to do their bidding. Without any oxygen in the media, there’s not much impact the ALP can have there. Things are so completely lopsided that nothing short of a revolution will save the ALP and indeed any opposition to this government.

    I’m not a catastrophiser nor am I a tin foil hat wearer, but by christ things are bad and it’s the collective’s doing. The electorate are the ones who actually wield the power but we have no idea what we’re doing are all pulling in different directions. The March in March was perfectly aimed as it was. The only way we will see any semblance of democracy return to these shores is through people power like that of MiM.

  8. ShaunJ

    G’day All,

    I agree MiM was not “for” any party, it was against the injustices and ineptitude being thrown at us by this current immoral “government”. However on the “opposition” score I would say that the Greens are presenting much more of a coherent and accurate opposition than Labor (not all of Labor, mainly the “leadership”). And as far as Bishop (the elder) goes there are ways and means to deal with her if there is a concerted, spine filled effort made.

  9. Heather

    It’s a combination of several factors – biased speaker, the fact that the Pacific Solution was their idea so they can’t speak up too much about it without giving the Libs free shots at them, hesitance to be seen to be as obnoxious as the Abbott opposition was (lowering the “tone” of politics), media bias. I am not excusing them, enough time has passed that they should have learnt how to act effectively in opposition. I am drifting further to the left every day.

  10. turnleft2013

    They need to stop listening to pollsters and start listening to the people would be a good start, yet they seem incapable.

  11. James

    This lot cannot comment on off-shore processing, it is after all their baby that the LNP have run with. In other words they are afraid of the backlash – for example the Poodle gleefully pointing out that the policy is a Labor one.

  12. Big Al

    Never voted Liberal or Green’s.Last time I voted Federal Labor was 1975.

  13. Louise

    How are the opposition supposed to make themselves heard in question time? Does anyone have the answer on how they get their point across with the current speaker being so totally biased? How are they to make themselves be heard with the media so biased? the March in March had over a hundred thousand people and it has been largely ignored or simply criticised. I think it is time we didn’t run down Bill Shorten and the rest of the opposition. More we should stand in support of them.

  14. Kerri

    I get regular email updates from Tony Burke. I usually reply with a rant about what they are doing about Asylum Seeker policy, or the Environment or something more pertinent than the content of the email.
    the last email was about Bronwyn Bishop’s appalling performance but they seem to be doing nothing about that either. Very Frustrating!!!!

  15. David

    Can’t support you entirely Michael. No Opposition under this Speaker and Leader of the House could possibly operate effectively, it is stacked against them. Majority of the MSM wont print a word uttered by the Opposition unless it servesn their purpose to do so. The ABC is having an internal battle as to whether it should sit on the fence, show balance or go soft on the Govt fearful of the budget consequences.
    I disregard any of Scotts assurances about funding and Abbotts word, both are snakes in the grass.
    i have been critical of Bill Shorten and remain dissatisfied with his efforts. He wants to do well obviously, but he doesn’t possess the necessary arttributes for leadership, simple as that. trys hard, gets nowhere.
    Most of the Labor front bench have lapsed into their own caccoon of silence, Jenny Macklin? is she still there? Richard Marles started off with a hiss and roar but found Morrisons ‘no comment’ too much so has given up, plus Manus is still an embarrassment Labor can’t live with.
    The trusty handful are battling on but even Dep Leader Plibersek isn’t the confident politician she was when Julia was Leader, she gives the impressiobn she would rather be somewhere else.
    It’s a tough job Opposition but they have to make the most of it, its their lot for at least 3 yrs and unless they can fight on regardless off the obstacles, it will be longer than 3.
    However I sympathise with the way they are being treated in the HOR, a Speaker as openly biased towards her own is a disgrace and they can do little about it. The woman is settling scores that have been festering for years.

  16. Carol Taylor

    Labor lost the election because of failure to both get the message out and to adequately put itself forward as having the superior ideas and policies. After watching Shorten on Q&A my estimation of him went up considerably, with his thoughtful responses and calm demeanour, he rang rings around the shrillness of the predominantly right wing others.

    For starters Shorten needs to get a new pr team on board, and ones conversant with the modern media. There is no longer any excuse to be sitting on it saying that you cannot get your message out when as we all know, from the experience of Scott Ludlam’s speech going viral..and all due to the social media, you can.

  17. Kim Wright

    I go with the wet lettuce comment and will spread it far and wide. I have never wanted to scream at someone as much as I want to scream at Bill Shorten. Didn’t he hear the marchers either? So many issues they could have challenged them on…and it doesn’t have to be all done in parliament. Stop using your Facebook page Labor, for cute family shots and inane posts. You can’t use media, you can’t use Parliament( though I think if you tried real hard you might score a few points) but you could take a lesson from March in March and start some fighting words on Facebook. Thousands are waiting. Its starting to look like you are fearful of mining magnates and media tycoons. We pay you to take them on!

  18. Dan Rowden

    Louise,

    I think it is time we didn’t run down Bill Shorten and the rest of the opposition. More we should stand in support of them.

    Support Bill Shorten? This is his pathetic version of supporting us:

    Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten distanced himself from the rally, telling reporters the Labor Party was not formally involved. “But I do get people want to express their views. It’s a free country,” Mr Shorten said.

    We are supporting him by letting him know where’s he failing.

  19. joy cooper

    Would have to totally agree with Cowboy. The demented, woefully biased Speaker should be thrown out of parliament, instead, if any ALP MP tries to assert themselves, she has them tossed out on the flimsiest of excuses. Then poncy Pyne has the utter gall to claim the ALP are verging on bullying the Speaker!!!! They are the ones who are the bullies constantly bad-mouthing & shouting down the ALP MPs.

    Nothing Bill Shorten et al says is reported verbatim by the egregious mainstream media, that is if they even acknowledge them at all. The Coalition get open slather with the MSM & nothing they say is challenged in any way, just blindly accepted as fact. They are allowed to get away with the most outrageous, deceitful & .dubious claims. LNP press releases are used as news articles. How on earth can the ALP parliamentary party compete with that.

    We should be doing all we can to support them not allow concern trolls to stir the pot. Tomorrow we are making a 220km round trip to attend our first ALP branch meeting & AGM. In two weeks time we shall drive a 125km round trip to discuss opening a new local ALP branch plus an anti-CSG meeting. This is all occurring in National Party territory (where time has now stood still). We are going to fight tooth & nail to support our ALP politicians.

    In Twitter RMNJ trolls lie in wait for any ALP MP to tweet, then pounce with their virulent bile. Especially Bill Shorten, Wayne Swan, Anthony Albanese & Tanya Plibersek. In FB any RWNJs get short shrift from the ALP supporters & they quickly slink off into the dark, dank laces they crawled out from..

  20. joy cooper

    Any media release from the ALP would be like them shouting in a cyclone. It would be totally ignored by the MSM or rubbished.

  21. turnleft2013

    The media hasnt been supportive of the Labor since before Gough – people who blame “the media” for ALP not getting their message out, really need to get a new line. It’s a brand new world, they need to deal with reality, and figure out how to get their message out instead of complaining that they cant.

  22. Rob Pilgrim

    >Show me just one Labor voter who is satisfied with their performance.
    One assumes, and maybe wrongly, that the Opposition themselves voted Labor and are happy with their level of incompetence; incomprehension and incoherence.

  23. Vicki Wilcox

    Bronwyn Bishop……the most NOT impartial Speaker of the House….her Thatcherism shines through

  24. Dan Rowden

    As we’re so found of asserting, the MSM does not constitute “the media”. Michael’s point is a valid one. Labor needs to express a view on things.

  25. Tracie

    Even if the view is on other media outlets. We NEED to see what they stand for SOMEWHERE!!

  26. Stafford Hall

    We probably wouldnt hear about it anyway, Mr Murdoch would see to that. But, I agree, my membership dues require more of the party.

  27. mikestasse

    Problem is, the future is now out of governments’ hands, whether here or elewhere….. governments are owned by orporations. They just do as they’re told. Worse, the corporations are sleepwaling to collapse.

    The oil companies are all going broke, and soon the world economy will go down the toilet. Google the word collapse, and you get 190,000,000 hits!

    We’re on our own. Voting is fast becoming a waste of time……. it’s choosing between the bad and the less bad…..

  28. patsy

    I AGREE WITH YOU …..BUT WHAT CHANCE DO THEY HAVE TO STAND UP TO ABBOTT AND HIS MONGRELS WHEN BRONWYN BISHOP SHUTS THEM UP AT EVERY AREA THEY TRY TO ENTER?????

  29. Katherine Marchment

    I wrote as much to Bill Shorten/Labour on the ALP FB page – only a much shorter – SPEAK UP WE CANT HEAR YOU comment after MiM

  30. DC

    Want to see courage from the ALP MP? Watch Albo standing up for what he believes in after nearly 20 minutes of abuse from an angry crowd. I don’t know all there is to know about him but I respect his courage standing alone against such an angry crowd.

    In short, he made a public comment calling the “convoy of no confidence” a convoy of no consequence”. He never said anything insulting to the elderly but somehow that rumour had spread among the crowd.

    At about 8:50 he tries to answer their questions and explain his position, a few minutes later the crowd look like they are coming close to literally ripping his arms and legs off. Albo shows the kind of genuine courage and integrity rarely seen these days.

    Then look who shows up to rev the crowd up at 18 minutes and 42 seconds into the video and then listen to the vile and unsubstantiated rumour she starts at 23 minutes in.

  31. Roswell

    I too am a Labor voter. I too am disappointed.

  32. trishcorry

    I think that Tony Burke is doing an exceptional job, as is Albo. I think that because we are used to having a raving lunatic in the opposition shouting his drivel at Labor, we have become accustomed to it and expect it and now demand it. I think Shorten has a different style, which is opportunistic but rather attacking with small snippets, like Abbott constantly attacks with, at this time in our parliament, this style is easily talked down with the support of the speaker and the media, he needs to build more than just a snippet to have some clout. Some solid evidence and support from the media. I think they are doing their best to hold the Govt to account every day in QT, but the speaker over rides absolutely everything and allowing Abbott to just palaver on incessantly without answering any questions, denying direct relevance objections the LOTH or (S)LOTH as I like to call him constantly denying anything to be tabled, is indeed a difficult circumstance.

    I personally voted for Albo in the members vote, but I think Shorten is capable and very intelligent. I think they understand the ins and outs of what strategy they are taking and I have faith in that. I am not demoralised at this point with their behaviour. I do get frustrated at times, but I remind myself they must have a reason. They have never been a party that is disconnected from social harm.

    With regards to March in March, this was a people’s movement. I think Labor did the right thing by distancing themselves from the rallies. To stand back and let this be a true people’s movement. It doesn’t mean they are not watching and listening to the people and taking everything into account. I think to have Labor in there supporting, would have made it too easy for the shock jocks and media to hammer these Marches as some “Union Thug led insulting assault on a ‘good Government'” “The Union Thugs paid people to march” etc., etc, blah blah blah. It would have had a severe negative affect, not a positive one. I think they did, what they did and it was in the best interest in showing it was the people’s voice and not Labors.

    The media I believe had this tactic prepared and up their sleeve and it backfired. Maybe that is why they had nothing, no angles prepared for when the March happened and Shorten wasn’t there in all his smiling glory in front of a large penis head caricature of Abbott. Media Watch did give a good segment on MiM.

    My personal hopes: That WA truly puts LNP last and we get ALP and Greens and we get a double dissolution. I hope that the ALP have a huge backflip on their Asylum seeker policy and show it is time to use compassion instead of punishment. I hope ALP get back in so Education gets funded properly and disability. I hope they get back in and do something seriously decent with the social security system and the employment/jobseeker system.

  33. Paul Raymond Scahill

    It appears as though many more people are only beginning to wake up to how inept the opposition really are. If Bill Shorten is supposed to represent the Leader of the Opposition then we are in for a torrid time over the next 2.5 years. Thank God that Paul Howes is about to leave the AWU and presumably take a responsible position on the Front Bench of the Labor Party. Some starch is needed and he might just be the person to do it.

  34. trishcorry

    OMG Listen to that feral old crow screaming through out the whole thing. I wonder how she feels now we have a real liar in Government.

  35. xiaoecho

    As soon as he won the leadership, Shorten went on holiday and has never really returned. It’s almost as if he feels that he has reached his goal of becoming leader of the party and can relax. He is far too casual and doesn’t seem to really give a stuff. His dismissal of the MiM was appalling. All this whinging about not being able to get the message out is old news. It has been that way for years now. He is another seat warmer. Would love to see Penny as the Leader, she would completely throw Abbott for a loop and has got the fire in the belly to do it, but she isn’t in the Lower house. When you have a two party system and one of those parties is completely ineffectual what you are left with is a despots wet dream. Get some guts Labor.

  36. trishcorry

    Excellent comment Umberto. I think what it is for me, is I am waiting for ‘the big bang’ I think something will happen and when it does, it will be big.

  37. Michael Taylor

    Has anybody had a look at the ALP website under ‘media releases’? Barely nothing.

  38. Mike Wilkinson

    Just one thing I’d like to refute in the above article…

    “Where were they when people marched in the streets for them?”

    We didn’t march for Labor. We marched for humanity, for transparency, for accountability and for decency.

    The overall effect may seem that we marched for Labor, but they were the ones who caved under the pressure of 3 word slogans and brought back Howard’s “Pacific” solution. They were the ones who moved single parents onto NewStart causing many families to slide further into poverty. They were the ones who had the opportunity to legislate for equal marriage rights for all in this country and blew it.

    Yes, overall they were a much better government than our present one, but we didn’t march for them.

  39. Don Winther

    Its a bit hard for Bill Shorten to fight Tony now that Tony has promised to make Bills mother in law a “Dame”. Dame Quentin Bryce. Tony is not stupid.

  40. Don Winther

    If Geoff Whitlam had of thought of making Sir John Kerr a Knight he would still be in power.

  41. randalstella

    Thanks Umberto,
    We could sure do with some reasoned optimism.
    Always interesting and a pleasure to read your logical lines.
    It must have buoyed many a downcast defendant.

  42. Raed Malas

    I agree to a large extent that Labour are quite gutless at the moment and I think a lot of it has to do with their past actions, particularly when it comes to issues such as Sinodinos gate, Ashby gate, Manus and a few other issues that they can be caught out on as being hypocrites. I do also think the media does not allow them to get the traction they need to mount any strong argument. I think if we stand up to the media and make them more accountable of the Liberal Abbott Govt then maybe we might see a different side to labour. I think Labor are very strong performers when you look at their team, Im just also thinking they are hoping for a Steven Bradbury moment and just let the Libs keep stumbling along.
    By the way I dont mean to spam but I think we should all start by divesting anything to do with Murdoch
    https://www.facebook.com/DivestFoxtel

  43. turnleft2013

    Mike Wilkinson:
    people in ALP shirts were asked to remove them, while watching a Greens MP speak
    people in red tshirts with no insignia were shouted at “go home Commie”
    I wore a red tshirt, I was harassed so badly, I left after 20 minutes

    now I see MiM orgnaisers are saying, they had over 100,000 people standing ready to vote out Labor and Liberal, and were thinking how to form their own party to stand candidates in future elections

    I attended for various reasons, I didnt realise that my attendance was considered a vote for or against ALP, and it certainly wasnt advocating any particular party

  44. john921fraser

    <

    I wouldn't mind seeing more of Mark Dreyfus.

  45. Michael Taylor

    I appreciate the insightful comments here. I wish I could say the same about some Facebook sites were I’m coming in for a real pounding.

    A number of people commented (somewhere amongst their personal abuse) that all is well because Labor lead in the polls. Yes, but are they in election mode? In opposition the LNP were always in election mode, even when Rudd lead in the polls. By being in election mode it meant that they were constantly trying to get their message across. Labor aren’t even doing that.

    What if there is a DD election? Are Labor ready?

  46. Umberto Ledfooti

    It seems to me as though Labor needed time to lick its wounds and regroup.

    However, it must be considered that the ALP is not only the opposition from the perspective of Parliament – the party also faces opposition from the crooked Australian mainstream print media duopoly, as well as the mainstream video media, including the ABC. Couple those together with the wingnut shlock jocks on talkback radio who are deeply in the pockets of the Abbott junta and their hangers-on, and what is the result? Precious little opportunity to put forth any alternative point of view to that of the junta for public consideration.

    Do people seriously believe that the Abbott junta will allow criticism or any clinical examination of its train-wreck of an administration when it has almost total mass media control? Or allow reasoned and rational debate, when its “policies” are nothing but empty rhetoric specifically designed to engage the most base, the most primitive, the most animalistic of human emotions?

    The Abbott junta and its supporters rely on lies, fear, hate, and misinformation to rally support. They redefine facts to fit their agenda. We have already seen how the fixed ETS price is continuously and incorrectly referred to as “the carbon tax” – a textbook case of a lie repeated often enough until it is accepted as a fact. It’s a redefinition which the mainstream media have been keen to embrace and repeat. And the fixed ETS is not the only victim of misrepresentation.

    It is impossible to repudiate the torrent of lies and misinformation continuously spewing from the Abbott junta when these mistruths are not made known to the public. Especially when the junta has pacified Australia’s yellow-bellied press with a rabid fear of Finkelstein being implemented if Labor returned to government.

    And especially when the Abbott junta tries to deflect attention away from its sleaze and cronyism with ridiculous side-shows – just watch and see at how much MSM madness is devoted to discussion of peerages in the coming days.

    It appears to me as though Bill Shorten and the ALP are handling the Abbott junta in a similar way to how professional legal counsel handle second-rate litigants. Instead of standing up every 15 seconds to say “objection, Your Honour!” to the judge in the face of a atrociously-presented case, they sit, watch, and wait… objecting only when absolutely necessary, until the other side manages to screw their own case up, beyond any recognition, all by themselves. The professionals bide their time and know when to step up; they’re not the side which is perceived to be annoying the judge by flipping and flapping this way and that, and making a lot of noise by pointing out the clearly obvious flaws. They’re using their experience and intuition that the judge will see the fatal flaws and unprofessionalism for him or her self.

    If you want evidence of this, look at the latest Roy Morgan polls.

    And then, when the other side has torn itself to tatters on the proverbial rocks upon which they’ve battered themselves, the pro will strike effectively with little wasted effort, but with devastating effect.

    As Fraser, the master of the art of political coup d’état often said, the timing must be impeccable.

    In this court of public sentiment, we are the judges – and I believe that when Bill Shorten does move from the passive stance to take the hard line, we, the judges out in the suburbs, will stand with him.

  47. Matters Not

    now that Tony has promised to make Bills mother in law a “Dame

    But will she accept? As for:

    Tony is not stupid

    Agreed. A clever politician.

    How will we feel about Sir John Howard?

    As for the performance of Shorten et al. I tape QT every day. It takes about 75 minutes to tape and about 10 minutes to watch.

    Good performers include : Tony Burke (improving every day), Mark Drefus, Anthony Albanese, and Chris Bowen. But their efforts come to naught with a Speaker completely out of control.

    Perhaps a mass walkout after 10 or 15 minutes (after a heated debate with the Speaker) might be in order. And hopefully they have a long and detailed list of her biased rulings ready to distribute.

    Perhaps a U Tube video that takes no longer than 5 minutes, and hopes it goes viral?

  48. charybds

    Cowboy said it right

  49. Ana Milosevic

    Umberto Ledfooti, I believe that your comment is closest to my own opinion and timing is crucial. I also think that our MP’s are very capable and have necessary intelligence and are ready to govern Australia when the time comes. It’s frustrating for us to just sit and wait, but our time is getting closer even though it’s very painful to wait for it, and it will more than likely get much worse before it gets better, but better it will get. We must stay positive.

  50. kgb16Brown

    Now days I am backing the Australian Greens. Whilst they don’t poll near the major Parties, they are not beholden to the Coal Seam Gas Drillers or the coal mining corporations that have more influence than most in Australian politics (& around the Planet).

    Except for Adam Brandt their pollies are all Senators, but the ones I have some knowledge of are intelligent, hard working and get out to talk to their constituents even when elections are not pending. I have a lot of time for Larissa Waters (Queensland Senator) who is constantly on the defensive for the environment against the LNP destroyers, and the half hearted Labor efforts. Lee Rhianon (NSW), Christine Milne (Tas), Scott Ludlam (WA) are part of an impressive line up.

    If we are to save our Great Barrier Reef, Artesian Basin (& all our acquifers and water tributaries), farmland, forests, fauna, flora etc. the Greens are the minimum standard we should be aiming for, because the major parties have sold Australia out!

  51. clusterpod

    If I was ALP media staff, I’d be pushing to get them into places like this.

    Not staffers, not policy developers, the members themselves.

    The people we elected.

    No traction in the MSM? Fine, you should be used to that by now. But look at the complete lack of effort they are making to actually connect with their supporters.

    Its not the rapidly diminishing union membership that is going to get the ALP re-elected.

  52. Dan Rowden

    DC,

    Thanks for posting that video. I was previously unaware of it. Albo does a fine job in the circumstances and I agree with your comment about his courage in the face of that mob of well, idiots, frankly [my judgement].

    Albo was always my choice for Labor leader over Bill. I think that’s true for many people.

    Funny how so many people old enough to be better behaved and “well bred” (as such people like to think of themselves) were so needlessly hysterical and thoroughly ignorant of political realities. We really are a country full of political numbskulls.

  53. sam

    Thats because Labor is center right. Liberal are currently extreme right.

    You’re disappointed from an ideological point of view. Neither of the parties are standing even remotely in the middle. Juxtaposed to their standing state as the two choices in a two party preferred system.

    Simple fact of the matter is we can only do so much. Next election?… Protest?… State election?

    I am a critical about all of them Abbott/Gillard/Rudd(the best one policy/effect on society IMO). Its just that EVERYTHING Abbott does is pathetic and factually wrong. To a much much lesser degree the Labor prime ministers. (Gillard single parents onto newstart for example?!?!)

    Is that support for Labor?

    I think people need to distinguish these two separate points in their mind. March in march/continued protest is not therefore ‘FOR’ labor. Its ‘AGAINST’ liberal policy. (liberals deserve a good 20 years out of government to re-invent themselves after this government *mild judgement too*)

    Im sure we could call Shorten out. If he stood in the ‘center’ of politics he would have to roll back a lot of the stuff Howard did too. How reaisticis that?

    Eg: The disgraceful state of tertiary education in Australia. Simple centrist labor policy could be: “Your first degree for free!”, “Your first trade for free” A fully costed policy that Labor could stand by and trounce the LIberals at the next election.

  54. Gail Fay

    I agree with Umberto. The ALP needs to stand back for a while because anything radical they do will be scorned by the voters who turned against them. They do need to regroup and wait for the right time to strike. Tony Abbott and his cronies are doing a great job of making fools of themselves. They are digging their own graves. Labor knows this. Don’t be too hard on them. They will make a superb comeback at the appropriate time when Abbott falls on his sword. It was never going to be easy for Labor to win bäck the confidence of the Australian public, so meanwhile it’s “slowly, slowly, catchy monkey”. I believe they are on track to win the next election.

  55. mars08

    I’m hearing that there will be more marches this year.

    What happens if a substantial number of ALP movers show up and want to make speeches? Are they going to be frozen out?

    Face it… if the marches start to get traction… the WILL be hangers on.

  56. mars08

    Gail Fay:

    They will make a superb comeback at the appropriate time when Abbott falls on his sword.

    Soooo… you reckon Labor’s strategy for the next election is essentially to not be the LNP.

    Hmmm. Well that might be enough to “win bäck the confidence of the Australian public”. But it won’t be enough to get my vote. But there’s no reason to lose sleep over that. After all, they ARE on track to win the next election.

  57. Stephen Tardrew

    I am confused. Many of you make sense and I find myself agreeing with most of you in a fluctuating recognition that many points of view are legitimate. Labor most certainly needs to find its voice. I don’t think sitting back and hoping for a crisis is a good strategy.

    The less we hear the less interested many people become. Someone needs to keep the torch alight.

    Albo or Penny Wong I don’t care however it would be great to see a woman give it to these sexist cruel unedifying misogynists.

    Just imaging a woman becoming Prime Minister and shoving it in the face of the LNP.

    One can only live in hope.

  58. mars08

    ljdrummond24achlan… the ALP might not be as bad as the Liberals, but they are nowhere near a good as they could be. Really… not even close…..

  59. Fed up

    I suggest once again that Mr. Shorten and Labor can change nothing on their own,. Yes, Jenny has been kicked out more than once, It would not matter who was leading Labor at this time. The situation would be the same. Even Albanese cannot cut through with Bishop. No one can, when they are trashing every convention and regulation within parliament.

    If they walked out, how would you think the media would treat them. What do think the message that the public would get.

    It would only prove in many minds, that Abbott and the MSM got it right.

    Listening to people talking, many do not like what they see how the parliament is run ,Bishop is seen as on the nose. The focus must stay on them.

    Abbot is relying on Labor doing something stupid. Walking out, abusing Bishop would be that. That is what they are counting on.

    Labor has been quietly telling Bishop what they think of her, but in a measured way.

    Today, we seen the behaviour of the speaker mentioned on the ABC. We seen Burke and others out , criticising Bishop.

    Yes, Labor will have to do something, but needs the public to be aware of the problems, and if we are lucky, on Labor’s side.

    I have no idea or care not, whether Shorten is good or bad. What I do know, he was elected for the job. I also believe it does not matter who leads Labor., We would be in the same position.

    It one cares for Labor, they have to get in behind them, and focus on the government, with Abbott and Bishop being top of the list.

    I suggest we can start, by bombarding every government email box with what we think of Bishop each dau, Not abuse, but examples of where she is wrong.

    Pyne is repeating word for word, the criticisms made of Shorten in the left leaning blogs.Yes, word for word. Why give him ammunition.

    Something must be going OK for Labor, when one looks at how the polls are trending.

    Pyne and his mob are working hard at making Shorten and Labor look like bullies. Union bullies if he can pull it off.

    Abbott’s s getting desperate. His knights and dames has fallen like a lead balloon. His trip to north Asia needs to be seen in a similar vein.

    He has had to back down on the financial bill. Same is going on with the free speech. Now out for public debate.

    I know many do not agree with me. All I ask is think about what Labor could do. Then think one step what is the likely example if they followed with action, what you suggested

    I have spent time, with my imagination working overtime. Every time I see the headlines of how Labor lost it, split the dummy and are not more than the party of union bullies

    It is still a matter of perception.

    I also believe there are many in the government, who are very unhappy with how their government is going.

  60. Fed up

    Another poll going Labor’s way.Still has Abbott ahead, but that has not been the norm ion all polls.

    Federal Labor has increased its lead over the coalition in the latest Newspoll, but Tony Abbott still remains the preferred prime minister.

    Labor now leads the coalition by 52 to 48 per cent on a two party preferred basis, with support for the government dropping one per cent in the wake of the controversy surrounding former Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos.

    Asked who would make a better prime minister, the poll published by News Corporation said Mr Abbott had 43 per support, up one point from two weeks ago.

    Backing for Labor leader Bill Shorten remained unchanged on 36 per cent.

    The poll follows a difficult fortnight for the government, marked by Senator Sinodinos’ decision to stand aside over his links to a company being investigated by the NSW corruption commissi – AAP

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=961135

  61. Fed up

    Another Abbott backdown. Ask yourself why: I believe that business is putting the pressure on this government,. We must do nothing to take the focus from the government.

    Abbott is reacting in the only way he knows.That is to resort to stunts.. This is the third reversal this week.

    The Abbott government has backed down on plas to dilute workplace gender reporting requirements following pressure from women’s groups and business.

    Employment Minister Eric Abetz has announced the current reporting arrangements for companies with more than 100 employees will stay in place.

    However, fewer companies will now have to comply with gender reporting minimum standards – composition of workforce, equal pay, flexible work arrangements and sexual harassment and discrimination.

    The standards will now only apply to companies with more than 500 employees from October 1, 2014 and they can choose to comply with one or more.

    Senator Abetz said the government will consult with industry and peak bodies about streamlining reporting over the next six months.

    The results of the consultations will be announced later this year and the changes will start from April 1 2015.

    ‘We want to make sure that we get this right and do not force new, onerous requirements that do not achieve the stated objectives,’ he said.

    Senator Abetz said it was vital that effective data was collected.

    Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters said the Abbott government was intent on pleasing ‘big business buddies’.

    ‘The government’s plans mean that in a year, companies would have to provide less information about gender inequity, and from October fewer businesses would have to do anything to redress it,’ she said.

    Women on Boards spokeswoman Claire Braund conceded that the minimum standards may not be the process in which to ‘drive change’ on gender equity in the workplace.

    http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=961219

  62. Fed up

    I think that HSU is seeking a forensic audit into HSU, right back to the days before they became the HSU. This would be pre Thomson days.

    Yes, Thomson was still with HAREA then. It was Jackson, I believe that was in charge.

    I cannot see how Abbott can have his RC without this happening.

    Many of Abbott’s chickens are coming home to roost, Do not allow te foxes within the fowl house, to divert attention.

    Even Abbott’s best mate has performed much worse that most expected. Pell that is. Will be back before the RC tomorrow. On Monday he performed like a sullen and defiant ten year old. Down to many answers, being yeah. Was asked, if this meant yes.

  63. nickthiwerspoon

    Agree. Oz is tragically served by its pollies; second-rate buffoons, bigots and cretins.

  64. ljdrummond24achlan

    I was an ALP member who marched in march. Many other Labor party comrades did too. I have to say, a lot of us are getting very tired of people thinking the Labor party is just as bad as the liberals. It’s just wrong.

    Bill Shorten may not have the mongrel a lot of us want. I voted for Albo. However, my advice to people is this: Forget the bullshit from the Greens and the biased media. Look at the substance.

    In parliament the ALP has been doing a lot of good. This despite a very hostile lower house which has effectively shut down any debate whatsoever. Labor has been using it’s remaining time in control of the Senate very effectively to block the vast majority of Tony Abbott’s agenda.

    Since the election Labor has:

    – Blocked the carbon tax repeal, and resisted junking a price on carbon as its policy despite massive media pressure
    – Blocked the mining tax repeal, again resisting huge pressure
    – blocked repealing section 18C of the racial discrimination act
    – blocked getting rid of the Qantas Sale Act
    – blocked proposed changes to financial reforms that
    – Opposed the Trans Pacific Partnerships (indeed it opposed it in government)
    – opposed handing back environmental approvals to the states
    – opposed ripping up the tasmanian forest agreement
    – opposed cuts to public services
    – opposed any medicare tax
    – held the government to account on Industry assistance and the collapse of Manufacturing
    – Called for an enquiry into what happened on Manus Island
    – opposed union involvement in the ALP leadership elections
    – caused the resignation of a chief of staff over a conflict of interest around food labelling
    – caused the resignation of a minister after moving a motion to force him to account for himself in parliament

    Of course refugees remains a problematic issue, but even here several Labor MPs have broken ranks to criticise offshore processing, including Melissa Parke and Sam Dastyari. So there are small glimmers of hope.

    This idea that we’re as bad as the liberals, is, frankly, complete crap.

  65. Roswell

    The suggestion that Labor is OK because they are leading in the polls is fraught with danger.

    Howard’s old trick was to hit us with the nasties after an election win and then try to sweeten us up before the next election.

    If Abbott has the same idea, then I’m afraid that there are enough idiots out there to fall for it.

  66. Fed up

    Roswwell. Agree polls tell us nothing, Saying that, I do not believe Abbott sees things the same way. Abbott is easy to reads. He will react to bad polls with more stunts. As usual he will go over the top, That is why I bothered to mention polls.

    …………..We noted earlier today that there was a bit of trouble brewing re: Labor and B-Bish.
    Now Matthew Knott reports that Labor will introduce a motion tomorrow into the Reps on the importance of independence:
    The motion will ask the House to endorse past statements by Coalition MPs – including Tony Abbott – on Speaker impartiality.
    It will also ask MPs to endorse “a practice whereby the Speaker refrains from attending his or her party room”.
    (Bronwyn Bishop currently attends party room meetings …)
    No doubt this will do much to ease the tensions between Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke and Madam Speaker.
    (Could the two be any snappier w,

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/the-pulse-live/politics-live-march-25-2014-20140325-35ew5.html#ixzz2wyamVLNw

    As I said, the MSM is beginning to talk about the Bishop speakership.

  67. DC

    I know what you mean Dan, it was probably largely the same mob at the Canberra Convoy of No Confidence/Alan Jones/LNP rally. Albanese was right to call them the convoy of no consequence. I know there may have been many in that crowd who stood back and resisted behaving like a lynch mob and they had their right to be heard like anyone else but the fact that this youtube video was posted by the no carbon tax mob themselves means they actually thought they came off looking like the winners on that day.

    I almost feel like I should apologise for temping you or any other readers to watch that pathetic display of ignorant mob behavior. I like to think they represent only a small (but loud) minority and that most swing votes received by the coalition were from people who are mostly just disinterested in politics, but nevertheless were unintentionally influenced by all the scare campaigns. I could be wrong though.

  68. JustThink4Once

    Labor is indeed in a pickle. It’s mistaken believes that catering to the rabid right wing media stranglehold on Australia’s news narrative whilst simultaneously murmuring platitudes to the left leaning elements of society will somehow place it in a winning political position. Hence the oft repeated phrase that “nobody knows what Labor stands for anymore”.
    The Greens have indeed captured the left end of the political spectrum that Labor dare not try and claw back through any form of alliance. Due in part to the MSM narrative that such voters are on the fringes of normal society and additionally through their erroneous assumption that the environmental vote will somehow be less significant in coming years. Witness the Tasmanian Labor disassociation from the Greens when it was politically expedient. A clear sign that when the going gets tough the environmental conscience can be wiped clean.
    If the coming years put climate change front and center again will Labor capture that vote? Or will the Greens reap the benefits of their consistent narrative? My guess is that a Labor/Green coalition is the only way they will get back into power.

  69. eleanawi

    No matter which Party is in government, there is going to be a huge event world-wide, a Global economic crash. I predict it for this year or next and Abbott will still be PM unless something totally unforseen happens. Joe Hockey will not be able to handle the new situation and he will have no help from his deputy. This is a bad start. Mr Swan would be in a much better position to handle it with experience from the last GFC. Watch the price of copper. When it falls dramatically, trouble ahead.

  70. Matters Not

    JustThink4Once said:

    Labor is indeed in a pickle

    Indeed it is, and at so many levels. At a superficial level, its structure is an historical anachronism. Branch Meetings are a complete and total joke, particularly when it comes to effecting or affecting policy outcomes. The notion of giving up a night to attend a Branch Meeting is only for the seriously bewildered. (Not that I’ve ever done that or even been a member of the ALP.)

    But at a deeper and more significant level, the ALP has no ‘philosophy’, broadly defined but not specifically referring to ‘metaphysics’, ‘epistemology’ or ‘axiology’.

    The current ALP lacks a ‘strategic planning’ dimension. There is no (apparent) vision, mission, values and strategies ‘framework’. While I’m not suggesting that Abbott et al have same, I am suggesting that the ALP might move beyond ‘pragmatism’ and ‘tactics” and simply relying on the next opinion poll.

    Put simply, don’t wait for things to happen, cause them to happen, Construct ‘reality’, don’t just inherit a ‘reality’ created by the other.

    Or to put it another way, become an architect rather than a worker bee, otherwise known as a drone, because that’s how it looks to me at the moment.

  71. Stephen Tardrew

    Matters Not:

    I think you are right. There is no core meta-theoretical foundation in Labors policy that defines a clear mission statement and a set of concrete objectives. There is no epistemological framework of being and knowing that under-girds Labor’s core principles or a sociological framework of value implicit goals and ethical foundations. Playing with the devil undermines party foundations which are lost in a morass of hypocrisy and unsound rationalizations and false-justification. When you do bad shit then admit it and then redefine your policies regardless of polling. It is your job to convince voters of the efficacy of moral beliefs and ethical behaviors.

    Labor ideologues can wax lyrical about the parties performance however without a a coherent reality construct those disillusioned with the party will find it difficult to return. Labor must actively pursue a vision of reality that squares with that of its disillusioned supporters and swing voters. Its not the diehards who you need to attract but the disillusioned.

  72. Matt James

    A lot of FB for an indie media webpage, that on its own is encouraging.

  73. joy cooper

    @Matters Not.

    Normally I give your comments a miss as you do have many of the hallmarks of a concern troll but I do draw the line at being referred to as “serious bewildered” for intending to attend an ALP branch meeting. As this is being held a 100++kms distance from our home your judgemental phrase would label me as extremely seriously bewildered. As you state you have NEVER been an ALP member nor attended a branch meeting how would you know? Others seem to accept your comments without any critique. I don’t.

    @Fed up is right, we have to be careful not to give that dreadful excuse for a human being, Christopher “Prissy Poodle” Pyne, any ammunition to use against the ALP. Hopefully he will pop a foofoo valve with all his faux outrage.

    @turnleft2013 As the ALP is definitely enduring a media blackout, of mammoth proportions, & does participate actively in social media (to the delight of foul-mouthed RW trolls) may we have a suggestion as to what they can do to get their message out? Think it would be much appreciated because, personally, I am at a loss as to how that can be achieved. We would love to be able to pass on to George Wright any sensible ideas.

  74. Hotspringer

    I am with Matters Not. If you can’t get a hearing, may as well walk out.

  75. Tracie

    I have an idea about how they can get their message out. They can write their ideas and policy concepts here. There are many who read articles here, rather than on MSM. For them to write on here, they would receive quite a bit of interest.

    They should use sites such as this to expand their territory. Since they can’t get their message across with Murdoch press, there are other avenues. To put so much emphasis on whatever Murdoch has is dangerous, particularly when there are other avenues.

  76. NickSmith

    All politicians are idiots
    I havn’t voted for years and years
    It is a waste of time,labor,liberal,greens,.palmer,etc etc
    All just a pack of self interested jerks

    Now we got dames and knights,what a joke he is LOL LOL
    Phony Tony is a backward jerk,no vision,no idea
    You voted for them,now we all suffer and will continue to
    until the end of time LOL

  77. Douglas Evans

    Michael
    Don’t know why it took me so long to notice this article (with which I agree). A couple of points. The disappointment with Labor was certainly as great as the anger with the Coalition at the Melbourne MiM.
    Shorten’s a dud. Didn’t we always know he would be? But the problem (as many commenters point out here) is much greater than who is heading up this outfit.

    Matters Not is spot on (just above) with his analysis of what ails the Party of the Fair Go. Many people have been saying what he writes for years. When every issue is negotiable and the Party as a consequence standing for nothing but the fast fading remnant of its social democratic heritage what can any of them say beyond ‘tell us what you want’.

    The loss of direction reflects the deeper malaise that the Bracks Carr Faulkner Review from 2010 pointed out.
    Falling membership (still). Aging membership (still). Rank and file members absolutely sidelined in policy and preselection decision making (still). Power firmly in the hands of the representatives of a small minority of the workforce whose dues bankroll the Party but who are by no means certain to vote for the Party (still).

    Stephen Tardrew (just above) feels that Labor must align itself with the aspirations of its ‘disillusioned supporters and swing voters’. Unfortunately these two groups generally have diametrically opposed aspirations. The disillusioned supporters want the Party to remember what it once stood for (or at least said it stood for). The swing voters just want whatever is bugging them at the moment to be fixed.

    With power firmly in the hands of Union bosses and factional chieftains whose primary interest is in maintaining their position within the Party structure there will be no meaningful reform. Sorry Dan Rowden and other brave souls committed to change from within.

    I’ve said before many times in comments columns and articles (to the chagrin of aging Labor gatekeepers) and I’ll say it again here. I think Labor will split again. The social democratic core which has no hope of regaining meaningful power within the ALP will move on. They might just give up and move to the sunshine coast to await the end of days. They might join the Greens and work to shape the agenda within a Party which has the infrastructure to allow its members a voice firmly in place. This would be the rational decision. More likely however, given our propensity to keep reinventing the wheel, we will see a tiny New ‘Labour’ Party appear and begin the long slow grind up into relevance and some share of power.

    Should this happen it would mean that the parties still laying claim to the ‘progressive’ vote would look like this:
    A still declining social liberal ALP (along the lines Bowen wants)
    A tiny social democratic New Labour Party
    The Greens.

    New Labour and the Greens will be torn between competing for votes and working out how to co-operate. The ALP flooded with wounded pride and fading memories of lost relevance will constantly badmouth and attempt to undermine the others (sure they will its in their DNA).

    If something like any of my tea cup prognostications happens I think it will be many many years before we see any sort of progressive government in this country again. If we simply continue with business as usual we will presumably simply see Labor’s long march from relevance continue – primary vote has fallen inexorably from around 50% at 1950 to around 37% today. Meanwhile the planet continues to warm and the future to rapidly darken.

  78. Tracie

    Nick Smith, I doubt that many here voted for him. I know I put him last at all times.

    The LNP member here kept telling everyone how great his family was. There were no real policies. He was not voted in.

  79. Kaye Lee

    Joy,

    A walkout from question time would attract attention. They could hold a media conference instead. Or if they are going to attend question time, stop asking repetitive inane questions that start with “when did the minister know….”

    Draw attention to the lies and misinformation. Hockey keeps waffling on about Labor’s $667 billion debt that they have been left with. Is it beyond the realms of possibility for Shorten to ask the simple question of what was the gross debt when you took office? or point out that the figure Hockey keeps quoting is a projection for 2022-23. He continually gets away with this and it should be stopped.

    Why not ask Tony to explain the difference between a carbon tax and a fixed price emissions trading scheme. Why not question him about the two new planes he wants to buy to carry business people and journalists with him around the world. Tony made a deal with the press that they would get a seat provided they didn’t report badly about spending so much money.

    It seems to me that Labor are playing the LNP game but badly. Stop looking for gotcha moments and focus on policy and spending decisions and correcting the misinformation.

  80. Grumpypop51

    Nick Smith…you haven’t voted for years and now it’s the fault of those who did vote that we have Abbott and company in power? We all suffer because you and others like you take no part in the process. If you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain about the government the rest of the population put in power. Good, or bad. By not voting, you help them out. The politicians rely on your (and others) apathetic complacency.

  81. Kaye Lee

    Almost 20% of eligible people did not cast a valid vote. They were either not registered, failed to vote, or voted informally. If we can motivate these people to register, educate them on how to cast a formal vote, and point out that they DO make a difference, then we might have a chance to save this country before Tony Abbott sells the whole damn place off. Corporate power will flourish under this government as they abrogate their responsibility to protect us from their greed.

    Nick, we need you.

  82. Kaye Lee

    Today’s QT might be interesting

    “Labor will ramp up its criticism of Speaker Bronwyn Bishop on Wednesday by asking Coalition MPs to support a parliamentary motion calling for the Speaker to be impartial and not attend party room meetings.

    On Wednesday, manager of opposition business Tony Burke will introduce a motion into the House of Representatives on the importance of Speaker independence.

    The motion will ask the House to endorse past statements by Coalition MPs – including Prime Minister Tony Abbott – on Speaker impartiality.

    It will also ask MPs to endorse “a practice whereby the Speaker refrains from attending his or her party room”.

    http://m.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/labor-to-move-motion-on-speaker-independence-20140325-35fx0.html

  83. NickSmith

    I am educated,that’s why I don’t vote for the monkeys
    In the big circus tent
    Tony,Kevin,Julia,need I say any more
    Sorry if you voted for the idiots,

  84. joy cooper

    Kaye Lee

    All good suggestions but imagine the hypocritical censuring the ALP would receive from the MSM if they did walk out of Question Time? It would be wall-to-wall banner headlines’ disparagement. Personally, I would cheer if they did walk out. This present government, & its woeful Speaker, deserve no respect at all.

    Unfortunately, the only mention QT gets in evening commercial TV news is slanted towards the government with only brief mentions of the ALP. ABC’s QT has a limited audience as does QandA, more’s the pity.

  85. Kaye Lee

    Nick,

    You not voting does not stop someone getting elected. You can have a say in who that is or you can shut up and accept whatever happens to you. I can understand dissatisfaction with the current crop of politicians but pretending they aren’t there is pointless. I cannot understand your attitude in any way. Support a good Independent or make suggestions about changes. In life you can be a participator or an observer. You have sidelined yourself so have no say in the game.

  86. diannaart

    Joy

    Labor have nothing to lose by staging a walkout on Bishop – damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I’d rather see the MSM working itself into a lather over Labor very clearly separating itself from the viscous and vicious slime that is the LNP.

  87. joy cooper

    diannaart

    Very true. Wonder what the parliamentary rules & regs say about walking out. Mind you, the l-NP flout the rules & regs continuously without any sanctions or critical media reaction.

  88. Kaye Lee

    Joy,

    They did it in Victoria

    “Victorian Labor MPs have staged a Question Time walkout after they were blocked from asking questions about embattled Frankston MP Geoff Shaw.”

    Something could come from Tony Burke’s motion today. Let’s hope so. Tom Wilson said the community has to shine a light on dark places. Bronnie’s speakership is ebony.

  89. oldfart

    The most telling image I have of this current parliament was one of TA and Bill Shorten having a cosy little “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” chat in the chamber behind the speakers chair.
    NOT A GOOD LOOK BILL there are cameras there Bill

  90. oldfart

    I thought I heard somewhere in the dark distant past that if there was no functioning opposition that there had to be an election called. Please correct me if I’m wrong

  91. Wayne Turner

    I think we should all stop this sport of “Labor bashing”.It does us and them no good,it only feeds the Liberal party,and MSM.

    I see the major difference between the core supporters,as this:-

    *Liberal party – No Standards.Abbott is the Aussie version of George W. Bush,a bunch of empty lying slogans and a complete moron ONLY propped up by the MSM.If the Liberal party supporters had ANY standards this light weight wouldn’t be leader ANY time.But,these supporters show they support any dimwit that would get them into power.

    *Labor party – Standards.Good to have standards,and yes Labor could be better (Still alot better than this Liberal party).But the down side,their supporters publically bagging the leader and/or party.I say keep it private.

    The real enemy is this pathetic Liberal party and the MSM.

  92. Wayne Turner

    Plus of course this Liberal party has poor excuse for policies.EG: Direct Action. While Labor are far superior policy wise.

  93. Geoff P

    I don’t have any issue with Labor at present, they are in the process of reinventing themselves and the huge swing in the Female vote to Labor is evidence of success.

    Current polls indicate quite strongly that Labor is doing the right thing.

    Labors moving away from the obstructionist Greens is a great move as Greens showing their eagerness to work with Abbott in the Senate.

    The true litmus test will be the WA Senate re-election and a strong showing in WA will mean Labor is well on the way to creating a one term tony.

    I used to be a demanding voter but now realise that the brilliant policies of the Rudd/Gillard Goverments were insufficient to keep voters. A change is needed and I think Shorten & his team are doing that bit by bit.

    Watch WA , that will be the true indicator of Labor :-))

  94. Fed up

    I believe there has been a previous walkout. Maybe it was in the days of Beasly.

    Still, no good doing it, until the public has some awareness of how this government and their bias and incompetent speaker is behaving.

    I feel that the public is becoming aware.

    Wonder if Abbott has a stunt for today.

  95. Fed up

    Tony Burke getting a good hearing today on ABC 24. Yes, the speaker is the main topic of conversation. Tony just said, he has to be careful what he says about a speaker outside the house. I believe he, or any other can be censured within the house.

    Tony also made it clear, he does not accept, that not having the numbers, means one can do nothing about the problem.

  96. Rod Whitfield

    There’s something to be said for sitting back, giving Abbott and his fascist party enough rope, and watching them hang themselves. On these counts, both parties are doing a stupendous job…

  97. Fed up

    I believe that madam speaker might be pulling back a little, Did not follow Pyne/s direction.

    Letting questions through. Mumbling abut free speech for the last two days.

    The look on Abbott’s face, show displeasure.

  98. Fed up

    Can one win?

    …………Prime Minister Tony Abbott has accused Labor of engaging in a campaign to diminish the federal parliament with its attacks on Speaker Bronwyn Bishop.

    But Mr Abbott has stopped short of describing the campaign to unseat Ms Bishop from the speaker’s chair as sexist.

    ‘The Labor party have been running a real campaign against the speaker,’ Mr Abbott told Fairfax Radio on Wednesday.

    ‘Now, if the coalition had been running a campaign that was as vicious towards the female Labor speaker as Labor have been towards Bronwyn Bishop, we would have charges of misogyny echoing around the parliament.’

    Mr Abbott did not accuse Labor of sexism.

    ‘I just think they’re being nasty and vicious, and I would invite people to listen to the parliament, look at the way the Labor frontbench are treating the speaker,’ he said.

    ‘Now, Bronwyn is a pretty tough cookie and she’s giving as good as she gets, but certainly I think the Labor party are engaging in a deliberate campaign to diminish our parliament.’

    http://www.skynews.com.au/politics/article.aspx?id=961329

  99. Wayne Turner

    Indeed Fed Up – This reported as factual,when it’s just Abbott’s one-sided BIASED crap.

    So when will Bronwyn stop attending Liberal party meetings,and stop insults of Labor party MP’s titles?

  100. Fed up

    Whatever Labor does, this will be the result in the media. Bishop was a little more careful today. Pyne seems to have been reined in.

    http://images.smh.com.au/2014/03/26/5295744/what-20140326150803427535-620×349.jpg

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten responds as Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks at the despatch box. Photo: Andrew Meares
    Upvotes:9 Downvotes:7 Copy Link
    3:07pm: Malcolm Turnbull has a Dixer from WA MP Nola Marino on affordable broadband.
    It contains the usual digs about Conrovianism and is all fairly ho-hum until the Communications Minister starts heckling the Labor benches from the despatch box (who we assume were heckling him about knights/dames).
    Then refers to himself as “committed republican”.
    “I didn’t see you at the barricades!”
    And Labor just can’t handle it.
    (There is more of that laughter that Madam Speaker was talking about before.)

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/the-pulse-live/politics-live-march-26-2014-20140326-35h7c.html#ixzz2x2gncFm2

  101. Peter Lee

    Perhaps Mr Shortenj should tell Foreign Minister Bishop that Australia has never processed asylum applicants in a third country for resettlement in a third country. Perhaps the shadow Minister should be on the ball. Mr Marles, there are many supporters within the Immigration department who could confirm this or perhaps you would like t contact me.

  102. Christopher Buttel

    Unbelievable, 102 comments complaining about Liberal and Labor and not a single mention of the Palmer United Party. People are going to have to realize that if you vote for either Liberal or Labor then you are voting for the continuation of the duopoly. The only real alternative government has arrived; you the voters are the only ones that can make the change, but you are going to have to escape from this duopoly mindset that has been manufactured for you by the major parties with a complicit media. Those who participated in the march should now realize that you are fighting a united team, comprising Liberal, Labor and the media who ignored the main focus of the march to concentrate on the radical few. In order for change to occur then there must be a willingness for people to accept change. Constantly rotating power between the duopoly parties will only ever deliver more of the same. I urge everyone to take a serious look at the Palmer United Party policies, without the biased media hype that is continuously dished up about Clive. You don’t have to become a lifelong supporter but at least consider an alternative with an open mind.

  103. randalstella

    I urge PUP big daddy to pay his taxes; like I have to pay mine. Once he does, and shows he is willing to continue to pay his fair share, I’ll look at his concerns for common wealth of the country.

  104. Imagining

    Outstanding comments above by Stephen Tardrew and Douglas Evans.
    Writing as a former very active ALP member who left the party many many years ago,
    and someone who has been a political activist for many years, I know that their comments
    are accurate and perceptive.
    Before the 2013 election I started getting emails from ALP head office, why I do not know.
    I then wrote to the local ALP candidate, but never received any reply at all, but the
    begging emails continued to arrive in my inbox every day. Since September, I have heard nothing
    from anyone in the ALP.
    Anyone who pins their hopes on the ALP as it currently operates, will surely have them dashed..

  105. Gina

    If Baroness Speaker did her job properly, instead of being biased, then perhaps Duke Shorten’s clan would be more inclined in ferocity and energy that is should be bestowing upon Sovereign Prince Abbott’s team. Yes, I know, a sovereign prince has a lower rank than a duke. Spare me.

    It goes without say that when someone is constantly shut down and not allowed to speak, then there is a point at which one feels “useless.” Unfortunately, they’re all useless at the moment. It is time to clean up their act.

  106. Jack Lloyd

    Amazing – As a Labor Party member I can only say that I am well satisfied with Bill Shorten’s performance and with that of the Opposition team. Labor offers the only realistic alternative to the present Abbott Government. That said, there is room for some policy changes – especially on assylum seekers. However, as a fairly new ALP member at the age of 71, I can only say that Labor has consistently shown more willingness to fight for a fair go and to bring about far reaching changes in Australia and the world. It best represents the aspirations of the multitudes who marched in March and it is changing to accommodate their interests.

  107. Fed up

    Yes people should be able to hold and express any view they like. I have no problem with that.

    I do have big problems, using lies to uphold those views.

    That is what Bolt did. He lied about the ancestry of people to support his argument, that many claimed false Indigenous ancestry, to claim benefits they are not entitled to.

    He accused them of fraud.

  108. Fed up

    No performance from Dutton today. If so, I missed it.

    Tony Burke now on, defending the decision not to back sale of Medibank Private. It appears, the sale will add to the deficit. Bring in up to half a billion each years. Howard got enabling leglisation through, but pulled back on selling for that reason. Will cost the taxpayers, not sve them money.

    Catherine King, shadow health minister cut off while talking.

  109. Fed up

    Maybe, if one cannot stomach either major party, they look around for a good emerging independent in their community, and get behind them.

    This appeared to have worked in Indi. Seem to have gained a good member.

  110. samantha

    Sadly I hate to admit that Labor is weak at the knees. Abbott and his pillagers seem to have nothing to fear. Shame on you Labor, Shame on you Bill Shorten you have let me down. You should have left Julia Gillard to cream the Abbott crew but you were too self interested . I have resigned my membership from Labor.

  111. Matters Not

    joy cooper said:

    Normally I give your comments a miss as you do have many of the hallmarks of a concern troll but I do draw the line at being referred to as “serious bewildered” for intending to attend an ALP branch meeting.

    Not sure what meaning you give to ‘concern troll’. Perhaps you could explain? As Pauline never could. But while that’s an aside, you might care to explain the contributions of others? But it matters not.

    Can I also draw your attention to what Stephen Tardrew said:

    Matters Not:

    I think you are right. There is no core meta-theoretical foundation in Labors policy that defines a clear mission statement and a set of concrete objectives. There is no epistemological framework of being and knowing that under-girds Labor’s core principles or a sociological framework of value implicit goals and ethical foundations.

    Is Stephen a ‘concern troll’ as well? What about Douglas Evans and his assertion:

    Matters Not is spot on (just above) with his analysis of what ails the Party of the Fair Go. Many people have been saying what he writes for years </blockquote<

    Is he a 'concern troll' as well?

    Can I also draw your attention to Imagining who stated:

    Anyone who pins their hopes on the ALP as it currently operates, will surely have them dashed

    Is he/she a ‘concerned troll as well?

    Joy, just for the record while I’ve never been a member of the Party, I’ve been a Private Secretary to an ALP Minister, have written any number of policies for same and I don’t really consider the other side of politics in the same way as I don’t consider stepping in ‘canine shit’.

    When you do some serious ‘homework’ re the problems the ALP has (and they are numerous) we might talk again.

  112. Matters Not

    Seems I made some ‘technical’ errors. Can anyone correct?

  113. Matters Not

    Thanks Michael, but I am not sure that you have nailed it. Sorry.

    Btw feel free to delete this technical problem given it neither adds nor detracts from the flow

  114. Michael Taylor

    Done MN. 🙂

  115. Stephen Tardrew

    I’m a bogglingly troll. Very droll.

    Bitta fun Matters Not.

  116. Dr Lawrence S. Roberts.

    The Labor Party being are happy in opposition; No worries and Pay Perks & Pensions.

  117. Peter Lee

    The Labor Party members are slow learners. Tony Abbot was far more competent in disrupting the business of Parliament. The only difference is that the previous Labor Government had a slender majority wheras the Government of Abbot has a massive majority and it is comparatively incompetent.

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