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Pink Batts and Red Tape are not naughty words

Image from canberratimes.com.au

Image from canberratimes.com.au

The LNP government are experts at using a carefully selected set of ‘naughty, bad, bad Labor’ words to frame an issue to their advantage. They work hard to keep these words negative for Labor, to wed them to bad connotations, and to insert them into any situation, especially when they’re on the back foot. Negative words like ‘unions’, ‘pink batts’, ‘waste’, ‘red tape’ and ‘Craig Thomson’. It should be obvious that they’re doing this, but unfortunately the electorate don’t think very hard about what is actually being said. They just let the negativity wash over them, and Labor ends up getting bashed, unjustifiably, time and time again. And of course the media don’t help, because they adore anything that even looks like Labor bashing. So these negative words find themselves all over political sound bites all over the news. Like a virus, they get spread around the electorate, eating away at Labor’s credibility, particularly amongst disengaged voters.

It’s important to understand that this is not dog whistling. This is strategic framing. The Liberals are experts at this tactic, and Labor are terrible at combatting it. But if Labor are going to win the next election, they need to get better at communicating. They need to learn how to defend against these words, to shift the frame and to expose the Liberals for what they are really saying. They need to turn these ‘naughty’ words into toxic words for Tony Abbott.

I know it’s not easy. I know Labor’s first instinct is to try to explain the complexity of an issue, to throw facts at the problem. But this is not going to work. It’s time Labor realised that facts are the domain of the left, being abandoned by right-wingers long ago. As George Lakoff, framing expert and author of ‘Don’t think of an elephant’, explains, progressives need to get over the myth of ‘Enlightenment’ which is that:

“The truth will set us free. If we just tell people the facts, since people are basically rational beings, they’ll all reach the right conclusions”.

I must admit, I’m a victim of this myth. I throw facts at Liberal bullshit all the time. But just as Lakoff says, facts just bounce off Abbott voters. They’re impervious to rational argument.

So what can Labor do? What should they say to combat these words being used against them time and time again? I’ve written before about Labor’s communication problems, and how these problems overshadow the great policy reforms of the previous Labor government. So it’s time Labor tried something new. Here are my tips about what Labor should be saying in the media (mainstream, independent and social), to build their own frame. Just by using two sets of these naughty words together, you can see that Labor can turn the negative words frame to their advantage:

Pink batts and Red Tape

This week, Joe Hockey said:

“If we don’t get on top of the proper management of the NDIS, not only would it not be sustainable, but it could end up as big a farce as the pink batts program or the $900 test program.”

This is clearly Joe Hockey on the back foot, worried about how he will explain that his government is putting at risk the NDIS, by putting a hiring freeze on public servants who need to run the program. He is also no doubt pre-empting a change to the NDIS funding in the budget, now that Abbott’s government has decided they have run out of money. It’s clear there are several layers of bullshit intertwined in this short statement. But focussing just on ‘pink batts’ for a moment. These are two short words, that when put together, cause havoc for Labor. Let me lapse into old habits and throw in some facts. The Home Insulation Scheme was no more dangerous to installers than the industry was before the government funded stimulus scheme was implemented. A scheme that successfully insulated (and ironically cut energy usage) in over a million homes. As eloquently outlined in this Independent Australia article:

“The CSIRO’s basic research – developed further by Possum Comitatus at Crikey – found the rate of fires, injuries and deaths was actually four times higher during the Howard years than during the period of the home insulation program”.

The lack of knowledge of this fact amongst the electorate is evidence of Labor’s failure to defend against the ‘pink batts’ frame. So moving right along, since we know facts don’t help, let’s look at what Labor should be saying, by throwing in another Liberal negative frame: ‘red tape’.

We all know Liberals say they’re cutting ‘red tape’ because they want to do a favour to their rich business mates. We know the regulations they are cutting are actually really important for consumers and workers to keep people safe, to save the environment, to protect communities from rampant greed and to safeguard employee rights. We all get that right? Yet, we now have a government who has celebrated ‘repeal day’, where over 8,000 regulations (rights) are on the chopping block. And the Australian public have mostly stood by and welcomed this attack on all of us. Go figure. It’s actually too hypocritical for words to, in once sentence, enact a Royal Commission into the ‘pink batt debacle’ at the very same time as you’re cutting hundreds of regulations that stop private businesses, like the ones that took up the government funding to install home insulation, from putting profit ahead of safety. That’s right. Private companies hired the workers who tragically died due to a lack of regulation and training in the insulation installation industry. Abbott is hypocritical beyond Bullshit Mountain. And no, I’m not asking Bill Shorten to say this. Don’t forget, Lakoff says not to think about an elephant. Don’t mention Abbott. Labor needs to make their own frame. Because defending against Abbott’s frame just gives his words more prominence, and in turn more value. But how about this for a frame that meets these parameters. How about Shorten say this whenever he’s in the vicinity of a camera or a Facebook meme:

We welcome an enquiry into safety within the home insulation scheme. We welcome any inquiry, no matter how politically motivated to try to make Labor look bad, to make sure workers have the rights to a safe work place and the regulations that enshrine these working rights in law. Unions protect workers’ rights in this way. Perhaps if more of the workers installing home insulation were part of a union, these tragic deaths might not have occurred. At a time when the government is cutting regulations that protect workers, and that make sure young men and women don’t die in workplace accidents, it’s important to remember that ‘red tape’ is not a naughty word. It’s often not until the tape is taken away, that we realise just how badly we need it.

Then say it again, and again and again. See how that goes Labor. See how often Abbott and his team mention pink batts and red tape after this new frame has been heard by the electorate a couple of hundred times.

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60 comments

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  1. David Crooke

    Yes works in this instance. But all the other instances need attention as well.

  2. rossleighbrisbane

    Yep, the Liberals’ “pink batts was too rushed, but we have too much red tape slowing down industry” contradiction makes about as much sense as saying Arthur back was appointed Assistant Treasurer because of his exceptionally memory.
    Although, he does have an “exceptionally” memory when I think about it. He ‘excepts’ a lot from it.

  3. Margot Korbell

    I suggest that all Labor and Green candidates and their staff and strategists read Don’t Think of an Elephant. Know Your Values and Frame Your Debate, The Essential Guide for Progressives. by George Lakoff.

    Don’t Think of an Elephant! is the definitive handbook for understanding what happened in the 2004 election and communicating effectively about key issues facing America today. Author George Lakoff has become a key advisor to the Democratic party, helping them develop their message and frame the political debate.

    In this book Lakoff explains how conservatives think, and how to counter their arguments. He outlines in detail the traditional American values that progressives hold, but are often unable to articulate. Lakoff also breaks down the ways in which conservatives have framed the issues, and provides examples of how progressives can reframe the debate.

    Lakoff’s years of research and work with environmental and political leaders have been distilled into this essential guide, which shows progressives how to think in terms of values instead of programs, and why people vote their values and identities, often against their best interests.

    Don’t Think of An Elephant! is the antidote to the last forty years of conservative strategizing and the right wing’s stranglehold on political dialogue in the United States.

    Read it, take action–and help take America back.

    How Democrats and Progressives Can Win (DVD) features a lively interview with George Lakoff, television news clips, and illustrative graphics, this is a must-see media tool for everyone who wants to better understand and communicate the progressive agenda. Includes “How to Debate a Conservative,” “Know Your Values,” and much more. Each DVD includes a summary card of key points. Produced by Educate the Base, LLC.
    Available from Booktopia . Paper back 12.95 e book 10.50 Book with CD or DVD 27.25

  4. ken svey

    The Libs never talk of the hundred deaths a year in Australian work places, every year.

  5. Joe Banks

    Victoria, like so many people at the moment, you clearly never stop thinking about the problem of how to beat the bullshit, lies and propaganda of the LNP. I hope you never stop until it is beaten. I totally agree with what you say above. I also believe Labor needs to add ridicule and derision to their list of weapons but it takes the right people to fire the shots (Paul Keating was a master). As Corinne Grant suggested this week: …TAKE THE PISS. But it needs to be cleverly directed at the main players in the LNP and their idiotic policies. And it all comes back, again, to who is gifted enough to fire the shots. The media allowed the LOGIC of the Pink Batts affair to be non existent and Labor, I suppose, had to be mindful of the feelings of the families of the victims. But the drama surrounding that issue should never have been allowed to gather momentum and now Abbott is wasting millions of taxpayers money trying to keep the issue alive. Time to ‘kill it’ in whatever way possible (I suspect the Royal Commission will do that). Your approach is more subtle than mine would be and I sincerely hope somebody in the Labor party reads this article and acts upon it. Go, Victoria!

  6. Rob

    Remove “that make labor look bad”. You’ve unconsciously lapsed into the liberal brainwash. Yes, pervasive isn’t it. Otherwise exceptional.

  7. Ricardo29

    Rudd caved in too quickly on the Pink Batts issue and hung Garrett out to dry. Labor should be referring to “the highly successful PB initiative, a million homes using less energy. Four regrettable deaths but due to the greed of fly-by-night businesses claiming skills they didn’t have”. Repeat ad nauseum.

  8. rossleighbrisbane

    Actually, Jonathan Haidt makes the interesting point that that the Republicans have managed to make a better appeal the emotions in terms of political debate which puts them at an advantage, because people are prone to make an emotional response then justify it intellectually later.

  9. rossleighbrisbane

    Whoops, that link was to the wrong article

  10. Kaye Lee

    As with everything, Tony Abbott is using the death of four young men for political purposes. This in itself it shameful but hardly surprising considering how he uses the drowning of asylum seekers for the same purpose and as an excuse to commit human rights abuses.

    Ignoring the recommendations from the eight inquiries that have already been conducted, he is keen to make mileage out of this to condemn two men who are no longer in Parliament in the hope that he gets an emotive response from the public and that some shit will stick to Labor. This is a blatant waste of taxpayer money.

    As ken mentioned, there were 212 work-related fatalities in 2012, 185 in 2013, and, as of April 1, there have been 42 worker fatalities so far this year. But lets cut red tape because those people don’t matter – all that matters to Tony Abbott is message control and spin to manipulate public opinion for his own ambition.

  11. CMMC

    They are like the alien children in “Village of the Damned”, these conservitard zealots.

    Malevolent, stony-faced and utterly humourless, they are guided by the telepathy of talk-back radio and tabloid memes.

  12. Don Winther

    How many people die in China, India, Korea, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia etc producing cheap imports that destroy our very safe local inddustries? The human cost of free trade. The Pink Batts went wrong but was that the fault of the Govenment or the contractors entrusted with the instalations. Abbott, Hockey and Cormann have only destroyed middle class Australia so far and appear to have no idea about biulding anything.

  13. Anomander

    What concerns me the most is the number of everyday people blithely accepting this simplistic, jingoistic, bullshit and swallowing it unquestioningly, without once assessing.

    In many respects, the modern day attitude to politics mirrors the fast-food industry where pre-prepared meals have become the norm, where formulaic takeaway is endemic and synonymous with convenience, where we no longer value the works that goes into a great meal, we want to spend the least amount of effort possible so we can gorge ourselves and get on with other things.

    But we have take politics several steps beyond food. We now have vast swathes of society where the very act of thinking is deemed as hard work. Many people nowadays seem to want their politics, and accordingly, their views already prepared and chewed for them, swallowed, pre-digested and spewed directly into their mind, so they can avoid all the hard work of actually having to think.

    Sure, there are a small group of us who like to grow and prepare our own food from scratch, to know and assess the quality of the ingredients, to slowly savour and analyse the different taste sensations, rather than simply viewing it as nourishment.

    The same metaphor holds true when it comes to our willingness to analyse politics, to evaluate and form opinions based on facts and evidence, and to devote brain-power to thinking deeply about the state of our society and the path we should be taking.

    But I fear we are in the minority and that just like fast-food, our news and our politics is full of unnecessary preservatives, artificial colourings, flavourings and additives that are actively eating away at the brains of many people, who choose them because they have been marketed incredibly well and it is often convenient to have someone do the hard work of thinking on their behalf.

    But in outsourcing our thinking, are we really getting the taste and the quality we deserve from our politics, or are we simply being fed shit in a political sesame-seed bun?

  14. Don Winther

    Why is Borack Obarma so determined to rebuild there Auto and manufacturing industries and is putting his neck on the line to build Obamahcare when Abbott has just destroyed our local auto and manufacturing industry and is determined to sell our Medicare? Whats going on Abbott?
    MADE IN AUSTRALIA jobs for Australians

  15. Richard Leggatt.

    Or this………………….We welcome an enquiry into safety within the home insulation scheme. If the people in charge of installing the insulation had followed even rudimentary safety procedures, these deaths needn’t have occurred. However at the same time as the government is cutting “Red Tape” They are accusing Labor of not having enough! They can’t have it both ways, it’s important to remember that ‘red tape’ is not a naughty word. Most legislation that is relevant for todays world is there for a reason. To protect the people of Australia!

  16. Don Winther

    Anomanda

    ” Sell your kitckens and buy takeaway ” Abbott / McDonalds

  17. Kelly

    Great suggestions in this article, do you reckon the shadow ministry is listening? They looked great when they were laughing at Madame Speaker taking the piss on the TV was really bad medecine for Abbott who quickly announced some somber news about the missing jet plane. Reframming the debate in terms of workers whs entitlements is the way to go.

  18. Don Winther

    Sorry about my spelling this new ( Chinesse made ) keyboard is crazy. Do we make keyboards in Australia?

  19. puffytmd

    Reblogged to Dog Thieves are Scum.

  20. Michael Taylor

    Can’t say I disagree with you, Ricardo. Rudd’s treatment of Garrett was disgraceful.

  21. Don Winther

    Yer Michael if we do don’t tell Abbott.

  22. frontad84

    frontad84, on April 4th 2014 at 12.35 pm said:
    Cannot understand how Labour can be held responsible for the inefficiencies of the obviously unprofessional get rich quick Contractors who were hired by Labour and whose staff, (obviously untrained in the rules and regulations of the Installation of roof insulation) actually carried out the installation of the Pink Batts.
    If anybody should be brought to book over the deaths of those workers it should rightfully be the Contractor who was in charge of the work and who was obviously trying to make as much money as possible very quickly. The untrained Staff were probably laying the batts over the all the electrical roof wiring and down lights so it is easy to see how heat generated from this incorrect procedure could cause house fires.
    I do not remember seeing anywhere that Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard or Peter Garrett ever crawled into a ceiling to install the batts.
    And what of the Health and Safety Department ? Why didn’t they do their job and inspect the work the shoddy Contractors were doing?
    According to the visuals that are continually shown on TV the Contractors were also breaking the OH&S rules by walking around on the roofs without any safety fences !
    In any case this whole charade and unnecessary expense by the Libs is only so they can as usual make things look blacker for Labour, I only wish that their supporters will have enough brains to see through this Slimy mob.

  23. Stephen Tardrew

    Anomander:

    You are entirely right McDonald’s science, economics, ethical and political education are dumbing down knowledge. The fact that Pine wants to screw with the curriculum once again demonstrates how ideologically weighted information is for most young people. They talk about freedom of choice then load up education with their particular prejudices in public and private schools. Like John Lord said previously he does not know much about science yet he can express the underlying principles of science quite well.

    The other side of the equation is love compassion and ethics that can counter a lack of scientific understanding. The claim that ethics is relative is only nominally true when we can observe that the harm and suffering done to others is the harm and suffering we would not want done to us. The difficult part is defining cause and there is not much chance of that when dogma is involved. Science on the other hand is defining reciprocity, kinship, sharing and caring and the fact that after a certain level of wealth people are no happier. Of course people are entitled to believe what they like however if the foundation of facts are excluded then we are open to all kinds of ideological mischief.

    Then there is the strait out visceral and heart felt care for fellow human beings based upon love, compassion and kindness which if understood will keep an ideology on a steady path of justice and equity. But who is telling our kids these things in an open forum of trust and caring.

    Victoria I think this is part of the problem a lack of consequential thinking and logical deduction. How can people make rational deductive decisions if they do not know what rationality, deduction and critical thinking is. The unionization of the NDIS is classic lateral thinking nevertheless while unions are vilified it will just be spat out as leftist socialist propaganda.

    You have put your finger on the problem with Enlightenment naivety. Who’s truth and what freedom?

    The truth is austerity does not work and yet public sector spending does. Austerity and free market deregulation means no wages and jobs expansion therefore no viable economy for the masses. It is that simple.

    Its incredible that people cannot see that regardless of economic conditions the stock market thrives investors make a killing and bouses are driven into the stratosphere.

  24. Bacchus

    Another excellent, thought provoking article Victoria.

    So what can Labor do? What should they say to combat these words being used against them time and time again?

    I think they also need to consider who they’re saying these words to, not just what they’re saying. Going back to Lakoff, we need to look at the different ways conservatives and progressives think, and target our words accordingly – create the frame in the language of the listener.

    Ad Astra over at TPS wrote an excellent piece on this aspect in December last year (http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2013/12/08/The-myth-of-political-sameness.aspx). In it he looks at Lakoff’s thesis based on the metaphor of the nation as a family, and highlights the different language used by the “The Strict Father model” (conservatives) and the The Nurturant Parent model (progressives).

    Have a read of Ad Astra’s piece – I think it may help to formulate the type of words needed, the correct frame, to influence different sides of the political divide. In Lakoff’s words as quoted by Ad Astra:

    To change minds, you must change brains. You must make unconscious politics conscious. Because most of what our brains do is unconscious, you can’t find out how people’s brains work by just asking them. That is why neuroscience and cognitive sciences are necessary.

  25. Michael Taylor

    If we do, Don, they’ll probably shut up shop soon anyway.

  26. contriteshadow

    To me, the most surprising thing about the “pink batts” scheme was how many Australian homes don’t (or didn’t) have insulation. And, a small point, but no less relevant than the issue of safety concerns inherent in the scheme, you didn’t mention that some people were made aware of potentially fatal problems inside their roof that would have otherwise gone unnoticed until they caused a fire. For all we know, the scheme saved more lives than it took; small comfort though that is to the families of those who died.

    I felt personal indignation at your allegation that Aussie voters aren’t swayed by facts. But, looking around me at the state of the country, and thinking back over some of the spurious tactics that have won over millions of voters…fair point.

  27. Stephen Tardrew

    Bacchus:

    Spot on psychology demonstrates how susceptible people are to continual reinforcement of information which is imprinted subconsciously. Add an element of fear by triggering the amygdala and those thoughts and fears become very hard to extinguish or change. This is why conservatives are more prone to emotions than rationalism. He who speaks loudest and longest with visceral emotional content will influence a reasonable proportion of the population.

    This is where the left has been left behind. Abbott’s strategy was based upon week after week meeting workers in the workplace regardless of whether they liked him or not and just keep on spinning his visceral dislike of Julia and his fear based projection of an nonexistent unmanageable deficit.

    And it worked.

  28. Stephen Tardrew

    By the way Bacchus have been assiduously reading Bill Mitchell. Great resource. Thanks for the link.

  29. Bacchus

    Good to hear Stephen – the more people who start getting their heads around how macroeconomics actually works as opposed to how conservatives (mis)tell us how it works, the better 🙂

    Another worth watching from the US is:

    L. Randall Wray, Ph.D. is Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Research Director with the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability and Senior Research Scholar at The Levy Economics Institute. His research expertise is in: financial instability, macroeconomics, and full employment policy

    He writes regularly on http://neweconomicperspectives.org/ and also contributes to http://www.modernmoneynetwork.org/

  30. VoterBentleigh

    I saw a brief segment on the news of Tanya Plibersek being questioned over Joe Bullock. Abbott often says in response to similar questions “Well, we’re not a Stalinist Party; we’re a broad church.”, thereby insinuatingthat those who are criticising him are Stalinist in their outlook. Perhaps when the ALP are criticised by the LNP over differing viewpoints expressed within Labor they could say: “Well, we’re not a Fascist Party…..”.

  31. Eh LordSloth Wot

    We need the electorate to stop being mired in “ALP vs LNP”, neither option is at all palatable.

    If half of the politicians elected were independents, just for one or two terms, then we would get a chance to enshrine forever basic rights for the population. Because at the moment we only have whatever “rights” the government of the day sees fit to allow us.

    We’re screwed whichever way you vote in this current “two party preferred” debacle.

  32. john921fraser

    <

    Plenty of news about Peta Credlin but nothing about Margie Abbott.

    Has anyone seen Australia's "First Lady".?

    Calling Margie … come in Margie …. are you there Margie ?

  33. john921fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    Nice photo.

    Taken on October 13 2013.

    Anyone out there seen Margie ?

    Calling Margie …. come in Margie … are you there Margie ?

  34. Brian Bassham

    Thanks Victoria.
    Excellent piece.
    Love your writing.

  35. Andrew McKenna

    Labor made a botch when they were in power. Now we have a team that is inestimably worse. Labor and Liberal are little different: the Laborals. Labor needs to be ‘bashed’. Take the issue of refugees. Julia Gillard established Manus Island: Kevin Rudd said he wanted to make it ‘hell on earth’. Symptoms of parties well out of control Great achievements, to persecute the weakest and most vulnerable people in the world. In light of an achievement like Manus Island, words around Pink Batts are irrelevant.

  36. Word Journeyer

    I don’t understand the lack of criticism of corporations in Australia. Governments are heavily, often savagely criticised. And so they should be. But we either worship businesses, turn a blind eye to their misdeeds or blame governments for them. Farcical.

  37. Denisio Fabuloso

    The Liberal party is currently full of thoughtless, policy deficient, incompetent, shallow, greedy people. The best they can manage is weasel words and fear mongering in three word slogans. (Menzies would be horrified!) Sadly, for the most part, the electorate has bought all their miserable lying shite hook line and sinker. Never underestimate the sheer mediocrity and self delusion of the masses. It takes effort to think… most of them really cant be bothered. After 35 years of alternative living and busting arse for the environment I am now giving serious thought to abandoning my myopic, self interested selfish country. The outcome of this current Senate election will indicate everything I need to know.

  38. Fed up

    “The Libs never talk of the hundred deaths a year in Australian work places, every year.”

    Nor the role, unions play in keeping these deaths lower.

  39. Fed up

    No criticism of Abbott taking off on a trek through North Asia, with 0ver I believe 600 business Men and state leaders for a week.

    He will be signing trade pacts along the way. Well, we do not no longer have to worry about protecting the auto and other industries. Abbott has solved that one. They are closing down. No longer a worry.

    Has the position of PM, shrunk to being only about business. People no longer count.

  40. lawrencewinder

    Liarbrils…How much longer can we afford them?

  41. Pingback: The truth will set you free…. | Damn the Matrix

  42. CMMC

    Perhaps Margie has gone back to the Womens Refuge.

  43. iggy64

    On a population basis, the number of deaths from electrocution should have been greatest in NSW, followed by VIC, then QLD, etc. The fact that ALL of them were in QLD (very low probability of this occurring by chance), points to problems specific to QLD. The inquiry should be looking at why things went wrong in QLD that didn’t go wrong anywhere else! This is clearly not a federal issue, but a QLD issue.

  44. john921fraser

    <

    The moron Abbott takes off with the 700 chosen (and Credlin) while Margie sits back and reads Credlins "interview" to Fairfax Media …. who incidentally appears to have just discovered Credlin.

    Google Australia's "First Lady" and then Google Credlin and see who is not only the "First Lady" but also the Prime Minister of Australia.

    I humbly advise Margie to see Kevin Andrews about getting one of his vouchers for counselling.

  45. Fed up

    Iggy64, could be because they did not use batts, but a different type of insulation.

    It consist of a metal lining, leading to the deaths.

    It appears there was at least one, that demanded this not be used. Trouble is, in the topics, the batts are not suitable, because of the high moisture.

    it was seen, it appears by the Rudd government, as a dispute between suppliers of the differing types insulation, of what they seen as the best to use.

    The type of insulation used in Queensland, had been used for years.

    Nothing seems to be coming out of the inquiry so far, except that Rudd demanded a short deadline to get going.

  46. Fed up

    I got it wrong, it is seven hundred business men, that is accompany Abbott. Yes, and two millionaires as well.

    Wonder who has stayed behind to run the firms.

  47. mikestasse

    First, a big thank you to Vitoria for pointing me to Lakoff’s work…….. most elucidating. For years I’ve been wondering why I could not convince conservatives why I was right. Now I know……..! They’re idiots basically, and they can’t handle the truth. The whole thing inspired me to write this..:
    The truth will set you free….

  48. Lee

    Margie is in Stepford.

  49. Pingback: Another Week of Global Warming News, April 6, 2014 – A Few Things Ill Considered

  50. Jan Dobson

    Excellent as usual. Received an email today from our beloved PM, claiming credit for the Japan/Australia Free Trade Agreement.

    Unsure yet, if this agreement is a good move or not but there was no mention of the roughly six years of negotiation involved prior to signing. Taking credit for another’s work, criticising regardless of the value of the work ….. the LNP have the media skills (and backing) and the ALP do need to rethink their message strategy.

  51. Stephen Tardrew

    Total screw up Bacchus.

    Praise to our fearful leader. Rob stuffed the job.

  52. Jan Dobson

    Thx Bacchus, I had my suspicions. What I’d like to know is, aside from cars and electronics, to what else did we agree and what affect will it have on local industry and consumers. Some of the TPP literature is alarming, to me at least. I realise this isn’t quite the same, but it is what is in the small print that worries me. Particularly with this government.

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