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Political expedience

As I listened to Sue Boyce on the Drum telling us, in an exasperated “why can’t you understand” sort of tone, that we can’t have a price on carbon because it isn’t politically expedient, it really hit home to me that my family’s future is now in the hands of Cory Bernardi and George Christensen.

When faced with a majority of one and threats to cross the floor or form a new party, the beast Malcolm was grooming is now chewing off his leg.

This is entirely Turnbull’s own fault.

Malcolm obviously realised that, by knifing Tony Abbott, he had done the unthinkable and could not afford to further offend anybody so he spent his time appeasing the aggrieved dinosaurs, promising them that he too was really a dinosaur.

People who have previously been viewed by their own Coalition colleagues as fringe nutters now dictate crucial policy based on nothing more than their own chances of re-election. They falsely scared the electorate into thinking the carbon price would lead to disaster and now they are paying the price for their disinformation.

Barnaby has taken to calling it the Turnbull-Joyce government and is flexing his muscles despite the fact that his party represents a very small constituency. As if he would walk away from a coalition that gives him a totally disproportionate number of seats and a job he could never earn on merit.

Joyce, Bernardi and Christensen are people who colleagues from their own parties have described in the most derisory terms.

Mr Joyce has been accused by those within the Nationals of being a “grandstander”, of needing complex information in a small number of dot points and not putting in enough hard work. Others love him as a “retail politician” — able to cut through with one-liners. No-one has ever called him intelligent.

“Cory is deluded,” says a Liberal Party colleague. “He is one of the least effective or important members of the parliamentary team. Cory is a person without any intellect, without any base, and he should really never have risen above the position of branch president. His right-wing macho-man act is just his way of looking as though he stands for something.”

Liberal Senator Russell Broadbent even stood up in parliament to reject a “diatribe about the rise of Islam in this country” by fellow Coalition MP George Christensen back in September. “It’s time for us to rise above the politics of fear and division because our love of diversity, difference and freedom will endure,” he said.

Instead of reining in these buffoons, and the sniping from Abbott, Turnbull has turned to custard. The dire warnings of imminent disaster from climate scientists are nothing compared to the possiblity of the three amigos and the suppository of all wisdom being upset.

Ex-Captain Catastrophe says “We are the party of lower power prices and should let Labor be the party that artificially increases [electricity] prices under Greens pressure.”

This from the man whose party put electricity up by 10% when they introduced the GST. They could have classed power as an essential item and made it GST free but they chose not to.

This from the man who was a Minister in the Howard government who signed off on a deal to guarantee the network providers could recoup not only the full cost of the poles and wires they erected but a guaranteed 10% profit on top. That was a better return than any other investment was offering so they built poles and wires – lots of them – way more than we ever needed with falling demand. Network charges now account for 51 per cent of the average household bill. The actual energy you use makes up 20 per cent of your bill, and the price of the actual electrons you use has actually come down, following an energy glut produced by new wind and solar.

But Abbott and his band of bully boys wouldn’t understand any of that – they don’t ever look for the real causes, just for the best electoral pitch.

Turnbull has completely abandoned any pretence at doing what’s best for the country.

Sorry LGBTQI community, it isn’t politically expedient for you to marry.

Sorry Republicans, it isn’t politically expedient for you to have your own head of state.

Sorry first home buyers, it isn’t politically expedient to rein in the outrageous property tax concessions we give to investors that are keeping you from ever owning a home.

Sorry bank customers, it isn’t politically expedient to investigate the rorting by the banks.

Sorry citizens, it isn’t politically expedient to tackle corporate tax evasion.

Sorry environmentalists, it isn’t politically expedient to upset the fossil fuel barons.

Sorry kids, it isn’t politically expedient for you to have Safe Schools.

Sorry Aboriginal community, it wouldn’t be politically expedient to allow you self-determination.

Sorry Muslim community, it wouldn’t be politically expedient to accept you.

Sorry asylum seekers, it wouldn’t be politically expedient to stop torturing you.

Sorry world, it isn’t politically expedient to tackle climate change.

The only thing that matters is keeping the buffoons happy and no action will be taken unless it is ”Politically Expedient.” If the guys at the pub don’t like it, it ain’t happening.


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  1. Ill fares the land

    The interesting, if not disturbing aspect of the loony right is that on all manner of other issues, they insist that the markets are best equipped to work out the “right price”. The market is, allegedly, the superior mechanism for striking the balance between supply and demand. Except it seems when it comes to energy. When it comes to energy, the market, apparently has a major blind spot and we simply can’t leave it to the market to work out the right price for carbon.

    Far better to pretend, or even worse, for the loopy right to delude themselves into believing that in rejecting the science of climate change they actually understand the science of climate change. For one of limited intellect like Bernardi, the science, I imagine, is beyond his grasp. In any case, like Malcolm Roberts, another deluded fool (mostly deluded about his own intellect), who is drunk on his new found power, they reject any evidence that doesn’t fit their pre-determined model. Far easier to adopt the mantra of the even loopier right that climate change is an invention of NASA who has manipulated data to suit its own corrupted purposes.

    I fear that what is happening in politics is that implicit in the party model is the abject corruption around the need to align oneself with a faction for both protection and, if you kiss enough asses, the propulsion needed to get pre-selection is a safe party seat. Thus you get twits like Bernardi, O’Dwyer, Dutton, Cash, Abetz, Brandis and Sinodinos on one side and scum like Dastyari and Conroy (there are more) on the other. Once these twerps are in positions of power and influence,they then have a say in the next generation and of course they choose people who are supporters. Lo and behold, eventually, as I believe has now happened, you must get to a “tipping point” where the inmates can take over the asylum. From there, we are pretty much doomed because what goes on behind closed doors is clearly utterly corrupted by the needs of the party members, not those of the country, or even those who were foolish enough to vote for one group of dolts over the other.

  2. Clean livin

    Only way Turnbull has out of this mess of his own making, is to take on the right wing troglodytes, demand they fall into line for the good of the country, and threaten / call a general election, with the sole intent of destroying these fools.

    It would be very interesting to see a PM championing the current opposition, especially in those same LNP troglodytes electorate.

    With a bit of luck, the Libs could decimate these fools, regathering and move forward as a decent opposition for a few terms.

    Only other result is to be remembered in history as a PM, that was worse than McMahon when it comes to make making decisions, worse than Fraser when it came to actually ACHIEVE something, and maybe even worse than the Luddite, Abbott.

    And that last statement is really saying something.

    But on current form, I doubt he has the guts to take the opportunity.

  3. brickbob

    This was a perfect time for Turnbull to make a stand and defy the RWNJs and do something positive about climate change,but no,and just like General Custer this will be Malcoms last stand and in the end he will end up like the ego manacial Custer, not dead but a political corpse.

  4. Kaye Lee


    That’s a scary article you linked to. Why do we allow corporations to make the rules?

  5. Sir ScotchMistery

    A couple of well-aimed javelins would fix the whole f*cking lot of them. ALP and LNP.

  6. Kim Southwood

    “Turnbull has completely abandoned any pretence at doing what’s best for the country.”

    Yes, so true, Kaye. As one who decried Turnbull when so many thought he’d be a welcome relief from Abbott, I think the word ‘pretence’ sums him up perfectly.

    I blustered at the time that the only thing he had in spades over Abbott was his silver tongue, fashioned in purest sterling during his early career at the Bar. He could truly make people do or believe whatever he wanted them to … and for the top job in politics he was pulling out all stops. He’d cleverly tucked away all arrogance behind a self-effacing school-boy grin, which held great promise of conciliation.

    Part of me hoped the others were right and I was wrong. But, you are so right, he has totally dropped the pretence – that silver tongue is firmly in his cheek and he’s struggling to restore the lustre. Frequently now he looks more like your description of Sue Boyce on the Drum – exasperated by our stupidity…not much like a ‘Prime’ minister.

  7. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Politicians found to have failed to deliver their portfolios with Duty of Care to the Public should be held to account, as would be any other person with responsibilities in their employment.

  8. John

    It’s sad that democracies all over the world have come to this.

    Our forefathers fought and died for our freedom and democracy.

    Now it is sold to the highest bidder, corrupt political leadership is the result.

    Science is ignored and the poor are to be looked down on.

    We are at a crisis point similar to US in 1860s where slavery was the issue. Today climate change is killing more & destroying livelihoods everywhere.

    Do we need a civil war to resolve this crisis?

    Or can we demand an end to political donations and reclaim our democracy?

  9. OrchidJar

    It’s not “If the guys at the pub don’t like it, it ain’t happening” but
    “if enough of the guys at the pub don’t like it, it ain’t happening”.

    It’s called democracy.

    If you want to change things to suit your argument, bias, agenda, ideology then get out into the world and persuade “enough” of those guys to side with you.

    Then you’ll see how just quickly that dreaded “political expediency” can, and will, become your rationale.

    Turnbull will continue to appease these reactionary fools for as long as it is “politically expedient” because that “expediency” is the single most powerful truism that I’ve ever encountered in any politics, in any country, in any age.

    The question may as well be, name a political decision not informed by expediency?

    A Reason for Persuasion, is There Any Other?

  10. Stephen Griffin

    A few back benchers could resign and cause some bye-elections. That, apart from some kind of bloodless coup is all we’ve got I’m afraid. Another couple of years of this scenario and we’ll be a banana republic.

  11. Terry2

    I note that in the current exchange on renewable energy it is now accepted Liberal dogma that the power failures in South Australia were all to do with unrealistic renewable energy targets in that state ; I seem to recall that the problem was high winds that blew down more than 20 transmission towers, leading to the shutdown to protect the integrity of the power system nationally.

    I must have got that wrong.

  12. Keitha Granville

    if the economy continues barrelling downwards we will have a depression, and of course it will be all Labor’s fault. An election then with Labor putting forward the right policies could see Bernardi, Joyce, Christensen and the Hansonites consigned to the scrapheap of history. Reckon we have to get to the bottom first though, and pray that the country survives.
    I am feeling guilty that I have children that will inherit this mess.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Terry, you are so pre-post-truth. Off to the thought correction police with you.

  14. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    LNP delusion defined as “pre-post-truth”. Spot on.

  15. David Bruce

    Our politicians seem to have lost the plot. Is this because we have a House full of party hacks who have never had a real job outside politics? In the grand scheme of things, we appear to have ignored the ongoing disaster of Fukushima, the slashing and burning of the forests in Borneo, the destruction of large parts of the Amazon rain forest, and our own Barrier Reef destroyed from Port Douglas to the Torres Strait. Talk about man-made climate change! When I talk with my colleagues about some of these issues I just get the “fluoride” stare. In the short term, we are being groomed for war; fear, uncertainty and doubt being peddled daily by our pitiful pollies. Maybe they are following a script written for them by the same people who control the mass media. Now the climate scientists are asking questions about the accuracy of their models, because their predictions aren’t happening. More recently, I was at a conference where serious discussions took place about the possibility of a mini ice age in our imminent future! With a bunch of loonies running this country, how is it possible to have informed debate about anything?

  16. OldWomBat

    Saw an interesting book the other day: Animals Without Backbones. Looked for Turnbull but he wasn’t in it yet but I guess he’ll be on the cover of the next edition.

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    David Bruce,

    I can recognise the “fluoride’ stare you state.

    I’ve worked in similar places where such people just want to crawl out of their caves for 8-10 hours per day pretending they see no evil etc before crawling back into their caves again at the end of the day.

    They need the biggest shake up.

  18. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I note it was politically expedient to wipe out OJ’s apt observation that despite the various degrees of possible odiousness of the constituents, enough of them need to be persuaded to effect political gains, which in my case would represent equity, reform and progress in equal measures.

  19. Kaye Lee

    “I note it was politically expedient to wipe out OJ’s apt observation”

    What’s that mean?

  20. Carol Taylor

    Here’s an idea for Turnbull – tell them to put up and shut up. Turnbull has to either go down fighting or spend his entire prime ministership curled up in a corner sucking his thumb. Unfortunately for Australia, Turnbull currently still believes himself to be Mr. Popularity and come the next election, turn up the charm several notches, take a few selfies and..set for another term. Hopefully he’ll wake up that Australia thought that they had elected a moderate/progressive and no, you cannot get it back by taking selfies and leaving Australia and its economy in a quagmire of inaction.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I was about to ask the same question.

  22. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Kaye and Michael,

    despite OJ’s annoying interferences which distract from the main important arguments, his observation was actually reasonable (which I read via my email comments sent via WordPress).

    That observation he made with which I agreed on that occasion was, “If you want to change things to suit your argument, bias, agenda, ideology then get out into the world and persuade “enough” of those guys to side with you.”

    If you want productive discussion, it’s a good idea to let opposing views be voiced.

  23. Kaye Lee

    JMS, i never saw the comment and I did not remove it. From Michael’s reaction, I would suggest it was the same for him. Are you sure it was on this article?

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    It was sent to me as an email via WordPress.

    Maybe it went to your spam. Otherwise, I don’t know how you missed it.

  25. Kaye Lee

    I don’t get emails from this site. I don’t know what you are talking about.

  26. Exoplanet


    I think you’re missing something. At this point let’s just say it’s OJ’s post.

  27. Michael Taylor

    If you want productive discussion, it’s a good idea to let opposing views be voiced.

    I thought we had a fairly good record in doing that.

  28. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, you received the email before the comment was even published. You assumed that it had been deleted. It had not. You said to Kaye “I don’t know how you missed it”. How could she even see it if it hadn’t been published?

    It appears that you are assuming all the wrong things and holding Kaye and I to blame for it.

  29. Dave C

    Clean livin December 8, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    “Only way Turnbull has out of this mess of his own making, is to take on the right wing troglodytes, demand they fall into line for the good of the country, and threaten / call a general election, with the sole intent of destroying these fools.”

    Exactly right, but he is a coward.
    But, if he had a go and won he would be regarded as one of the great Liberal leaders. (bugger)

    And if he had a go and was turned into a mashed avocado, well, at least he would have shown some cojones and even I may even feel a bit sorry for him. (well, I may think about doing that)

    However, as it is he’s a totally gutless prick and doesn’t deserve the word leader to be associated with his name.
    He doesn’t lead the LNP, let alone Australia.

  30. maxpowerof1

    Your work is diverse.
    Have you any publications i could read?

  31. Kaye Lee


    I agree that we have to make enough people agree. I have had enough of the guys at the pub though. I like to learn from the people I am talking to. I am doing what I can to print facts (interspersed with a lot of opinion I know) so people can look things up for themselves. I am only too aware of how much crap gets published on the internet and spoken in bars so I don’t ask people to believe me…I ask them to find confirmation from/of source documents.

    “Then you’ll see how just quickly that dreaded “political expediency” can, and will, become your rationale.”

    I am not looking to be elected to anything. I am not trying to make people agree with me because I want something from them. All I try to do is tell the truth (granted, as I perceive it but I am pretty diligent about research), and to learn from others. Opinion is one thing but if I am ever factually incorrect I would really appreciate being corrected.

    I will certainly change my opinion if given better information. I will NEVER change my opinion to try and appeal to anyone as a matter of expediency. Expediency of what? What would I get out of lying?

  32. Exoplanet

    I think the point is that the ‘guys at the pub’ cast votes and one can fairly reasonably extrapolate from them and their political perspectives. It’s not so much a case of caring about their opinions, but noting their content and the psychological and practical forces behind them. From that information we can develop strategies to change and improve their thinking.

    It’s a nice theory, but it’s never worked for me with the dumb shits I drink with – and they’re very average people, and I don’t intend that in the sense of the joke that the average person is mean, even though that joke is awesome.

  33. Michael Taylor

    He doesn’t lead the LNP, let alone Australia.

    Dave, I can’t see many people, even in the LNP, disagreeing with that. Ironically though they stand behind him and sing his leadership praises. Even Tony.

  34. stephentardrew

    Another great score Kaye. Beautifully structured articulate and informative.

  35. jimhaz

    The word ‘traitors’ is always coming to my mind lately. It can’t be called just negligent government, but wilful avoidance of the policy actions far more people would prefer, if they were to be given the correct information with an unbiased presentation to assess the pluses and minuses better. We know so well they have shut down or sidelined those who would give information they don’t wish to acknowledge.

    We expect some some non-or-limited action due to the need to maintain a stable economy, and that borderline majorities are going to make far more decisions purely vested interest – but this government does it across the board. They do an occasional thing I don’t disagree with, but it is all attempts to distract from what really needs doing. The ALP are also guilty of not attnding to many of the things on that list, but I believe they would have at least attempted by now to not be so one sided to the status quo….at least I would have been less disgusted.

  36. Kaye Lee


    I am also disappointed with Labor’s game-playing and time-wasting but agree they would be at least slightly better for our society.

  37. George Swalwell

    WOW! Kaye Lee hits a bulls-eye every time in her derisory denunciation of
    Turnbull, Joyce, Abbott, Bernadi, Christensen as prime targets.
    What a catastrophic,self-serving lot.

  38. Sam

    Carol Taylor :Here’s an idea for Turnbull – tell them to put up and shut up.

    Everything in Turnball’s behavior shows he’s a weakling a coward the man who lets you down just when you need him the most. Malcolm Turnball stands for zero,

  39. OrchidJar

    Another long one I’m afraid.
    Perhaps at this time of the morning I might miss those who would otherwise turn off at seeing my post.
    Let me know if those numbers reach critical defcon 4 levels Michael. 😉

    3 posts, in ascending order:

    – Jennifer,
    It would be expedient of me to stay quiet here, or better yet, thank you for your compliment.
    I won’t however.
    I can’t.

    As i made mention to Michael on a previous post – opinions differ Jennifer, and where you see annoying interferences, i see platitudes aplenty, i see unexplored ideas, I see woeful comprehension, even more alarming articulation, and a kind of dull perception of implication and consequence that would make those ‘unemployed blue collar workers of Michigan’, those ‘deplorables’, seem like the single most astute body of political operatives in our modern era.
    I see print barely worth the effort of pressing the submit post button.

    Where you see my ‘distraction’ I see the comical surface skimming of the chattering classes enjoying their most favoured pastime: political activism from behind the security and indifference of a keyboard.

    I see critique of ones own ideologies afforded little space or time.
    I see the seemingly different heads on the self same coin.

    Opinions differ Jennifer.
    And that’s exactly how it should be.
    If we want to grow, that is.

    – Michael,
    might i offer an opinion in the full knowledge that i’m the last person you want to hear an opinion from?

    I don’t believe moderated comments are a good idea.
    Here is my reason:
    The powerful and seductive notion of conversational cut and thrust, of quick fire exchange, of a natural, robust, dialectic of thought and counter thought, becomes immediately diminished; limp and dulled, in the sterile antechamber of moderation.
    Time is cruel to ideas bound in this way, where new posts are oblivious to what’s been considered, redressed, and written yet still in overnight lockup.
    And so we render the thread disjointed.
    There’s an ugliness to the arrangement of ideas, a disorder unkind to both eye and mind, a mind more concerned and quickened by dynamism and dialogue, and not with the dull accounting of timestamps and the ordering of question and response, of looking for interlocutors, of imagining ones yet to come.
    And the queue of responses? They grow impatient at their present uselessness and upon release seem without flavour, without verve, and often without purpose; the river of posts immediate passing them by.

    I fully appreciate, more than you can know, the importance of removing the spam/troll from the threads and site. Their influence can and will be deleterious to any serious conversation. I doubt there’s a sensible argument ever made to the contrary.
    However, their agendas are quickly determined and i think having a spam/troll on for a day or so before their inevitable discovery and extinction is a small price to pay for the greater disservice of curtailing ongoing dialogues by letting responses/questions fall listless in moderation.

    I have yet to see a blog with moderated comments enjoy the sparkle of those without.

    They are my thoughts.
    Despite our antipathy,
    in good faith.

    – Kaye,

    – “I have had enough of the guys at the pub though”

    That attitude will consign you, your politics and your morality to an eternal opposition bench.

    That attitude just cost Clinton the election and installed a lunatic to a position of power to not just thwart each and every good intention but reverse any gains made in the very things you might believe in.

    That attitude gave us Abbott and this ugly trail of Liberal wreckage, our discourse still, believe it or not, contaminated with such poisonous idiocy as ‘school halls were a waste of money’ – something I heard not 2 days ago in conversation with an acquaintance. I was aghast at her shallow stupidity and realised the fault was ours: we clearly had not done enough to demonstrate the error of the Liberal mantra. We appeared more content to agree with ourselves, deriving a suicidal self satisfaction in the knowledge that ‘we knew’ and that’s all that mattered. Clearly it was not.

    I don’t believe we have the luxury of the ‘I’ve had enough” attitude. It’s exclusive when what’s necessary is inclusiveness. I’m not arguing for a dumbing down of our political awareness, acumen, and ethics, I’m arguing for a raising up of theirs by argument, persuasion, conviction, and the promise of possibility.

    – “I am not looking to be elected to anything. I am not trying to make people agree with me because I want something from them.”

    But you are. And you do.

    Your very presence here, your countless articles, posts, responses, your every argument is toward the one end: to advocate your belief in the face of (any) opposition. What you want from them is clear – accord, because only through such a strategy can you hope to affect change.

    – “All I try to do is tell the truth (granted, as I perceive it but I am pretty diligent about research), and to learn from others”

    This isn’t just about being right or about performing diligent research, or least of all about you being “corrected”. This about taking all of those elements and translating them into a powerful, cogent, convincing argument to those ‘guys at the pub’.

    Blogs like this, arguments like this, people like us, seem to be so good at the first part of that equation but absolute crap at the second, and the cost of such neglect or tardiness is, I believe, catastrophic to our political and social lives. The immediate effect is crystal clear: we arrive at a place were we speak only to each other, arguing only about differences within our orbit. We neglect dialogue for the sake of the comforts and security of the echo chamber, and so relegate our essential partners, ‘the guys at the pub’, to second class citizens, unworthy of our profundities, beyond the reach of our ‘facts’ and ‘diligent research’. Ultimately we cast them as ‘deplorables’ and by doing so betray our founding liberal left principles.

    Expediency is the DNA of our political discourse. It doesn’t have to be about the lie, it has to be about reaching out and pulling together a larger part of our seemingly disparate social fibres and weaving some new, more positive, more ethically aware, political and civic fabric.

  40. OrchidJar

    If you care to see real world, practical evidence, of neglecting the ‘guys at the pub’ you can find it right here:
    Trump selects Scott Pruitt to head up EPA.
    Say goodbye to every last one of Obama’s initiatives.
    I once mentioned that he would set back the environmental agenda back 100 years.
    I was too generous.

    What a catastrophe.
    Damn Clinton’s hubris, damn our exclusivity!

  41. John Brame

    It’s like being on the Titanic with Captain Turnbull, Lieutenant Joyce, 1st, 2nd and 3rd officers Abbott, Bernardi and Christensen. Security officer Hanson, Able Seaman Roberts is in the crows nest looking out for icebergs. This story could end better than the original, because soon there won’t be much ice.

  42. Kaye Lee

    In the words of former Liberal leader John Hewson….

    The “right” love to speak of the debt and deficit problem as a form of “intergenerational theft”, yet they fail to see the climate challenge in the same terms, even though the consequences of failing to address it substantively, and as a matter of urgency, would dwarf that of the debt problem.

    The “right” is simply “wrong”. It’s political opportunism of the worst sort, and their children and grandchildren will pay the price.

  43. corvus boreus

    John Brame,
    Whilst Captain Mal (apologies to Firefly/Serenity) is vacillating over whether current rate of knots and course heading should be maintained, Senior-mate Tony and his mutineers are plotting to increase speed and start ramming those ‘floating frozen clouds’.
    Meanwhile, the temporary crisis of a lack of serviettes at the buffet has been solved by converting lifeboats into paper-pulp.

  44. Kaye Lee

    The Turnbull government has been sitting on advice that an emissions intensity scheme – the carbon policy it put on the table only to rule out just 36 hours later – would save households and businesses up to $15 billion in electricity bills over a decade.

    While Malcolm Turnbull has rejected this sort of scheme by claiming it would push up prices, analysis in an Australian Electricity Market Commission report handed to the government months ago finds it would actually cost consumers far less than other approaches, including doing nothing.

    It finds that would still be the case even if the government boosted its climate target to a 50 per cent cut in emissions by 2030.

    Depending on the level of electricity use and the target adopted, modelling by Danny Price of Frontier Economics found costs would be between $3.4 billion and $15 billion lower over the decade to 2030. Costs would be $11.2 billion lower over this time assuming average electricity use and the existing climate target.

    The modelling is part of a group reports on the future of energy to be discussed by the Prime Minister and state premiers ahead at a COAG meeting in Canberra on Friday.

    They include a preliminary report into the future security of the electricity market by chief scientist Alan Finkel, which warns that Australia has no clear path to meeting the 2030 emissions target taken to the Paris climate deal under existing policies.

    Lying bastards!

  45. OrchidJar

    Michael, I notice that posts have appeared with timestamps later than mine (my submissions at 5.45am & 5.59am and still in moderation). Am i to assume from this that I am being moderated whilst others are not?
    If that’s the case could you please explain why.

  46. Peter F

    On the subject of ‘guys at the pub’ I agree with Kaye. EG: I was having a drink at a BBQ last Friday night when I received a tirade about indigenous Australians receiving billions of dollars to set up cattle stations which were all a waste of time. Flat statement, no qualification. I did counter with some personal experience which differed. It was a long discussion. then on Saturday night, Heather Ewart (ABC TV) took us to Normanton and beyond, where an Aboriginal cattle station set up in the 1980’s runs 45,000 cattle, successfully.

    My point is that quite often discussion over a beer, whether at the pub or at a BBQ, often unearth the extent of bigotry and ignorance which is deeply rooted in the ‘real’ Aussie mindset.

  47. John Brame

    Could it be deja-vu for Captain Mal, a sword in the back from the three amigos. I think it was Janette Howard who complained about the lack of serviettes.
    Security Officer Hanson has demanded one lifeboat remain for all officers.

  48. corvus boreus

    Peter F,
    What does not help is that such well-lubricated pub conversations are often conducted to a backing track of the ‘insightful opinions’ (ie; Bolt brays) of the team at Sky news on Foxtel (as well as the accompanying cacophony of pokies and race-calls).
    Based upon such stimulus, things like the fact that November just gone was the lowest extent of polar ice (both Arctic and Antarctic) ever recorded for that time of year are unlikely to feature as a topic of pub discussion.

    Ps, the fact that excessive consumption of ethanol significantly impairs ability for cognitive function, situational awareness, critical analysis and rational decision making (ie grog anesthetises the frontal lobes) probably exacerbates the problem.

  49. James Cook

    The ‘guys at the pub’ [and I drink and surf with a few of them] get their ‘opinions’ straight from Alan Jones, Ray Hadley and the Daily Telegraph. [In NSW…other states must have their equivalents] Until there is some law that prevents media outlets puking propaganda, lies or even just biased comments [without equal time for opposing views] then you will never change their minds. Most of my mates are not rabid, rusted-on, right-wing supporters, they just get all their ‘news’ from those types of sources. Sometimes, using arguments and facts gleaned from this site, I can convince them that Jones et al have got it wrong….but I’m [We’re] up against a billion-dollar machine. How do we get some decent media laws? [PS: thanks for the great articles…They often make me equal parts angry and frustrated, but also well-informed for the pub discussions]

  50. Kaye Lee

    I will never understand the idea that we should let the “guys at the pub” dictate policy. Ignorance should not trump knowledge in decision-making. What we need are leaders who are prepared to tell the truth – to LEAD the guys at the pub, to tell them what they are doing and why. But that isn’t what this game is about. Deliberate lies by politicians and certain arms of the media have tainted the guy in the pub’s opinion rendering it basically worthless because they have been given the wrong information.

    Turnbull cannot lead and so we have the idiots dictating decisions for all the wrong reasons.

  51. OrchidJar

    It seems as though there are many here are taking the “guys at the pub” metaphor a little too literally.
    When I use it I’m trying to embrace all of those in the electorate who are either politically naïve, illiterate, lazy, or indifferent to any or most kinds of nuance. Of equal importance is the idea that “pub talk”, like any other informal gathering; BBQ, office, party, meeting, dinners, etc, is where one will find contrary opinion. It is these voices that are to my mind the most important in securing, via persuasion, facts, and sound, respectful advocacy, if we are ever to win government and avoid the horror of the US and Trump.

    I say this for perhaps the 100th time: without those “guys at the pub” we cannot win government.
    Without engaging those “guys at the pub” we’re simply talking to ourselves.

    To Kaye,
    “I will never understand the idea that we should let the “guys at the pub” dictate policy.”

    Who and what gave you that idea?
    It’s an awful strawman that I can’t, for the life of me, see how it helps the complex question of appealing to and persuading those not on our side.
    Unless you’re only interested in speaking to those already converted.
    And where is that going to get you?

  52. Exoplanet

    Surely the true art of politics, at least from a progressive perspective, is to be able to successfully and productively marry the sometimes competing dynamics of expedience and idealism, neither one being dominant [nor at the same time, subservient] in that necessary symbiosis. Perhaps ‘progressive Australia’ is in need of a touch of marriage guidance counselling?

  53. Kaye Lee

    expedience – “a regard for what is politic or advantageous rather than for what is right or just; a sense of self-interest.”

    Forget the marriage guidance counsellor. I am not interested in that type of relationship.

  54. Exoplanet

    We can toss definitions around if you want:

    Expedient: tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances.

    Yours misrepresents my intent.

  55. Kaye Lee

    “via persuasion, facts, and sound, respectful advocacy”

    I have tried that OJ and been roundly abused because they know better – they heard it from Bolt. Wouldn’t matter how many facts they are shown.

    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”

  56. Michael Taylor

    Michael, I notice that posts have appeared with timestamps later than mine (my submissions at 5.45am & 5.59am and still in moderation). Am i to assume from this that I am being moderated whilst others are not?
    If that’s the case could you please explain why.

    I would assume – and I can only assume – that whoever was doing the moderating had approved newer posts before yours, or may not have approved yours at all and it sat there until I logged in and let it through.

    Since we acquired the services of an organisation to handle the bulk of the moderating we have, at their recommendation, placed almost all commenters on moderation. There are more efficient ways of doing things, of course, and we are currently exploring these.

  57. Winston Smythe

    Kaye The Pub test phrase seems to be a 2GB Howardism. Though we know what it means; that we need to get out and hear what people are saying in the street.I have had some interesting debates with some University Educated types at some discussion groups recently.Some think they know it all.
    Some are very arrogant and act somewhat superior and some are very nice and extremely intelligent and informative. Most people seem to lock into their world view at an early time of life.The challenge is; we must take a deep breath and still try to reason with ignorance wherever we find it.And don’t label people. And above all never be afraid of debate with an opposing view. I have found information and wisdom in very odd places.

  58. Kaye Lee

    I do understand what you are saying Winston and very well remember the arrogance that struck me my very first university economics tutorial (which happened to include Tony Abbott) where we were asked to introduce ourselves. Everyone before me had gone to a private school. When I said I had gone to a state school in the western suburbs, the tutor said to me “well you have done very well to get here” to which I replied “Ya think? My school was selective on intelligence, not money.”

    How do we reason with ignorance which is reinforced by our self-serving politicians and media?

  59. corvus boreus

    I exit the pub and stroll down to Maccas for some nutrition (and sober conversation).
    The tables are littered with copies of the Daily Telegraph (or Courier Mail/Herald Sun).
    These are distributed by Murdoch’s Newscorp at a profit loss, in order to achieve brand prominence and influence public opinion (they also have schemes offering below-cost copies at large workplaces, and bonus distribution deals with retail chains).
    Even if I disdain to read the contents, I cannot help but notice, from a glance at the headlines, that welfare-cheat greenies are trying to kill industry jobs, that the risks of climate change (if there even are any) have been ridiculously exaggerated, that Labor are still economically incompetent (with accompanying digitally altered image of Chris Bowen wearing a dunces cap), that political correctness has destroyed my right to free speech and that suburban Jihadis are plotting to kill me.

    My point (also raised by others) being, aside from the individual and collective failings of various progressives to effectively communicate their/our messages, perhaps the persuasion of the broad public by ‘ facts and sound, respectful advocacy’ is also being somewhat hindered by this prevalence of the aggressive corporatised advancement of their agendas through deliberately disseminating misinformation and promoting divisive prejudice.

    Ps, I tend to fold open such papers to the pages full of classified advertisements for sexual services, then exit the premises.

  60. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree it is hard to persuade people we love or others we know what is unacceptable and duplicitous about this LNP Degenerate Government, if they are already manipulated by the bile they read in the MSM. However, it is necessary to reach them and to TEACH them.

    The Redhead from Queesland has found a way to poach many of them because she identified their dissatisfaction about being left behind with the perceived wealth benefits in the winner/loser paradigm of neoliberalism.

    Those people have legitimate concerns about their lives of basic needs, and they are even more pronounced in the regional areas. Those basic needs of available and affordable housing, accessibility of health and education, accessibility of services, accessibility of secure employment, cost of living, and the list goes on.

    The dinosaur duopoly have ignored the needs of ordinary people in regional areas at their peril, so it would be politically savvy for Labor and Greens leaders to be seen by local communities to be visiting diverse regional areas, such as Morwell in Gippsland.

    These visits should Not just be before the election as they did this year but every 3 months or sooner so that the local community can prepare community forums of Q & A’s. Meeting and greeting won’t be good enough because it is seen as fake.

    When Labor and the Greens get out beyond their comfort zones of the cities and safe political areas on regular occasions, they will be able to promote their political messages and show how destructive the LNP are to Australian standards.

    That will resonate well with ordinary, dissatisfied and disengaged people that we want to reach and teach.

  61. guest

    It only takes a single word or phrase for some the politicians to reveal their weaknesses. Even Turnbull is revealing the limitations of his supposed intelligence.

    Turnbull was full of crap when he claimed Jay Weatherill is “not able to keep the lights on”. He sticks by his claim that the state-wide outage in SA was caused because SA has a high percentage of renewable energy. He totally ignores the report which explained what really happened. It is a case frequently seen in Oz of people believing what they want to believe, despite facts to the contrary. It becomes even more disappointing when Turnbull’s attitude leads to wider neglect of renewable energy and the promotion of a climate change policy which clearly is unable to met the Paris agreements. And support is given to a massive coal mine which is bound to fail with huge consequences.

    No such stupid comments were made about other recent outages in other states.

    Then we have the Deputy PM Joyce saying Weatherill operates “in the dark’. What a pathetic attempt at humour from this ignorant yokel.

    Furthermore, the Coalition has suggested that, if the states need something, they organise it themselves. Weatherill suggests that states organise their own carbon price and immediately the Coalition goes back to its centrist small government/market forces mantra.

    Is that what is called “expediency”? Boyce on The Drum was just spouting fatuous verbiage, even over the top of others on the panel. It reveals the wiser-than-thou attitude of the born-to-rule.

    Commentaors on this post are right when they ask that nonsense be called out for what it is. But I fear that just as Turnbull is trapped between a rock and a hard place by his own actions, so journalists are trapped by being caught between wanting to do the job and being afraid of losing their jobs. As well, it is not clear that journalist know what the truth is because the post-truth/fake news is being passed on from one media source to another.

    And some of the nonsense is being spouted by our own PM and colleagues, our supposed “government”.

  62. corvus boreus

    Jennifer Mayer-Smith,
    Personally, I think the TLA Three Letter Acronym) MSM is so generic, unquantified and downright cliched as to have been rendered virtually meaninglessness in terms of any discussion, particularly if the meaning of the term is limited to referencing printed media (written words require mental engagement through the act of reading, the spoken messages blared by TV and radio can much more aggressively permeate the passive subconscious).

    Can you really see no cause for any differentiation regarding the modes of operation employed and quality of information offered by the various ‘main-stream’ media agencies and outlets?
    Is 4 corners really no better than Bolt?
    Are Fairfax or the Guardian really as systematically corrupt (not too mention consistently wrong) as Newscorp?
    Are Murdoch and his empire really that unexceptionable?

  63. Winston Smythe

    Kaye Maybe not reason with it but try not getting too exasperated with them . As we end up sounding like fanatics ourselves.Hard; I know and don’t forget to breathe.

  64. Freethinker

    Since the defeat of the ALP government by Tony Abbott I starting looking politics and the electorate in Australia in a different manner than many of the fellow bloggers here.
    This personal view have made me think that majority of the comments here are under the assumption that the majority of the electorate are politically educated and have some kind of economic knowledge similar to the authors of the articles and comments in AIMN.
    Well, my personal view is that it is the complete opposite and that the majority of the voters are no well informed and or not are educated enough to cast an “intelligent vote”
    The same applies to the Abbott and Turnbull government team, they are not incapable politicians, they have an agenda to suit their interest and ideology and know very well how to exploit the voters to win government.
    Perhaps, and I am not so sure they will lost the next election, it is up to them on which “purchasing votes policy” will come if they like to use one, but people can be sure that until the ALP do not change their policies the electorate will be not prepared to risk their vote on a party that
    “is bad in managing the economy and introduce more taxes” that can jeopardize one or two cupuchinos a week for the sake of climate change (AKA CT)

  65. totaram

    Freethinker: You are quite right in your assessment. However, I see it as a more fundamental problem. Our science and technology driven societies are too complex for any one person to understand, even if they were to devote all their waking hours to the task. On top of that we have the famous Dunning-Kruger syndrome: the less one knows the more one thinks one knows. In such a situation, it is easy for those who shout the loudest and most often, to fool the gullible voters. Is there a solution to this problem? I don’t see it. Perhaps someone will come up with something, if we admit there is such a problem.

  66. Kaye Lee


    We have to fight to maintain diversity in the media. I despair that the ABC thinks it has to compete. It is supposedly “our ABC” and I like that it caters to niche markets. That’s the whole point. Guthrie is trying to make it the same as commercial tv and radio.

    One strategy I am using is starting with my children. When my daughter complained about poor mobile phone reception, I said email the local federal member. When my son complained about potholes in the road, I said email the local council. Daughter got a personal, lengthy reply. Son got the maintenance team out. They are starting to realise they CAN have a say to get things done.

    I then move gently on to things like climate change and university fees etc. The economy doesn’t really grab them yet. I would not call them politically aware yet – we are probably to the stage of One Nation mad, Coalition bad…after that they aren’t committed.

    I try to have these conversations when their friends are around – they are in their 20s. We have to get them thinking BEFORE they go to the polling booth.

  67. Freethinker

    totaram on the top of a politically uneducated electorate we have a problem that did not existed before which is that the people have sold their freedom in the name of consumism and greed for material things.
    People have mortgaged their life and are unable or not prepared to risk what they have ( or think that they have) and the future of the next generations.
    Capitalism is smart and is exploiting the people greed for material things for their financial gain and govern to suit their agenda.
    Made no mistake, the present government and some faceless people and organizations behind it know very well what they are doing.
    Meanwhile people discuss if Malcolm is in control or not and have the hope that he will change.
    Very effective tactic indeed.

  68. Möbius Ecko

    Facebook piece by Tim Dunlop. An article on political expediency is a good place to post it. I sometimes despair that no truths and facts said or done sway the people on how bad this government and the L-NP have become. But as Tim points out no matter how much they attempt to reframe the story or what word they use to muddy the truth if the truth is pointed out often it enough it eventually resonates.

    Never ceases to amaze me how commentators continue to slide over one little aspect of John Howard’s record:

    “Again, think back to Howard. Labor tried for years to paint him as a liar. It never worked. Part of the reason is that voters assume all politicians are liars. But the bigger reason was that voters already knew what they thought about Howard.”

    Well, it never worked until it did. You might remember he was only the second PM to lose his own seat at an election (a seat that returned to the Libs the very next election and is still with them). And surely his untrustworthiness figured largely in this result. Why is this extraordinary loss so often downplayed (if not actually erased?).

    Also notice the framing of this: Howard was “painted” as liar by the Opposition and it “never worked”. In fact, Howard was a liar and it was perfectly reasonable for the opposition, or whoever else, to point it out. Sure, people were willing to overlook the fact for quite a while, but that’s a different matter from it “not working”.

    This framing does a disservice to reality and to the voters. To use “painted” in this context is to suggest there was something bogus about the charge and there wasn’t. It is also to suggest that the electorate didn’t care, and they did. It just that, given all the other immense complexities of deciding whom to vote for, it didn’t figure highly in people’s calculations.

    Until it did.

  69. totaram

    Kaye Lee: Michelle Guthrie is proceeding in the “right” direction with the ABC. Remember, the final aim:

    50 Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function (IPA 100 points)

  70. OrchidJar

    I am unable to post after 3 or 4 attempts.
    I get the AIMN header followed by,

    “Page not found

    It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for.

  71. Kaye Lee

    I get that sometimes too OJ. Don’t know why.

  72. OrchidJar

    Kaye, you’ve seen my arguments on this issue. You’ve also noted the reasons why I offer them; to what political ends, and to what social purpose. In view of that I cannot understand how you hope to pursue in any serious or meaningful way your ideological hopes.
    I simply can’t.
    So I’m forced to ask you point blank: how do you propose to secure government without the support of the “guys at the pub”?

  73. OrchidJar

    A simple enough question – please give it the consideration it deserves; forgo the glib, the selective, the red herring, the strawman, the outright dismissal.

  74. OrchidJar

    This is the crux of our week long discussion. And still I am no closer to hearing, let alone considering or even understanding, the key arguments from my detractors.

  75. OrchidJar

    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.”

    I’m always wary of quotes like that: experience tells me that the two sides of that equation are so readily interchangeable.

  76. OrchidJar

    Kaye, thanks for that. I broke it down into 4 single sentences and surprise, they posted!

    A data gremlin perhaps?

  77. Michael Taylor

    Our web developer is currently installing some extra security measures. This may cause a few (unplanned) temporary disruptions. If people are using Firefox they may also be confronted with a few problems, but this is a Firefox issue and out of our control.

  78. Freethinker

    OrchidJarDecember 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm
    I am unable to post after 3 or 4 attempts.
    I get the AIMN header followed by,

    “Page not found

    It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for.

    Michael is on talks with MSN

    Bugger Michael was first!

  79. Kaye Lee

    I have no intention of securing government. Discussions about how to win an election are one thing – discussions about what the country should be doing are another.

    I don’t look down on the guys in the pub. Some of them are my friends and family. I am a teacher. I don’t disparage someone for their lack of knowledge – I want them to learn. I am also aware that all people possess knowledge and skills that I do not. I want to learn from them. I don’t want an intellectual pissing contest….but just as I had to give my students some direction (they aren’t likely to stumble onto calculus by themselves), the guys in the pub need some direction (someone has to tell them the truth about climate change and the job market of the future). They are being fed lies and are therefore at a disadvantage. I don’t quite know how you expect me to win them over when they have their minds very firmly already made up with Pauline Hanson and the three amigos, cheered on by the Murdoch hacks, telling them they are right.

    What do YOU suggest? Am I supposed to pretend that Adani will solve the unemployment problems in Queensland?

  80. Matters Not

    totaram, been contacted by the ABC re a new sports show – run by women about women in sport. Sounds good until you look at the proposed format. Nothing like Offsiders but reads like The Footy Show fr women. The only difference seems to be that we won’t have the ‘dress up’ bit. My response was scathing. Not that it matters. It’s clear what they are going to do.

    Speaking about ‘dress’. Watch the ads approved by Trumps proposed Labour Sec. Nice! It’s a new world. Shakes head.

  81. Michael Taylor

    Is it happening to you too, Freethinker?

  82. Jack Straw

    OrchidJar Make your point but stop spreading a made up manipulating term from Sydney red neck radio host’s.Re Pub Test!

    It’s the man in the Street or woman for that matter.

    You need to make your case with whoever and where ever you can.

    We have gone backwards in the past 20 years as we discuss politics like football i’e Essendon vrs Collingwood or Holden vrs Ford.The trouble most are too scared to express an opinion.Because they feel unempowered or are scared of being belittled

  83. Freethinker

    Kaye, perhaps those people in the pub or in many family homes for that matter have different priorities and values than you and they cast their vote according.
    People know about climate change but the sacrifices to do something about it are to big for them to bare.
    Perhaps the best direction that we can give to the next generations is not be addicted to the consumerism which in turn they will set them free.
    This will make them think more clear and put their values in balance.

  84. Freethinker

    Michael TaylorDecember 9, 2016 at 1:07 pm
    Is it happening to you too, Freethinker?

    No mate, I just was writing tongue in cheek and your post come first, that was what I mean.

  85. Kaye Lee

    That’s the whole point Freethinker. They are being told the cost of an emission intensity scheme will send up the prices of electricity when the exact opposite is true. Prices will be higher if we don’t introduce one so if they are concerned about the cost then they should be screaming for an EIS. But they aren’t because they have been lied to.

    They are being told that Adani will provide 10,000 jobs and billions in revenue for the state when it won’t.

    They are being told that a corporate tax cut will create jobs when it won’t.

    They are being told we will all be under Sharia law soon – Jesus wept!

    I understand their concerns but cannot understand them swallowing the lies and voting against their own best interests.

  86. Kaye Lee

    Michael, I think the problem OJ mentioned happens if your comment includes a large copy and paste or sometimes if there are too many links

  87. Jan

    Adani is a disgrace. We need to worry about sustainability not jobs.Its just the ugly side of extreme capitalism and exploitation of the earth resources.There are so many solutions.Too many flat earth politicians

  88. helvityni

    Michael, I had the same problem earlier on, a couple times I could not connect to AIMN…seems to be OK now…

  89. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    corvus boreus,

    Murdoch media in print and the airwaves, are the pits. Other commercial networks are no better. ABC and SBS still outshine them but run the risk of being compromised by Murdoch poison.

    Despite the uphill battle with propagandists masquerading as journalists and news presenters, we each should attempt to engage with our peers about what will bring Australia out of our current race to the bottom in regards to climate change, socio-economic diminished standards and community disunity.


    Michael Taylor,

    I don’t have the little box to tick to collect subsequent comments. Is that glitch also due to the web developer works?

  90. OrchidJar

    Jack, the term was first used by Kaye in a conversation last week as a counterpart/adjunct to the Rust Belters I was talking about.
    The term means/refers, at least in the way I’ve been using it, to those voters either disenfranchised, bitter, cynical, neglected, taken for granted, disparaged by modern cultural events, low socioeconomic, mortgage belt, generally blue collar, or low white collar.

    The kinds of voters that just handed the presidency to Trump.
    The kinds of voters the Democrats actively avoided and insulted.
    You know, those guys.

    I thought Kaye’s definition apt and so have been using it as a kind of shorthand ever since.

    “I have no intention of securing government. Discussions about how to win an election are one thing – discussions about what the country should be doing are another”

    That may well go down as my surprise of the week!
    Quite an incredible admission Kaye.
    No value judgement, no criticism here, just an honest to goodness slap me down with a large fish surprise

    kinda like this,

  91. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    remember what I said about your annoying interruptions? Your cynical, repetitious commentary does you no favours.

    The first people you need to stand with are your allies. Your so-called pub mates come after that.

    Your constant barrage of put-downs cause division and are odious.

  92. Kaye Lee

    I am not sure why you are so gobsmacked about what I consider a bleedin’ obvious statement.

  93. Michael Taylor

    Jennifer, I’ll email you to explain if that’s OK. Let me know.

  94. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, if there are too many links in a comment the spam filter thinks it might be spam (as multiple links are typical with spamming agencies).

  95. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes please, Michael.

  96. Michael Taylor

    I am not sure why you are so gobsmacked about what I consider a bleedin’ obvious statement.

    Sometimes, Kaye, I wonder if people say things just for the sake of saying things. (Like I am now).

  97. corvus boreus

    Kaye Lee,
    Regarding Adani’s Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin, I reckon this one’s well worth watching (and sharing);

  98. Kaye Lee

    Thanks cb…I just included it with my latest article.

  99. OrchidJar


    I don’t recall anything that you say.

    I tend to skip over your posts.

    again, what an extraordinary thing to say.

    You can’t seem to help yourself today.

    Of course you would see it as the bleeding obvious. Of course YOU would, it’s YOUR bloody statement!

    But the rest of us? Hardly ‘bleeding obvious’ at all.

    Let me outline the case for my surprise: you pen a million words these past few years, you drop posts on a daily basis, you exchange conversation, debate, and argument with whoever will listen, and at the core of every word you’ve ever written is a disgust with the right; the repugnant ideology of conservatism, and the predatory practice of the big end of town.

    And here you are trying to convince me that you have ‘no intention of securing government’?!

    I don’t believe it.

    There is no other purpose to your words, I mean what are you doing here Kaye, what do you hope to achieve by providing ‘diligent research’ to the converted who are either too lazy to google themselves, or who are more than happy to exist in a echo space of continued affirmation and dull cyclic meditations?

    Seriously, if change of government is not your endgame, then what is? What is the point of these million words?
    Sitting on a blog posting daily about what the country ‘should be doing’?!?

    That’s the kind of undergraduate idealism that we all know very well and leave behind us at a certain point.

    We all know what the country ‘should be doing’ Kaye; we’re all of the left. The question, the very real question, is how do we get there.

    Sorry if that is a revelation to you.

    Yes, Michael, chatter for the sake of chatter. Everyone else seems to be doing it, why not I?

    This is a blog, right?

  100. abbienoiraude

    After watching Steven Hail’s video on Economics I think this constant rabbiting on about ‘debt and deficit’ and ‘leaving a debt for our children and grandchildren’ must be nipped constantly in the bud. Why oh why does the ALP continue the misconception of how our Govt operates re budget wise.

    Here is the easier shorter reasoning. ( Steven is mentioned and quoted in it.)

  101. Exoplanet

    JMS said:


    remember what I said about your annoying interruptions?

    Do you have any idea that this sort of statement makes you appear as though you are the arbiter of comment and discourse here? Maybe you are. Are you? Is there something posters should know?


    One thing that is evident about progressive views, social and political, is that they inevitably and invariably strike a brick wall of political and social realities that might not be conducive to their ideas of progress and what is ‘right’. One of the problems for the ‘left’, which it fails to recognise in the same sense that the ‘right ‘ fails to recognise their ‘born to rule’ mentality, is that the ‘left’ automatically thinks it occupies the moral high ground without doing any practical and intellectual work to justify it. This is, and has been, for too long, the ‘left’s socio-political vanity.

    The ‘left’ must recognise the ways in which this has become manifest. It does no-one any good to be able to watch the disintegration of civilisation from a position of the high ground. Nero – Rome etc.

    The balance required between the ideal and the pragmatic is surely as old as the most fundamental notions of democracy themselves. The conflict that arises between them is constant, generational, decadonal, even annual, and it’s only that we’ve yet to resolve that conflict properly that it constantly haunts us. We may never do, human nature accounted for.

    Idealism negligent of the pragmatic is impractical and ultimately a destructive vanity.

    Pragmatism that exists for its own sake and forgets the principles and ideals that gave it birth and vigour quickly becomes cynical and easily subject to cheap and shallow manipulation. It’s a bit like a philosopher who decides that imbibing mind altering drugs might give him insight into the ephemeral nature of reality, but every time he does this his mind is incrementally damaged and over time he not only learns to rationalise his self-inflicted harm but forgets his original purpose and goals. Such can be the nature of political expedience that it incrementally separates out mind [and Party] from its original purpose.

    I think the last 30 years of Labor reflects this problem.

    However, pie in the sky ‘progressive’ political rhetoric is, ultimately, as vapid and potentially dangerous as the empty rhetoric of One Nation and its political ilk. We must avoid such vacuity. If we don’t, we’ll be condemned to the 10% periphery of political engagement, from where nothing can happen, other than rhetoric.

    My belief is that a meaningful marriage between the pragmatic and the ideal if entirely possible, but that the current Labor narrative emphasis is too strongly directed toward the pragmatic. In some sense addressing the loss of understanding, at this moment in history, that the pragmatic is the ideal, may be our greatest exigency in terms of narrative.

  102. Michael Taylor

    to the converted who are either too lazy to google themselves, or who are more than happy to exist in a echo space

    You don’t like the people here much, do you?

  103. Michael Taylor

    Do you have any idea that this sort of statement makes you appear as though you are the arbiter of comment and discourse here? Maybe you are. Are you? Is there something posters should know?

    Kudos to Jennifer for calling OrchidJar out for “odious” person that he is.

  104. Exoplanet

    Explain how OJ is ‘odious’? I’m not a fan of his ‘top tier expedience’ but is he not the sort of person we ought be debating? If we can’t move that outlook, what hope is there?

  105. Michael Taylor

    Explain how? No, some things are best kept out of the public domain.

  106. Exoplanet

    Really? You seem to be alluding to some content from that poster that we’re not privy to or that you’re ‘protecting’ us from. An example would at the very least provide us with some sense of justification on your part. I mean, you do understand the importance of not giving the impression of manipulation of discussion via moderation, right?

    If you’ve engaged a ‘professional’ team of moderators, as you say, their aim ought surely be to encourage dialogue which will therefore generate advertising income to help support the site. Hopefully you’ll get your monies’ worth.

  107. Michael Taylor

    “Really?” Yes, really.

  108. Michael Taylor

    “If you’ve engaged a ‘professional’ team of moderators, as you say, their aim ought surely be to encourage dialogue …”

    No, that is not their aim at all. That is not what they’re employed for.

  109. Exoplanet

    Ok, so OJ is your political durian. How is he not the perfect opportunity to make a case in the comments? I don’t understand. Is the comment section of this site meant to be an insular thing or what? It’s cool if it is, but you surely have to declare it.

  110. Michael Taylor

    “I don’t understand. Is the comment section of this site meant to be an insular thing or what? It’s cool if it is, but you surely have to declare it.”

    What a ridiculous comment. I actually don’t even know why I bothered responding. Goodnight.

  111. Kaye Lee

    No-one has to read what I write and no-one is entitled to dictate to me my purpose for writing. I choose to find your arrogance in trying to tell me what “my purpose” really is amusing rather than an insulting hubristic “pat the little girl on the head” putdown.

    The truth is I deplore party politics and our current “winner takes all” system. It is the root of many of our problems. The parties refuse to agree as seen with the ridiculous backpacker tax debacle. I am not interested in this inane sort of political posturing. I don’t think the labels that everyone uses are even relevant anymore. How could “progressives” condone the torture of children who came to them seeking help? Pragmatic politics – that’s how.

  112. OrchidJar

    Exoplanet, thank you for your 10.18 post. I can fault neither word nor purpose, and, of course, appreciate your timing.
    The questions we’re interrogating are deeply vexed and will continue to haunt the left in ways, I think, still undiscovered. What we do know however, and know with a near blinding clarity, is that we must strike that balance of which you speak or continue to suffer the twin evils – political impotence, and the slow side shoe shuffle to the right.
    Both are to be avoided at all costs.
    In my view.

    Just a quick one also: I am, despite appearances, not exclusively concerned with ‘expedience’. I am as much a sucker for the ideal as the next leftie. It is, I’m happy to admit, part of our ideological DNA. However, i find myself having to argue more vigorously for the opposite when i find myself in the company of those who, I see, as only speaking from the Ideal, from platitudes borne of the Ideal, or those who drop, ex cathedra, notions as to what we ‘should be doing’. I find such insistent and incessant pronouncements both tiring and detrimental.

    ‘you don’t like people here much do you?’

    I don’t know anyone here Michael. All I know are the ideas expressed. That’s all I’m interested in.
    Some I find interesting and provocative, and very much worth reading, and others I find worthless.

    I strongly suspect that you will look over your posts of last night, this exchange with Exoplanet, with great shame.

    Your responses were immature, condescending, and in no way commensurate with your role here as blog owner/moderator.

    I wasnt ‘dictating’, I was asking what you hope to achieve. I thought that was very clear.
    I don’t know anyone on the left, liberal or progressive, that ‘condones’ that deplorable treatment. My argument is that to affect change we must win government. Idealism only arrives, I strongly believe, through the door of those ‘pragmatic politics’ you so disdain.
    I really don’t know how you can possibly implement change, or realise your ideals, from the outer.

    It can’t be done.

  113. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Orchid Jar and Exoplanet,

    I say things as I see them. I don’t beat around the bush much, although I could if I saw any point in it. So if you think I have any insider knowledge, sorry to disappoint you but I also know how to read between the lines.

    I also believe making my point concise and crystal clear so that there is no doubt where my allegiances lie. You say you’re one of the Left like most of us claim to be; however, your monologues are dominated with accusations and insults against constructive commenters.

    Do you spend as much time confronting Peder Duddon or Snotty Morrisscum or anti-Christ Porter about their crimes against vulnerable people in detention, homelessness or on welfare?

    I probably shouldn’t be bothered responding because you don’t read my contributions. However, O J or is it Explanet (who said that?), I don’t believe you won’t read. You find acknowledgement of your posts titillating.

    If you weren’t so interested in playing ‘one-uppenship’, some of your salutary comments would receive more credit.

  114. helvityni

    Jennifer, spot on, like you I read between the lines where the truth is often to be found. OJ is a female troll, I know her way back to ABC’s Unleashed, and have seen her in action at least for eight years on certain blogs.

    As you say she claims to be a Leftie, I know she is from the Right.
    I could say much more but will leave it at that.

  115. Miriam English

    OJ is just being a troll.

  116. Kaye Lee

    OJ is a woman? That’s surprising. She exhibits a distinctly patriarchal mansplaining tone.

  117. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Orchid Jar,

    I await your response with bated breath.

  118. corvus boreus

    Want some broader resonance with the population?
    Most people I know (regardless of any party affiliations) are heartily sick of political corruption.
    The blatantly entrenched, and bipartisan greasing of political wheels by corporate interests goes beyond mere ‘pragmatic expedience’ into the realm of serious corruption of public policy, and that is as abhorrent to decent ‘conservatives’ (they do exist) as to ethical ‘progressives’.
    Labor should propose/support a federal ICAC. It would win them some honest votes from a few different directions.

  119. Kaye Lee

    OJ we all contribute in different ways to the world.

    Some people are experts in specific areas. They can give expert advice about future consequences. That the politicians choose to ignore them does not diminish their role.

    Some people are blue sky thinkers. They use their imagination to offer new ideas, to offer alternatives, to stimulate discussion about the future.

    Some people are our conscience, reminding us of what the real priorities should be in an ideal world.

    Some people work very hard and may have no interest at all in politics. That does not make their work contribution pointless.

    And there are those who see winning an election as their sole purpose. All else is irrelevant to them because you can’t do anything unless you win. Mind you, the only reason you can’t do anything is because you can’t be seen to be working constructively with the other people who were elected.

    To everything – turn, turn, turn
    There is a season – turn, turn, turn
    And a time to every purpose under heaven

  120. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    corvus boreus,

    a very good reminder. A Federal ICAC is essential to clean up the multi-level corruption operating behind the scenes and which acts as a barrier to effective policy development and implementation for the common good.

  121. Terry2

    I think the gentle trolling happening here is just diverting and deflecting discussion on matters that are important to our democratic arrangements and our economic fundamentals.

    It astounds me that I am paying more tax than 36% of the major corporations in Australia and this at a time when our government wants to reduce the taxation for corporations which, as far as I can figure, is only going to increase the burden on PAYG taxpayers

    There is something fundamentally out of kilter when a company like Qantas pays no tax in 2014-2015 yet expect to benefit from all of the social infrastructure that we all enjoy : how is it that a corporation in this country can claim all the legal benefits and protections of our society but fail to make a contribution ?

    If an Australian citizen has to pay tax from the first dollar earned then surely it is not too much to expect a corporation to do the same or is it acceptable for one sector of the community to make no contribution to defence, healthcare, education and infrastructure etc ?

  122. Kaye Lee

    Could I go further and suggest that all public service appointments should be taken out of government hands – diplomats, judges, department heads, statutory bodies, board of directors etc

    And that Ministers are forbidden from taking jobs in private enterprise that had anything to do with their portfolio for a period of five years.

    As a role model for federal cabinet ministers worried about finding work post-politics, former trade minister Andrew Robb is arguably without peer.

    Gina Rinehart has done very well partnering with the Chinese to buy dairy and beef farms. She seemed to anticipate what would be negotiated in the ChAFTA.

    Skin in the game

    And when Andrew Robb resigns, Gina employs him

    Before you could say free-trade agreement, the former globe-trotting deal maker was signing off from Canberra and signing up as for a gig with the investment bank Moelis and a role as a consultant to the Melbourne biotech venture CNSDose. Not to mention replacing John Klepec as Gina Rinehart’s representative on the board of Network Ten and – most controversially – becoming a “high-level economic consultant” to Landbridge, the Chinese company that controls the Port of Darwin.

  123. Michael Taylor

    I strongly suspect that you will look over your posts of last night, this exchange with Exoplanet, with great shame.

    Your responses were immature, condescending, and in no way commensurate with your role here as blog owner/moderator.

    I strongly suspect I won’t.

    The amount of time that you/Exoplanet spend here “condescending” others is beyond tolerable. If you want me to respond in a manner that is commensurate to the standards you expect then I am happy to oblige. I will begin by being more supportive of our authors, which means that your continued attacks on them is not accepted. In particular, your responses to Kaye Lee yesterday were embarrassing to the site. I am disappointed in myself as the moderator who cleared those comments. Other moderators would not have. The other two owners of this site would not have either. In fact, they hadn’t.

    I will tell you and your Exoplanet friend (alias?) this: The AIMN was established so that people/bloggers had a place to write. It was not established for you. We enjoy what we do and we are grateful that we have hundreds of fabulous commenters to interact with and debate. I realise that this is not up to your expectations, but I REALLY. DONT. CARE. We’re happy with it. You’re not. Tough.

    We will run this place the way we want to. Most people like it the way it is, and until you and Exoplanet came along (at the same time, coincidentally) there hasn’t been too many people who consistently barge in with unrealistic expectations and continued demands on how it should be run, how it should be moderated, what the authors should be doing, and how other commenters should be thinking. Almost all of your comments contain one of those ‘demands’.

    I say, enough is enough. Your days here as a contributor are over.

  124. Michael Taylor

    I await your response with bated breath.

    You’ll be waiting a long time, Jennifer.

  125. corvus boreus

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith,
    Not only does the tacit bipartisan support of existing avenues of corruption distort and contaminate policy, it also reinforces voter cynicism/apathy, and can cause votes to flow to the fringes.

    Unconventional CSG extraction (fracking) is another area of quite broad public resonance where bipartisan ‘expedient pragmatism’ is leaving the swathes of voters opposed to the destruction of the sub-soil profile and contamination of air, soil and water with little practical choice beyond the Greens or One Nation (who at least acknowledge the risks and advocate a cautious approach, particularly around farmlands).
    Voters in effected inland rural areas (eg around the gaslands of Chinchilla and Tara) tend to go with the latter option (PHON).

  126. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I support what you say about taking senior appointments in bureaucracy, the judiciary, statutory bodies and public boards – out of the hands of government.

    I would love to say to put that decision-making in the hands of the People – and under the correct conditions, that is not unfeasible.

    However, until we have a cleansed socio-economic system, I consider a multi-party ruling parliament would be a perfect place for where to select appropriate people for senior appointments.

  127. corvus boreus

    Matters Not,
    Thanks, interesting and well presented visual.
    Strangely enough, that human population graph corresponds with the hockey-stick graphs depicting greenhouse gas levels.
    Probably just a coincidence.

  128. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks MN,

    I found it interesting too.

  129. Michael Taylor

    Could I go further and suggest that all public service appointments should be taken out of government hands – diplomats, judges, department heads, statutory bodies, board of directors etc

    I only speak with ‘authority’ on department heads, and yes, I strongly support your suggestion. The number of department secretaries that incoming governments replace more than suggests that their appointment may well have been political. That was obvious when Abbott (within a week of winning the election) sacked the two department secretaries whose department had something to do with climate change mitigation.

  130. Kaye Lee

    The video offers some hope that in the developed world fertility rates are generally below replacement. It is likely that population will plateau just as a function of improving the living standards of the poor. Resource use and environmental degradation are crucial factors. We must stop the dreadful waste. We can do so much more in recycling and reusing. The food thrown out by supermarkets and restaurants is a terrible waste. We should be able to organise this better. We should also be using our waste water better.

  131. Exoplanet

    Hey Michael Taylor – I am not OrchidJar, I do not know them and disagree with much of what they say and I was posting long before he/she came along, you dishonest piece of shit. What are you, some kind of leftist cult leader or what? You certainly behave like it. Print that. I dare you.

  132. Michael Taylor

    There, I published it. I published what will be your last comment published on this site. No doubt you will continue to submit more abusive comments but they will go straight to the ‘deleted’ folder.

  133. LOVO

    Exo, it is but interesting how in relation to OJ you say “”them n'”they” ..then do the he/she doovey, mm, interest’n……It makes one wonder if’n yooze do “shifts”…as it were 🙂 ..ay.
    And by the way Exo….fyi… Migs is worse than some kind of leftist cult leader……He’s a Port Adelaide supporter….Eeww…jest sayin’ 😛

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