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  1. paul walter

    Abbott is, when it boils down to it, just another administrator, a flunky or major domo unquestioningly setting about the achievement of the goals of those who are his master..glad for the post, it is a constructive contrast.

    For all the caped crusader stuff he is just another bell-hop.

    Ludlum, not accountable to the Corporatocracy, does the opposite and critiques objectively from the viewpoint of the public good. Here is the”vision” stuff we once got from the ALP before Abbott’s soul-kin, the Right faction, took it over. From there it deteriorates from impotence leading to indifference, to overt anti communitarianism, represented and typified by Abbott itself, as alien forces seek a justification for a barbarian overthrow and plunder of a Civil society.

  2. mars08

    ah… that lovely myth about our civil society. In the same way that the refined and civilised Brits of the 19th century killed and pillaged their way around the globe!

    Abbott won precisely because he IS an arrogant Neanderthal. Over the past 25 years various governments have created the ideal environment for him. Comes the time… comes the man.

  3. Hotspringer

    mars08, you may be right, but personally I would date the beginning of the end to some 40 years ago.

  4. paul walter

    Perhaps Mars 08 would prefer to see the eventual end game with this; something akin to the streets of Kiev?

  5. paul walter

    Am actually greatful I grew up in a healthy civil society, with half reasonable family, neighbors and friends, basic habeas corpus law, no wars or communal strife, decent schools and libraries..yes, there WAS a decent civil society and it is being gutted for the financial benefit of globalist oligarchs and their kleptocrat and fascist local fellow travellers.

  6. mars08

    paul walter… i don’t deny that we once had a healthy civil society… but these days it’s just a vague memory. Just like “patriotism”, the brand-name has been hijacked by the rich and powerful.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Great speech by Scott Ludlum. It’s a travesty that nobody turned up to work to hear it. I would be very interested to see an actual study done of the hours spent in the chamber. They seem to come and go as they please. I’ll never forget the empty Coalition benches as Julia Gillard announced the NDIS. http://yathink.com.au/_lib/classLib/i.php?iw=900&ih=600&ic=3:2&i=http://i.yathink.com.au/article/img/article-71-hero.jpg&business=false&is=/i/article/img/_cache

  8. Matters Not

    Kaye Lee, I believe you write brilliant articles, but I can’t let this pass without comment. You said:

    It’s a travesty that nobody turned up to work to hear it

    As a former Private Secretary (sometimes now called a Senior Ministerial Policy Advisor) to a Minister in times gone by, can I offer a different ‘construction of reality’. Ministers or Members who remain in the ‘chamber’ to hear speeches are in fact ‘wasting time’. The truth is that all Parliamentary proceedings are broadcast internally for all members to see and hear. And from different angles and the like.

    Parliament is well serviced ‘electronically’.

    Ministers should not, in my opinion, be present in any chamber when they should be meeting with ‘delegations’ or ‘public servants’ or ‘policy advisors’ or who ever, because such Ministers can see and hear what’s being ‘advocated’ at the same time as they are ‘meeting’. And they do. Also, importantly, they are doing other things as well which extend to base level activities such as reading and signing responses to letters, which the average punter sees as being important

    As for:

    I would be very interested to see an actual study done of the hours spent in the chamber.

    So would I, but I suspect that the meaning I would give to such ‘statistics’ would be different to yours.

    In short ‘chamber sitting’ and listening isn’t the best way to operate.

    But some lazy bastards do just that.

  9. Denisio Fabuloso

    Mediocre is now what people aspire too. You see it everywhere… but nowhere is it more pronounced than in our political system. Especially the larger parties… who have bought into the corporate bullshit, spin doctors and daily polling bigtime. (I remember my hopes for Gillard vanishing with the ‘Moving Forward’ speech). Abbott is the perfect example of how mediocre has become the New Black. The epitome of our brave new world. Where ‘Dunning Kruger’s’ and psychopaths run our world. Ours is now a dumb downed, materialist short term world. Legacy, prudence and empathy is going the way of the Dodo and the passenger pigeon. In fact, they represent the perfect epitaph to our imminent passing. As a species we deserve all that is coming our way. Shame its going to be so ugly.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Matters not, a very interesting comment. It actually touches on something I have been thinking about for a while. What is the actual point of “chamber sitting”? Question time is a useless debacle. Speeches are ignored. I even had a facebook exchange with Andrew Laming during Question Time once. When I said to him, “shouldn’t you be concentrating on what’s going on rather than typing to me” he responded that “There is nothing in standing orders prohibiting the use of social media.” They spend their whole time looking at their phones and ipads. How much does it cost for us to fly them all to Canberra and accommodate them for these periods of “sitting” parliament? Why waste time sitting in the chamber? As you say, they have plenty of real work to get on with. In these days of teleconferencing surely we could save ourselves a fortune and use time more productively, or are we too stuck in tradition to be able to expect productivity from our politicians?

  11. john921fraser

    <

    It doesn't matter how many different versions of "How Labor lost Australia: are written there is always the stench of Rudd in every version.

    The ALP Leadership problems were there for all to see and Murdoch and Abbott made sure they were highlighted in fluoro …. every single day.

    The sooner the ALP moves as far away from Rudd's supporters, like B. Hawker, the sooner it will get back to its base support.

    And it's pretty much universal agreement that Shorten is not the one to lead :

  12. Matters Not

    A few responses to your questions, and I might add my experiences relate to State Parliament, but I suspect that they can be extrapolated to the next level.

    What is the actual point of “chamber sitting”?

    Most of the time, it’s a pointless activity – a place where, as a Member, you can’t be annoyed. However, a Member is needed when ‘voting’ is required. But one gets plenty of time to be present when the ‘bells’ are rung.

    Question time is a useless debacle

    Agreed. From your side there are Dorothy Dixers prepared by ministerial staff (both questions and answers) that are approved by the current ‘powers that be’ (currently Credlin or Pyne?) and then assigned to a ‘slot’ for ‘asking’. From the Opposition comes an organised series of questions that can be easily brushed away. (The truth is that you can ask any question you like and in any manner you like, but I as Minister can ‘answer’ however I like and that includes ignoring completely the ‘point’ you’re trying to make.)

    In times gone by a Speaker might urge a Minister to be relevant but that’s clearly no longer the case. And besides what can a Speaker really do, particularly if he/she wants to continue in that position.

    Speeches are ignored

    True in 99% of instances. Very rare for a speech to cause any ‘thinking’ let alone cause a changed point of view. And let’s face it, most speeches lack insight. In short they deserve to be ignored.

    The ‘common sense’ of Parliament is an historical hangover – relic of a past time when face-to-face communications was the only option. At one level it’s now a joke. But while voting can be done from afar the ‘socialising’ and ‘politicking’ cannot.

    From my experience most people have no insight into how it really works. They are not ‘conscious’ that Ministers, for example, play a wide variety of roles that include being a family member (not easy given the extended time of separation), local member, cabinet member, factional member (regardless of party), caucus member, departmental policy head, and the like. All require time, preparation and decision making.

  13. mars08

    Combine a disengaged, distracted population, the belief that 99.9% of problems have a quick and simple solution, a shrill sensationalist media, the worship of hyper masculinity, over-reliance on US news sources, rising anti – intellectualism, and geographical isolation… and you have an electorate just begging to be conned!

  14. jagman48

    Kay Lee you take the cake with your comment. The use of smart phones, tablets shoud be banned from parliament. If standing orders allow there use, they should be changed.

    This will not change question time. The only thing that can change that is the speaker. And fat chance of that.

    Parliament is a farce at the moment with a lazy government in charge.

  15. Wayne

    I agree with Paul Walter,our society is being hijacked by the rich and powerful and yes they are kleptomaniacs,wholly bent on destroying a way of life.It was never perfect,but I believe the ALP government was on track to build a more equitable society and protection for the working class from aggressive,soulless capital.Now we can only look back with sentiment,as this neo-fasicist,neo-conservative government destroys everything Labor stood for.

  16. Geoffrey England

    Paul Walter in the first post accurately and succinctly describes Abbott to a tee…a flunky, major domo, a bellhop doing his masters’ bidding unquestioningly. Thus it was in Howard’s day and thus it shall ever be.

  17. Stephen Tardrew

    Lets face it unless you can reach main MSM you are struggling. Great speech no one will hear but us. McLuhan: the medium is the message. Money in politics is providing a large voice for corporate vested interest while shutting out reasonable criticism. All we can do is keep on keeping on in the hope the LNP screw something up drastically. Then we need to have confidence that Labor has the balls to follow with a full frontal attack rather than insipidity.

  18. xiaoecho

    Matters Not……your posts are a good illustration of why Civics should be a compulsory part of the curriculum.

  19. mars08

    The wingnuts will not take any dissent lying down. Anything that may disrupt the narrative must be confronted. Some clown in the SMH opinion pages today was busy dismissing Ludlams speech as lightweight “political porn”

  20. John.R

    It has been proven to be impossible to make an intelligent speech when the act of opening ones mouth involves the act of changing the foot which is in it……………………

  21. Taariq Hassan

    Rage against the dying of the light!

  22. Matters Not

    xiaoecho said:

    why Civics should be a compulsory part of the curriculum.

    All in good time.

    http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum_1/learning_areas/humanities_and_social_sciences/civics_and_citizenship.html

    But I’m not sure how successful that venture will be. Science, for example, has been part of the curriculum for decades, but we aren’t living in a scientifically literate society.

    Over the years there has been some research. Here’s a summary.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp9899/99RP15#Civic

    The results of surveys conducted during the last 10 years suggest that there is cause for concern. In 1994, for example, a study of 15-19 year olds reported that:

    •90 per cent did not know what the Constitution covered

    •83 per cent did not know what the Cabinet was

    •79 per cent did not feel they knew what the rights and responsibilities of citizens were.

    Another study of 17 and 18 year olds, conducted around the same time, found that:

    •nearly 50 per cent had ‘not much’ or ‘no’ interest in politics

    •only 8 per cent had ‘a great deal’ of interest in politics

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