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Tag Archives: Julia Gillard

Speculation

“A long-term study by Philip E. Tetlock of the University of Pennsylvania found that when political scientists claimed that a political outcome had absolutely no chance of occurring, it nevertheless happened about 15 percent of the time.”  Nate Silver*, The Signal and The Noise Every day the news seems to be about the fact that…

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No Rudd challenge? That’s the news, apparently

Photo from theaustralian.com.au

Photo from theaustralian.com.au

“Labor’s crippling leadership stand-off is showing no signs of resolution with the former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, still refusing to challenge and Julia Gillard hardening her resolve to stay put.”   The Age, 18th June, 2013

Of course, with someone else so clearly more popular, you’d think a Rudd challenge was inevitable, but no, it looks like the status quo will prevail until the election. No challenge. And this may be the reason for the lack of clearly stated policies, the use of a few motherhood statements and certain backbenchers breaking ranks. Whatever, the odds are that Abbott will lead the Liberals into the next election with Turnbull still refusing to challenge in spite of  having a leader whose policy on climate change, gay marriage and the republic are so radically different from his own.

I could say that someone told me confidentially that Turnbull is counting the numbers, but not being one of the Canberra crowd, people may want to know who. They may even ask if my source had give me reliable information in the past. And I’d have to confess that they hadn’t.

But as I write this the Labor caucus is meeting. I guess that they’ll have a spill. I guess Rudd will stand this time. I guess he would have stood if he thought he’d be elected unopposed. I guess these things would sound more convincing if I used a phrase like, “the word is” or “I have it on good authority”,  instead of “I guess”.

Ah well, my source says that Kevin will be the next ambassador to the US. Or the UN. but that’s only if one of the parties wins the election. He wasn’t sure which.

 

Someone has well and truly lost the plot

That fine custodian of moral virtue, Piers Ackerman, is mostly known for his frothing-at-the-mouth appearances on ABC Insiders most Sunday mornings and as a journalist for The Australian and a couple of other magnificent Murdoch journals. The Australian, we are reminded, is the masthead of Murdoch’s media empire in our country. It espouses to be the pinnacle of decency in the Australian media landscape. I found this summary of its wonderfulness:

The Australian is this country’s leading news brand. The editorial values focus on leading and shaping public opinion on the issues that affect Australia, its residents and the Australian business environment. Led by a team of highly credible and experienced journalists, editorial themes cover economic, political and social issues.

Unparalleled national and international news and business sections are supplemented by indepth business to business sections such as; Australian IT (the largest newspaper IT section in the world), Higher Education, Media, Aviation, Thoroughbreds. As well, lifestyle, arts and sports sections balance the read for our independent thinking and influential readership.

The Australian brand is globally recognised as a leader in media innovation. The brand has evolved into a multi-platform offering for both its consumers and its advertisers by taking full advantage of the many techonologies available in the marketplace. From a refreshed, smart broadsheet layout to full gloss executive lifestyle magazines. From an up-to-date by the minute guide to news around the world via The Australian website to the fully interactive iPad application, online and iPad editions are refreshed throughout the day.

The Australian newspaper is published Monday to Friday.

A word from our Editor-in-Chief

The Australian was born in July 1964 as a bold venture in national journalism, vowing to provide “the impartial information and the independent thinking that are essential to the further advance of our country”.

Today, it retains that sense of adventure, covering the affairs of an island continent, with reporters across the country and foreign bureaus throughout the region and around the world. It is read by Australians from Broome to Burnie to Cooktown, and is published at six print sites around the country.

As the national broadsheet, our core areas are federal politics, international affairs, business, sport, the arts, technology and education. To do our job, we must stand above other sources of news and information.

We strive to be first with the big national stories. We aim for factual reporting and penetrating analysis. We seek to take our readers beyond the “spin” of the political, business and sport press release machinery.

Chris Mitchell

Keep this piece of propaganda in the back of your mind: to provide “the impartial information and the independent thinking that are essential to the further advance of our country”.

Two newspapers in The Australian’s stable are The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, where Piers Ackerman is given the freedom to provide “the impartial information and the independent thinking that are essential to the further advance of our country”. They promote Piers as being:

. . . one of The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph’s best-read columnists since 1993. One of the nation’s most respected journalists he has worked in New York, London, Washington and Los Angeles.

Well someone has well and truly lost the plot.

Here is Ackerman’s latest piece from The Australian, “Piers Akerman hits back at his critics following the ABC Insiders program“. I have highlighted those sections that do not to provide “the impartial information and the independent thinking that are essential to the further advance of our country”.

The chattering classes whipped themselves into a lather Sunday afternoon claiming that I raised questions about First Bloke Tim Mathieson’s sexuality on the ABC Insiders program that morning.

Rubbish. The ABC’s producers had conservative Perth shock jock Howard Sattler’s repugnant interview with Prime Minister Julia Gillard listed as an item for Insider host Barrie Cassidy’s discussion to open up the question of whether she had been exposed to sexism during her career.

Do the sneering Left and the Twitterati really believe that it is possible to discuss the Sattler interview without touching on its subject matter?

What seems to have enraged the Left-wing blogosphere is that I said the Parliamentary press gallery had been asking the same sort of questions when Gillard and Mathieson’s relationship first came to light as Sattler had raised last week.

That seems to have infuriated my fellow panellists, former Fairfax journalist Lenore Taylor, now writing for some Leftwing online site and my News Limited colleague Malcolm Farr, who with Cassidy denied ever hearing such a thing.

I have never made any suggestions Mathieson’s sexuality. I don’t deal in tawdry topics.

Mathieson is in fact a very good friend with one of my long-standing mates and over the past several years we have been scheduled to meet for a weekend lunch, with or without his Significant Other, but diary conflicts have prevented such a felicitous engagement.

Yet there is no greater rumour mill in the nation than the federal press gallery – which in recent weeks has been relentlessly asking (I shan’t say what because I don’t engage in rumour mongering).

As I said the Sattler interview was unacceptable, that should have signalled my view clearly.

Quite frankly, I can’t understand why the Left gets itself so wound up about sexuality and gender issues when it publicly preaches these matters are irrelevant.

That’s my position and always has been. What people do in private is up to them.

What angers me more than the phony outrage of the aged feminists and class-and-gender war warriors is that the Sattler interview was deemed worthy of comment when there are so many more pressing national issues.

Not least the fact that the Australian navy and customs ships are too busy ferrying illegal people smuggler boats to Christmas Island to pick up the drowned bodies of those who were unsuccessful in making Labor’s lethal voyage.

Or the fact that the Prince-in-waiting Kevin Rudd is equally to blame for Labor’s blow-out Budgets, waste and failed policies as Gillard, the woman most ALP MPs hope he rolls.

Outrage from the Left – don’t make me laugh. Campbell Newman and his immediate family were subjected to a barrage of falsehoods concocted by Labor during the recent election and some of those who endorsed the rubbish have now found refuge in the Prime Minister’s office, just as the phony race riot of Australia Day 2012 was concocted there.

As I said at the end of the show, addressing Gillard (who wasn’t watching), I intended no offense.

I meant it. Just as I now say I will never be intimidated by the baying of Labor’s politically correct lickspittles who were ever so silent when this government was trying to muzzle the news media during its current term.

I repeat, I don’t draw up Insiders’ agenda, the ABC did because a conservative shock jock had made a fool of himself and been sacked.

They ignored the offensive nature of the charge in their attempt to further gore their quarry.

Many of you will find nothing wrong with that. He is simply sharing his opinions, even though they don’t provide “the impartial information and the independent thinking that are essential to the further advance of our country”. I think, more than anything, he’s letting us know that he doesn’t like the Left or any class or group likely to fall into the Left category.

But he doesn’t leave it alone. His article was reproduced on The Telegraph under ‘Sexuality rubbish a tawdry affair’ where readers were offered the opportunity to debate the article with Piers himself. There one can see first hand that Ackerman has no intention of providing “the impartial information and the independent thinking that are essential to the further advance of our country”. I produce some examples below:

In response to:

Piers,
I believe your wife is a female…correct?  Well, does that make her a lesbian?  THINK !!….that’s if your narrow-minded, blinkered, one-eyed, right-wing extremist attitudes allow you to.

Ackerman wrote:

THIS must be the stupidest comment ever submitted, Chris. This is the sort of logic that brought the destruction of border protection, the installation of pink batts, the Budget surplus we never had and Gonski, you must be channeling the brains trust of the ALP.

I agree with Ackerman that it was a stupid comment, but don’t you just love how he turns it into some Labor bashing?

Someone wrote:

Did you ask Tony why his sister is gay? Did you ask Alan Jones whether he is gay? Are you gay? Never seen you with a woman and has never been discussed. Don’t care what you do or Alan Jones and rest of you so called commentators. When did journalists become commentators? Your a journalist. Come out to the country sometime and look at real people with real issues. and yes there are gays in the country maybe you will fit in. Wasn’t that personal maybe that’s what the PM thought?

Ackerman, quick to blame the Lefties responded with:

Being a homosexual or a heterosexual has never been a big deal with me, Bathurst, but it seems to excite the Lefties no end. I have always been interested in the issues the ABC would prefer not to deal with – such as Labor’s failure.

Ackerman, so far, hasn’t answered many comments but when he does the majority of them are used as a vehicle to provide “the impartial information and the independent thinking that are essential to the further advance of our country”, which in his opinion is to demean anyone on the Left that breathes. Here are more of his rants:

And as for your pathetic smear, go and get your shilling from the ALP, they run the only smear operation I am aware of.

Interesting, Andrea. The first woman in parliament was elected by conservatives. The first female office bearer was conservative. Elected and appointed on merit. People aren’t afraid of women. They don’t like Quota Queens though and they distrust Labor losers like Gillard, Kirner, Bligh and Lawrence. With good cause.

Carol – if Anne Summers is not an aged feminist, I am a carrot. I would have thought that applying age as a descriptor might have excused her peculiarly bilious form of feminism. If you suggest not, I guess mit is just pure nastiness on her part.

Mark, why wouldn’t everyone feel entitled to feel superior to those on the Left when the evidence of the Left’s disastrous policies and philosophies is abundantly evident.

So The Australian vows to provide “the impartial information and the independent thinking that are essential to the further advance of our country”. Yet they put Piers Ackerman to work on the farm. Goodness me, someone has well and truly lost the plot then.

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The future is a fiction

Image from theaustralian.com.au

The future is a fiction (image from theaustralian.com.au)

The future is a fiction. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a either a fool or a snake oil salesman. Yes, we need to make some predictions in order to make preparations, but there’s an inherent danger in behaving as though the past is the present.

“It’s ok, if I speed, because I’m a good driver,” a man is his forties, confidently told me.

“How do work that out?” I asked.

“Because I don’t have accidents,” he told me.

Strangely, many of you will predict how that story ends. Fortunately, not tragically, but you’re right. (The accident was, of course, the other driver’s fault!)

So, I want you to consider the future for a moment. Not predict, consider. And there’s a difference. We’ve had a range of political and economic predictions over the past few years. Most of them were wrong. Ridiculously wrong. But still, people keep making them, and justifying the fact they were wrong by using what happened as a reason that something else didn’t. (For example, “The predicted interest rate cut didn’t happen because because unemployment fell” was one economist’s justification of his own prediction. Not much better than saying the only reason that this horse didn’t win was because the other horses ran faster, which I didn’t expect.)

Barry Cassidy may well be right. Julia Gillard may not lead Labor to the next election. But instead of trying to decide whether the people who’ve told Barry this are right or wrong, let’s have a look at how the future might unfold.

First, we have Gonski to consider. The negotiations with the States may delay any move by Rudd backers till the end of the month. If Labor can get that through, it’ll be an electoral plus, which poses a dilemma for the Liberals. Do they encourage the States to hold out and kill it, which may also make them look hostile to education? Or do they try to States to sign up in the hope that it’ll boost Gillard’s credibility and reduce the chances of a Rudd takeover?

Barry Cassidy has assured us that Gillard will not lead Labor to the next election, so how could we imagine that happening? Gillard gets a tap on the shoulder in much the same way that Rudd did, and stands down. This, of course, would have the Liberals jumping up and down about Labor’s “faceless men”. (The history of the term “faceless men” refers to a time when the trade unions set the policy behind closed doors then gave it to the politicians to implement. Faceless men How members of Parliament can be considered “faceless” is anybody’s guess.) Much of Labor’s rhetoric on giving women fair treatment would be turned back on them by the Opposition. Hypocracy and politics have never been far apart.

So presuming we have a return to Rudd, what then? Well, the general consensus is that Labor would receive an immediate boost in the polls. The Liberals may still be able to make leadership changes an issue, but the initial response would be positive. Gillard supporters may be frustrated and turn off, but I doubt that many would actually vote for Abbott. Would Rudd feel bound by Gillard’s September election date? Probably not, but there’d be no compelling reason for him to rush to the polls. It could even play against him making Labor look like they’re afraid they can’t put together a functioning team under Rudd. On the other hand, the Liberals could be wrong-footed; after calling for an immediate election for three years, how can they start complaining that Rudd has called one early.

Which brings us back to the motion of  no confidence that the Liberals promised us in May. (Sorry, it wasn’t a promise? I stand corrected.) The reason for not moving it in May was that the Independents wouldn’t support it, but it’s always been made clear that their deal was with Gillard, so all bets are off if Rudd is leader. Would the Liberals want to rush while Rudd is still in his (second?) honeymoon period or would they want to hold out and hope that the cracks in Labor start to show?

For most in the Labor party, I suspect that a return to Rudd is a concession of defeat and an attempt to minimise the damage. Many of the Gillard supporters may feel as though a win under Rudd would be a hollow victory, and that he was being rewarded for undermining the PM. Of course, the Rudd supporters would be able to say you get what you give, and look, we won didn’t we? Would this make for healthy government? Definitely not. But, of course, grown men and women should be able to put the past behind them and just look to the future. Unfortunately, we’re talking about politicians here, so I won’t hold my breath.

Perhaps, Cassidy is wrong and something – inertia or success with Gonski or a discovery about Tony Abbott streaking naked down Collins street – will mean that Gillard still leads Labor to the next election. Will Rudd continue to campaign? Will this have a positive effect or be a sideshow? At what point would speculation that he’ll takeover stop? During the election campaign? Two weeks before the election? Two days?

Whatever, the challenge for the Liberals will be how to play the next few weeks. Go too hard on Gillard and risk a return to Rudd? Go too soft and risk her being able to start to see like the “Jaws” character in that James Bond movie who just keep surviving everything? But the closer they get the more we start to see “countdown clocks”, and statements like “We won’t do this in our first term.” Hubris can be dangerous, particularly if they forget that the public haven’t really warmed to Abbott.

All things considered, the bookies will be offering long odds that Gillard will be there in October. Still, three years ago they offered long odds on Labor lasting the full term. Outsiders do sometimes get up. Not often, of course, that’s why they’re long odds, but sometimes!

[polldaddy poll=7180610]

Don’t write crap

My observations of both the mainstream and independent media over this past week show just how far removed one is from the other.

Stories that might be – should be – damaging to the Opposition are brushed off by the mainstream media (MSM) as mere leftie conspiracy theories, or, worse still, are somehow the fault of the Prime Minister or her party. Look at the menu-gate issue if you need further evidence of this. Or look at the reaction to the Prime Minister’s misogyny speech in Perth a few days ago.

Both are treated as nothing more as the Government playing dirty, divisive tricks.

The MSM and the right-wing fan club are going to great pains in attempting to discredit those individuals with the integrity to reveal the menu-gate affair; allowing freedom to the perpetrators of this heinous act.

Those in the independent media re more interested in the story and holding the offenders to account. And in doing so, ie, wanting to put on the table the actual story and the players involved, they are immediately pounced on by the right-wingers as belonging in a loony bin.

Where the independent media like to ask if a story is true and probe for supporting, the opposite side of the ring don’t bother with any probing questions. Instead of asking if it is true – if they are indeed interested, which I doubt they are – their immediate reaction is to attack the innocent messenger.

This site has been hit with a deluge of right-wing snipers, disturbed that we don’t toe the line of the right-wing press which must obviously provide them with a comfort zone. “How can you be independent when you religiously present a left view?” In other words: “Why can’t you be like the right-wing MSM and write crap?”

I have ferreted through my archives to find examples that show the MSM do nothing but write crap. Examples that show they are more interested in spewing forth right-wing opinion in the guise of news or information. It bewilders me that the right-wing protagonists find nothing wrong with the crap written by the media, yet they have no compunction in finding fault with the truth that fills the pages of independent media sites. Like their media heroes, I guess they have one interest only: ignore the truth and if it doesn’t go away . . . then distort it.

Perhaps they’d like to digest the three articles I’ve chosen (from many) to re-post here. Three articles that aim to remind people just how shockingly biased and incompetent the MSM are. Three articles that should encourage one to ask: “Why should I have a problem with independent media while evidence abounds that when compared with the MSM, they don’t write crap?” Three article that show that the MSM in this country exists in a parallel universe from reality.

The first was titled The shout heard round the world in response to Julia Gillard’s ‘attack’ on a misogynist Tony Abbott in Parliament last year. To the Australian media, misogyny wasn’t a bad thing and neither was Tony Abbott’s display of it. The big bad evil one was Julia Gillard for wanting to both expose it and stamp it out. Read on:

Julia Gillard might have stopped shouting at Tony Abbott but her words reverberated around the world.

Hence this post is not about the speech by Julia Gillard or about the man it was directed to, but briefly on the impact of it.

By now most of you would have digested some of the more celebrated responses – including those linked above – so I won’t cover old ground, however, one is worth mentioning; not for Julia Gillard’s stand against misogamy but for her often overlooked performances as a gutsy politician. The New Yorker wants performances like that to enter into American politics. They write:

So why is this among the most-shared videos [the Julia Gillard attack on Tony Abbott] by my American friends today? Purely as political theatre, it’s great fun. Americans used to flipping past the droning on in empty chambers that passes for legislative debate in this country are always taken in by the rowdiness of parliamentary skirmish. It could also be that the political dynamic depicted in the clip parallels the situation in the States: a chief executive who is a “first” took power after a long period of control from the right of center, and whose signature policy achievements have at times been overshadowed by personal vitriol. Or perhaps it’s that we are right now in one of the rare periods every four years where the American political process provides actual face-to-face debate between the leaders of the two parties. After his performance last week, supporters of President Obama, watching Gillard cut through the disingenuousness and feigned moral outrage of her opponent to call him out for his own personal prejudice, hypocrisy, and aversion to facts, might be wishing their man would take a lesson from Australia.

Similarities between our two political theatres abound. Julia Gillard has found a way to evolve from it.

But her attack on misogamy has attracted more responses than her parliamentary grunt. And oh how the responses differ. In one corner we have the international media, the social media and social analysts supporting her speech while in the other corner sits the Australian mainstream media going alone in its condemnation.

Yet in the Australian media all we hear about are the opinions of the Australian media. Elsewhere it is news. Here they are purely opinions.

To hear the praise coming from Australians one has to read an overseas newspaper. For example, the Irish Times provided a better and more balanced appraisal of Julia Gillard’s speech than that dished up locally. Where, in the Australian media, will you read such honesty as this?:

When Australia’s prime minister, Julia Gillard, told the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, this week that if he wanted to know what misogyny looked like he should pick up a mirror, it was seen by many women as a defining moment for feminism in the country.

“I almost had shivers down my spine,” said Sara Charlesworth, an associate professor at the University of South Australia. “I was so relieved that she had actually named what was happening. She was so angry, so coherent and able to register that enough is enough.”

It was the first time an Australian leader – and possibly any world leader – had delivered such a forthright attack on misogyny in public life.

Prof Barbara Pini, who teaches gender studies at Griffith University in Queensland, said it was a watershed moment. “It’s incredibly significant to have a prime minister powerfully state that she has experienced sexism and even more powerfully state that she will refuse to ignore it any longer,” Pini said.

“That the sexism which is so deeply embedded in the Australian body politic was named may give some women licence to express and seek to counter the sexism they have experienced in their working lives.”

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, one in five Australian women has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. A recent study by Monash University in Melbourne showed that 57 per cent of women who worked in the media had experienced sexual harassment. It said women were badly under-represented in top levels of media management, holding 10 per cent of positions, compared with an international average of 27 per cent.

The report’s author, Louise North, said her findings might go some way to explaining why much of Australia’s mainstream media concluded that Gillard’s speech was a political disaster. “PM will rue yet another bad call,” said one comment piece.

“Gillard’s judgment was flawed. All she achieved was a serious loss of credibility,” said another.

That response was in stark contrast to much of the commentary in social media and conversations between women around the country, which were alive with praise for the prime minister’s stance.

“Leader writers are generally white, middle-aged men and they have no perception of gender bias,” North said. “They don’t want to acknowledge that it happens within their newsrooms and they certainly wouldn’t be open to challenging some of those positions and changing the public discourse either.

Tim Dunlop, in his fabulous article on The Drum, The gatekeepers of news have lost their keys takes up the fight against the Australian media – one of the few in the media to do so – as he tackles the local bias:

The authority of the media – it’s ability to shape and frame events and then present them to us as “the” news – was built upon its privileged access to information and the ability to control distribution.

Collecting, collating, packaging and transmitting information – “news” – was expensive and thus the preserve of a small number of big companies, and we were pretty much bound by the choices they made.

But those days are gone. That model is a relic, though it still dominates the way the mainstream media goes about its business, and provides the template for how journalists think about their role as reporters.

When you have the likes of Michelle Grattan, Peter Hartcher, Peter van Onselen (paywalled), Jennifer Hewett (paywalled), Geoff Kitney, Phillip Coorey, and Dennis Shanahan (paywalled) all spouting essentially the same line in attacking the Prime Minister – a line at odds with the many people’s own interpretation of events – people wonder what the point of such journalism is.

It bewilders me that our mainstream media is taking such a vociferous and concerted stand against public and international opinion. The impact of the speech is lost on them. One could be forgiven for thinking they have an agenda. Regardless of how much they condemn the Prime Minister, the world isn’t listening.

Next we come to an editorial from the Herald Sun in a post that I titled, simply, Editorial bullshit. The editorial was nothing but a pack of lies and to the editor, obviously a pack of lies worth spreading. Read on:

I’m not in the habit of reading the Herald Sun’s editorial. Actually, this morning’s was the first one I’ve ever read and I curse the individual who suggested I do so. In future if I want to read what Murdoch’s editors are thinking about I’ll grab a copy of Mein Kampf.

This morning’s editorial was written by a person equally as mad. A clear-thinking person could not have written such bullshit. I will dissect it in parts to support my claim. We begin:

The Gillard Government has finally admitted what Australians have long suspected to be the case. Its promised Budget surplus was nothing more than a political fantasy.

Economic data made it clear Labor’s much promised surplus was unachievable. Yet the Prime Minister and Treasurer belligerently stuck to their mantra in what can only be described as a cynical political ploy.

They should have admitted the inevitable long ego. The economic decision is the right one, as the Herald Sun has consistently advocated in the face of falling revenues and slowing growth.

Let’s see if I understand this. The decision is supported by the editor’s newspaper and more or less expected by the Australian community. Nothing wrong there. Labor are responding to the economic data at hand and, again, I see nothing wrong there either. All of a sudden our editor sees this as a cynical political ploy, which means he does not read Murdoch’s masthead paper, The Australian who almost two months ago wrote that “For a second day, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan have refused to directly guarantee a budget surplus in 2012-13“. Sort of admitting the inevitable, in a way.

The editorial continues with:

But the Government ignored all warnings and has damaged consumer confidence in announcing what they should have come to terms with months ago.

People will ask, not unreasonably, if they can ever trust this Government.

Where is the evidence to support this? The evidence I found was the complete contrary to that claim. From Roy Morgan Research we learn that:

The weekly Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating is now at 117.4pts (up 2.4pts over the past week). Consumer Confidence is now a significant 6.2pts higher than a year ago, December 3/4, 2011 — 111.2.

Driving the rise was more confidence in Australia’s economic future and also in personal financial situations compared to a year ago.

Australians are more confident about Australia’s economy over the next twelve months with 32% (up 2%) of Australians expecting ‘good times’ economically compared to 28% (down 3%) that expect ‘bad times’.

Now 33% (up 1%) of Australians say their family is ‘better off’ financially compared to a year ago while 29% (down 4%) say their family is ‘worse off’ financially.

Over the next five years 35% (unchanged) of Australians expect Australia’s economy to have ‘good times’ economically while just 18% (down 3%) expect ‘bad times’ – the lowest since May 12/13, 2012.

Australians are more positive about their personal finances over the next 12 months with 39% (down 1%) saying they expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially while just 18% (up 2%) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially.

Unsurprisingly, the editor took a swipe at Labor’s economic credentials:

. . . ineptitude and political cynicism was behind the promise of a Budget surplus. It was to convince voters Labor was in control of the economy when clearly it was not.

Meanwhile, in the real world outside of the editor’s office:

The OECD’s latest economic survey of Australia released today shows once again that our economy stands tall amongst its peers, with 21 consecutive years of growth, robust economic fundamentals and a positive outlook in the face of acute global challenges.

The OECD finds that, unlike many developed economies, the Australian economy remains resilient, with successful macroeconomic management contributing to solid growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, and strong public finances.

The OECD commends the Government’s “exemplary handling of the global economic and financial crisis” avoiding recession in 2008-09.

Although the OECD notes our economy is not immune from risks in the global economy, the survey notes that “[t]he current monetary and fiscal policy mix is appropriate to sustain recovery, and Australia is in a good position to respond to risks.”

The report also highlights that the Government’s fiscal consolidation is part of a re-balancing of policy which “implies less pressure on interest and exchange rates, thereby alleviating adjustment difficulties for the exposed non-mining sector.”

While we understand that not everyone is doing it easy, this OECD report today is another reminder that Australians have a lot to be proud of and confident about.

Would the Herald Sun editor be bullshitting? Of course he would. Here’s why:

Today, the Herald Sun renews its call for the Prime Minister to call an election in March to allow the Australian people to decide who should govern this country.

Yes, in other words let’s organise a distraction from Tony Abbott’s embarrassing performances and Labor’s jump in the polls.

The final post, Let’s focus on what’s important looked at the media reaction to Wayne Swan’s announcement some months ago that a surplus was unlikely to be announced in the May 2012 Budget. The Opposition were in an uproar over the announcement and the media were delighted to act as their mouthpiece. Meanwhile, economists were hailing it a good move but their opinions were suppressed by the Opposition’s compliant media. They couldn’t let the facts get in the way of some juicy propaganda. Read on:

Many of us are not surprised to learn that the Treasurer, Wayne Swan today announced that it was unlikely that Labor will be able to achieve the promised budget surplus in 2012/13.  For the purpose of this post I won’t go into any of the reasons or throw figures at you.

Economists are in unison, agreeing that the Government has done the right thing to drop the surplus commitment. Unsurprisingly, evidence of their support is very hard to find in our media online news sites. If you’re lucky you might catch a brief interview with one of them on TV. One of them might even be given the chance to explain why this is a good outcome.

The reason Australia was able to escape the Global Financial Crisis of a few years back was because it had the guts to spend money and thus create jobs. Again, I won’t go into that as we all know how Australia benefited from this bold, but necessary move.

Well, almost everybody knows we benefited. The exceptions being our Murdoch media and the Federal Opposition. And today we hear that this duo are still the world experts on the Australian economy. Today, their opinions take precedence over our economy. The online news sites are filled with nothing but their ‘valued’ opinions.

From that economic minnow Terry McCrann:

Wayne Swan’s decision to finally come clean and admit the bleeding obvious with the budget is just another cynical and dishonest move from a discredited treasurer in a completely discredited government.

It’s been blindingly obvious for months that there was no way the budget was going to swing miraculously from a massive $44 billion deficit last year to a tiny $1 billion surplus this year.

Indeed, it’s been obvious right back to budget night in May.

But Swan and prime minister Julia Gillard believed they had to keep promising a surplus, after her: “There’ll be no deficit in 2012-13 under a Government I lead”.

Swan quite deliberately brought the mid-year budget update forward, while the figures could still be massaged to still pretend to predict a surplus.

Even though the surplus predicted was pathetically, meaninglessly small.

Now he’s just as dishonestly chosen to tell the truth just before Christmas and the extended summer break.

Did McCrann focus on the economy? No.

BTW, how does one dishonestly tell the truth?

From ‘he who runs away‘:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said it was a “humiliating, embarrassing, nervous announcement from the Treasurer”.

Mr Abbott said the surplus was not a forecast – “it was a fact”.

“It has now been dumped,” he said.

“You just can’t trust this government to manage the economy. You just can’t trust this government to tell the truth”.

Mr Abbott said the Prime Minister made “two solemn covenants” during the election – the carbon tax and the surplus.

“She said that the day after she made the no carbon tax commitment. This second solemn commitment, this second covenant with the Australian people, dumped.”

“For three years they have been boasting of this surplus. Well, they don’t have that anymore”.

Did Abbott focus on the economy? No.

Even from Mr Eleventy:

Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said it is “not in the Labor party’s DNA to live within their means”.

“Taking out the garbage five minutes before Christmas is the way the Labor party operates,” he said.

“They are treating the Australian people with contempt.”

Did Hockey focus on the economy? No.

And this front page non-story ‘ha ha I told you so’ from an un-named news.com reporter:

Treasurer Wayne Swan:

“We’ll be back in the black by 2012/13, as promised.” (May 2011)

“The government remains absolutely committed to delivering our return to surplus as we planned.” (August 2011)

“We’ve nailed our colours to the mast.” (February 2012)

“Despite the tough global conditions, we remain determined to return the budget to surplus in 2012/13, and we will get there.” (March 2012)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard: “My commitment to a surplus in 2012/13 was a promise made and it will be honoured.” (April 2011)

“We stand by the predictions, the entries in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. We stand by the figures and we’re on track to deliver a budget surplus.” (November 2012)

Did he or she focus on the economy? No.

Of course they don’t want to focus on the economy. It’s going gangbusters and will continue to do so.

Well done, Mr Swan, on what is another bold move. I don’t care what you said previously. You have the good sense to act upon approaching change, rather than react after the change.

As an aside, I’ve never supported the need for such a quick return to a surplus as I believe it has been the Government’s hasty response to pressure from the media, the public and the Opposition. Unfortunately they are going to be under attack from all sides over this. It’s my hunch that the leading economists in the country – who support the move – will be gagged by the media.

Is it too much to ask that the critics try and focus on what’s important, ie, the economy?

PS: This announcement has really let Abbott off the hook. He’s happy to face the media again.

OK, I’ve only picked out three examples but most intelligent observers would agree that millions more examples are being produced on a daily basis. You just don’t find this sort of rubbish on the independent media sites. When the Prime Minister suggested that the media would gain some credibility if they didn’t write crap, it is clear that only the independent media heeded her call.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nv-E7vEY0o]

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What’s on the Menu?

Image from abc.net.au

Image from abc.net.au

There is a post going round social media which alleges to be from someone called “Sascha Taylor” where she claims to have worked at the restaurant on the night of the “Menugate” (If the Democrats had been at the Hilton instead of the Watergate Hotel, would every cover-up now have to finish with “ton”?). She claims that the menu was widely circulated, and that she resigned in disgust a few days ago.

I’m going to go out on a limb and declare this to be a fake! If anyone can produce “Sascha Taylor” then I’ll apologise. But it strikes me as strange that it took until now for the person concerned to resign in disgust.  I don’t doubt that there were people working that night, and I find it weird that I’ve seen no reports from anyone who’s interviewed them, nor any report that they weren’t prepared to speak. Again, if anyone has any links to such things, please post them.

Of course, we have had the restaurant owner, Joe Richards, claiming that he only printed up a couple of copies for him and his son, which raises the question, “Was it his son or him who passed it on to the part-time chef who made it public?”

And, of course, the other obvious question is why was this Mal Brough’s reaction when the story first broke:

‘Mr Brough says the menu was drawn up by a non-party member who thought it would be “humorous” and “didn’t mean any harm by it,” but is now “deeply apologetic”.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey was the guest of honour at the March event, but has tweeted that he can’t recall ever seeing the menu.

“It is offensive and inappropriate whenever it was put out and it is now,” he said.

Mr Brough, a former Howard government minister who is seeking to return to parliament in a Queensland seat, has also defended his colleague, telling the ABC “Mr Hockey had nothing to do with it.”

Mr Brough also insisted he could not recall seeing the menu at the event for 20 people, held on March 28.

Asked if it could see him disendorsed, or affect his preselection in any way, Mr Brough said that was a “ridiculous” suggestion.

“I didn’t condone the menu nor did I authorise it…it should never have been written,” he said.’

Why didn’t Mal Brough condemn it as a fake straight away? Surely he must have known it was a “fake”. But as Andrew Bolt writes: “Brough says he did not see the menu. There is no evidence he did.” Yet, in spite of never seeing the menu, he knew that it was ‘written by a non-party member who thought it would be humourous”.  This statement was made before Richards sent his email apologising, so whether he saw the menu or not, he was clearly aware of its existence. So while he knew who wrote it, but had no knowledge of it. Of course, it has been reported that Joe Richards is a Liberal Party donor, but I’ll take Mr Brough’s word that he’s not a party member.

Why does this seem vaguely familiar to me? Ah yes,

“Mr Brough was quoted in The Sunday Mail last weekend dismissing as ”nonsense” any suggestion he knew of James Ashby’s court documents before they were lodged.

He reportedly said he knew Mr Ashby as a local party member but had no previous knowledge of his civil suit.

But Mr Brough yesterday confirmed he had met Mr Ashby three times and sought legal advice on his behalf. Mr Ashby went to him for advice on how to deal with the allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of travel entitlements, he said, at the urging of Liberal National Party of Queensland member Val Bradford.”  Sydney Morning Herald, May 6th 2012

 

Tony Abbott: the ‘million dollar’ man

It has been widely reported that in the last 12 months Tony Abbott has claimed more than one million dollars in expenses. Nobody from the mainstream media has cared (or dared) to tap Tony Abbott on the shoulder with a ‘please explain’ in spite of it being one of the hottest topics in the social and independent media.

The man is untouchable. He can do or says what he wants as far as the mainstream media is concerned.

But not with the rest of us. We have questions for him. We want to give him that little tap on the shoulder.

The only way we can do that, in the current media environment, is to use social media or independent sites to voice our concerns. It’s a waste of time voicing them on the mainstream media sites as they have no hope of people published.

Below is a letter to Tony Abbott from one very concerned citizen (thanks to I.M.M. for this anonymous source) and we are more than pleased to publish her thoughts. That’s what we like about independent media: the opportunity to be heard.

Dear Tony (pardon the pun),

I have asked myself many times what the hell the LNP think they’re achieving by keeping such a disliked man as their leader, a man many believe to be the biggest sleeze that Australia has ever imported, a man brimming in negativity who prefers circus stunts over political debate. It’s not as if the LNP could ever win government (in its own right) whilst the looney-right faction are running the Party so, without the possibility of an election win what on earth could be keeping you there?

Up until today I have taken the rationale, that with all the looney-rightwing rhetoric flying around the LNP Members must actually believe they are going to win (what a laugh!). Not so any more. No, instead it seems whether in power or not, our politicians are on a good gig, in fact a really good gig, indeed.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend copious amounts of other people’s money, especially if you can use it to further deceive the people and destroy the Gillard government along the way in an effort to gain power by any and all means necessary eh Tony?

Now Tony, I know you don’t like reading but just a quick glimpse of your expenses for the previous year will show you that you spent more than one million taxpayer dollars within the last year, most of which was put down as “office expenditure”.

Tony Abbott, just one MP, you, racked up 1 million dollars in expenses, in just 12 months.

Now I knew your old boss, friend and mentor John Howard presided over the most wasteful government in history but come on Tony, as his poster-child you are better than that aren’t you?

You and I know, when it comes to government “expenses” that means every single cent of it is OUR money being spent Tony.

It would be hypocritical for you to suggest you will “end government waste” Tony whilst at the same time you rack up ONE MILLION DOLLARS OF OUR MONEY ON GOD KNOWS WHAT, ALL BY YOURSELF! Well wouldn’t it Tony?

Not to mention all that pork you provide for your corporate mates, also at our expense mind you, but on top of that we taxpayers, and I do include you in that Tony, paid you $350,000+ in wages, even though you are simply “the opposition”.

Hell, you even charged us for your “volunteer work” expenses, and your circus stunts! Surely that is more than just a bit rich.

A pretty good lurk that one is eh Tony? Indeed.

I have to ask Tony, what has Australia gained now that you spent a million of our dollars over this past year on “office expenses”? Apart from a political wedge, driving a wrecking ball of no opportunity through our small business sector and the general economy, a constant negativity telling us all (consumers) how bad we have it now and constantly bringing down the chances of major success everywhere we look (all the while not coming up with any progressive legislation of your own) Tony. I repeat, what have we taxpayers actually gained here for that million dollars you spent?

I will take a leap here Tony and I will guess that much of that million dollars you claimed to have spent on “office expenses” was wasted on costs for “investigating” spurious AWU claims made up by known criminals, and of course there is the many other nefarious ways you have tried to bring down a Gillard government this year as well, isn’t there Tony?

How right could I be Tony?

It is rather sad watching you lead the LNP into demise Tony, taking away our chance of a credible opposition and very surprising that other factions within the LNP haven’t yet purged your particular mischievious faction from the Party altogether, if only to stop the constant downward spiral the LNP is in and to provide them some hope of the LNP being elected into power again.

Taking into account the right’s penchant for dirt digging I have considered your dirt unit may have too much information on some LNP Members which is keeping them quiet or from standing up against you bullies. I know one day we will find out the real reasons for their silence for sure.

Logical Australians accept you don’t have the numbers to get there on your own, let alone the integrity required of a PM. More than half the country abhors you Tony, it seems many more just ridicule you.

It is obvious to many that the only hope you have of actually gaining government in Australia is by bringing down the current Gillard government mid-course. Going with the Fraser/Whitlam tactic, hoping the Governor-General may replace her with you perhaps eh Tony, because you know, just like we do, another “regular” election cycle will mean yet another LNP loss?

With all this in mind Tony, during your faction’s quite serious attempts at bringing down our PM by any means possible, may I suggest you and your team take a serious lesson out of #AshbyGate. The lesson being that you and your ilk will never be above the law and you will most certainly be judged by all of your actions along the way.

Our justice system (as well as most Australians i’m sure) can see right through you Tony. Indeed we see right through the whole lot of you, the far-right looney faction of the LNP, and I for one do thank GOD for that!

Yours respectably,
CONCERNED

There are many among us who have a similar story to tell. We will be more than happy to publish your story too and feel free to email them to us via the Contact Us facility.

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The case for keeping Julia Gillard

“So why am I the last columnist to give them a fighting chance? Well, Julia Gillard has never been given a fair go” (Robert Macklin).

This post has been reproduced with the kind permission of journalist and author, Robert Macklin from his article The case for keeping Julia.

It seems I’m the only columnist left in Australia who thinks Julia Gillard and her excellent government have a reasonable chance of winning the September 14 election.

Call me quixotic if you like, but I just can’t believe that my fellow Australians would toss out a government that has done us such sterling service for an opposition led by Tony Abbott who threatens to undo so much of what we’ve achieved these last five years; and who wants to set us on a path to “austerity” that has done such appalling damage in Europe and the US.

Consider the Government’s achievements: it acted swiftly to save us from recession during the world’s financial and economic meltdown. But just as important, it resisted cutting the Budget to shreds when revenue fell, despite the immense political pressure to do so.

It transformed our schools and our schooling, thus setting us up for the future and giving our children the best possible start in life. It invested massively in tertiary education, including trades, to meet the needs of a growing and changing economy.

It created the National Disability Insurance Scheme from nothing. It raised the pension to a decent level. It introduced paid parental leave. It invested in roads, ports and other infrastructure that was holding us back because Howard ignored it. It improved relations with China while maintaining a strong US commitment. Indeed, in foreign affairs it didn’t put a foot wrong.

It fixed the Murray-Darling river system. It put a price on carbon that will lead to a transformation of our energy generation. It is building the NBN that will transform for the better the way we live and work.

And it did all this as a minority government in the face of obdurate resistance and schoolyard bullying from Tony Abbott. It tried desperately to stem the flow of boat people, but was blocked at every turn by an Opposition that revelled in the political mileage gained from it.

So why am I the last columnist to give them a fighting chance? Well, Julia Gillard has never been given a fair go. People still resent the way she made it to The Lodge after his party rejected Kevin Rudd. Had she been a man, it would have been a political coup and that’s that, but a woman couldn’t be forgiven.

The Murdoch press, and the miners, have vilified Labor for their own vested interests. Sadly, their campaign has set the tone for other media outlets. But that could only be effective in a political landscape where something fundamental has changed in the communication business.

That’s summed up this week in a memorable phrase from “New York Times” columnist Frank Bruni: “The sideshow swallows the substance”.

Policies are ignored. Instead, the “news” is all about fripperies, trivia and the seven-second grab. If you doubt it, aside from the gold-plated parental leave scheme – and slashing at least 12,000 public servant jobs – try to think of a single Abbott plan for Australia.

Oh, that’s right: “Stop the boats”.

Robert Macklin.

The Lying Christopher Pyne

Did anybody watch the 7:30 Report last night? If not, you wouldn’t have known that Christopher Pyne told a bold-faced lie about Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, a lie that was promptly exposed and quashed by host Leigh Sales. You can watch it here, in the first few minutes of the show:

http://www.abc.net.au/iview/?series=3152075#/view/39542

It was a lie. Full stop. It was not anything he can be misquoted over; it’s not something he meant only at the time and changed his mind later. It was a calculated, pre-meditated lie delivered with a straight face. The face, I might suspect, of a person quite artful in speaking with a forked tongue.

It’s not the point that he lied for some political traction that infuriates me. The point is, he lied on the 7:30 Report and by 8:00 all was forgiven and forgotten. Where is the outrage? This was a lie on national television and he knew he was telling a lie. He knows he can lie through his teeth and get away with it. Well I’m sick of him getting away with it.

Christopher Pyne lies, and the issue dies.

I have scoured the web today in search of outrage from the Opposition or the mainstream media (MSM) if they suspect that the Prime Minister or any member of her party had lied, regardless if it was a lie or not. To the Opposition and the MSM, anything she says is a lie, and the ferocity of their attack is breathtaking. I need not tell you that the internet provides us with millions of instances where the Opposition and their media allies screeched like banshees over alleged lies, but I have selected three from the usual suspects. Here they are:

Julia Gillard should stop telling lies to the people of Tasmania (Eric Abetz).

Julia Gillard made more dishonest statements in Hobart today about the GST.

The Coalition’s position on the distribution of the GST to the states is clear: we will not support or implement any proposal that disadvantages Tasmania.

In respect of GST allocations, neither Tasmania nor South Australia will be worse off under any future Coalition government.

Despite the Prime Minister’s falsehoods that she repeated today, the government still hasn’t announced its response to the Greiner-Brumby report.

Does your national leader lie? (Andrew Bolt).

The question we now face: Is the Prime Minister of Australia a liar?

Her Four Corners disaster on Monday night is part of a pattern.

Julia Gillard deceives and, I suspect, lies. And what’s killing her is that she does it so badly.

Gillard’s great carbon lie (Piers Ackerman).

The sweeping scope of Julia Gillard’s breathtaking lies in defence of her broken promise on a carbon tax should bury her political career.

Her first lie was to repeatedly claim in the immediate lead-up to the August 21 election that there would not be a carbon tax under a government she led.

That was clearly her biggest lie, but not her only lie by any means.

Now I ask those three moral crusaders, where is the outrage over Pyne’s lie? Where is the outrage over any of his lies? And what about Tony Abbott’s history of lying? And what about your own?

Let the outrage begin.

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Why Labor must not win the 2013 election

In a nutshell, we have a Government who have hoisted us to the top of the international economic tree; who have delivered policies that will drive us into the future; and yet who trail the Opposition badly in the opinion polls. In nutshell number 2, we have a mainstream media who clamber over each other in telling us how incompetent this Government is while instilling in our minds that only Tony Abbott can deliver us from the burning fires of hell.

What if it were the other way around? What if the much-loved Tony Abbott (media loved, that is) had guided us through the global financial crisis (GFC) and safely out the other side; had a raft of policies on the table that held Australia high as a country willing to embrace social and political change, and yet were facing a wipe-out in the September election?

Not only would the Abbott Government be fighting for survival, but the media will be standing with them, shoulder to shoulder, fighting too. What would they be saying about the likely election result?

I’ve candidly put together a number of hypothetical examples. My responses might appear somewhat absurd, but it’s only absurdities that we’ve come to expect from our pathetic media. Let’s play along.

The falling dollar: The dollar is in free fall because the market is nervous about the prospect of Labor taking charge of the economy later this year. They don’t have a good history of economic management and the market is jittery in anticipation. Australian overseas travelers will also be hit hard. Forget those annual trips to Las Vegas taking in shows and shopping. Labor will ruin that for you. Forget too, the annual pilgrimage to Anzac Cove. Labor will ruin that planned holiday as well. Our dollar will sink into irrelevance.

The economy: Joe Hockey not only guided Australia through the Global Financial Crisis but his sound economic management has seen Australia receive AAA credit ratings from the world’s three major rating agencies. This is a first for our country. Nobody before him has been able to achieve this feat. He has also seen interest rates, the unemployment rate and inflation all fall below 5% at the one time. This has not been achieved in over 40 years. Euromoney awarded him with the prestigious Finance Minister of the Year in 2011. Australian voters want to award him with a seat on the Opposition benches.

If Labor win the election and Wayne Swan gets his hands on the savings of hard working Australians then we might become the next Cyprus. Best to keep your savings under the bed.

Refugee boats: How much longer can Julia Gillard promise to ‘stop the boats’ without laying a plan on the table? How much longer can she get away with calling asylum seekers ‘illegal immigrants’? She has been given a free license to scare and to lie and the average voter believes her. And the threat to tow them back to Indonesia could not only create an international incident, put put the lives of Navy personnel at risk.

Julia Gillard’s rudeness: Not even the holder of the highest office in the land commands her respect. Her disgraceful shouts of ‘he’ or ‘him’ when addressing Prime Minister Tony Abbott make one wonder that, given that her arrogance towards the Prime Minister is appalling, how must she then hold hard working Australians in lowly contempt. She’d think she’s even too good to kiss President Obama.

Foreign Affairs: In Julie Bishop Australia has a Foreign Minister we feel proud to represent us on the international stage. Can you imagine Bob Carr attempting dialogue with foreign governments and dignitaries as equally as commanding and gracious than Julie Bishop? Of course not. Do we want a Foreign Minister who just stares at people? One who couldn’t even find Indonesia on a map? One then, who would just stare at maps?

Interest rates: Home buyers have never had it so good under the Abbott Government. The last Labor Government presided over 11 successive increases. No wonder the market is jittery. Oh how easily people forget.

Infrastructure: There will be none. Simple.

Education: Shadow Minister Peter Garrett hasn’t asked one question to his counterpart, Christopher Pyne in two years. Does this display any ounce of interest in his portfolio? He is more interested in glaring at the Speaker or attempting to burst blood vessels in his neck than he is in education. His only comments on education have been to the adoring media that teachers are incompetent which he’ll fix by sacking 43,000 of them across Australia.

The Budget: Labor want to return to a surplus at the expense of jobs and infrastructure. Joe Hockey saved 230,000 Australian jobs with his gutsy move to spend money during the GFC and now Labor want to take those jobs back. Do we really need a surplus if it is going to cost jobs and services?

Those are a few reasons why Labor must not win the 2013 election.

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Gina Rinehart hasn’t actually said the poor should be sterilised

Image by theaustralian.com.au

Gina Rinehart (image by theaustralian.com.au)

“Gina Rinehart, a mining magnate worth an estimated £19 billion, has advised those jealous of the wealthy to “spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working” in order to be successful.

Miss Rinehart, 56, also rounded on Australia’s “class warfare”, insisting it was billionaires such as herself who were doing more than anyone to help the poor.

She warns that Australia risks following European economies ruined by “socialist” policies, high taxes, and excessive regulation.

Miss Reinhart stated there was “no monopoly” on becoming a millionaire.

In May Miss Rinehart was declared the richest woman in the world, after building upon an estimated £13 billion mining empire inherited from her late father, Lang Hancock, in 1992.       

      Telegraph,  30th August 2012

I notice that she doesn’t give advice on how to maintain a work/life balance. Neither does she talk about how to keep harmony at family occasions.

Basically, if you have no friends and your family all hate you, I guess it’s easy to keep working. But personally, I’m happy to be a failure, if being a success means never having any fun.

I know, I know, I’m just jealous because when my father left me several billion dollars, I just squandered it on drink, cigarettes and my friends, instead of investing it in mines to help the poor. And for past few years, I’ve just had to eke out a living with paid work. If I’d just been like Gina, I, too, could be the world’s richest woman.

Except that my father didn’t leave me a fortune, and I’m a man. Still, apart from that, there’s no reason why I can’t be like her!

 

Haters want to hate

NDISParliamentIt’s clear Australian voters aren’t rational, but do they have to be so blatantly mindless as well? When I say voters, I’m currently referring in this context to the people recently polled by ReachTEL and whose responses contributed to this headline on News.com:

“Voters trust Opposition Leader Tony Abbott most to deliver NDIS, poll reveals”

I had to read this a couple of times before I believed what I was seeing. The figures in the article state that 57% of the poll’s respondents trust Tony Abbott to deliver the NDIS, more so than they trust Julia Gillard. Surely, even someone completely rusted onto the Liberal party, even Peta Credlin, even Gina Rinehart, even Rupert Murdoch, even Alan Jones, even Tony Abbott himself must see the inanity in this poll result. The NDIS is Labor’s policy. It was the work of Bill Shorten, and only with Julia Gillard’s support did it have any hope in hell in getting a name, let alone being successfully implemented. Tony Abbott supported Labor’s NDIS policy after many months of non-commitment, only after it became obvious that if he didn’t, he would be seen as the scrooge we all know him to be. But just because he supported it, does not mean he gives a crap about it. He never raised such a scheme as even an idea when he was in government for many years. And when the policy did finally pass the lower house, much to the joy of the Labor MPs who worked tirelessly to make it happen, Tony Abbott and his team weren’t even there to see it happen. Because they couldn’t bear to be seen celebrating a policy win by the Labor government. A Labor government policy. So on what far off planet do these voters live if they think Abbott would be the better person to deliver a policy that was designed and successfully passed through the Parliament by Gillard’s Labor government?

At this point I’m pretty much ready to say to Australian voters, wake the f*ck up. Could you really be so misinformed by the Murdoch, Fairfax and ABC press, so out of touch with the policy platforms of the two major parties, and so ready to hate everything Julia Gillard does, that even when her government successfully implements a policy of huge national significance, you give Abbott the credit?

Perhaps this isn’t just a sign of an electorate that is completely uninterested with the roles played by the Labor Party and the Liberal Party in delivering the landmark NDIS policy. Perhaps it’s a sign of just how disengaged ordinary voters are from, well, political reality.

I guess it’s these same voters who haven’t twigged that the Carbon Price is designed to save them and future generations of their family from the effects of climate change. It’s these same voters who refuse to equate Murdoch’s campaign to bring down the Gillard government with an agenda to destroy the NBN, a technology that puts his Foxtel profits at risk. It’s also these same voters who don’t understand that Gina Rinehart hates the Mining Tax not because she wants to make enough money to keep employing more workers, but because she doesn’t want to pay tax on her super profits. Because she wants to keep the money from the sale of Australia’s resources for herself. These voters are probably willing to support policies that they do understand, such as the Gonski school funding, but they’re still not willing to give Gillard the credit for designing and delivering such policies. Gillard is damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.

The other truly frustrating part of this whole messed up situation is that Abbott supporters never have anything nice to say about Abbott. They only have bile to spew at Gillard. Ad astra is right, propaganda directed at the Gillard government is spreading hatred throughout the electorate. This hatred is making the electorate crazy. Here’s a challenge for any Abbott supporters who come across this post and decide to make a comment. Please tell us why you support Abbott, without mentioning Labor or Gillard. I dare you.

So you think Tony Abbott’s going to lead you to the promised land? Think again!

There are some opinions of we ordinary folk that just don’t find their way onto the pages of the mainstream media. Need I tell you what these are? Probably not, for we all know that if our opinions run counter to the media agenda then our opinions are promptly suppressed. Try and say something on Andrew Bolt’s blog, for example. The only arena where Cuppa could express his opinion freely was in the social media.

Cuppa, like us, is one of those good folk who don’t believe for one bit that Tony Abbott is poised to lead us to the promised land. Readers of mainstream media are led to believe that he will. Those people need to hear what others are saying. Such as Anomander who commented here the other day and like Cuppa’s earlier comment, is worthy of a post by itself. Here’s what Anomander had to say:

Will Tony Abbott lead us to the promised land?

Will Tony Abbott lead us to the promised land?

Just because a series of polls and a biased (manipulated) media say one thing, doesn’t make it true.  Look how good the MSM’s predictions were in the US election?

This is a war being waged over the very fabric of our society.

Do we want to live as a serfdom for ultra-rich extremists or do we want our country back again?

Do we want to multi-national overseas companies to rape and pillage the land and strip it of all resources, or do we want to protect the environment for us and future generations?

Do we want a society where you are denied an education because you’re born in a lower socio-economic suburb or your parents don’t earn enough, or should all children deserve the right to the same educational standard and a chance at a worthwhile future?

Do we want a society where the aged, poor and infirm are thrown on the scrap heap when they’ve passed their use-by-date, or do we want a society where those in need are cared-for and supported to get back on their feet?

Do we want a country willing to invest in infrastructure that benefits all Australians or do we want to generate surpluses that are squandered on $3 per week tax cuts and hand-outs to the already wealthy?

Do we want a country where our assets are sold-off at bargain basement prices into private hands and we are forced to pay a premium to gain access to them again, or do we want fundamental services, local employment and control over our own future?

Do we want a future where food and asset prices fluctuate wildly based on the whim of an algorithm running on some supercomputer, or do we want regulation to ensure accountability, responsibility and governance?

Do we want real democracy where we all have an equal voice in how the country is run, or do we want powerful psychopaths dictating what we should see, hear, read and say?

Do we want basic rights, protections, a safe working environment and a wage that allows us to work, live and raise a family without having to forego food, shelter and warmth, or do we want an underclass working for $2 a day, unable to feed themselves, let alone consider raising a family?

Do we want a world where a bunch of fundamentalist zealots restrict your activities based on the words of some sky-god and the writings in a 2000 year old fictional book, or do we want a country where two people who love each other are not demonised and discriminated against?

You sit back and passively accept it, if you wish.  For me, I know what kind of country I want to live in, and I’m prepared to fight to make it happen.

All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.

Now, just try and find gutsy words like that on the MSM.

 

So you’re thinking of voting for Tony Abbott? Think again!

Think long and hard about voting for Abbott (photo from timgough.co)

Think long and hard about voting for Tony Abbott (photo from timgough.co)

One of the more difficult tasks of being writer is actually doing the writing. You know what to say but you can’t put it together with any eloquence or power. Your endless search for the right words bear no fruit. Then you stumble across a comment on social media that says exactly what you were hoping to say, though perhaps with much less eloquence, but certainly packing the punch. Some things are just better when written from the heart instead of the head.

A comment by well-known and popular blogger Cuppa, on Cafe Whispers did just that and his comment deserves to be a post on its own. It has a powerful message to all those planning to vote for Tony Abbott: think about the consequences. Look beyond September 14. Getting rid of Julia Gillard will give you the real Tony Abbott and it might not be the Tony Abbott you voted for. Victoria Rollison summed it up recently with her Spinach or shit article which summarised:

‘Voting for Tony Abbott because you don’t like Julia Gillard is like eating shit because you hate spinach’.

Before quoting Cuppa’s comment, first a little background. Cuppa, among others, have been engaged with the dregs of right-wing social media brigade for a number of months over their preference for the proverbial shit sandwich without any plausible reason why they don’t like spinach. The response has always been the same: “We don’t like spinach”. You can see a sample of their responses collated by Michael Taylor here and summarised as:

. . . parrot-fashion repeats of what we hear from the opposition and the media.

Anyway, on to Cuppa’s comment:

Just remember this, if the swaggering monkey finds himself propelled into the Lodge, it won’t be YOUR victory. You will be among the losers like the other 99 per cent of us.

It will be a victory for foreign billionaire Rupert Murdoch and the richest woman in the known universe Gina Rinehart. It will be a “victory” for the radical right-wing spewing hate jocks of talkback radio, who pretend to be on the side of ‘the working man’, but are in fact orifice greasers of some of the wealthiest, grubbiest, most powerful people on earth. It will be a “victory” for those sellouts at the national broadcaster who sold out their professional journalistic ethics and impartiality, the Institution which employs them, and the whole damn community they’re meant to serve, a victory in the name of toeing the one-way biased media line of Murdoch, Rinehart and international greed merchants.

When the monkey and his misfits start taking the country apart, the howls of protest will be loud and long. When they start siphoning wealth upwards from you, your relatives and neighbours to those who already have more wealth than they possibly know what to do with, you will start waking up.

When the recessions begin, when the interest rate hikes start to cripple home – and business buyers, and the unemployment figures start climbing, you will learn that you did a bad thing.

As the country turns to a Third World shithole – with clampdowns on freedom of speech, scandals and cronyism at the highest levels, degraded public services, declining health standards, rising mortality rates, armies of poverty, beggars on the streets, shanty towns for the masses, gated communities for the One Per Cent, an atmosphere increasingly clogged with dark noxious fumes – as this happens it will slowly dawn on you that you made a big mistake.

It won’t be your victory. It will be your Mistake. And your shame. Your loss. Your regret. And we won’t let you forget it. You will get no sympathy or forgiveness from us. You will get the blame and contempt due for what you, in your stupid brainwashed partisan spite, did to your and our country and all our descendants already here and yet to come.

That’s if we even see you around here any more when the stuff ups start happening. You’ll have so much to defend and make excuses for you’ll run out of Spin, as monkey brains f*cks up in big ways or small every day.

So enjoy your brief hubris, gibbering morons, the onset of agony is just around the corner . . .

It lacks my eloquence, but well said Cuppa.

 

In the light of the Budget, the NDIS and Gonski…

We can’t afford it? How many times will we hear that? Our debt is now the equivalent of $14,000 for every working Australian. (I read this in the Murdoch Press, so it must be true!) At the rate of interest the Government would be paying, that means it’s costing every working Australian nearly $2 a…

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