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What makes a good politician?

I have heard Tony Abbott described as an astute politician, some even go so far as to say the best Opposition leader the country has seen, which begs the question – what makes a good politician?

Is it their ability to get the job or their ability to do the job?

I came across an interesting article written by former member of the US House of Representatives, Lee Hamilton who said:

“The press and public often pay attention to what politicians say, but less to how well they do what they’re supposed to do.”

He then goes on to share his thoughts about what makes a good politician.

“Members of Congress play a central role in our lives. They shape our health-care system, make crucial decisions about the U.S. economy, and represent the hopes and interests of every American in Washington. Given this fact, I’m always surprised that relatively little attention is focused on examining closely whether someone serving in or running for Congress has the personal attributes it takes to be an effective member of the institution. If someone’s behavior is shady or unsavory, that will make the news. But the qualities and skills that set good politicians apart should draw more notice.

Chief among those qualities is honesty. The public may believe that politics is a dirty business, but effective members of Congress must be trustworthy. They understand that to work together over the course of years, they must level with their colleagues. The same is true in their dealings with constituents, who are on the lookout for hyperbole and misleading statements.”

I think Australians are entitled to feel let down in this most crucial aspect of being a good politician. Honesty, integrity, and a willingness to work together towards a solution should be the foremost criterion.

“The best politicians also sustain an unusually high energy level and an ability to focus on the task at hand. They tend to have few hobbies, for the simple reason that public office is all-consuming; there’s always another item on the to-do list.”

When I think of Tony falling asleep when Indigenous leaders had travelled three days to meet with him, when I think of the time spent running and swimming and cycling, when I think of his smirking inattention as the Treasurer delivered a devastating budget, and the countless photo opportunities, I am disappointed again.

“[The] ability to keep oneself in perspective is crucial to a politician. After years in office, it is supremely tempting to think of a legislative seat as an entitlement, as something held by right. It’s not. Good politicians not only understand that they serve in a representative democracy, they embrace the challenges and opportunities this offers them.

Usually, they are good communicators who genuinely like all kinds of people and are comfortable talking to perfect strangers in all kinds of environments. They are accessible to the grand and the humble alike. They are sensitive to the mood in a room, know how to read an audience, and are quick to respond. They are generally open to other points of view, and know that while they may differ with someone on one issue, they’ll likely be working with him or her on another in the future.

And perhaps most important, they understand that politics involves give and take, and the ability to find common ground. A good politician listens very carefully to those on the other side, not only to learn their arguments, but especially to learn how far he or she can move them and how far he or she has to be moved in order to reach consensus.

This is why politics puts a premium on resourcefulness and intelligence, and tends, over time, to discourage ideological blinkers — if you approach a problem by saying that all the good is in your side and all the bad lies with the opposition, then you’ll never accomplish anything. Good politicians persist in trying to forge agreement on policy or political goals, and they can take defeat in stride; they know that setbacks and criticism go with the territory, and are quick to learn from them and move forward.”

I note our Prime Minister still refuses to face the questions of Australian public on Q&A. He uses the official government Prime Minister of Australia website to peddle Liberal propaganda and, a quarter way through his term in office, is still producing booklets about the previous government – blaming them not only domestically in the media, and endlessly in official fiscal documents, but several times on the international stage, much to everyone’s disdain. The rest of the world recognise the true state of our country’s finances and applaud the actions that saw us through the GFC and look on us in bemusement as to why we would vote out such a successful progressive government to elect the Colossal Fossil.

To paraphrase Lee Hamilton’s concluding statement:

A good politician must be able to express in the halls of the powerful the hopes, dreams, and interests of ordinary Australians. That’s what they got sent to Canberra to do, and the very best never forget it.

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  1. kaylaflamenca

    Morning Kaye,
    Looking at the left, then looking at the right, it’s the left that looks more right to me. :))

  2. Robyn

    I would go as far to say Tony Abbott is not only the worst politician Australia has had but the also the worst Prime Minster. I have only encountered politicians since the Menzies era but I have never heard so much anti Abbott and his cohorts since the budget in May.
    Malcolm Fraser rated badly but in his old age has turned out to be quite a compassionate man. Perhaps he was in the wrong party.
    Tony Abbott has absolutely no idea how working or unemployed Australians live. No idea how pensioners or students live from week to week. All he understands is wealth and those at the big end of town.
    A good politician must have empathy for those from all walks of life and at the moment our PM does not have the credentials to be a leader of this country.

  3. corvus boreus

    When Tony fronts the world stage decrying the incompetence and loopiness of the previous government to foreign leaders, he is a little like the obnoxious dinner guest who always directs conversation to the morale failings and misdeeds of their ex-partner. It is embarrassing for all concerned except the oblivious bore who lacks the situational awareness to see the offense they have caused.

  4. kaylaflamenca

    I’m not sure Tony does understand wealth, more that he aspires to it and bows to the biggest end of town, the IPA. He personally was in quite a lot of debt. I certainly do agree though, the worst ever!

  5. Kaye Lee

    The thing that astonishes me is that, for this most important of jobs, there are NO essential criteria to get the job, there are no performance indicators, there is no productivity requirement or quality control. There are no formal interviews to assess suitability. Factional groups preselect candidates then spend millions on advertising and there we have it…the people who get to decide what to do with a $1.5 trillion economy.

    I have heard it argued that the group is then broadly representative of the people – what other job is allocated that way? We choose teachers and nurses because of their qualifications and their skills and suitability for these two most important jobs.

  6. CMMC

    Abbott can only be described as having that quality of ‘statesmanship’ if you consider the ‘state’ populated only by sullen, illiterate tradie boofheads and ignorant old fools who listen to John Laws and Allan Jones.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Back in the good old days, when we listened to experts and recognised the value of public servants with long standing experience and proven integrity, it may have been ok for politicians to just be spokesmodels presenting the expert advice they received from their departments. Tony Abbott has gone on a slash and burn exercise getting rid of anyone who won’t toe the Credlin line. Anyone who tells the truth rather than sells the lie has been sacked. There has been a bloodless coup bought with the tears of the vulnerable.

  8. Terry2

    Whenever our Prime Minister goes overseas I get uneasy palpitations – a little bit like when your teenager goes to their first rave, you know you can’t keep them at home forever but you worry that they will do something silly, perhaps embarrass you or disgrace themselves and you can’t relax until they get back home.
    I should feel pride that our dear leader is representing us on the global stage but it’s more like a poorly rehearsed first night : break a leg becomes a metaphorical reality.

    He will meet with Obama who has just announced significant measures to curtail CO2 emissions in the USA: what will they talk about, will there be embarrassed silences, will Kim Beasley be able to throw in a few jokes to help out ?

    So many worries : Has he got his blue ties, has Peta been focusing on his deportment, has she confiscated his lycra ?

  9. Kaye Lee

    He has got rid of the climate change authority and the renewable energy board.

    He sacked three high ranking public service department heads and more have resigned.

    He decimated funding to legal aid and support services for Aborigines and asylum seekers.

    He is demonising unions and undermining their power.

    He has decimated the CSIRO.

    He has sacked the Human Rights Commissioner for the Disabled.

    He disbanded the National Preventative Health Agency.

    He got rid of the Advisory Council on Aging.

    He has appointed a few cronies to do new reports, ignoring the work of Gonski and the National Curriculum.

    The Commission of Audit ONLY looked at cutting expenditure rather than raising revenue.

    He sacked the whole board of the NBN.

    The list could go on and on and on showing how Tony Abbott wants no advice except that which Peta Credlin and Mark Textor give him. he then appoints conservative buddies to produce reports saying what he wants to hear. These are very dangerous times when a government purposely misleads its own people and then removes any voice of dissent.

  10. corvus boreus

    When Tony meets Barrak he will give an simpering, shit eating grin, crush his hand in a power-play gorilla grab then check out his package. Obama will be cordially condescending, and will hide his contemptuous smirk behind his eyes. I just hope our PM doesn’t drool too visibly.

  11. Kaye Lee

  12. Kaye Lee

    “Details released to the Senate show the departments of Immigration, Border Protection and Australian Customs have 85 ongoing and 10 non-ongoing staff responsible for media monitoring, internal communication and public relations.

    This is estimated to cost between $8 million and $9.2 million a year in salaries alone, not including superannuation, leave, allowances and other associated costs. The details were released by the Immigration Department in response to questions from Labor senator Joe Ludwig.”

    The extension of $245.3 million in funding for school chaplains in a secular nation is curious in itself. More curious is removal of the option for schools to hire a secular chaplain, which would seem to give the program an unambiguously Christian slant.

    The Abbott govt has confirmed it’s considering mandatory drug testing for dole recipients.

    So far, the Coalition has adopted or endorsed, or is considering, more than a third of the IPA policies.

    Who’s REALLY running Australia?

  13. The Trees

    Thank you ,I had not heard Judy Small’s terrific song before.
    It hits the mark.
    Re the Colossal Fossil’s forthcoming overseas junket — it is an example of King Rat leaving a sinking ship.His timing is another example of his inability to ‘read the country’.

  14. corvus boreus

    I would love to see, and petition constantly for, mandatory, broad spectrum drug and alcohol testing of all politicians prior to them entering the chambers for any voting session, with any who failed barred from voting.
    We see plenty of poor decisions made by our elected representatives, and this would at least remove the intoxicated element of foolishness from the decision making process.
    If our unemployed underclass are expected to maintain standards of sobriety, shouldn’t our highest officials make their serious considerations of potential legislative amendments free from the influence of booze, dope, coke, crank and smack?
    Or can we just trust them to self-regulate?

  15. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    Great Article Kaye. Lots of food for thought.

    Tony Abbott will be known, as the worst Opposition Leader ever. All he really said for years was No, No, No.

    Who would really run our Australian economy down as much as Abbott and Co have in Opposition and in Goverment? Never been done that bad ever by any other Opposition Leader that I remember and who in their right mind would go overseas and run Australia down? Only Abbott..

    What have they down or accomplished in the last 8 months of Goverment, except to rip the hearts out of a lot of people, who are so dissapointed in this Liberal Goverment. Goverment that said and made out they were going to be there, for all Workers and small Business People.

    Abbott told all he was going be there for our Indigenous spend days there, when he was first elected. All Liberals have done, is take more much badly needed services away from them.

    We know Liberals are going to be known as worse Goverment ever in Australia because of the Lies. Nearly every day in opposition Abbott was dressed up like a worker, jumping in out of trucks working in factories. Pretending to be one of us.

    To his Shame forever now, he will be known as the Lying Politician and Prime Minister…

  16. rossleighbrisbane

    Kaye Lee, I just began my blog with a quote from H.L. Menken before I noticed your quote. Great minds or lefty group think?

  17. Kaye Lee

    rossleighbrisbane….that is happening a lot. We seem to have the same thoughts about a lot of things, and at the same time. Same thing happens with my girlfriends. They invariably ring just as I am about to ring them. The cosmos spins in interesting directions 🙂

  18. john921fraser


    @Rossleigh & Kay Lee

    We are all in agreement with this :

    "The AMA has weighed in on Joe Hockey’s proposed changes to Australia’s health services. The allergists voted to scratch them, but the dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The gastroenterologists had a sort of gut feeling about it, but the neurologists thought he had a lot of nerve. The obstetricians felt he was labouring under a misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the ideas short-sighted. Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the paediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up!" The psychiatrists thought the ideas were madness, while the radiologists could see right through them. The surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The ENT specialists didn't swallow it, and just wouldn’t hear of it. The pharmacists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the plastic surgeons said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter…" The podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the urologists were pissed off at the whole idea. The anaesthetists thought the ideas were a gas, but the cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.
    In the end, the proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the arseholes in parliament!"

    The Fitz Files.

  19. DanDark

    Lol that’s funny you should send that post on to all doctor offices 🙂

    I did ring the GG’s office and asked the question
    “Why is our government attacking us, with the help of his rich cohorts
    I have never seen a gov attack it’s own people like Tony And co
    And employ others like Tony Shepard to help him, one tells us to go live in Asia
    If we don’t like the budget, murdochs vilifying our war wounded and disabled on front of his news paper, our young are going to starve, our old will die
    how long is the GG going to sit back and let this country be attacked by Tony and his mates”
    she said “she would pass my concerns on”

    But after seeing GG At same funeral for the big pharma bloke mate with Tone’s
    I thought, we do not have a GG on our side, hand picked by Tones for a reason,
    He ain’t going to help, this I know….

  20. vivienne29

    John921Fraser – that’s brilliant. I’ve put it on my facebook for friends to share.

  21. Stephen Tardrew


    Great post. Boy I rally enjoyed that. Gold star.

  22. Joe Banks

    Robyne. “Perhaps he (Malcolm Fraser) was in the wrong party”. It might be more of a case that if you mix with the wrong people, it rubs off on you. ‘Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are!’ Malcolm Fraser had to get away from the bad influences before he could discover his own innate values. Now… how to extract any other ‘closet honourables’ from within the current coalition ranks???

    Kaye. “And perhaps most important, they understand that politics involves give and take, and the ability to find common ground. A good politician listens very carefully to those on the other side, ..”
    This is surely something the Greens and Labor must do in this time of crisis. If these two parties cannot work to find common ground and combine forces now, then they also fail the ‘good politician’ test too.

  23. mars08

    Just to be clear… you’re asking “What makes a good politician?” As opposed to what makes a good leader.

    The bloke in the photo at top of page (H. L. Mencken) had some insight into that…

    “…As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

    Elitist??!? Moi!???

  24. John

    Reblogged this on jpratt27 and commented:
    Good politicians are a very rare breed.

  25. john921fraser


    Clive James

    "He appeared at the Australia and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts in London on Saturday wearing black trousers, a black skivvy and a brown jacket.

    As with every other red-blooded Australian male I’m doing it to impress Tony Abbott’s daughters,” he told a sold-out crowd of 400 fans.
    “That statement will get me into terrific trouble with the Australian media where I’m regarded as something of a right-winger.

    James went on to say that to celebrate his right-wing status he’d worn “an ensemble in pre-war Hitler colours”.

    “I think this look is coming back.”"

    The Daily Mail has the Hitleri bit still in it. (

    Fairfax Media had it in but has now censored it.

  26. amca01

    Good article – as usual – and nice citation from Lee Hamilton. However, I don’t think it takes an academic, an American, or anybody else, to say the bleedin’ obvious: Tony Abbott fails as a politician by every conceivable measure. The only thing he can do – and this isn’t a political trait – is provide a sort of continuous attack-dog barrage against something else. He has no ideas, no vision, nothing. That’s why, even after eight months as PM, he’s still bagging the opposition. It’s all he can do. It’s all he’s ever done. It’s all he will ever do.

  27. Lee

    Abbott is an idiot. Credlin is more than an assistant. She is a babysitter. Today Abbott is sapping to Andrew Bolt about the attacks on his family being hurtful and unfair. His attacks on low income families are hurtful and unfair too.

    As for his family, he tells everyone that the age of entitlement is over, but his daughter accepts a scholarship for which there was no application process and it was not available to anyone else. Abbott is familiar with the scholarship process and he should also be familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 26 higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit). Anyone with half a brain should have known it is foolish to accept that scholarship. It probably has strings attached and it is almost certainly going to come back and bite him in the backside.

  28. Matthew Oborne

    When it was inevitable that the masses would get the right to vote in England a study was conducted to see if the masses could make the right choice. The result was the collective of their decision was in fact the right choice. The condition placed on that was they had to be given the facts. Had what the Liberal party intended to do been honestly told to the public, we wouldnt have them as a government now. However Hewson was apparently going to be the last Liberal who was honest with the public. What Makes a good politician- One who doesnt stand up and make an iron clad agreement with the people that his promises are anything to take seriously if he plans to abandon them. The Libs had a plan to get one term in power and to destroy their party doing it, that is what it looks like anyway. If you doubt that how do you think the people will react to more promises from them in 2016?

  29. dafid1

    I didn’t read another word after…”I have heard Tony Abbott described as an astute politician, some even go so far as to say the best Opposition leader the country has seen”
    Not critical of what may have come after, I just can’t stomach even considering the proposition, even if only in a question.
    The lowlife is at the top of my list of persons I despise with a passion, its not a large list, but this sick excuse for a man is joined by a few of his colleagues.
    I continue my enthusiastic mission to see him gone, hopefully in misery.

  30. abbienoiraude

    Thank you for sharing me old school mate Judy Small’s song. We have been friends since we were 12. Now we are heading for 61. Not a bad run.
    Love love your writing, your mind and your attention to detail Kaye. Thank you is not strong enough appreciation for your work.

  31. my say

    the brilliant song .you dont speak for me by Judy Small should be put to good use,
    It should be played by bill shorten ,every time abbott opens his mouth and spews lies to all australians

  32. Zathras

    Abbott is just a stooge of the IPA and other similar lobby groups.

    He was put in that position only to kick the ALP out off office and everything he has done since (with the exception of the PPL scheme and knighthoods) has been their work – not his.

    He certainly didn’t rise to the position because of his intellect, his ability to inspire and his desire to bring out the best in our society.

    At best he’s a “one-trick pony” and will be discarded when he becomes too much of a liability to his handlers.

  33. Truth Seeker

    Thanks Kaye, for another good read,

    And here’s what makes a bad politician: “The Dog ate my promises!” 😉

    The Dog ate my promises!

    Cheers 😀

  34. Terry2

    A couple of things I noted over the weekend:

    1. Just days before the Queensland government announce their budget for 2014/15 they rather coyly announced that the deficit projected to be $664 million has now jumped to $2.27 billion : hello !
    if this had been under the Bligh government or the Gillard government the Right would be throwing all the crap they could lay their hands on for the incompetence of the government.

    2. From overseas,insurance companies who provide Directors & Officers insurance; to protect them in the event that they are sued by shareholders and others for errors and omissions as corporate leaders. The question being asked is whether the insurers should pay up if the corporation and its directors had maintained climate change denial in face of the scientific evidence to the contrary. The message being, why should insurance companies pay up in circumstances where there has been wilful denial of established fact – a bit like the tobacco companies who insisted that tobacco was not addictive or harmful.

    3. The PM talked up his trip to Europe to commemorate D Day on Sunday but then engaged in politicking in what must be one of the most tawdry speeches ever from an Australian Prime Minister; I understand that the Youtube clip was removed by his minders.

    4. Strangely, Channel Ten , who are axing shows and news left & right, still persist with Andrew Bolt: why bother, the guy’s a loser.

  35. jimhaz

    I’d say a good politician is one who does not primarily play the game of trying to beat the opposition. The game is just an ego trip.

    We have never had any.

    The next rung down from that idealism are the atheists 🙂
    Actually I am fairly serious about that. These are those whom are able to see life from others viewpoints, those whom are worldly people, those whom can merge micro and macro issues to create the correct decisions – Gough, Hawke, Gillard, Keating. They are people who have made their own minds up about things over their lifetime – and the religious do not do that.

    This current LNP gov seems to think they have a carte blanche mandate to make Australia into their own image.

    It is a vicious image generated by excessive political competition, by religious stupidity, and by the MPs mixing constantly over many years with ultra-selfish types who think controlling others, so they become the personal tools of these miser types, is some kind of right earnt by them having success in the money game.

  36. Nuff Said


  37. Kaye Lee

    Nuff Said and Terry2,

    I am confused. Does that mean we are no longer open for business? Is that because all the business leaders are being flown around the world on Tony’s private jets at our expense?

  38. Don Winther

    CMMC What are you trying to say ?

    “Abbott can only be described as having that quality of ‘statesmanship’ if you consider the ‘state’ populated only by sullen, illiterate tradie boofheads and ignorant old fools who listen to John Laws and Allan Jones”.

    Im a tradie, Im not a boofhead, I’m not illiterate, Im not ignorant, Im not young and Im not a fool.

    Go and build your own house, build your own car and fix your own dunny because you blocked it up with you own crap.

    The most sullen people I have met have been accountants and lawyers,but I do also know some good ones. You obviously haven’t mixed with many Tradies, we could be a bit low for you? We hate arrogance.

  39. Sir ScotchMistery

    @CMMC There was a time when the tradie “boofhead” voted ALP as a matter of course.

    Along came Paul J Keating in an Armani and silk tie, and turned the whole deal upside down. Suddenly we had a PM with no memory of the docks, the mines, the shearers, or the genesis of the Instead we had a group of lawyers vying for the best positions at the table with the Murdochs, the Packers and their maggot mates.

    Keating was a rare man in that he rspected the values of workers but forgot his roots. Funnily enough, I never understood how John Howard wasn’t a Labor man, based on his antecedents.

    The current mob in ALP as members have no right to the high moral ground. They cannot and must ne tbe allowed to get away with Manus Island and the Pacific Solution. It was their initial idea and that bottom-feeder Morrison just picked it up in the absence of any new ideas.

    What this country desperately needs is a new direction, that includes as many independents as possible and now is the time to get it happening. Indi showed it’s possible.

  40. Don Winther

    @ ScotchMistery ( Sir Boofhead )

    “There was a time when the tradie “boofhead” voted ALP as a matter of course.”

    Bullshit !!

    Ive always been impressed by my fellow tradies to see bullshit when they see it and vote accordingly.

    “Keating was a rare man in that he rspected the values of workers but forgot his roots.”

    Bullshit, Bullshit !

    Paul Keating’s level playing field crap got us what we have now. One sided free trade agreement with countries we could never possable fairly compete with, he destroyed industry and manufacturing in Australia. Abbott is just finishing what Keating started. Keating had no respect for Tradies or workers or working class.
    “They will find better jobs”, more Keating arrogant crap and “The recession we had to have” was just bad politics and mismanagement, although he just made his first million about that time by selling his Pig Farm.
    His “roots” at the Sydney Council? He was the boy from Bankstown with the “E” type Jaguar and the Armani suit, a real labor man. He would have been a Liberal but it was easier to climb in the Labor Party, all he had to do was turn it upside down and he was at the top.
    Howard disliked his “antecedents” ( wankie big word for ancestors ) history as much as Keating did.

    Tradies hate arrogant wankers and people that call themselves ” Sir “

  41. Don Winther

    And I voted for Jilia and I would have voted for her again if they hadn’t pulled the carpet out from underneath her. I would never vote for Abbott.

  42. Terry2

    Kaye Lee, I think we are no longer open for business because the cupboard is bare.

    On the D Day Normandy landings the Australian participation was in support of the Brits. but he doesn’t mention Britain and is not going there : I wonder why.

  43. Stephen Tardrew

    John Great to see Tony and Joe have got the economy up and running.

  44. john921fraser


    @Kaye Lee & S.T.

    La la land is real for Abbott.

  45. Sir ScotchMistery

    Don Winther, mate, buddy why so aggressive? Chill out… I didn’t pick on the tradies, if you had actually taken the time and put in the obvious effort to read the thing, rather than see one word and get your tiara in a tizzy.

    Now go back and read it properly and apologise for your dreadful manners, then into the ute and off to the pub. Also, it may have escaped your notice about the “sir”… oh forget it, if I need to explain you probably landed on a wrong page.


  46. Don Winther

    Sorry ScotchMistery, tradie like being called Boofheads. Sorry again Sir, I dont know what I was getting all upset about.

    Yes Sir, you are right, the pub is a tradies sole aspiration in life. You obviously know us well.

    – Also, it may have escaped your notice about the “sir”… oh forget it, if I need to explain you probably landed on a wrong page.

    – Now go back and read it properly and apologise for your dreadful manners

    Sorry Sir Im just a sullen, illiterate tradie boofheads and an ignorant old fool as CMMC pointed out, how could I ever understand. I dont know why they let us vote.

    Any more condescending orders Sir?

    Dont get so upset Sir ScotchMistery, we all have an opinion even you Boofheads. 🙂

  47. Don Winther

    I did apolagise Kaye, honest I did.

    Its just the egalitarian Aussie coming out in me again. Ive gotta stop that it is unacceptable in modern Australia.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Don’t be silly Don. I always have a beer with me tradies. I wouldn’t survive without them and they look after me very well.

  49. DanDark

    my oldest son is a plumber,
    he is well educated, married with 2 wonderful sons 7 and 4yrs
    I take offence too a few of these comments,
    without plumbers, toilets would be left to overflow when blocked,
    pipes left burst, etc etc etc, no gas installations, no heaters, no hot water, no nothing
    geeee maybe they are more than “boofheads”
    They maybe are a vital part of a first world country 🙂

  50. Carol Taylor

    Don, we could never have competed with overseas countries regarding manufacturing especially with the rise and rise of what were previously 3rd world Asian nations…not enough domestic market and a society with enough egalitarian values to insist that ‘workers’ not have to grovel in the gutter for thruppence. Hence the need to become The Clever Country. Will the Abbott government’s intense dislike for anything remotely connected with science and home-grown innovation bring us once again inventions such as those achieved in the past..the cochlear ear implant, the black box recorder, solar hot water (the CSIRO), Wi Fi (again the CSIRO) and even the power board.

  51. Don Winther

    Kaye Lee I was only messing around. I know there are plenty of boofheads around and some are actually tradies but most are in our Federal Gov.

    Carol Taylor thanks for the nice words but the rise of what were previously 3rd world Asian nations has been by manufacturing. That is how 3rd world country rise into the so called first world not through mining or tourism it is from manufacturing but we dont need to do that dirty stuff anymore because we are “The Cleaver Country”
    We imported $20 billion worth of cars last year. We have a market, we have 3 car manufactures but we have zero protection. Every other country protects its local manufacturing industries and work force. We only protect our Lawyers and politicians, strange?
    I understand the GDP bottom line, sell everything just dont do anything.

    Sorry Kids but you will have to grovel in the gutter for threepence because Dad hasn’t got a mineral lease.

    Yes we are a real cleaver country.

    Made In Australia.

  52. Sir ScotchMistery

    I am going to be careful not to upset you Sir Trades-person. It would never occur to me that among the commentariat there was only you, but heavens, what would I know. (Enough sarcasm).

    Now, after only 60 years, 25 of the first 40 as a tradesman, (sparkie in case it matters), and 10 years of that in the RAN, I got called many things. Boofhead, was one of them. I have looked everywhere and can’t find any scars from it, but again, what would I know, not being a tradie any more.

    Perhaps you view your view as the only view?

    It isn’t. It isn’t wrong and it isn’t right. It’s your view which you are free to express. That’s why those of us who do so, regularly, actually meet in this bar. We aren’t all the same, we don’t share all the same views, but with a few misses to my score-card, we read carefully what has been said by our colleagues, and we comment. (That is of course if you see this website as a collegiate exercise in delivering a left-leaning view to the current political situation).

    We aren’t perfect. Our views are not the views of everyone, but we respect the rights of each writer, to hold and espouse that view that they hold dear enough, to express it here at the AIMN. We are thankful to Michael and the other watchers for their views on free speech. We try to be respectful of each other, unless of course the writer is a tory troll. Thankfully, we don’t get many of those. It would be far too bitchy here for many of us, if we were constantly fighting off those little bottom-feeders.

    You and I have gotten off on the wrong foot. I apologise unreservedly for upsetting you. I will try not to do it again. Illiterate? I don’t think so. I feel you are reading more into what I said in response and responding in a challenging way to what you saw as an egg for confrontation. Again, my apologies for saying something that obviously struck a chord.

    As to the comment about the pub, if you are in Brisbane, let me know. I will happily join you for a couple of beers at the Holland Park Hotel any time you want. In fact, I would love to have dinner with you, to discuss our views on things politic. I will happily have a beer or 3 with you.

    Sullen is as sullen makes us. I’m not. Desperate to get rid of this pyne of a government, definitely, but sullen, no.

    Welcome to the fray. We all step out on roughly the same side of the political fence.

  53. Don Winther

    Sire, I got bore but I will have go at your comment some other time if I dont forget. What do you think of the new aimn site?

    Oh well off the the pub.

    Have fun

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