tip off

Labor’s suicidal thinking has roots in mistakes

Well, Luke Walladge’s piece from yesterday — ”Labor man: if she won’t resign, caucus must remove Gillard” — certainly managed to piss you off. And stir some pretty insightful comments beyond the usual suspects.

To some, the ALP member, former staffer and campaigner is emblematic of everything that is wrong with the Labor government. His call for Julia Gillard to go “bravely prescribes more of the same suicidal thinking that has got Labor into its present mess. Ditch the leader, pass the spade, keep digging the same hole,” wrote James Burke.

It’s just the “same old, same old thinking. We don’t need more of the same — interminable, doom-prophesying verbiage from sources imprisoned by past experience,” wrote reader Gerri Allan. “This is a hung parliament, and no longer the traditional, historical, big-majority party rule fought out between the two majors. These could be times for exciting and innovative change, for appreciating brinkmanship, for getting into the political game with a sense of altruism as well as pragmatism … not about hankering back to high percentages of primary votes, seat counts and two-party-preferreds.”

Not to mention Walladge’s assertion that to install a female MP in the top job would just be another Gillard version 2.0. “I mean … words are STILL failing me,” wrote Kate Olivieri.

Gillard has delivered good government and policy but crap politics,” despaired Richard Barlow. “Inflation, interest rates, debt, unemployment all low. Growth reasonable. Budget in balance. Major reforms in workplace laws, health, education, aged care, disability. World-leading policies in carbon reduction and broadband communications. Tax reform including income tax cuts. Over 250 laws passed in a hung parliament. Then the politics, knifing Kevin, Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper, and a seeming inability to cut through.

It drives me nuts.”

We’re sure it drives Gillard nuts, too. But there’s the rub: the crap politics. You can’t ignore it, and it’s not all the media’s fault.

This morning we’ve watched the almost simultaneous announcement from the Australian Federal Police that they would continue to investigate the Cabcharge allegations against Slipper, set alongside cameras trained outside HSU headquarters in the wake of a police raid as part of Strike Force Carnarvon.

It’s part of the reason why Bernard Keane has placed Julia Gillard at No. 2 on The Power Index’s Canberra list, and put Wayne Swan top of the tree. This morning’s events will make it even more difficult to capitalise on her great enduring strength — her “persistent ability to secure outcomes”.

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  • 1
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Maybe if the focus off the media was taken off politics and onto policy Gillard might be better off but htat will never happne for as Stephen Mayne said on radio last week, Murdoch got behind Rudd thinking he would be the Australian version of Blair but as soon as it became apparent that was not going to be the case the attack was launched and it won’t stop until the libs are in.

  • 2
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Gillard is a political nong, but the media are woeful and ignorant.

    They are back to ranting about Craig Thomson after a days break when it was found that Temby WAS NOT INVESTIGATING HIM, JUST AS HE SAID.

    For years they have been on and on about a fucking credit card “misuse”as if he is a mafia don and in all those years have shown nothing at all.

    And now they claim Slipper is being investigated for cab charge fraud, it is not possible to defraud a a cab charge or even worth bothering with when the allowance is a right.

  • 3
    Anne Cooper
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    You have no mention of Christopher Pyne? Surely his complicity in the Slipper (soon to be Pyne) affair is the biggest news of the year? where are you, Crikey? You spend plenty of energy attacking Gillard for… what exactly? and spare the villians.

  • 4
    judith pugh
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    The media, in the persons of most political journalists, IS to blame. Endless repetetive interviews of journalists by other journalists is neither news or political reporting. The media is running the it’s too late concept, and the polls are of course now reinforcing that. The “media” by and large who concentrate on this are the journalists sequestered in the weird new Parliament Building. The architecture of the building is a disaster for democracy. Politician’s offices are inaccessible, and the politicians have an office reached through those of their staff. This means journalists rarely see an unprepared politician, and now apparently believe that political reporting means concentrating on computer screens, leaks, and politician’s staffers. This is not political reporting. It is not even journalism. Its a low-on-the-alphabet-list non celebrity bore. A really good journalist can judge character, and, robbed of access can research: off-line.

  • 5
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Judith Pugh - It is a slef fulfilling prophecy, the media tells the public the govt can’t be saved, they then poll the public and get their own opinion reflected back at them and then report that reflected opinion as fact.

    I would also like paraphrase Bernard Keane from last week when he said that the level of investigation into the slipper affair by journalists far outweighs any investigationg they have done on any piece of policy. It reminds me of a story I heard about my previous employers board meeting, they spent 2 hours discussing the telephone plan for corporate mobiles and 10 minutes discussing the multi million dollar investment in a new plant. The reason, they could understand the telephones.

  • 6
    Gratton Wilson
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    No matter what Tony Abbott says about Julia Gillard, no matter that the media repeat his rantings ad nausium, it is undeniable that the whole world will benefit from the action of the Australian Labor Party for its move against “Big Tobacco”. Initiating the plain packaging of cigarettes will save millions of lives throughout the world because other countries will follow the lead of Labor. Abbott only thinks about big money and its contribution to Party coffers.

  • 7
    Holden Back
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I hope it’s not too late for Gillard to blow a rasperry at people like Walladge, tough issues out and at the very least go down swinging. Or surprise the press by earning the respect of the Asutralian voting public without their assistance.

    But I’m not holding my breath.

  • 8
    CML
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Someone on this site (sorry, I forget who) last week told the story of watching the interview with Tony Windsor on Lateline (ABC/TV), then listening to the news bulletin on ABC radio later that same night. Nothing in the news bulletin sounded even remotely like anything Mr. Windsor had said in the interview. It had been twisted and turned to present the most Labor negative/Opposition positive story imaginable. I can vouch for this version of events, because I had the same experience.
    When you can no longer trust the public broadcaster, let alone the commercial media, what hope is there for truth and facts being presented to the general public? I despair!

  • 9
    CML
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    And… I agree with ANNE COOPER - where is the story of what was going on with the “mincing poodle” and the Slipper affair? Smells like another Gordon Gretch scenario to me! Everyone who’s anyone in South Australia knows all about Christopher Pyne - bloody hypocrite.
    Everybody complains about the Labour Party and the level to which it has descended. Well, who put it down there? This Coalition Opposition (and its fellow travellers) is disgusting. How on earth 51% of voters could give them a first preference vote is beyond me. Think I’ll join those who are contemplating emmigration if the rAbbott moves into the Lodge. New Zealand looks interesting!

  • 10
    michael r james
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    On Fran Kelly’s Breakfast program on ABC-Radio National (RN) on Monday, after the usual session with Michelle Grattan, apparently their Twitter feed and telephone lines were overwhelmed by complaints.

    What did they do? They thought it was unfair criticism (of the ABC, everyone knows what to expect of Grattan, a clearly partisan commentator who should be retired from this slot on the ABC) so they played a recording of …. Laurie Oaks who at the end of his rant, called for Gillard to resign.

    Well, that’s alright then. All fair and balanced, to be sure!

    (Message to Fran K and the ABC: It is long past the time that you found some other Canberra correspondents to bring some balance to that slot. Grattan is beyond intolerable and really should retire or be retired. Believe it or not, most voters do not appreciate a political reporter on whom we kind of hope for some unbiased reportage, telling our PM to resign. Grattan has jumped the shark.)

  • 11
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    CML, you have just alienated about half your audience. You wrote: “This Coalition Opposition (and its fellow travellers) is disgusting. How on earth 51% of voters could give them a first preference vote is beyond me.” Whilst it might be beyond you to understand how half the population is “disgusting” in its choices, the problem is they just do. So in your minority (not disgusting) position, if you want to be heard, let alone politically competitive, you have to appeal to some portion of that mob that you are publicly rejecting if not attempting to insult. It doesn’t matter how loud you yell at them, they simply won’t listen. Why would they bother?

  • 12
    michael r james
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Charlie, you are getting ahead of yourself. It was Labor who achieved a majority of the 2PP vote at the last election, not the Lib-Nats.

    The personal polling of Tony Abbott is pretty abysmal so we’ll have to see if people can hold their noses and vote Liberal next time. In any case I also agree with CML and Anne Cooper. I have just watched that billionaire miner Twiggy overtly insulting the country’s deputy PM and Treasurer; he tried doing it as a joke but by the feeble sniggers in his audience I would say most saw it as an embarrassing faux pas and unworthy. And of course Clive Palmer makes a habit of it. With Abbott, Pyne, Abetz and their cheer squad of Alan Jones, Blot et al. I have pretty much had it with any attempt at politesse to any fellow-travellers who are a part of this truly awful loss of civil behaviour and respect for our elected leaders, or indeed our democracy. It is just unspeakably beyond the pale that they have never accepted the outcome of the last election. These people don’t seemingly have a skerrick of honour left. They do not deserve any respect from anyone.

  • 13
    michael r james
    Posted Wednesday, 2 May 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Charlie, you are getting ahead of yourself. It was Labor who achieved a majority of the 2PP vote at the last election, not the Lib-Nats.

    The personal polling of Tony Abbott is pretty abysmal so we’ll have to see if people can hold their noses and vote Liberal next time. In any case I also agree with CML and Anne Cooper. I have just watched that billionaire miner Twiggy overtly insulting the country’s deputy PM and Treasurer; he tried doing it as a joke but by the feeble sniggers in his audience I would say most saw it as an embarrassment and unworthy. And of course Clive Palmer makes a habit of it. With Abbott, Pyne, Abetz and their cheer squad of Jones, Blot et al. I have pretty much had it with any attempt at politesse to any fellow-travellers who are a part of this truly awful loss of civil behaviour and respect for our elected leaders, or indeed our democracy. It is just unspeakably beyond the pale that they have never accepted the outcome of the last election. These people don’t seemingly have a skerrick of honour left. They do not deserve any respect from anyone.

  • 14
    CML
    Posted Thursday, 3 May 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Well Hugh, it is said the voters get the politicians they deserve, so good for them! The only problem is that the rest of us have to put up with the result. And for your information, I wouldn’t waste my time trying to appeal to a bunch of selfish, whinging, greedy, racist red-neck and thoroughly uninformed bogans, even if you paid me. And if the cap fits you - WEAR IT!!

  • 15
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Thursday, 3 May 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Michael R James;
    Your comments contained in your post at 6.33pm are so correct. Fran K does not do service to her own capabilities by the constant use of Grattan nor does she bring credit to the ABC in general.
    Mind you it was Fran Kelly that gave “lord” Monkton ample time to give us his fraudulent views on Climate Change on her breakfast show so we can’t expect much better in relation to balance.

  • 16
    michael r james
    Posted Thursday, 3 May 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    MIKE FLANAGAN Posted Thursday, 3 May 2012 at 8:35 am

    At least a case can be made for giving people like Monckton air-time — on the grounds of “enough rope”. Like with Cardinal Pell or Clive Palmer on Q&A, or Minchin and his appalling bunch of dopey denialists (Jo Nova, David Evans & Marc Morano!) the ChangeYourMind climate doco, these buffoons surely give pause to observers with a remaining skerrick of rational thought.

    But the RN breakfast slot is so influential throughout Australia and Grattan is so absurdly, almost cartoonishly, partisan and now openly an advocate rather than either simply reporting or even interpreting, it has gone beyond anything reasonable or tolerable. But there is nowhere to turn in Australian media anymore. Are there no journalists left in Australia?

  • 17
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Thursday, 3 May 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Michael R James;
    Not only do they no longer exist but the so called journalist that command our attention only use each other as sources and sounding boards.

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