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Federal

Dec 13, 2011

A dumb reshuffle puts spotlight back on Gillard's woes

Julia Gillard's federal cabinet reshuffle -- promoting Bill Shorten and Mark Arbib while sacking good ministers -- again demonstrates her lack of judgment and fragility.

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Is this the most nonsensical, craven, plain dumb reshuffle ever devised by a prime minister? It’s hard to recall a worse one. There was one of John Howard’s when he gave Wilson Tuckey a junior ministry — but Howard was a prime minister with authority, political nous and a firm grip on his party.

Julia Gillard has none of those things.

A bare two weeks ago, Labor had real momentum. It had finished the parliamentary year on a high with the Slipper coup and the mining tax bills through the House of Reps, put the seal on Gillard’s “year of decision and delivery”. Attention was turning to Tony Abbott’s relentless negativity and his need to change his tactics over the summer break. Some were talking about the need for a reshuffle of the Coalition frontbench.

But in that time Gillard has brought Labor’s momentum to a halt and wrenched the political spotlight back onto her tensions with Kevin Rudd and her own lack of authority and judgment.

All of it has been unforced and unnecessary. No one made Gillard omit Rudd from her conference speech. No one forced her into being rolled by her own faction on gay marriage. And Nick Sherry’s departure could have been dealt with via a minor redistribution of responsibilities. Instead, there’s yesterday’s mess, only necessary if you ignore the 700 words of pointless blather about the economy from the prime minister with which she introduced the reshuffle yesterday and agree this is all about rewarding Bill Shorten and Mark Arbib and punishing those considered less than enthusiastic Gillard supporters.

There are a couple of good points. Shorten will do a better job in industrial relations than Chris Evans. Shorten has improved in parliament since he was first promoted into the ministry, when every trip to the dispatch box induced chortling mockery from the opposition benches. Business might find that its incessant bleating about the need for IR reform, untainted by actual evidence of any kind, meets a sterner response now than it did from Evans. Nicola Roxon probably can’t be much worse as attorney-general than Robert McClelland. Mike Kelly is back in Defence where he belongs.

But the creation of a super-portfolio of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education under Greg Combet — because Shorten couldn’t get something without Combet getting something — is unbalanced and unlikely to improve the government’s focus on any of those portfolio issues. Arbib has been given significant additional responsibilities despite displaying no remarkable talent as minister for sport. Robert McClelland’s make-work cabinet portfolio of “emergency management” is risible. Were they even trying when they came up with that?

Then there’s the treatment of Kim Carr, hitherto the key minister on the most significant domestic economic issue facing the government, the impact of the resources boom on manufacturing. Despite his own strong views on industry assistance, Carr oversaw measures that avoided the blatant protectionism now being espoused by the opposition and the government interventionism being demanded by manufacturing unions. His reward after a difficult year is a humiliating demotion, dispatched to the outer ministry with a bodgied-up role as minister for manufacturing and defence materiel. He’ll probably come into the ministerial wing one day and find his office has been moved down into the basement.

Shabby stuff from Gillard.

But what impresses about the reshuffle is not its ineptitude and grubbiness so much as the lack of authority displayed by Gillard. This is so obvious, she may as well have created a ministry “for ministers I can’t sack” and stuck McClelland, Carr and Evans in there. Peter Garrett too, according to rumours. Having decided to wield the knife, Gillard appears to have been discombobulated when ministers declined to politely turn their backs so she could stick the blade in, or their factional protectors intervened. The result is a bloated cabinet of 22, permanent testimony to Gillard’s lack of authority.

Nor does the reshuffle address the government’s two long-term problems – the tension between Gillard and Rudd, and its inability to convince voters of its economic credentials. At the centre of the latter is Wayne Swan’s lack of cut-through, despite being an excellent treasurer. When Lindsay Tanner was finance minister, he could play the attack role traditionally required of the treasurer. Penny Wong is a nonentity in the role. The only threat she poses to opponents is putting them to sleep. Together, Swan and Wong mean the opposition — despite being frighteningly incompetent on economics — is winning the argument right from the start.

Nor is there anything to cause Rudd to lose any sleep in yesterday’s events. If anything, he’ll be encouraged by a display of fragility and poor judgment from the prime minister.

It’s as if, having stoically endured all manner of adverse conditions throughout the year without flinching, Gillard has stumbled the moment the pressure finally came off. Abbott must be unable to believe his luck.

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203 comments

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203 thoughts on “A dumb reshuffle puts spotlight back on Gillard’s woes

  1. geomac

    What is the point replying to a post when substance of that post is totally ignored ? Well I guess that says it all really. Its not about faux outrage or moral decency at all but biased political posturing . So much for addressing a question to a poster , its pointless in some cases.

  2. Suzanne Blake

    Thats Right @ Edward James

    There is no desire to cut out the Labor corr uption / crim inal cancer. They try and shield behind processes. Processes that have taken so long, that political interference can only be the answer. Fair Work Australia, more incompetent that the ACCC, and that is saying something.

    As everyone know sthe member for Do b ell is missing in action (worked out Do b ell is moderated word!! why is that). Not seen in the electorate anymore, wonder were he spends his time?

    The lefties who dominate this board, ignore the issues, like their ly ing leader. Hoping it will die down and go away.

    I was in Parliament House a few months back at a charity event. You would not believe it, there is a photo of the Labor criminal who is serving a long jail term outside the Speakers Office on the wall (3 metres from the speakers door).

  3. Edward James

    @ GEOMAC I want a chance to move toward good honest open government! I see the Labor Party top to bottom as a road block preventing that move year in year out Federal, State and Local. The Labor Party have had almost two decades to clean up their party. It is obvious from the Prime Ministers overt support of Craig Thomson and John Robertsons weak as suspension of Sir Lunchalot that Labor have not got the stomach to cut out the rotten cancers eating the belly out of their Party. So it is up to the voting public to do what Labor has refused to do. Judge them right here in the court of public opinion. Nothing to do with the law courts in another place. Plagirism is not a criminal offence we get it. But it is certainly shonky and certainly unworthy of someone who asked for our votes to be given in trust. What he done is certainly able to adversly influence our perceptions of his personal values in a place where perceptions count. Craig Thomson has had access to the floor of Federal Parliament to address his constituents doubts about him. His refusal to speak out in his own defence in his own enviornment cowards castle speaks volumes. There is a movement among the voting public toward change. The people who want that change have watched the Labor Party blocking the way forward like a dead tree. It is time to push it off to the side of the road and burn it So regeneration may take place. We know the Labor Party is unable to heal itself. It is up to people without long standing political alliances to exercise their votes to bring about effective change. Edward James

  4. geomac

    SB , truthie whatever suits
    Thomson hasn,t been charged with anything but you find him guilty. Whats your position on Mirrabella ? Not declaring 100,000 in election funds from a man with dementia. Assuming that mans legal rights or more top the point getting a dementia afflicted man to will his property to self . Love is blind so they say and forty years diff isn,t that much of a stretch but 100,000 bucks of election funds is hard not to register I would think. Maybe like Abbott concerning his 700,000 loan she had a brain freeze and forgot. So I take it Mirabella is unlikely to get a shadow position for aging and health. Where is your disgust about low criminal types and amoral actions concerning this person who like Thomson has as yet to be charged ?

  5. Edward James

    @ THE PAV As you are not willing to use your birth name our readers should understand your credability is something less than those of us who do use ours. When you make accusations with no basis in fact you only have your work product nothiong else. This Bernard Keane by line is about Gillard woes and Labor politicians like Graig Thomson and Ian Sir Lunchalot Macdonald are part of those woes. Why is it so many of our elected representatives hide themselves behind a firewall of taxpayer funded office workers? I recall one time Premier Nathan surried like a rat Rees (you remember him Chief of Staff for Milton the horrible Orkopolous Labor Swansea ) he told nme he would sue me if I used photos taken outside his Electorate Office. With some pleasure I dropped some of the intentionaly offencive and instructive political copy off at his Seven huills Office and I continue to publish my allagastions here http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds
    He has not sued because he is not really that interested in exposing the long list of political sins his Labor Party has committed against the peoples! Edward James

  6. Suzanne Blake

    @ Pav

    Shoftlifting is a crime, she was acussed of less than $100 from memory and was found not guilty.

    The magnitude of the fraude against the Labor MP was in a different league and as for Orkprpolous. My local member – hold the phone on that.

  7. The Pav

    Dear Susan Blake

    You really do make it too easy

    I never said she was found guilty of shoplifting. You’re the one who raised the issue of shiplifting. I merely responded that I thought it was wrong of you to trivialise the offence of theft by calling it shop lifting. It’s a bit like calling car theft joy riding.

    Please don’t tivialise a serious crime that hurts so many of our small business people. remember these are the one you profess to support.

    I said she was found guilty & she was.

  8. Suzanne Blake

    Pav

    she was found NOT GUILTY of shoplifting?? Google it

  9. The Pav

    Dear Suzanne Blake

    Do you delight in being wrong? Is it some kind of awful and untreatable illness.

    shoplifting -I would suggest that the many small business people who are retailers would not agree with your light dismissal of the offence. It is theft which is what they call it becasue it is and trying to lessen the truth with soft words is just dishonest.

    She was found guilty

    Your local member about whom you were railing has not only not been found guilty but he hasn’t even been charged.

    As to the other person assume that he is a State NSW politician. I’m sorry but I’m in NSW and I am discussing federal affairs.

    I notive that you haven’t referred to the examples I listed. Probably out of cowerdice

  10. Suzanne Blake

    @ the Pav

    Hardly a comparision (shoplifting v fraud v paedop hilia), she was found guity of nothing in the end.

  11. The Pav

    Dear Suzanne Blake

    As usual your partisanship leads you to error.

    The first one that springs to mind is a certain senator found guilty js=ust a few weeks ors so ago.

    Pleasec retract your statement and appologise for the error. I will assume you were not being intentionally misleading.

  12. Suzanne Blake

    @ The Pav

    The reason is that only Labor politicians have been found guilty of fraud and other criminal offences in the last few years and only 1 is in jail, and he is an ex Labor minister.

    So sorry there is no balance, cause the scales of justice are one sides to Labor.

  13. Edward James

    Jesus H Christ THE PAV I answered your push poll question @ Posted Thursday, 15 December 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink THE PAV all our readers can see you ignored my answer three times Pav.
    When you understood the article was about “the woes” You labeled me as ” like a professional politician ” which my readers understand. And so should you based on the information I have provided you and any interested readers to access here http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds
    Politicians are the very thing I despise PAV!
    I wrote working toward the next council elections at Gosford. Your next question dear PAV Please explain to me Why would you infer from what I had written that I was standing to join the local “Corrupt” Gosford City Council, which I have identifed as corrupt for over ten years? A council which I have regularity claimed in publicly avaiolable information open to THE PAV is responsible for the wrongful deaths of five people at Piles Creek . Would you be able to use my phone number PAV? Edward James 0243419140

  14. The Pav

    Dear Suzanne Blake

    Why should I? What I wanted was a specific response to why he is only banging on about poor behaved ALP politicians. If he has a concern about others then expend the same amount of time/energy/space in ihis posts here not just one side. It’s called balance. Something you appear to lack along with many other things but we won’t go into that.

    My interest is in what he posts and debating the interests thereon.

    I don’t have any Labour politicains in jail. I neither own a jail or a Labour politician or even have the slightest desire to do so.

    Why did you think I did?

    Many things in Parliament amaze me so if it is only a picture that amazes you then I suppose that’s your issue.

  15. Suzanne Blake

    @ Pav

    Edward listed the names in his post. Google them.

    Then you have the other Labor politician in Jail (Orkorpolous). There is a photo of him in the Parliament (amazed it has not been taken down).

  16. The Pav

    Dear Suzanne Blake

    Again I remind you shouting does not make you right.

    Next please list the proven corruption.

    Then what about AWBm the audit report into Howard Govt advertising, bailing out his brothers company & fixing so he couldn’t be held accountable under the Trading While Insolvent provisions. Do you consider these to be acceptable?

    Actually you won’t answer the question but will swoop off in some other direction

    Next as I have stated before the only party I have ever been a member of was the Liberal Party. I am opposed to Abbott and his henchmen becasue they have betrayed the Liberal ideals and become extreme right wingers more suited to the Tea Party in America.

    I want to vote Liberal but can’t while Abbot etc are in charge. The party has lost its way and its soul catering to fanatics like yourself

  17. Suzanne Blake

    @ Edwards James

    You are dead right. These PROVEN CORRUPT LABOR politicians have no shame.

    You wont get an answer from Jimmy, Ormonds, Pav and others as they dont have one.

    They are ashamed of their party and are trying to blow smoke and divert attention.

    Just watch for more Labor garbage to be release before and after Christmas. You never know Fair Work will probably release its Thomson report then as well.

    Its like Star Wars, the space ships jettisoned their garbage before going to light speed……

    The trouble is Australia are FED UP and will GET UP and base them at every opportunity.

  18. Edward James

    @ Jimmy We are starting to pay attention Jimmy, for far too long our politicians have done pretty much as they dam well please, and then often lied about it. In the last two years State level Labor politicians De Amore and Palazano were caught in a conspiracy with others rorting the Members Electorate office parliamentary time sheets . In a way these two were picking our pockets. Because they were rorting the time sheets which relied on an elected representative not to breach the public trust by appending their signature to a document which would in effect defraud the public purse …That’s you and me Jimmy. And Craig Thomson the member for Dobell is not that different. We continue to pay for rubbish representation. http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds Edward James

  19. The Pav

    Dear Ed,

    I made the comment about dodging the question before I realised you had answered it. An oversight for which I appologised. This means what I said was redundant, wrong etc etc.

    BTW isn’t an “anonymous politician” an oxymoron? I think the term I used was professional politician. It would appear I was on the money there given you seem to be running for office in Gosford.

    As to the rest of your post quite frankly it mystifies me & I don’t follow your point.

    If you are saying the ALP should expel members who bring it into disrepiute . Sure I don’t have a problem with this but again why is it only the ALP that you call to this standard? And how is this push polling? The connection you make completely escapes me?

    I’m gald you are involved in council elections but so what? How is that a response to my question?Are you endorsed by any particular party? I certainly wasn’t aware of your public persona & as far as I was concerned “Edward James ” was as close to your name as The Pav is to mine. Curioulsy enough the events in Gosford , while no doubt of vital interest to the Gosfordians are totally unknown to me. I’m sure you hold my local council elections in the same regard.

    I don’t think we are your readers ( but its nice to know you care for us so) I think we are Crikey readers & why would you assume I would be aware of your writings elsewhere?

    Sure I can publish my name & address LIKE a politicain but I’m not one so I don’t. Part of the reason is also because I have a very recognisable name & I have a family member in the public eye ( not politics I hasten to add) & I don’t one anybody to confuse the two of us. My nom de plum allows me to express what I think without causing any difficulties.

  20. Edward James

    Now who is responding like a anonymous politician Pav ? One question at a time. You ask. Why is it only that you only call on the ALP to sack its disreputable member? Again with the push polling Pav, give it a rest. And let me clarify. Most of my readers here and elsewhere understand I am calling for Labor Federal, State and Local to expel all its members who bring the Labor party into disrepute.
    In answer to your questionh Pav. I have been working toward the next local council elections for Gosford here on the Central Coast in NSW. Here is a question for you THE PAV are you able to publish your birth name phone number and contact details like politicians do?? Edward James

  21. Jimmy

    The hole thing on Thomson plagiarising is a massive beat up, yes he did it but look at all the other “reports” submitted from these overseas trips, some run to a whole page!

    Everyone know this travel allowance was a way to increase MP’s salaries without doing the politically unpalatable thing of actually increasing their pay.

    The fact that this allowance is soon to end can only be a good thing.

  22. The Pav

    Dear Ed

    Sorry I missed the bit where you don’t think he should resign.

    Why is it only that you only call on the ALP to sack its disreputable member?

  23. Edward James

    @ THE PAV Why would you or anyone try to justify shonky politics by pointing out the other side do it too? That is just silly. Our taxes pay people to oversight waste and compliance. You use John Howard to make a point but dont go in hard? I have gone in hard with a full page ad in the Peninsula News one of almost fifty ads. John Howard as Prime Minister on the front page of the Central Coast SUN Weekly. In the most offencive act of political pork barrelling I have ever witnessed. Offered to fix the Highway if elected, being the section of road which collapsed into Piles Creek and resulted in the death of the extended Brag and Holt families two adults and three children. I identifed what he did as offering to reach over the bodies of five dead people to buy votes for Jim Loyd the Member for Robertson back in the day. That was then Pav. At this point in time the Liberal National Coalition is the best tool for we the people to abort the Labor Party from the womb of our Federal Parliamernt ! Link to my political attack ads http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds Edward James

  24. Edward James

    @ The Pav, My response to your “guess” was quite clear! “I guess you this means you disapprove and that he should resign?” My answer to you and Geomac “I don’t think Thomson should resign people. I think the Labor Party which he continues to bring into disrepute should have the balls to expel him! And be dammed.” I make no secret about what I am doing and I dont publish any political sentiment which have not bee related directly to the politicians and parties involved. Your comment has been published:
    Weak as! John Robertson. I watched you on 7 30 NSW. I was surprised you kept a straight face. Expel Macdonald and while your at it those others for bringing the Labor Party into disrepute. Edward James

    To view your comment online go to: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/macdonald-faces-possible-alp-suspension/story-e6freuzi-1226215716083
    Someone else much earlier on brought Craig Thomson into this string about Gillard’s woes. He is certainly woeful. http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds

  25. The Pav

    ED, Sorry about the double response but it looked like the first one bombed out

  26. The Pav

    Dear Ed James,

    Leaving aside the issue of off topic and infact going off topic means the consumers ser=t the agenda rather than the commentators and without being considererd a supporter of Thomson I note that you have failed to answer a very direct and specific question.

    Until you answer it the debate can’t continue.

    Failing to answer as you did & then go on with the response you gave just indicates you’re partisan and not interested in a real debate.

    As bad as Thomson may be considered by us I would point out that he has not been found guilty or even charged of any offence.

    For each act of poor beghaviour on one side you can find something on the other ( Just read the Audit Report on the Howard Govt Advertising spend. How criminal charges were not laid beggars belief), Bailing out a company his brother was director of on the condition that the director did not face personal sanction ( Check the trading while in solvent laws)

    But as I say until you answer the specific question you aren’t entitled to a seat at this table

  27. The Pav

    Edward James,

    The article was about the reshuffle so bring Thomson into it is a bit of a long bow but I’m cool with it as stops the commentators totally controlling the agenda.

    Until you answer the direct question I asked your contribution lacks integrity and does not merit a response.

    You are avoiding the question like a professional politician.

    Please answer it. A simple yes or no will suffice.

  28. Edward James

    @ The Pav & Geomac. Hardly off topic people! The Bernard Keane by line is about Gillard’s woes. But hey its nice to get some feed back. Craig Thomson another Labor political shonk is certainly one of Gillard’s woes. The Prime Minister has told the Parliament she thinks he is doing a fine job representing his constituency. That continues to reflect poorly on her and the Labor Party. I don’t think Thomson should resign people. I think the Labor Party which he continues to bring into disrepute should have the balls to expel him! And be dammed. I note there is a long line of Labor Party members who have brought the Party into disrepute, how many have been expelled? Look at the piss weak performance of NSW Labor Leader John Robertson suspending not expelling Ian Macdonald after big noting himself on ABC 7 30. Your comment has been published:
    Many voters heard John Robertson on 7 30 NSW telling viewers what he would do about Ian Macdonald and anyone else. I don’t care that he knows no shame when it comes to those personal values he brings to the Parliamentary process, after the Labor party only suspended Ian Macdonald! Labor has proven itself to be “weak as ” after it has kept a string of elected representatives in the party long after they have been exposed bringing Labor into disrepute. Craig Thomson is another political problem we the people have considered these reps and found them unworthy. The fact Labor refuses to see the damage they do to the party. Says more about the short comings of the Labor party than those bits of dead wood they continue to support at any cost. Edward James
    To view your comment online go to: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/alp-has-craig-thomson-vote-plot/story-e6freuzi-1226217668048

  29. The Pav

    Dear Geomac,

    My point exactly. Although at what stage does C&P move from being research to being plagarism? If he had run acknowledgements then technically no foul I must say the idea of stopping these “study visits” by all has appeal

    As is common with his kind Ed James is happy to cast his slur or negative inference and then run away.

    I must say , assuming what Suzane Blake said is true ( always a doubtful proposition) it would seem that she has the local m emberr she deserves

    Although on the same basis do I really deserve Jensen as my local member. What I have I done to deserve him.

    A doctor who decries science gawd help me!

  30. geomac

    Dear Edward James,

    Off topic but anyway,

    I guess you this means you disapprove and that he should resign?

    J. Bishop would be in strife if that was a reason to resign . All state and federal governments seem to get the C&P disease when it relates to overseas trips . I remember a Victorian state MP getting lambasted for her report because it was describing shopping as well as relevant topics. Not a copied word in it but punished for not making the report dull . If the feds are stopping these junkets what are the states doing regarding this sham ?

  31. The Pav

    Dear Edward James,

    Off topic but anyway,

    I guess you this means you disapprove and that he should resign?

  32. The Pav

    No worries, Davi Hand

    I’m used to it. I think the phrase “pearls before swine” might apply.

    At least I can have a ratioanal debate with you and insult & invective is not your stock in trade. I also see we agree that people shouldn’t threaten to cancel subscriptions so at least we have that in common

    I agree the NBN does represent a risk. Any commercial activity does. ( A ship is safe in harbour but then that’s not what ships are built for)I also agree that Wireless is a competitor of sorts. Despite this my reading is that there will need to be the kind of service that the NBN will provide. I think the greatest risk is not doing it.

    The spectrum is not unlimited, there will be issues of security, relaibility, volume, integritythat the NBN will be better at. My internall wireless connection went down in a thunderstom recently. Exposuer to atmospherics is an issue.In Crikey a few months back there was quite a good item that pointed out the deficiencies & limitations of wireless

    Again on a risk basis, if NBN works/doesn’t work we have the back up of WiFi and vice versa. Eggs ( pretty expensives one I agree) in basket type of thing
    Yeah maybe wireless is newer technology but so what. The old copper network has done so much more than originally intended. The NBN will develop in way we can’t imagine.

    I don’t believe that the TV comparison is flawed. TV faced competition ( radio, books, film , live shows as the old technology then the new tecjh of VCR/DVD internet yet people still buy TVs) and yet despite the huge capital cost (purchase TV) & ongoing costs ( remember TV licenses) from an initially slow beginning the take up rate exploded.

    I think you are being overly cynical regarding the commercial structure. Sure they don’t mind the effect you speak of but this is more a reflection on the poor standard of debate and the obsession that any debt is bad which seems to inhibit reasoned discussions and hence lead to various contrivances, Just an unfortunate fact of the world we live in.

    But structured as is it should facilitate the exit strategy and avoid the catasrophe as that which happened with the Telstra sale.

    As I said previously a trial roll out makes sense so that ‘s going to happen anyway. The smart politics is doing it in Windsor’s electorate. Nothing wrong with being smart.

    I do have reservations about the NBN but on what I have read & understood I beive on balance that it is the way to go. I am sure there are going to be problems/stuff ups.etc. What large program doesn’t but I believe ultimately it will be seen as a valued project and something that had to be done. I can think of many projects that were decried in theirinfancy yet are now regard as icons.

    Cheers

  33. SBH

    I know Pav. I’ve finished now though and I was only dipping in here because most serious discussion trailed off some time ago so I’m not interfering by responding to the outrageous liar who posts as Suzanne Blake.

    She’s got no interest in facts, and refuses to acknolwedge demonstrable falsehoods despite any level of evidence presented. I ignore her most of the time but the Einstein thing was a bridge too far – tries the patience allright Jimmy

  34. Edward James

    Craig Thomson the member for Dobell is still attracting attention for the wrong reasons this time it is lazy plagiarism. http://www.smh.com.au/national/labor-mp-excels-at-the-cut-and-paste-of-world-travel-20111214-1ov0i.html This Sydney Morning Herald story fuels demands for the of investigation into alledged shonky politicians to be speeded up! Edward James http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds

  35. David Hand

    Hey Pav,
    Sorry to denigrate your educational abilities but I’ve always believed the NBN Co is a commercial enterprise. It just won’t ever deliver a return to its downtrodden taxpayer funders.

    The actual point I have made on a number of occasions is that the NBN Co is a public work in drag. It is a business in structure bit its purpose is political. The current examples of its political nature is that large slice of pork delivered to Tony Windsor and the hiding of government debt behind the fig leaf of commercial structure to enable Wayne Swan to have his tiny 12-13 budget surplus.

    The single biggest risk to the NBN Co commercial model is the market penetration forecast. Wireless and mobile internet will seriously dent take up even though the NBN will be faster. Even today there are many places offering free WI FI and this can only grow and get faster. Though the NBN may support such WI FI services, you don’t need FTTH to do it and it will hollow out the revenue base and market penetration.

    So your reference to the take up rate for TV is flawed. Wirless and mobile is newer technology than fibre and as commercial businesses like Telstra and Optus are excluded from fixed line technology, they will invest heavily in competitive wireless and mobile networks.

  36. The Pav

    Hi Jimmy,

    Love the line “SB seems to be one of those people that puts the same value on a rumour as a set of audited accounts, ” but given the coalition had their policies “audited” and we know how well that turned out ( and she hads the gall to accuse the Govt of fraud & deceit while back Abbott & his incompetents)I guess that explains it.

    Yeah & I afgree that even if it was true $15K was probably not over the top and I did argue that side of it which then led into the diversion into well all the other stuff where I have had to try & educate our challenged friend.

    I don’t believe she will be either responding of retracting as her usual MO is to make some unfounded statements & assertions then when challenged & had her fallacies exposed to slither off into another direction then when again called to account disappear. Unfortunately not for ever but only to reapper and again spread her poison.

    Oh well if we believe in free speech she is entitled it as well although it does try one’s patience

  37. Jimmy

    The PAV – “First I note that the NBN has denied the extravgance which led to your post” Firstly SB seems to be one of those people that puts the same value on a rumour as a set of audited accounts, after all according to her every scientist and economist that disagrees with her (and that is the vast majority of both) has been bought by the govt.

    Secondly “extravagance”? When there could easily have been more than 150 people at the function $15k (or less than $100 a head) is hardly extravagant.

  38. The Pav

    Dear Suzanne Blake

    Couple of things

    First I note that the NBN has denied the extravgance which led to your post so I guess you will retract your initial criticism unless you lack common decency. Since you didn’t retract a previous slur based on a fallacy I suspect I hope in vain. It also means Jimmy had nothing to explain.

    Secondly what was the initial take up rate of TV? What is the level of take up now?

    To base your opinion on such a short time frame just indicates how shallow you are.

    I sincerely hope the spirit of the festive season reaches in and touches your bitter & twisted soul

  39. The Pav

    Dear SBH,

    You note how SB has completely failed to respond to my last post that quite completely demolished her , I hesitate to dignify her post with the word but, argument.

    I am unsure whetehr her failure to sustain a debate and acknowldge how wrong she/it is is the result of intellectual incapacity, lack of moral fibre or perhaps some inhibitor in her mental processes ( probably undiagnosed)

    Instead she merely pops off on another direction like a deranged blowfly although not quite as smart but just as annoying.

    Please keep trying to help her as it is our duty to help the less fortunate but don’t expect success.

  40. The Pav

    Dear David Hand

    Re your

    “The NBN Co is a government owned commercial enterprise where the shareholder, Conroy, does not run it for a profit but for political gain.”

    Good to see that I have been able to educate you and you now accept NBN is a commercial enterprise.

    I am sure Conroy will benefit politically from NBN but that will be the by product of bringing into existence a necessary, nay vital, piece of infratsructure.

    I am quite happy for politicians to benefit from doing the right thing.

    That you appear hold the opposite view ie you want politicians to benefit from failing to do the right thing probably accounts for your anti Labour bias and I presume your support gor Howard, Abbbott and that bunch of delinquents

  41. SBH

    what did I tell you? Thanks for confirming everything I’ve come to know about you Suzanne.

  42. Suzanne Blake

    @ SBH

    Your maths are amusing. “but most of Australia disagrees with you”

    90% plus of houses that the NBN passes have said NO.

    The Labor FP vote is around 30%

  43. Edward James

    Our local councils are elected corporate entities, most of the peoples posting on this string are too busy to influence their own local council corporations because they are otherwise preoccupied! Edward James

  44. SBH

    I know you two hate the fact that the ALP is in power and gets to make decisions like the NBN but most of Australia disagrees with you (cue – voodoo psephology from Suzanne)

  45. Suzanne Blake

    @ David Hand

    “The NBN Co is a government owned commercial enterprise where the shareholder, Conroy, does not run it for a profit but for political gain.”

    Correct. He fans out money like no tomorrow. No business plan, no scrutiny, shooot down productivity commission and place weasel words in contract so no one can knock the NBN.

  46. David Hand

    The NBN Co is a government owned commercial enterprise where the shareholder, Conroy, does not run it for a profit but for political gain.

  47. The Pav

    Dear SB

    “If you are a registered shareholder, you can ask what you like at the AGM. I know at times you dont get a chance, and that is wrong, but you can ask”

    Theoretically correct but just try it sometime.

    “The issues with Australia public and large private companies is that the controlling votes is usually held by a few big funds, and they are lazy and dont vote, or they vote for resolution for fear of upsetting the Board and not bene given access to confidential briefings – This is a rort and the asleep inept incompetent ASIS should stamp it out”

    Sort of right & in part I agree. I would note however the the industry super funds are somewhat more active & demanding which in part accounts for their better performance. That the commercial funds are asleep and not held accountable is just another instance of the democratic failure so thank you for supporting me in this. I note that you consider big business is incompetent and in need of strong regulation yet curiously enough these are the same people you consider democratic. I suspect you support Abbotts call for less public servants yet you want the ASIS to do more………A couple more of the logical disconnects that you so frequently do.

    “The NBN is a wholly owned Government organisation and every cent they spend is taxpayer dollars.’ Yup but that doesn’t mean it’s not commercial and what’s more I would be willing to bet that I have more input intoi the NBN a a voter that I would as a shareloder of BHP=B

    “Incompetent, foul mouthed Conroy and the other criminals, corrupt people and incompetent fools in the ALP have no ides how to wisely spend our money. Looks at the BER, Insulation, Green Loans, Solar Panels waste.”

    Incompetent – as opposed to Abbot who at the election was exposed as not even understanding his own policy

    Foul mouthed- Well I supposed he could have said Sh*t Happens when peol, die but I agree he shouldn’t of said although I doubt its going to corrupt any kids. Might I suggest it could be a case of

    “And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
    Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.”

    I would suggest that you cease slandering people & I am somewhat surprised your comments passed moderation. What you have written is probaly actionable, is not based on any reason or fact and far exceeds what might be regarded as the rough and tumble of public discourse. I susoect that you can’t recognise your error as you are clearly brain washed into your position.

    Or perhaps its just your sneaky way to get Crikey into trouble. Either way they are dispcable comments but only to be expected from one such as you.

    As to the Solar panels, BER etc. I would refer you to the official and impartial reports that contradict your perverted view of reality.

    I notice you haven;t responded to a previous post when I cheerfully dispatched your tripe to the boundry thereby conceding victory to the voice decency and reason. ie me

  48. Suzanne Blake

    @ The Pav

    – If you are a registered shareholder, you can ask what you like at the AGM. I know at times you dont get a chance, and that is wrong, but you can ask

    – The issues with Australia public and large private companies is that the controlling votes is usually held by a few big funds, and they are lazy and dont vote, or they vote for resolution for fear of upsetting the Board and not bene given access to confidential briefings – This is a rort and the asleep inept incompetent ASIS should stamp it out.

    The NBN is a wholly owned Government organisation and every cent they spend is taxpayer dollars.

    Incompetent, foul mouthed Conroy and the other criminals, corrupt people and incompetent fools in the ALP have no ides how to wisely spend our money. Looks at the BER, Insulation, Green Loans, Solar Panels waste.

  49. The Pav

    Gee GEEWIZZ

    You really should check your facts.

    First of all having a constitution does not necessarily mean democracy. Next if you can show me where any Australian Board has been truly held accountable please do so. Have you ever tried to ask an uncomfortable question at an AGM?

    Next the elections are closely controlled by the vested interest. Superannuation funds far to often fail to be active and existing boards are constantly reelected despite terrible performances.

    Good luck trying to name any truly independant and competent directors who have been elected unless the sitting board agreed.

    And you call this democracy…………Puleeese grow up!

    News Ltd have two types of shares. Some ( the minority have voting rights ) the rest don’t.

    Guess who has the voting rights and although a significant a significant equity well well short of a 50%…Its Murdoch & his family interest. Check with Stephen Mayne for the deatls.

    Furthermore while you’re at it check how proxies are voted.

    If this is your definition of democracy then you are sadly deluded.

  50. GeeWizz

    [“So you agree that News Ltd is not a commercial entity then?

    In fact NO BOARD OF ANY AUSTRALIAN COMPANY is democratically elected.”]

    Utter Cr4p yet again.

    If you knew anything about anything, you would know that publically listed companies including News Ltd have a constitution, elections of board members and votes on company policies.

    The great thing about voting of board members is that you literally have to put your money where your mouth is, with those who hold more shares getting more say.

    It’s a stark contrast to NBN Co who get to spend Aussie taxpayer money… thats mine and yours, without those paying tax getting any say in the matter at all.

  51. The Pav

    Wow

    What a great day,

    The increasingly irrelevant Suzanne Blake (aka Abbott in Drag) has gone away back to her burrow and I’ve learned how to use a fire extinguisher as an emergency beer cooler.

    Doesn’t get better than that!

  52. The Pav

    Suzanne,

    My current affluent postion testifies to my business success.

    I started as six year old in the family shop.

    Studied. Helped dad build the single shop into the largest chain of its typ in the state. Left went off on my own, laboured, did welding , care giver in an aged home,then joined a large company became a senior manger..made sh*t loads of dosh and retired early. Got bored so now I use my skills an industry for the betterment of society, even for you Suzanne.

    I think that’s an adequate CV. Given your increasingly demented outporings & regular errors & inconsistancies I would reckon that stacks up against anything youi might offer,. In any event none of that is particularly relevant to the argument only the validity of my assertions. Which I note you have at any time to make one relevant or coherrent point of rebuttal yet are more than willing to peddle lies and falsehoods.

    I actually believethe NBN Co does have a Business Plan ( BTW Shouting doesn’t make you right) I think you might be getting confused with the alleged need for a CBA.

    As to that I merely cite the case of when the PMG put telephone lines in originally. Bet there wasn’t a CBA or even a business plan & that the initial take up rates were miniscule but I would guess that we’re pretty glad they did put lines in.

    As is usual with your type you have a cargo cult metality & have latched on the idea of a CBA as some mystical holy grail. Don’t forget even if they did do a CBA your response would be to deny its validity. Its nation building, should have been done years ago and the risks of not doing it clearly outweigh the risks of doing it.

    There wasn’t one for roads, railsways,airports , schools, hospital, TV, satellites, Universities, Sewrage systems? There are so many cases I can’t even begin to name them all

  53. granorlewis

    Gee Bernard – that got them going!! But your article is wonderfully incisive AND I have to say, right on the money. Poor old Julia has let herself down no end with this self-serving and unproductive reshuffle.

    I don’t often agree with you, but this time you have hit the nail on the head. This reshuffle plan will solve nothing, produce no better outcomes – maybe even worse outcomes – and it exposes Gillard as a pansy, pandering to her diminishing list of supporters in this factionalised and ineffective government

  54. davidk

    Well said Thorn and The Pav
    I accept that I’m partisan in my dislike of all things conservative but believe I consider both sides before rejecting the garbage. The libs seem to think longevity in office equals greatness, hence their love of Menzies and Howard. I can’t think of a Labor government that didn’t see our country progress, but I can think of several coalition governments where the country went backwards and Howard’s is top of the list.

  55. 2dogs

    Ahhh so what you are saying boy wonder is:
    “The next time your chief teller goes out for a sandwich (The Liberals) and sends a stranger back in his place (Labor), scrutinize him carefully. I’m sure I speak for the chairman of the board, millionaire Bruce Wayne, in saying that you owe that to all of your depositors.”

  56. Suzanne Blake

    @ 2Dogs

    Who know how much inept Conroy and corrupt Labor will waste on the NBN, not even foul mouth Conroy can give you a rock solid estimate that does not change upwards every 6 months.

  57. 2dogs

    @ the boy wonder:
    “When fighting crime even the most minute detail must not be ignored.” (whatever number you stab at)

  58. Suzanne Blake

    @ The Pav

    Thank God, you don’t run any business.

    Any halfwitted BUSINESS would do a BUSINESS PLAN before spending $53 billion or $75 BILLION or whatever number you stab at.

    Only a inept, incompetent, corrupt Labor Government would not.

  59. The Pav

    Dear SB

    I have.I think that’s 40 Love & match point besides I never said Conroy was a shareholder so I don’t know where that came from.

    I merely ppinted ouit that If the NBN isn’t a commercial organisation because the Borad isn’t democratically elected then neither is News Ltd and probably everyother other publicly listed coy.

    In my many genuine years of experianec with small, mid & large business curiously enough democracy was never a part of the process.

    I say again ( and type it slowly so you can understand)

    NBN meets all the practical & legal requirements to be defined as a commercial activity

    And nothing you have presented refutes this in any way

  60. The Pav

    David Hand,

    A key attribute of a succesful commercial enterprise is that they secure the support of key parties and stakeholders therefore the NBN’s rollout is entirely consistent with a commercial activity.

    Furthermore starting up in smaller areas is a bit like starting a show Off Broadway before going up town. Again an eminently commercial decision.

  61. Suzanne Blake

    @ David Hand

    so well put. Sorry Pav, argue with that

    “But because the only shareholder is Conroy, it has no likeness at all to a commercial enterprise. If it was commercial, the NBN would be rolled out first in metropolitan areas where a lot of geographically close customers would enhance its revenue in the early stages.

    By rolling it out first in places like small Tasmanian towns and Tony Windsor’s electorate, conveniently winning his support fr the government, the NBN Co shows itself to be a commercial enterprise in name only.”

    The NBN might be ok as a government funded infrastructure project, but commercial it ain’t.

    That’s a fact, so live with it.

  62. Karen

    @ Thorn – well said. To that I’d add that the worst part of Howard’s cynical “fist full of dollars” middle class welfare bribe has been now to create this whingeing, awful sense of entitlement in this corrupted cohort. In the meantime, while the SB’s of this world keep happy with their ‘smoke and mirror’ Christmas baubles and keep voting coalition , we have seen in the last 10 years, the top 1% double their stake of the national income. Heard that on News 24 this morning. Jeezus wept!

  63. The Pav

    Thorn

    Hear Hear!!

    The only political party I have ever been a member of is the Liberal party and as a true liberal I now vote Labour.

    The party of Howard, Minchin & Abbott is far to extreme right wing, doctrinaire and well I hate to use the word because its like doing a Godwin but :UnAusralian”

    I want to vote liberal and would like my party back but until then I am forced to vote labour and quite frankly beleive that had Abbott formed a govt on a razor thin majority this country would have been plunged into chaos & dissention.

    As you point out Howard went beserk giving wekfare to those who didn’t need it. I recall getting FTB A & B of about $4,300 pa when I had an after tax income of over $90,000 & this was 10 years ago.

    Ridiculous!!!!!!! Then what rational person would privatise key assets like airports. Look at the result. Australia has the worst in the world and SAC actively campaigns against a second airport which makes a contentious issue even closer to impossible to resolve and meanwhile Australia is denied an vital piece of infrastructure.

  64. David Hand

    Pav,
    You are correct in pointing out that as a commercial entity, the NBN Co has shareholders. But because the only shareholder is Conroy, it has no likeness at all to a commercial enterprise. If it was commercial, the NBN would be rolled out first in metropolitan areas where a lot of geographically close customers would enhance its revenue in the early stages.

    By rolling it out first in places like small Tasmanian towns and Tony Windsor’s electorate, conveniently winning his support fr the government, the NBN Co shows itself to be a commercial enterprise in name only.

    The NBN might be ok as a government funded infrastructure project, but commercial it ain’t.

    That’s a fact, so live with it.

  65. Karen

    @Archer 10:50am – Gillard probably didn’t do the reshuffle for ability alone but she did have her eye to the main game, which was to arm herself with effective policy-makers and politicians with communicative firepower – Shorten, Combet (although the poor guy is now probably struggling with the number of portfolios he now is shouldered with), and Roxon. Gillard has actually promoted the better performers (with the notable exception of Arbib – there’s no question about that). I’m sure you would agree with that.

    What people are upset about here is that due emphasis has not been placed on that issue and are dismayed that Keane has gotten up with a hangover in the morning after spending the evening with his Canberra press corp buddies chewing the fat over this stupid, rubbish angle to the reshuffle.

  66. Socratease

    I encourage all you people foaming at the mouth and threatening to cancel your subscriptions to Crikey because a contributor writes something you disagree with to have a lie down. You’ll all feel better later.

    This.

    And do you think Crickey staff read these posts and give a rat’s about them anyway? LOL.

  67. dogspear

    Bernard is being mean to Shorten and Arbib? Conspiracy!
    It’s not so much the defense of Labor’s ongoing rightward slide that is puzzling, but that of the tightening embrace of corporate global toadyism.
    It was a fairly tame article. Labor become less distinguishable from Liberal by the day, in both policy and performance. The din of tribally passionate defence of either mob, suggesting that their putrid similarities are not immediately obvious, is nauseating.

  68. Thorn

    Isn’t is odd that people such as Suzanne Blake continue to go on about this Govenement being ‘inept’, when all the evidence points to an entirely different reality. ( the recent blogg on “Australian Exceptionalism” is a great example of how the truth is avoided by the governments crtitics)

    It is as if by continually repeating the same crap that Abbott does about the Government’s supposed incompetence they think that it might eventually come true. Kind of like Goebbel’s ‘tell a lie often enough’ etc.

    BK is fixated on the politics of Canberra and not enough on the results. I have voted Labor more often than not, but to me it is not just them being in office that matters. If they can get enough decent policy legislated, it does not matter that much if they loose next time. After all there will always be swings this way and that in Australian politics. That is unless Abbott is still the leader of the Liberal’s. If that is the case then the social fabric of this country is in real peril. Not only has he pledged to turn the clock back on important policy areas but he has no plan at all and zero interest in anything other than being in power.

    A Government should be measured upon what good it has done, and Abbott would undoubtedly try to emulate Howard and do nothing. In a decade Howard did not introduce one item of Social Policy that I can think of except crazy stuff that gave welfare to the middle classes. In fact the only valuable piece of Liberal social policy ever I can think of was the referendum giving equal rights to Aborigines.

    On top of that Howard did his level best to extinguish the things that made this country special: the natural sense of justice, the fair go for all, the empathy with people not so fortunate as we are, the willingness to sacrifice a little so everyone could live that bit better. The drying up of the relative funding to public health and education while pushing rebates for private institutions was a classic example of that.

    Just being in power is nothing if nothing is achieved, and yet it is this that the media continually focuses upon. This minister, that leader, those ‘faceless men’ …. who gives a shit really.

    Whatever you might want to say about this Government, they have done an exceptional job with the economy and have passed, or about to pass, really valuable legislation that will benfit this country far into the future. I would prefer one term of doing, than four terms of treading water.

  69. The Pav

    Geewhiz

    Re” There are no shareholders. The company has no democratically elected board members. There are no private investors.”

    So you agree that News Ltd is not a commercial entity then?

    In fact NO BOARD OF ANY AUSTRALIAN COMPANY is democratically elected.
    Stephen Mayne has proved this often”

    No small bsiness is run on demcratic terms

    NBN meets all the practical & legal requirements to be defined as a commercial activity.

    That’s fact so live with it

  70. Archer

    Are there any people here who really believe these politicians were reshuffled or promoted through ability or talent alone?

    Silly people. Deluded people.

    Obviously allegiance plays no part in politics.

    politician |ˌpäləˈti sh ən|
    noun
    a person who is professionally involved in politics, esp. as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office.
    • a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization.

  71. Archer

    fredex Tuesday, 13 December 2011

    The blatant partisan bias is exposed by the language, by the words that are used.

    nonsensical
    craven
    plain dumb
    it’s hard to recall a worse one

    Or perhaps he just calls it as he sees it.

  72. Karen

    My, my, the MSM are really peeing vinegar over the reshuffle – hate the idea that Gillard has buttressed herself in and that it will be that much harder for there to be a coup against her this year from Rudd or other forces from the Right who want to go back to “business as usual”. Labor becoming a small corporatist rump of the Liberal Party and people moaning about “What does Labor stand for?” again? How boring. Couldn’t bear the thought of it….

  73. 2dogs

    Agreed, very nicely put Fredex.

  74. Archer

    Oh, ok I’ll say it. My favourite local beer is Little Creatures and my favourite imported beer is a good German Weissbier. So there!

  75. JDennis

    God help us all. Please bring balance and reason into the political discourse.

    Not renewing my subscription.

  76. Roquefort Muckraker

    I’m trying to think of a time when Cabinet was reshuffled and everybody was happy. None come to mind.

  77. Filth Dimension

    Well put Fredex @ Tuesday, 13 December 2011 at 11:19 pm.

  78. drmick

    Howard doing a book launch for kiddies. I though he would have done enough for kiddies after one of his acolytes eradicated a couple of hundred future labour voters overseas.

  79. Suzanne Blake

    @ Geewiz

    Yes crude and incompetent Conroy or his Head of Department appoint the Board.

    So it is Public Money they are literally p*ssing against the wall.

  80. geomac

    I wonder how many kids watch the National Press club on ABC1 when kids programs are running on ABC2 ? Still its better to push an agenda by saying Conroy let a word slip during kiddies tv time . I watched the program and wasn,t sure if I heard right until it became clear afterwards with little fuss from anyone .
    BK seems bent on a negative attitude and hasn,t provided a clear analysis of pros and cons of the reshuffle. Gratten used to have good articles but of late has written as though driven by an agenda . Mark of Melb. provided better points than both these journos and he drinks Melbourne bitter ? I don,t drink now but VB was my preferred drink.
    I don,t work anymore but SB must be the busiest beaver in NSW . SB is always at a picnic or BBQ where everyone and his dog are in agreement with what SB thinks. RSL or xmas functions and getting the inside mail about Oakshotts seat all the while sending numerous posts to Crikey with dodgy data and innuendo . I,d get eyesore from using a comp that much and leg sore from getting about to all these functions and clubs. SB may be a dill but certainly an industrious one.

  81. GeeWizz

    [“BTW NBN is a commercial activity & the commercial sector is well know for irts excess. My corporate card soaed up $1500 for the first round one year.Never gor a squeak from the boss.”]

    What a load of absolute cr4p.

    Putting the word “CO” after NBN doesn’t make it a private company at arms length of the government.

    There are no shareholders. The company has no democratically elected board members. There are no private investors.

    Might as well say Department of Transport is a private company.

  82. 2dogs

    You know SB….. I mean boy wonder
    “Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods!” You want to throw away the HUGE amount of data on rising oceans for 1 source? Which makes me think “the way we get into these scrapes and get out of them, it’s almost as though someone was dreaming up these situations; guiding our destiny.”

  83. fredex

    Rohan

    My objection to the article is not its accuracy or otherwise.
    My objection is to it’s blatant partisan bias.
    The blatant partisan bias is exposed by the language, by the words that are used.
    Within the headline and first sentence or so we have the following negatively charged pejoratives.

    nonsensical
    craven
    plain dumb
    it’s hard to recall a worse one

    That’s not the language of ‘fair, balanced, impartial, objective’ reporting.
    That is the language of partisan bias.
    Prejudice.
    Its the second such example of transparent bias from Mr. Keane in the last 2 days.
    If I want partisan bias I can go to the mass media, Murdoch in particular but not only.

    I expect better from Crikey.

  84. AR

    LordBazB – re the MM’s front bench, he actually said, out loud for public consumption that Bronny was assured a Ministerial position in his ‘future’ government. Does that count as a threat or promise or brain dead stupidity? To any rusted on oldies, remember the smell of kero?
    I look forward to Roxon replacing PotatoHead as A/G – the bloke was an embarrassment, to his colleagues, his staffers and anyone else expecting double digit IQ from the First law Officer.

  85. Rohan

    I’m astonished how partisan the overwhelming majority of regular commenters on this site are.

    Why is it not possible to consider both:
    – that Gillard is doing a pretty good job in close to impossible circumstances, and
    – Keane’s article convincingly demonstrates why, in this instance, she has shown inexplicably poor judgment.

    Just sayin’

  86. Ron Paul 2012

    Nobody cares about this but those inside the beltway, Some of these Minister replaced where well lame tho…Kim Carr, Robert Mcclean….

    however I would have moved Combet into the treasurer position and out Swan in some boring portfolio like manufacturing….

    Swan has done ok, but he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of boat when it comes to selling the achievements.

    ….i don;t vote Labor but I just don’t care that much….

    Ohh and btw Ron Paul 2012….

  87. Schnappi

    Thought I was reading a bolt rant.

  88. drmick

    No its fine. I like paying to watch a man kicking a dog. Its just that its on every friggin channel.

  89. Suzanne Blake

    @ David Hand

    Yes, the list is extensive.

  90. David Hand

    I encourage all you people foaming at the mouth and threatening to cancel your subscriptions to Crikey because a contributor writes something you disagree with to have a lie down. You’ll all feel better later.

    Speaking as a subsriber who often disagrees with the items written in Crikey, it can be a refreshing experience facing up to views you do not share. We trolls know what we are talking about!

  91. SBH

    honestly, it’s like watching a bear dance.

  92. Damotron

    Ever since the Australia went behind a paywall Bernard’s gone all News Limitedsque.

  93. Ceteris Paribus

    One thing about the reshuffle. The US Embassy no longer needs to bug the Australian Government Cabinet room. It’s got its man at the table.

  94. C@tmomma

    Suzanne Blake saying she’d knock back the NBN for a more expensive, slower product from a private ISP. Now, doesn’t that just say it all about her?
    I don’t think I can take her seriously any more. Well, yeah, I didn’t really take her seriously before today, but she’s just confirmed my suspicions. 🙂
    I mean, her abstruse defence of bringing up the cost of the NBN Xmas Drinks bar tab, once pinged for gilding the lily about it’s extravagance: “I don’t drink beer anyway”. Que?

  95. Suzanne Blake

    @ GoComSys

    “A DUMB reshuffle puts SPOTLIGHT back on Gillard’s WOES”.
    This headline says it all. Unmistakably Daily Telegraph style!”

    Man up, you can’t handle the truth

  96. GocomSys

    “A DUMB reshuffle puts SPOTLIGHT back on Gillard’s WOES”.
    This headline says it all. Unmistakably Daily Telegraph style!
    Anyone who writes articles based on myopic views like this should seriously consider having a break, go on holidays and cease writing for a while. I feel recuperation is sorely needed.
    Merry Christmas.

  97. Lord Barry Bonkton

    Well with ALL the Media up in arms over our PM updating her Front bench and getting ready for another busy year and getting some hard hitters lined up to sell the Labor policies and hammer the Rabid Hate Media , the PM must of got it right.
    Just look at Howard’s Front Bench that Abbott has got , all seat warmers , all so 1950’s mob waiting till they loose their seat before leaving to go on the Rollsroyce Pension . Bet they pull the pin at the 2013 election , or cop a ” Knifing ” from the young back benchers or was it Hatchet job with the first opposition leader and then they had Utegate and that then got us another opposition leader with the “Knifing ” of Turnball . Abbott’s still slapping Turnball around ? No stiff upper lip with MT , spineless Toff. The fiberals Audit -Gate ( $100 Billion + ) and many more stories untold to the public and hidden by the reporters . Howard now trying to Bull-shit to the Kiddies with the Warmist side . That’s child abuse .

  98. davidk

    PK93 said it all. Roxon is a star performer, Plibersek a good replacement in health and Shorten a good fit for IR. I’m not real keen on Arbib and think science should be a higher priority than it is but the timing is not an issue.The reshuffle should highlight the pausity of talent on the opposition’s front bench but I wo’nt hold my breath waiting for the MSM to acknowledge that one. Gillard would have copped a hiding irrespective of when she acted so why not before xmas? I agree with earlier posts that the good public performers have been rightly promoted while those with a lower profile have unsurprisingly fallen from grace.
    Not happy Bernard.
    I think SB is just an acronym for simplistic bullshit while those who agree with its’ crap lack education.

  99. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Since you are inner city walk into your State library and pull the Fort Denision tide records for 1901-1910 and 2001-2010 and do the metric conversion.

    Necked harbour, are you serious, water is level regardless of the size of the neck!!! Its Einsteins theory.

  100. The Pav

    Dear SB,’
    Glad you’ve crawled back out into the light.

    As to take up rates can I suggest that you find out what the take up rates were when the PMG first laid out telephone lines. along with the cost relative to the average wage

    Not only that they didn’t do a CBA either so based on your logic & that of the Noalition we wouldn’t have a telephone service today.

    In time the NBN will be proven to be an absolutely essential item of infrastructure and all its opponent will be regraded as crazed lunes & luddites, a category you fit exactly

  101. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    The tip off said $15,000 was just the bar bill. You can read it as well as anyone,

  102. Suzanne Blake

    @ ronin8317

    Spouses!! This is a Government departments, do you mean to tell me its Partners as well.

    I wonder if they pay FBT on that as well?

  103. Suzanne Blake

    @ Ctomma

    I have no idea how much beer costs in North Sydney. I don’t drink it, so could not even tell you the price in the local RSL.

  104. Suzanne Blake

    @ CTomma

    You bet I will be knocking back the NBN with passion. Its extremely poor take up rate, means not many will waste their time with it. its takes rate is less than 10%, I think 7% in Tassie from memory

  105. eric

    From Crazy Suzy
    “Merry Christmas to all the lefties, it may be the last with lyi-ng Gillard at the helm”

    You wish darling!I only hope Julia stays as long as she can just to upset fools like you.

    The thought of having the god botherer / Howard arse licker Abbott with the dregs of the bastard Howard ministry in power is enough to make me want to vomit.

  106. Suzanne Blake

    @ Lord Barry Bonkton Della Bonka

    1 / 10 on your criminal profile skills!!!

    Don’t give up your day job

  107. The Pav

    John64

    Thought that might be the case and no worries. Done it myself ( plus I never knowck anybody else’s typos

    But your argument is still rubbish

  108. The Pav

    Dear John 64

    Forgetting the relevance to the topic I really think you miss the point.

    Back in the old days lots of things happened such as slavery and so on. We’ve moved on and become a society of laws.

    When I married my wife ( still amrried faithfully 30 years on, three kids mortgage the whole nine yards) the law automatically recognised certian things. Property rights, inheritance rights, authority for medical treatment etc.

    The argument is for same sex unions to have equality. Why should they have they have to fill out a plethora of paper work and deeds when the simple act of recognition is legally available.

    Iwas fairly ambivalent about this issue until I read the story of a partneship where one was ailing and the partner couln’t take responsibility for treatment. An estranged and disapporoving sister got the authority an ran roughshod over the wishes of the couple.

    OK so they should have had some legal document in place but they didn’t think of it, probably like 99.9999% of the population didn’t and why should they. Let;s face it most people don’t even make a valid will.

    I would hate for anybody other than my wife to be making decisions about me if I was incapable and vice versa.

    That’s the kind of injustice & inequality I believe is wrong and will vote to remove.

    What has happened is the past , we should note it , learn from it and moce on otherwise we will never progress. The first time for anything is a precedent.

    Then you state “Until same sex couples actually start getting married – why /would/ the state recognise it?”

    Well they are getting married so by your argument the state should recognise it,

  109. John64

    Bah – ignore that comment, had the wrong piece open. 🙂

  110. John64

    History quiz: What happened first?

    1. The state’s legal recognition of marriage.

    2. People getting married in wedding ceremonies.

    If you answered 1, you fail – go back to school. Marriage wasn’t “legally” recognised (and never actually needed to be legally recognised) by the state for hundreds – if not thousands – of years. Marriage actually pre-dates recorded history.

    There’s no law that prevents one person getting on bended knee and asking another person of the same sex (or their dog for that matter) to marry them.

    There’s no law preventing those people, once committed, from sending out invitations to all their friends inviting them to their “wedding” ceremony.

    There’s no law that prevents the couple from exchanging vows and rings during this ceremony.

    There’s no law (at least not these days) preventing those people from consummating that marriage on the wedding night.

    There’s no law preventing those people from living together.

    There’s even no law preventing a same sex couple from raising children together (though there are laws around how they might “acquire” those children).

    The only law there is, is that it won’t be recognised by the state. That’s it. All other legal implications of the union can be handled through a Power of Attorney (bank accounts, decisions when it comes to health-care etc…)

    Until same sex couples actually start getting married – why /would/ the state recognise it?

    Stop asking for the state to give you something like Oliver Twist begging for more gruel.

  111. Catey Baxter

    Bernard’s drinking the funny stuff again. Not only did his ridiculous piece appear in Crikey today, but I also caught him being interviewed on ABC radio this afternoon. The interview was supposed to be about the biggest political moments of the year and after a bit of waffle on that – none of it flattering to the Gillard Government I might add – Bernard began a soft little rant on that well worn track of the government not being able to get its message across. The interviewer asked him why this was so and Bernard replied that in his opinion it has to do with the fact that the Prime Minister is so busy trying to manage the 24 hour news cycle that she spends too much time visiting schools for photoshoots, rather than working at policy. Bernard, the PM is the woman – the bloke doing the photoshoots is in opposition. Please Crikey give us some political comment independent of the agenda of the day. Cut Bernard loose and let him seek refuge in his spiritual home in OOland.

  112. Edward James

    @Lakshmana Sivaraman
    Posted Tuesday, 13 December 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink
    Crikey permits you the opportunity to promulgate the standard of journalism you think is appropiate
    @SBH
    Posted Tuesday, 13 December 2011 at 4:31 pm | Permalink. I take your point and the opportunity to point out, my targets are often politicians Federal, Local and State and I have been to them before I go into print, and then come here!

    I would like to believe our Prime Minister, unfortunatly for her she has a history of lying. Edward James

    To view your comment online go to: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/pm-denies-ministers-threatened-to-quit/story-fn59niix-1226220662422

    Edward James
    http://bit.ly/EJ_PNewsAds
    Link to political attack ads
    corruption I identify as accommodated
    by our elected representatives at all
    three levels of government.

  113. Filth Dimension

    I was wondering when Geeweez/troofie/Homer Simpson would show up.

    I’m pretty sure the kiddies would have got a good laugh out of it.

  114. The Pav

    Dear Geewizz

    All I can say is “Sh@t happens” but at least its not how I would describe the death of brave men and women in the service of their country. And then have a brain freeze when a question with plenty of warning is asked.

    And he’s not in charge of bradcasting standards. There’s a properly constituted authority for that.

    BTW obviously you haven’t listened to kids these days. I’m not condoning his language but a slip the tongue is about as relevant as the typos I usually make.

    If that’s all you can find to moan about then obviously you must consider the PM to be the greatest ever

  115. zut alors

    Socratease @ 4.58pm, that was exactly my point about the misspelling ie: SBlake consistently adds the superfluous ‘p’.

  116. Karen

    I am bemused at the angle that has been taken by the Canberra press corp to spin the negatives out of a reshuffle, which has actually seen the bright sparks promoted (except Arbib). And as for Carr, big deal, he is lack-lustre at best and frankly can’t complain that he has been given something that he now appears to be genuinely interested in, like, manufacturing.

    Can someone tell me why the MSM have not focussed on the merits of these appointments; they would have a clear argument if it could be shown that the politicians who were elevated were hopeless, factional sycophants but they’re not; they are ambitious, effective policy-makers, fiercely intelligent and, importantly, effective communicators. The most successful leaders in history have surrounded themselves with “brilliant generals”, even if it meant keeping close to you those who also coveted your job. I think Gillard has done a good job and has surrounded herself with the most effective people she can find.

    If Gillard has isolated Rudd politically, well, them’s the breaks. He’s yesterday’s man.

  117. GeeWizz

    So the bloke in charge of broadcasting standards… the bloke who wanted to censor the internet… the bloke who tells us News Limited needs to be ripped of their rights of freedom of speech… just couldn’t help himself today.

    Swearing… live… on TV… during kiddie hour. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

    Of course Dillard will no doubt promote him for running a long time Labor tradition of telling others how to behave only to be caught in the act with their pants down.

  118. BSA Bob

    Acidic Muse at 3.21
    Thanks for the K O’B reminder, I’d forgotten about that. It sums a lot up, firstly exposing the current buildup of Rudd in the press with the negative stories poised to roll the instant he resumed the leadership but more generally the perceived right & duty of the media to find something to criticise in everything this government does.
    I think these last two Crikey pieces have been way over the top
    C@TMOMMA & Mark from Melbourne- well said.

  119. Socratease

    How many more score times must we be reminded by Suzanne Blake that she votes in Dobell and her federal member is Craig Thompson (sic)?

    That being the case makes it more puzzling that she repeatedly misspells his name.

    Nope, according to his profile on the ALP website it’s Thomson.

  120. The Pav

    Dear Mike F

    Fair point & in part a thought I had as well but some points

    1) If they don’t know why they lose subscribers then they don’t deserve to stay in business
    2) You can always tell the whne you cancel.
    3) It almost backs the entity of a position of no change. If they do then is it because of your threats or beacuse they’ve got better?

    I just dislike threats. It confuses the situation and can just provoke a negative response.

    I think the Murdoch Press is a deceased and extinct neast. Just doesn’t know it yet. It caters to its own diminishing circle of fellow travellers and we all know how incestuous relationships turn out don’t we. Probably accounts for the crazed tenor of their offering as inbreeding has already kicked in.

    Thank you for your courteous & reasoned response. It is nice to have a conversation with an adult as opposed to the quite correctly maligned SB who lacks any character or credibility

  121. McFly Marty

    Lord Barry Bonkton: More sneering at the working class, you just don’t get it do you.

    If this is the face of “progressivism” in 2011: mocking and jeering the working class for the habits they enjoy, i weep for our future.

  122. Lord Barry Bonkton

    SB , so 1995 was the last year you had a Job ??? Here i was thinking you were still in school? , going by your bad spelling , but your a single mother on a pension and over 65 and probably over weight eating at the RSL and playing pokies, bingo , Keno, horse racing, dog racing and doing the Sophie Mirabella.

    B.K , should try harder 3/10

  123. SBH

    That off our chests, What on earth Bernard Keane? This piece is so breathless it sounds more like Bernard King!

    Is it because your politics will only let you barrack for the ALP when they are the underdog and with the media finally realising that Gillard is far from incompetent and Abbott even further from the alternative Prime Minister that you’re circling the wagons? The most eloquent critique of this piece is it’s supporters.

    And you leap to Kim Carr’s defence? your kidding? You are kidding aren’t you?

  124. Mike Flanagan

    Dear PAV
    Thanks for your observations.
    But if the press don’t understand why their circulation figures are down then we will never have a quality fourth estate of democracy. As an avid reader of both books and the press, it makes no consequence when I drop my subscription to the Murdoch rags because my reasons have not been registered.
    We constantly hear the refrain from the industry about competition from new media but I am of the opinion that if our main stream press delivered some quality and balanced journalism then their circulation and community trust would be positively affected. Audited circulation figures and Essential Media Polling indicate that the mainstream press are on a race to the bottom. That would be a disaster for democracy.
    You only have to read the rarely published letters of complaint to the editor in any Australian broadsheet to see they ignore complaints about their journalistic imbalannces and bias.
    I have over many months put my contrary view to BK’s missives and I am happy to continue to, but the above is not journalism, it is a rant, that fits the Canberra Press Club bar gossip.

  125. Jimmy

    Stubbie for me Filth, although I am not going to refuse a tinnie.

  126. Filth Dimension

    @ Jimmy 3.43pm

    stubbie or tinny? I prefer the old red metal.

  127. SBH

    You’re right Pav, her targets are often public servants who have no reasonable way of defending themselves from her outrageous defamations.

  128. The Pav

    SBH

    You also left out that SB is as cowardly as it is dishonest

  129. SBH

    Please don’t encourage suzanne blake. Her facts are made up, her spelling is made up, and she thinks the Cuban missile crisis was made up (although I dare say she believes Saddam had WMDs).

    I don’t begrudge anyone their fun but really Jimmy, you should know better. It just diverts the thread from the issue as we challenge extraordinary lies.

  130. zut alors

    How many more score times must we be reminded by Suzanne Blake that she votes in Dobell and her federal member is Craig Thompson (sic)?

    That being the case makes it more puzzling that she repeatedly misspells his name.

  131. C@tmomma

    Suzanne Blake,
    I guess, as the troll you so obviously are here, day after ignorant day, you have succeeded in derailing the argument yet again onto something trivial and beat up about an entity only vicariously, in your mind, associated with the ALP.
    So, wrt your assertion that you and your ignorant parents now slavishly vote Coalition, come hell of high water at the Nursing Home, let me just say that my parents always voted Liberal, and since my 18th birthday I have always made up my own mind.
    By the way, seeing as how you are in Craig Thomson’s seat, and are so obviously against the ‘waste’ that the NBN represents, are you going to follow your principles next year and knock it back at your place when it comes past your door and go with the more erxpensive, private enterprise alternative? Just to be consistent, that is.

  132. C@tmomma

    Suzanne Blake,
    ‘Beer $5.’
    That’s actually cheap for North Sydney! By happenstance I just heard a guy on Richard Glover’s show on ABC 702 Sydney say that a beer in North Sydney, at a bar, is on average, $7.
    So, yet again, you have been sprung with the egg beater in your sleazy little hands. As has the anonymous tipster in Crikey.
    Ah, Liberal voters. They can’t win the argument on policy and performance with the ALP, so that have to resort to sleazy innuendo.

  133. Sam L

    Take a look through Tips and Rumours over the last few weeks and read the ones from people whose companies have either cancelled their Christmas parties or taken the el cheapo route. You’ll see how morale sapping it is for employees to see their company act in such a stingy manner. This leads to either lower productivity or disgruntled employees leaving for more generous companies. Compared to the cost of productivity losses and of hiring new staff, $20000 is an absolute pittance.

  134. ronin8317

    In reply to to the claim that the sea level was higher in 1910, not according to CSIRO.

    http://www.cmar.csiro.au/sealevel/

    In regard to the bar bil for NBN, 15K for 72 people + spouses is actually pretty low. The prices being quotes is far too low for most bars in Sydney : you need to double it at least.

  135. Mack the Knife

    I would have thought that the very serious news that the ‘5th largest accountancy firm’ being found guilty of collusion with the Coalition of lying over the $11 billion dollar election costing fraud should have dominated the media and considerably lowered the coalition’s profile.

    Instead you serve up this crap Bernard. I subscribe to Crikey to get the truth that is skewed by ABC and MSM.

    How will the Labor party’s stocks ever rise in the polls whilst all the punters ever see is propaganda like this.

    Don’t think I’ll be renewing my Crikey subscription this time when it falls due..

  136. Jimmy

    Of & my preferred beer is Melbourne Bitter, how la de da!!

  137. Jenny Haines

    Children please! No one cares about the size of the bar tab at a drinks session. Nor do they care who was invited. The world has bigger issues that have to be dealt with. Or is the drinks debate a distraction to avoid answering some of the tougher questions some bloggers have placed here. Hmmmmm….

  138. Jimmy

    McFly Marty – “Yes we know you live in the inner city and like buying expensive overpriced drinks to make you feel better than others, you can let it go now.” Not sure how you “know” that seeing as I live in South West Victoria in a city of about 30k .

    And Suzanne has repeatedly claimed she has had dinner the previous night at her local RSL so I am not sure how stating the truth is “class warfare” especially as if everything SB says is true she would earn more than what I do.

  139. Jimmy

    Oh and you are also assuming only head office employees were invited, no subcontractors or people with which they have a valued relationship, no Telstra exec’s, no employee working from the installation site.

    As I said at the start who cares, it is far from a big deal.

  140. McFly Marty

    Jimmy: Yes we know you live in the inner city and like buying expensive overpriced drinks to make you feel better than others, you can let it go now.

  141. Jimmy

    SB – Did the taxpayer pay for the drinks at the NBN? After all it isn’t exactly a govt entity?

    And lets say only 80% turned up but partners were invited – that brings the total to 115 people, lets say everyone drank beer but it was $7.50 rather than $5 (which isn’t out of the question) that means everyone would of had about 17 drinks. But you have not answered if the $15k included any food, venue hire or entertainment or how long the event lasted.

    “The last company provided Christmas party I attended was in 1995. The largess disappeared a long time ago” If you haven’t been ot one for 16 year how do you know?

  142. man on a bondi tram

    Tick, tick, tick, BOOM! Abbott is a time bomb waiting to explode.

  143. Lakshmana Sivaraman

    I think the quality of journalism exhibited in this article leaves a lot to be desired. If Crikey is going to publish such articles I wonder about renewing my subscription.

    smssiva

  144. The Pav

    DEar Mike F

    Whether you renew your Sub or not is up to you but I have always felt it inappropriate to threaten not to renew.

    If we believe in a free press we should not make threats.

    Non renewal is an act that is open and sure take it but it shouldn’t be used as a threat

    The way I see it is that if you think they will change because of a threat then perhaps you don’t consider them independant. If they go broke because people don’t renew so be it but at least they went broke their own way.

    Unlike Bolt I do believe in free speech and as much as BK annoys me I’ll just keep arguing with him. All I expect is that he, like me listens with an open mind

    Well That’s what I feel anyway

  145. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy @ C@tmomma

    I voted Labor as that what Parents did and I though they must have known. they too have changed now.

    Who cares about bar tab at Coalition party, the T A X P A Y E R is not paying that.

    Even if the drinks prices are double that at North Sydney (and I doubt that), then its still overdone, as I bet all 72 did not turn up. The last company provided Christmas party I attended was in 1995. The largess disappeared a long time ago, but not for these Labor thugs and their corrupt ways.

    I suppose they headed off to Craig Thomspons haunts for dessert?

  146. McFly Marty

    Jimmy: Hahaha yeah those stupid proles! with their ludicrous inability to eat at Rockpool and savour a fine caviare or afford a 73 grange.

    Imagine that, drinking with other members of your community at a venue that offers cheap food and drinks, how….how…uncivilized.

    Seriously though, cut the class warfare crap, no-one cares how inferior you think the little people are.

  147. Acidic Muse

    @Mark from Melbourne

    Excellent analysis. For most of them it’s all about finding the more negative narrative and running hard with it – part because that which bleeds not only leads, but sells extremely very well in an increasingly cynical nation of knockers (See Possums excellent “Stop whinging Australia piece) – and in part I believe because large sections of our media are still deeply guilty about their own part in Kevin Rudd’s downfall and feel compelled to continually demonise Julia Gillard because she was seen to benefit from it

    But one glaring example, Kerry O’Brien (7.30 Report .. who I at one time rated as the one of the very best journalists this country ever produced) demanding to know if Kevin would resign the leadership for the good of his party – less than a week before the Rudd removal – then spending days on end feigning righteous indignation that the party had the audacity to do exactly what he asked for – Rudd’s removal

    Too many Australian journalists are sadly guilty of this kind of gross hypocrisy

  148. Jimmy

    Oh and on the NBN this was on the delimiter website –

    “In the speech he gave today, our long-running Communications Minister primarily attacked Turnbull’s rival NBN policy on technical grounds, and on every single one of those grounds he scored points. Wireless? Nope, not going to be enough for our future bandwidth needs — or even those of 2011. HFC? Nope, congestion problems, and it’s not open for wholesale access. FTTN? Nope, it doesn’t have the same upgrade path as FTTH and Telstra’s copper network won’t support the speeds Turnbull has been waving around.”

  149. Jimmy

    C@tmomma – “You obviously haven’t gone out in Sydney recently and bought a few drinks.” SB only does her drinnking at the local RSL where they all hate the Independents and Pokies revenue keep the drink prices down and the meals cheap!!

    I wonder whether room hire was also included in that $15k. Or maybe entertainment?

  150. Mike Flanagan

    C@tmomma;
    I heartily agree. My future subscription is under serious review.
    There has been little or no discussion of comparative policy by either the mainstream press or, Crikey under Bernard Keanes . Other members of Crikey’s editorial staff have caught the ABC desease of quoting other bloody journalist,as long as they confirm with their constant character abuse.
    The Leadership that Ms Guillard has shown is not without fault, but compared to the alternative it is proving to be invaluable to this nation.
    Bernard and Suzanne Black could join forces and start their own small business together in the media circus, at least they could read each others work and then post blogs to each other. SB claims to be a small business operator and both have keyboard skills, if little else.

  151. The Pav

    Dear C@tmomma

    Don’t expect a reply from SB, Its probably crawled back under the rock it slithered from or back into the hole where it be=reeds up up its idiocies and dishonesty

  152. C@tmomma

    Suzanne Blake,
    You obviously haven’t gone out in Sydney recently and bought a few drinks.
    Also, as Jimmy said, ‘So what?’ By chance you wouldn’t know what the bar tab of the Coalition Christmas drinkies was as a comparison?
    Thought not.
    Suzanne, if you ever voted Labor, it was probably because you left your glasses that you wear for short-sightedness at home that day.

  153. Jenny Haines

    I wish all these people would stop moaning about the carbon tax. It is a reality. It is law. Not only in this country but several others throughout the world. The carbon tax will not end the world. Get over it and get on with your lives.

    If you want a reminder of fearmongering in government, just remember the days after 9/11 when governments and the media were in a panic about terrorists. And then while the Coalition were in government, every time they needed to hide an issue or they needed a lift in the polls, out came another possible terrorist threat. That’s what I call keeping the people fearful!

  154. null

    oh dear, compliments to Bernard for his insight and balance from Suzanne Blake, surely that’s a kiss of death.

  155. Jimmy

    “that could have been Jimmy” Seeing as I was born in 1975 and lived my enitre life in Victoria probably not SB.

  156. Suzanne Blake

    @ McFly

    Yes same with Y2K, 1984, Cuban Missle Crisic, Domino Theory.

    I can recall being at UNSW in the 1970’s and seeing the East German display table near the Library entrance and seeing the plain clothed, sour looking people behind the table handing out brochures. I guess that could have been Jimmy, GoComsys or Peter Ormonde, who knows.

    They are brain washed into backing the Party / State come what may, right to the bitter end. They will not be taken alibe, I expect and take the easy option at the end, for fear of facing the truth.

  157. Jimmy

    SB – 72 in their head office, were partners invited? Was it only head office staff there? What was the price of wine? Was food served?

    “The sea level is NOT rising, its lower than it was in 1901 – 1910 in Sydney, proven that one before here” You have stated it here, proven maybe not. And does a measurement in a narrow necked harbour in one part of the world make for a comprehensive scientific study for you?

    Mark form Melb – I think you are 100% correct.

  158. Acidic Muse

    For the second day in a row, we’re subjected to Bernard’s foam tinged ranting about the unfairness of Kim Carr’s demotion without any mention the elephant in the room – Carrs recent leaks to the media on Cabinet discussions around asylum seeker policy

    Kim Carr wasn’t “knifed” as Bernard boldly shrieked in his headline yesterday, he was simply demoted for what many would agree has been a fairly lacklustre performance in his portfolio compounded his recent Cabinet leaks on asylum seeker policy. Instead of any balanced analysis of this, we’re subjected to Bernard’s selective reporting of anti Gillard Canberra gossip. Whether he’s pitching for better paid a job with the Murdoch Mafia or simply playing his part in Kevin Rudd relentless attempts to destabilize this government is open to conjecture but either way this kind of shabby, hysteria based journalism does Crikey no credit at all

    Bill Shorten is an immensely talented politician whose elevation is clearly justified on it’s own merits, as is the trust Gillard has invested in stellar performers like Tanya Plibersek, Greg Combet and Nicola Roxon.

    Doubtless the more self obsessed Australian journalists will continue to pedal this dumbed down narrative of negativity around faceless men, tribal internecine warfare and midnight assassination – it requires less cognitive capacity than surgically scrutinizing the governments policy agenda in the context of our national interest and makes Australian politics sound almost as interesting as Big Brother to the brain-dead masses.

    Our only saving grace is that the steely, consensus building Julia Gillard is currently Prime Minister instead of that megalomaniac technocrat Rudd, whose obsessive narcissism would eat him alive in the face of such relentless criticism from those self aggrandising cannibal clowns who make up most of the Canberra press (peanut) gallery

  159. The Pav

    Dear SB

    While you’re raging about the NBN Xmas show no doubt you will in the spirit of fairness & balance rail against the Howard extravagance highlighted in the same section.

    Oops fairness & balance from a lying hypocrit silly me imagine that.

    BTW NBN is a commercial activity & the commercial sector is well know for irts excess. My corporate card soaed up $1500 for the first round one year.Never gor a squeak from the boss.

  160. McFly Marty

    Suzanne: Don’t expect any contrition from this group of time-servers whose bankruptcy of ideas has led to the climate soothsaying that permeates their thinking, if you’re an uninspired politician bereft of ideas then a vague, nebulous enemy like “climate change” to keep the people fearful is about all you can rely on.

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
    H. L. Mencken

  161. BH

    Go, cat@momma, well put – I have been thinking the same thing about Bernard’s stuff lately when I find myself scrolling past it daily. What a shame. Where is the balance, Bernard. Have you joined the groupthink of the Press Gallery?
    Shorten deserves his place because he has worked his butt off since 2007. I’ll reserve judgment on Arbib altho the story is that he is a worker. Plibersek and Butler deserve credit and promotion and Roxon will do a far better job of AG than McClelland ever did.
    Manufacturing needs 100% involvement so now Kim Carr will be able to give his time to it and make sure Defence procurement is done correctly – no more Howard Govt. type stuffups, we hope.
    The PM said the rumours of Garrett and McClelland resigning were false. Why even mention some beatup story from the Daily Telegraph.
    This piece is not good enough, Bernard. We don’t pay subs for trash. We want decent discussion of policy and the renewed energy/vision each new Minister will bring to his/her jobs.
    Give Labor the balance you choose to give to the Greens.

  162. Jack

    Hopefully BK’s spotlight will soon shine on the dross & dregs occupying the cheap seats across the way. How can so many people inhabit so many portfolios and have nothing to say? What passes for intellectual rigour from both sides is scandalous. In thinking of why the talent pool is so shallow, I am reminded of that great Marxian quote: I would not want to be a memebr of any club that had me as a member…

  163. Jimmy

    Archer – “Considering the glacial speed at which climate change takes place I can’t see it bursting out of the starting gate” It’s the price on Carbon that is going to kick in in about 6 months that will drive the innovation not the actual change in the climate. Avoiding paying a tax usually drives innovation very fast.

  164. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    The bar bill was $15,000 and there is a staff of 72 in their head office. Assuming all were there and were drinking, thats over $200 a head.

    Beer $5
    Spirits $7
    Softie $3
    Cocktail $12

    Thats a lot of drinks

    The sea level is NOT rising, its lower than it was in 1901 – 1910 in Sydney, proven that one before here

  165. Margaret Kerr

    Obviously she was doing an end of season tidy up/clear out. Why all the fuss?

  166. Mark from Melbourne

    I am by nature a liberal voter but Howard and now Abbott ensure that I remain conflicted. Just declaring my interests…

    Gillard just cant win with the broad media, who as far as I can see are quite able to argue black is white today and the reverse tomorrow.

    Evidence of this:

    1. On one hand, BK and others has spent all year saying Gillard’s government cant sell their policies but these changes which are acknowledged as promoting better skilled “cut through” performers is seen as weak and a mess. Cant win.
    2. Quite a few of these promotions are seen as being promotion for well performed players on one hand but weak and a mess on the other. Cant take a trick.
    3. Quite a few of these moves are seen as moving people out of their weaknesses and/or to their strengths
    4. And big deal if some of these reward loyalty or punish disloyalty. This is the real world guys and that’s what happens.

    I have to agree with some of the comments that about the press gallery going out of it’s way to over analyse every move and the vindictive and just plain nasty nitpicking of a PM who is handling a very tough job made remarkably difficult by the nature of minority government pretty damn well.

    I know why Mordoch press hates her, but what Gillard has ever done to Michelle Gratten or BK I hate to imagine.

  167. rossco

    Whatever the merits or demerits of Gillard’s reshuffle, and who really cares, it is streets ahead of Abbott’s non-shuffle. His ambitious young back benchers must be thrilled to see he prefers fossils like Bronnie and Ruddock on his front bench. Oh, and has anyone heard or seen Hockey, Robb or any other senior shadow minister lately. Maybe Abbott is delberately keeping them hidden.

  168. Jenny Haines

    Bernard, I usually like your stuff but on this occaision I believe you are being too hard on Gillard. If you are going to reshuffle, what better time? The new ministers can read up on their briefs over Xmas, reshuffle their staff, and get ready for a new year. There were some rewards for mates, eg Shorten, there were some promotions for those who have not always been mates eg Plibersek in Health, and demotions for old mates eg Kim Carr. She is no doubt trying to build what she thinks is her best cabinet running up to the next election, or the challenge from Rudd. No doubt the latter will come first.

    What I am disappointed about is that she did not move Bowen and make a new start on refugee and asylum seeker policy. And McClelland, what was that all about? He was doing a great job. A good section of the NSW Right will never forgive her for moving McClelland.

  169. Jan Forrester

    I can feel the the Xmas Party coming on at Crikey, let go of nuance and get out the hammer. ALP does need better sellers of the message. And we need journalists who can make some other contribution than the lazy one of the Rudd/Gillard contest. Some of those promoted have been good performers. The observation of Nicola Roxon’s capabilities is trite. Arbib: well, what can I say, the spirit of old Sussex Street, the ghost of things that will not change in the ALP organisation.
    However, where this piece is a total letdown is the lack of critical look at the ministries and the overall push of the government in 2012 that this reveals (or not). Why aren’t the creative industries (otherwise known as the Arts and more important to Oz in the future than the mining industry – if you believe in the term ‘creative’) in Combet’s portfolio rather than the Ministry for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Minister for the Arts (with an acronym that sounds like a gargle).
    Why is the education sector split, surely there are other ways to link business and education in practice. Where does childcare fit? Too many bits broken up, need a Dog cartoon to help us work them out.

  170. Jimmy

    SB – The bar bill, couldn’t give a stuff! How much was it by the way? How much per head? Did you see the private firm that paid for their workers to go to the whitsundays for Christmas on TV? Is that a scandal too?

    As for the reshuffle you name Swan & Garrett who were not involved in the reshuffle and Swanis a solid treasurer, Plibersek you criticise for stating a scientific fact that sea levels will rise due to climate change, Shorten has been great in both disabilities and super and solid as assistant treasurer and Arbib I haven’t really followed much but how much can you do in Sport?

    My point is all those of were promoted are good communicators (maybe with the exception of Arbib) who have done well in their previous portfolio.

  171. C@tmomma

    Suzanne Blake,
    Why don’t you get a job? Your glorious Tories might get suspicious of you if you’re still around when they’re back in government, you spend so much time here on the Crikey blogs. They’ll be watching, and taking names.

  172. The Pav

    Dear SB

    Re”How much NBN staff in their small North Sydney office spent on the bar at their Crristmas Party -please justiy that JIMMY?”

    I am willing to bet that Jimmy won’t be able to justify as it would appear that english ( like honesty) is not natural to you and I am not talking about the typos that make your post unintelligible ( hardly surprising really since you are so unintelligent)

    Still haven’t recanted the lies you spread about the Finance Minister of the year thing yet have you but then what else should we expect fro a wing nut like you

  173. Archer

    @ Jimmy

    “in a year where innovation and manufacturing will become increasingly tied to carbon pricing and climate change giving Combet a role covering all of them will junior ministers to help seems to make sense.”

    Yep, it’s all happening next year, get the government cheque books ready. Damn, climate change research is going to cure cancer, can’t wait for all the innovation to kick in. Considering the glacial speed at which climate change takes place I can’t see it bursting out of the starting gate.

    But you do know what historically has always guaranteed a warp speed jump in technology and innovation? A damn good war!

    Only joking….about having a war that is.

  174. C@tmomma

    Might I also add, going to the substance of the critque of the petit bourgeoisie political journalist who has written above and who has obviously abandoned any respect for the champions of the collective strength of the workers representatives that Unions and their champions in parliament against the might of the employers signify to him, that Bill Shorten, to my objective eyes, and after hearing his media interviews yesterday and today, has been promoted based upon his achievements, not in getting the PM to where she is today, but in putting 12% Superannuation for all in place, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme front and centre of the national agenda. Something I’m sure that the Coalition will starve of funds as soon as they get their duplicitous derrieres into government, via the aid and comfort ciphers such as Bernard Keane provide. Or hive off to their mates in Private Enterprise to make fat profits out of for minimal service, at the taxpayers’ expense. What would Bernard care though? His child isn’t disabled, as mine is. He’s too busy playing the sport of ‘Tear down the Labor Party’.

  175. Suzanne Blake

    @ Cairns 50

    I vote in an ALP electorate, always been an ALP electorate.

    Our local member is Craig Thompson MP from Bateau Bay – heard of him?

    Outstanding MP, does a lot for the community and the Labor cause. Have not seem him for many months however, not even at local shopping centre.

  176. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Look at Crickey Tips and Rumours today

    How much NBN staff in their small North Sydney office spent on the bar at their Crristmas Party – please justiy that JIMMY?

    Bet you cannot

  177. McFly Marty

    I hate to say it but Suzanne is right on Tanya. Taking advantage and spreading fear in the electorate, especially amongst the elderly, is reprehensible: whether it’s John Howard’s terror fridge magnates or Plibersek’s doom-mongering.

  178. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Tanya – incompetent, unprofessional, telling elderly their homes would be covered with water if we did not have the carbon tax

    Arbib – what has he done? A sneaky back room boy.

    Shorten – what has be done?

    Garrett – what has be done or not done?

    Swan – you know full when there will be no surplus, he is inept and incompetent.

    need I go on.

  179. cairns50

    suzanne blake was once a labor voter ? give us a break suzanne

    perhaps you are the one who is a liar

    julia gillard has to be doing many things correctly when people like yourself bag her all the time

    as for your xmas greetings no thank you, i prefer mine from people i respect and have time for

  180. Mike Flanagan

    The PAV.
    They can’t ask the questions because they don’t know what questions to ask. And that is a result of lack of being on top of their subject matter. You only have to listen to some of the questions proffered by journoes at doorstops or press conferences.
    It should be mandatatory that all journalists state their name and organisation before being allowed to put a question. Then we can identify both the idiots and their organisations to do our own censorship.
    Although Bernard shows scant respect for balance or depth I do acknowledge he puts his byline to many of his rants and rubbish.

  181. C@tmomma

    I really am thinking about not renewing my Crikey subscription, if this is the quality of the bilgewater it is going to be going on with, from it’s so-called ‘Chief Political Reporter’.
    Did Bernard look through the bottom of an empty glass of the increasingly-expensive plonk he likes to drink before spewing this vomitus back up onto his keyboard?
    Not one mention of the fact that Kim Carr was demoted out of the Cabinet, and I would have added if I was Julia Gillard, “Don’t let the door hit your fat arsk on the way out”, because he had been found to be the Cabinet Leaker. And, not only that but he was part of the vanguard to replace an effective and competent, not shambolic, Bernard, leader of the government, Julia Gillard, with the megalomaniacal Kevin Rudd, which the collective amnesia of the Press Gallery is encouraging in the wider community. Why? So the Canberra Peanut Gallery can feel their oats again next year and cause another Labor Prime Minister to be deposed at their urging? Only after they have built Kevin Rudd up again, will they then use the remaining time until the next election to knock ‘Kevin O’Lemon’ down again. All the while allowing a truly incompetent bunch of duplicitous hypocrites, in the form of the self-confessed liar-led Abbott Coalition, to skate on by to victory. Which would amount to the greatest dereliction of duty of any bunch of Australian journalists in our history.
    They, and Bernard, and Crikey, should be ashamed. However, it seems that the first lesson you learn when you descend into the bowels of the Press Gallery in Canberra, is how to be a shameless liar. Just like that other former journalist, Tony Abbott.
    I repeat, I am seriously considering not renewing my Crikey subscription if standards of journalistic objectivity do not improve. And I do not mean the switch has to be flicked to tongue slobbering arsk-licking of everything the Gillard government says and does. Just a bit more scrutiny directed where it is justified. And an offer of one extra month of this garbage makes no difference to my decision-making. I can get this sort of putrescant Coalition sycophancy and Labor government automatic derision for the people much cheaper elsewhere.

  182. McFly Marty

    A bloo bloo bloo, seems like some people in here can’t handle the slightest criticism of the PM.

    If Labor don’t want to be scrutinized then they should disband because uh, you know, that’s what politics involves? Scrutiny by electors and the media?

    Honestly the tribalism that some of you political types show is astounding, perhaps you’d all enjoy living in Iraq circa 2006 where you can play shia and sunnis and always have god and truth on your side.

    Congrats Bernard for offering criticism of the Gillard government, we are their bosses and it’s more than fair that we offer comment as a performance reviews, don’t let the wild-eyed partisan fanatics get you down. Hopefully you made them spill their coffees and salads over their new copy of After Words, lmao.

  183. Jimmy

    SB – Another post another prediction of Gillard’s demise, how many times have you been wrong so far? Wasn’t Rudd supposed to be in before the end of this year?

    I know it is difficult for you but how about addressing the topic of the reshuffle, which promotions do you object to and why? Which demotions?

    Also on a more general point can anyone tell me whether the “faceless men” who now sit in cabinet have been given faces with their new post?

  184. Sam L

    Most of the problems with the reshuffle are short term image problems which no one will care about by the end of the week. The major movements all look quite reasonable.

    The one big exception is Arbib. I’ve not heard him say a single intelligent thing in relation to any of his ministerial responsibilities, and I can’t imagine him being anything but a disaster as Assistant Treasurer.

  185. ronin8317

    Let’s be fair to Gillard : the Labor Fractions determines who get cabinet positions now, she has very little say in it.

  186. David Hand

    Interesting analysis, Bernard. Very good article.

    8/10.

  187. Suzanne Blake

    Well said Bernard.

    Every time you critique the ALP, ly-ing Gillard or the rest oif the inept bunch, the lefties here jump up and allege bias. They dont cry bias with the biased ABC.

    The lefties here are all outside Tony Kelly’s and Ian McDonalds house chanting that they should be spared or Milton Orkorpolous should be released from jail.

    They cannot admit failure, and miserable failure at that. I have said many times what I think of Abbott. I am honest.

    I was once a Labor voter, but not again with this ly-ing rabble.

    Good on Rudd sister for leaving the ALP as well. I can hear ly-ing Gillard in her office now. “Can’t there be a day without Rudd in the papers…..Bill”.

    Merry Christmas to all the lefties, it may be the last with lyi-ng Gillard at the helm

  188. Jimmy

    I have to agree with Mike Flanagan, Bernard is becoming more and more predictable and Murdoch like.

    Bernard seems to be aruing that Shorten only got his post as a reward while also conceding he has been a good performer and will be an improvement on the previous minister.

    Combet, Roxon & Plibersek have all been good performers and deserve promotion and in a year where innovation and manufacturing will become increasingly tied to carbon pricing and climate change giving Combet a role covering all of them will junior ministers to help seems to make sense.

    This may be messy but the timing is good, no one will remember this much after Christmas let alone when parliament comes back, and getting her best communicators in roles where they will be most effective will only serve to highlight the lack of talent on the Coalitions front bench. In fact by reshuffling her front bench she may have caused Abbott try to to show that the coalition are more settled and therefore not reshuffle his front bench leaving the same old duds doing the same old shoddy job.

  189. fredex

    Look, I’m sure Rupert has bought Crikey.
    Then again maybe its just an audition for a job with the OO.

  190. david

    Two words for the author. Bull Sh-t

  191. Paul Huntington

    A poor look at the politics, no understanding of the subject, went on with your own agenda regardless of reality. 2/10

  192. Steven McKiernan

    Why no mention of Pliberseck?
    Why no mention of five women in Cabinet?
    Why regard Penny Wong on her mannerism and delivery rather than policy and content?
    Why regard Roxon as ‘can’t be much worse as A-G”?

    Too many ideas and no cogent theme. Struggled against the self-imposed word limit.
    Poor effort, must try harder, 1.5 out of ten.

  193. drmick

    Looks like BK is auditioning for the Murdoch mercenaries in their attack on truth and balanced reporting. There is a lot of sour grapes against the PM and I am not sure whether it is jealousy , misogyny or a mixture of both. The confusing thing is that the coven that is female journalism in this country are as bitter as the dried up old men towards the PM. It is like a Jihad because she is female. Given a fair suck of the MSM sav, she could be a very popular person. Obviously she is going to have to do three times as much work as Dr No to get half as much positive press. Maybe we will never know.

  194. Filth Dimension

    Wow and I thought Michelle Grattan had been hitting the juice lately. Bernard you don’t have to drink the peanut gallery kool-aid.

  195. The Pav

    Oscar,

    For example when Misty Rabbit accuses Gillard of backstabbing none of the compliant journos ever ask the question on how he got to be Leader of the Opposition. The obvious question to Abbott is that if he thinks Rudd is after the PM why doesn’t he give a few tips, after all he’s an expert

    I am very anti Abbott. Not because I am pro Labour but because I want to vote Liberal but the party has been taken away from moderates like me. The simple articles of decency, fairness & reasonableness no longer exist in the party and a culture of if you’re not for ne you’re against me exists.

    For some crazy reason they have taken the Rupublican Right as a model.Gawd help us

    I feel the press do not challenge Abbott & his cohorts for fear of being branded “lefties”. The current leadership of the Liberals and their supporters regard balanced commentary as that which totally supports them.

    Look how often Crikey is branded leftist yet strong articles rebuking Gillard such as this one are legion.

  196. HB

    oh Bernard – if it wasn’t for the dog I would seriously consider leaving you

  197. Gavin Moodie

    Comrade Carr may not be well known in the electorate but he was a very effective minister for science. It is the loss of Carr’s engagement, commitment and skill as minister of science that will be missed.

  198. Tricot

    Take a pill and have a lie down sport. Two days in a row with this huff and puff and you are about to burst a boiler.

    I can’t remember a time in living memory when a PM with such a paper-thin majority had “authority”. Talk about state the bleeding obvious. You get paid for writing such insightful comments like that?

    You really think 99% of those out in voter land either know or care?

    I am happy to make a prediction that in two (one) day’s time, this “dumb reshuffle” will be resonating along with the Peter Slipper matter wrapping up the rubbish for the bin.

    PS – Kim Carr is on the lips of every voter – not!

  199. PK93

    More anti-gillard self-righteous scribbling from Bernard Keane

    “It’s as if, having stoically endured all manner of adverse conditions throughout the year without flinching”

    Wow! Can you point me to the columns (rants?) throughout the year you’ve acknowledged that?

  200. Gavin Moodie

    I understand that balance and bias is in the mind of the beholder – even Maurice Newman acknowledged this in remarks upon his departure from the chair of the ABC board. But I would have thought that this would have been even more obvious to Crikey posters who one day criticise Keane for being anti Labor while forgetting that yesterday he was criticised for being anti Abbott.

    Keane’s point is all too depressingly true. However, universities are pleased that research and higher education are returned to the same portfolio and vocational educationalists are pleased that vocational education remains with higher education in the tertiary education portfolio.

  201. Oscar Jones

    Again I believe you exagerate Bernard and like too many journos are too close to the action. This and the Slipper stuff will be forgotten by the electorate by next January and this was the time to make changes.

    It’s a relief McLelland as AG has gone-he was a shocker-but Gillard couldn’t have demoted or promoted just one without bad feeling. A re-shuffle was the only option.

    This government will not rise or fall on just one minister like Carr.

    Again the media is obsessed with matter that are of little interest or importance and ignores major stories of importance like John Howard’s disgraceful promotion of a dodgy anti-climate change propaganda book aimed at school children which if the left had done in his day would mean all hell would break loose.

    I despair that every movement Labor makes in office whether important or insignificant is examined in the minutest detail while we have an Opposition leader who worships at the feet or Howard who could one day be PM.

  202. Chris Graham

    Excellent analysis from Keane as usual. One addition: The leaking of the ALP report to damage Rudd was the beginning of the new slide for Gillard. So very, very stupid. In fact if I didn’t know better, I’d suggest Rudd himself did it. That’s how dumb it was. After the carbon tax and the mining tax, I’d thought Labor had finally started to gain some momentum, and the spotlight was shifting to Abbott and his gargantuan failings. No more. This government is dead in the water.

  203. Mike Flanagan

    Your usual anti- Gillard rant Bernard! Been having a bottle or two of
    good red with Dennis Shanahan have you?

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