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Apr 27, 2012

Matters for judgment for Labor MPs

Labor has increased the chances of an early election with its poor judgment over Andrew Wilkie.


At some point over the course of the year, the ramifications of Labor’s truly dire political position will sink in to those few remaining MPs who have succeeded so far in putting off deliberation about their fate next August.

There’ll be a Budget on 8 May, then four weeks of sittings, including Senate Estimates, then the winter recess. When parliament returns, it will be one year to go. One year to go to an election at which Labor will lose around 25 seats to a national swing of the kind on display on current polling.

Needless to say, there won’t be a uniform national swing. Queensland, currently, is a disaster area for Labor. Essential’s polling, aggregated across several weeks, suggests Labor’s primary vote in Queensland is around 28%. In WA (using a small sample size even in aggregation) it’s 29%, with the Coalition on nearly 55%. In NSW Labor’s vote is under 32%. The polling is bad enough to suggest the Coalition could take control of the Senate, although against that, the Greens only have three senate spots up for grabs and are polling well enough in Victoria, at over 12%, to be a strong chance of picking up an extra seat.

Barry O’Farrell and Campbell Newman might also wear out their welcome with voters sufficiently by August next year to lift Labor vote off the floor in NSW and Queensland, but that’s straw-grasping stuff.

Much can happen between now and August 2013, of course. Just ask the Liberals about how things looked in November 2009. Much will need to change, for Labor. A very great deal indeed.

But does Labor have until then? Notionally, the government solved that problem when it elevated Peter Slipper to the Speakership, giving itself extra insurance beyond that afforded by its agreements with the independents and the Greens. The defection of Slipper seemed to guarantee stability for the government until the election, even if it lost an MP along the way.

But Julia Gillard cashed that particular insurance cheque in January, when she sent Andrew Wilkie packing, partly because of her concerns about the effect of the poker machine issue on her leadership. It was not, as the sporting types might put it, the percentage play. Not when everyone knew about Slipper, regardless of the conspiracy theories circulating about how he’s been set up.

The net effect was that Labor acquired the problem, well known to all, of Peter Slipper, and lost the support of Wilkie. A lose-lose. Now there’s no insurance. Just a trail of allegations about the Speaker and one seriously p-ssed off Tasmanian.

It brings the possibility of a successful vote of no-confidence closer again, and the resulting election — because while Oakeshott, Windsor and Wilkie would be happy to support a Turnbull government, none of them are that keen on an Abbott government.

Or Slipper might decide he’s had enough and take his monumental parliamentary pension into retirement now rather than at next year’s election, where he’s guaranteed to lose.

But we’ve been here before, haven’t we? With questions about the Prime Minister’s judgment, the one-step-forward-two-steps-back politics, the wondering when the government, which is commendably pursuing a sound reform agenda, will find some clear air or at least some workable tactics to get itself out of the hole it’s in. We’re in the prime pre-Budget season at the moment — the dodgy “alternative Treasury” forecasts are starting to get their usual run in the papers — and yet no one’s talking about what will happen on 8 May. Instead, the press is forensically analysing Cabcharge vouchers, in the exact way they don’t forensically analyse policy.

Reforms are all very well, but if they don’t stick they don’t count. And much of Labor’s legacy — the NBN, the carbon price, the mining tax, FOFA — is scheduled for demolition under the Coalition. It would be as if the Labor years never happened.

All things for Labor MPs to reflect on as the cold closes in in Canberra over the coming months.


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103 thoughts on “Matters for judgment for Labor MPs

  1. Jenny Haines

    What can be said in comment Bernard. It is a bad situation, for Labor
    and I suspect the Greens, as , as you say, a Coalition Government
    will wipe away the progressive reform in this country of the last few
    years and it will be as though those years never happened. I can’t see
    any one event cutting through and changing the situation but it could
    be a long time to the next election if Labor can keep all the balls in the
    air, Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper, Andrew Wilkie, the rest of the Inde
    pendents. You do have to give the Gillard Government some credit for
    getting the juggling act called government this far. There may still be
    change of leaders on both sides before the next election. A week is a
    long time in politics much less a year! O’Farrell and Newman are
    obviously going to remind people pretty quickly how Coalition gov-
    ernments perform when in government, and it aint to look after
    ordinary working taxpayers. Then there may be some unforeseen
    events that may sway political opinion. I think Obama is going to win
    the American Presidency, a cautious progressive mood in the US
    which may infect Oz.

  2. Suzanne Blake

    Hi Bernard

    Its all over f0r dishonest Gillard. She has been given 30 days according to Richo, who would be in the know.

    There is NO WAY they will risk her at the next election.

    She is on her farewell tour overseas now and so is probably Swan.

    Good riddens

  3. David Allen

    Er, it’s ‘riddance’ Suzanne.

    This would be, what, the 403rd time you’ve proclaimed Gillard gone? I guess you’ll be right one day but I wouldn’t be contemplating taking up soothsaying professionally if I were you.

  4. rinaldo hernando

    do you think wilkie might be playing the “upper hand” card, so to speak? with the gov in such a precarious position he can afford a bit of bluster to get his reforms through, even though as you say the likelihood he’ll support an abbott led coalition government is low. also noticing abbott pushing for 457 visa’s this morning, wonder how that will look to the thousands of victorians who are now out of work, rather than find them a job (including re skilling) abbott’s saying he’d rather see cheap overseas labour in favour of business increasing their bottom line. i guess it won’t matter, they probably don’t vote coalition anyway….

  5. Pedantic, Balwyn

    @Jenny Victoria doesn’t have to wait any longer to find out how a Coalition government will operate. Even the Murdoch press (yes, truly) is throwing barbs over the complete lack of vision, action and general lethargy of the Bailleau Govenment.

    The saga of broken or half baked promises, ministerial incompetance and seeming dis-interest in economic policy goes on and on. The Nationals in the Coalition appear to be running the show; reversing any past policy for sustaining the environment and moving decision making-such as it is – in favour of the rich and greedy.

    The Federal Coalition is well matched to the current Bailleau model; full of populist promises, economically inept (can’t count), and a front bench lacking both wit and wisdom.

    An Abbott Government will no doubt mirror its Victorian counterpart. Beware

  6. JMNO

    In terms of what is actually important, that is, governing the country, Labor seems to be doing a pretty competent job, better than Howard really, given he was in power at a time when rivers of money were flowing and he could distribute largesse to keep voters happy. Yet their performance doesn’t seem to cut through and most of the media don’t seem particularly interested in reporting on it. Also some kind of ‘Who Weekly’ crisis seems to get confected each time the Government introduces a significant policy reform and the media predictably go off chasing the gossip and ignore the policy. Why have these Peter Slipper accusations surfaced now when it appears he has been sailing close to the wind for years? OK so he is Speaker, but the abuse of transport suspicions have been around for years. Are these gossip crises being orchestrated? Not a conspiracy theorist but just a bit suspicious.

  7. David Hand

    The other period that must be navigated between now and the election is the December killing season. For Labor to have any hope at all in 2013, Gillard will call a press conference and announce that for the good of the party and the government, with no outside influencing or shoulder tapping at all, she has decided to step down as leader.

    Shorten will then be welcomed to the leadership by acclaimation and have about 15 months to create a new brand. If she doesn’t do this, I expect the knives to come out in December.

  8. Suzanne Blake

    @ David Hand

    The knives will not wait until December, will be this Winter.

    30 days according to Richo, who seems on the mark quite often.

  9. Liz45

    I have a question or two? What if the dockets released by Peter Slipper are proved to be as he says – proof that he DID the right thing, then why doesn’t anyone not ask the obvious question. Is this another Liberal set up? Why did Peter Slipper wait until AFTER he became Speaker to botch his dockets? Strange! And why did the accusations re alleged sexual harassment happen AFTER he became Speaker? And why isn’t anyone casting aspersions against the accuser who allegedly has ‘form’ himself? Interesting isn’t it?

    What if we’re looking at a repeat performance of the Gridich affair? Only this time they think they’ve got a water tight case? Where was Senator Heffernan when all this was going on? Uhm? Remember the High Court Judge? Remember how those accusations went pear shape? Whose butt was kicked over that lot? Heffernan was kicked upstairs for a while or three, and then, back in glorious living colour once more?

    The Libs have heaps of form re playing dirty. All the little sanctimonious people are making me ill, both via Crikey, the airwaves and the print media! Pontificating pompous little p**s ants with dirt all over their grubbly little hands! If only Howard had such high standards when he was PM? He’d have lost a third or so of his front bench.

    Incidentally, what role did the Murdoch rags play in the Grenich affair? As opposed to now? Interesting isn’t it?

    I don’t sanction dishonesty or sexual harassment by anyone toward anyone for any reason. But, I really object to people taking the high moral ground on their opponents while having very slippery standards themselves. I hope someone has pointed out to Abbott, that if he DOES become PM(yuk yuk) then we’ll all be watching very, very closely! I give him no more than 6 months before something hits the fan!

    I predict that Abbott will make Worstchoices look like a stroll in the park by comparison. He’ll state that he has a mandate for almost everything! And, of course, like O’Farrell in NSW, Newman in Qld, and the Bailleau in Victoria, he won’t tell us what he’s going to do. There’ll be no maternity scheme anywhere remotely like he’s spruiking now; or payment for Nannies; or any other social justice programs that are happening now, such as the support for education/eradication of DV and sole parents, mainly women will feel the full force of his misogynist attitudes!

    @JMNO – My understanding of the accusations against Peter Slipper in the past proved to be BASELESS! I’m no supporter or non-supporter of Peter Slipper, I just have a queasy feeling about this lot! I wouldn’t trust Abbott out of sight in a blackout. By his own words, he’d do just about anything to live in the Lodge – including the sale of his a**e! Or so he said!

  10. Liz45

    Sorry, I think his name is Grinich? Or similar!

  11. zut alors

    LIz, it’s Godwin Grech. And I agree this smells similar.

  12. lilac

    The ‘Matter for Judgement’ is on you BK not the ALP.
    Today Tony Abbott announced that if he were PM that he will absolutely without question or protest, bring in skilled migrant workers on 457 visas as opposed to investing in re-skilling Australian citizens!
    Where is your accountability as a journalist and a voice for the people?
    I speak of the thousands of Australians who have lost their jobs in all states due to the two speed economy and who are struggling to pay mortages and support their family. for them there is no hope under a coalition government.
    The real issues facing this nation are lost in the sordid mire that is tabloid journalism, trial by media and the refusal of the rest to hold Abbott & Co accountable during their time in opposition.
    This nation will only wake up & they realise how duped they have been by media incompetence to report on real issues when the reality of an LNP government is upon them, by then it will be too late.

  13. Jenny Haines

    Go Liz 45. Give it to them straight!
    And Lilac, yes, where is the reporting of what Abbott’s 457s will mean
    to the Australian workforce, the unemployed, skill standards and
    professional standards of care in this country, wage levels, conditions
    of work, hours of work…. What has been proven time and time again
    with workers brought in on 457s is that they have no idea how
    exploited they are!

  14. Mike Flanagan

    Bravo Liz 45. Ashby has form and displayed a neurotic tendency in
    his responses to anyone that rejects his criticisms as evidenced by
    his Newcastle spray.
    I also find it intriguing to notice he has the resources to engage
    senior and undoubtedly expensive counsel on a parliamentary advisers

  15. JMNO

    More from JMNO

    Abbott has form as a dirt-digger. He was Howard’s attack dog. Every time Labor got a new leader, it wasn’t long before Abbott starting launching nasty smears, digging into their distant past to find something to discredit them with. Go back and have a look at the dirt he tried to dig against Rudd. It wasn’t successful against Rudd when he became leader of the Opposition because he proved to be a better campaigner that Howard and Abbott anticipated. And Abbott has never explained his central role in getting Pauline Hanson gaoled and it doesn’t appear as though anyone has spent much time trying to find out.

    So why should Abbott have changed now? Now he has a staff to orchestrate the smears instead of doing it personally – although he still manages to be totally ungracious when talking about anyone not in his army in the war to win power (for example, if the media reports of his comments about Bob Brown’s retirement are true, then he quite simply couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge Brown’s achievements or even his essential decency).

    I have noticed that ever since he was leader (or possibly since Gillard became PM, can’t remember exactly) that anytime there is good news from the Government that Abbott can’t launch a diatribe against, some sideshow issue will be whipped up knowing that the press is far more interested in who did what to whom than in evaluating what the government is actually doing. So the good news story never gets covered. It is an extremely effective if unethical media strategy.

    The media must take some of the blame. I remember finding about the Godwin Grech story whilst on holidays. I went into the local town and picked up Saturday’s Age and Australian and saw this story splashed in big headlines all across the front of both papers. Some major disaster, I thought and read on.

    When I got to the end I realised it was a complete non-story – no-one had asked the government for a favour and no-one in the government had considered giving someone a favour. In the end it destroyed Godwin Grech and made Malcom Turnbull look silly. The story ended up being about these two. But the original story never warranted the coverage it got.

  16. Mike Flanagan

    I might add to my above post that Ashby apparently has also engaged
    a PR company to attend to the press’s interest . That wouldn’t be cheap!

  17. Jenny Haines

    Smellier and smellier. There has got to be Coalition money behind this

  18. Karen

    Agree with other posts above re Ashby. Ashby’s timing for his complaint is interesting and because of the timing, in my view, politically motivated. He also sounds like an unprofessional flake, given his Newcastle spray and displays of his own familiarity and/or manipulation of Slipper, on the basis of his emails. Honestly, who would say “I care for you” etc or words to that effect to an employer after barely being in his employ for 3 months. It will certainly make for interesting cross-examination.

  19. Karen

    Now that the Slipper saga has sent the hares running amongst the media, perhaps the MSN can do its job and start refocussing on Ashby and who’s bankrolling him. After all its his complaint and the man hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory either. These issues are all relevant to his credit.

    On a wider topic, its tragic how the LIbs and their coalition partner, the media have been so successful in distracting the public on confected or exaggerated meaningless political trash that would have no consequence for the ordinary lives of the polity, as opposed to the extremely positive policy agenda that has already and will see further redistribution of wealth to the wider polity. Its extraordinary, as it is despicable to see how the wealthy who have been grabbing the lions share of the nations transfer payments have been using their considerable connections with access to government and their blunt instrument, the media to make sure it doesn’t happen.

    And the stupid public will vote the Libs in, have Labor policy that actually serves their interests reversed, and will be stuck with nothing…

  20. zut alors

    If I was a litigant in a case (backed by evidence) against an employer I would have no need to engage a PR agent. What possible use would a PR agent be in a matter putting facts before a court?

    But PR agents aren’t about facts, they are principally about public perceptions.

  21. Suzanne Blake

    @ Karen

    did you focus on Kristy in the Mark McInness David Jones sexual harrassment?

  22. Mike Flanagan

    I notice Harcher of the SMH has shown a passing interest in Abbott
    lack of vision and policy at long last in this mornings press.
    Let’s all hope for the sake of the nations future he can show the same
    forensic attention to the shallowness and vacuousness of Abbott
    he has displayed in his writings of the Honourable Ms Gillard Prime
    Minister’s dress and personality with little attention to policy and
    the alternatives on offer.

  23. Suzanne Blake

    @Mike Flanagan

    “Honourable Dishonest Ms Gillard you mean”

  24. Karen

    @ SB – I have paid attention to the Kristy/Mark McInness case. Totally agree with Zut Alors – keep your claims before a court out of the public domain. Not a good look.

    @ Mike Flanagan – agree – lets hope the press start showing some residual integrity and start backing away from meaningless political distractions and re-focussing on policy, which actually impacts on peoples lives. I am so over this hopeless media being deliberately ‘asleep at the wheel’. It just depresses me too much to see the papers in the Eastern states being used to sweep the Libs into power.

  25. Karen

    @ SB 11.58am – while we are on the subject of media, it would be refreshing to see you level your ‘dihonesty’ attack against Murdoch instead of Guy Rundle who has done a comprehensive job of exposing him. What a joke!

  26. Suzanne Blake

    @ Karen

    If you watched the Leverson enquiry you would have seen that Murdoch supported both Labor and Conservative oppositions and Government. His media supported whom they believed deserved to win.

    Like they supported Blair, Kevin 07 and did not support John Major (Conservative).

  27. Annitsa Amistad

    It is very easy to sort out. Slippery gave Abbott the one vote he needed now Abbott turns against him. Slippery can just resign from the Speaker Chair and use his balance of power like the rest of the independents to negotiate deals for the betterment of the constituents and vote with Labor, just pay Abbott back in kind.

  28. Annitsa Amistad

    Labor handled Wilkie poorly. They should have said look there’s not enough number to pass pokies reform the way you want to, if you still want it go ahead and introduce your bill you will see not all of our MPs and the independents will support it. Should it fail then we will still pursue pokies reform and work on an alternative bill which will get enough supports to be able to pass the house and the senate.

  29. Mike Flanagan

    Jenny H;
    I am not sure that anyone will find Ashby’s funders in the Liberal or
    National Party books.
    It is more likely to have been structured similar to the US Super PAC’s
    model I suspect, with the likes of Gina’s or Clive’s money. Here comes
    the US model of the abuse and undermining of the democratic process
    and principles . It will make ‘push polling’ look like a kindergarden
    exercise if that’s what Korman, Abetz, Abbott and co have in store for
    us over the next eighteen months.

  30. AR

    Goblin Wretch, hefferlump’s rent-boy allegations, truth overboard, dirt & smears are all the tories have. Unfortunately that is all the Mudorc meeja publishes.

  31. Karen

    @ SB – don’t be naiive – its good ol’ self interest that is at work here. Evidence at the Leveson inquiry revealed (as if we didn’t already know), and inspite of Murdoch’s denials, that the SUN was used to help instal Cameron for the purposes of securing the BSKyB deal. Now that the deal has fallen through because of the phone hacking scandal, surprise, suprise, the SUN has now turned against Cameron. I’m no Tory as you well know, but I think wielding influence to instal and depose governments, is frankly despicable because it is anti-democratic. And it wouldn’t matter who was in office. Why should we have a government in power that serves an individual’s greedy bottom line at our expense.

  32. Suzanne Blake

    Which ALP member on TV this morning called Shorten a “Moth”? The man who is attracted to cameras.

    Well he screwed up last week with his Gillard Slipper backing, that has gone viral around the World and is seen as funnier than Yes Minister.

    The ALP member also said that Shorten had been calling HSU members asking them to lay charges against Kathy Jackson.

    Looks like Shorten is shooting himself in the foot in his bid for Prime Ministership, to replace dishonest Gillard

  33. Jenny Haines

    Starting early eh SB, on Shorten? Try to destroy the man before he
    even gets a foothold. Shorten is only doing what Tony Abbott is
    doing, keeping his profile up there in front of the cameras. Talk
    about Abbott and cameras, he would jump ten fences and run
    ten miles if there was a camera around, just so he could be in
    front of it. No doubt Shorten like everyone else knows he
    stuffed up, but that is not career ending stuff! Everyone makes
    mistakes. We are all human. I remember when Tony Abbott was
    in Opposition and kept opening his mouth at the wrong time
    on the wrong subject. One of his former opposition colleagues
    said recently something to the effect “we had to keep taking him
    out the back to beat him up, to shut him up.”
    Mike Flanagan – I am sure you are right, Ashby would not appear in
    the Coalition’s financial records but they have ways of funding
    these things.

  34. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jenny Haines

    Dishonest Gillard, Incompetent Swan, Bumbling Abbott and Spin Merchant “Moth” Shorten are all incapable of leading the Country.

    We have really poor representation in Canberra.

  35. Suzanne Blake

    Now we have Thomson about to resign the ALP and sit on the cross benches and still vote in a block with Labor, cause he needs them to pay his legal bills.

  36. Suzanne Blake

    What a con dishonest Gillard is, saying that she formed her view on Thomson an Slipper since she came back from overseas on Friday night.

    She was at the AFL match with her beloved Western Bulldogs yesterday. So much for being worried about the “dark clouds over Parliament”

    The Thomson matter has been around in the media for 9 months, why now?

    Has she been briefed on the report?

    Has she now heard that there are more leadership question and wants to draw a line before that batter starts?

    On Slipper, all that broke BEFORE she went overseas.

    She is simply dishonest and is trying to manipulate the voters

  37. David Hand

    I know this is a difficult time for all you left green supporters but even you have to admit that the disarray in the ALP we see today is probably not Tony Abbott’s fault. I know you think he is the source of all evil and the orchestrator, with the support of a compliant press gallery which is only interested in the show and not the substence, of all the government’s woes

    But even you must conceded that the bad judgement shown by Gillard can’t be Tony’s fault. If there’s any strategy at all in this, which I doubt, Julia is cleaning the decks for her successor, taking the hits before stepping down. I can’t see any other rationale for her hanging Albanese and Roxon out to dry.

  38. Suzanne Blake

    “I understand the matters concerning Mr Thomson and Mr Slipper have caused Australians to become concerned about standards in public life today,” Ms Gillard told reporters.

    Who came up with that spin, must be someone junior, it is pathetic.

    She has either seen or been briefed on the HSU report, which makes sence as Thomson has also changed his tune, from wanting its release to having its lawyers (paid for by Labor) block its release.

    It is a comedy.

  39. Karen

    Big picture, SB – parliamentary standards are a total sideshow compared to the policy agendas of the parties. The media are not focussing on that because the ALP’s social policies are actually serving wider community interests. And this is EXACTLY what the the reactionary forces on the right are trying to prevent, in part, because big business is being asked, for once, to put their hand in the till and cough up and pay for them. And this is what is so depressing for this country because it is becoming apparent that we are never going to have a decent social policy agenda, certainly while we have media concentration in this country to the extent we have.

    Frankly, I couldn’t give a fig about Thomson, Jackson, Williams and Slipper. The slight problem I have with Slipper is if he’s rorted the taxi/limousine claims because its tax payer money, but even that is looking difficult to prove against him at the moment. And Ashby is looking like a nasty little t* t – I can foresee a great cross-examination on the text messages, which shows an unusual familiarity on the part of Ashby as well (if you’ve read his statement of claim/affidavit), not to mention that awful Newcastle radio spray he made. No, this man hasn’t covered himself in glory. And to use a PR firm to help his case is just appalling.

    And what a backstabber Abbott has turned out to be. Slipper voted for Abbott and gave him that crucial vote to topple Turnbull for the tory leadership, not to mention invite him to his wedding. And lets talk about Abbott’s hypocrisy, shall we – he goes on about Slipper’s alleged harrassment and peccadillosbut and yet says hands off when it comes to investigating and hauling the Catholic church over the coals in the face of ongoing complaints from the Catholic flock. Abbott is a ghastly human being and his policies are even worse.

  40. Jenny Haines

    Interesting. SB is in a frenzy to defend Abbott today. I tell
    what it will be in an Abbott Government SB if it happens – Bumbling
    Abbott, Mumbling Turnbull, Whacky Barnaby Joyce (Deputy Leader
    no less!) and Drown them All Morrison. What a lovely bunch!

  41. izatso?

    and we acknowledge the difference between your briefing und your input, Ms Blake

  42. David Allen

    David Hand

    I can’t disagree with most of what you say but I’m not at all sure that Gillard will step down.

    Julia Gillard 29/04/2012
    “…,in this parliament, in the building in which I’m standing now…”

    Who writes this sh*t?

  43. Suzanne Blake

    @ David Allen

    “Julia Gillard 29/04/2012
    “…,in this parliament, in the building in which I’m standing now…”

    Who writes this sh*t?”

    Answer: The same spin merchant who organised the Australia Day Race Riots out of the Prime Ministers Office

  44. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jenny Haines

    Yes. The Parliament is full of no hopers, many of who would battle to get a job on half the pay elsewhere.

    Our system attracts them

  45. David Allen

    Hope you’re listening to Abbott’s breathtaking hypocrisy Suzanne. Think Howard, think Colston.

  46. Mike Flanagan

    Abbott displayed at the IPA luncheon speech his ignorant understanding
    of foriegn policy and diplomatic protocols with his megaphone
    diplomacy towards Indonesia.
    They would hardly feel ingratiated by his underlying threat that his
    government would send a boogey bag of dope to Bali for every boatload of
    refugees they allowed to pass into Australian waters and responsibilities.

  47. Jenny Haines

    Wow, that’s a conspiracy theory and a half!! The PMs office staff org-
    anised the Australia Day race riots? Do you have proof of that?
    If I remember correctly, Howard was PM. Which particular spin
    merchant went from Howard’s Office to Gillard’s Office?

  48. David Hand

    Well David Allen,
    If she’s not planning to go, I can’t see any strategy at work on the ALP side apart from short term panic about opinion polls, focus groups and media coverage. This myopic ineptitude has been their downfall ever since they took office in 2007. They simply don’t know how to engage with voters.

  49. David Allen

    David, I can’t argue with a word you say above. Disappointing, is to grossly understate.

    Incidentally, a response to your Flannery post, on another thread, has been in moderation since 6am. I think my mistake was to mention, in passing, Andrew Blot without this alteration.

    See you tomorrow, perhaps:-)

  50. David Hand

    Jenny, I don’t know what Howard era Australia Day race riot you are talking about but Suzanne is clearly referring to the rowdy group of aboriginal protesters banging on the windows of a restaurant in Canberra. This was in January of this year.

    If you followed the news coverage at the time, one of Julia’s spin doctors told a union organiser at the tent embassy a lie. Or if he didn’t lie, the union organiser did. The tent embassy was told that Abbott had said he believed it should be torn down when he had not said that at all..

    The ensuing ruckus was so alarming to Gillard’s security detail that they carried her and Abbott out a side door for their safety.

    I do agree with you that Gillard’s office didn’t “organise” the riot. They don’t seem to be able to organise chook raffle.

    I can also understand your failing memory. So much ineptitude has surrounded Gillard since that the Australia Day riot had faded for me as well.

  51. David Allen

    Jenny must be thinking of the one organised by Jones at Cronulla.

  52. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jenny Haines

    Its simple really Australia Day 2012. The Media Advisor in dishonest Gillards office, did it, and she let him go, after a protracted delay to the the story straight.

    Whi else was involved, was covered up. Refuse to believe he acted alone.

  53. Jenny Haines

    David Allen – yes I was thinking of the Australia Day Riot encouraged
    if not incited by Alan Jones and apologised for by John Howard.

    Oh dear, I gave David Hand and Suzanne a chance to fulminate. And
    they are so good at it!!

  54. Spamhater

    We get your point Suzanne, “dishonest Gillard” is really “dishonest” and you don’t trust her because she is “dishonest”. You describe Abbott as bumbling, but he also stays on message, “a great big new tax”, this is a “new tax”, this is a “big new tax”.
    Perhaps it is time for us to stop discussing the red herrings of this debate, look past the Slippers and Thompsons and Abbott’s vacuous chatter and worry about the real issues.
    e.g. what has this minority government achieved and will Abbott’s Liberals give us anything better?
    Personally I am hoping for a coalition of straight talking independents as our next government, with a smattering of Greens to look after social justice issues :)))

  55. AR

    ORAC, you really should stop replying to yourselves – in spook world, echo cells are one of the main disorientating techniques.

  56. David Allen


    One can indulge in intellectually rigorous debate with David. Perhaps it’s something about the name?

  57. Suzanne Blake

    Here we go another extreme Leftie

    @ Jenny Haines


    From the Green Left Weekly, with Socialist Alliance support.

    Must be 95% lefties on this Board, its swamped.

  58. David Allen

    And where would you position yourself Suzanne?

  59. Suzanne Blake

    @ David Allen

    I am in the minority here, the 5%.

    Sick of the dishonesty, corruption, waste and just about everything else going on in Canberra.

    I feel we are poorly served on both sides, with many poor representatives.

  60. David Hand

    I’ve said this before on Crikey, but just for the sake of disclosure, I am a member of the Liberal Party. I joined it in late 2007 because I was concerned the religeous right might take control of the party and make them unelectable. As events have born out since, the struggle continues!

    I also want to add that I don’t care what political agenda posters here are driving.

    Finally, David Hand is my real name and for what it’s worth, I think the overall tenor and quality of discussion here would improve if more people posted under their real names.

  61. Salamander

    If Abbott gets in I shall be leaving the country. Simply the last straw.

  62. David Allen

    I should have made myself clearer Suzanne. I was querying where you place yourself on the ‘extreme green/leftie’ to far right spectrum?

    You said, “Sick of the dishonesty, corruption, waste and just about everything else going on in Canberra
    “I feel we are poorly served on both sides, with many poor representatives.”

    Which obliges me to acknowledge that I am in full agreement with you on this. Now, having confirmed that you are not satisfied with the opposition how about providing a critique of their policy positions from time to time?

  63. izatso?

    aaaahhhh*yawn* umm, something, something, something, bleh, eh, SB ? a critique would be too much to expect from that quarter….. maybe Mr Hand might brief her, but ….. no, seriously ….

  64. Suzanne Blake

    @ David Allen

    I voted for Labor in 2007, but not in 2010. Prior to that I voted as I saw fit, often for Independants.

    Not happy with either side of politics at the moment, but mighty disappointed with desperate dishonest Gillard and her rotten lot

  65. Suzanne Blake

    @ Salamander

    where would you go?

  66. Jenny Haines

    Suzanne – it is the last refuge of the scoundrel on these blogs when you
    run out of argument to go labelling those you disagree with. It is the
    old reds under the beds stuff. For the record, since you raise it, I have
    been a Left member of the Labor Party since 1975. I do write for all sorts
    of leftie papers, and if you read the content of the articles in Green
    Left you would notice they are reports of campaigns in the Nurses
    Association. I am grateful to Green Left for giving them public
    space. I am not a member of Socialist Alliance or the DSP, never have
    been, never will.

  67. Suzanne Blake

    @ Spamhater

    Another watermelon on this site.

    The Greens are going backwards. Look at Queensland electon, massive swing against Labor and nothing went to Greens, in fact they lost vote.

    That was the wedge that forces Bob Browns hand in leaving.

    Then look at even South Brisbane. Always a Labor seat. Labor went back further at the by election and the Greens only picked up a around 20% of votes that Labor lost.

    With extreme Greens like Rhinnon there now, with her history, the game has changed.

  68. David Allen


    I have valiantly attempted to engage you in sensible discourse on a number of occasions. I felt, at times, progress was being made.

    Alas, I am beaten and retire vanquished

  69. Karen

    @ SB – time and time again you have stated that the Green vote
    has gone ‘backwards’ in Qld. It is actually remarkably stable,
    even in Qld, and that’s saying something. There hasn’t been
    a sharp dip, so I’m not sure what your point is. Is it wishful
    thinking on your part that the dip might translate federally,
    to give the Libs control of both houses?

    Much of the Green vote is made up of an
    educated cohort who can see past the media
    and political distractions and focus on the policy agendas,
    which is the only issue that actually impacts on peoples’
    lives. So, I would be surprised if the Green vote was
    massacred at the Federal poll.

    Finally, I admire Gillard for her policy and legislative achievements to
    date, in the face of such intense media and business (in some
    quarters) hatred of her. I don’t know
    how she does it. Frankly, the public don’t deserve someone of
    her intellectual and legislative calibre. They deserve Clive Palmer’s
    agenda, instead, since they look upon him as a “living national treasu
    re” and seem so desperate to vote in the Libs who are going
    to deliver it. The public are going to be paying for Clive et al
    at the expense of their services and job security all the way to the
    bank. LOL.

  70. Jenny Haines

    Thought I would pass this on. Sent to my by a friend from a friend of
    his replying to a viral email whingeing about the carbon tax:

    “This looks like you’re officially batting for the other side.

    I presume next time you get hospital/medical care, you will insist on paying full freight, for it was the libs who forecast the world would end when Medicare was introduced,

    You probably also want to send a cheque to cover your free Uni education introduced by Gough which was the privilege of the ‘élite’ prior to that time.

    Send back your centrelink benefits

    Most of all don’t accept the tax reductions to be introduced for 1 July to cover costs of the so called carbon Tax.

    Don’t forget to tell your grandkids that Family allowances are ridiculous.

    But do remember to tell them that :

    • Abbott & co may send their young bodies to war a la conscription to support the Vietnam War when we went all the way with LBJ, – or
    • They will blatantly disregard international conventions to which Aust is a signatory
    • They might send them to Iraq or some other godforsaken country to fight a war while secretly doing back room deals to feed the Bastards (the AWB scandal) or
    • They might lie about children overboard
    • They might lie again about the likes of Dr Hanif while trying to engender another children overboard story on the eve of another election
    • They might spend $400m on building a prison on Xmas Island that makes Alcatraz look like a Sunday school & then claim, ‘they will stop the boats’
    • Workchoices is just that – do what your told for as little as possible or piss off !

    And do tell your grand –kids that you contributed to the air being more difficult to breath while the likes of Twiggy Forest, Clive Palmer et al, all rabid supporters of the LIBs get fatter & fatter – (if that is possible)

    A message to all you baby boomers + before & afters most of whom have enjoyed the great reforms of the Labor party but are now quick to denigrate them – some appearing to be joining the ’white shoe brigade’ before you cast your next vote.”

  71. Suzanne Blake

    @ Karen

    Not sure what figures you are looking at.

    The extreme Greens went backwards 1.1% in the Election, pickimg up NONE of the 16% odd swing against Labor.

    In South Brisbane they went back a further 1.7%.

    Shocking result. Suggest you listen to left wing ABC for some real news on this!!


  72. Liz45

    @ZUT ALORS – Thanks, I almost got it! Had most of the letters, but in the wrong place. I wonder how he is now. I felt sorry for him, as I’m sure he was used. Abbott etc probably p****d him off once he was found out! Now why doesn’t that surprise me! Abbott has no morals or principles, apart from what Abbott wants and what he’ll do to get it – even selling his a**s – his own words!

    @SB – If you went further to the right, you’d end up on the LEFT! Amazing! Watch last night’s Lateline interview with Tony Windsor? Spot on I thought!

    You will find out exactly how bad the Opposition is if they win the next election. You haven’t EVER been able to point to any positive policy or program, infrastructure etc in the almost 12 years of Howard Govt. I can think of getting rid of guns after Port Arthur, and that’s about it. However, in the ensuing years, thanks to Howard reducing the monies required for a half decent program of real border control, we now have more guns in the community than prior to Port Arthur?

    What exactly do you think a conservative govt will contribute to the betterment of the citizens of this country? Nothing! Hockey and his disingenuous spray while overseas clearly points to THEIR vision of their compatriots. He unjustly rants about the cost of social welfare payments to the NEEDY while conveniently omittinig to mention, that the same people who pay for those payments also pay HIS good income, thank you very much! What a nasty little man he is, and a gutless one at that! He hasn’t had the guts to stand in front of an Aussie media conference and spruik the same ‘concerns’? Someone should ask him who should pay for the bullets he’d like used on those like myself who is a recipient? Perhaps he’d advocate a ‘potion’? The use of bullets would be so messy wouldn’t they?

    When the Libs speak of cutting back waste and extravagance they only mean it for the 99%, while allowing even more rorts for their mates – the 1%. Every social initiative that used/uses tax payers money for their benefit has always come from Labor Govts use of taxpayers money for the people!

    As for smaller govt. Go to Lindsay Tanner’s speech to the National Press Club prior to the ’07 Election, and you’ll clearly see that Howard had the LARGEST Govt in the history of this country! Senator Ron Boswell had 9 EXTRA staff leading up to the ’07 Election, and he didn’t even have a Ministry or any extra duties. They were just to help him get re-elected – how much did they cost? Well?

    So what’s your other reasons for a Conservative Govt? What schools do your kids go to? I’m a passionate supporter of public education, and NOT one for obscene amounts going to help already rich schools obtain another swimming pool or a polo team? Perhaps yet another golf course? While public schools in the Illawarra (and other areas as well) have raffles and cake stalls for a new library etc – prior to the Billions$$$$ spent by the Rudd/Gillard Govt. I bet you one thing? It won’t happen ever under a Conservative Govt?

    As for waste etc that you continually lie about! The only State that wasted any money re BER was NSW? And even then, the amount was almost miniscule when compared with what was achieved? On a national level the ‘waste’ was less than 2%? You provide stats to the contrary instead of just making accusations without any basis in fact!

    In years to come, kids present and future will obtain great benefit from the injection of monies into their education. What is Howard’s legacy? Almost zilch! Abbott’s will be even worse? Don’t say you weren’t warned? Already the hospitality industry is champing at the bit to cut off penalty rates for weekend work? If FWA reject this, Abbott will legislate for the end of this just addition to workers!

  73. Suzanne Blake

    @ Liz45

    Windsor call Abbott a rabid dog on a door step yesterday ad then on Lateline he said he did not do that?

    He is catching Gillards dishonest disease

  74. Jenny Haines

    There is no love lost between Windsor and the Liberal National Coalition
    for very good reasons. They have treated him appallingly over the years
    for daring to take one of their heartland electorates from them. I met Tony
    Windsor when he was in State Parliament and I liked him. He was as
    honest a politician and you could get, very committed to his electorate, who
    obviously like him because they keep re-electing him. And this is in spite of
    all the lies and bulldust the National Party has tried to whip up against him
    over the years. If you want a grounded sensible politician, you can’t go past
    Tony Windsor.

  75. David Hand

    A Coalition government will get the economically moribund south east of Australia growing again. This will drive up government revenues and return the government coffers to surplus. A government in surplus without sucking 4% of GDP out of the economy for political purposes will pay down Labor’s debt without damaging growth, improving future prospects for our children.

    Hmmm. Yep, I think I’ve just described what the Howard government did for the country.

  76. Liz45

    @DAVID HAND – If, while I was raising my three kids, and kept the money in the bank instead of feeding, clothing and sending them to school, I would’ve had a quite healthy bank balance(or, in my case, credit union balance) but what sort of a mother would I have been? Uhhmmm! Pretty crappy I’d say! And what sort of a future would they have? You can’t eat money! Howard/Costello had their surpluses at our expense. They neglected the essential basics in health, education, aboriginal affairs, school buildings, hospitals etc! That’s why they had the surplus!

    Everybody in the country who has a mortgage or a plastic card borrows heaps more dollars than they can really afford. How much is your debt? Could you provide a roof over your kids’ heads without debt? Of course not! Nor can anyone on this site and others who want good things for their future and their kids!

    It’s gross hypocrisy to bang on about how bloody marvelous Howard was. He threw money around like a drunken sailor to those already well off, or at best able to pay their way. Millionaires were and perhaps still are receiving family benefits and pensions when there’s people still sleeping on the streets each night. 100,000 in total!

    Remember the election campaign where he promised ?????millions every five minutes or less? Ahem? Remember that?

    @SB – Well, your ears are different to mine! However, I’ll watch it again! If I’m wrong, I apologise in advance! Something you find impossible to do!

    I notice that you still have NOT provided any stats, nor can you point to a Howard policy/initiative than injected something positive into the country?

    While you call Gillard a liar, you omit to go and take a peek at the 34 and still counting lies of Howard! Take a look!

    While you’re there, you may also look up Abbott’s? Remember the ‘set in stone’ blah blah reimbursement re private health funds prior to 2004? And then, only a little while after realised that his inability to add up correctly meant, that the costs were just far too much? What did the Murdoch rags do that time? I suggest nought! More selective amnesia SB? But then?

    After Julia Gillard made that ‘promise’ about a tax on carbon, the very next day, on the front page of a Murdoch rag was an interview, where she states very clearly, that she wanted a PRICE ON CARBON IN HER FIRST TERM! Another little fact that you choose to omit mentioning. I admit that she was silly/illadvised to say that, but hardly a hanging offence! She did clarify her position!

    You’re the liar, as you disingenuously only recall what suits your agenda! Which has little to do with truth, integrity or any other high ideal that the coalition rattles on about!

    Last night we had Mr Liar himself on Q & A; Mr ‘kids overboard Reith’? Mr ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse for his humongous mobile phone bill, which allegedly his son was responsible for. It was for at least $30 odd to $50 odd thousand dollars? Our money! Last night, being his usual revolting self, he tried on another lie – to cover the lies he told back then! Really!

    Remember AWB? How many emails, faxes, notes (from memory, and not wanting to exaggerate, they numbered the 30’s at least?)etc that Vaille’s/Downer’s/Howard’s workers had, not to mention those people in Iraq, when they paid the dictator millions of dollars in bribes(TAXPAYERS DOLLARS? remember us?) in order to sell wheat? What gross bastards! No wonder they didn’t want a real Royal Commission, as opposed to one they engineered?

    Just remember, that some of us may keep a record of everything Abbott says now, and will use it down the track, don’t worry! Those self righteous p****s will have to have perfect memories, as they’ll stuff up – they always do out of arrogance and self delusion? Believing you have a god given right to govern will cause slip ups and scandals! I’m willing to wait!

    And then, I’ll wipe the floor with you! And HAND and the other self righteous ‘p ants’ who use smear and lies to prove a point! All the accusations about Howard’s lies are available on the net. Just put in ‘John Howard’s Lies’ and they’ll pop straight up!

  77. Liz45

    @SB -3.02pm. If you watch that interview again, (from about 25 minutes into the 38.? minute program, you’ll find what he really DID say.

    Prior to being asked about what he called Tony Abbott, Tony Windsor referred to the “pack hunting” behaviour of Oppositions in a ‘hung parlt’? He said this at least twice. He saud that Bob Carr was the “attack dog in those days”? referring to the hung Parlt in NSW in which he was also a member.

    He was then told that he’d called Abbott a rabid dog, and he said, “I referred to the BEHAVIOUR as being a little bit rabid”? He added, that he thought Tony Abbott would agree with him!

    Quite different. He did NOT deny that he’d said it, he just CLARIFIED what he DID say! As I’m doing now!

  78. Liz45

    @DAVID HAND – My explanation/answer re what Howard “did for the country” is held up by the moderator. HOward was hardly a person who was conscious of spending “tax payer’s money” when it was his idea. It was only when he didn’t want to fund something, or was going to remove funding, or put up taxes etc that he used or cared about “tax payers money”? When it suited him he threw it around like there was no tomorrow! He cared not a fig then!


  79. Suzanne Blake

    @ Liz45

    Liz, put your hand up for dishonest Gillards spin office, she need your talents

    @SB -3.02pm. If you watch that interview again, (from about 25 minutes into the 38.? minute program, you’ll find what he really DID say.

    Prior to being asked about what he called Tony Abbott, Tony Windsor referred to the “pack hunting” behaviour of Oppositions in a ‘hung parlt’? He said this at least twice. He saud that Bob Carr was the “attack dog in those days”? referring to the hung Parlt in NSW in which he was also a member.

    He was then told that he’d called Abbott a rabid dog, and he said, “I referred to the BEHAVIOUR as being a little bit rabid”? He added, that he thought Tony Abbott would agree with him!

    Quite different. He did NOT deny that he’d said it, he just CLARIFIED what he DID say! As I’m doing now!

  80. Liz45

    Guess what SB? Latest news! Christopher Pyne met with the staffer in Peter Slipper’s office three times prior to the ‘allegations’ against Peter Slipper, and all alleged ‘abuses’ happened AFTER Peter Slipper became Speaker?

    I suggested as much several days ago! Well Pyne?(the little poodle or maltese terrier – yaps around your ankles but is good for nothing). Who’d have thought? A little catholic school boy, considered by his colleagues as not suitable for anything, except behaving like an immature little git! A big noise! But no substance!

  81. Liz45

    @SB – And so, what’s wrong with what I said! Go back and listen to the interview! That’s exactly what he said. I invite others to do likewise! I think the roses are hanging on to your glasses and getting in the way of your vision and hearing faculties!

  82. Suzanne Blake

    @ Liz45

    He said Abbott was a rabid dog, he may be right. But he said it

  83. Liz45

    He did NOT say that at all. Go and look again, and take the wax out of your ears first! You’re telling lies and also out of context. But hey, you do this all the time!

  84. Suzanne Blake

    @ Liz45

    He did say this, heard the grab directly. Then he backed off like an Italian tank on Lateline, when he realised he put his foot in in again.

    He is a little boy, did you see the way he and Oakeshott hold up numbers (out of 10) when anyone gives a speech they want to rate in parliament. Then they snigger.

    Little school boys.

  85. David Hand

    Research, ah research. Yep those of us who hold a different view simply can’t be aware of all the facts.

    I salute your stoic defence of the indefensible, your anger at parties you feel the need to blame for the sorry state of the gillard government and your fastly held view that the other lot must be more evil than the current lot.

    I have to say you’re in for a difficult time in the next 18 months.

  86. Liz45

    @DAVID HAND – At the age of 67 I think I can cope David – but thanks for your concern? I’ve lived through worse things than an Abbott Govt (but don’t look forwards to it all the same?)and survived!

    It really pisses me off when people like yourself and SB are so selective in your views. She just ignores any facts or figures or events that she doesn’t want to discuss – very clever! I don’t like selective memories. That Julia Gillard is being politically assaulted for a couple of sentences, but Coalition Govts/Premiers/PM’s and their govt members can tell lies, break promises without criticism etc really gives me the pips!

    O’Farrell has already broken a few, but where’s the rage from the Murdoch rag, the Daily Telegraph? I suggest not one word! Now that’s what we have as an excuse for media that just tell us the facts. Just wait for Abbott if he’s elected. He’ll claim a mandate for just about anything! And all the while he’ll tell us zilch! I predict not one word of outrage from msm?

    I’ve lived under more Conservative Govts than Labor, so I think I base my apprehension on past experiences!

  87. Liz45

    @SB – Of course you omit to say what he said about not using a phrase that he used before – media ‘outrage’? Nasty emails. He also said that Abbott would probably agree with his turn of phrase. He also said that Bob Carr played that role when he was part of that hung parliament. I don’t see any problem with the words he used if you take into account the context. He said Abbott was LIKE a rabid dog – snarling, spitting etc? I think he’s right!

    As for the way those two men might behave in Parlt. If I was there and desperate for the same old ugly behaviour and moving 42? motions to belt the Govt with, I reckon I’d do ANYTHING to lighten the load. What about that maltese terrier Pyne? His behaviour is much worse than rating speeches?

    All those who went to an all boys catholic school behave in the same manner? Pyne, Brandis. Joyce, Abbott – the list goes on! At least Tony Windsor has done some living and has the maturity and experience to show for it. And I think Rob Oakshott is a good person, and I can’t say the same for too many in the Opposition!

    How do you know what they’re rating anyway? In the Parliament are you?

    I think Abbott will be Opposition Leader in the next election campaign. He’ll lie through his teeth and recant after the election? There’ll be ‘reasons’ for that? Let’s see, ‘the economy was EVEN worse than we realised’? How about that for starters. O’Farrell’s using it, even though NSW still has its high credit rating. Geobbels did the same thing – why tell a little lie when a huge one will work better? Then, just keep on repeating it! It works!

    Guess what else? Like O’Farrell, when Abbott goes back on his word( that means proving that he’s a liar) he won’t cop the same s**t as Julia Gillard? No Alan Jones organising protest groups (lies and all) and not one word out of Murdoch’s mouth of course! There’ll be ‘good reasons’ for going back on his word, and anyway, he hasn’t written anything down yet, so we know he’s not necessarily telling the truth?

    You don’t like Abbott, but you ignore the fact that his colleagues are going along with his lies and bs, knowing full well that his word can not be trusted – out of his own mouth! Why aren’t they taking him in hand? Because of power! They see him as their meal ticket, and that’s all that’s important! Gutless b******s!

  88. Suzanne Blake

    @ Liz45

    “How do you know what they’re rating anyway? In the Parliament are you?”

    The problem is Liz, you are getting your News from the ABC, which is full of Greens / Labor people. Even, the 730 Report’s Anchor’s wife is a Federal Labor MP.

    So you don’t watch ‘other’ News, so you miss the real Windsor. He and Oakeshott have boards numbered 1 – 10 and they hold them up and snigger when someone makes a speech they decide to rate.

    I am sure you can find it on google if you look hard enough.

  89. Suzanne Blake

    “How do you know what they’re rating anyway? In the Parliament are you?”

    The problem is Liz, you are getting your News from the ABC, which is full of Greens / Labor people. Even, the 730 Report’s Anchor’s wife is a Federal Labor MP.

    So you don’t watch ‘other’ News, so you miss the real Windsor. He and Oakeshott have boards numbered 1 – 10 and they hold them up and sni gger when someone makes a speech they decide to rate.

    I am sure you can find it on go ogle if you look hard enough.

  90. David Hand

    Hey Liz,
    I have genuine respect for the views you are expressing. Most of us support a political party fundamentally from a values position and then we hope our lot will develop policy in line with the values we espouse.

    I support Liberal politics mainly because I believe they are best positioned to enable Australia’s economy to grow and they are middle of the road enough socially not to re-introduce what I call the catholic moral straightjacket.

    I think Abbott is bright enough to have worked out that whatever his personal convictions about how the country should run, he must take middle Australia with him if he is to form a successful government.

    But he is operating in an environment where his opponents are so inept, so shortsighted and seemingly so stupid that every week or two they hand a massive free kick for the coalition. One classic miscalculation the ALP is yet to work out is that they are fools to continually attack Abbott. Even Carr, on the day he was sworn in as foreign minister, took a question on Syria, another on Afghanistan and then launched into an attack on Abbott “hypnotising” voters. How stupid is that??

    After Abbott wins a landslide next year, the boot may be on the other foot and I may be dispairing a useless coalition government. But I don’t think it is possible to have a government as useless as this one twice in a row.

    My fear is that Labor will be so emaciated and unelectable that the christian right will assert too much influence in government policy to the detriment of us all.

  91. David Allen


    Fair enough, but you do spoil what you promote as fair-mindededness with your continual partisan assertions and repetitious adjectives. It’s not kindy you know.


    Good post. For housing affordability may I suggest you try Michigan. Don’t know how you’d go on all the other paramaters you discuss. Actually, on reflection, I do have a fair idea

    David Hand

    I agree wholeheartedly with your remarks about Labor’s obsession with ‘Abbott’. In my view every time they mention him it’s a negative for them. To have any hope at all they just need to get on with it and ignore the coalition.
    However, I have to say that if the media, particularly News tabloids, gave the coalition policies (oxymoron?) the attention they ought Labor might feel it could handle things differently.

  92. David Hand

    I think it is smart and completely justifiable for the coalition to keep its policy powder dry this far out from the next election. Though it gives a opportunity for the media and the left to have a crack about lack of policy, the negatives from this are far outweighed by the benefits of keeping a low profile while Julia and her government self-destruct before our eyes.

    But this does of course beg the question about how good coalition policy will actually be when they eventually get their bums on the treasury benches. I for one am not willing to loyally assure the world that of course the coalition policy platform will be a world beater.

    The diabolical problem for the Gillard Government, as exemplified by Emerson’s stirling efforts to get some mud to stick to Abbott, is that they have destroyed their own relationship with the voting public and no amount of attacking Abbott will change that.

  93. David Allen

    David H

    “I think it is smart and completely justifiable for the coalition to keep its policy powder dry”

    Yes, sure, but they haven’t. They’re going to:
    Rescind the Carbon Tax
    Introduce direct action on carbon emission reduction
    Rescind the MRRT
    Turn back the boats
    Move quickly to surplus and pay down debt.
    Reduce taxes
    Increase taxes
    Keep Labor’s superannuation increases
    Have an ambition to make Australia more like Hong Kong

    Just a few off the top of my head. Plenty of material there which the media should be asking the how’s and why’s, costs and benefits, of. They’re not so, I guess, Labor feels compelled to.

    As usual I find it difficult to disagree with most of what you’re saying.

  94. David Hand

    You are talking about a lot of thought bubbles put out by the Coalition, not policies. Picking up Joe Hockey’s broad vision of moving away from an entitlement culture as policy is a case in point.

    You have, however, put your finger on my unwillingness to unflinchingly say Coalition management will be top drawer as translating these thought bubbles into policy might be seen to be, as Sir Humphry Appleby would say, “courageous”.

  95. Liz45

    @SB – If that’s the best you can come up with re Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott, then as usual, you’re pretty desperate. If I was sitting in that place hour after hour listening to Abbott’s teeth sucking and mouth slurping, or Pyne with his Maltese terrier rubbish, or Bronwyn Bishop hopping up with irrelevant and stupid points of order; short of grabbing my hair and running out of the place screaming with frustration, I’d even start playing marbles just to remain sane! I think they’re saying something very firmly – we’re sick of this crap! Being winter, I’d probably take my knitting along – at least I could show something for the time wasted on rot and rubbish! Perhaps they could all take up knitting squares for the ABC’s annual promotion – ‘Wrapt in Love’ – blankets for the poor and homeless! (I’ve even seen the woman in Africa at the hospital for women with bladder and bowel fistulas with ‘our’ blankets around their shoulders?)

    Another example of those awful WATERMELONS’ at the ABC! They even set a whole day aside and it’s all hands on deck – school kids and all! To date there’s been no evidence of interest by the shock jocks or their proprietors to engage in this project! Just those awful people from the ABC! Tut! Tut! Commies all! Socialism at its worst! What next etc???Perhaps you could take it up – more productive than your stupid accusations here! As usual, no facts, just bs!

    As for the ABC being full of Greens and ALP people! That is total crap! Mark Colvin wrote a letter to the paper (SMH) a couple?few? years ago where he answered this accusation with FACT! Something you consistently have an issue with. I think from memory, when he went through the history of the ABC for several years, the stats were almost equal. For all your ranting about it being full of Greens and ALP people, I often criticize it for the opposite.

    Why should a person be labelled because of their partner. As a woman, I’d have thought you’d be the last one to use stereotyping or profiling of anyone! In the past, it was automatically assumed that a woman voted the same way as her husband – the innuendo being, that we were too stupid to have an opinion of our own! I angrily rejected that attitude years ago, and I still do now!

    By the way, I think Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott are two people of high integrity. I think they have compassion also, and their support for a Labor Govt was based on solid principles – they knew that there’d be more done for the Australian people than what abbott was offereing – which included his a**e but little else of substance! As usual!

  96. Suzanne Blake

    @ Liz45

    You have lost it as usual.

    Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott were NOT holding up the 1 – 10 cards when the LNP where talking, it was when Labor ministers were answering questions…derr

    The joke was between Albanese and them and Swan, and Harry Jenkins who told them to put it away, as it was not protocol (he delayed telling them this so they could snigger longer)

    The watermelons at the ABC are in the production area, they ‘find’ and type up the stories, for the presenters to READ on autocue.

    Then you have the panel on Insiders, chockers with Labor and Watermelons from the host down.

    Then you have Red Kerry, Tony Jones, Chriss Ulman (whose wife is a Federal Labor MP). Of course he has a vested interest to see his wife is employed come the next election. he should be stood down with a perceived conflict of interest, Period.

    Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott are two people of low integrity. Windsor sold partb of his property to mining, and both know they are goners at the next election, especially Oakeshott. So WHATEVER happens, they will not force an election. Why would they and be looking for a new job 17 months earlier.

    I bet Oakeshott has already organised his next job and its a done deal with Gillard in some public service.

  97. Suzanne Blake

    You have lost it as usual.

    Tony Windsor and Rob Oakshott were NOT holding up the 1 – 10 cards when the LNP where talking, it was when Labor ministers were answering questions…derr

    The joke was between Albanese and them and Swan, and Harry Jenkins who told them to put it away, as it was not protocol (he delayed telling them this so they could sn igger longer)

    The watermelons at the ABC are in the production area, they ‘find’ and type up the stories, for the presenters to READ on autocue.

    Then you have the panel on Insiders, chockers with Labor and Watermelons from the host down.

    Then you have Red Kerry, Tony Jones, Chriss Ulman (whose wife is a Federal Labor MP). Of course he has a vested interest to see his wife is employed come the next election. he should be stood down with a perceived conflict of interest, Period.

    Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott are two people of low integrity. Windsor sold partb of his property to mining, and both know they are goners at the next election, especially Oakeshott. So WHATEVER happens, they will not force an election. Why would they and be looking for a new job 17 months earlier.

    I bet Oakeshott has already organised his next job and its a done deal with Gillard in some public service

  98. Liz45

    @DAVID HAND – It’s obvious by your comments that you either can’t remember the positive things done by the Labor Govt since ’07, or you disagree with all of them! Or perhaps both situations apply.

    Pensioners are $170 per fortnight better off than under Howard
    Schools which were starved of attention for almost 12 years had Billions$$$spent on them.
    Pensioners received $900 to help kindle the economy and we were able to purchase essentials for home or person.
    The Rudd Govt, which included Gillard and Swan shielded us from the financial trauma in much of the rest of the developed world, and several years after, we are their envy!
    Interest rates (which Howard asserted would always be lower under a Coaliton) are HALF of what they were under Howard/Costello.
    We’re set to have a National Disability Support Scheme which is well overdue, and was never considered under Howard.
    Unemployment is low, in comparison to much of the develped world, some of whom have upwards of 30% and rising(Greece/Spain?).
    Kevin Rudd showed the women of the country where he stood on violence towards women, and put our money in his mouth at the same time. There are real positive policies and programs around the country, and I KNOW that we’re getting somewhere. We still have a way to go, but under Abbott, it will probably cease! None of those blokes on the ‘front’ line even speak out against this scourge, let alone fund programs!
    This Govt has passed over 200 pieces of Legislation – too many to go into here, but it’s a fallacy to keep on repeating the stupid lie, that it’s inept or incapable of governing! Simply not true. It’s a Goebells position – repeat the lie, repeat the lie, and do it often enough, and it becomes fact. Abbott hasn’t introduced on ‘No Confidence’ motion, although the perception is the opposite. He doesn’t have the guts to do it, but just flutters around with hot wind!

    A a bloke, you probably believe that many of the programs that benefit women and kids are unnecessary, that’s because most men, even those not well off still live a privileged life by comparison. If these policies/programs are part of your criticism of the “catholic moral straight jacket” ???? If you vote for Abbott it’s a big vote for Cardinal Pell? Of course, once again, being a bloke, you’ll be OK? The ‘Jack System’ will survive won’t it?

    Funny how Hockey’s view of ‘entitlement’ didn’t include those millionaires who are in receipt of pensions and family benefits, or who should NOT have to be means tested re their private health premiums, but agreed (Abbott did) with Labor removing family benefits to sole parents when their youngest turns 8 and for couples when their youngest is 6? Too bad that most of the sole parents are women, and too many of them had to leave what they hoped was a permanent relationship because they got the shit kicked out of them, and frequently, so do their kids! This is one area where I strongly disagree with Wayne Swan and I shall tell him so, as I will the women in the Labor Govt.

    I agree that Labor has made mistakes(as though there were no scandals during the Howard years????) I recall the Justice Michael Kirby incident (Heffernan’s still there isn’t he?) AWB, kids overboard; David Hicks, Mandouh Habib, Dr Haneef, Reith’s $30 odd thousand mobile phone bill; Sydney Airport security fiasco and many others! I think your glasses have ‘rosed up’ in the last few years. As for lies etc, go to John Howard LIes, and you’ll see over 34 of them! All those on the front bench of the Coalition were there then! What was their response to any or all of these disgraceful situations?

  99. Liz45

    @SB – And you know all these details because? What about Pyne’s rudeness every day in Parlt? I don’t recall seeing too much of the people sitting in their seats apart from those sitting behind the speaker at the time? So how do you know all this? Pyne in drag!

    I don’t agree with you re the ABC? I get angry almost on a nightly basis. uhelman is always tougher on Govt Members than the Opposition. I hate them editorialising the news! This didn’t happen in years gone by. If they want to do an editorial, then say so, don’t pass it off as just reporting the facts. The trouble is, that people like Kerry O’Brien who shows some decency and compassion is labelled as ‘red’? As opposed to who, Bolt! I won’t watch Insiders until Piers Ackerman and Bolt are no longer on it! IF I want to get the right wing hateful view, I’ll watch the commercial channels or buy Murdoch’s rags!

    I disagree with you on just about everything! Just leave it there! You’re obviously in a privilegd position and don’t believe that the peoples’ taxes should go to the people! Apparently, that smacks too much of socialism? Perish the though!

  100. Suzanne Blake

    I wonder if dishonest Gillard’s new expensive spin doctor, will save her?

    How much is he costing taxpayers?


    There’s nothing John McTernan loves more than a political crisis. But are the ‘dark arts’ learnt at No.10 Downing Street enough to save Julia Gillard?

    “Pity John McTernan,” Britain’s The Guardian newspaper says. Why would ”one of the smartest brains of the New Labour years in Britain” – a survivor of the Blair/Brown battle for Downing Street – move to Australia as Julia Gillard’s chief spin-meister to watch a labour party tear itself apart all over again?

  101. Suzanne Blake

    @ Liz45

    I know about the Windsor sign holding as it was on the NEWS. Not the sanitised Green / ALP news you watch. They present only their view and mention in passing if you are lucky any other view.

    I am in a privlidged position ? I guess for you that means off the poverty line.

    You have already said you are a senior citizen and angry, hope you get some happiness in your later years

  102. Liz45

    @SB – Happiness? Not when I have to contend with bores like you! All you do is chant off the stock phrases that Hockey or some other idiot is mouthing that day, and try to dazzle us all with your ‘expert’ knowledge, when the truth is, you NEVER back anything up with facts, just nonsense. I find your inputs offensive, when it’s obvious that you spend so much of each working day on Crikey, that I wonder how you find time to do enough work to warrant a pay packet. Quick to criticize others, but you seem to be a bit of a bludger to me! Work for youself do you? You have an idiot for a boss then!

    What I learned this morning prior to midday from the ABC – Radio National, an informative 40 minutes about the existence of lead found in Qld due to cleaning up after the floods of two years, which included latest medical research from overseas, including the US. (Won’t hear that sort of educational stuff on corporate media?). Heard a digger speak of his time as a POW – he’s in his 90’s and his memory for detail was incredible – bless him! Then, as usual learnt a lot from other Ozzies ringing in, heard about the Fed Govt’s monies going to parents of school kids, and heard a discussion on Radio National including Eva Cox on current affairs of the past week or so – very stimulating and informative!

    Then I watched Message Stick on ABC TV; all this time I’m also doing some sewing for a friend plus a garment for myself; started work on a cot ‘bumper’ to match the ( about 50 hours of hand sewing?)quilt I made for my great grand daughter’s arrival in less than a month, and all before lunch time!

    Every day I listen to the ABC radio, and learn something new each time – sometimes several new things each day. Don’t find that on commercial TV or radio? The current affairs is sensationalized nonsense, with a special ‘interest’ in demonising young mothers, indigenous people, asylum seekers arriving by boat and pensioners(on occasions)and it seems the main requisite for a story is anything that involves, t**s and b**s! I don’t find much that appears on these outlets that does anything edifying re the human condition? I wouldn’t waste electricity turning them on! But it doesn’t surprise me that these types of programs interest you! IT SHOWS!

    Anyway, I couldn’t care less if Rob or Tony played marbles in Parlt, they still are people I respect and admire, as I do many of the Labor people too, mainly the women. I find them articulate, intelligent and capable, and most can identify with ‘ordinary’ people!

  103. David Hand

    Hey Liz,
    I think the Labor Government has done a lot of good things, particularly in the early years. The apology was good and so was ratifying Kyoto. The ETS was a still born policy that I support.

    I thought Rudd handled the GFC quite well although few Labor supporters seem willing to credit the Coalition for the zero debt and Billions in the bank that Labor started with. It’s easier to weather a financial setback if you are debt free like Australia was.

    But is all looks so opportunistic and spun, as illustrated when Rudd wrote that tawdry essay saying that the ALP was saving Australia from evil economic rationalists when less than a year before he was lining up with the best of the drys. Remember “This reckless spending must stop”? He was saying that to a government with a massive surplus.

    Since Copenhagen, the wheels have come completely off as Labor wimped out of its first true test of conviction and principle and it was Julia and Wayne in the kitchen cabinet who pushed Rudd into postponing the ETS. Since then, it’s been one blind panic after another, that awful lie, “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”, and the electorate has taken a long look and said “We don’t think we will vote ALP next time”

    Will Abbott be any good? Well I hope he sides with middle Australia and keeps his catholic fundamentalism in a cupboard and runs a decent enough economic policy to get the recession hit south east growing again. Oh yes, that’s the latest joke from Swan. He took credit for the RBA interest rate cut and I agree with him. But it’s not because of his beloved surplus but because the south east is in recession thanks to his economic management.

    Labor is headed for a NSW style drubbing next year.

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