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Mar 25, 2013

Gillard supporters rewarded, public servants shuffled

Julia Gillard has shuffled the cards in her ministerial deck to cover the loss of some of its most talented and experienced members.


Julia Gillard has announced a ministerial reshuffle that rewards her supporters and makes some significant machinery-of-government change in Canberra.

The key changes are:

  • Former mining company executive Gary Gray replaces Martin Ferguson as Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism and takes on Small Business, as well as moving into cabinet. Mark Dreyfus takes his roles in relation to Special Minister of State and Public Service. Gray’s appointment was instantly welcomed by mining companies, reflecting his former role as a Woodside executive.
  • Jason Clare is promoted into cabinet but keeps the same role of Minister for Home Affairs and Justice.
  • Anthony Albanese has had the position of Minister for Regional Development and Local Government restored to him after it was removed after the 2010 election and given to Simon Crean as a separate portfolio. This is being described by the government as a “promotion”, but as the record shows it merely restored the pre-2010 situation; indeed, Regional Development has been part of the Transport portfolio since 1996. Catherine King will take the Regional Services and Territories functions and also Road Safety.
  • Arts, which also belonged to Crean, is moved to Environment Minister Tony Burke, with Michael Danby promoted to Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts. This is a welcome outcome as it will move Danby off the Joint Committee for Intelligence and Security, where he has offended committee members from both sides with his behaviour in recent weeks.
  • In the most peculiar and seemingly unworkable combination, Trade Minister Craig Emerson will also become Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research Minister, the role vacated by Chris Bowen. Right-wing South Australian powerbroker Don Farrell, a long-time opponent of Kevin Rudd and one of the organisers of the 2010 coup against him, has been promoted from Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for Science and Research, a remarkable promotion given he has been invisible in his role on Sustainability and Water.
  • The Climate Change Department, which recently lost its secretary as part of a game of musical chairs following the movement of Broadband Secretary Peter Harris to the Productivity Commission, will be merged with Greg Combet’s Industry and Innovation department.
  • Jan McLucas, who was purged by Rudd during his government, completes her return with a promotion from parliamentary secretaryship to the Human Services ministry left vacant by Kim Carr’s departure.
  • The factionally-unaligned Canberra MP and former ANU economist Andrew Leigh will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.
  • Other than Danby and Leigh, new parliamentary secretaries include Matt Thistlethwaite, Amanda Rishworth and Shayne Neumann.

This is a mixed reshuffle. There is sense in ending the indulgence of having Regional Development as a separate portfolio and returning it to the Transport portfolio, and in moving Climate Change into Combet’s portfolio now that its core work of developing and implementing a carbon pricing scheme is completed. The resources sector, too, will be delighted to have replaced one industry spruiker, Martin Ferguson, with another, and the promotion of Leigh will lift the frontbench’s average IQ.

But the Arts sub-portfolio continues its peripatetic history; the combination of Higher Education and Trade for Craig Emerson — what used to be two full-time ministerial jobs — is bizarre and the shameless promotion of pro-Gillard powerbroker Don Farrell illustrates this is ultimately about ensuring those who did the right thing by the Prime Minister last week are rewarded.

Meanwhile, in Rudd, Bowen, Carr, Ferguson, Crean and Ed Husic, Labor will take one of its most talented-ever backbenches to the coming election.


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62 thoughts on “Gillard supporters rewarded, public servants shuffled

  1. C@tmomma

    Jan McLucas, a truly nice person, now gets to shepherd the NDIS, which she worked on with Bill Shorten.

  2. Suzanne Blake

    Bernard, Gillard is not shuffling cards, she has reassigned deck chairs on the Titanic. Lets face it, the ship is going down. Nothing can and will save it. Humphrey B Bear with a blindfold could beat Labor

  3. michael in melbourne

    Talented maybe, but also treacherous, and without a doubt a major reason why caucus is dysfunctional and policy prosecution and implementation woeful.

  4. klewso

    Where’s Conroy going – creator of such memorable events as “Senator Fielding” and “Media Reformation”?
    ……… He is going isn’t he?

  5. Karen

    Well, at least promoting Gary Gray should appease the business mining lobby and thereby muffle predictable whinges that JG has “rewarded” loyalists to some extent.

    The angle of the story here and in the MSM should have been that JG was forced to clear the decks after another abortive toxic Rudd coup attempt and that she had made the best appointments she could have made with the deck she was given.

    It wasn’t as if she hadnt had a history of appointing Rudd or his supporters to the highest levels of government,despite Rudd’s leaking sabotage of the Government in 2010.

    If I was in her shoes, I would have scorched earthed the toxicity of this man and his supporters from the get-go straight after the election and saved myself a whole lot of paranoia and trouble with cabinet leakings and the like. In the end JG proved to be too nice.

  6. Andybob

    Such a relief to know exactly how the deckchairs are being arranged on the Titanic.

  7. Achmed

    I wouldn’t have let Crean and Ferguson go….

  8. AJH

    She’s basically sacked all her critics, and surrounded herself with “Yes Men”. The Victorian Right must be rubbing their hands with glee at how things are turning out.

    Gillard has probably put off leadership speculation for another month, at best… but at what cost to the Federal Party? The “brain drain” of senior talent has continued. There has been such a loss of top-shelf talent in cabinet since 2010.

    With the polling headed in only one direction as long as Gillard is in charge, the only questions are: how long until the next challenge, who will it come from, and how many seats can Labor salvage at the election?

  9. littlemaths

    Klewso: it is truly unbelievable that Conroy remains in the position he’s in, despite multiple demonstrations of his lack of ministerial talent.

  10. Achmed

    I’m over all this leadership debate.

    I want to see a discussion around policies and see the costings of those policies.

    If Abbott wins the election purely on the rant of “Labor bad – Liberal good” without Abbott showing the substance of his policies then democracy would have been down an injustice

  11. AJH


    Do you have any idea of Conroy’s position in Victoria’s Labor Unity? He and Shorten basically run the faction.

    There is no way he is ever getting replaced.

  12. AJH


    Julia Gillard is so disliked personally, that there can’t be any sort of sensible debate about policy during the campaign. Voters have an instinctive, visceral reaction against her whenever she appears.

    Come the campaign proper, she will need to keep a low-profile for Labor to have any chance of keeping a decent rump of seats. Abbott will, of course, keep to his current small target strategy as well.

    It has all the makings of a “stealth” election, where neither of the leaders is popular enough to win by force of personality. In fact, both are so unpopular that they could lose by being in public too frequently.

    The battle will almost certainly be fought via negative advertising, low-key media appearances, and trying to pick holes in policy announcements. As a result, both parties will try to keep their policies as substance-free as possible. Substance is much easier to attack than hot air.

  13. michael crook

    Gary Gray, ex alp national secretary, is the worst possible choice to replace the fawning martin ferguson, as he is associated with one of the mining mafia famiglia. There will be no let up in the destructive mining juggernaut if he has anything to do with, and, as an aside, they certainly wont be paying tax anytime soon.

  14. Achmed

    The Liberal state Govts of Queensland and Victoria have not had a good time of it.
    Quensland – 3 x Ministers sacked. 3 x MP’s defected to the Katter Party. Ministers under investigation.
    Victoria – 2 x Premiers 3 x Chief Ministers MP’s under investigation 1 x MP became an Independent

    Then there’s the CLP in NT – mmmm stab leader in the back while overseas

    And in WA the Liberals support a bra snapping chair sniffer as Treasurer and MP’s under investigation

  15. Achmed

    MC – So Gary Gray will be doing stuff that the Liberals would support???

  16. GF50

    The PM has not lost ALP talent to the back bench!
    These people most certainly have proven by past behaviour the they are quislings working with the MSM/LNP feed of rubbish, to mislead the public perception of an effective government.
    The ALP Gillard government has proven, costed, effective policy in place. We Australians Have benefitted by these policies since 2007. Some policies have had their problems with implementation. Media Reform for one. I personally believe that some of those bills were always to be a no go zone, hence the Media baron’s kicking the kimbies around the sandpit, using fear and intimidation to ensure this was the case. We may well wish ALL our politician’s could show the same courage as PM Gillard and not to caved to the blackmail of the would be emperors of Australia, deciding public policy for all of the people. All hail the Murdoch, Reinhardt, Forrest, Palmer and LNP/MSM dictatorship.
    There is a concerted attack on Democracy, human rights and decency and the Rule of Law
    Media censorship already exists: the censor is a blanket ban on truth, fair and fearless reporting policed by the owners of the MSM.

  17. Mark from Melbourne

    Beakie — you always manage to stretch the facts to suit your outcome. The only “negative” move you list is Don Farrell’s but you conclude that “illustrates this is ultimately about ensuring those who did the right thing by the Prime Minister last week are rewarded.”

  18. shepherdmarilyn

    Gillard thinks that the ALP is a dictatorship.

    And Karen, Rudd did not spill anything. He told Crean in no uncertain terms that he was not standing. So Crean talked to Bowen and Kim Carr who were also told by Rudd to shut up because he was not interested.

    Why do morons blame the man for keeping his word? Do you want liars and immoral clowns in power?

    Rudd was one of the only ones with any honour last week, Patricia Large confirmed that on the World today and the Drum last Friday.

  19. littlemaths

    AJH: sadly, these facts have not escaped my attention.

  20. C@tmomma

    Hear! Hear! GF50.

  21. AJH


    Gillard has been poll-driven and inconsistent from the start. She’s had no clear narrative. Her politics are tactics-driven, to the detriment of long-term political strategy.

    She just chooses a target demographic each week, and makes announcements to appease them. There is no need for any coherent strategy, and it’s immaterial if the claims she is making are true (witness the shambles around the grossly inaccurate 457 visa nonsense).

    The main achievement of her Government has been to continue with Rudd’s policies. It’s like a caretaker administration with a case of ADHD.

    The real problem is that she’s losing her grasp of tactics, as witnessed by the media reform push. It never had a chance of getting off the ground.

  22. Achmed

    AJH – there was no 457 nonsence except that which was perpetuated by Abbott and the media.

    Stating that there will be a review to ensure that the 457 visas are not being abused or misued is in fact a function of Govt.

    It is not racist or ant-foreigner as Abbott and the media deceptively stated. The review was about the companies/employers applying for jobs to be given 457 status, not an attack on the workers on 457 visas.

  23. Achmed

    AJH – Poll driven – how would describe one line rants like “turn the boats back” without any substantial policy if not as just simply popularist?
    Or the “repeal the carbon tax” without mentioning the Abbott plan to give taxpayer money to the polluters would be about the polls and not policy substance.
    There will be no new taxes under a Govt I lead – then announce a 2% business tax increase to pay for maternity leave. Remembering Abbott had said of maternity leave when a Minister under Howard – ‘over this governments dead body” – the backflip is about polls and popularist policy

  24. Em_E

    I recall Julia Gillard saying she was “spoilt for choice” in her cabinet reshuffle…hmm

  25. GF50

    AJH No facts! to support what you say. Yes they did implement policy ALP policy that former PM Rudd could not get around to.
    Policy has not been poll driven at all, Carbon price, that really caused a rise in the polls, NDIS, economy AAA, No point in going on with policy success that have no traction in the ridicule/mock/demean/hate/get Gillard LNP/MSM/ABC You obviously are not able to distinguish fact from fiction. Policy direction generalisations are urr umed, on the run by LOTO/LNP dirt unit. No “tactic” is able to get through for the above reasons.

  26. AJH


    Abbott is appalling, but that doesn’t make Gillard good.

    The Liberals have a reason for sticking with Abbott. He’s winning. On the other hand, Gillard hasn’t been ahead since the 2010 election, and she didn’t really “win” that one either.

    I may well vote for Gillard over Abbott, but I’m sure as hell not getting involved with the campaign this year. How are we meant to convince voters that Gillard is the right choice when most Labor members don’t actually believe in her themselves?

    “She’s not quite as bad as Abbott” doesn’t make a great campaign slogan.

    Meanwhile, Abbott can keep making up fairytales, and nobody will call him on them, because Gillard has started doing the same anyway.

  27. AJH


    No facts? There were no facts in the 457 visa announcement. The claims that the IT industry is the top abuser the system were nonsensical. We’re snapping up every qualified graduate we can find, and still can’t find enough, here or overseas. Nobody who has a decent qualification is being overlooked for a job.

    Meanwhile, the IT industry is well down on the list of industries using 457 visas anyway.

    I haven’t seen any evidence of the system being abused by other industries either. In fact, it’s the very model of a well-implemented, well-functioning immigration programme.

    The whole “crackdown” was another poll-driven announcement, targeted at Western Sydney, but with absolutely no factual basis at all.

  28. Achmed

    AJH – I agree that both are atrocious.

    I will not “defend” Labor but I will raise issue with Abbott’s policies.

    I suggest reading the Liberal manifesto – “Real Solutions for all Australians” and note the conflicting information.

    Remove the “income” of the carbon price – Reduce taxes to business and taxpayers and fund the $3billion+ Direct Action, increase business tax by 2%, support NDIS, keep asking Labor where they will get the money – where will Abbott get it?

  29. AJH


    Abbott can’t deliver on most of his “policies”. He will just offer promises before the election, then when he gets in, say: “Oh, look, the finances are worse than we thought. Labor’s mismanagement means we can’t do anything we said we would”.

    He knows that, we all know that, but most people don’t care at this stage. The antipathy towards Gillard in regional Australia and Western Sydney is so strong that it will be the overriding thing on voters’ minds.

    The media has been doing an astonishingly good hatchet job on her, to the point that she’s seen as a pantomime villain now (“boo, she got Kevin”, “boo, she increased our electricity bills”). She’s helped them in that task by offering up no alternative narrative.

    Meanwhile, in the business world, she has made no friends. Nobody can stand her shambolic approach to policy development, her demonisation of “big business”, her “us vs them” old-school Labor attacks on wealth creators, and her nonsense on 457 visas.

    That doesn’t leave much of a support base.

  30. mikehilliard

    “poll-driven announcement”, “no factual basis” – these are the tactics writ large across the opposition front bench. The most disappointing aspect of Gillard’s 457 beat up was that she lowered herself to Abbott’s standard. Just as well I LIKE HER SOOOO MUCH, I may just forgive her.

  31. Achmed

    If you listen to Abbott and Hockey they would have people believe that Australia is an economic basket case like Greece, Italy etc.
    But we aren’t. Australia is recognised as one of the strongest economies in the world. Investors are flocking to Australia and it is that investment that is pushing our dollar so high.
    We are one of few countries that have a Triple A credit rating from all three agencies.
    Low unemployment at 5.4%, inflation around 2%, consistent economic growth of around 3%, low official interest rates and over 70,000 jobs created in the early months of 2013. One of the lowest GDP to debt ratios in the developed world, around 7% – Italy is 100%, Greece 105% and USA and UK are 70%

    But you can’t read this stuff in the right wing dominated media

  32. Clarke Steve

    These new appointments look very rushed. Did they play a game of spin the bottle? (after shoving the talent off into the naughty corner). And I can’t believe the Minister for red underpants is still playing.
    There now seems to be a skills shortage within the party, perhaps Gillard should reconsider her opposition to 457 visa’s.

  33. GF50

    Most may not know of positive policy to the tune of twelve reforms legislated while the ALP Government was in chaos and dysfunctional during that week. Dare anyone to find these among the confected “white noise” of the LNP/MSM/ABC PM Gillard hate pages.
    AJH: 457 are a temporary work visa, a review looking at the veracity of the of the conditions under which they are issued, was already happening. No policy made on the run in the vain hope of fair and factual reporting for a lift in polls As I previously stated you have a great deal of trouble sorting fantasy from fact.

  34. shepherdmarilyn

    Crean could try out for comedy. He now says he was sent a text by Rudd but didn’t read it so that is Rudd’s fault.

  35. AJH


    Yes, 457 visas are used for attracting talent from overseas to Australian companies. I use them all the time. Many employees I’ve had come here on 457 visas end up staying, and transitioning to PR. Since last year, that is very easy to do, and is basically automatic after two years.

    There are reviews of the scheme all the time. The last one brought in the easier transition to PR. I don’t believe any systemic issues have been found in the scheme in recent reviews. In fact the last review was glowing in its praise for how the system was being used by industry. That’s why it was surprising that it suddenly became an issue while Gillard was in Western Sydney. The scapegoating of the IT industry in particular had no basis in fact.

  36. Dogs breakfast

    “Meanwhile, in Rudd, Bowen, Carr, Ferguson, Crean and Ed Husic, Labor will take one of its most talented-ever backbenches to the coming election.”

    Really Bernard! Is that Martin Ferguson you are including there, or did Laurie do the jump as well. Using Martin Ferguson and talent must have nearly broken the keyboard.

    Damn, now mine is smoking.

    Rudd is a bum, so is Carr, and sadly, Crean is well past it.

    Let’s face it, there wasn’t a lot of talent there to lose. Bowen is the only loss.

    Unless you compare them with the Coalition, in which case you have the riches of King Tut’s tomb there. 🙂

  37. CML

    To those who are still supporting Gillard, I hate to say I told you so!
    Newspoll just out: Coalition 58% 2PP, Labor 42% 2PP.
    Primary vote: Coalition 50%, Labor 30%
    Preferred PM: Abbott 43%, Gillard 35%
    Worst figures for Labor in 12 months. Thanks to the present PM and the gutless wonders who support her.

    @ Karen #4 – You might think that Rudd is “toxic”, and all the other names you called him. From the numbers quoted above, it is easy to see who is the real cause of Labor’s problems. And around 53% of the population agree with me that Rudd should be the PM (Poll taken last Friday). Pity those dead beats remaining in the caucus are such gutless wonders. Gary Gray, Minister for Resources? Give me a break! He should be in the Liberal Party, not pretending to represent those who vote Labor. And the remaining appointments are just as bad. September 14 is going to be a blood-bath that many of us will not forget, Julia.

  38. Patriot

    Gillard said a good government had lost its way under Rudd. Since taking over she’s steered a course straight down the crapper. What an absolutely pathetic woman. Her father surely did die of shame. She should do us all a favour and do likewise.

  39. Karen

    @CML – read my post at number #5 – I refer to ‘toxic’ Rudd – no other descriptor used. You don’t call his persistent efforts at leaking and spilling as toxic? However, if you want me to spell it out, I think the man’s behaviour is even more than toxic, its psychopathic. He, by his actions, is bent on revenge over his thwarted ambitions and blow to ego by Gillard. The behaviour of a typical passive aggressive narcissist. He couldn’t work with people, unnecessarily inconvenienced his senior bureaucrats who were forced to wait for hours to see this petty mandarin, and micromanaged his ministers over portfolios he was interested in, like foreign affairs.

    As someone who was close to advisors who worked under Rudd both in opposition and in government, Rudd was described as a ‘cold fish’ who kicked down, sucked up and ran government like a facs*st bunker. People hated his guts, right down to the advisors who worked for other ministers. If it weren’t for Rudds leakings in 2010, Gillard would have won the election easily instead of by a minority government.

    And Marilyn, the issue isn’t clear cut about who said what when. Crean admits a text was sent by Rudd but Rudd had his supporters holed up in his office all day crunching numbers, and then when Crean spoke to him just before the ballot, Crean said Rudd never once intimated that he wasn’t running. “It was never part of the discussion”, says Crean. A whole lot of road kill now, once again, associated with the little mandarin.

  40. Karen

    @ Patriot – the only person who should die of shame is you.

    JG has achieved more social policy outcomes in her short tern in office than any other bloke before her. So what are you talking about?

    True, her electoral fortunes have faltered, thanks largely to a combination of hostile press and those appalling Rudd acolytes who have been gleefully feeding them. Talented ministers on the back bench, like Carr, Bowen, the architect of the punitive fasc*st asylum policy that is in breach of every international law and international human rights convention you care to think of? Geezus Xrist!

  41. Savonrepus

    Labor staffers eat your hats. You come here crying about a biased right wing media yet on Media Watch last night it was reported that you have all the parliamentary TV channels tuned not to ABC News 24 but to the good ol mainstream Sky News. Hypocrisy or self masochism?

  42. GF50

    Karen, You are correct and the headlines still the say Government turmoil/chaos/ dysfunctional. That is belied by the facts 12x bills legislated in the “chaos” of last week, but you waste your time, you cannot debate the issue of obvious, irrational cognitive dissonance, with demonstrative facts. Therein lies the huge problem.
    ALP should, of course, appoint ministers, positive policy on the “warm and fuzzy” advice of the LNP/MSM/ABC who have only the “best” interests of Australia and ALP at heart. Demonstrated by the LOTO’s stunning, heartfelt, sincere apology to the shattered victims of forced adoption.

  43. Karen

    @Savonrepus – yeah, when you’re talking about 70% of media controlled by one media magnate who hates Gillard’s guts because he thinks she’s a pinko who stands to affect his interests as a result of NBN, cross media ownership rules, and now a proposed independent regulator as amounting to right wing bias against her, I think I’m right on the money. What’s the relevannce of parliamentary staffers tuning into ABC 24 with respect to this particular issue? Pap.

  44. GF50

    Savonrepus: Masochism is by definition, of the self,
    So much for the rest of your irrational post.

  45. Savonrepus

    Karen the relevance is this. In my house the person in government controls the remote. Clearly in parliament house the remote is tuned to the Main Stream Media as opposed to ABC News 24. This destroys all credibility to the argument so often put here that MSM is biased against Labor. If that is the case why haven’t they changed the channel?

  46. CML

    @ Karen – As I have said elsewhere, Rudd has always denied that he leaked anything, so where is your PROOF! Every news report I have ever read describes Rudd’s leaks as “alleged”, or similar wording.
    I believe that currently the Labor Party is being controlled by the unrepresentative unions. As Nathan Reece , former Labor Premier of NSW),said on “The Drum” program last night (ABC TV), unions today have about 18% workforce membership, yet they have 50% of the voting power in the ALP. He appeared to be saying that their power should reflect their numbers. At the same time, the rank and file membership have virtually NO say. No wonder the membership numbers have gone down the toilet!
    People like Rudd, and others, have always wanted to equalize the power within the ALP. Because of this, the union heavies want to destroy Rudd at all cost. You have been sucked in by this disgraceful campaign, as have many others. If you can’t see that the unions are controlling Gillard, and keeping her in power, then you don’t know much about politics. Why do you think the older and wiser heads (Kelty, Crean, Ferguson, et al) have all said that Gillard and her minions must stop this divisive class warfare nonsense?
    I find it interesting that people like you, who continually try to destroy Rudd, only make him more popular. That tells me that most of the electorate are either not listening to the union line, or simply don’t believe you. It is inevitable that the Labor Party will have to restructure to survive, so you and others are not helping anyone with your anti-Rudd tirades. I have been associated with the Labor Party for around 60 years, but even I can’t stand to see what is happening to this once great party. Gillard is complicit in its destruction, and I will vote informal for the first time in my life, rather than assist her to do this.

  47. Savonrepus

    GF50 thanks for the lesson on tautology but it is a long bow to extend it to rationality . Labor has a popularity problem and until it starts addressing the hypocrisies that contribute to that nothing is going to change. I am sure you could apply your language skills more productively to the cause.

  48. Patriot


    “JG has achieved more social policy outcomes in her short tern in office than any other bloke before her.”

    Arguably in this country, but her body of “social policy outcomes” is no match for those of Mao or Stalin. Tell me, why do you use such a metric to evaluate her success as a political leader?

  49. Mike Flanagan

    It is of little value to change channels when we experience the highest concentration of media ownership and proprietorial bias in the english speaking wrold and the alternative publicly owned media editorially clones them

    The union influence on party policy through the TH and ACTU has been evident since the planting of the ‘tree of knowledge’, many decades ago.
    Considering where we are today, and the political and economic directions that the conservative forces have endeavoured to take us, their countervailing infliuence have served us well.

    Well said. 4/10

  50. klewso

    Was it The (other/original) Godfather”? “Keep your friends close – and keep your enemies closer!”?
    Why we spy on other(s) countries – “Forewarned is forearmed”?
    There’s no accounting for taste – and I suppose it’s always useful to know what your enemies are saying about you or “making you out” to sell/portray you as?

    It is interesting why more of us aren’t quoting Holmes more often? Jonathan – not Sherlock.
    Personally I admit to finding his reasoning on some matters a little more than bewildering.
    Take for instance his arguing of the correctness of their adjudication of “ABC impartiality” and it’s devotion to even handedness – when it comes to the handling of the Faine/Smith affair (“Smith the tabloid shock-jock – with their sort of substandards – using ABC standards to get even with Faine, for having the temerity to have called him what he is/was – being paid to do”?) – written and enforced in it’s code. Not like the limp lettuce laughs that are pissed off by msm as their PSP’s and “missionary statements”. How important that is, while the likes of Jones, Monckton and the rest of “Climate Change Deniers Club” circus aren’t given more time to give us the benefit of their expertise on their “special subject”?
    Then again, I may be speaking too early? Maybe they’ll be on one of their science shows? Maybe even, is it, “Katter-list(?)”?

  51. Hamis Hill

    So the only thing standing in the way of making a blind-folded Humphrey B Bear in to Prime Minister of Australia is to not give in to blind fear and hate?
    There used to be a democracy in Australia?
    How about funding some Post-Democracy Studies?
    Oh, no need for that sort of thing anymore, just a few burnings at the stake, after compulsory church attendance, will be the New Order of the day.

  52. Savonrepus

    Mike Flanagan this is insane speak. Labor is in Government it owns the ABC. Government criticism of the ABC is just an admission of an inability of being unable to manage the things it should be managing. It just adds to the image of a chaotic Government. With popularity at 30% it is time to start addressing the problems not making excuses for them.

  53. GF50

    Mike Flanagan Hear! Hear

    Savonrepus I am tired of responding politely to your nonsense and feeding your attention seeking, relevance deprivation. So b#gger off and take your medication.

  54. Greg Fisher

    I am not disputing your description of Don Farrell as a right wing power broker, but possibly he is invisible in his sustainability and water role only to eastern states commentators. He seemed to pop up everywhere in SA…. driest state, driest continent etc

  55. Savonrepus

    GF50 your desire to run is indicative of Labor paying no attention to the relevance of its support deprivation. Perhaps if you paid more attention to those prepared to take take time out to outline the symptoms then you would be in a much better position to determine what is the appropriate medication.

    Right now with support running so strongly against Gillard Labor (as opposed to Rudd Labor) you are hardly in a position to be so condescending.

  56. Karen

    Nice to hear from you Mike Flanagan – Agree with your points too +1 +1 🙂

    @ Patriot – Umm, where in my posts do you suggest I’ve mentioned, let alone used the so-called “metric” of Mao and Stalin to evaluate the policies of Gillard who (1) is not Stalin, Mao for bleeding obvious reasons (do I need to give you a history lesson?) and (2) has made (with ors. in Labor) the economy and employment levels hum and in so doing made this place the best place in the world to live in, against all odds I might add, and (3)has pushed out very democratic, socially friendly (education, NBN, NDIS etc etc), family /pensioner policies, which when put to the voting public, end up getting the thumbs up by the very same lower middle class cohort who will determine the election outcome. It kind of makes you wonder why they would follow the self-interested arguments of the media proprietors line and vote in that crazy jesuit who will wind it all back and give them nothing.

    No, Patriot, you deserve a royal flush for that outrageous comment..before you die of shame for having made it…

  57. Patriot

    My point, Karen, was that those two men were also responsible lots of “social policy outcomes” as you put it. Should political leaders therefore aspire to emulate them? The answer is no. Contrary to what you would have us believe, implementing lots of dumb, dangerous, expensive and unfunded policies is not a metric of success for a political leader.

  58. Mike Flanagan

    I must agree, the failure of Conroy to bring the ABC back to its’ Howard adulterated charter will be recognised as a failure.
    Conroy’s carriage of the introduction of the NBN will only be able to be judged after the next election.
    Mark Scott’s acquiescent editorial submission of the ABC to the IPA agenda for the country is indicative of an inspired piece of media manipulation that Howard and co presented as their legacy. The rest of their policies were rubbish.
    The tardy appointment of a new chairman of our ABC will be recognised in the furure as being the ALP’s greatest political and strategic error.
    The chance of anointing Georgie Pell’s representative as our PM will only facilitate the breaking up of the ABC and its’ partial privatisation along with the SBS.
    Mark Scott must be salivating at his opportinities to further his sole ambition in life to be a media mogul and player in the political discourse and process.
    For he has displayed neither journalistic or bureaucratic aptitude or ethics.

    Karen and G50; Thanks

  59. Karen

    @ Patriot – Since when has Gillard emulated Stalin, Mao, Hitler or any other garden variety dictator, for that matter? This is an outrageous allegation. Thoroughly unbelievable, even coming from you..

    And why am I not suprised that you would find policies of genuine social utility, dumb, dangerous of expensive? And as for unfunded policies by Labor? Codswallop. The only unfunded policies have come from the Libs with the multibillion dollar black hole that Jimmy has so eloquently argued in posts gone by, and which this moronic press still hasn’t bothered to challenge. God, if this press actually did its job and placed the blow torch with the same vociferous zeal as its done to the Gillard, we wouldn’t see an Abbott led government for love or money.

    And Patriot, you want to know what’s hideously expensive and places an unfair impost on tax payers? Now we are on this subject? ‘legal’ tax evasion by multinationals who don’t pay ANY, I mean ANY, tax at all. Yes, that’s right. Read Ross Gittins report this morning, which focuses on tax evasion by multinationals who make literally billions in profits in developed countries like Australia and pay absolutely NO tax through complex transfer payment systems that allow them, ultimatel, to shelve money in off shore, zero tax havens.

    Who pays for this? Well, I’ll tell you. The tax burden left by these mothers unfairly fall back on firstly, businesses (who operate in one country only eg Australia) and ordinary wage and salary earners who not only have to pay more tax as a percentage of income but have to put up with service cuts, in order to balance the books.

    And what is this government, let alone any turkey Liberal government or other spineless, gormless government in the US and Europe going to do about it? Big fat nothing. Not that you’d care. You’d be saying, if its legal, good luck to them, whilst at the same time supporting the ripping away of social policies from the community who ironically pays the tax for them in the first place, on the spurious basis that they are dumb, dangerous, expensive and unfunded. Another royal flush..

  60. Savonrepus

    @Karen that is the problem and why we are in this mess. There is so much focus on blame – for you it is Patriot, the Libs, this Government etc etc.

    Better would be a solutions focus. You raised an issue of corporate tax minimization and off shoring. There is a recent case whereby the US erected a fire wall to protect its gambling industry from services provided by Antigua. Antigua filed a case with the WTO and was provided with an opportunity to retaliate.

    My point is this. It is possible to erect firewalls to regulate industry including regulation to mitigate tax minimization. The biggest impediment to undertaking such a task is the focus on (or from the other side avoidance of) blame for something not being done rather than a focus on doing something about the issue. Classic in this regard has been the investigations in the US on malpractice that gave rise to the GFC. No one has been prosecuted.

    If somehow we could capture the passion from a person such as yourself and direct it towards those that can implement solutions which you would hope is the Government of the day then maybe there is a path to resolution.

    Rest assured there are plenty of lobbyists employed to protect the status quo so it is about time they got some competition.

  61. Patriot

    Karen there is no lack of taxing and spending by this government. It has enjoyed record tax receipts. The problem is simply that they’ve done the dough on useless junk – pink batts, school halls, accommodation and welfare for illegals, set-top boxes and so on. I’ve no doubt business would be a lot more tolerant of taxation if the money wasn’t wasted on junk and funnelled off to crooked unions and fringe-dwelling loonies like GetUp. Nobody likes seeing their hard earned money wasted.

  62. Hamis Hill

    Patriot, you are like some sort of recently dug-up time capsule. It is 2013!

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