Friday Siesta At The Cafe (Thanks John Howard Edition)

Let me begin by saying “I’m not a witch. Nor a warlock”. Nor am I just like you. Unless yer a large vegetarian who enjoys hot, spicey food, tabasco in their beer, sci-fi, alternative music that makes yer elders wince, watching illuminating shows like ‘Hung’ & ‘Lost Gardens’ back to back…and would like to see a governing Coalition oneday made up of The Greens, The New Inventors & The Sex Party.

I also like taking the piss out of America’s Tea Party. Excessive worry warts walking around with flags sticking out of their butts, who have rogue grizzle guts Sarah Palin’s literature tucked under their pillows, who eat freedom fries for lunch, and Glenn Beck’s turds with hash browns for brekky, on American Constitution tablecloths…whilst calling for cuts to just about everything that helps keep half the population afloat on a good day…well, they deserve  a good pinching now & then. Oneday, they might wake up.

So where does John Howard come into this?

Well, I’ve got a distinct feeling that John Howard’s games played during the Pauline Hanson years was a real motivation for the too oft Fox News-backed US Tea Party…and the recent success of these home-baked loons and rural, regional gripers has inspired plans for a similar movement here in OZ. One only has to listen to the waves of discontent & tsunami of moaning prior to the announcement of the Murray-Darling Basin thingy to get a hint of what is yet to come. We’ve been warned. On the ABC Breakfast show of all things.

So, I’d like to send a thankyou card to John Winston Howard. Not by email tho…I doubt “Is that an Optus?” John would appreciate such.

Dear John,

Many thanks for being an inspiration to American Republicans. How could they have dug themselves out of their grave of fried politics without learning the valuable lesson that one way to bring back the base is to let parochial protectionist, cheap-arse, gay-baiting, “I’m only racist for the good of the country” policies & views be pushed by a ONE NATION UNDER GOD party…that wins a few seats, only to be executed down the line, whilst the corporate arse-lickin’ mainstream party takes the ball from them and runs with it all the way to the next election win? Nice work.

Also, what a valuable contribution you made regarding climate change policy John. Thanks for leaving this new Aussie Alliance with all the hard work to do on dealing with the climate and environmental messes…that goes for the Murray-Darling river bit. It makes for great “conflict” TV. Besides, what would they have to talk about on Q&A if you hadn’t left us such a quagmire? The ABC, The Australian & Sky News, in particular,  owe you a debt of gratitude.

And let’s not forget the absent “tax on mining profits“…how beaut of you to let the big miners bathe in the light reflecting from their own mountains of mineral rewards…whilst mining towns bathed in toxic dust, unaffordable residences and infrastructure that would suit the next Mad Max project. Yer kick-arse man.

And of course, leaving Australia with two blackhole wars to exit that have done diddly-squat to end world terrorism but have certainly played a role as full-bore recruitment campaigns for the “We hate anyone who’s not an extremist Muslim and will bring a world of hurt to those stinkin’ infidels!” types…well, that was pure genius. Why would we want to deal with the other pathetic issues like climate change, dehydrated rivers & basins, health & education reform, the mining tax, toxic Australia and kids being consumed by fast food joints & gambling rellies…when we can join America in it’s Pacmen-like forever wars…and make armament & energy groups even more powerful? Yer simply the best. 

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou John Winston Howard.

And may the rest of you have a wonderful day.  Have a few drinks & smiles whilst ya still can. Before the patriots of Australia start squeezing those flags outa their butts. And waving placards that read: Julia Gillard is a lesbian commie who was born a Muslim in Wales“.

Here’s to sanity! Bottoms up! Glug!

N’

148 comments on “Friday Siesta At The Cafe (Thanks John Howard Edition)

  1. I think it’s far more dangerous that that joni – it’s the BEAR that’s frothing at the mouth 8O

    Good to see you back passionate as ever Nas :)

  2. I wish the MSM would STOP IT with the furphies. Ref over to Think. Again topic. “The mining boom…..has kept unemployment low”. The mining industry employs approximately 1.8% of the workforce.

  3. “Oh… I did not read properly…. it was the bear…. (joni RUNS away quickly)”

    I know, it’s the garlic breath right? I’m tryin’ to keep the corporate bloodsuckers at bay.

    Bacchus, gracias. I was sick, but now i’m better, til I get sick again. I must have an Abbott tic on me somewhere.

    N’

  4. Nas’, sorry to hear that you’ve been unwell. You’ve certainly come back in full force with this extremely well written and readable topic.

  5. Cheers Min. I had no idea what I was gonna write today so I just vomited…24 hr cable news has that effect on me.

    N’

  6. Hi Nasking

    Thankyou for your most enjoyable piece

    Good to see you back in action, I have put your link up
    over at “The Political Sword” so the dear readers there, can come over for coffee soon.

    The distorted reports and constant whinging, whining on the Citizens Assembly and The Murray Darling are just so tiresome, aren’t they. Scare mongering is rife.

    This is an interesting piece that my friends
    at the Cafe might like to read:

    While we worried about jetlag and passion, The Conscience Vote
    Sky News is the big winner here in terms of trying to beat up stories. Virtually every one of their political programs this week raised the non-issues with their guests. Party strategists, MPs, former leaders and independent analysts were all called upon to explain exactly what the two leaders might have meant by their words
    http://consciencevote.wordpress.com:80/2010/10/08/while-we-worried-about-jetlag-and-passion/

    Cheers
    Lyn

  7. G’day Lyn. Thnx for the useful link…good piece. I’m really excited for Tony Abbott that he got to visit the homeland…let’s face it, God is an Englishman.

    Perhaps he’ll bring back some beaut ideas…like cutting rebates for those who don’t need them? We know how bolshi he can get when the election fever is upon him.

    Who knows, mebbe he’s learning how to fox hunt & say cheery things whilst his banker, political & market chums help orchestrate a house price crash and implement austerity measures in order to keep the workers drunk on football and the need for productivity?

    Anyway, I’m sure he’s not bringin’ any tea home…that’s already headin’ our way courtesy of the good ole USA.

    N’

  8. Well, she was too born in Wales. So the rest goes without saying.
    If you were born in England, you’d know that, Nasking.

  9. “If you were born in England, you’d know that, Nasking.”

    Patricia, I was. Didn’t ya know, Bear is an Englishman? :)

    W/ Aussie citizenship and 30+ years of residing here, making me a fair dinkum bloody pom who speaks, burps and drinks grog sometimes like one of us…

    & a hint of Canuck. A decade there. That’s why I prefer ice hockey over footy. And the fact I got an autograph from the fella who scored the final goal to win the 1st Canada/Russia series in the 70s. The outfits looked good on those first colour TV sets too. Swirling colours can suck any kid in.

    I imagine it was from UK posters that Abbott acquired his thorough knowledge of communications technology:

    http://postalheritage.org.uk/exhibitions/onlineexhibitions/movingthemail/images/messengersimages/Telegrams-poster-400.jpg

    and fear of “the outsider”:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/12/Quatermass2.jpg/220px-Quatermass2.jpg

    N’

  10. God post Nas and thanks for putting it up.

    BTW, you’d be impressed with the greats posts Min and joni have come up with in yer absence.

  11. Speaking of Norman Wisdom Min…how’s this for plus ce change…?

    Premature obituary

    On 28 December 2008, Sky News announced that Wisdom had died, running a pre-recorded obituary, both as part of its rolling broadcast coverage and on its website. Shortly afterwards, when it became apparent that other news sites were not carrying the story, Sky dropped the story, stating that it had been published in error in response to e-mail queries.
    (wikipedia)

    I take it they mean Sky News UK.

    Another great “premature ejaculation” moment in news reporting history.

    N’

  12. “you’d be impressed with the greats posts Min and joni have come up with in yer absence.”

    Migs, never expected any less, from them, you & other contributors. I’m enjoyin’ readin’ thru the comments & poetry too. Insightful, informative stuff.

    Is this where we run the promo?:

    CAFE WHISPERS…WHERE YOU CAN FEEL FREE TO MAKE COALITION MEMBERS SCREAM.

    THE ONLY BLOG THAT SENDS THE DRINK’S BILL TO TONY ABBOTT’S OFFICE.

    WE’RE COFFEE DRINKERS, NOT TEA LEAF READERS.

    RELIABLY DUCKING & BEARLY BALANCED.

    BROUGHT TO YOU BY QUACK ENTERPRISES.
    :)

    N’

  13. “Go da Leafs”

    joni, keep it up…they need all the help they can get.

    I’m proudly wearin’ my Chicago Black Hawks sweater…now, if I could only find the pants.

    N’

  14. One day I will be back in TO watching them live… one day… and then a beer or two at the Horseshoe on Queen W.

  15. Don’t you worry Joni, your turn will come. We’re all for gay marriage..for no other reason than the (really bad) jokes we can make :)

  16. Superb Min. Looks like a happy marriage by two confident & treated as equal partners, noone responding to each other’s beak & call. :)

    N’

  17. Aww, thank you Nas. Yes hubby probably would..like a cracker that is…he is currently languishing on the Pluto site at Karratha where they won’t even let the blokes take warm meals from the crib hut. But hubby fooled ‘em, he sneaked a plastic container in via his bag and left with several slabs of pizza.

  18. Whoops! Meant to put up a couple of songs from bands I’ve been listenin’ to of late…this is mellow, nice to lay back to, have a sip or twenty…thought the band appropriate considerin’ the way of the dollar these days…at least my eMusic subscription will be cheaper this mth…yay:

    The American Dollar – Age of Wonder

  19. I luv pumping up the volume w/ this lot when I’m full and sittin’ under the coloured lights of the dining room:

    The Black Angels – Entrance Song

  20. I’ll end w/ the final cd that we played on 5 random last weekend…from the talented Icelandic born Ólafur Josephsson in his home studio per usual:

    Stafrænn Hákon – Sanitas (latest LP)

  21. “But hubby fooled ‘em, he sneaked a plastic container in via his bag and left with several slabs of pizza.”

    Good for him Min. He deserves it.

    Chow.

    N’

  22. Nas’ it was just his lunch but the powers that be decided that nobody could take hot food from the crib and so the blokes were existing on cold cuts and salad…which becomes difficult when your day starts at 5.30am and you’re working 60+ hour weeks. It’s not as if onsite you can nip over to the nearest deli.

  23. Re the Murray Darling Basin. My family were dry land farmers which means sheep and wheat, as my Mum would say Born on the Banks of the Boosey (Tungamah Victoria). One would grow crops suitable for the land and there were certainly constraints but one accepted these as being part of nature and certainly nobody expected the government to ‘fix it’.

    My Mum says how when they were kids the Boosey Creek would run dry and it was the job of the kids once they saw the water running, to grab stout sticks to dig furrows in the dry water bed to make the water flow just a little quicker.

    Then came irrigation and Australia was able to grow things such as Mildura Oranges.

    After a long absence hubby and I flew down to Victoria and all that was left of the once mighty Murray was a line of green sludge.

  24. Me thinks that Bernard Keane isn’t a happy little vegemite.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/10/08/in-the-echo-chamber-progressives-need-to-muscle-up-on-policy/

    There are just so many quotable quotes in this one, but here is a snippet..

    But a particular theme of The Australian’s extended bouts of self-justification on these issues — the extent to which it realises it has mishandled an issue is in direct proportion to the column inches it gives over to justifying itself afterward.

  25. Re Keane’s article I seem to note a shift from people blandly accepting what they read in the newspapers as God’s own truth but are analysing about the reality of ‘unnamed sources’, are sick of the he-said, she-said thing. Also the media mostly chatting amongst themselves (big smiles) and failing to engage readers with 1/4 of a brain.

  26. Meanwhile, ToM seems unhappy with Nasking’s choice of topics. Pity he can’t rake up the courage to say it to his face. Some people simply can’t drag themselves out of the gutter.

  27. Some people simply can’t drag themselves out of the gutter.

    Something about that statement seems clever… but that can’t be right coming from you Migs ;)

    More seriously though, it is a sad state of affairs when people without a positive thing to say about a site spend so much time reading and commenting on it.

  28. Shit! I came here ’cause I was feeling a bit down … read the thread header and thought … no, you do not want know what I thought …

    … thanks, N’, now I feel much worse … BTW we don’t live in the USA … thank whatever deity you choose to believe in …

    … sad … enuff …

  29. “are you surprised that the Crows picked up Richard Tambling from the Tigers”

    Disappointed at first, I thought we might have learned after all these years, develop our youngsters. We have a great team of youngsters, and should keep developing them along with newer ones, not risking what looks like a very expensive trade on somebody who might have the goods, but has refused to deliver them to date.

    It has never worked for us before :(

    Mind you. I guess we are in the position to take chances now. We have to do something drastic.

  30. Loved that Keane article Min, it certainly had some passion in it, to match the valid points he raised.

    This one bit though, and I was sure he was looking at me when he said it

    “The alternative is sitting round complaining about the lies being peddled in places like The Australian, which in part means you allow the agenda to be set by your opponents anyway.”

    Mind you, highlighting the lies still needs to be done, because I think it all this ‘complaining’ that has got us to the point now where it is acknowledged that more action is required against a media outlet that is so obviously having a lend of us all.

    And I don’t think putting it behind a pay wall will make it go away, actually, it will probably just make it harder to find all the lies. Their influence over the rest of the media won’t be diminished simply by a pay wall, imo, it will just hide it away from those who want it go away.

    In fact, I think it will enable them to perpetrate lies more easily. Quite often, the title and the first few leading lines, which is possibly what everybody will see until you get a paid subscription (if they choose that model), are the most misleading. Very often, the contents of their articles directly dispute the heading of the article, and it is only after close reading that you note the article is not what is claims to be. For those who can make it far.

  31. Tom, you aren’t exactly sitting around only complaining..consider the hundreds of words that you have written bringing issues to others attention.

    A pay wall will never work as only those who care about issues would be prepared to pay for information. Consider the average reader of the DT for example.

    Unfortunately we can’t do much other than analyze as only large organisations such as the OO have access to original sources.

  32. “only large organisations such as the OO have access to original sources.”

    Which is why, imo, this access should be curtailed if such an organisation is found to be repeatedly printing false or misleading articles. They are given a right that the average person does not have, and they abuse it wantonly.

    In any other occupation, if misuse of the powers that go with the trade is exposed, repercussions are inevitable. Why not with something as important as our media coverage?

  33. Tom R – I would have wholeheartedly supported Keane’s article too
    had he and Crikey not themselves been guilty of ‘echo chamber’ journalism recently in their appalling commentary on Julia Gillard. I am seriously reconsidering my subscription to Crikey if there’s much more of the same.

  34. Tom, one of the biggest problems is how to discourage organisations from printing false or misleading information. Suing is currently just about the only option and then one has to prove detriment (usually of the $ variety). That is, we might be appalled at the misinformation and the twists and turns of how stories are presented but it’s still difficult to prove detriment.

    Public opinion has worked in the past and the ending of deployment of troops to Vietnam comes to mind. I suspect that it’s due to the constant analysis coming from citizen journalists as to the reason of why the MSM are screaming so loudly, even so far as taking out Grog. If the MSM thinks that actions such as these are going to stop people, then they’re wrong..it just makes us all that more determined.

  35. Patricia, I’m glad that you brought up the subject of Crikey. I’ve been a Crikey fan for eons but have noted a decidedly right wing leaning in some recent articles. Now this is fine, however the media already has bucket loads of right wing opinion and one doesn’t need to subscribe to Crikey to find these.

  36. Tom, you aren’t exactly sitting around only complaining..consider the hundreds of words that you have written bringing issues to others attention.

    I agree. TomR, as far as I’m concerned you can complain as much as you like. The MSM harp on that the represent the people. I prefer to think that they control the people. Clearly, they don’t control you. We need more people like you.

    I have been a voter since 1972 and never before have I heard so much talk about the media’s influence on our voting preferences as I have heard on this year’s election. I’m not talking about just one or two people, and neither am I talking about what I read on the blogosphere. Rather, there has been a lot of talk around it at work, at the club, among friends etc etc.

    The behaviour of the media was certainly noticed by many, whereas in previous years it has gone fairly unnoticed. Perhaps this year it was more obvious.

  37. Knock me over with a feather.

    From: http://www.theage.com.au/national/uk-body-says-news-ltd-misrepresented-it-on-climate-20101008-16c20.html

    BRITAIN’S leading science body has objected to its treatment by The Australian, accusing the News Limited newspaper of misrepresenting a report on climate science.

    And..

    The newspaper claimed that the society’s summary ”undercuts many of the claims of looming ecological disaster that have been made in a bid to gain public support for political action” to tackle climate change.

    Royal Society vice-president John Pethica said the suggestion the science body had revised its position ”was simply not true”.

    Well who would have thunk it..and coming from such a stalwart icon of honesty in Australian journalism.

  38. Min, way back in 1980 my sociology lecturer claimed that The Australian had become a trashy paper relying on sensationalism. They’ve been getting away with it now for 30 years

    I find it odd, that when caught out telling lies by Media Watch eg, they still turn around and say they were right. A lie to vindicate a lie to sell a newspaper.

  39. “Morgan’s latest is out”

    Nice one. Labor primary up. 2pp up. Cheering news. I reckon the LNP are lookin’ like the rabble they have been for years but much of the mainstream covered up. Sanqween & I were only discussin’ last nite that if Abbott had been a top Laborite & made the mistakes he did & run from a fight he’d have been burned badly.

    Look what happened to the poor Laborite who made the mistake of tellin’ on the phone the man w/ the disabled child that he shoulda taken his kid to a specialist a couple of years ago. He got sliced & diced by the media.

    Yet Mr. Gospel Truth & “Does no mean no?” gets a free ride. Pathetic. I don’t reckon Abbott performed half as well as some in the mainstream media stated. If they really believed that then they musta had very very low expectations of him. Which doesn’t say much about his parliamentary history.

    Great links Min. As for Crikey, I always saw them as small “l” Liberals that added some soc dem & more Green supporting bloggers along the way. I find them refreshin’ compared to much of the neo-Liberal, neo-con, corporate aristocrat/robber baron supporting stuff that spurts outa News Ltd.

    I like hearin’ different sides of debate/issues. As long as they, Crikey, don’t become that ‘echo chamber’ I’ll keep readin’ & linkin’. I musta missed the Gillard bashin’ stuff.

    Keane is an accomplished writer, and certainly thinks for himself more than some in the grasp of the corporate iron fist. As long as he remains independent thinkin’, like Tim Dunlop & Jeremy Sears & Possum etc. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt…unless I fervently disagree on somethin’. Different views are what make us grow & think harder…I’d hate to see everyone towin’ the same old line…might as well be fascists, commies, corporate numbers.

    It’s the greedy fckers I despise. Those who allow their fears, insecurities or sense of supremacy to exploit others, extinguish their empathy, become compulsive about accumulatin’ assets & moolah at the expense of their families, the workers, refugees, the common good.

    I reckon the people at Crikey are similar to most of us in that regard…they despise the greedsters, the fear-makers, the exploiters…try to expose them for the destructive fools they are…in turn create a fairer playin’ field…whilst tryin’ to survive in their field of endeavour.

    They deserve our support.

    W/ the odd bit of advice & criticism when required. :)

    BTW, insightful & well-meanin’ comments above by all…as usual. Thnx for the contributions. And the laughs.

    N’

  40. Migs, they have to claim that they are right so as to avoid litigation. They cannot admit that they were wrong or else they would open themselves up to compensation claims.

    And therefore around and around it goes.

  41. “Well who would have thunk it..and coming from such a stalwart icon of honesty in Australian journalism.”

    LOL. The myths that are created eh?

    N’

  42. Nas’ the Morgan Poll was interesting because it was taken before Abbott’s jet lag gaffe.

    Me-thinks that once the general populace saw that it was going to be business as usual, that we did indeed have a workable parliament (in spite of the MSM’s suggesting that it wasn’t), that it was back to looking at the job of the individual parties.

    So far Labor has shown itself to be a team – Rudd doing his usual excellent job – Crean selling the Arts – Gillard OS.

    This is in contrast to the Libs where already there is dissension in the ranks mostly via Hockey.

  43. “I’m not talking about just one or two people, and neither am I talking about what I read on the blogosphere. Rather, there has been a lot of talk around it at work, at the club, among friends etc etc.”

    Migs, we noticed that my Mother & Father-in-law are sayin’ same. Even S’s Dad said the other day he now takes everything he reads in the Courier Mail w/ a pinch of salt…much he reckons is garbage.

    The people are wakin’ up.

    N’

  44. “The behaviour of the media was certainly noticed by many, whereas in previous years it has gone fairly unnoticed. ”

    This is because your darling ALP is now power. Howard had to put up with dishonest crap from the media (and you lot to) for years.

    Now your heroes are in power nobody is allowed to say anything bad about them.

    I think they are a total bunch of incompetents.

    The Nation Broadband Network was promised to be finished in 5 years. Well after three years not much has been done.

    The ALP is one deceitful political party.

  45. “So far Labor has shown itself to be a team – Rudd doing his usual excellent job – Crean selling the Arts – Gillard OS.”

    Min, I couldn’t agree more. I reckon the jetlag gaffe will hurt Abbott…I reckon he’s on the downward spiral. But can some polls be trusted to reveal it?

    Anyway, we are headin’ for interestin’ times. I just hope Labor have the courage to stand up for their convictions. Real reform is required across many areas…includin’ profit redistribution.

    And healin’ parts of the environment…creatin’ more sustainable practices…whilst furtherin’ new, vibrant industry, technology & communication to make life better for more…and ensure a half-decent level of competitiveness.

    Discussion & negotiation is useful, essential…provided it doesn’t become more talk & little action. Courage will be rewarded I reckon.

    N’

  46. “Now your heroes are in power nobody is allowed to say anything bad about them.”

    Neil, a ridiculous & reductionist comment. Many of us are quite willing to criticise the government if they deserve it…but we’ve seen far too much biased distortions & hype over the past few years just to echo the negabore comments of a media run by ego-maniacs & sycophants & those determined to keep their job at all costs…or build empires.

    I used to give the thumbs up to the Coalition when they did things I thought useful. Gun buyback scheme…the 1st stages of the first home owner’s scheme. etc.

    Perhaps you need to look beyond yer blinkered approach. It can’t be doin’ yer health any good.

    N’

  47. “Gun buyback scheme…the 1st stages of the first home owner’s scheme”….I’ll add, money to help out Indonesians after tsunami.

    N’

  48. Nas’ the ‘clever’ election strategy oft repeated by starry eyed reporters on Sky was that Abbott was able to avoid gaffes and that for the most part was able to hide away for a good portion of the election campaign.

    Abbott is just not PM-material as one cannot know what really really dumb thing he’s next going to come out with. Abbott works in the short term but he just can’t manage the long haul. Those of us who have watched Abbott over the years know exactly what sort of gaffes he is likely to come out with.

    Hockey – no charisma, he is a could-have-been but after he sold his soul to the devil (Howard) fluffs around all over the place with his opinions.

    Turnbull – best bet as Australian politics shifts to the left with the advent of the Greens having control of the Senate next year.

    I think that Labor has learnt the lesson about what not standing up for your convictions means. Also Gillard is far less forgiving than Rudd and will be making changes.

  49. “Abbott is just not PM-material as one cannot know what really really dumb thing he’s next going to come out with. Abbott works in the short term but he just can’t manage the long haul. Those of us who have watched Abbott over the years know exactly what sort of gaffes he is likely to come out with.”

    Spot on again Min.

    I think the Coalition have really got to go thru their ranks w/ a fine tooth comb…there’s some top class people there but too oft in the background…kept there I imagine by the fearful at the front.

    As for Turnbull, Sanqween reckons he’s like a brand name electrical appliance you buy for Xmas but once ya get it the thing it just doesn’t live up to expectations…it looks like it should…but the performance is limited & lacklustre…but yer loathe to admit it for a good long while because of the reputation. After awhile ya just store it in a corner. Realise you’ve been duped. :)

    Hockey has put a wrecking ball thru his career…looks shonky, sycophantic apologist at best.

    I’m hoping the ex-tennis player demonstrates some nous.

    I imagine Scott Morrison will try to make a run thru the middle like Howard. Intelligent character…but has become one mean-arsed dipstick over recent times. I dunna how these guys live w/ themselves sometimes. Must be like Faust eh?

    N’

  50. Nice link Min to the story about ltdnews getting a baby slap for trying to run their agenda again instead of giving us their news. Looks like it is going viral :)

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/09/the_australian_delenda_est.php#comment-2847016

    I still maintain that removing access rights to journalists is going to hurt the paper more than any slap on the wrist or piddly fine will.

    “but has become one mean-arsed dipstick over recent times.”

    Might have something to do with the company he keeps?

  51. Excellent analogy Sanqween.

    Abbott is like the toaster which toasts only one side. Overdone one side and underdone the other.

    T’bull was the promise of a tasty fruit loaf but ended up being bland white bread and not too much butter.

    Somehow Hockey never recovered after he obeyed Howard’s orders to not attend Rudd’s daughter’s wedding. Just me, but a friend is a friend. I would have told Howard to shove it. I say this as it’s a place in time when Hockey started to go down and down and down.

    Hockey tried to reinvent himself but it’s not been successful.

    I cannot see that any of the Liberal old guard will be encouraging any newcomers. This compares with Rudd’s complete revamp. Of the old school only the old war horses such as Crean and Macklin are still there yet Abbott wants to hang on to people who were only ever Howard’s B-Team.

  52. Tom, treat me gently. How do you remove access rights. I have an inkling that this might have been tried but the only result was that the media especially the OO then just made it up to fill in the spaces.

    Plus you have to have both parties of politics cooperating. Imagine if say Labor refused to provide the OO with Press Releases but the LNP continued to provide the OO with these.

  53. I’m not talking about politically stifling journalists, I’m thinking more about the access that the press receive to a wider range of topics (sports, entertainment etc, that they gain access to by right of their little press badges). Keep those that are repeat offenders outside the press room with the rest of us, and see how they cope then.

  54. TomR, you might be pleased to learn that in the USA some blogmasters of the big blogs are now getting press passes too. Interesting.

  55. Tom, sadly I don’t think that is going to happen. We’re just goin’ to have to keep on a’bloggin’ :)

    The best that can be done is to not click onto people such as Piers and Bolt as they earn their livings via clicks and advertising via their sites. It’s akin to a sit-down strike.

  56. Migs, I cannot see why Blog Masters in Australia cannot be issued with same, as after all a Press Pass requires nothing more than a security check and a verification of ID.

  57. I wonder why some are chosen Migs.

    Is it the number of readers attracted to their site? Or is it something to do with the quality of their writing (which might also be the reason they have the number of readers, but not always)? Or is it something nefarious? Is based on the leanings of their posts?

    I honestly don’t know what the criteria over here is for granting them. It might even be as simple as applying, in which case, my entire premise falls apart (wouldn’t be the first time lol)

  58. Does anybody recall the horror which accompanied Rudd’s first trip overseas as Foreign Minister, with the usual suspects braying on about how it should have been Jules, not Kev making their presence known.

    Well, that was last week, this week, the tables have turned.

    “Why wasn’t Rudd in Brussels with the PM?”

    “it now looks like the Prime Minister has grounded her Foreign Minister, potentially damaging our international relations.”

    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/why-wasnt-rudd-in-brussels-with-the-pm/

    These dipsticks can analyse the negatives in anything, no matter how much it contradicts the previous rubbish that just spurted out from their cake holes, or how inanely pathetic their argument is. Give those passes to bloggers I say (grog, where are ya?), and take it away from pretend pulp fiction hacks.

  59. Tom let’s just pretend that I was a councilor for the Shire of X, I also write for the local Leader newspaper. Would I be provided with a press pass. The answer is yes.

  60. Tom, they are indeed desperate dipsticks. The Punch is another Murdoch empire organ.

    They come across like rumour-mongers in a hairdressing salon.

    N’

  61. TomR, I cannot recall the exact details, but it had something to do with some bloggers being accepted as citizen journalists. A recent poll in America found that over 60% of those polled consider blog sites more transparent and honest than the masinstream media.

    This is good news for bloggers, particularly if it catches on in Australia.

  62. “I used to give the thumbs up to the Coalition when they did things I thought useful. Gun buyback scheme…the 1st stages of the first home owner’s scheme. Etc.”

    Nasking, I do not want to rewrite history, but could Mr. Howard have acted any different on guns. Mr. Howard as was his want was not one to miss any opportunity to make himself look good. If you remember at the time, the protective vests he wore with relish. He played a shocking tragedy to the full.

    The same as he never missed a funeral during his reign.

    The first homeowner’s scheme looked good but has done little to keep home prices under control, I say the same for any other like scheme. If money is to be given, it should only be on new homes. Anything else forces home prices up. The only other way I know to add to increasing housing stock is provide welfare housing. I am not saying we should go back for this being done by Housing Departments, but is needs to be done. A little money for low income was provided under the stimulus scheme.

    I would also like to see an unpopular measure of Capital Gains Tax being put on homes, say over five million dollars. The wealthy seem to have a good scram going of making millions in untaxed profit from their private homes. Maybe they might even be persuaded to invest in rental properties.

    If we want a mobile workforce, which the Liberals call for, the workers need to be able to move with ease. Home ownership does not necessary support mobility.

  63. “Mr. Howard as was his want was not one to miss any opportunity to make himself look good. If you remember at the time, the protective vests he wore with relish. He played a shocking tragedy to the full.”

    Catching up,

    Certainly true…and the vest bit was a bit of a farce. But I still give him credit for goin’ thru w/ it. It has saved lives.

    As for the first home owner’s grant…as early beneficiaries of it my wife & I were extremely grateful, comin’ off years off payin’ for HECS & illness. But instead of sprucin’ it up as an investment and sellin’ to get a larger place we’ve stuck w/ our wee place & luv it as a real secure home. Consequently we didn’t get stuck w/ a massive burden of debt on our backs.

    Before our lender approved us we were scrutinised usin’ microscopes…the same shoulda been done in the USA.

    As for risin’ house prices, it’s partially to do w/ shortage of land/properties…but also partially greedy sellers, unscrupulous real estate agents, a problem for awhile w/ too many overseas investors, overly zealous auctioneers, occasional risky loans…you name it.

    And let’s face it, this country is seen as a damn site more prosperous, secure & safe than some. Certainly appealin’ to investors.

    I do think tho that too many young people went in over their heads. We’ve been very cautious. Some aren’t. A neighbouring couple are in their early 20s, bought the place for 350+ grand, a new sporty car, and had a baby…and her job is certainly not stable. And they party constantly…and buy, buy, buy. I’m stuffed if I know how they pay for it all.

    I imagine the piper will come a callin’ oneday.

    N’

  64. Nasking, many gained from the First Ownership Grant including my children. What I am saying we need to increase the housing stock. This would help low income to obtain housing.

  65. Tom @5.34. Yes indeed. The media hadn’t quite got it through their thick skulls that Australian politics is a team event (at least on the Labor and Green side) and not all about who is the leader.

    They, the media couldn’t quite work out (and still can’t) how Rudd could be perfectly happy in his role as Foreign Minister.

    The media tried to beat it up into a story about how Rudd was going to make another play for the leadership, but this quickly fizzled.

    Via your link, the relationship between Gillard and Rudd was ‘bound to be a fragile one’. Says who? Says the media.

    There is absolutely no evidence to support the iffy opinion that Rudd has been ‘grounded’ but to the contrary Rudd/Gillard were criticised for Kevin returning to Kev 747.

    “Young Victorian” Woodroofe should just have a wee check of Rudd’s itinerary before trying to play games with the big kids. Mr Woodroofe, you cannot make claims without backing it up with facts because people will have the stats in front of them..and the stats will make you look stoopid.

  66. CU, there is no point in increasing the housing stock if they are all priced at $450,000. What is needed is competition at the lower end of the market so that developers will reduce their prices.

    There is no point in reducing things such as developer contributions as the developers will just pocket the cash difference.

    As above, the only way to make housing affordable is by introducing competition and the only way that competition can happen at the lower end of the market to make housing more affordable is via public housing.

  67. “What I am saying we need to increase the housing stock.”

    Catching up,

    the government is building affordable homes…I reckon tho they are bein’ pretty cautious in case a flood of properties undermines existin’ house prices…tryin’ to avoid a domino effect like in America.

    N’

  68. If you haven’t seen the recent Daily Show episodes you missed some eye openin’ stuff that reveals the hypocrisy & insanity & extent of the home foreclosure situation in America…

    - click on the link and then vids titled (Foreclosure Crisis) & (Mortgage Banker’s Association Strategic Default):

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/

    What a bloody con & mess.

    N’

  69. “As above, the only way to make housing affordable is by introducing competition and the only way that competition can happen at the lower end of the market to make housing more affordable is via public housing.

    Min, that is what I was attempting to say. Public Housing can be administered in many ways, not neccesary Housing Commisions. Only PH can meet the needs of the handicapped, mentally ill and other fragile people.

  70. Nasking, I do not recall that the massive public housing built post war had any effect on existing housing. I do recall that providing such housing in complete suburbs was not the best way to do it. Saying that, there does notseem to be any lack of buyers today purchasing the same houses.

  71. CU. It was a different situation post WW2. Public housing wasn’t in competition with anyone as housing developments/subdivisions as such didn’t exist. Land was easy, plenty of it on the back blocks of Box Hill. Hubby’s family were the proud owners of a War Service Home. Row after row of identical homes, now worth a squillion of course.

    We are now confronted with an entirely different situation where public housing can only be provided via infill. And because it’s infill, it will be in competition with existing housing.

    The solution of course is decentralisation of industry/jobs so that people can relocate to country areas.

    CU, there is approximately a 5 year wait for a disabled person to access public housing, because there isn’t any.

    In my area (northern rivers NSW), a rental property is for a base minimum is $300pw. Try that one on the disability pension.

  72. “As above, the only way to make housing affordable is by introducing competition and the only way that competition can happen at the lower end of the market to make housing more affordable is via public housing.”

    Public housing, per se, won’t make land on the fringe any cheaper. The cost of land is the main reason housing is so expensive now. Once upon a time the land cost was normally 10% of the total property cost but now you’d be lucky if you could get land on the city fringe that was only 25% of the total cost.

    The only way to solve the problem is to reduce the cost of land development (the cost of transforming rural land into serviced housing blocks).

  73. Indeed, Chris. Developers are making a killing here in Canberra. Meanwhile, young couples are struggling to enter the market. It must be hard paying over $400 a week in rent while trying to save for a deposit. Land is so scarce that those wishing to purchase a block go into a ballot when a new area is released. Yet the developers seem to have no such restraints. Or so it seems.

  74. Neil, a ridiculous & reductionist comment. Many of us are quite willing to criticise the government if they deserve it…

    And have done so, Nas’ as we can all attest.

    Must be the night for nourishing broth. We had chicken and corn soup, last night and tonight. Husbandy substance has had to have all his fangs removed due to bone degeneration and gum disease and is still learning to drive his false fangs. Hence a lot of soup.

    The boys had steak sangas, however. None of this nourishing broth for them, although if it was my lamb shank soup, or pea and ham soup, son #3 would be consuming it with gusto. The other chap eschews soup completely.

  75. “Husbandy substance has had to have all his fangs removed due to bone degeneration and gum disease and is still learning to drive his false fangs. Hence a lot of soup.”

    jane, sounds like yer poor husband has had a tough time of it w/ his teeth…ouch!

    Can empathise…goin’ thru beginnin’ stages of similar. Dentists are way too expensive here. There’s gotta to be a better way. Rottin’ gums & teeth must be costin’ the country a mint. And causin’ alot of sufferin’ & financial pain too I imagine. It has in this household. We’ve spent more than 2 & 1/2 grand on them already this year…and much more to go.

    We just had to replace our gas stove & oven so we’ve both put the teeth on the back burner. No pun intended.

    N’

  76. Chris, Migs, Min & Catching Up,

    Having lived overseas as a young man, in the UK & Canada & Austria, I do find the obsession by young Aussie adults to buy a house odd considering so many of us over there (even here in the 80s) rented (lived in flats, apartments, caravans etc.) when we were in our early working days &/or studying.

    It seems to me that it puts enormous pressure on the system.

    Wouldn’t it create a more sustainable environment if young adults lived in high density units and such until they could afford such expenditure…and ensured their relationships were secure?

    Seems to me that expectations & demand is very high these days.

    Just sayin’. Food for thought.

    We got our first home, this present one, when my wife was almost 30 & I was just past 40. Seemed like the right time.

    N’

  77. I do not agree with you Min one hundred percent. There is some truth in what you say.

    My recollection of the immediate post war period was massive housing shortage. It was near impossible to obtain accommodation. Those already in rental accommodation had protected rents. Families bunk in with other family members, live in one or two rooms and there were tent cities near Sydney.

    My mother bought a large home at Annandale when we came to Sydney to live, which she turned into five flatettes.

    My uncle and family lived in unlined huts that were provided by the Housing Commission in his father-in-laws back yard. The massive shortage came about because the Depression and then the war where no housing was built. Added to the problem was the big intake of Refugees. There was also a shortage of tradesmen and materials. I

    am talking about the late 1940 and 1950’s. There were housing developments, not on the scale we have now. Daceyville that was developed before the war comes to mind.

    The homes that were built were offered to the homeless for rent or purchase. To buy you needed a fifty-pound deposit. Low interest rates were available with a 40-year mortgage. Many took the latter offer.

    This meant for the first time low-income earners had access to property. It also meant that when retirement came, they had some assets.

    Many manage to buy land, build garages to live in while they built the home.

    As for the cost of services to the land being cheaper than today. I challenge that, I lived in a home on near Parramatta in the 1960’s. The house was nearly 20 year old with no sewer available. Many suburbs had dirt roads. All that was connected was water and electricity.

    Retrofitting the suburbs was very expensive way of doing things. That is why the development costs are paid up front today. I do not think that anyone would be willing to live without sewerage and dirt roads today.

    Not all the housing was built in new areas. There was slum clearing in the inner suburbs.

    As we moved into the late 80 and 70’s, the package home evolved. It is my belief that the massive welfare housing being provided led to the prices of the packages being kept low. The low-income earners were not competing in the open rental market, as they have to do today.

    Since we entered this century, welfare housing has dried up. It is near impossible to be an owner builder today.

    The developers appear to sole access to any land available. The rental subsidy the lower income gets, only allows the landlord to charge more.

    The governments, both State and Federal have moved out of welfare housing in the belief that the private sector could deal with the matter. The truth is that it cannot. We only have to look at America for that. They set up. I think a system of cheap loans, that the poor could not service leading to a massive economic collapse.

    If there is land for the private developer, some can be retained for low-income housing. I believe that the State needs to build. There can be supplementary schemes to encourage the private sector, but I think you will find them too greedy.

    The private developers appear to be only interested in building oversize, ugly McMansions, not homes suitable for the average low-income family.

    I would like to see the First Home Payment be directed to the provision of low-income housing. The developers need completion to bring costs down.

    I do not want to see suburbs like Green Valley, Mt. Druitt or Campbelltown re-immerge. It is important to have an adequate pool of affordable rental accommodation to allow mobility in the workforce.

  78. Chris true enough. There have been report of developers hanging onto large tracts of land and releasing blocks slowly so that they are able to maintain their market prices. That is, planned scarcity.

  79. CU, also developers are only interested in maximising their profits. For example, in the Shire of Lilydale the minimum block size used to be 864sqm.

    It was put to council that this be reduced so as to encourage affordable housing. You guessed it, the prices didn’t budge but rather developers were able to squeeze in more houses.

    And agreed, the First Home Buyers grant should be limited to a maximum income plus maximum cost of the dwelling purchased. And while we are at it, negative gearing should only apply to the construction of new properties…this was the original intent but has succeeded only in ‘churning’.

  80. In our first two years on Kangaroo Island we were placed in the Soldier’s Settlement Camp; candle powered tin sheds the shape of a half circle with the snake and spider infested dunny out the back next to a lane, which we appropriately called ‘dunny lane’.

    A fellow called Mr Austin would clean the dunnies once a week. He was fondly known as Dunny Austin.

    Once we settled on the farm we had a better house and lots of luxuries. We had electricity – only because we had a generator. We had hot water for the bath – once we’d cut enough wood and stoked the water heater. We had a fridge – a kerosine one of course. We had a wood stove, fresh milk, fresh cream and fresh eggs on tap.

    I only had a mile to walk to the road to wait for the school bus, which I’d do in 15 seconds if Barny the Bull was in the same paddock.

    Anyway, I’m ranting. :)

    Must choof.

  81. That’s because she’s a Collingwood supporter, Min. Collingwood supporters don’t deserve little luxuries like an inside dunny. :lol:

    PS – I’ll be checking my mail for letter bombs this week. ;-)

  82. Fox News’s Glenn Beck spreads the luv:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/08/AR2010100805640.html

    and:

    Glenn Beck under fire from Dana Milbank for gold-digging Fox News’s Tea Party pundit-in-chief criticised for using his position in the public eye to promote Goldline

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/05/glenn-beck-dana-milbank-gold

    SHOW ME THE MONEY

    Lucky Australia doesn’t have any TV presenters or shock jocks like that eh?

    N’

  83. Sounds familiar, Migs a@12.48pm, but we had to empty our own bucket. No looxuries like a long drop for us! Mind you, it was an improvement on the post hole digger and the Chronicle.

  84. Jane at 9.17pm yesterday evening. Apologies for the late reply. I’ve been thinking about you all day and your poor hubby.

    The best thing that Howard ever did was the gun buy back, the worst being not counting teeth as a health problem. I’ll never forget youngest in her 2nd year at uni crying on the phone..the dentist refused to treat her abscessed tooth unless he saw the $1,000 up front. They made her stand in waiting room in agony, handed her the phone..make the call girlie. Luckily I was home. Luckily her family had the money. Callous b*stards.

  85. Min @7.48pm. That is disgusting! Having had a burst abscess, I can attest first hand to the agony! The poor girl. Callous bastards indeed! As you say, luckily you were home and able to stump up the funds for the extortioners!

    We definitely need a public dental scheme in this country. Somehow dentists need to be brought to the table. I think it could be achieved if the government waived fees for dental degrees, providing each graduate agreed to participate in a denticare scheme.

    I think this would be the only way to guarantee their participation in such a scheme and I for one would be happy to pay a higher healthcare levy than I do at the moment.

    Dental health is so important for our general health. I don’t think people realise the impact poor dental health has on our general health, so imo it’s vital to get a decent dental health scheme up and running.

  86. As for Turnbull, Sanqween reckons he’s like a brand name electrical appliance you buy for Xmas but once ya get it the thing it just doesn’t live up to expectations…it looks like it should…but the performance is limited & lacklustre…but yer loathe to admit it for a good long while because of the reputation. After awhile ya just store it in a corner. Realise you’ve been duped.

    Nas’, I meant to say last night how beautifully Sanqween has summed up Turnbull. She has expressed exactly the feelings I have about him. Looks like stainless steel, but is in fact cheap chrome finish.

    Migs @ 6.18pm, the Stock & Station was too flash for the likes of us. The Chronicle did have good comics, though. Explains why camping has absolutely no allure for me. Did enough of it as a kid. My idea of camping is staying at the Hilton! Lol

  87. Jane, so many things. An example comes from eldest daughter who works with the long term unemployed and the disabled. And no guesses what their biggest problem is. Their teeth. They cannot get jobs because of the pain in their rotting teeth and live on pain killers.

    Australia has the world’s worst teeth.

    A disgusting situation in Australia where the poor cannot afford basic dental care while the wealthy receive free theatre tickets on their private health schemes.

    “Gum disease was known as an important factor for heart disease, but the new research is the first to reveal that the severity of a disease is interconnected with the other.” And that’s just for starters.

  88. Can empathise…goin’ thru beginnin’ stages of similar. Dentists are way too expensive here. There’s gotta to be a better way. Rottin’ gums & teeth must be costin’ the country a mint. And causin’ alot of sufferin’ & financial pain too I imagine. It has in this household. We’ve spent more than 2 & 1/2 grand on them already this year…and much more to go.

    We just had to replace our gas stove & oven so we’ve both put the teeth on the back burner. No pun intended.

    Agree 100%, Nas’. Teeth set us back $5,500 and that was the cheap option! You’d have to be Rupert Murdoch to afford implants, particularly as husbandy substance would have had to have bones grafts as well. I reckon you could buy a fairly decent house for what all that would cost.

    Stoves & ovens aren’t a budget item either. It sucks that one has to choose whether to replace an essential household item like a cooker or get the fangs fixed.

    It shouldn’t be happening in this country and dental treatment shouldn’t cost an arm, a leg and pint of blood!

    We have extras cover, thank God! I hate to think what it would have cost if we didn’t. We now have to wait for our dental allocation to recharge so I can get my teeth seen to. I also have bone degeneration in part of my upper jaw as a result of another abscess-turned-cyst. Naturally it has to be my front teeth!

    Funnily enough, the abscess cum cyst was only detected when I had a small filling in one of my front teeth 35+ years ago. No pain or any symptoms at all!

    Weird considering the pain another abscess caused when it burst in the last lesson for the week when I was at high school. Makes labour seem like a doddle.

    Lead to root canal, bone regeneration treatment, crowns and a bridge. Cost around $1,500 all those years ago.

    Lucky I had a good job at the time. My first husband and I were building a house at the time, so $1,500 was a fair chunk of money.

    My cousin was going to go to the Philipines last year to have his teeth fixed. Was going to cost him $14,000 for return flights, accommodation, food and treatment, which included implants. All up, roughly a third of what it would cost here. Unfortunately, he couldn’t go because of a family crisis.

  89. Min @9.12pm. Your daughter must get discouraged at times. It is an absolute disgrace that in this supposedly wealthy country, the poor and disadvantaged can’t get decent dental care and that dental care is so expensive. It is so absolutely essential to our well being, yet is completely ignored!

    A few years ago, a fisherman’s wife was having all sorts of health problems-passing out, headaches, joint pain, stomach upsets-the list was endless. It had gone on for around 3 years until she finally found a doctor who diagnosed her problems.

    It was a combination of working in a garage, pumping petrol and amalgam fillings. They had poisoned her entire body! As a result she was referred to an orthodontist, who told her all the teeth had to go after treatment to remove the toxins in her body. Replacing the fillings wasn’t an option for her.

  90. Jane, I really sympathise with your family about those dental problems and the bills.

    The thing which made me angriest of all during the Howard years, the wars aside, was the appalling neglect of dental services for the aged and disadvantaged. Anyone who has suffered toothache or jaw pain for however brief a period knows how unbearable it can be. Imagine coping with pain like that day after day on top of general debilitation through old age in straitened circumstances.

    My family was dirt poor through the thirties and WWII years. I remember my mother as an increasingly toothless shrew as pain led her to the cheapest and only solution for her – extraction of one after the other of her rotten and painful teeth. Then a miracle – the National Health Service came in. She was one of the first to get false teeth. I can see her now, full cheeked and with smiling white teeth. She really was pretty. How sad that for almost ten years her young woman’s bloom was lost. To say nothing of the blighted childhood of five kids whose mother was in constant pain.

  91. “It shouldn’t be happening in this country and dental treatment shouldn’t cost an arm, a leg and pint of blood!”

    Indeed jane. The sad experiences you & Min are tellin’ are similar to so many I’ve heard across this country…

    it just amazes me that we have our leaders fartin’ on about how wonderful our economy is, and yet many Australians are walkin’ around w/ teeth in the same condition as those in 3rd world countries.

    When ya think of the profits these mining companies made durin’ that bloody “prosperity era”, and Howard & Costello kowtowin’ to them instead of ensurin’ we got a fair share of the pie (don’t even get me started on “so far up their arse he’s starin’ out their eyes” Tony Abbott)…

    in turn, creatin’ expensive, bogus wars that’ve provided their boy Abbott w/ an action man, gun-toutin’ photo-op opportunity…and the media moguls w/ plenty of live shots…woohoo!!!

    whilst the elderly & middle-aged workers & retirees & disadvantaged of this country walk around w/ whatever teeth they have left in their mouth literally crumblin’…

    the pain you’d expect to be delivered by way of torture in a conflict zone, not yer own nation…

    poisons flooding yer body & contributin’ to gawd knows how much of the health bill down the road…

    well, it’s enuff to make ya wanna do a romper stomp on a few ancient polly’s toes.

    Talk about fckn national priorities.

    Corporate aristocrats suck bigtime. As do their puppets.

    N’

  92. Jane @10.00pm. That gets me onto another topic..that of how country kids are disadvantaged re tertiary education. Of course for many country kids, living at home is not an option due to sheer distance. However you either have to be age 25yrs or married or come from an abusive background to qualify for Austudy. It used to be X kms home-uni but somewhere along the line it was changed.

    Therefore it has become only wealthy country families who can afford for their kids to go to uni.

    Youngest existed for 4 years on $200pw which is all that hubby and I could afford..fortunately she’s a vegetarian. :) E’ is now on a PhD scholarship which is double that amount. But still $400+ pw is not a lot when you have to pay for rent, transport etc.

  93. Min, Nas’, patriciawa, it seems we’re in lockstep about the neglect of dental health in this country. I imagine your mother’s story was repeated in numerous households-chronic pain and other health problems related to poor dental health must have made many families’ lives a misery. Coupled with poverty it’s a very unhappy story.

    Min @10.39am, you’re so right. Our daughter wouldn’t do the gap year, so no government money to help out-you’d understand if you met her, she has what my grandmother called mules’ ears.

    Fortunately for us, she managed to get into a share house on Mann Terrace in North Adelaide for the princely sum of $50/week. We gave her $260/week to live on, which was a real struggle for us and barely enough to pay for rent, utilities, food etc.

    What is particularly draining for many country families is that they have to support 2 households as well as providing a car for their kids as well; an expense city parents very often don’t have to meet.

    So, as you say, often country kids can’t take up tertiary education because it’s a financial impossibility for their parents. I guess if you only had one child, you might be able to do it, but that isn’t the case with most families.

    Which brings us back to health care for tertiary students; on the pittance they have to survive on, dental and other health care goes on the back burner with fingers crossed that the damage isn’t irretrievable by the time they graduate and get a job.

    As Nas’ puts it, the health bill down the road is the real concern. A few billion of preventative dental and other health care now will save tens of billions down the track and relieve the pressure on hospitals and other providers.

  94. “A few billion of preventative dental and other health care now will save tens of billions down the track and relieve the pressure on hospitals and other providers.”

    jane, I reckon it’s a far better investment than wars that are meant to “prevent terrorism” but do nothin’ but create more recruits.

    N’

  95. Jane also it’s often not possible for country kids to do the gap year as any job that they could get wouldn’t pay the minimum required income. You have 18 months to obtain the minimum income however some unis will allow only a 12 month deferral.

    My toothy story. I have 3 impacted wisdom teeth one lying horizontal on the jaw and another growing from the sinus cavity. The latter one requires specialist surgery as if mucked up could result in facial paralysis. There is now no longer any orthodontic surgeon who services northern NSW and so the only option is to go on the waiting list and being ‘out of the area’ one is continuously dropped to the bottom of the waiting list. I’ve been on the list for over 7 years.

  96. Too right, Nas’ @12.38pm. We’d be far better off helping the people we’re shooting to achieve better health, education and infrastructure outcomes.

    Min @12.43pm, bloody hell! You are the poster girl for all that’s wrong with dental care in this country, particularly in regional and country Australia.

    To not have an orthodontic surgeon for all of northern NSW is appalling! It can’t possibly be for a lack of patients, surely? How much longer will you have to wait, do you think?

    I have long thought that to “encourage” medical and dental graduates to service RARA, the government needs to pick up their fees in exchange for time served in RARA, much as teachers have done.

    And they need to provide more places for medical and dental degrees. Of course, vested interests are quite happy to keep a cap on the number of new health professionals, so that’s another area which needs to be addressed.

  97. Jane..there used to be a visiting orthodonist at Mullumbimby hospital but he retired a number of years ago.

    Just noting youngest’s grad ceremonies, degree then honors and (YAY!) only about 5 months to go in her PhD (molecular bioscience)..it is sadly spot the Aussie. While it is to be commended that we train so many overseas students to honors and above we need to do a lot more to encourage (via $$$s) more Australians to study to post grad standard. This is bearing in mind that for many unis medicine is now post grad.

  98. Recommend readin’ this transcript of the Lateline interview w/ Observer editor-in-chief Will Hutton (from the UK) if ya didn’t see it last nite:

    UK welfare cuts prompt anger
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation

    Broadcast: 11/10/2010

    Reporter: Leigh Sales

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s3035527.htm

    WILL HUTTON: Someone like JK Rowling’s written a fantastic series of books. She should actually, if you want to go out and buy them worldwide, she should benefit from that, absolutely.

    But she should pay tax, and when she passes her – all the wealth she’s inherited to her children, she should pay inheritance tax on it. That’s really the framework, I think.

    LEIGH SALES: But she’s already paid tax on it once, why should there be another tax on it?

    WILL HUTTON: She’s not paying it, her children are.

    Her children were just lucky enough to come out of her loins. I’m not saying that all the money that she’s made should be taxed.

    I mean, I should say 20, 30 per cent should go to the rest of us, because, after all, we bought the book and we made her wealthy and she had the great good luck to strike it quite so lucky and that’s fine for her, but for her children and for her children’s children, we’re not in the business of creating dynasties in Western democracies as if it’s Confucian China or Imperial India, wherever.

    We’re interested in a sort of churn in our societies. And you can’t have people’s children’s children’s children wealthy, fabulously wealthy, because of what some grandparent did hundreds of years ago.

    You’ve got to actually tax their wealth as it moves from one generation to another. Yes, the majority of the wealth can stay with JK Rowling’s children, but a degree has gotta come to the community, and then we can earmark that money and invest it in our depressed areas, invest it in people who don’t have the same opportunities or chances as those children.

    LEIGH SALES: But isn’t the desire to set one’s children and one’s grandchildren up for life one of the great motivators in working hard and being innovative and coming up with good ideas?

    WILL HUTTON: No, I think that’s – I just don’t agree with that. In fact I think that’s hokum.

    I don’t think people – I’m sure that you don’t work hard just to make sure that your grandchildren live in a huge estate in 100 years’ time.

    Carnegie, Andrew Carnegie made a lot of money in America in the 19th Century, said that a really rich man who’s really wise aims to give it all away and leave nothing for his children. And of course Bill Gates senior and Warren Buffett, two of the richest men in the world, have said just the same thing.

    And there’s a whole club in America of billionaires who think that inheritance tax should be higher. It wrecks the children and wrecks grandchildren just to be given money they never ever deserved or earnt, and it also creates a dynastic class, it creates closure in society at large.

    Every society, from Rome and Greece through Confucian China, through the Inca civilisations in Latin America, through even feudal Europe, taxed the transfer of wealth from one generation to another on exactly this principle.

    Spot on.

    N’

  99. I thought that a great story was how the Chillean miners trapped undergound have been receiving support from the Beaconsfield miners.

    There was an interview this morning via a UK news channel with miners Webb and Russell.

    However I haven’t seen anything about this on the normal news.

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