Fran, speaking frankly

As suggested by Joni, Fran’s post is clearly very worthy of a separate topic and is below.

From Fran:

I regard the time as long overdue for a political campaign against the OO (aka The Australian). This arrogant swaggering component of the Murdochracy is a
living, breathing insult to good public policy. Far from articulating critiques of public policy, it is now openly subversive both of evidence-based analysis and established usages of cultural life in this country such as the right to privacy.

Their publications have also infected the ABC, whose lazy and witless journalists take the latest talking points from the OO as if it were the News and
frame discussion accordingly. News Ltd is not merely a media organisation.

It’s a virus that is causing a chronic illness in public culture. A little while back, it declared that The Greens were hypocrites who were bad for this country and should be destroyed at the ballot box. Those of us who support good public policy should respond that the OO are hypocrites who should be destroyed in the marketplace.

Not paying for their tatty sub-intellectual rag (and its equally ugly sister The Telegraph) is not going to do the job. No self-respecting person I know buys this
stuff and in any event, the cover price barely pays for delivery, let alone production. We must keep in mind that however it may appear, readers are not their customers. Readers are their audience, i.e. their product, which they market to the customers that keep them afloat — advertisers. If we wish to hurt News Ltd, we must convince advertisers that that sections of the audience that they pay good money to access online and in print are being prejudiced by their support of News Ltd publications — that such support damages their standing.

We have, after all, laws in this country restraining people from giving financial support to or profiting from criminal activity. It is illegal to coerce members of parliament, judges, juries and public officials to secure favourable treatment. It’s very clear that this is what the OO and its related set of replicating viruses do. Advertisers in these publications are in practice behaving just like someone funding the contamination of a watercourse, or facilitating the spread of a serious disease or the blackmail of public officials.

We should make this plain to companies like Vodaphone and the ANZ Bank, whose ads sit alongside screeching editorials defending the outing of
GrogsGamut author Greg Jericho, and beside Terry McCrann insisting that Marius Kloppers is bent on destroying the company he runs by advocating a carbon price.

It is fair to say that we are few in number, and so we must direct our energies so as to maximise the impact. We don’t yet have the resources to work effectively against all supporters of News Ltd. Therefore, I would urge those who are repelled by the activities of News Ltd to target these two companies, ANZ and
Vodaphone with letters explaining why you mean to implicate them as responsible for the decline in the quality of public debate in this country and as thus commercially unsupportable.

I’d be very interested if those who make progress on this let me know via my Twitter ID (fran_b__ ) where I will retweet useful actions and progress. I am starting a new hashtag there to coordinate searches for this campaign, the string for which is #pwnNewsLtd so please include this in any Twitter feed.

Best …

138 comments on “Fran, speaking frankly

  1. Clearly this is what the ‘outing’ of Grog was all about. The advertisers noted that people such as Grog were receiving more hits, more inputs that the OO. And so the OO went to war against Grog.

  2. Thanks Joni, though perhaps the article should be entitled: speaking frankly.

    Fanks a lot … 😉

  3. “Their publications have also infected the ABC, whose lazy and witless journalists take the latest talking points from the OO as if it were the News and
    frame discussion accordingly.”

    I noticed Virginia Trioli has returned to ABC 2 breakfast only to continue her luv affair w/ the Murdoch empire.

    Virginia needs to go to rehab and ween herself off those daily goss rags.

    She was once a great interviewer.


  4. What is it with the MSM that they believe that their readership lies with the 65+ age group. Maybe they’re the only ones who still purchase newspapers???

    Wait for it..while hubby was home he shusshed me because there was an article about how some poor bloke had suddenly lost his wife. You’ve guessed it, it was an advert for funeral plans. Hubby is not going to be let off the hook any time soon about that one.

    But you can see how the elderly (hubby is 62..hehe) are suckered in by what they read in the news.

  5. Ta Nas’


    And more generally, consider this. This morning on Marius Benson’s “round up” he was speaking to some journo (News Ltd IIRC) and they got to the Afghan question. The entire piece was about David Johnson demand more troops, tanks etc and how “the brass” and “the bureaucrats” have a different view from “the troops on the ground”.

    Now the combination of the pejorative language over those running operational matters (attacks authenticity by depersonalising them; superficial, remote, out of touch, lazy, incompetent etc) with the alliterative and iterative reinforcement (brass, bureaucrats) is classically rhetorical. This is advocacy.

    Benson then left the subject without mentioning Andrew Wilkie’s perspective — which was that Australia should leave.

    Later on, during the show with airhead announcer Deb Cameron, again, the issue was confined to whether bipartisan policy on Afghanistan would break down with Johnson’s push for more troops. The “debate” on Afghanistan was referred to but again, no mention of any other possible position.

    Clearly the ABC’s position is to back the calls for more troops, a position they would get from The OO.

    When I put this to Benson, he shrugged it off, merely claiming they had covered the Wilkie angle yesterday. “Yet”, I continued. “this is not balance. You are supposed to be discussing what happened in parliament yesterday, and you fail to cover one part of the story”. He got a bit tetchy about that and said he wasn’t bound to put everything in. “Yet doesn’t that mean that the ABC seems to be backing the coalition view?” I proposed.

    He had no good answer and suggested merely that “these things balance themselves out”.

    They don’t. As long as there is not mainstream acknowledgement of a position, the ABC journos will go with the coalition view.

    That is why we must take on the OO.

  6. Very timely article Fran.
    Chairperson of the ABC = Maurice Newman, economic rationalist and friend of decades of John Howard.
    Appointed by the Howard government in 2006.
    Served on the ABC Board 2000 to 2004.
    Mark Scott = MD, formerly Fairfax’s editorial director.
    appointed by the Howard government.
    Has been a print journalist and policy adviser to the Greiner Coalition. No Public service broadcasting experience.
    Of course we are all aware of other board appointees, Planet Janet , I think her term is over or soon to be, and that most illustrious historian, Keith Windschuttle.
    There is ample evidence on the Friends of the ABC, and Political Sword ABC Watch and assorted articles on the web, too much to write about here, but a clear line of assault dating back to Richard Alston, Bonsai, and Cruella Coonan.
    One of the ways to take action is to talk to the butcher not the block, or, be a post hole digger, start at the top.
    Any worried and interested among us, the major stakeholders in the ABC, should contact our Federal MP and insist that the new Chairman and board members be above any accusation of the type of behaviour exhibited by the likes of Albrechtson and Windschuttle who have made no secret of their anti ABC bias.

  7. Another example of the ABC’s pandering to the Coalition and News Ltd is their pulling of the very funny Marieke Hardy piece from the Drum Online.

    You can read their lame excuse here: Editor’s note: The Pyne experiments but the real read is in the comments.

    You could tell that Marieke was right on the money about Pyne by the flood of outraged Liberal supporters prigs that hit her piece. You would have thought she had spat on the Pope the way they were ranting on.

    Yet when it’s the other way round all the abuse against Rudd/Gillard/Labor is let by without the merest protest and one of the greatest slingers of personal abuse, as he did in parliament yesterday, is Christopher Pyne. Apparently that’s OK because he’s on the right side.

    It’s OK to rail against News Ltd and protest to their advertisers but what do you do about the ABC?

  8. but a clear line of assault dating back to Richard Alston, Bonsai, and Cruella Coonan.

    You left out the most fervent and prolific Liberal attacker against the ABC, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.

    What a nasty piece of work she is.

  9. While the point about the ABC is well made the Hardy piece was sub-intellectual animus and borderline homophobic.

    I’m no fan of Pyne, and I do find his voice grates, but attacking him for being effeminate and having a series of paragraphs on whether he is more hated than Kanye West contributes little of value to public policy.

    We on the left need to do a lot better than to sink to the level of the Daily Telegraph or the OO

  10. Yet Fran by doing so it’s giving the OO and the wingnuts free kick after free kick, which has been going on for nearly half a decade now and escalating because they now know they can make any fallacious claim and say anything abusive with impunity whilst anything said against them or the Coalition, no matter how factual, is also beaten down and railed against with impunity.

    This is all one side Fran and it really sucks. So what you are saying is that the wingnuts can get all the guffaws and gratificationsatisfaction they like out of abuse and satire being said against the left but the left are just supposed to lie their like admonished puppies with the bellies exposed whilst being humourless and contrite at all times.

    Nah doesn’t work. Marieke’s piece was funny and witty, worthy of being published and far more worthy than 99% of the pro-Liberal/Murdoch crap the ABC puts up every day.

  11. Mobius

    I do grasp the desire tof fight fire with fire, but really the best weapon for fire is water. You are less likely to be burned.

    We are better than they are. We have insight and reason and apply it to the service of humanity. They have fear an ignorance and the desire to protect the position of the privileged and venal. Abuse and lies and hatred for the marginalised are indispensable to them.

    We are who we are because we reject what drives them. That is our basis for howling with the wolves for good public policy. The Hardy piece had nothing to do with that.

    There’s an old saying: Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig loves it.

    They want to say that we are just like them, but we aren’t. What they hate about us is that they know we are better than them and that one day, almost everyone else will know that too. The more often we rub their noses in that reality, the more they will tremble with angst and the more like getting even it will feel.

  12. I reckon pyne poo-poed them.

    Pretty ad that they have to come out and run this sort of fawning editorial to apologise for what was nothing more than an opinion piece in an opinion column, that was clearly satirical.

    As is mentioned in the comments, Rudd was called just as badly, but in actual news items. Why are these not apologised for?

    Anyway, the poor old oo is getting a hammering from all sides lately

    But, I truly think that media outlets that pretend that they are journalistic should be held to journalistic standards, and, if they continually breach those standards, they should lose the access that is granted to journalists, and publicly be pronounced as an entertainment broadsheet, rather than a news broadsheet.

    We deserve better than what we are geting now.

  13. Fran, I think that the blogs have done a good job of pursuing the OO via their pursed lipped criticism of Grog.

    Just occasionally fire does work against fire.

  14. Fran,
    There is nothing wrong with your dream, it should be standard practise to treat even an imbecile like pyne with hypocritical courtesy but no matter how nice you try to be, the libs , foxnewscorp and the ABC pretend jouros just behave like you are thick, unable to form your own judgement and they will tell any lie or distort any report to prove their view.
    To them it is all OK as long as they get what they want .
    Turning the other cheek will not work. They have the high ground and throwing water uphill just wont work. As you say target the advertisers ,try to show that advertising with foxnewscorp will ultimately hurt their business or at least not show it in a good light.
    Individual journos ,the biggest pretenders , should also be constantly shown to be dickheads ,the add buyers will soon turn on them and maybe the standard will improve.

  15. If we are sticking with the metaphor, I don’t agree. The blogs that have done the best job of this haven’t mainly hurled personal abuse at folks like James Massola or other New Ltd staff worters.

    They’ve gone over the behaviour of these writers and the position of the OO as a whole. Conroy on Q&A quite rightly pointed out the hypocrisy of the paper asserting that it was wrong for the SA AG to try to force bloggers making election comment to give up their anonymity, while saying the identity of an anonymous blogger who happened to criticise them was newsworthy, because he worked for the APS. Some blogs have drawn attention to the fact that the OOs defence in an editorial was done by someone without a by-line.

    That’s more like pouring cold water on their fire, as I see it anyway.

    Think of it this way: if Pyne had been Arab or Jewish or Indigenous, or suffered from some disability, would it have been OK to trade on that and deprecate point to the fact that the right does this all the time?

    One might also add this: if it is our bitter contention that the ABC and public discourse suffers from a lack of serious analysis, why would we expend even a single column inch of high profile space engaging in abusive dogwhistling homophobic banter?

    It would be as if our objections were disingenuous because we had nothing to say, and what we do say is not that different from what the rightwinger would do.

    That would not only be a crime, but a blunder too.

  16. Tredlgt

    I’m not for turning the other cheek. I’m for kicking out the legs from under them and then sweeping them into a wast receptacle. Or, if you prefer my original metaphor, turning on the fire hose and washing them away.

  17. Fran, probably my pet hate is journalists doing copy and pastes of Press Releases (the Liberal Party being a speciality as a source) and failing to note their sources.

    As I mentioned earlier on another thread at the Café, imagine an Opinion Piece with a Disclaimer: The data Quoted above is from X person Liberal Party, Canberra. That is, instead of quoting ‘a fact’ the journalist would be obliged to quote their source.

    Just imagine if the journalists had been obliged to quote their sources via the BER ‘rorts’ which were nothing more than via Liberal Party press releases in the main.

  18. Oh absolutely Min.

    Thatr’s just it. WEe must insist on rules that require actual evidence of stuff, robust models, a focu on policy etc

    If we do that this will favour us, not them. They want the freedom to troll and dissemble and to bait us.

  19. Fran, I think that it’s been picked up on a number of occasions where ‘journalists’ have done copy and pastes of what they have read on the blogs.

    And not only copying and pastes, these journalists then bleated that they don’t have the time to research. If not, then why can’t they do as the blogs do and post a link. Easy plus ethical.

    Everyone with any kind of degree knows the basic: Cite your sources.

  20. I do grasp the desire tof fight fire with fire, but really the best weapon for fire is water.

    The fire with fire metaphor doesn’t work here and is not what I’m getting at. You can outsmart and out manoeuvre bullies, and let’s face it that’s what we’re talking about here, bullies. They might use printed words and media rather than fists and boots but they are bullies non the less.

    Marieke was doing exactly that and it worked. You only had to read the responses of (mostly faux) outrage to see she had hit a nerve with the bullies because this is how bullies react when confronted with intelligent wit. The revert to spluttering and posturing, and when that happens you know you have gotten a victory no matter how small or brief that victory may be.

  21. Thank you Joni. Fav from Poss is:

    These clowns are trolling the internet.

    They’re trolling you.

    They’re trying to stir up shit to drive online eyeballs, and so far there’s a lot of people falling for it.

    These actions aren’t the mark of leadership in Australian journalism, it’s the mark of a declining newspaper desperate for attention.

    I think that we picked it up a few weeks ago that something that an author had written was being reproduced elsewhere. Very difficult to prove of course, just an amazing coincidence.

  22. “They’re trying to stir up shit to drive online eyeballs, and so far there’s a lot of people falling for it.”

    Well, I’ve made a decision not to go to any ltdnews site, and simply dismiss everything from them as crap (for the time being anyway). I will be taking commentators claims as to contents of the stories as facts until proven otherwise.

    Not that it will make any difference to them, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. And, the false stories still need to be highlighted by some brave souls who go there, but for now I will simply follow those who highlight them (as there are many out there doing it now), and comment there without driving traffic to ltdnews.

    And yes joni, Possum had it correct up front about the unhinging, and has it correct now with his description of their behaviour.

  23. Fran,
    You are correct with your strategy ,it is the decent way to go and I hope it will be successful but your opponents believe in win at all costs, if we dont do as they wish we are stupid and weak and therefore are not worthy of any respect,your manners are of no account.
    How about when you kick their legs from under them and they go down can we poke them with sticks before sweeping them in the bin.

  24. ME, very remiss of me to forget Concetta, friend of Opus Dei spouse, David Clarke. You’re right, she’a a piece of work and always seems angry and self righteous as does the other lovely, Sophie Mirabella. There are others of course but these two are worse even than J. Bishop.
    Re Grogs’ last title, lines from the old Kirk Douglas movie.

    Antoninus: Are you afraid to die, SPARTACUS ?
    Spartacus: NO MORE than I was to be born.

    [Antoninus was played by Tony Curtis. Thanks for the memories Tony especially Some Like It Hot].

    Spartacus: And maybe there’s no peace in this world, for us or anyone else, I don’t know. But I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.

    I’ve noticed a few tweets wondering what that meant and eventually decided to investigate. [Like I’ve got nothing better to do, but I do like cryptic puzzles].
    It might refer to the new Spartacus. Blood and Sand but we won’t know unless Grog blogs again……hope he’s listening…

  25. Watching SBS2 a documentary Law and Disorder, about speaking out and being crucified for it in Australia am recording smacks of Andrew Wilkie

  26. Sorry Miglo, I don’t have a Facebook page. There’s only so much time to go around!

    Best with the endeavour though!

  27. Annabel Crabb treats Abbott with kid gloves in this one

    The robustness and muscularity for which he is renowned have established him in the public consciousness as a conviction politician.

    Is there any other politician who has ever enjoyed such a persistent reputation for conviction politics, while so regularly changing his mind?

    Ewww ‘muscularity’…. And the last paragraph is so understated as to sound somewhat stupid. What reputation for conviction politics?

  28. It turns out that the NSW Department of Health is backing the OO.

    Dianne Eggins
    Statewide Major Projects Branch
    Centre for Health Advancement
    NSW Department of Health
    Ph: 9391 9620
    Fax: 9391 9579
    Email: EGGINS, Dianne []

    Who would have thought that the NSW government was using public funds to subvert … the Commonwealth and State governments and the public policy they advocate?

    Strange days indeed …

  29. Thanks, Min. Kid gloves, indeed.

    “It’s time Mr Abbott’s popular image caught up.”

    Which surely means it’s time that Annabelle Crabbe told the unequivocal truth about Abbot. She knows and admits that the man lies, he breaks his word whether sworn, written, or given as a good mate. He has no convictions except a belief in himself and his right to rule this country.

    If she and others in the media did their job properly and clearly reported his activities without all this pussyfooting rationalisation Abbot would not get away with overturning decent Parliamentary practice established since Federation.

    To suggest that he is holding the Coalition together because he has improved his people skills is nonsense. He is as ruthless as he ever was. Since he became Coalition leader, however, he has had power and he wields it wickedly. The apparent unanimity of his party doesn’t suggest a healthy consensus to agree, but rather a cowed acceptance that they have no choice. There is no other viable leader with the drive to keep the show on the road.

  30. My thoughts too Patricia. Surely the media has some responsibility in this matter. Crabb admits that the Abbott image-makers have done an excellent job of turning Abbott’s substantial failings into badges to be worn with pride. Denigration of women = masculinity. Hasn’t bothered to obtain even a working knowledge of several portfolios = Conviction politician who speaks plainly. The list is substantial..yet in the meantime the media swoon at Abbott’s feet.

  31. Except for Turnbull Migs. Seems only the radical right gets the guernsey at this time, moderates need not apply.

  32. Mobius. In fact it seems to be only that only the protege’s of JWH are free from scrutiny. Nelson, a fairly good bloke IMO was constantly harrassed by the spectre of T’bull waiting in the wings.

    One cannot call T’bull a protege because Howard only promoted him so as to point the rude finger to Costello.

    I think that is when panic set in because the Libs had basically run dry of potential leaders. Hockey is a buffoon who couldn’t even speak on his own budget without referring to Robb. And Pyne IMO is just a junior Abbott.

  33. Ewww ‘muscularity’…. And the last paragraph is so understated as to sound somewhat stupid. What reputation for conviction politics?

    His only “conviction”, if one can call it that, is that he should not be seen to have lost. He’s convinced that if the core is lost, his side will be in ruins, so his approach rests upon the other side falling over in fist of self-doubt.

    That would not be a plausible strategy without serious allies in the setting.

    Amongst these, in rough order of importance are:

    1. The threat to extractive industry assets associated with uncertainty in future world economic growth and the associated willingness of these sections of the boss class to use Abbott as ballast in negotiations with the government.
    2. Allies of those in 1) above in the business world, in particular, sections of the banking and finance sector whose collateral depends on the value of resource assets; the commercial media who are not merely equity holders but beneficiaries of the growth model via advertising revenue.

    One might add the commercial media are especially vulnerable since their business model is collapsing at the threat of new media. This winnowing of the revenue base makes them especially vulnerable to well-resourced campaigns by sections of the boss class.

    The structure of Australia, which is highly urbanised has meant that the media in the major capital city markets have dominated the news agenda and with the ABC in decline through the Howard era the consequence has been a collapse of professional standards at the ABC in the face of the commercial media. In practice, given the preeminent position of News Ltd, this has turned the ABC into, effectively, a further broadcast arm of News Ltd.

    3. The general longterm decline in the membership base of the major parties (partly as a result of changes in the organisation of work) has meant that political parties are far more dependent and driven by politics coming from without than within. This and the high costs of campaigning, the professionalisation of politics has entailed both parties adapting to the News agenda rather than making it.

    The ALP, for its part, lacking any real grass roots organisation has little good alternative but to be very poll-driven and concerned to protect coherent voting blocs from drift. Once again, this hands the initiative to News organisations, who run polls. The distorting effects of this context caused the ALP to abandon positions of strength in a futile and counterproductive search for safety against attacks from the right (asylum seekers, CO2 policy, etc) This gave the Abbott team serious momentum.

    One might add as well that high levels of home ownership on the urban fringes militate strongly against progressive policy by skewing emphasis onto perceived threats to mortgage repayments and petrol prices, and fuelling rightwing populist angst. That audience of people, sitting for hours in traffic and listening to rightwing populist shock jocks was created by Howard’s policies, and while rising rates ultimately hoist him by his own petard, they remain a potent counterweight to progressive policy.

    It’s unsurprising that Howard backed FHOS and similar because these policies helped wedge the ALP, but what is more surprising is that the ALP have continued in the same pattern, opening a breach that is hard to close.

    In short, Abbott’s rise was due entirely to factors outside of his control, much (though not entirely) like Howard before him. All he had to do was to avoid falling off the surfboard as the ALP repeatedly alienated its base trying to hang onto people who were either not jumping ship or whom they could not get back. Worst of all, these policies were pursued at state level as well, disastrously so in NSW and QLD. Abbott beat both premiers hands down, and this was nearly enough for him to win, especially when Gillard hitched herself to Keneally.

    But conviction politician wins out? Hardly.

  34. Fran, re “The ALP, for its part, lacking any real grass roots organisation..”

    There are obviously a lot of points in your comment, but I thought that I would address this one.

    The ALP still has major support from the unions and especially those who are involved in FIFO (fly in/fly out). People such as Twiggy Forrest have been trying to tear strips off the workers conditions. Twiggy of course got a good leg up from Howard especially undercutting Australian workers conditions via individual contracts and 457 Visa cheap workers.

    The one that I particularly disliked from Abbott was his illusion that jobs on the mine sites are a dime a dozen so much so that he was going to send all under 30’s unemployed to work there.

    Does the media actually have any idea what they are talking about!!!!!!!!!! To get a start on the mines you have to have 5 years experience, your trade certificate, your working at heights certificate, your OH&S cert. Preference given to people with dual trade certificates.

    Hubby apart from having all the above also has his HUET (Helicopter underwater escape training) and was still off work for 2 months this year. Rant for the day completed.

  35. Pingback: Tweets that mention Fran, speaking frankly « Café Whispers --

  36. You leave out advertising revenue Fran, which I believe is of considerable importance in the ability of very substandard Liberal parties being able to gain traction.

    Mainstream advertising revenue for the major media players is declining, in no area more than the print media (they give away newspapers to keep circulation figures artificially up), but TV advertising is also on the decline. By far, and this rose to astronomical levels under the Howard government, the biggest spender on advertising is the Federal government. $2 billion in 7 years and $200+ million in one election year alone attests to the extent of this.

    Federal Labor cut advertising revenue except for the one foray into the mining tax, and even that wasn’t on the scale of the Howard government’s spending. As they will not cut government advertising, and in all likelihood will significantly increase it, this allows the Liberals to gain the undivided attention and almost exclusive privilege of the main media players. Note in the election that Abbott never promised to cut government advertising whilst he promised to cut just about everything else, including thousands of public servants. Also note that Abbott had a nice long cafe meeting with Rupert Murdoch and I have no doubt that significant government spending on advertising in his media along with bringing in law that would favour him were on the agenda.

  37. Mr. Abbott’s reputation as a champion boxer is open to question. The Opposition Leader would not broadcast his punches if he had any ability as a fighter.

    Is the man all talk and no action. It is true that he is a man of conviction. He is convince, that as long as he tells the people what they want to hear, they will support him. As long as the promises are vague and lack details, he will be OK. After all are not voters stupid.

    Mr. Abbott will find like the child who throws tantrums or keeps snitching on other children, people stop listening.

    Threats only go so far, most stop being afraid and take a stand eventually. Some even question the threats and find them inconsistent with reality of what is the truth.

  38. “$2 billion in 7 years ”

    I thought it was $2B in 11.5 years.

    “As they will not cut government advertising,”

    I actually believe in govt advertising. To help get enlistments in the military the govt has to advertise.

    By the way Migs- thanks for the prize. It is what I always wanted.

    How did you know????

  39. After all are not voters stupid.

    Never ever subscribed to that meme and actually believe that Australian voters are amongst the most politically intelligent around. Yet even intelligent voters can only go on what they get told are facts day in and day out if there is no countervailing evidence or argument of any worth.

  40. There is legitimate government advertising Neil like Defence recruitment (it got me enlisted) and genuine information and warning advertising but if the government just kept to them it would not be the biggest spender of advertising revenue. Howard took party political advertising using tax payers money to perverse levels.

    Howard only ramped up tax payer funded party political advertising from 2000 when he bought in his never ever GST and then lied about that as well. So well over $2 billion in 7 years is fairly accurate with of course the obscene $200+ million in one year alone and that wasn’t even for a full year.

  41. Actually I agree that the Workchoices advertising was obscene.

    However if the govt changes the IR laws they have to advertise. If the Dillard govt changes the IR laws how will the business community know what the new laws are without advertising???

    So i agree with govt advertising. Especially if the advertising is for things that have become law like the GST and Workchoices.

    However the ALP’s mining tax ads were totally obscene. Advertising things that had not passed through parliament and using govt money to influence the voting choices of the electorate.

  42. Neil, prior to the 2007 election the extent of Howard’s spending sprees on party advertising was made public and the figures mentioned by Mobius ring a bell. And don’t forget the billions Howard wasted in buying votes before an election

  43. Oh come off it Neil, now you really are clutching at straws. There is legitimate informational advertising and pure political advertising for ideological gain or to snow job the electorate.

    Both the unchain my heart Howard tax reform advertising and Workchoices fell into to the latter category as did just about all of Howard’s advertising. Something Abbott will ramp up to obscene levels if he ever got power.

    The mining advertising was legitimate to counter the propaganda being unleashed by the mining industry and aided and abetted by News Ltd and other right wing media outlets, including the ABC. Where that government advertising was bad and wasteful was in its structure and message.

    Also continuous name calling does you no favours Neil, it makes you appear petty, and you might just be petty but why allow everyone to see you are.

    Please note Neil’s blatant misdirection in that post. He calls the Howard’s government’s advertising “govt” advertising but calls the Gillard’s government advertising “ALP” advertising.

    Very disingenuous, as his usual change of tact.

  44. “And don’t forget the billions Howard wasted in buying votes before an election”

    You know you lot are the experts in allegations. Please refresh my memory in what Howard did to buy votes.

    The only vote buying I am aware of is by the ALP who purchased the votes of the two Independents. How much money did Gillard promise Windsor and Oakshot to get their votes???

    Oh, she also promised Wilkie some things to.

    Its funny. Tb told me how evil pork barrelling is. But Labor won the election by spending billions to buy votes.

  45. Neil, I’m not making these allegations up. Costello hinted at it in Peter Hartcher’s recent book about the Howard years.

  46. “I do grasp the desire to fight fire with fire, but really the best weapon for fire is water. You are less likely to be burned”

    The best weapon for fire is to deprive it of oxygen.

  47. “Please note Neil’s blatant misdirection in that post.”

    No blatant misdirection deadbeat. The GST and Workchoices had been passed through parliament and were the law of the land. i have no problems with govts advertising new laws.

    The mining tax has not been passed through parliament and therefore was ALP advertising.

    “And don’t forget the billions Howard wasted in buying votes before an election”

    Yes I understand. When Howard spends money it is to buy votes. When the ALP spends money it is only for pure and noble purposes.

  48. I wonder what the MSM gain by outing bloggers. Surely all they are doing is giving free publicity that the blogs exist. I sure that there are many that will google the site to find out what it is all about. With luck, many will stay.

  49. “Unfortunately the media is supplying Abbott with lots of oxygen”

    Too much oxygen also can lead to disaster, I hope for Mr. Abbott. The more they put him into the public glaze, more likely the public is to see him for what he is.

  50. “The mining tax has not been passed through parliament and therefore was ALP advertising”

    Maybe they should have advertise harder.

    The states where Abbott did well in the election, the mining companies advertise against Labor the most.

  51. patriciawa @12.49pm. What a bunch of snivelling cowards they are in the LIEberal party!

    However, when Smuggles is trounced at the next election, they might finally grow a collective spine and sling him out of the leadership. I look forward to seeing him disembowelled in the party room!

    Neil, what do you think Smuggles was doing when he met the Independents? His offer of $1bn to Andrew Wilkie is public knowledge, so how much did he offer the others? Or does vote-buying have another name when Smuggles and the LIEberals do it?

    The Rodent’s GST advertising was undertaken before it had been passed into legislation. So, by your definition, it was LIEberal party advertising. Just parrotting another load of bullsh!t from LIEberal HQ.

    You really must stop swallowing all the crapaganda they feed you at the indoctrination camps.

    Government advertising is government advertising no matter which party is in power.

  52. It’s Saturday night and I’ve just put my clock forward. Decided to have a look at some old Grogs Gamut blogs and had been reading away for a while when I noticed he’s changed his profile, and gives his name and states the views expressed on his blog are his and his alone and in no way reflect the views of the Government or any Government Department. Good on him.

    Ya got that Massola, now rack off !!!!!!

    I’m really glad Grog/Greg didn’t let the buggers stop him from expressing his opinion and I’ll continue referring to him as Grog just for the hell if it.

  53. Yes, it’s true that cutting off oxygen is excellent for stifling fires, but this is often not technically feasible. (They’d have loved to be able to do that during Black Saturday or at Chernobyl)

    So too it’s just not feasible in political terms, most of the time.

  54. “Neil, what do you think Smuggles was doing when he met the Independents? His offer of $1bn to Andrew Wilkie is public knowledge, so how much did he offer the others?”

    Ah yes. But you lot told me that Howard pork barrelled to buy votes. Actually I am not sure if he did. When asked for examples I am told about the Regional partnerships Scheme or some hospital in Tasmania. There was no pork barrelling the the RPP just unfounded allegations from the left.

    But what is true is that Labor obtained power by buying votes. So I guess buying votes is O.K. as long as Labor is doing it according to you lot. I wonder what resources had t be shifted from somewhere perhaps more needy into the Independents electorates to buy their vote???

  55. Re “You know you lot are the experts in allegations. Please refresh my memory in what Howard did to buy votes.”


    JOHN Howard is facing claims his Government ran a $328 million regional pork-barrelling fund after a scathing Commonwealth Auditor-General’s report…

    Auditor-General Ian McPhee says in the report that ministers often ignored public servants’ advice when giving money from the program to coalition-held electorates.

    It found Howard government ministers over-rode departmental recommendations not to approve projects and fast-tracked money for certain projects before the last election.

    Of the 43 projects that were approved against departmental advice, 38 were in coalition seats.

  56. Hi Min

    I am glad you brought up the RPP. Your last quoted sentence says “Of the 43 projects that were approved against departmental advice, 38 were in coalition seats.”

    This is true.

    However what the Journalists did not mention was that there were 1,350 projects. Howard govt minister overturned 43 (3%). The majority of projects (97%) just followed PS advice.

    Now does overturning 3% of the projects mean that this is true- “Auditor-General Ian McPhee says in the report that ministers often ignored public servants’ advice when giving money from the program to coalition-held electorates.”

    The Journalists are liars who have twisted the Auditors report to make the story more inflamatory.

  57. Oh Neil and when they report on things like the insulation scheme and BER those very same journalists are 100% accurate according to you.


    And Howard was the worst pork barreller in our history and the greatest waster of money in doing so.

  58. Neil, there is government advertising and there are government con jobs.

    The GST advertising was a con job. If the GST was supposed to be so good for us then why did Howard spend gazillions ‘selling’ it to us?

    And why then – in your line of thinking – weren’t all policies changes advertised? You really don’t expect governments to spend big dollars on advertising to tell the country of small changes to Newstart Allowance, or Telephone Allowance, or departure tax etc etc.

  59. Mobius, my problem with Howard (well one of them) is that he did zilch by way of nation building. Everyone who when given the opportunity/power has at least One Big Idea. I know that among mine it would be joining Qld and NSW via a rail service.

    If Howard had been a fisherman he would have sold the bait, let the reels go to rust and melted down the sinkers.

  60. If Howard had been a fisherman Min he would have deliberately run down the fish stocks, allowed under sized fishing, ignored for years all warnings of a looming fisheries collapse, and then at the very last when a big fishing competition is due, he would have poured hundreds of millions into fixing the fishing problem he created in the first place. He would very selectively dole out that money to revive the “surprising” fishing collapse (who knew that would happen hey?) but only to very select fisheries where he has a chance of losing the competition, then he would spend millions more on advertising his saving of the fisheries saying what a great job he’s doing for the fisherman in fixing the problem he created in the first instance, and then pat himself on the back for being such a great fisherman when he wins the competition.

  61. And on top of that, Mobius, he would have ensured that the best of our lobsters and King George Whiting were exported to the USA.

  62. Howard would have also stopped training Australians to be fisherman but would have decided that Indonesian fishermen could be brought in on 457 Visas due to the “skills shortage”. 3rd World fishermen aren’t unionists.

    The Seafood Exporters while saying that there was a limitless supply of fish in the sea heartily agreed that there was a proven need for Indonesian fisherman.

  63. very good analogy Min.

    Of course, anything that collides with Neil’s reality will be dismissed as irrelevant.

    (Still waiting Neil for the basis for your “major” reason why the indies support Labor)

  64. Joni @ 3.34..and presumably sucked in by lies via the devious sultress Ms Gillard does not count as persuasive as it’s just an opinion.

  65. “Oh Neil and when they report on things like the insulation scheme and BER those very same journalists are 100% accurate according to you.”

    Well it looks like in regards to the insulation scheme the media was correct. I take your point however not to trust everything a journalist says. They are too stupid to digest a 1,000 page auditors report.

    However since Labor trashed its own scheme I can safely assume the pink batts scheme was a rort. As for the BER we will have to wait and see.


    For once I tend to agree with you. But if the govt makes changes to Superannuation laws they will have to advertise.

    It was my impression that the costings were the major reason. Looks like I could be wrong.

  66. This is how things come to be folk lore..via misinformation. Pink Batts are an Australian Made product made from fibreglass. Pink Batts is a brand name used by just one company who manufacture fibreglass insulation batts in Australia. ICI have been manufacturing insulation batts in Australia for over 30 years.

    ICI originally dyed their batts pink so as differentiate their product from identical products such as those manufactured by Australian Gypsum, later taken over by Boral Australia.

    This company has not been implicated as the cause of any house fires but rather the investigation has been due to the use of insulfoil in domestic premises and due to OH&S issues via negligence and inadequate training.

    Perhaps you would like to read this one:

    On 28 June 2010, Queensland’s Department of Justice and Attorney-General has charged the company with breaches of both the Electrical Safety Act 2002 and the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 following an extensive investigation into the fatal electrocution of a 16-year-old teenage insulation installer in Stanwell in 2009.

    The charges relate to unsafe electrical work and unsafely working at height during the installation of fibreglass insulation.

    Nothing to do with the product being unsafe but to do with individual installers’ unsafe work practices.

  67. “Hypocrite.”

    I thought I was a liar for saying the total private/public cost of the NBN would be $43B. I guess I can add this failing to the list also.

    I find it strange that when journalists say bad things about the BER you do not believe them. But when they say bad things about Howard govt schemes you do

    “And Howard was the worst pork barreller in our history”

    Some examples would be nice. Min mentioned the Regional Partnerships Scheme. After the 2004 election Howard won a lot of seats and 70% of the Australian landmass was in coalition hands. The coalition got more grants because they had more seats.

  68. The Audit Office found through its own survey that more than 95 per cent of school principals saw the program as providing “ongoing value to their school and school community.”

    The Auditor General has not made any specific recommendations to the Government or to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

    The above is basically the ‘scandal’ about the BER.

  69. I find it strange that when journalists say bad things about the BER you do not believe them. But when they say bad things about Howard govt schemes you

    History has proven them to be right about Howard, from his lying about children being thrown overboard, the reasons for invading Iraq, his budgets, tax reform, IR reform and too much more to go on with.

    History has so far proven that attacks against the Labor government to be erroneous (and deliberately deceitful) as the facts have shown the schemes and policies to have been credible and effective, substantially so in most cases. The largest ever infrastructure program to be rolled out in the shortest time in our history had a greater than 95% success rate. If Howard had done that he would have spent millions crowing about it and the MSM would be putting him on a pedestal as the greatest PM ever. Every business out there would love to have a 95+ percent rate for any major project and if achieved would give their management huge pay rises. Our management got kicked in the teeth on deliberately falsified information for their achievement.

    Face it Howard was an unbridled liar and deceiver who achieved very little even though he had over a decade and the greatest and longest economic boom in history to do great things with.

    On the other hand Labor in the a global GFC and a bigger resources boom achieved more in three years than the Howard government would have in 30.

  70. Let me guess..there are still people out there who believe that asylum seekers (regularly) throw their children overboard because they read it in the newspapers.

    I think that is true in way Mobius about ‘crowing about it’..the Rudd government should have spent more taxpayers dollars in advertising by way of information about their successes instead of letting the MSM go hollus bollus with a misinformation campaign.

  71. Yet if they had done that Min Neil and the right wing media along with the opposition (well actually Neil aping the opposition) would have said it was all spin and a waste of tax payers money.

    Any time Rudd attempted to set the record straight the media ran lines of spin and no substance whilst continuing to put out false information on government policies. The right wing media continue to do this as several recent online articles have shown, yet the opposition, and Abbott particularly, are allowed to spruik blatant lies and spin as apparently that’s their job.

    How come it wasn’t Labor’s job in opposition as they were continually vilified for attacking Howard’s policies and his dishonesty?

    As I keep saying and history proves me right, hypocrites.

  72. “the Rudd government should have spent more taxpayers dollars in advertising by way of information about their successes instead of letting the MSM go hollus bollus with a misinformation campaign.”

    No, they should not spend money this way. It is wrong for any government to do that. They must find other ways of informing the public and those who benefit what has been achieved.

    Maybe using their grass roots Labor members might be old fashion but still capable of spreading the message. It would also be of use to return to another old fashion idea of using these same people as a sounding board.

    I might even think of rejoining the party if they reverted to listening to our views. This would be much cheaper than focus groups. Our local members would hone their skills by convincing their local branch before facing the public.

    If they were genuinely available to the public, even this media would be hard pushed to ignore them. I believe the public that is uninterested in politics form their likes and dislikes on what they hear on the radio.

    These views need to be challenge in every way possible. This can be done by being an open and transparent government.

    They must not be frighten of criticism and accept that sometimes there is a better way to achieve their aims. I know that the MSM will have a field day in the beginning but if the truth is in open view, they have little to report.

    It is past behaviour of keeping mistakes hidden that has led to the MSM being able to make mischief.

  73. Fe’..I think that the difference is advertising to try to convince people about a point of view in an argument and letting the public know about what has been achieved/information about what is available.

    For example, would you know about the multi-purpose hall/basketball courts that are being erected at Banora Point?

    If a government does no advertising whatsoever then how are communities, states and Australia expected to know what they do.

    Certainly people who are politicially inclined might research but the only way that the general public find out anything is either via their local news or via paid advertising.

    I can’t think of any other way to provide people with information other than via advertising.

    When you have a media who will print Press Releases then of course this reduces the cost, but let’s just imagine if the MSM does not print any Labor Press Releases but prints only those from the other side. What do you do then?

  74. Migs – the time here seems to be wrong! It’s only 7:20 PM but the Café seems to think it’s 8:20 😛

  75. Maybe a information day at Banora Point. Use of local members to put flyers in the letter boxed. Local ABC and papers are often more willing to put information out.

    How many peole today buy or read papers. Some do read their local paper. Local sport clubs and schools could be used. I know it means hard work, but the results might surprise.

    One, the public is getting the correct information.

    Two, they are getting to know their local member.

    Three, thegovernment have a chance to get direct feed back.

    Four, why put money into the coffers of MSM.

  76. Bacchus, the Café seems to be working on NSW time. I’ve adjusted only 1/2 of my clocks, so does this mean that if I stand in the kitchen that I can have a 1/2 hour each way 😀

  77. Well everyone at Banora Point knows about the school hall as they drive by it every day, but do the people in Sydney, Melbourne or Hobart?

    One that I liked was a country school that had received no upgrade since WW2 and was now the proud owner of a Library and Science block.

    These are not wealthy people who can afford to print fliers and place advertisements in city newspapers.

    I personally think that a new science block in a country school is of the public interest and that it wouldn’t hurt the government to fork out a few $s for advertising.

    The government is keen to decentralise, to take the pressure off the urban crush and so it could also be beneficial to let people know that if they moved to say Murwillumbah that these schools now have facilities equivalent to city schools.

  78. “History has so far proven that attacks against the Labor government to be erroneous (and deliberately deceitful) ”

    I think your post at 6.46PM is the biggest load of crap i have ever read. Labor trashed the insulation scheme because it was a rort. It was not a deceitful attack but a truthful attack by the MSM. Labor also agreed by abolishing the scheme.

    “The largest ever infrastructure program to be rolled out in the shortest time in our history had a greater than 95% success rate.”

    We will have to wait and see. I still think that school buildings are not infrastructure. And it was all with money borrowed from China. Any idiot can borrow money and then hand it around. If Howard had done this you would have said he is trying to buy votes.

    Furthermore Rudd was so bad they got rid of him as well. He obviously has information against Julia that he could use. Hence he is still in the Cabinet.

  79. Isn’t it telling that an opposition that has been screaming for government cuts for over three years now, and railing on about government spending is the one now most defending the huge blowout in politicians perks, $350 million in one year.

    Hockey was doing most of the defending and said the expenses will go even higher as that’s the price for democracy. That little titbit gives an indication of what the Liberals will do in government, huge pay rises to themselves and tax payer funded aid to the wealthy.

    So the party that advocates cutting schools, roads, health, welfare, social services, helping the needy, wages and conditions for workers, hurting the less well off and those most in need is all upset that they might face cuts to their over the top spending.

    Yet again hypocrisy. They might as well just change their name from the Coalition to the Hypocrites, it describes them to a tee.

  80. Neil, just to keep you company 🙂 School buildings are most definitely infrastructure. School buildings are probably the best value for money that you could imagine.

    Let’s just imagine a school which was built in the 1960’s – it’s library is about the size of your kitchen and it has no science room. This of course severely limits what is available for teachers to be able to teach the basics.

    The government builds these plus funds a multi-purpose room which then becomes a community facility which then becomes a revenue all round.

    No, Rudd was so good that they kept him and is now our Foreign Minister.

  81. Mobius, interesting that the opposition have never stated where they want these cuts, just the same ol’ nebulous statements.

    Come on Hockey, give it up baby..let us know where you want the cuts to come from.

  82. “No, Rudd was so good that they kept him and is now our Foreign Minister.”

    Sorry Min. Rudd was so bad they axed him.

    Remember the cabinet leaks stopped after the meeting with julia. So Rudd obviously has some damaging information. Hence he is still in the Cabinet

    And of course we have more crap from Adrian. Do you really believe anything the most deceitful govt in Australian history says?? Yeah right, we will have a budget surplus in 2012.

  83. “Was it the government? or was it small businesses?”

    That is an easy question. It all depends who was in government. If it was Howard in government, you lot would say it was an uncaring Howard govt that was responsible. Since it was a Labor govt in charge it is of course the fault of small business.

  84. Imagine the outcry if Labor did as the Coalition is demanding and withdrew from the school building programme. Imagine the waste of money already spent in planning for the final buildings. How fair would it be for the schools that get new buildings? Where is the evidence that school principals and parent groups could do a better job?

    I must say that Parents and Citizen Groups must have improved since my day. You were lucky to get agreement on running the annual fete.

    To listen to the MSM and the Opposition, you would think that the money was only spent on school halls and pink batts. No mention is made of money spent by councils, on roads, building low-income housing and many more things.

    The computer programme was much more than equipping schools with PC’s. The introduction of interactive white boards, cameras and other technology brings our schools into the 21st century.

    Most of these programmes have proceeded with very little fanfare and I suspect few problems. The stimulation programme is running down as it was planned to do. To withdraw at this time would lead to a waste of funds and some missing out altogether on the new infrastructure.

  85. “Now who did the rorting Neil? Was it the government? or was it small businesses?”

    I am not too sure that the departments responsible have to take a lot of the blame. Maybe Mr. Rudd should have been more careful when he left Heads of Departments from Mr. Howard’s day in office.

  86. It all depends who was in government.

    NoS sidetracks again.

    No Neil that is what you do. You forgive and make excuses for anything and everything the conservatives do, even when history has shown them to have been failed or to have deceived, yet when it comes to Labor it is YOU who continually blames them for everything and everything as you slavishly follow the Opposition and News Ltd lines, even things that are proven successful.

  87. Abbott’s plan with what to do with the remaining BER funding interested me. Abbott stated that there would be nothing new built but instead the $s would go to schools with existing infrastructure. The practicality of this of course would have meant that the small country school would have missed out on a library but that a wealthy school could have applied to have it’s parquetry floors resurfaced.

  88. does Qld have daylight saving?

    😦 No Migs – we have a premier who commissions a survey of SEQ residents which shows that a majority want a trial of split time zones for the state, but she rules out such a trial. So we’re stuck with dealing with tired, cranky people in southern states until they get used to the time shift each October…

  89. The ABC just called Tony Abbott a “Conservative Hero” in the same vein as John Howard being a conservative hero. They are making that claim on the false premise that Abbott nearly bought down a government in its first term and bought down a sitting PM and in light of Abbott’s visit to the UK to attend a conservative love fest. Both of those erroneous facts on Abbott have been shown to be false many times now but for some reason the ABC continues with this discredited line. Abbott actually came about 18th in gains made by opposition leaders in a first term government.

    They also attempted to divert from the oppositions idiotic statement of sending tanks to Afghanistan by saying Julia Gillard should be concentrating on troop numbers instead of attacking idiotic opposition statements.

    Do you believe Aunty?

  90. Mobius, and what is the benefit of the label ‘a conservative hero’? Does it make Australia a better place. Do Abbott’s policies challenge, are they forward looking.

    Basically what happened is that Tone lost the election. Tone was given a 2nd bite at the cherry and was given the chance to convince/bribe/coerce/threaten the Independents into siding with him. However, Tone didn’t have the right stuff..he lost. Bye bye Tone.

    Of course they’re now tearing strips off Oakeshott in the MSM saying that he was only a pretendie conservative. It’s just a revenge scenario and not worth the paper that it’s not printed on. I note that they (the MSM) aren’t game enough to take on Windsor.

  91. Hi Fran B
    I have recently been reading some of your posts and I agree we must do something to help Labor in their time of need,this really needs to be a joint effort.Over the past 3 years Labor have to a certain extent single handedly campaigned against,not only the opposition but to all intents and purposes the MSM, Murdochs media,the ABC and the huge mining companies.Now as you say we need to retaliate and run some interference for Labor against these bastions of bias.This really needs to be a well thought out battle plan involving the like minded blogotariat.,of which there is a list, eg the political sword,poll bludgers and this site,etc,etc plus the unions and the Labor minority government.This three pronged retaliation needs to address the lies,misinformation,the restriction of some information and the out and out made up stories and drivel emanating from th OO and the ABC and also the lies ,lack of policy and scrutiny of the Libs,We need to email write to and ring our mhrs to get stuck into the libs on their policies and their obvious contempt of the HOR., Bloggers need to hold the MSM and the like to account for suspect journalism or where it can be seen that a story has been cut and pasted from one outlet to another as in numerous cases between the OO and the ABC.How this is organised so that it can be achieved is the major difficulty but i would hazard a guess that the unions could pick up this slack by being able to get the message out into the airwaves and bloggers off the union sites sharing it to sites like twitter ,my space and facebook which i did many times during the election campaign.Lets all give Labor some clean air by running some interference for them to get their word out.

  92. Hi jimbo,

    Great comment and great idea. Your idea, coincidentally, is something that I’ve been giving a bit of thought to lately. In fact, I’ve started a website that will hopefully meet the needs of what you’re suggesting. The site is still under construction, but WATCH THIS SPACE.

    I’m also working on a post topic that talks about media versus the blogs, but I’m a bit slow at the moment.

  93. Min, I’m sure Smuggles will continue that essential infrastructure program introduced by the Rodent by making sure the money is spent erecting a flagpole proudly standing at the entrance to every school.

    Now there’s infrastructure for you. None of these wasteful libraries, science blocks and other such fripperies. With the added bonus of being Neil approved, no doubt.

  94. “None of these wasteful libraries, science blocks and other such fripperies.”

    I could think of better things to do with the money. But lets look at the time when Howard won in 1996.

    We had just has 5 large budget deficits and unemployment was at 8%. Federal debt has increased to the highest level ever ($96B) and the Libs wanted to get the budget back into surplus.

    When Labor won in 2007 we had 4% unemployment, no govt debt, $20B surplus budget. Labor just could not wait to get their hands on the cookie jar. And they have blown the lot with not much to show for it.

    It is actually sickening for me to read your posts.

    Most of the stuff the ALP is doing you would call reckless spending/ vote buying/ pork barrelling if the Libs were doing it.

  95. “Most of the stuff the ALP is doing you would call reckless spending/ vote buying/ pork barrelling if the Libs were doing it.”

    Or, getting on with governing. Unless the bickies are to stay in the jar until only the Right hands re-appear to redistribute crumbs.

    You should stop talking while your mouth is full with other people’s words, and get some of your own, btw, Neil.

  96. I thought you lot said the success rate for the BER was 95%. Not surprising since most of them have not been completed.

    “Department of Education officials yesterday told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry on the BER that only 18-19 per cent of the state’s 1253 projects had been completed since the stimulus program began in June last year.”

    I suspect what the media is saying about the BER is correct. We will have to wait a year or two to really find out what a colossal waste it is.

  97. Malcolm Turnbull obviously doesn’t pay the bills in his household.

    Turnbull says $65 a month will keep most off broadband

    Our current bill from Bigpond is $59.95. Would I pay an extra $5.05 for super fast broadband?? Of course.

  98. Hi Miglo
    I will watch this space very closely albeit im no techhead,no pun intended ,but i will look forward to contributing too your site.

  99. Neil, I’m very puzzled as to why you think updating and improving school facilities is not money well spent. Where would it be better spent, in your opinion? Do you think education is a waste of time and money?

  100. It’s wonderful to live in a country where the enthusiasm to be first with the news is so intense that at least one “journal” (and by that I mean the OO) feels the need to report the future as the past tense, even when to do that they need to guess what is happening. Pre News if you like. This recalls the Bush-era attacks on us poor folk in the “reality-based community” who werfen’t like them, making up reality as it went along.

    Reserve Bank lifts interest rates to 4.75pc

    Daniel Morrissey

    THE Reserve Bank raised interest rates for the first time in five months today, opening the way for retail banks to lift mortgage costs.

    The official cash rate was increased by 0.25 percentage points to 4.75 per cent, marking the seventh hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia in 12 months.

    The level is still 2.5 percentage points below the previous tightening-cycle peak of 7.25 per cent in March 2008, which was about six months into the two-year global financial crisis.

    The latest move by the RBA was expected by most market economists, despite concerns among retailers, sluggish credit growth and softening house prices.

    But the central bank had heightened its hawkish rhetoric in recent weeks, saying higher rates were likely needed to manage the economic upswing.

    The economy grew at its fastest quarterly pace in three years in the June quarter, thanks to demand for the country’s rich resources, particularly from China.

    The link no longer works. Apparently the OO was mugged by reality and decided to hide their embarrassment and so withdrew the article. Maybe they should have predicted that. That would have been news!

    (I have a screen shot of the article which I can send to Cafe Whispers if you wish Min)

  101. Fran, Miglo is Blog Master and we but his lowly servants (grovel, grovel) but I can’t see that Migs would mind at all if you sent a screen shot.

  102. Pingback: Tweets that mention Fran, speaking frankly « Café Whispers --

  103. Fran

    that is just brilliant… that is something that needs to be widely published by the blogosphere.

  104. Well done, Fran. What made you get that screen shot? Premonition?

    No, with you it would have been foresight. Again, well done.

  105. Send a screenshot to Migs or Min and I’ll put it up in an article. It deserves mentioning (even if they were simply trying to have a bet both ways to get the “scoop” 😉 )

  106. Ben, Fran doesn’t have my email address and Migs has visitors.

    …or maybe a solution is for Fran to put it up then for you to copy and paste it as a new article.

  107. I suspect what the media is saying about the BER is correct. We will have to wait a year or two to really find out what a colossal waste it is.

    I suspect we only have to wait a year to find out what a huge success it was, or we won’t have to wait that long as it on current trends it is an enormous success, the largest and quickest every infrastructure program rolled out with an astonishing success rate.

    People will look back at this feat and the plethora of new education infrastructure that will abound and state what a great program it was.

    Ideologically blinded idiots will continue to sprout bullshit.

  108. Min

    I’m not sure where to “put it up”. If you send an email to my email addy above, I’ll attach it.

  109. Fran,

    Yes I can email you but didn’t want to do so without your permission.

    Where is tech help aka the blokes when you need them!

  110. Mobius, there are reports from country schools that they now have things such as school halls and science labs that they could once only but dream about.

    Surely it couldn’t be that the Libs resent money being spent on public education.

  111. Min, the school my boys went to is getting a new community library complex courtesy of Kevin Rudd. They all seem extremely happy with it; so happy that the local rag has run 2 front page stories on it being on target financially and on time. The official opening should be before the end of the school year.

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