Monday Madness

Another Monday, another day I bet we wish we all just rolled over and went back to sleep, eh? Anyhow, new week, new general topic thread. Be it political, personal, or just outright random; this is the thread for it.

On the political front, one thing that has been annoying me over the past few months is the idea that non-swinging voters can be ignored… and the fact that in the current two party system – this is generally true.

Think about it, the ALP nearly lost the last federal election because they’ve moved to the right believing that the “centre-left” couldn’t vote for the Coalition. This turned out to be true (the Coalition only got a one-point-something swing toward them, less than expected for the first election after a change of government), but not quite the way they were hoping – the centre-left started voting Green. The thing is, Labor took these votes for granted and their punishment for it is… retaining government. One can see from their stance on single-sex marriage that they are keeping their position to the right of centre (and to the right of a majority of voters, as polls are consistently showing on the issue) safe in the assumption that the Greens really cannot support a Coalition Government (if only because they are even further to the right on homosexuality issues).

Same goes for state governments and who they raise taxes from. If the demographic affected was not going to vote for them in the first place, than upsetting them is of minimal importance.

I mourn the day that party politics made ignoring the “public good” an acceptable strategy. I look forward to the day when party politics are removed by an upswell of support for independent MPs. Perhaps, in this day and age, that is madness… but, that just makes it perfect for this thread –wink

216 comments on “Monday Madness

  1. Greetings BT, I’ve been wondering whether Labor have been moving to the Right in the vain hope of gaining the support of the Murdochracy. Before elections our party leaders apparently meet with the boss/ editor of The Australian to receive their orders. John Hewson gave an account of a meeting with the great pontificator, Paul Kelly years ago so it’s been the practice for years.
    I’ve been following the UK news of the phone hacking by Rupert’s journalists and the objections raised by the competitors,

    Murdoch seriously wants to own and control the world it seems, and that includes our country and our ABC.

    Is anyone game to or capable of stopping him ?

  2. Oops, forgot my last comment. I think the idea of Independents having a say is a good idea as long as it’s not a Harridine type in cahoots with the Coalition.

  3. Pip. I’m sure that Talk Turkey from the Political Sword will not mind me quoting a very apt verse of his here. He owes me one.

    Bigger than Walmart, bigger than Myers,
    Friend of Bush’s, Howard’s, Bliar’s,
    He whom Zion most admires,
    He who pulls all global wires,
    He to whom all power aspires,
    He who bigger fish to fry has,
    He whom none has been as sly as,
    He whom none can fly as high as,
    What I can’t work out is why has
    God not lit his funeral pyres?
    Oh – Rupert’s bought God’s heavenly choirs!

  4. And a rare moment of sanity coming from the RC church.

    Good news for Africa and PNG!

    What next? Priests can marry? Female priests?

    Must be hard to dwell in the 13th century … in 2010

  5. Shock, horror – News Ltd just makes $h!t up…

    The mayor of Byron Bay has lashed out at suggestions that booze-fuelled schoolies are running riot in the NSW beach town, saying media reports of violence between locals and school-leavers had been wildly exaggerated.

    Superintendent Owen King, from the Tweed-Byron police command, said a “minor scuffle” had broken out between two school-leavers from the Sydney area.

    A group of other teenagers had gathered around to watch the fight, but there was no suggestion they had joined in the violent brawl or had kicked, punched and tackled each other, as reported today by News Limited.

    Reported on Ltd News as: Schoolies run wild as beach brawl erupts in quiet coastal town of Byron Bay

  6. I would agree with that Migs. Given that the case is against Kevin Andrews plus the Commonwealth I will be interested to see the results of this. An excellent reminder of the true colors of the Howard government.

  7. Bacchus, elder daughter works in Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads..she’s home from work and hasn’t mentioned a scrap about any ‘riot’.

  8. Thanks migs and Bacchus for those links…

    I am inexorably drawn to the ox each morning, not because, I enjoy reading the content, but because it is a mental challenge for me… will I be right or wrong? I try to predict the leading headlines…is it ber? is it nbn? is it a new pink bat revelation? is it carbon tax? All of which are considered ‘evil’ by the oz.

    I’d say that I have been right 75% of the time that one or all of these issues will be at the forefront.

    If it weren’t for the excellent leak and nicholsen cartoons, I think I could overcome the desire to visit.

    Should they put a paywall up, then bye bye oz.

    Should I also say that I spent Fri/Sat in Canberra, and gosh I like the place! Within I reckon a hectare in the CBD you can see everything the human condition has to offer. I don’t get out much and I suppose this could be said of a lot of smaller cities. I just can’t work out the little ticky tacky boxes (units) that dot the roadside as you come into canberra.

  9. Handy, an Aboriginal friend visiting Canberra saw those units and jokingly called the area the Bronx. They are an eyesore.

    Glad you liked our city BTW.

  10. Migs, those boxes look likethe Blues Point Tower cut into a number of pieces and just dropped there equidistant. But I think your aboriginal friend’s description is perfect. And according to my son who’s been residing in that other planning disaster Fenton Hall, some of the neighbours have issues regarding other people’s property.

    And if anyone’s looking for a good chinese meal in Canberra, I ate at Happys…. popular beyond belief. I got there at six on Friday and was so lucky to get a table…ordered a glass of wine and food..took a sip of the wine and the food, within nano seconds, arrived..I was on my own and keen to eat and get out…but the meal was great.

  11. Handyrab and Patricia. Handy..likewise, I only read the OO for the cartoons plus an occasional article mostly from van Onselen but given Patricia’s link I zoomed straight on over.

    Ok, I give up where is the headline: Labor Leaps Ahead on 2pp or maybe, Abbott Back into Negative Territory on Performance or perhaps, Gillard Increases Lead on Abbott as Preferred PM.

    Of course not. Instead we get “Call for broadband costs undermine support: Newspoll”. The article does state the positive things about Labor and Gillard but it’s the Headlines which are the attention-getters.

  12. This goes beyond the pale and has me angrier than it should.

    Newspoll: 52-48 to Labor


    Because it is not being significantly reported in the MSM but especially the ABC, when only the other day the ABC jumped all over a Nielson phone poll that showed a slight decline for Labor and Julia Gillard.

    You need no more evidence than this to see where the ABC’s current ideology lies.

    Then on top of that you get this utter crap coming out as ‘news’: Smarten up, PM, and do not wear green

    There’s no gender bias in that article is there, especially when you consider Abbott arrived in Parliament the other day in a ratty white T-shirt and black baggy shorts as he was late to vote in a motion? (it was pleasing to see most in the room laughing and giggling at his expense, and rightly so).

    What is it with Liberal pollies that they can’t turn up or be on time for votes and motions they raise, they are that contemptible of our democratic processes?

  13. Thank you for that one Mobius. That must be one of the most condescending pieces of absolute garbage that I have read for quite some time. And so it seems that the OO has now decided to go into the Women’s Scandal Mag business.

    How you look is as important as what you say and how you say it. And the rules apply equally to male and female politicians.

    A bit of exercise wouldn’t go astray either, a healthy body and a healthy mind and all that.

  14. And the other day we had Alan Jones harping on that Julia Gillard’s partner didn’t wear a tie to a particular function in Malaysia. He didn’t want to mention this, but he’d received many emails from listeners about the incident so felt compelled to bring it up, in Joe Hockey’s presence mind you.

    Of course he wanted to mention it! It was mud and he likes to throw it.

    I’ve only been listening to Alan Jones because his squealing amuses me, or well it used to. His performances over the last week or so border on unpatriotic.

  15. Amazing isn’t it that the very day that Labor gets a bump in the news poll just so happens to be the same day that the OO decides to run an article criticising Gillard’s appearance. One would think that they had planned it that way 😉

  16. That’s their style, Min. Years ago old Rupe’s Adelaide daily took up a full front page announcing that the South Australian National Football League will be increasing admission charges, and then they blasted the SANFL for the increase.

    Meanwhile, in small print along the bottom of page 2, was the timind announcement of a price rise for the cost of the Rupert daily, effective the following Monday.

  17. I see Gerry the Retail Giant is at it again … The Clown of Robber Barons …

    THE Federal Government should place a good and services tax (GST) on products bought from overseas online retailers, Harvey Norman chief executive Gerry Harvey says.

    Read more:

    If Gerry and The Robber Baron Team paid their taxes we’d collect far more than the $1 billion he wants to collect for his government … what a fkwit!

    My comments in there somewhere along with all the other happy online shoppers …

  18. THE Federal Government should place a good and services tax (GST) on products bought from overseas online retailers, Harvey Norman chief executive Gerry Harvey says.

    Not fair squeal the piggies “we’ve made millions out of this globalisation lark, but we want laws and tariffs to stop teh common people from sourcing and buying OS products, force them to buy our overpriced and uncompetitive shit”.

    Just listen to yourself Gerry!

  19. And tha’ts what it is all about in a nutshell armchair opinionator, why should we be able to do what they have done for years?

  20. I have been really out of it the past few days with a flu (its the only flying I get to do 😦 ). Anyway, read crabs crabby piece on the dum today, and am just dismayed that this is the person they have now as a lead political journalist. What tripe passes at our national carrier for political analysis these days. So shallow, cheap and pathetic. She had one the other day rabbitting on about Julia using the term ‘transition’ instead of retreat from Afghanastan. Does she realise that what we are attempting IS a transition, and not a retreat. And it seems daily she wants to misrepresent issues like this, all in her campaign for a cheap oneliner.

    Really liked the comment by William Tell, summed it up far better than myself (it wasn’t there when I put my commment up)

    But, on the other hand, there was also a good article up about Professor Naomi Oreskes recent visit. Raised some very valid points, and also listed some excellent links to recent misrepresentation in the media of scientists, and the scientists largely unheard clarification of their views.

  21. What tripe passes at our national carrier for political analysis these days. So shallow, cheap and pathetic.

    I feel that she is treated like some kind of celebrity, like only she really knows how to analyse the news and what it means for us. I still feel that all the journalists, even those at the ABC, the hard and obvious questions go begging. The pollies are allowed to completely get away with their non-answers and re-interpretations. Why won’t they put themselves up for a “don’t be impertinent” or such other slapdown, at least we’d have more respect for them. Perhaps the canberra press club is just too cosy these days and they think they are chatting to one of their mates and it is us, the public, who has no right to anything more.

  22. Perhaps the canberra press club is just too cosy these days and they think they are chatting to one of their mates and it is us, the public, who has no right to anything more.

    Interesting observation.

    It has amused me that the pollies know the names of every journalist at the Pres Club – on a first name basis, that is. And is it just me, or do the journalists behaving more like groupies than journalists?

    Tom R, I haven’t dare read Annabel Crabb’s piece yet. I’m a big fan of Annabel’s, and if I’m to read an article of hers that is of the colour you have alerted me to, it’d be like, well, finding out that your new hot date has a penis.

  23. While I don’t have Miglo’s concern about a hot date 😉 sadly I would have to endorse Tom’s opinion of the piece by Annabella Crabb. Shallow plus sarcastic. Of course it’s blankety-blank ‘reform’ or maybe it’s been such a long time since any government tried it that journalists wouldn’t know it if they tripped over it.

  24. Just read that other piece you linked to Min, not as bad as others have been, although, if the question ‘have you read the document’ is the best the opposition can come up with, god help us all. Although, I have only read a very brief wrap up of some of the worse ones over at grogs, and they set a pretty low bar.

    This line got me though

    “How uniquely frustrating it must be for him to hear the random cries that the Government lacks a reform agenda, being – as he is – up to his neck in the stuff.’

    From a person who has been leading the charge with this line about the government having ‘no agenda’ ffs

    Barry Cassidy was actually remarkably concise on the weekend, when dolt started running that line, and he simply stated a few of the policy agendas that are currently on the table, and some completed, and all dolt could some up with was, well, what about right now!!

    FFS, these are big changes, and, if they do manage to separate telstra, it will just be one more major stuff up by howard fixed by Labor, although I am fairly certain it won’t be reported that way.

    But crabb isn’t a BAD writer, she has some good articles amongst the fluff, I just find it depressing that somebody who writes so much fluff is considered a lead political journalist. I could accept this stuff if written by a run of the mill journo (perhaps my expectations have lowered too far), but not from what they class as one of their best.

    I mean, Tim Dunlop is bit writer for them, and he leaves them for dead. Get Grog up there, he has a wider gamut then the dull offerings fed to us by the likes of crabb, in her never ending quest for that perfect one-liner.

  25. Tom, yes that bit about Conroy struck me too. After reading the article I was wondering what on earth was the point to Crabb’s discussion. First of all the fluff about Roy and stuck down at the very end which usually would be the place for the conclusion in any article, was the out of the blue statement that Conroy is up to his neck in reform.

    I used to enjoy Annabel Crabb before she landed at the ABC and even some of her earlier pieces were although lighter weight than some were reasonably accurate and entertaining. After reading your link and now this piece I am left wondering what they’re putting in her coffee over at the ABC.

  26. This is the opening paragraph from a Business spectator article by Adam Carr a Senior Economist at ICAP Australia

    Pyongyang Panic

    We need to take these guys out in all seriousness. I can’t believe that in this day and age, North Korea can jut launch an attack on South Korea, firing artillery shells at civilians no less. They are completely insane and unfortunately, provocative attacks aren’t that rare. The difference this time is that they hit civilians. Various theories are being thrown about as to why – succession plans, Kim Jong-il died, but for mine the reasons don’t matter. China’s attack dog has gone rabid and like all rabid dogs, they need to be put down. Truly unbelievable.

    Here’s yer rifle Adam – off you go!

    Why don’t people stick within their portfolio – our ADF (and other nation’s) are a bit busy at the moment … and this turkey is advocating WWIII … military personnel are not chess pieces – they are people …

    A N-S Korea War would be the equivelent of The Spanish Civil War in 1936, or the Assassination in Sarejevo in 1915.

    We must find a peaceful solution to this problem or all hell will break loose … the hidden agendas run deep … including the quarry we affectionately call Australia … and China’s insatiable appetite for our resources …

    I used to play a PC game, via LAN, called Age of Empires with my son and grandson … simple concept – acquire resources, construct civic buildings, build an army and navy, develop alliances and expand, expand, expand – sound familiar?

  27. I was also just musing over a fact the past few days that has me somewhat confused (yes, not a hard task I’ll grant). In the fallout of the election, the libs refused to honour their agreement of a few days earlier over the pairing of speakers over concerns that any legislation may be open to litigation in the high court. I just wondered how that sat with the recent High Court decision that two Sri Lankan asylum-seekers were denied procedural fairness under the Migration Act?

  28. Tom at 10.32am. Surely that material must be considered to contravene racial vilification legislation under both state and federal legislation. The Racial Discrimination Act (Cth) 1975, s.18C(1) states:

    “(a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and

    (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.”

    It is certainly intimidating, threatening and because of ethnic origins.

  29. And Tom. Two different things. This is just my understanding but the Attorney General put to rest this excuse from Tony Abbott about pairing by stating that he could see no constitutional impediment. Therefore this one was a Constitutional matter.

    The matter of the Sri Lankan asylum seekers was an interpretation of The Migration Act 1958 (Cth) and so therefore was an interpretation of an Act of Parliament.

    I hope that this is useful.

  30. Yes Min, I recall all the constitutional talk they had, where the one legal mind in the country who disagreed was a part of the party renigging, but they claimed that the refusal to accept their amendments was because the legislation could be challenged in court. If fear of challenges in the high court were an impediment, why did they make changes to a legislation that were able to be successfully challenged. It reeks of hypocrisy, they will not honour an agreement because of fear of challenges (even though it had been legally stated that it wouldn’t), and yet are happy to push through legislation when it suits them that subsequently fails challenges.

  31. I think Tom because basically it took someone to challenge the legislation. Julian Burnside didn’t represent either of the asylum seekers but I suspect that he might have been behind it given that he wrote at some length about the ruling.

    This sort of thing happens reasonably frequently. The job of parliament is to pass legislation and it’s up to the High Court to interpret this legislation. Therefore any and every piece of legislation passed by any parliament is open to a High Court challenge.

  32. Which brings me back to my point about the insipid excuse for the libs to renig on their promise (again). It just doesn’t stand up under any close examination, which we don’t appear to get. Instead, we get, ‘the government is doing nothing’, and then get laid into for all the things they are doing.

  33. And of course Tom, Abbott only agreed to the pairing in order to get support of the independents. Once he didn’t, he reneged. The man is an out and out hypocrite.

  34. I think he prefers the term ‘bullshit artist’ Min 😉

    Arguing against policy platforms when they hold up his ‘promises’ is like arguing against quicksand. Pretty pointless.

  35. It looks like we’ll be in the Internet Café business as well soon, given the NBN breakthrough.

    To celebrate, drinks are on the house.

    I’ll be away for a few hours but Min knows where the cellar key is kept.

  36. Heaven help us, the media are reporting this as ‘the government backs down on’…whatever happened to negotiated with/came to an agreement with!

  37. Yet again another example of where our media is failing us so badly. This should be reported across all major bulletins and news headlines but we’ll never see it so instead we get the false dichotomy of the media bashing the government for delivering a crisis health and education where not such crisis exists. Governments then go along for to deny the MSM beat up will have cries of spin and a flood of cherry picked incidents and interviews to prove there is a crisis.

    Measuring the ‘crises’ in health and education

  38. Thanks Migs, I’ll get out the sewing basket 😉 I’m not certain about buttons opening a zip but I’ll give it my best try.

  39. So typical of ToM to find the worse and ignore the good only because Labor is in power. If these stats had come out under an Abbott government he would be singing their praises.

    I am sure ToM and your bleating proves to me it’s better than being made out.

  40. yomms not happy with the straightforward data presented to him, he prefers the reality to be what he suggests, facts be damned!

  41. Nah ToM that’s not it all. No system is perfect but you keep screaming for a fanciful perfect system whilst ignoring the good in current systems, but you only do this for Labor governments whilst excusing the blatant failures and imperfections of your Liberal comrades.

    That is my beef. Here we have figures that show for health and education systems that are slightly less funded than the OECD average we are right up the top of the OECD in outcomes, but no that doesn’t blast a Labor government so let’s find the bad figures in the system, just as the MSM does so as to denigrate the government. A standard MO for you.

  42. That’s really bad form ToM, carrying over a blog conversation that is on one blog to another blog. Argue your point here instead of snitching as to what Tom R and I are saying to GT, or just stuff off.

  43. And not only that as is typical of ToM he wrongly construes what we are stating here to GT, which is one of the reasons it’s bad form to carry over conversations from one person’s perspective.

  44. yomm appears to think that ignoring data is cherry picking, when in fact cherry-picking is presenting carefully chosen pieces of data. Considering yomm has not presented any data at all, merely suggestions, one wonders what the hell he is talking about, or is this simply trolling on his behalf again?

    I also wonder if this is perhaps the beginning of another episode of unhinging?

  45. He’s like a cockroach Min. When will he be gone. I wonder if he will get lord munktum to advise him on this?

  46. Thanks for that (NBNBP) Bacchus.

    I still defy anyone to predict the future of optic fibre, the internet, holographic projection, learning techniques, one-on-one coaching, business development, yes and entertainment AND THE THINGS YET TO BE!

    How could they possibly imagine what we do now with telephones in 1854 (the first telegraph line between Victoria and SA).

    Our copper has to be replaced – its requiring more and more maintenance because it corrodes … fibre optic is glass … no brainer.

    As for Xylophone and Fielding … just a couple of myopic no-hopers holding up national development … the real problem with Xylophone is that looks the part he plays a tune that people believe … Fielding looks and acts like a drongo!

    Anyone look at the history of the invention of laser and no-one knew what it could be used for … have a look around now …

    Predicting 2200 in a business plan is silly … (fibre optic will last much longer than copper and its cheaper to manufacture – virtually unlimited supply of sand!).

  47. Dontchya just love contradictions? 🙄

    A LOCAL council in northern India has banned unmarried women from carrying mobile telephones to halt a series of illicit romances between partners from different castes, media reports say.

    … and then this … same story … 😯

    Caste discrimination is banned in India but still pervades many aspects of daily life, especially outside the cities.

    Read more:

  48. Yes TB – I reckon Malcolm Maiden covers it here:

    And it will depend on what gets run on the network, by whom:Turnbull says the Productivity Commission should get the job of measuring it all, and will not be satisfied by the side deal Xenophon has negotiated, for the Commission to have a less expansive role, as as an adviser to a new parliamentary committee that will monitor the NBN.

    But even dressed up in calculus, a study of national benefits would involve guesswork. Think back to, say the early nineties, and consider how much of what is on the internet now was considered likely then, or even dreamed of.

    The NBN is, in the end, a judgement call by the government. The verdict will take a couple of decades to arrive.

  49. Absolutely, Bacchus, ben my argument from the beginning … it is “futuresafe” technology for Australia … but then I’ve always been disappointed with the lack of vision that most leaders in politics and business have …

  50. Considering the way the media run against any large scale project the government runs, do you find that surprising TB?

  51. And a clue to how Ltd News will handle the release of NBN related info:
    10-year wait for NBN demand to hit 100Mbps

    From a 50 page document, they find a conservative assumption to set up for their case that it’s a waste to “do it once, do it right and do it now.” Whatever it takes to “destroy the NBN.”

    It will be interesting to watch what they come out with in the next couple of days… 🙄

  52. I’ll spend some time tomorrow PM reading the summary Bacchus …

    TomR, I do think the government and particularly Conroy needs to do better with the media even press releases … blaming the media is easy under the circumstances …

    … if you or I were in the same position we would be bombarding the media with positives about the NBN …

    … we do now! … and we are amateurs! OUR government needs to take CONTROL … if not, ‘tothers will/have? …

    … I’m a Baby Boomer I don’t blame others for my performance … I believe I’m judged (and I have been more than once!) on what I do … not on what others say …

    … I also believe that perception often has more impact than reality!

    I my view the present (and previous) government are very naieve communicators … that’s their problem!

  53. That’s true TB, but a government shouldn’t have to be forever “on the back foot” defending itself against not only opposition spin, but also the major media player in the country.

    You’re still right though, Labor have sold their agenda very badly since Dec 2007!

  54. “I my view the present (and previous) government are very naieve communicators … that’s their problem!”

    Yes, much of the fault lies with them. Even the recent posturing over the document linked to here, seven year secrecy clause, 3, 2 months, then an abridged version. It just reeks of mistrust.

    Grogs post of a couple of days ago was pretty illuminating about that. I have only read a brief piece of the document, but, from what I have read, they appear to rectifying the situation. If they push the arguments put forward in the document.

  55. I will always remember what Julia said during the election campaign (while having a dig at Abbott’s antiquated view of broadband): “Imagine missing out on the possibilities of the future”.


  56. And as a breath of fresh air, it seems that there is at least one journo who cares about accuracy..well at least on this occasion. While the rest of the media were running with the headlines The Government Backs Down: Xenophon, Michelle Grattan has advised that this statement did NOT come from Xenophon but from one of his staffers.

  57. Exactly Min, in fact, X was careful NOT to use that language.

    Grog (again) has an excellent write up about it, and the manner in which Julia performed what truly is a miracle. And this is the most important quote.

    ‘This is the absolute holy grail of communication’s policy.’

    Too right. Another howard tragedy fixed. I also liked this one.

    ‘The document is one the ALP should want out in the public domain. They should have been handing it out last Monday morning. The only possible reason I can think for them to keep it in reserve and thus get to a point where releasing this innocuous document would be classed as a back down, is because they were worried that if they released it earlier, Xenophon would be demanding more – more perhaps than they really wanted to give out.

    Everything in this new parliament will be about compromise, which it is looking like something Julia is pretty apt at. The only other excuse is Labor is just pathetic at selling themselves. Recent form backs the latter, but I remain optimistic.

    Compare Grogs column with sheridans blathering today, apparently the biggest humiliation in Australian politics ever. I’d pay for Grogs opinion, but sheridans is barely worth the download time. If I wasn’t such a masochist….

    Grogs article

  58. Good one Tom. I love Grog’s way of calling a spade a spade.

    (seriously did anyone expect a business case from NBN Co to say that there was no business case for NBN Co?)

    And so why did no one in the MSM even consider this..would a business case state that there was no business case???!!

  59. I like this one, again from Tom’s link to Grog:

    What it also shows (again) is that Julia is a master negotiator. Doing what Rudd was pretty loathe to ever do she actually got involved with negotiations with Senators and got the job done.

    Let me be bold and say this right now: we will have a price on carbon before the next election*. It will be a shitty, God awful, drag-down, knock them out negotiation, and then Julia will get involved and the deal will be done. This is a woman who knows how to work with people, and most of all she bloody well likes to win.

  60. In the Nick of Time!

    Hear that? Just in the nick of time
    The Red Queen has again stepped in,
    Saved the day with skill sublime.
    Causing Mr. Rabbit much chagrin.

    Seems that National Broadband Network
    Will proceed not much amended.
    But greater cause for her to smirk
    Is something she had not intended.

    The good Senator Zenophon
    Has lost his head to the Red Queen!
    Which is an odd phenomenon.
    She’s no star of the silver screen!

    Well that’s what all the papers say.
    Her ear lobes dangle much too low.
    Her hair is dyed to hide the gray.
    She lacks that special inner glow.

    Is that where Mr. Rabbit wins?
    His body is so bronzed and lean,
    Always front foot with growls and grins,
    The fittest pollie ever seen.

    Downunderland will make the choice.
    Who’s best for PM, has the tools?
    Fighter, the sloganeering voice,
    Or diplomat who’ll get things done, like Jules.

  61. I’m a bit excited because Julia is visiting our office tomorrow.

    Does that mean you’ll have to wear a tie and shoes, Migs?

    Have you practised your genuflecting? Remember no personal contact!

    Good luck! 😀

    Oh1 and could you thank her for the emails she keeps sending me … and Wayne too … got one of his this morning!

    ‘Tis exciting, hey?

  62. Does that mean you’ll have to wear a tie and shoes, Migs?

    There’s a point, TB. Fridays are usually jean’s day. What on earth will I do?

  63. Well that’s what all the papers say.
    Her ear lobes dangle much too low.
    Her hair is dyed to hide the gray.
    She lacks that special inner glow.

    Is that where Mr. Rabbit wins?
    His body is so bronzed and lean,
    Always front foot with growls and grins,
    The fittest pollie ever seen.

    Gold, Patricia. Pure gold.

  64. ‘I’m a bit excited because Julia is visiting our office tomorrow.’

    What, without an agenda?

    As our former minister she is opening our new office.

  65. “My guess is she won’t even see me”

    Take an egg, apparently that will get somebodies attention 😉

    It might not be the sort of attention you want though

  66. Miglo, the bar has been open for quite a while now. I trust you have been able to abstain. We wouldn’t want you disgracing us all in front of Julia, would we?

    Seriously though, isn’t she great? Cool, strong, savvy and not just brainy but beautiful too. I don’t care what the papers say I reckon she’s the best looking PM we’ve ever had. She has a stand-out smile for official photos with all those other pollies world wide and she is suitably grave, but still beautiful, when the situation demands it. And she’s always ‘suitably’ dressed.

    Her tone of voice today when sending condolences to New Zealand was spot on, sincere and in no way strident. What are all these critics on about.

    Send her a special smile across the crowd from me, Migs!

  67. Patricia. You are the sort of postive person that is very much needed! I think that Julia is wonderful too. She has a very cheeky smile and laughs in a natural and relaxed hint of sarcasm there! She is obviously a very intelligent woman but never flaunts this but speaks in a sincere and genuine manner.

    I second that smile Migs.

  68. Yesterday when we were talking about the bombing of South Korea I quipped that it must be very ‘soul destroying’. 😆

    I came so close to being thrown through the nearest window.

  69. The first time I saw Julia was after the 2007 election. She received a rock star welcome at the department. Tomorrow should be no different.

  70. I woke up this morning thinking ‘thank God it’s Friday’. I drove to work thinking ‘thank God it’s Friday’.

    Some bastard told me it’s only Thursday.

    Pigs and curses.

  71. Migs, for that quip you deserved to be thrown out the nearest window. One of my favorites is the one where she slipped over before a press conference prior to the ’07 election. It certainly showed her sense of humor plus her ability to laugh at herself.

  72. Last day of parliament for the year. I wonder what happened to Abbott’s prediction that his troops should be ready to take over government at a moment’s notice.

  73. Apparently a Fox/Sky poll showed that 91% of people are against the NBN. I don’t have a link and nor can I look for one – my computer is having a bad day.

    It certainly is a WTF statement.

  74. Migs, I’ve checked the Sky site as this poll hasn’t been mentioned on air that I’ve seen. The question is: Has the Govt put forward a valid case for the NBN? The results are: 86% to 14% in the negative.

    But too bad anyway because Fielding is now on board.

    Gillard has now announced “A victory for Australia…”

  75. Mr Fielding has a background in the field Migs – perhaps not such a surprise…

    Academically, Fielding suffered setbacks through an undiagnosed case of dyslexia, and this led to problems studying subjects such as English. Nevertheless, he excelled in Maths, and his high marks in this subject allowed him to graduate with sufficiently high scores to gain entry into the Bachelor of Engineering degree at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), where he studied electronic engineering. Upon graduating in 1983, Fielding accepted a position at Hewlett-Packard, and later he moved into management at technology firms NEC and Siemens.

    Fielding returned to university to undertake a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Monash University. He completed his degree in 1992, and this led him to move to Wellington, New Zealand, where he worked for Telecom New Zealand in “change management” during a difficult time for the industry, as it was undergoing deregulation. He returned to Australia three years later, in 1995, and upon his return he worked for United Energy, the Australian Yellow Pages, and as a marketing manager at Vision Super.

  76. Well, brains and degrees, don’t always guarantee common sense, do they? In this case, thank goodness, he has shown sense.

    Thanks for the lead-in Bacchus. I must say I haven’t been curious or fair enough to read much about Steve Fielding beyond his more idiotic statements and publicity pranks. Reading his Wiki bio gives me a much better handle on the man and has deterred me from a bit of acid verse.

    I always sympathise with dyslectics. I’m no specialist in the subject but whenever I come across them I sense them as victims of some very early and terrible trauma. Is that patronising?

  77. Patricia, just putting on my ed.psych hat for a moment. There is research to suggest that it’s to do with a hiccup in a pathway to the brain with the brains of dyslexic children showing an unusual variation in left- and right-side activity.

    But having said that, there are lots and lots of people with many and various disabilities who don’t use these as excuses. It seemed at the time that Fielding was using his dyslexia for having made stupid decisions.

  78. ….the real problem with Xylophone is that looks the part he plays a tune that people believe..

    Not me, TB. He’s just another LIEberal tarted up as an Independent like that complete w@nker Mitch Williams, who stood for McKillop as an Independent, won then “rejoined” the LIEberals five minutes later.

    Migs, give Julia a big thumbs up from me and my family. She’s a breath of fresh air and a bit of a magician as well it seems, getting the loathsome Fielding and the show pony Xylophone (love that, TB) to come on board the NBN train.

    A friend of ours was trotting out the LIEberal line on the NBN the other day; the usual tosh $43bn, shock horror, we don’t need it just so people can download movies and porn at lightning speed etc, etc. What we’ve got is perfectly adequate etc etc. Wah, wah, wah!

    I ran through the implications for medicine, education, engineering and architecture just as a frinstance which he acknowledged readily, but he objected to the plebs having it, because they’ll just download movies and “waste” it.

    I have to admit I loved that; a typical tory response. The great unwashed mustn’t have the shiny stuff because they’ll only waste it, unlike their betters.

  79. An important story doing the rounds this morning about private schools fighting the government over having their finances published on the My School website.

    First. Their vociferous and strident moves to have their finances kept secret proves they must have something to hide.

    Second. Yet another case of a private entity that receives considerable public largess yet doesn’t want to be held accountable for receiving that public largess, they just want the free millions with no accountability.

    What they are afraid of is that if their finances are made public, the parents of students, including wealthy parents, will realise just how much of a rip off the wealthy private schools are, especially in poor value for outcome.

  80. I saw that Adrian. The funny thing was, the alleged errors were in relation to a test site that they were viewing. Granted, the government should have fully tested the test site before revealing it, but often, test sites are tested by clients to expose errors such as these. Hend=ce the terminology.

    I not the oo is running pretty heavy this morning on negative track. And the abc is heeling nicely.

  81. It’s a bad day. Just learnt that I became a great great uncle. I’m far too young for that. Then the day got worse: I won’t be able to see Julia. The auditorium is booked out. Sob sob.

  82. Hang on, I thought they ‘stopped the boats’

    ‘A number of other documents released under FOI indicate that, in spite of the Howard government’s Pacific Solution policy, the people smugglers were still in business and the boats hadn’t stopped trying to come at all.’

    They wouldn’t have been having us on would they?

  83. Excellent article Tom.

    During the recent election campaign, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott campaigned hard on a policy to force boats back to Indonesia. It seems now that Abbott did this knowing that, not only would these actions place the lives of passengers and our navy at great risk on the ocean – remember the two women who drowned during an attempted return of the SIEV10 in 2001 – but that he could be breaching Australia’s international obligations.

    I have to disagree a little with above in that I would be absolutely certain that Abbott knew full well that the policy of forcing the boats back to Indonesia would place the lives of “passengers and our navy at great risk”.

    Abbott would have to have been deaf, blind and dumb to not have known this. Abbott of course is none of these, but instead is a callous pr**k who cares for nothing except winning at all costs.

  84. I DISAGREE! Min

    That implies that tabot was aware of policy. Recent behaviour lends credence to the theory that he is entirely oblivious to the machinations of policies.

    That, or he’s just full of shit.

  85. [url=][img][/img][/url]

  86. Good one Tom 🙂 But honestly, Abbott isn’t stupid…just basic common sense would suggest that if you try to turn a boat around containing desperate people then this action is going to risk the lives of not only the passengers but of Australia’s enlisted personnel.

    The one that always amused me was that as PM Abbott intended to have a direct phone link to every patrol vessel to give them a personal directive about which boats to turn back. Yes I’m certain enlisted personnel would be more than happy to just sit there twiddling their thumbs waiting for Tony to come out of the loo.

    Hang on a moment perhaps Abbott IS stupid!

  87. Ahh, the legendary ‘boat fone’.

    The methane gathered from tabots brain farts would be enough to power the east coast seaboard

  88. Speaking of warnings

    “LABOR was warned three months after it came to power that its closure of the Nauru detention centre would cause a jump in people smuggling to Australia. ”

    “But in a confidential briefing on February 25, 2008, departmental officials warned then immigration minister Chris Evans to expect an upswing in boat arrivals after the detention centre was abandoned that month.”

    Since labor changed the laws at least 170 people have drowned trying to get here. You are responsible for this

  89. “You are responsible for this”

    No, the right-wing scare-mongers & mean-spirited fckwits that you so slavishly support are responsible for this…there would be a saner approach to dealin’ w/ displaced people across the world if it weren’t for you xenophobic mongrels.


  90. Ah, news writers, they are as ignorant of the English language as some lawyers

    ‘current intelligence on issues including the closure of Nauru suggest the possibility of increased people smuggling efforts,” the advice states.’

    Interesting how possibility becomes would, and other factors are ignored.

    As shown earlier, the boats did not stop at all, and a rise was already happening before the closure

  91. Bit nasty there Nasking. I like refugees. i think we should be taking 40-50K/year and cut down on skilled immigrants. Our current intake of 13.5K is way too low.

    Also according to Bolt the boats started coming after Labor abolished the Pacific Solution.

    Bolt has placed a red dot when Labor changed the laws. Notice the increase in people in detention. We now have a record number of people in detention

  92. Min/Tom, Abbott knows he can’t do what he said he wanted to do re boats, but his gambling that the mug voters don’t know that.

    He’s obviously not stupid, but he’s treating the mug voters as though they are. Gotta agree with him on that one. A lot of them are stupid, namely the one swho voted for him.

  93. Bit nasty there Nasking.

    I don’t think so.

    You’re blaming Labor for the deaths of 170 people. That’s a very reckless and immature statement and one that I expect criticism of.

    But seeing that you’ve raised the subject, perhaps you can tell us how many died in the 2001 election year.

  94. I’ll tell you to save you the trouble. It was at least 353.

    If you’re keen to blame Labor for the the deaths of 170 people then I’m sure you’d be willing to blame the Liberals for the 353 deaths.

    And the more I’m thinking about it, Neil, the angrier I’m getting with you. That you can suggest that Labor voters are also to blamed for the deaths of those 170 people is about as low as you can get.

    Lift your standards, please Neil. I know that you are capable of solid and interesting debate. You won’t win much respect unless you return to it.

  95. Miglo, true about the mug punters not being aware. Its the inane arguments from those supporting the howard policy like it was some sort of solution. It wasn’t, and, as shown, at best, was a stop gap measure that would not stand the test of time. It was a political fix, aided and abetted by global conditions.

  96. “Bit nasty there Nasking.”

    Nasty eh? Man that ain’t nasty. I’ll tell ya what’s nasty.

    If I was the head of a government that decided you weren’t possibly suitable for this country…and whilst I got people to check out whether you were or not…and man, me & my people can drag our arses if need be…I’ll send you off to Nauru…and leave ya there to rot for a few years…and screw how you & yer family & friends feel about it.

    Now that’s NASTY.

    Bolt supports nasty people. As do you.


  97. Migs congrats on being a 2xgreat uncle!

    Go Nas’!!!

    Neil, Dolt is the red dot of stupidity, spite, malice and xenophobia. Surely you don’t want to be branded with the red spot of Dolt?

  98. “If you’re keen to blame Labor for the the deaths of 170 people then I’m sure you’d be willing to blame the Liberals for the 353 deaths.”

    If you are talking about SIEVX, you lot did blame Howard for it. He was called a mass murderer by you lot for those deaths in case you have forgotten. A play was even written about it.

    Somehow Howard put the people smugglers out of business. We still took out very small 13.5K refugees/year but it was done more fairly. The smugglers are now back in business thanks to the ALP policies. And i cannot see how this new system is better than the previous one under Howard.

    And Nasking, there are now more people in detention than at any time under Howard. Christmas Island was empty and called a white elephant before the 2008 election.

  99. ‘Somehow Howard put the people smugglers out of business.’

    Bloody hell neil, you are obstinate in your ignorance aint ya. If you repeat a lie enough it doesn’t make it true.

    ‘A number of other documents released under FOI indicate that, in spite of the Howard government’s Pacific Solution policy, the people smugglers were still in business and the boats hadn’t stopped trying to come at all.’

  100. Tom, one that comes to mind is the infamous Captain Bram who the Indonesian government refuse to punish in any substantial way.

    An Indonesian judge has issued Abraham Lauhenapessy, or Captain Bram as he is better known, with a one-year suspended sentence and a $3,000 fine.

    Dressed in jeans and a black shirt, Captain Bram, 49, kept his eyes lowered in court.

    He was jailed for people smuggling-related offences in 2007, but in court today the judge said he took into account Captain Bram’s clean record.

    The judge said while the people smuggler had been well behaved and frank, his actions had endangered maritime security.

    Indonesia does not have people smuggling laws, but president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has promised to bring them in soon.

    **my bold

  101. Well the Salvation Army thinks boat people are queue jumpers

    “SALVATION Army senior soldier Simon Hartley struggles with the consequences of asylum policy every day in Altona, in Melbourne’s southwest, in the heart of Prime Minister Julie Gillard’s electorate.

    He does not deal with asylum-seekers who arrive on boats. He helps the families of refugees suffering overseas who have been crowded out, denied a place in Australia because it has been taken by someone who originally came illegally.”

    And why are all the people who bashed Howard now silent?? We know that if Howard was in power with detention centers full, people sewing up lips and commiting suicide you lot would be exploding.

  102. “If you’re keen to blame Labor for the the deaths of 170 people then I’m sure you’d be willing to blame the Liberals for the 353 deaths.”

    If you are talking about SIEVX, you lot did blame Howard for it. He was called a mass murderer by you lot for those deaths in case you have forgotten. A play was even written about it.

    Yes, I do blame Howard for it, but I won’t go as low as you would by blaming you and everybody else who voted for him.

  103. I must admit I do not understand you people. You claim howard was a mass murderer re: SIEVX. Even wrote a play about it.

    People are now drowning by ALP policies luring them to Australia and no such allegations against Rudd/Gillard by the leftoid peanut gallery.

    “but I won’t go as low as you would by blaming you and everybody else who voted for him.”

    But I do blame you lot. We had a working policy re:border protection and you voted against it at the last election.

    And Re:Iraq war. If it was an illegal invasion, I guess I have to accept some of the blame since I voted for Howard.

  104. Hang on Neil the Salvation Army are not saying they are queue jumpers at all.

    What is it with wingnuts that have to misrepresent everything that is said so as to make their case? If they can’t do it by stating the facts and in context then they shouldn’t say it all.

    Everyone read the full article and not the little bit Neil took out of context. Both sides are represented in it including the fact that Labor policy doesn’t “lure” asylum seekers here as Neil falsely and loathly states.

    What about the greater number of asylum seekers who bribed their way out of the camps and really did jump the queue by using money and bullying? No you won’t see Neil going on about them as he does about the small handful that come in by boat, who either have to make the extremely dangerous journey because their lives are untenable in their homes or in the camps. Refugees are still persecuted and killed in camps, but Neil wants them to stay there suffering forever until they either die of starvation or persecution as long as they don’t make a hazardous journey of just a little hope to a country that can give them freedom from persecution. Even Howard found that nearly all asylum seekers were genuine in that quest.

  105. And Re:Iraq war. If it was an illegal invasion, I guess I have to accept some of the blame since I voted for Howard.

    And you’d better throw in Afghanistan, while you’re at it, Neil. If the Rodent hadn’t been so busy crawling up Dubya’s @rse, we wouldn’t be there now adding to the misery of the Iraqis and Afghanis.

    And desperate asylum seekers wouldn’t be risking their lives trying to come here in unseaworthy vessels. Great policies these all the way with LBJ and Dubya, aren’t they?

  106. Well the Salvation Army officer said this

    “The families we are assisting have put their applications through the correct channels, have not sought out people-smugglers and now are being told that they do not have a real chance of obtaining a visa,” Hartley says. “This is grossly unfair and will drive more to people-smugglers.”

    So he is saying they are queue jumpers. And at the moment it is not a small handfull that come by boat. We have 13,500 places and there and many thousands now in detention. Every thousand in detention who come by boat means less who come by normal means.

    hence they come by boat.

    And jane you are correct. And if they are encouraged to come by boat and drown on the way you are responsible for this. You voted for this at the last election. You also voted for budget deficits.

  107. And by the same token if they die of starvation in the camps or end up with mental illnesses due to indefinite detention, who is responsible for these ones?

  108. Min, there was very few people in detention when Howard lost office. Christmas island was called a white elephant by labor as it was empty.

    Our empty detention centers are now full to overflowing.

    You lot are responsible for this.

  109. Neil, did you read my link at 8.45am “Indonesia does not have people smuggling laws” and nor are they a signatory to the international convention. They are mostly housed in extremely poor conditions. It is therefore no wonder that people not only wish to escape via people smugglers but that Indonesia does nothing to stop the people smugglers leaving its shores. Rudd however received an undertaking by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to make people smuggling a serious crime in Indonesia however the wheels turn slowly in Indonesia.

    The best that our patrol boats can do is to pick up the people who leave Indonesia. The Abbott plan of sending the boats back to Indonesia will not be tolerated by Indonesia.

  110. Here is a reason from…

    Yesterday’s figures provoked a statistical jousting match, with the opposition claiming the UNHCR’s report put the lie to the Rudd government’s claim that so-called “push” factors were behind the rising tide of boats.

    But the UNHCR’s regional representative, Richard Towle, said they showed nothing of the sort.

    Citing a 45 per cent increase in the number of Afghan asylum-seekers – the main group arriving in Australia by boat – Mr Towle said violence in source countries was to blame.

  111. Every thousand in detention who come by boat means less who come by normal means.

    What is “normal means” for refugees and asylum seekers?

  112. ‘Then how did Howard stop them?? ‘

    Who says he did (apart from dolt). There are global factors at play, which mirror precisely what was happening here.

    And, as my links earlier highlighted, he did not ‘stop’ them.

  113. … and Neil, have you noticed that over the decades refugees seem to come from the places where Australian troops are sent to fight … usually by Liberal/National Coalition governments BTW …


    1950’s – European countries (after WWII)

    1960’s – Commonwealth “push” (ie 10 quid immigrants) not much going on ‘cept the Cold War …

    1970’s – Vietnam

    1980’s – Africa

    1990’s – Timor

    2000’s – Iraq, Afghanistan

    D’you suppose they get to like our diggers and what they stand for and then find out where we live?

    … and before you start, no, its not precise (ie we weren’t involved in the Tamil civil war) …

  114. The trouble with the oo is, they allow deliberate lies to be repeated, simply by quoting people who are repeating lies probably read in the same paper

    ‘someone who originally came illegally’

    They are not ‘illegal’ until deemed so by immigration, in which case, they would be deported. More bullshit from nil and his paper yawn!

  115. ‘Doesn’t mean what the Salvation Officer said was wrong.’

    Yes it does, because, IF they were illegal, they would not be taking a space. Therefore, it is not true

  116. Ah yes, as reported by that well-known unbiased journalist Christian Kerr

    Prior to becoming a writer Kerr was a staffer to South Australian Liberal Senators Robert Hill, Amanda Vanstone and former South Australian Premier John Olsen.

  117. What the salvation Army Officer said was true

    ‘He helps the families of refugees suffering overseas who have been crowded out, denied a place in Australia…’

    i do not know about the illegal bit but they are definately queue jumpers.

    They have jumped ahead of people who have no money to pay people smugglers

  118. My first thoughts also TB. I’m happy to be corrected on this one but maybe the ALP conference was the first opportunity for Wong to help initiate change. However, Wong did state that her position was that marriage was between a man and a woman when she did have the option of remaining silent for personal reasons.

  119. The openly gay senator

    I’ve noticed a lot superflous words by journalists lately … usually indicates a need to “pad” the story …


    Why not, “the senator”, or, if you really have to, “the gay senator” … but “openly”? …

    … reading back, it sounds, “picky” but there seems to be more and more of it …

  120. Wong did state that her position was that marriage was between a man and a woman

    Odd stand from someone “openly gay”?

    As you know, I’ve never been a fan of Ms Wong – but does this reflect why she no longer holds the Environment portfolio? Commitment, springs to mind …

  121. TB, good point..why do journos insist on prefacing the word gay with the word ‘openly’. Good one..I never noticed that before but I will from now on 😉

  122. And jane you are correct. And if they are encouraged to come by boat and drown on the way you are responsible for this. You voted for this at the last election.

    If you ever decide to post another comment as low and as dirty as this then your future comments here will be placed in moderation.

    Tim Dunlop used to ban bloggers who made similar comments. I’m taking a leaf out of his book.

  123. “He does not deal with asylum-seekers who arrive on boats. He helps the families of refugees suffering overseas who have been crowded out, denied a place in Australia because it has been taken by someone who originally came illegally.”

    Your usual meme of just repeating something over and over whilst completely ignoring anything to the contrary.

    Where does the Salvation Army officer say boat people, who, as has been pointed out to you so many times now nobody can count, are not illegal?

    The Salvation Army officer is more likely talking about the illegals who come in by other means and those who bully and corrupt their way through the system from the camps, not those who escape the persecution and undertake extremely hazardous journeys to escape violence, extreme hardship or the threat of death.

    It’s very worrying to realise that if you were facing persecution and extreme hardship Neil you would just take it and do nothing, or would you be one of those who join the persecutors or would you bully and corrupt your way to avoid persecution.

  124. “If you ever decide to post another comment as low and as dirty as this then your future comments here will be placed in moderation.”

    Why?? Our votes are important. If the people we vote for do things that harm others we are therefore in some way partially responsible.

  125. And on a lighter note – the side effects of reading too much Andrew Bolt… (warning – Cage is not known for being light on the language)

  126. Ben – I’m the guy at the bar with the beard!

    Actually Nick reminds me very much of my sister … 🙄

  127. “If you are talking about SIEVX, you lot did blame Howard for it. He was called a mass murderer by you lot for those deaths in case you have forgotten. A play was even written about it.”

    But Neil the boats stopped coming. Fathers put their wives and children on this boat after they realised that they would only get temporay visas. They did this because they did not want their wives and children trapped in Indonesia horror camps for years.

    There are accusations of deaths occurring today. As far as I can make out, this is only rumour.

  128. Saw a take on Insiders from Meet the press (??) see what i can find …

    …. actually referred to him as a “thug” …

  129. The (Senate) inquiry heard that Aboriginal children suffer the highest rates of ear disease and hearing loss of any people in the world.

    Hi Min, in the ATSIC Regional Council area I spent a bit of time – northern SA – the Council put a ban on the funding of community swimming pools as it was found (thanks to Fred Hollows) that pools are the breeding grounds for eye diseases. I assume that swimming pools could play host to countless number of diseases.

  130. Migs, that link from The Drum is actually a very accurate article especially with regards to the effects of hearing impairments which a lot of people don’t realize.

  131. Alan Jones has to be one of the most pathetic individuals in the country. I listened to his interview with Malcolm Turnbull, which concluded with Jones claiming that the NBN will be obsolete before the roll-out was finished. The NBN will deliver download speeds of 100mbs a second. Not two minutes earlier he was lauding the opposition’s broadband plan that would deliver only 12mbs a second download speed.

    He really is a hypocritical, nasty little man.

    Can’t he see the obvious that the opposition’s plan is ALREADY obsolete.

  132. I’m bored. Bored, bored, bored. Visiting the wife’s rellies can be so boring. I’m so bored, that I might just click on one of Tom’s links. 😛

  133. I was just sitting here feeling sad and sorry for myself (still haven’t kicked whatever bug has got me flat) and thought, imagine waking up to the view they would have every day. Mind you, I reckon I might suffer from a bit of vertigo after a while.

  134. Maybe I’ll tinkle with the ivories.


    Just finished putting together next Saturday’s “show” – now all I need to do is practice all fkn week! Good fun though!

    Glad you like 8 Ball – TomR

    Migs is it the same as your iPhone? (Doubt it somehow)

  135. ‘Then how did Howard stop them?? ‘

    Worth thinkin’ about:

    2001: In 2001 there were 51 boats and 5,516 irregular arrivals

    Late that year, the US sent ships into the middle east. In fact they invaded Afghanistan. The ships acted as eyes and ears in the area. When the troops moved in they seized the borders and effectively reduced the number of people the people smugglers could smuggle in. This had very little to do with temporary visas.

    2002: The Bali Bombings

    The bombings, horrific though they were, attracted to Indonesia the scrutiny of the USA’s CIA and FBI as well as our own AFP. This basically made it very hard for people smugglers to ply their trade from Indonesia. Towards the middle of 2004 the scrutiny had eased off and the boats began again. Until…

    2004: The Boxing day Tsunami

    This natural disaster again curtailed the people smuggling trade. The US sent a air craft carrier into the region with radar capabilities that made it hard for the boat smugglers to launch. Added to that was the fear of the people being smuggled to go to sea.

    2005-2006: Return of the eye in the sky.

    Satellite technology that had been predominantly swallowed by the Iraq War was used to spot ships. There was even cases of Indonesia themselves turning back some of the boats. So what did the people smugglers do? Launch smaller craft. And this put the lives of the people arriving here at greater risk. It was enough for John Howard to curtail his temporary visa policy as DESPITE IT, the boats kept coming and people were willing to risk it all to get their family to safer shores.

    From 2007: War returns to Afghanistan and conflict in Sri Lanka heats up

    This gave the smugglers back their product.

    More here:


  136. TB and Min re Rudd on Howes, yes it has been a while coming but I think Rudd has been wise to keep out of stoushing with Howes and to focus on bedding himself down in his role as Foreign Minister. Whatever his private thoughts – will we ever know exactly what transpired in that office when Julia told him she had to challenge? Howes, whatever the rights and wrongs of the case against Rudd, is a thoroughly dislikable, self promoting s..t and needs to shut up now that Labor needs as much strength through unity it can get. It says something for Rudd that after so little a time, less than half a year he is able to be supportive of Julia publicly with apparent sincerity. He doesn’t have to pay her compliments, just keep his head down, and here he is commending her. Howes should shut up and stop trying to rationalise his role in June by keeping up the attack on Rudd and himself in the public eye.

  137. Excellent link Nas’..I believe that this is the first time that I’ve seen any attempt to explain the correlation between people smuggling and the external and internal pressures pertaining to Indonesia. Abbott and cronies would have us believe that the sole force behind people smuggling is Australia’s policies.

  138. “Howes should shut up and stop trying to rationalise his role in June ”

    I would be surprise if he had very much of a role in that incident. I am sure that he will have less in the future. People who cannot keep their traps closed cannot be trusted.

  139. Good link Nas. Ash’s site is one of those supported on Australian Blog Sites.

    I agree with Min and Patricia about the strength in unity, which is also encouraged on ABSites.

  140. Min & Migs, it does make you wonder about how many boats were left for people smugglers to use after the Dec 2004 tsunami if you take into account those destroyed & damaged…or needed for other fishing/survival reasons.

    And the obligations that the Indonesian government may have felt to assisting Australia due to the large assistance program provided by the Australian government & people at that time.

    And the same could be said for the Australian efforts after the bali bombings.

    Is it possible too that disasters such as the tsunami cost the Indonesian government so much that as more refugees poured in post these natural disasters, from Sri Lanka & Afghanistan etc., the cost of keeping them would eventually lead to a relaxing of vigilance and see more asylum seekers leaving their shores?…so in fact the stream of asylum seekers was inevitable. We know there was a slight increase in 2005/2006.

    If the Coalition were not expectin’ more asylum seekers then why did they decide to continue w/ the Christmas Island detention centre expansion in 2003 when they could’ve shelved it based on the amount of arrivals? What did they know?

    1.4 The Need for the Work

    1.4.1 In accordance with Government policy a permanent IRPC on
    Christmas Island is required to:

    a) provide appropriate facilities for the humane detention of
    unauthorised boat arrivals;
    b) support the mandatory detention and border protection
    policies of the Australian Government, including providing
    capacity for the offshore processing of unauthorised boat
    arrivals; and
    c) replace the existing temporary facility at Phosphate Hill that
    is inadequate, in terms of size, amenity and security, for the
    detention of unauthorised boat arrivals on an ongoing basis.


    1.5 Description of proposal

    1.5.3 The facility will be designed and built to meet the requirements of the
    Building Code of Australia and other relevant standards and
    requirements which apply to Commonwealth facilities of this type. It
    will also comply with the Immigration Detention Standards and
    provide for an operational life of 30 years.

    more here:

    Click to access sub1.pdf

    An operational life of 30 years. And yet we were told the Pacific Solution would “stop the boats”. So why the need to possibly accomodate 800 people?

    I think the reasons for a downturn in numbers of asylum seekers arrivin’ in boats durin’ that period is complex and involves a multiplicity of reasons too oft ignored by the Coalition & media.


  141. Looks like the whole ‘boat people’ meme needs a jolt of wikileaks. So much disinformation pushed down our throats by media barons with an agenda

  142. TB and Min re Rudd on Howes, yes it has been a while coming but I think Rudd has been wise to keep out of stoushing with Howes and to focus on bedding himself down in his role as Foreign Minister.

    Yes, PWA, agree with that assessment … in fact Kevin Rudd is becoming bulletproof the more he consolidates his position … imagine the furore if he was knifed again … and I suspect he may still have a number of politicians’ votes.

    After Riordan’s outburst in NSW there seems to be a union v political wing confrontation going on (no wonder the states and the country are not being governed!~).

    My suspicion would be that the unions have lost so much power base from diminishing membership that they feel threatened and are trying to take control of the ALP …

    … as a lifetime ALP supporter and ex union rep I’m personally very disillusioned – … particularly with the loss of general ALP principles … too centrist and poll driven is a truism (although if you look at polls, gay marriage should not be an issue at all) … the only real vision we have at the moment is the NBN … and its long term … seems we are about to lose the health reforms too …

    I for one will not vote for an Anna Bligh led government in Queensland … and although I admire Julia Gillard’s negotiation skills, I do expect to be completing a Federal ballot paper before 2012 …

  143. Nas’ according to son there are literally thousands of impoverished fishermen willing to have their boats impounded and to spend years in a Darwin prison, as the several hundred dollars that they are paid by the people smugglers will set their families up for for their kids’ education. That is, for them it is an opportunity to escape from poverty. Mind you one of the things that is rarely mentioned is that the main job of the patrol boats is to pick up Indonesian fishing poachers.

    Also culturally, people smuggling in Indonesia has never been considered a serious crime. An excellent explanation of the Indonesian situation is at:

  144. Useful link Min. From it:

    Under the Howard government’s increased focus on asylum seekers, Australia federal agents worked with Indonesian counterparts to identify and stop people smugglers. Given the risks involved, this work was shrouded in secrecy, but it is believed that there were occasions when Australian agents acted directly.

    I wonder what effect the covert actions had? Perhaps along the people smuggler grapevine Australia was known as pretty ruthless in those days…the Siev-X disaster might’ve been part of it…or the “sabotaged by Oz agents” story just a myth that got around and deterred some. Perhaps the smugglers see Australian authorities as less ruthless now?

    All part of the mix I guess.


  145. Nas’ re “I wonder what effect the covert actions had?”. From the article I guess not much given that (from the link).

    ~ At a local level, Indonesia’s judiciary remains susceptible to bribery..
    ~ It is also believed that Indonesian diplomats in places such as Kabul have assisted people smugglers by issuing visas for cash..
    ~ This situation is further assisted by many immigration officials at smaller exit ports being open to bribery.
    ~ …members of the Indonesian military have been involved in protecting the people smuggling trade, intimidating both police and immigration officials.

    To be noted is that the author of this article for Crikey is Associate Professor Damien Kingsbury of the School of International and Political Studies at Deakin University and so I would consider this a valid source compared with just a political opinion.

  146. Neil, you were implying that jane is a murderer. This is unacceptable.

    Full stop.

    Oh I don’t mind Neil’s little pinpricks, Migs as long as he accepts responsibility for all the Iraqis slaughtered as a result of Dubya’s and his slavish @rse lickers, Blair and the Rodent, illegal invasion of that hapless country.

    I would be surprise if he had very much of a role in that incident. I am sure that he will have less in the future. People who cannot keep their traps closed cannot be trusted.

    Couldn’t agree more, CU. Besides, it’s ancient history now and Howes should shut up and get on with the business at hand-providing good government for this country.

    I must say I don’t believe Rudd was the leaker. It doesn’t strike me that it’s his style.

    Nas’ @10.25am, good point on the effect the tsunami would have had on the people smuggling business. Can’t do too much sailing on the bounding drain if your boat is smashed into splinters or halfway up the local volcano.

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