Seriously, WTF!

Too many of Australia’s political reporters fail the nation, according to an unknown journalist at The Australian.  He/she is indeed right.  They fail miserably, and he/she should know; our observant little friend works for the biggest culprit of them all.  However, the article starts off well:

After a testing year in national affairs, many voters feel detached from a political class that is failing to address the real challenges that threaten Australia’s prosperity. The Weekend Australian shares their disappointment at the inadequate performance of politicians of all stripes, but we believe it is time to turn the searchlight on our own profession and ask whether the media is doing its job of objectively reporting politics. The answer, sadly, must be no. Indeed there is a crisis in political journalism that mirrors the crisis in the political class.

At this point it is easy to assume that journalists at The Australian have been lining up at the confession box.  But the opening sentences of the following paragraph provide the first jaw-dropping WTFs that litter the remainder of the article.

The failure of many highly paid and prominent journalists to question the dysfunctional administration of Kevin Rudd was a serious concern. Such failure is bad for public debate, bad for the nation and particularly bad for Labor. It is not just a question of press gallery journalists leaning to the Left. That guilty little secret has been known for decades: Labor has been happy to exploit this bias, the Coalition has learned to live with it.

It gets worse:

 There is a deeper malaise . . . born of the tendency for journalists to come increasingly from a tertiary-educated elite with a “disdain for the vulgarity, ignorance and prejudices of working families and their suburbs”. This mind-set dominates the ABC and Fairfax press, generating a false narrative of politics.

Again, WTF!  Has this journalist tried listening to the ABC over the past 18 months?  Please read on.

The Weekend Australian, too, must always seek to improve its coverage. While we have led the debate in many areas, we recognise there is more we could have done. Yet the promise made to readers in our first edition, on July 15, 1964, that we would be tied to no party, provides a solid framework for our reporting. We have well-developed ideas about what Australia needs and it is against that vision that we assess policies and tactics. This contrasts with most of the gallery, which is obsessed with whether Labor or the Coalition has won the daily battle of tactics rather than asking whether the government has an overall strategy. This is like settling for the “hit and giggle” of Twenty20 over Test cricket. It is made worse by the unequal contest between often-inexperienced reporters and a slick government PR machine.

Labor may feel that this lack of scrutiny makes governing a doddle but it reinforces bad habits, lazy policy and government by press release. Wayne Swan’s vacuous banking package shows how good public policy can be lost when a government is made complacent by journalists out of touch with voters. The gallery’s values are a poor indication of where the centre ground lies. Its dominant mind-set drives an agenda, notably on climate change and asylum-seekers, that is different from the views of middle Australia.

Could they ever think they could print such an article and expect its readership to nod their collective heads in agreement?  The most biased, morally corrupt Murdochracy in the country stands on the pedestal shouting they are the only journal in the country that has not only got it right, but is in touch with the aspirations of every Australian.  Yes, their collective readership does not its head in agreement, but those people are no better than the journalistic scum that this paper employ.

Christopher Joye, in his Aussie Macro Moments blog challenges The Australian’s mindset in his wonderful blog, The Australian’s war on everything.  From the outset Christopher goes on the attack:

Yes, The Australian seems intent on imitating a non-comedic version of The Chaser, with its ‘war on everything’. This weekend it returns to its war on the Press Gallery. A few quick observations.

First, The Australian appears to spend more time defending its own actions in pushing specific agendas and ideological narratives than any other serious media forum on earth (and I don’t include the Global Times in the serious media camp!). This is revealing. It betrays a sense of insecurity. The Australian is clearly not comfortable in its own skin if it has to dedicate so many column inches to rationalising its own decisions. One might ask why…

Second, The Australian’s crusade today is littered with logical inconsistencies. The editorial runs a familiar line, criticising both the Government and the Press Gallery for being out of touch with popular mainstream views on climate change and asylum-seekers. Yet in literally the same breath, The Australian assaults the Government (and the Press Gallery) for its ‘vacuous’ reaction to extraordinarily strong public views on the equity of our banking system. Sorry, but I am confused. You punish the government for listening to the vast majority of consumers on the question of fairness in a taxpayer-backed banking system, but concurrently punish them for ignoring a far less clear majority (minority?) on global warming and asylum-seekers. These are terribly weak intellectual foundations on which to base criticisms of others, and on which to justify your own behaviour.

It’s a good read with much wit.

But seriously, WTF are the people at The Australian thinking?

240 comments on “Seriously, WTF!

  1. Talk about this unprecedented and unbelievable attack on its media rivals by The Australian has continued in a few more blogs today. The Oz apparently dedicated three pages to it and a front page.

    This is a media organisation that is failing on so many fronts it is now desperate. As one commentator stated it is now behaving like the petulant bully who on being finally confronted gets their hackles up in childish retaliation.

    I just hope The Australian keeps this up because all it does is highlight their dismal failings and shortcomings which will alienate even more of their consumers with only a handful of hard core rusted on staying loyal.

  2. Hi Miglo, for the first time in a while, this latest from the ugly Australian leaves me speechless. Well almost.
    Could this latest piece of madness be the work of Planet Janet or Mr Shenagigans, or is it the terribly important pontificating of the great Paul Kelly??
    It doesn’t really matter who penned it does it, as they’re all preaching from the same bible…. we must all move to the Right which “our” ABC has done with indecent haste.

    I found this startling piece on the Guardian,

    BBC’s director general says…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/mark-thompson-bbc-fox-news

  3. WTF indeed! First time I’ve ever used that phrase, Miglo, but, thank you, it does express my feelings when I read that article too. ‘Left leaning bias’ and ‘politically correct’ as descriptors of the current Canberra Press Gallery?????

    It is so crass and illogical too that I wonder if it started out as a half decent article and then got mauled by editorial decree. No wonder no journo was willing to put their name to it.

  4. I played with a number of topics for this article, but nothing was more fitting than WTF, even though it may not be the most appropriate term, it certainly was the most appropriate on this occasion.

  5. Hi Miglo – you’ve probably noticed – I can cope with bad language, but have to correct the odd mis-spelling! The old school marm in me, I guess!

    Thanks for that link, Pip. Looks as if Thompson is envious of Mark Scott. God forbid for the Brits and independent journalism world wide if he gets his way.

  6. A precursor before what I have to say, because due to the tone of the article and following comments, I KNOW none of you are going to like it.

    I dont necessarily agree with not support the views I’m going to mention but Having been in business at all levels for over 10 years in Australia and predominantly these days, small business; I DO speak to a LOT of people and have no political affiliations nor connections and can therefore ascertain a reasonably representative view of what people really think.

    I really dont have a problem with this:-

    “The failure of many highly paid and prominent journalists to question the dysfunctional administration of Kevin Rudd was a serious concern. Such failure is bad for public debate, bad for the nation and particularly bad for Labor.”

    Given the events of the past year, I think its fair comment. The ABC (in particular Kerry O’Brien) gave them a reasonable (only reasonable – no one could call it aggressive) run but where were the rest? Had the Rudd Gov been operating the way it was in the UK, they would have been ripped to shreds by the media yet here, most went quietly along with proceedings.

    And before people get up on their high horses about the Rudd Gov not being dysfunctional – if it wasn’t why did Labour change it – and as the leaked diplomatic cables are now highlighting – why consider changing it a LONG time before they actually moved?

    This also I consider reasonable:-

    “born of the tendency for journalists to come increasingly from a tertiary-educated elite with a “disdain for the vulgarity, ignorance and prejudices of working families and their suburbs”. This mind-set dominates the ABC and Fairfax press, generating a false narrative of politics.”

    Australia’s media and politicians are so far out of touch with common Australians its just not funny. Most people I know, don’t believe in climate change (I’ve given up trying to impart sense on them) and will never ever stop driving their 4WD’s or running their third fridge outside on the patio… Most people I know also have no interest in asylum seekers and would have no qualms with the Navy blowing them out of the water… most people I know hate David Hicks and would happily stand in line to be on the firing squad (I count myself in on this one).

    The Australian’s assertions regarding where the majority’s priorities are is difficult to argue with – over the past decade Australians have become EXTREMELY selfish and insular – hence the degree of outrage over banking – because it hits them right in their own pockets. Its spot on.

    Its all well and good for the left-leaning to expect and perhaps try to ram their attitudes down people’s throats but from general conversation with most regards a lot of the issues cited – asylum seekers, climate change etc – in a lot of instances; most Australians either couldn’t care less and those who do care that I’ve met, certainly dont subscribe to the left-wing version.

    Sorry, you might not like it, but thats the way it is on main street and although it is a biased article, a lot of it is right on the money…

    I stopped reading The Australian a while ago; not so much due to the increasing political bias, but more as I felt it was becoming increasingly business dominated and focused. It used to be a good read but today, not so much.

    Christopher Joye makes fair comment regards how defensive the editorial is and why. And as for the BBC’s Director General, I have another three-letter-acronym to apply – FFS… seriously…

  7. Not at all, Damo. You have a valid argument and have presented it well. There’s no reason on this earth that my opinion is as important as yours or anybody else’s. You have provided a perspective that I could not have, and I appreciate this.

  8. As noted, I don’t necessarily agree with all of those views – some I do, some I don’t.

    It frustrates me no end to have supposedly intelligent friends (engineers, business owners etc) who think that climate change is ‘bullshit’, asylum seekers are ‘all terrorists’ and think a simple solution is ‘sinking the boats’, which considered in-absolute, it may well be but something which will not exactly fly on the world stage.

    I also have friends who’ve been sucked in to the mythology that the NBN will send the country broke, that Assange is a ‘terrorist’ or criminal (you can thank Julia for this one), and that Australia is not really in a recession, rofl, lmao, snicker snicker…

    These people believe what they see on Today Tonight or A Current Affair but there you go – we live in a society with (for now) freedom of speech and those are (unfortunately) the predominant views in the burbs’, which, frankly, is the majority.

    If you doubt me – ask yourself how an imbecile like Abbott could become so popular if it wasn’t so – most of them think he’s doing a great job.

    And if you doubt people’s back pockets being their sole motivation – don’t forget – if we’re honest with ourselves, Labour would never have won power without Work Choices.

    They weren’t elected to build the NBN (sure a lot of people think – me included – that its great), or because of their stance on climate change, gay marriage, asylum seekers etc etc. They were elected because people genuinely believe that Work Choices would cost them their excessive standard of living; 40sq’ McMansion, 3 cars, boat, 5 plasmas included…

    Ideology is fascinating and a great discussion point but if the Government wants another term, they REALLY need to get in touch with how the masses REALLY think – not how they would like or how they answer questions on tv – but how they REALLY talk around the BBQ with friends.

    They also need to learn how to SELL. Currently the government is doing a lot of not very exciting things but they ARE doing some good things too but the message is dead in the water. None of them can sell and the populace needs to be sold…

  9. Where you fail Damo is that you base it on “most people I know” as if to extrapolate that to the general Australian population. Your statement on climate change is an illustration of that.

    How many people do you know?
    What demographic do they represent and are they a fair representation of most Australians? Stats and sample size would say they wouldn’t be.

    Proper polling, not standing up in a pub and asking what people think as on commentator once claimed they did, doesn’t back up some of what you aver, climate change being the most obvious instance.

    It’s the same when politicians during election campaigns say, “I talk to people in the street,” or “I talk to small business,” as if to say that makes their stance absolutely right when it is no such thing. Whenever anyone comes up and states they base their argument on the feedback from the people they know then they are on a loser. Sorry but a debate founded on the people you know does not make the argument credible for I could just as easily counter that the people I know say the opposite and on that basis be just as believable.

    As to the media being out of touch with ordinary Australians, what The Oz is attempting to assert is that only they are in touch when by any measure it is actually they who are the most out of touch and their rapidly declining readership proves it.

    One of the reasons Rudd was dropped was due to a long run, starting from before he was elected, media campaign against him. The MSM never liked him because he would never play their media game or come into their inner circle so they crucified him for it. Rudd didn’t behave like the ‘standard’ pollie the press were used to. Any measure of the amount of negative press he got over sustained period would prove this, and it continues to this day with journalists like Richard Farmer as soon as a couple of days ago still severely denigrating Rudd.

  10. The only problem with that Damo is, the reason Rudd was replaced was because of bad political blunders he made, not because of this alleged ‘dysfunctional administration’. The government ran well, what other government in recent history has been able to run such massive programs with such a high achievement level in them?

    He was replaced for political, not governmental, reasons, in part to offset his political blunders, in part to offset the media campaign.

    The oo prefer to portray it differently, as they generally tend to do.

  11. @ Mobius – I’m just calling it from where I stand and pointing out a different perspective. I didn’t claim it extrapolated to the population as a whole anywhere in my statement.

    But, for the record:- I arrived in Australia in 2000 as the Commercial Director of a local branch of a multinational flooring manufacturer. I dealt with over 2,500 stores in the flooring trade (Carpet Court, Carpet Choice, Carpet One, Australian Floor Style etc etc) as well as Mitre 10, Bunnings (and Hardware house before it) and National Tiles.

    I dealt with people from owners and board level down to installers and end-users. I used to visit approx. 5-10 stores and customers acros Australia PER DAY. I have absolutely no idea how many average people that is, sorry…

    Since 2004 I’ve ran my own marketing business. We have just under 1,000 accounts on our books from stay-at-home ‘mumtrepreneurs’ and small-medium sized businesses to one of Australia’s largest trade unions.

    I’ve sat on the committee of our local chamber of commerce and spend most days communicating with people online and off. I know most of our local council and have done work for several politicians.

    Representative enough sample for you?

    Where you ‘fail’ is in assuming that in presenting an alternative perspective, which I noted didn’t necessarily represent my own or that it represented everybody; that I’m presenting my own opinion and dressing it up with false claims, which clearly I’m not.

    Before you cry foul and attempt to ‘fail’ someone in future, you may want to do your homework – or alternatively, show a bit of respect beyond trying to simply tear down opinions alternate to your own – which I might add, is ironically one of the most common accusations I hear of left-leaning political types.

    Your explanation of why Rudd was tossed doesn’t stand up either as Rudd was given more favourable media attention both before and after he was elected, than probably any other Australian politician in history. Come on now.

    @ Tom – you’re absolutely right in that Rudd was replaced due to his blunders but he wasn’t the only person in the cabinet was he? Unlike many here who are insiders, the person on the street only has the media to go on and the reporting was that Rudd’s ‘kitchen table cabinet’ was making decisions which were out of touch with the party and hence the assertion that his administration was dysfunctional – which isn’t an unreasonable assumption to make given that the party tossed him out, is it.

  12. Ah self promotion is a fine thing.

    Let me see if I can give a better analysis of why Rudd was thrown out of the job he would die for, because of my past achievements.

    I won the fifty metre breast stroke swimming competition at primary school in the sixth grade. I came first in the class in woodwork and metal work.(I made a nice spoon)

    The teachers were always praising me for my nice clean and pressed school uniform, and I knew the words to our then national anthem God save the Queen off by heart.

    Yep I was good. Well not really, I nearly got into trouble once for trying to have sex with the class monitor. She had pig tails to die for.

    Anyhooo Rudd. He was the victim of a few bad polls, and the over massaged ego of a one Julia Gillard.

    End of analysis.

  13. ‘the reporting was that Rudd’s ‘kitchen table cabinet’ was making decisions which were out of touch with the party’

    Interesting, my memory was always of complaints from the Public Service about the administration (you know, so many leaving etc), not the party? Interesting how their history blurs after the fact. But then again, as you say, since most readers get their info from what the papers tell them, that is now what history is I guess

  14. Rudd was dropped because his colleagues could not stand working with him anymore. If he ever became PM again, the Labor MP’s would mutiny and join the Liberal party.

    Bolt has been going on about how long it took the media to wake up to what he is like as a human being. In fact he got knifed before most of the media were even aware of it, getting a free ride for most of his time as PM.

  15. “Bolt has been going on about how long it took the media to wake up to what he is like as a human being. In fact he got knifed before most of the media were even aware of it, getting a free ride for most of his time as PM. ”

    Oh yea, and who would no better than Bolt?

  16. Neil, Rudd got knifed because the factions wanted control of the parliamentary party, and they were just waiting for his popularity to drop before they struck, Rudd was elected leader of the Parliamentary Party because at the time he was popular and the factions used him to get back into Government.

  17. “Bolt has been going on about how long it took the media to wake up to what he is like as a human being.”

    Bolt’s a jackass…and the ALP were caught in a strategic mess because the media led by the Mordorch empire did a big smear job on Rudd & too many people were gullible enuff to believe all of it.

    I like Julia tho. Time to move on.

    I can’t wait to see Neil’s face when Abbott & his apologists fall flat on their faces again & again. Just like when they lost the Indies…and the election.

    This stuff bein’ outed by Wilkie is merely the beginnin’ I reckon.

    The present Coalition couldn’t erect together a
    pup tent in the front of parliament house…let alone come up w/ consistent & coherent policies.

    N’

  18. From the piece in The Australian referred to by Miglo in his post:

    The failure of many highly paid and prominent journalists to question the dysfunctional administration of Kevin Rudd was a serious concern. Such failure is bad for public debate, bad for the nation and particularly bad for Labor. It is not just a question of press gallery journalists leaning to the Left. That guilty little secret has been known for decades: Labor has been happy to exploit this bias, the Coalition has learned to live with it. There is a deeper malaise, as Chris Kenny writes in our pages today, born of the tendency for journalists to come increasingly from a tertiary-educated elite with a “disdain for the vulgarity, ignorance and prejudices of working families and their suburbs”.

    What an absolute load of horse dung!!!

    The last election it was hard to discern between those who spent much of their time on their knees givin’ Tony Abbott a journalistic blowjob…and those who were willin’ to join him on his “action man’s own adventure” to help try & huff & puff & blow Labor’s house down.

    The staff of the OZ must had a good chuckle readin’ this propaganda piddle…

    The “tertiary-educated elite” line is like a shrivelled & mouldy leftover from the Bill O’Reilly show circa late 90s. Perhaps some of the political cartoonists should take over the runnin’ of the paper?…least then we might see some use of imagination & originality.

    What next for a greasy OZ breakfast?…Wayne Swan is a Russian Mole who has a secret cabinet containing vodka & signed photographs of KGB chairman’s Yuri Andropov and Vitali Fedorchuk?

    Snore.

    N’

  19. “Neil, you’d only have to work for Howard for three days before you found out he was a lying, manipulating, mean spirited bastard.”

    That long ? Three minutes more like.

  20. I’ve worked for both governments. Rudd might have been a tough boss, but at least he didn’t politicise the public service or bully and threaten public servants like Howard’s mob did.

  21. “Your explanation of why Rudd was tossed doesn’t stand up either as Rudd was given more favourable media attention both before and after he was elected, than probably any other Australian politician in history. Come on now.”

    Oh please, now I know you have to be kidding and for all your going on about the amount of people you meet and your wide ranging experience you certainly proved you’re out of touch with that one statement.

    Howard by far got the easiest run in the media of any leader in our history and he got away with prevarication and obfuscation with little or no challenge over a very long time. The knives were in for Rudd the moment he became leader and the attacks on him by much of the media escalated from then on. Take for instance the fact that after he became leader of the Labor party and Howard started his faux election campaign 12 months out Rudd was already being questioned and challenged as an “alternate PM” and forever being held up as a leader. Throughout that faux campaign the government acted like the Abbott opposition now is and the Labor opposition, but most particularly Rudd, were constantly held up to an impossibly high standard as a government. After he became PM they attacked his wife, his every nuance, word, things he did and didn’t do no matter how trivial, and even his pet for pissing on the lawn for stuff’s sake, and you say he got an easy run. They were character assasinating him for the get go.

    So you are challanged in your “opinion” and then cry for respect. Shit don’t like being challenged then why post? Did you expect everyone to just heap loads of praise at your post because you stated you are in contact with a large number of people and that’s supposed to impress us and make you indisputably right?

    Before you post you should do you homework and see that blogs and forums aren’t free rides where you can post your opinions and then expect them not to be torn down. For such a supposedly widely experienced person it seems you might be a little naive if you believe you can get a free kick whenever you post.

  22. “Neil, you’d only have to work for Howard for three days before you found out he was a lying, manipulating, mean spirited bastard.”

    I am willing to listen to your point of view but it does not make sense. If Howard was this bad he would not have lasted for 12 years. The Liberal party would have got rid of him no matter how good he was at winning elections.

    They would have done the same to him what Labor did to Rudd. People can only stand working with someone like that for a short period of time.

    I have seen very little evidence for your opinion of Howard

  23. @ Mobius –

    I didn’t ‘cry for respect’. I suggested you demonstrate some in your argument but I know this is difficult for you – assumed left-wing superiority and all…

    This is what I said;

    “I dont necessarily agree with not support the views I’m going to mention but Having been in business at all levels for over 10 years in Australia and predominantly these days, small business; I DO speak to a LOT of people and have no political affiliations nor connections and can therefore ascertain a reasonably representative view of what people really think.”

    and

    “As noted, I don’t necessarily agree with all of those views – some I do, some I don’t.”

    I didn’t say it was my opinion.

    Given your pathetic response:- “So you are challanged in your “opinion” and then cry for respect. Shit don’t like being challenged then why post?”

    I can only assume you are:

    a) Illiterate
    b) Stupid
    c) Looking for an argument for the sake of it

    Grow up sonny jim

  24. It is a bit of a worry when the OZ takes itself seriousy on the point that it is the only media outlet that “knows” what the people want/need etc. With its declining readership stats looking like a slide at a local kiddies playground, anyone would shout look at me,the only thing left is for it to do is a streak at the next ashes match to boost its readership.

  25. ‘Australia’s media and politicians are so far out of touch with common Australians its just not funny. ‘

    Yes they are, even though they are out talking to people and meeting new people all day long. Bemusing isn’t it. And yet you claim to have your finger on the pulse, such as your claim here.

    ‘Most people I know, don’t believe in climate change’

    Unfortunately, that doesn’t gel with the facts

    ‘Three in four Australians believed climate change was occurring, with 77 per cent convinced and 18 per cent not. Twenty-three per cent believed climate change was caused entirely by human activity and 71 per cent said it was “partly caused” by humans.’

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/australians-neatly-divided-on-carbon-newspoll/story-fn59niix-1225966679472

    So you cannot really be surprised when the remainder of your claims are brought into question, with nothing more to back them up than ‘most people I know’. I would suggest you locate more people too know who might give you a broader view of what ‘most people’ are actually thinking

    ‘They weren’t elected to build the NBN ‘

    There are a few Independents who appear to think otherwise, coupled with ‘some people I know’ 😉

  26. More about the wonderful ‘insight’ available only by the ‘journalists’ at the oo, specifically their abuse of information in regards to the BER

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/12/20/8517/

    As Keane asks – so where are the apologies and corrections by the hacks at The Australian, and their hangers-on at the ABC? Where’s the balance to restore the damage they’ve quite wrongly done to the public debate on this issue with their errors, exaggerations and misinformation?

    It’s not a dead issue. The consequences of the smears will resonate in our democracy for some time yet.

    Lets hope that last bit is right.

  27. And Tom wasn’t that a tried and true tactic. Always, always use the word ‘debacle’ as an adjective pertaining to the word BER and always always use the word ‘rort’ as a descriptive to the word Insulation so that both words together become ingrained into everyday speech.

    I think that this will mean a lot of hard slog for the Gillard government and probably having to resort to government advertising to overcome the overwhelming and deliberate anti-government campaigns by the MSM.

  28. Mobius Ecko not sonny jim.

    I’m not looking for an argument and am clearly literate nor am I stupid, all childish attacks. The reason I got my goat up is your statement on acquaintances as I’ve seen this line used by so many to justify what are mostly untenable and/or indefensible positions or views.

    I totally agree with you on Abbott, damn I agree with the crux of just about everything you state but I don’t agree with the way you go about justifying some of your points.

    I also get uppity when posters get uppity because you dare challenge them on anything, even when it’s someone you mostly agree with. There a few who mostly agree with what I say but they are constantly challenge me on matters I raise, and vice versa. TB and Ben are good examples.

    Mostly I disagreed with your assessment on Rudd getting an easy run through the media when any real scrutiny or study would find the opposite. And I am in no way saying that Rudd’s personality wasn’t anything but what they said it was, I’m not defending him on that front. But I also disagree with your assessment on the MSM reporting and I will apologise because I was aggressive in asserting my dislike of that stance. Sorry, I’ll try to moderate that tendency I have when challenging you and other posters in the future.

  29. Indeed, Min. Just like the ‘failed’ or ‘disastrous’ or ‘tragic’ home insulation program. Words like ‘popular’ or ‘successful’ were never heard, despite the evidence to show that it was a great success.

  30. It’s already starting with the NBN too Min. From an article today, we have the heading and lead in


    National broadband network cost could balloon. says chief’

    ‘THE cost of funding the national broadband network construction is unknown and could balloon NBN Co chief executive Mike Quigley says. ‘

    But followed a few lines later, what did he actually say

    ‘”When it comes to cost you always have to ask at what point do you stop? It’s a very long-term project — money will be out into this network for years and years and years, as it is upgraded,” Mr Quigley said.’

    So, he isn’t talking about the cost of building the network, he is talking about ongoing maintenance and unforeseen expansion. Full of shit as always, and wondering why they need to spend more time defending their articles than in writing them. If they got it right the first time. And there are those who claim bias is good in reporting. This is why it isn’t, because we are fed lies.

  31. ‘probably having to resort to government advertising’

    Well, if they could just get their ministers out there pushing the line, repeatedly, they might not need it. Unfortunately, they are too wishy washy on these things, and will not back themselves to the degree needed. This report should be pushed at every possible occasion, with a big boot into ‘journos’ who got it so wrong.

    It will be hard, particularly with every bozzo running a bad line. Take this from kohler this morning

    ‘But the NBN’s business, which will probably not be spelt out clearly in the business plan today, is video delivery.’

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/20/3097186.htm?site=thedrum

    Talk about running in your own world. Yes, it is true that the major use will probably be that. False is that why the government is doing it. Conroy outlined it clearly the reasons and the benefits when another journo presented it to him that way yesterday, I guess kohler missed the whole exchange. I heard it on the radio, so don’t have a link, if its even out there

  32. Yes Tom I was going to bring that up as well. Get this:

    * It will support, all up, about 120,000 jobs directly and indirectly, “filling a gap left in demand from the private sector and playing an important role in supporting apprentices and skill retention in the building and construction industry”.
    * The program’s impact was “most pronounced” in its first year, when it was needed most.
    * The new infrastructure is, in the review team’s opinion, “sorely needed, particularly in government schools”.
    * The review received complaints from 294 schools across the entire program — 3% of the 10,000-odd school projects.
    * The review team closely examined 57 projects, nearly all of which were drawn from “the most egregious complaints received by the Taskforce or were selected from our reading of media reports”. Seventeen of those 57 projects were found to fail the value-for-money criteria established by the review team.
    * Extrapolating that 17/57 figure across all complaints (even though the selected projects were “the most egregious”) suggests the rate of valid complaints about value for money is 0.9% of all projects.
    * The review has lowered its estimate of how much more the NSW government paid in order to deliver its projects quickly, from 5-6% to “at the bottom of that range, around 5 per cent”.
    * The total complaint rate even for NSW government school projects, which attracted more than half of all complaints, was 7%.

    Any business or government in the world would be over the moon with this success for a moderately sized program, and would be absolutely ecstatic for one that was the largest infrastructure program a nation had ever implemented. This is impressive from any angle but what do we get instead:

    … Unless you read The Australian, you may have missed one of the country’s biggest stories concerning the handling of the historic $16.2 billion Building the Education Revolution. Murdoch’s national flagship has uncovered some disturbing details about the stimulus spend and raised real questions about both federal and state administration of it.

    So why hasn’t the rest of the media given the issue the same coverage?

    {…}

    the loser has been the public which has been left with just one media organisation doing the digging and many questions unasked.

    {…}

    you’ve got a country of very angry parents. But maybe we should call them voters. And perhaps we should call them Labor voters.

    {…}

    The prospect will send a shiver down the spine of many a minister. If mismanagement of a $2 billion insulation scheme gets Peter Garrett sacked, I ask you: what happens when it’s over $16 billion and you’re talking about the Deputy Prime Minister?

    Was that written by a News Ltd. journalist, Bolt, Ackerman or any of the other dozen or so right wing nut job opinionators, nup, it was written by an ABC journalist.

  33. Great stuff Mr D and spot on the money in my opinion.

    Isn’t there a Catch 22 here?

    It can be (successfully?) argued that Howard’s achievement was not in any real policy implementation or long term strategic outcomes for the country but in spruiking/spinning/propaganda about how good he and his government were, using a couple of billion in tax payer dollars to do this and with the full weight of most of the MSM behind him and his government.

    Problem is for this Labor government is if they were to even take the smallest step towards doing what Howard did for more than a decade, and if they spent one cent of tax payers money to do so the outcry from the very same MSM now with the added weight of the ABC would come crashing down upon them.

    The government advertising on the mining tax is a good example, where the government was right in attempting to correct the misinformation and propaganda being peddled at the time, but did that correction get any traction, of course not, instead we got attacks on the government using tax payers money for advertising.

    The other problem for this government is the attacks of “spin” that are constantly levelled against it, an attack by the MSM that was very successful against Rudd. By any measure Rudd’s achievements in office were impressive and I’ve posted the list previously. He achieved more in nearly one term than Howard did in any three terms, yet very few people out there would know that.

    Probably Rudd’s greatest success in my opinion has been his apprenticeship scheme, something by the way that was one of Howard’s greatest failures. Yet you hear so little or anything about this because when Rudd and his government did attempt to give the facts on it they were drowned out by calls of “spin”, “waste”, “all talk no action” etc. Yet the same was never applied to Howard and his failed scheme that wasted hundreds of millions for a failed outcome was and is never mentioned anywhere.

    I really don’t know what Labor can do because no matter which way they turn, whether in government or opposition, they are on a lose/lose, or as I posted at LP recently a lose/lose/lose. It doesn’t matter which way they promote anything or what action or inaction they take they are criticised and lambasted for it, even if that has to be fabricated or exaggerated to ensure they are dressed down.

    It says a lot about how bad the Coalition really is that with all that on their side they still couldn’t win two elections and are just matching Labor in the polls.

  34. @ Tom – this amazes me. I said ‘people I know’ and you say it doesnt gel with ‘the facts’. Ok, so I assume you know the friends and acquaintances I’ve personally heard say this? Or maybe I imagined it because your ‘facts’ make it a falsehood. Please. I never claimed there was science polling involved – its heresay. Sure its not admissable in court but I wasnt aware it needed to be here.

    All I’m saying is that on the whole, most people I’ve discussed (or at least tried to) climate change with either call bullshit on it outright or are extremely skeptical. I studied it years ago and am entirely convinced but most I speak to, dont.

    But hey, keep attacking. You’re a winner!

    @ Mobius – in fairness your opening statement to me was ‘where you fail’ which you followed up with this classy number ‘Shit don’t like being challenged then why post.?’

    Honestly, what is it you think I’m trying to pass? Its an opinion not a thesis. I think you (and Tom) completely missed my point to start with. It just got worse from there. I posted to contribute to the discussion. I guess I just hadnt considered how unpopular offering an alternative opinion would be. Its not a war or competition mate – its just a chat over political crap.

    I wasnt justifying ANY of the opinions – quite the opposite in fact. I was just saying that those quotes extracted from The Australian are consistent with a lot of the opinions I hear on a daily basis, right or wrong I’m not judging, I’m just saying and 135,000 readers of The Australian obviously dont all disagree with their politics… Everyone go and have a coffee : )

  35. Sorry, I’ll try to moderate that tendency I have when challenging you and other posters in the future.

    I don’t want you to change, Mobius, and I would imagine nobody does, including Damo. Both you and Damo are intelligent, articulate people with alternate views on a few issues, but generally, similar views on everyrhing else.

    Knowing the both of you, I am convinced that neither intended any personal jibes, but I’m sure you’re both big enough and ugly enough (as the saying goes) to handle yourselves.

    I would encourage anyone to offer alternate opinions on this site. If they suck, we’ll let you know. 😉

    Tom R will probably lead the charge. 😛

  36. Tom and Migs, maybe the Café could do an adjective count on particularly government policies as described by the MSM. So far we have: rort, debacle, waste, spin, ineffective, failed, ballooning, Pink Batts (the words spat out), disastrous, tragic, all talk no action, caving in. I’m sure that there are more….

  37. @ Mobius Its all good; we’ll put it to bed now. Thats a good article lol.

    @ Min / Miglo – you forgot that old chestnut ‘reckless’…

  38. Good one Damo. That’s right the descriptor for the word spending is always ‘reckless’. And who could forget that all time favorite, ‘big new taxes’.

  39. I always believed that asylum seekers do not know much about our immigration laws but people smugglers do since there is a lot of money to be made. But it looks like the asylum seekers we get depends on our laws

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/australias-wave-of-boat-children/story-e6freuzr-1225974127139

    “Asylum seeker advocate Jamal Daoud said more children were being placed on rickety sea vessels to come to Australia because of delays caused by the Government’s decision to freeze new asylum claims earlier this year.

    He said traditionally a male asylum seeker would come by boat and then arrange for his wife and children to fly in under a family reunion program.

    “We understand more children are coming by boat because of the slow process of applications and there was a freeze … before 2008-09 there was not many women and children coming because the time for applications to be processed was less than three months,” he said. “You would be out of detention and there would be a family reunion. Now you have people in detention for more than one year.””

    So they know all about our laws

  40. Damo, you claimed here ‘@ Tom – this amazes me. I said ‘people I know’’

    But you had initially extrapolated that out to

    ‘The Australian’s assertions regarding where the majority’s priorities are is difficult to argue with ‘

    Well, no it isn’t, it may be difficult with ‘most people YOU know’, but not with the majority. That was the part I really took affence to, expanding a small group out to be the ‘majority’. You must also understand that I have had a few run ins with people before who claim that ‘what their mates reckon’ is all the evidence they need to push their case, so I do ark up about these things. In fact, I agree with much of what you were saying, I just took exception to that. Lets hope that people who question your ascertions are not enough to turn you away.

  41. I was just saying that those quotes extracted from The Australian are consistent with a lot of the opinions I hear on a daily basis

    Perhaps it’s a matter of cause & effect – a large number of unthinking people just blindly accept the dribble dished up to them by the OO and other Ltd. News publications, along with their daily dose of what passes for news & current affairs on commercial television.

    What I’m trying (badly) to say, is maybe what you’re hearing is reflecting what the MSM is telling them, rather than the other way around…

  42. ‘a large number of unthinking people just blindly accept the dribble dished up to them by the OO and other Ltd. News publications’

    Thats the business model rupe works by Bacchus. Probably why he so hates blogs, they allow an alternative view, along with the ability to probe what his papers are saying.

  43. I’m disappointed to learn that Dr Ken Henry finishes up as Secretary to the Treasury early next year.

    He has been on the end of some Liberal and right wing media attacks over the last couple of years with accusations he is nothing but a Labor stooge.

    Let me remind people that he was appointed to this position by John Howard in 2001, and reappointed by John Howard in 2006.

    His replacement, BTW, Dr Martin Parkinson has a background in climate change policy. Is that saying something?

  44. ‘Is that saying something?’

    Yes, he is nothing but a Labor stooge.
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  45. Bacchus re “maybe what you’re hearing is reflecting what the MSM is telling them, rather than the other way around”.

    Exactly. This is precisely the point concerning the way that the MSM uses the adjectives and the phrases cited above. It’s all about influencing people’s opinions via catch words repeated endlessly.

  46. If I was forced to give an opinion of Henry, i would say that he does support the Labor party. However the ALP used him for political purposes greatly politicising the Treasury.

    Very few Conservatives now trust anything Treasury says.

    Swan wheeled Henry out whenever it suited the ALP. I get the feeling that Henry did not mind at first but gradually came to realise he was being used.

  47. But seriously, WTF are the people at The Australian thinking?

    Think and The Australian in the same sentence, Migs? WTF were you thinking?

    Yes, Neil. Dolt would have been the first, (I have real reservations about calling him a journalist, despite how low the profession has fallen), port of call if someone wanted to dish the dirt.

    Damo, I understand where you’re coming from, but I also think the ordinary punters have been fed a load of cobblers by the MSM about how “dysfunctional” the Rudd government was for some considerable time.

    They were partly to blame, because instead of constant big-noting a-la the Rodentochracy, they just got on with it.

    Where they really fell down was going awol during the silly season, allowing Smuggles to get the bit between his teeth and fill people’s heads with LIEberal bullsh!t, followed by the poor handling of the postponement of the ETS legislation, due to the intransigence and bad faith of the Smuggles Set a fact they didn’t hammer home with any rigour.

    IMO, this was followed by another series of tactical errors, like not putting the frighteners on enough when the GFC cranked up, allowing people like Dolt and other LIEberal stooge talking heads to claim that it was confined to a couple of corner shops in the US and England!

    They seemed to sink into some sort of apathy instead of coming out swinging, especially with the out-and-out lies being promulgated by the Murdochracy about the insulation program and BER. Taking a leaf out of Joe’s book when feeding the chooks, might have been advisable.

    As Damo so correctly stated, they didn’t sell their policies well or strongly enough.

    Finally, I think there should have been a “heavy heart” threat of a DD, using the sorry history of the Smuggles Set’s obstructionist antics in the Senate.

    It does really worry me that the Smuggles Set could be seen as a viable alternative government by even the most feeble-minded voter-yes, Neil this means you.

    I really don’t want this country to find out in the hardest way possible how disastrous a Smuggles government would be for this country.

    That long ? Three minutes more like.

    Three nano seconds would be enough, lynot. LOL!

    Nas @6.26pm, say what you mean! ROFLMAO! One of your best comments, imo. I loved it.

    If they got it right the first time. And there are those who claim bias is good in reporting. This is why it isn’t, because we are fed lies.

    That’s the crux of the matter, Tom R. They either deliberately misquote or out-and-out lie in their header and first para, then print the truth in fine print buried in the next couple of paras or at the end of the piece, knowing that the majority of readers don’t bother reading the entirety.

    Excellent post, Mr Denmore.

  48. “but I also think the ordinary punters have been fed a load of cobblers by the MSM about how “dysfunctional” the Rudd government was for some considerable time. ”

    Um Jane. It was Gillard who said that the Rudd govt had lost its way not the MSM. I think we all realise that her reason was not the real reason but she had to say something.

    And I do not think the MSM was hard on Rudd at all. I think you are all bind to Rudds faults if you try to blame anyone else but Rudd for his demise.

    The guy is a total fraud.

  49. ‘Very few Conservatives now trust anything Treasury says’

    Unless it happens to intersect with their ideology

    ‘Rudd govt had lost its way’ is not the same as ‘dysfunctional’, but that is how it is now being portrayed, and, like all good media, repeat it until it becomes accepted.

    The government and administration functioned well, the politics killed it.

  50. A good article at PP about one of Mr Denmores biggest points I have noticed over his site, the ‘he said’ she said’ mentality of their writers.

    ‘Why read the NBN case when we can just ask the Opposition what it thinks?’

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2010/12/21/why-read-the-nbn-case-when-we-can-just-ask-the-opposition-what-it-thinks/

    I mean, sure, repeat what they say, but couldn’t they delve a little deeper. I mean, no matter whats in the report, the opposition will say something negative, thats a given, I don’t need a journalist to tell me that, but where is there unbiased analysis of the actual document. Even kohler couldn’t provide that this morning, he jumped on the ‘video’ angle, and left it at that. the comments to his article are good though.

  51. And let us not forget that Abbott recently stated the opposition had lost its way and is engaging the Menzies Institute to come up with a bunch of policies for the new year. Apparently all the brain fartspolicies Abbott has come up with so far weren’t really as great as he said they were at the time.

    He said they would be a different opposition (how many times have we heard this now) in 2011.

  52. Tom the ABC is the worst of the lot for this. As soon as there is something political in the news or the government comes out with anything they immediately have an opposition comment on it. Rarely a government or someone else in the field comment, but always an opposition comment that they play many times over.

  53. “‘Rudd govt had lost its way’ is not the same as ‘dysfunctional’,”

    Sounds the same to me

  54. ‘Sounds the same to me’

    Why does that not surprise me.

    Quick question nil, was the administration still functioning??

    Was it functioning well?

    Considering the glowing praise of the BER report, and the amount of legislation that actually got passed through a very obstructionist parliament, one would have to say yes to both.

    Could it have functioned better? Everything can always be better. The Labor caucus thought it could

  55. ‘but always an opposition comment that they play many times over.’

    And if that aint there Mobius, there’s always the oracle to fall back on.

  56. Tom, Neil sounds like one of those people – in the words of George Megapopapopalopalis – who doubted there was a GFC simply because of Rudd’s skillful handling of it.

  57. “that actually got passed through a very obstructionist parliament”

    Really?? i thought Abbott passed most of the legislation.

    All I know is that we have gone from having no Federal Govt debt with some money in the kitty to over $100B of debt in just 3 years with not much to show for it except insulation in the roof and some new school buildings.

    I think Howard left the economy in such great shape that not even the Great Depression would have given us much trouble.

  58. ‘i thought Abbott passed most of the legislation.’

    lol, Oh magnanimous leader in waiting

    Pssst, parliament passes legislations nil.

  59. So if you are saying that “lost its way” and “dysfunctional” are the same Neil then you admit Abbott and the opposition have both lost their way and are dysfunctional since Abbott admitted to the Coalition having lost their way?

  60. Interesting article

    I notice Henry criticised the Howard Murray-basin plan but did not criticise the fact that there was no cost benefit analysis for the NBN. Double standards

    “He had worked in Paul Keating’s office through the boom of the 1980s and into the savage recession that followed””

    Savage??? It was mickey mouse around the world. Only lasted 8 months overseas and some countries (Japan, Germany prospered)

    “an historic failure by Australian policymakers: a recession that, coupled with the Government’s embrace of micro-economic reform and the failures of state-owned banks, gouged deep holes in our social fabric that took a decade to repair.”

    But, but, but Keating said it was the “Recession we had to have”.

    Now Keane is saying it was due to the stupidity of the ALP (which I agree)

    Thats why this time they went go early go households. It was an admission that they screwed up last time. Guess what?? They screwed up again. All they did was waste $100B

    “It didn’t help that Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan insisted on using Henry ”

    I am a genius!!!! That is what I said in my earlier post. I must be a prophet.

  61. Neil, Labor could have returned a surplus if they followed little Johnnie and not spent any money, but then that wouldn’t have saved the 230,000 jobs that benefited from the spending.

    But what is it with you people who sit on the right of politics? It’s all about profit, isn’t it? With Labor it’s all about people, which is why we’ll never understand each other.

  62. I am a genius!!!! That is what I said in my earlier post. I must be a prophet.

    I must admit, Neil, that was more entertaining than “Hey, look over there”.

    If anybody can top Neil’s joke they can select a free bottle of wine from the cellar.

    Neil, you’re excluded.

  63. A history of public debt in Australia

    Some light reading on the history of debt for Neil. What is interesting is the huge amount of money Howard raked in with the three tranche sale of Telstra plus the airports.

    Since both governments have sold off everything except for Medibank, and the Coalition are going to do that, can you tell us how any Coalition government was going to get us through the GFC with no debt Neil?

    You really do live in an ideological fantasy land cut off from reality.

  64. ‘If anybody can top Neil’s joke they can select a free bottle of wine from the cellar.’

    ‘i thought Abbott passed most of the legislation.’

    The one man band 😉

    Does that get a bottle?

  65. “Source for the $100 billion figure please?”

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2010-11/content/overview/html/overview_39.htm

    Labors first three budgets gave deficits of -$27B, -$57B and -$41B. 27+57+41= $125B

    Not bad even for the ALP. Who knows what money their wasting now. I have seen it reported that Rudd has doubled our foreign aid from $4B to $8B. There goes another $4B.

    This during the biggest mining boom for over a century and with terms of trade at 60 years highs.

    Who knows how much they will waste on the NBN turkey??

    “What is interesting is the huge amount of money Howard raked in with the three tranche sale of Telstra plus the airports.”

    It should be stated that none of this money was included as government revenue. It was used to pay off debt but never included in the budget. This money was put into the Future Fund to pay for Miglo’s retirement

  66. But Mobius, Howard had to sell those assets to pay off Keating’s $3,362,260,016,102,728,125,681 debt. Haven’t you been listening to Neil? 😉

  67. More reading:

    The Sovereign Debt Debacle – Phase 2 of the GFC ?

    …and I don’t know why I’m bothering because the info will be completely ignored as it doesn’t conform to a certain person’s totally ideologically warped view of the state of affairs in this country and no amount of real facts and data is ever going to change from his Liberal party oft repeated guttural grunt points and OO mostly baseless attacks on the government. Remember this is someone who quotes Andrew Bolt as a credible source.

  68. Thankyou Neil, just the source I was looking for. Now what does that source say about the debt in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14?

  69. No Tom he couldn’t have because he’s the darling of the Labor party and they surely would pay his bonus for the lying and cheating he’s done for them as Neil claims. I mean Howard used bonuses to bribe and coerce the senior public servants to do his ideological bidding, thus politicising them, so surely Labor would be doing much worse than that with them being so evil and all, but apparently not.

  70. “Thankyou Neil, just the source I was looking for. Now what does that source say about the debt in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14?”

    First I do not trust Treasury. But let us take the last figure. A surplus of $5B. If we have a surplus like this every year you are still talking about 25 years just to pay back the capital, let alone the interest.

    You are talking about 50 years if you want to pay back Labors waste.

    in fact we are in trouble. labor does not have a track record of running surplus budget. They have a track record of destroying things

  71. That struck me too, Tom.

    Henry lost his performance bonus that year, reflecting not merely the flaws of the Public Service performance pay system but the spectacularly petty bastardry of which Howard was capable.

  72. Neil, do you realise the amount of money those 230,000 saved jobs inject in to the economy? Assume they are being paid the average wage, the income tax alone will add $3.45B a year to the government coffers.

    Even a greedy little right winger like you can see the economic benefits in that.

  73. If Dr Henry was some sort of Labor party stooge as has been suggested then why the following….

    After returning to Treasury, Dr Henry was asked to develop economic modelling to batter John Hewson’s Fightback consumption tax that Treasury had championed in 1985.

    Howard government treasurer Peter Costello overcame any conservative misgivings about Dr Henry when appointing him department secretary in 2001 because of his success in driving through the GST and business tax reforms.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/ken-henry-expected-to-be-replaced-at-treasury-by-climate-department-chief-martin-parkinson/story-fn59nsif-1225974318985

  74. Damn, 97 comments. I’m sure someone agreed with me in there but I’m going for a coffee anyway.

    How’s about a straw poll on biggest popular myth of the year?

    I’ll kick off with the $43Bn NBN claim. Were the Liberals the only people in Government to completely fail math?

  75. Damo, what about that all insulation batts are pink. That one really really erked me as I used to work for Australian Gypsum in the ye olde days..ours were yellow :). Even better, that fibreglass batts ’cause’ housefires. Hello folks, they are actually a fire retardant.

  76. Damo, you’re a winner. Your comment at 3:40 was the 15,000th approved comment here at Café Whispers. True!

    You’ve won a bottle of 1972 Grange Hermitage.

  77. “How’s about a straw poll on biggest popular myth of the year?”

    Rudd’s overthrow was an over night decision, or the BER was a complete failure.

  78. Holy moley; 15,000 comments? Mmmmm, Grange. That would make my Cellarmasters Bargain 16’s case look positively measly…

    Regards the NBN – they ALL knew damn well that the taxpayer wasn’t ever going to be up for anywhere remotely near $43Bn but why let truth get in the way of an entire bullshit election campaign? lol

  79. But Damo, according to T’bull the NBN is going to be a ‘huge white elephant’ cos who wants or needs high speed broadband anyway.

    T’bull, August 9th: “Yes, it would be wonderful if the surgeons at St Vincent’s just down the road here could supervise brain surgery remotely in Alice Springs,” said Turnbull. “But sitting in your apartment in Bondi, you are not going to want to be supervising brain surgery in Alice Springs, in all probability, and so in a sense, it’s just totally over-engineered.”

    Well, I suspect that Turnbull might be right there..I can’t see that many people in Bondi would want to watch brain surgery at all…ever.

  80. It seems that the journos at the OO are sadly lacking in their knowledge of Australian history.

    From: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/nbn-no-cheaper-than-existing-services-says-malcolm-turnbull/story-fn59niix-1225974434514

    Mr Cox argued the comparison made by the Gillard Government between the NBN and the Snowy Mountains Scheme was the “greatest fallacy that Malcolm Turnbull never bothered to respond to”.

    He said the Snowy Hydro scheme contributed only 3 per cent towards Australia’s power generation needs and that it underlined the “danger of trying to select technologies for the future”.

    The Snowy Mountain Scheme was started as a method of irrigation hence the reason that towns along the Murray became major food growing regions. It was only later that a secondary purpose that of power supply was included.

    Now 3% might not sound like a lot of power generation however the Snowy still remains the largest renewable energy generator in mainland Australia. Which probably says more about Australia’s neglect of renewable sources than anything.

  81. ‘Damn, 97 comments. I’m sure someone agreed with me in there but I’m going for a coffee anyway.’

    I AGREE!!

    (although not always in the most agreeable manner)

  82. Migs, I’ve just read the full thread!

    Damo, as my Teutonic friend says, “brother from another mother!”

    We don’t “challenge” to incite – we just say what we hear, see and experience …

    While people who blog say things like “they are poll driven, hahaha” guess who is poll driven, people who post here?

    And it astounds me that so many people have such intimate knowledge of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard …

    … all of us simply express and OPINION!

    We don’t post to get shafted, we post to share our experiences …

    … obviously that’s not enough for some … them (sic – just in case pwa’s around) polls that others take, with limited cohorts and biased questions are far more important …

    … I’m lucky I have grandkids who tell me … Granda, you know lots of stuff … and Granda did you know that?

    … when you don’t listen or learn, time to die!

  83. …they ALL knew damn well that the taxpayer wasn’t ever going to be up for anywhere remotely near $43Bn but why let truth get in the way of an entire bullshit election campaign?

    Abbott said $50 billion today and not a single journalist or news media organisation pulled him up on it.

    The government can’t give a figure on anything without it being heavily questioned and called spin yet Abbott and the opposition can state any bullshit figures and information they like and it’s treated as credible even though it’s blatantly bullshit, and they can get away with $11 billion holes in estimating budgets.

    The double standards going on in this country at the moment are truly astounding and depressing.

  84. Nor did the media cross examine Turnbull at all yesterday on his build-as-they-come philosophy of insfrastucture development.

    I have this vision of those cartoons where the railroad builders are trying to stay ahead of the train, or dam builders have the city planners on one line and the concrete formwork suppliers on the other.

    Wouldn’t you love to attend Turnbull’s Christmas party. People show up and as they do, he orders in. His middle name must be Fawlty.

    What a bunch of vacuous airheads we have in the press gallery.

    I’m no fan of Joh Bjelke-Peterson, obviously, but his description of pressers as feeding the chickens was surely apt.

  85. “Thank you for the link, Mr Denmore. I enjoyed reading your article.”

    It’s a goodie.

    I wonder where the various journos, gatekeepers & other top level staff from the Oz sent/send their kids for schooling? (if they have any)…

    and where they were educated?

    I reckon half of them wouldn’t be caught dead in the more down-to-earth, blue collar/farmer homes that many of us have and/or visit regularly by way of family & friends relationships.

    Yes, Rupert is such a street-wise character & friend of the working class …you can tell by his hands, threads, homes, mates & cars he’s driven around in.

    Just a regular guy/Joe.

    Imagine the Oz staff Chrissy pic they’ll be forced to take to bend over backwards to fit the clichéd expectations of the editors.

    The down-to-earth mob…well worn-in thongs, filthy singlets, stubby holder & barbie a must.

    No vegetarians, goths, emos, ferals, women w/ unshaved legs, bookish types, alternative musicians, migrants in cultural attire, proud gays & lesbians, old hippies, overt unionists, Greenies, anyone dressed in red…required.

    Yep, The Australian…heart of the nation.

    N’

  86. Alright, now I’m totally confused. After reading kohlers lame ass article from yesterday about the NBN being a glorified antenna I linked to it at about 9 this morning), I read today in Crikey an in-depth and highly relevant appraisal of the actual business case put forward. Is this the same guy

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/21/kohler-now-thats-a-broadband-business-plan/

    It has many good points addressed, some good, some bad, but it investigates them. After yesterdays article which was full of inane assumptions and shallow analysis, I truly wonder if this could be the same person. Do we have two kohlers getting about?

  87. That Turnbull article was headlined as though Henry was in dispute with government spending but . . . The rest of the article heaps praise upon him. Why wasn’t the headline as glowing?

    Oh, that’s right, it was the ABC.

    And how out of touch is Turnbull anyway? It was Henry who encouraged the stimulus programs which saw us ride out the GFC. Henry did have issues with reckless spending though; Howard’s, as he has publicly stated.

  88. ‘Where’s my Grange?’

    It will be piped to you through the soon to be constructed National Brewery Network any day now 😉

  89. “and they can get away with $11 billion holes in estimating budgets.”

    I do not believe it was a black hole. Anyway if you trust treasury the Libs budget bottom line was better than compared to the ALP policies. It just wasn’t the $11B improvement that the Libs claimed according to Treasury.

    Anyway the alleged $11B hole was one of the reasons that the Independants sided with labor

    “Henry did have issues with reckless spending though; Howard’s, as he has publicly stated.”

    Well if it was true that he was worried about Howard spending I think he would have trouble describing Labors wasteful spending.

    Over $100B of debt in just 3 years. Surely a record even for the ALP.

  90. Perhaps it’s a matter of cause & effect – a large number of unthinking people just blindly accept the dribble dished up to them by the OO and other Ltd. News publications, along with their daily dose of what passes for news & current affairs on commercial television.

    What I’m trying (badly) to say, is maybe what you’re hearing is reflecting what the MSM is telling them, rather than the other way around…

    Agree Bacchus…some I talk to just repeat ad nauseum the crap they read in the papers or hear on radio or breakfast/current affairs shows…often others will nod in agreement but do so because it seems the easiest/politest thing to do at the moment. Not disimilar to the Aussie “she’ll be right” attitude…cool to be calm & relaxed, least conflict approach.

    However, when probed or involved in an in-depth discussion ya find that opinions vary and can be far more complex than initial indications.

    The fact The Greens & Turnbull & various Laborites & Indies who do believe in climate change have fared so well…sometimes in areas you wouldn’t expect…gives an indication that there are alot more than just “climate change-deniers/sceptics” out there. And plenty of “undecided” folk too.

    You only had to see the reaction to the full-bore anti-workchoices campaign by the unions in the run-up to the 2007 election to see how voters here can reach into themselves to find the issues that spark them…once details are communicated solidly, consistently, articulately & w/ passion & imagination.

    “I understand where you’re coming from, but I also think the ordinary punters have been fed a load of cobblers by the MSM about how “dysfunctional” the Rudd government was for some considerable time.”

    Indeed jane…one only needs to go thru the various papers at the time to see the extent of the bombing campaign…the HYPE, the distortions, the lack of objectivity, the bastadry.

    History will reveal how much BS was truly thrown out there…and the extent of domination & influence by the “antagonistic towards Rudd & Labor” Murdoch press…and the role of a number of corporate aristocrats…and overly panicked & ambitious types in the ALP…who partially spurred on a few ABC types. I imagine the role of bloggers/commentors and their influence on certain types like Bolt…and political characters…will be shown to be far greater than some expect.

    Time has a way of lifting the veil…once the Uni researchers & more in-depth thinkin’ investigative journalists start doin’ their thing. And the odd politician who can afford later in life to attempt “objectivity”. We’ll get complex & conflictin’ views/assessments…but they’ll provide a more rounded perspective than we have at present.

    N’

  91. “Henry did have issues with reckless spending though; Howard’s, as he has publicly stated.”

    Well if it was true that he was worried about Howard spending I think he would have trouble describing Labors wasteful spending.

    It was true, Neil. Costello confessed it in his book. If you don’t believe it, ring him up and ask him.

    And in case you’ve been under a rock, it was Henry who suggested the stimulus packages to the Rudd Government. If you don’t believe it, ring him up and ask him.

  92. Stimulus spending was based on unemployment reaching 10%. It didn’t even come close. So I conclude that most of the stimulus spending was a waste of money.

    Worse, we blew the lot in one foul swoop. We are dead if we have another downturn.

    As for Costello, i don’t think he liked spending any money. What Costello would call wasteful spending, Labor would not even worry about.

    I think Costello would be horrified at Labors wasteful spending.

  93. And it astounds me that so many people have such intimate knowledge of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard …

    I’m guilty of the latter, TB. 😉

  94. ‘Stimulus spending was based on unemployment reaching 10%. It didn’t even come close. So I conclude that most of the stimulus spending was a waste of money.’

    He’s been channeling yomm

    I’ll answer you in the way I anser the other nil

    YAAWN!!

  95. Stimulus spending was based on unemployment reaching 10%.

    You believe what you want to believe, Neil. I’m sure that if you had the capacity to apply logical thought to that crumbled little walnut inside your head you’d gather that the stimulus spending was a result of the GFC.

    I can only hope.

  96. One thing you can say about Gerard Henderson, he never stops trying. This one receives an A+ rating for wishful thinking.

    From: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/hold-on-tight-the-next-three-years-will-leave-us-feeling-a-little-bit-green-20101220-1930s.html

    The Coalition has a chance of winning the seats held by Oakeshott and Windsor.

    A chance of winning these seats? Tony Windsor won New England with a primary vote of 61.9% and a TPP of 71.5% and Rob Oakeshott won Lyne with 47.1%, TPP 62.7%.

  97. Stimulus spending was based on unemployment reaching 10%. It didn’t even come close. So I conclude that most of the stimulus spending was a waste of money

    I did find this amusing. The corollary of this view is that if it had reached 10% then the stimulus money would have been well spent, and that if it had gone to 20% it would have been retrospectively a stroke of genius in public policy.

    I feel certain this is how the OO would have run it.

    Disclosure: In a similarly stupid piece of reasoning as the government, I replaced my wearing tyres with new ones a few months back. Since that time, I have not suffered any loss of traction on the road, which just goes to show that it was a waste of money, driven by obsessive concern wirth safety by both me and the NSW government.

    (To be fair, I hadn’t suffered any loss of traction before changing the tyres either, which makes the decision even worse!!)

  98. Beautiful Fran, thanks for the notification.

    I was about to wastefully go out and purchase new tyres (they said something about looking after the family or some such rot)

    I will now have so much more extra cash thanks to your helpful advice, I might even be able to buy off me kids vote with that extra money 😉

  99. Neil’s a bit like that bloke who stood on the Sydney Harbour Bridge dangling an old boot in the water, from a long piece of rope.

    A passing police officer asked ‘Neil’ what he was doing.

    “Keeping the crocodiles away” said Neil.

    “But there are no crocodiles in Sydney Harbour” replied the police officer.

    “See”, boasted Neil, “it works”.

  100. Some of my Facebook friends are commenting about the lack of media coverage in regards to Downer’s gaff (via Wikileaks). I’ve had a look myself: there is no coverage. None. Zilch.

  101. Yes Migs, but it is being mentioned across the blogosphere. The contrast in the MSM between revelations on Labor ministers and this first one on a Coalition minister is stark.

    Yet I still read stupidities like the the MSM are left leaning and News Ltd. support was the reason Rudd won government, and the ABC is biased to the far left. No amount of examples like this you give can convince them of anything different.

  102. Exactly, Mobius. A recent Foreign Minister talks about nuclear attacks on North Korea with the world’s strongest military power and news.com don’t consider it newsworthy! If that doesn’t prove their allegiance to the right then I don’t know what will.

    A quick glance at news.com reveals that the biggest story in the known universe is the nude photos of AFL players.

  103. PS: What’s a bigger story? Rudd going to a strip joint or Downer suggesting that nuclear weapons be deployed against a Communist State.

    Just a late thought: Will news.com start running stories about how menacing North Korea is to world peace? It would certainly help Downer if they did.

  104. Actually Miglo, re: the crocodiles, I think that was the case Neil was trying to put — that unemployment would not have reached 10% notwithstanding the lack of any stimulus and that it was a solution in search of a non-existent problem.

    The problem was with his contention, because in every other case, unemployment did rise seriously as private sector investment crashed. It certainly occurred here in 1992 and it occurred here in muted form in 2009-10.

    It requires only a decline in the perceptions of likely future demand for the private sector to begin reacting defensively, running down inventories, cutting working hours and laying off/not hiring new staff. That is what occurred in the US over 2007-8 before the major meltdown of 15/9/08. When some fiscal expansion was tried by the Bush administration, in the form of the tax cuts, it was too little and too late to have the effect the administration wanted. Rehiring/hiring new people is a lot more expensive and risky at the margins than keeping them on in the same market. It will always lag confidence in prospective market conditions and so climbing out will be much slower. Again, that was our experience from 1992-96.

    The fact that the Australian state made it plain that it would underpin demand encouraged employers to retain staff, albeit in some cases at reduced working hours. This meant that when the dust began to settle employers could, at low risk and marginal cost, up their working hours. This also underpinned revenues since all these employees pay taxes and capped welfare costs.

    What the bald figures don’t show is the success of the stimulus in underpinning employment by demographic, type and geography. The stimulus ensured greater employment amongst older workers, younger workers, workers in regional areas and amongst the unskilled — all of whom would have been hit especially hard in a downturn, whatever the general rate was. All of these groups would have had very ready access to social security and indeed, many of those over-55 may never have worked again. The young’s first experience of post-school life would have been an extended stint on social security. Of course, the decline in the social health of large towns would have been accentuated. Need one wonder about the long term social and economic impacts of all this?

    I am as you know, no supporter of the government. I find their policies appalling in many areas, and personally, I thought the first stages of the stimulus were not well designed. It seems very clear to me that both the BER and the home insulation/green loans and BER programs could have been far better designed. On the other hand, it is very clear that they met most of the criteria one would have wanted very well and at an acceptable (if a little high) transaction cost. When you are forced to make decisions in a hurry, it’s unlikely that you will be as accurate as if you can proceed in a careful and orderly fashion. Efficiency will fall but if effectiveness rises the trade-off may be rational.

    Sidebar: Recall that at this time the opposition was claiming that the government was all talk and no action and that the government was wasting money on endless reports and inquiries. As usual hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue)

    When one is fighting a bushfire, one doesn’t measure the efficiency with which one applies water to the nearest litre. One wants to put the fire out, or at least staunch it, and if a review showed that they could have achieved greater water application efficiency by ignoring some fires or abandoning them early because they would have burned out on their own or some areas at lower cost, few would find that acceptable as a strategy.

    In the end, what we got out of stimulus was a relatively much better set of total working hours, more evenly spread unemployment, a preservation of work skills and readiness, prevention of a crash in asset values of real property (which in turn is the collateral for many small businesses), a million homes insulated, the preservation of life of many rural towns and a lesser deficit than we would have had if there had been no stimulus. Really, if you’re a non-tribal conservative voter, you’ve little reason to be unhappy with what the government did. Disappointment really is a privilege of being a left-of-centre critic of the government.

  105. Well said Fran.

    And what many are overlooking here is that in the end when the opposition at the time were forced to come up with alternatives after spending a couple of months crying “waste and recklessness” and that they would save money, their difference ended up being about 4 billion.

    Worse was that the bulk of the opposition’s spending wasn’t going into infrastructure and rapidly implemented construction programs, but mostly into tax cuts that overwhelmingly favoured the wealthy. The utter folly of this course of action can be seen in what has happened to the US and continues to expound there as they now have legislated for more tax cuts that mostly favour the very wealthy.

    The very things you state that the Labor government’s stimulus avoided, increased welfare, social services and businesses closing down, and the things they bolstered, increased tax intake, higher employment, increased productivity, etc. are the things that would have been reversed under the Coalition plan as has occurred in the US. Yet this other opposition side of the GFC response is avoided by the conservative proponents. They have no hesitation in bashing the government over their response picking on every flaw and making ones up where there are none, but they never visit the utter failure that would have been the Coalition’s plan where the correlation to the failure of a very similar plan can be shown.

  106. I’m guilty of the latter, TB.

    I realised today what I had written! Exception granted, Migs!

    (… and Adrian & Min with anything Navy!)

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Re: Neils, nullus statement re 10% unemployment …

    We used to get the same *argument* with risk assessment/hazard management programs – once installed some managers still argued that because there was a reduction (or elimination) of accidents/incidents/injuries and other loss … they didn’t need them …

    If the Stimulus Program had not been introduced the possibility of an increase in unemployment was high – maybe 10%!

    Once unemploment reaches a high level its is more difficult to bring down to a *reasonable* level …

    When I studied IR it was believed that 6% was acceptable (they have changed the *rules* since then) and there was six types of unemployment!

    I confess to chuckling in the lecture room and the lecturer calling me out – “Vot yo are giggling about, my doubting Thomas” (my lecturer was from Hungary) – I believed that there was only one type of unemployment (having ben there!) – “you don’t have a job!” – from memory, it was something like this …

    1) Chronically unemployable (sick, infirm, mentally incapacitated – no fault of their own)
    2) Itinerant wokers (moving between jobs)
    3) People who have resigned and looking (their decision)
    4) People whose jobs have been terminated (business decision)
    5) People who simply don’t want to work (but could)
    6) People who have given up looking for work (lost hope)

    The Minister, often accuses me of making life complicated – I keep telling her, its not me – its everyone else!

  107. The Pacific Solution myth

    About friggin’ time, and yes I know analysis on the Pacific Solution has been done in the past but it was always drowned out or marginalised by the right wing media and Howard’s propaganda.

    Think about how ludicrous the idea that the Pacific Solution stopped boats in the context that there were record numbers in up until August 2001 and they all but stopped by mid-December 2001.

    The Pacific Solution was supposed to have stopped record numbers of boats in three months, you have to joking. Also take this in the context that after the tragedy of Christmas Island where over 40 refugees died and news of this tragedy had reached Indonesia and refugees in the camps there, boats continued to arrive. If the deaths and injury of 80 of their fellow travellers isn’t stopping them, then being shoved away on a Pacific Island for two years and having a 95%+ chance of being granted asylum surely wasn’t the reason the boats stopped either.

    The Neil like nonsensical responses are interesting. Conservatives cling onto their misguided beliefs no matter what is shown to the contrary and continue to attempt to justify yet another (very expensive) Howard failure. It’s a pity this current government deems it necessary to mostly follow suit with a bad hand.

  108. “If the Stimulus Program had not been introduced the possibility of an increase in unemployment was high – maybe 10%!”

    Agreed. But my opinion is just as good as your opinion.. My opinion is based on Labors track record. Everything they touch turns to mud and their projections are always wrong.

    Bernard keane made this statement about Keatings recession

    ““an historic failure by Australian policymakers: a recession that, coupled with the Government’s embrace of micro-economic reform and the failures of state-owned banks, gouged deep holes in our social fabric that took a decade to repair.”

    They got it wrong last time and i think they got it wrong again. Just wasted billions of dollars getting us back into debt again.

  109. They got it wrong last time and i think they got it wrong again. Just wasted billions of dollars getting us back into debt again.

    Neil, do you know what a cyclops is?

    Neil, do you know there is a big wide world outside Australia?

    Neil, could you even spell recession when Keating governed this country for ALL of us ) not just Liberal hangers on)?

    Neil, do you realise that Europe (including the UK), Japan, and the US are really in a lot of economic/financial trouble right now?

    If you answered NO to any of these questions … then research your own posts instead of spouting Young Liberal trollop at those of us who have “been there and done that” … and please, please keep up!

  110. I told you my opinion and you obviously did not like it. I base my opinion on previous track record of the ALP which was bad.

    The rest of the world may be in a mess but we are not.

    I am so glad that Howard/Costello tried to pay off as much Federal govt debt as possible while the rest of the world got into debt.

    It must be hard for Costello to take when Swan goes around the world boasting of our low debt levels. When in opposition Swan opposed everything the Libs did to try and get the budget back into surplus. Swan opposed the GST and everything else the Libs did to balance the budget and pay off debt.

    Labors already racked up $100B of debt in just three years. What a waste.

  111. Talk about hypocrisy. First Neil says this:

    The rest of the world may be in a mess but we are not.

    And three paragraphs later says this:

    Labors already racked up $100B of debt in just three years. What a waste.

    See, Neil, debt can be good, as according to you this country is not in a mess.

    I find it incredible that someone can flip-flop as much as you do.

    No that you’ve been sprung, I imagine you’re putting together your next “Hey, look over there” comment. What will it be about?

  112. When did I say Australia is in a mess?? Howard handed the ALP a first class economy.

    I did say the ALP has wasted a lot of money. Most probably around $100B so far.

    You comments only reinforce my beliefs that you are the most deceitful of people.

  113. So you think it is good to waste money??

    I know what will happen. The ALP will keep on wasting money until the debt will become so large it will cause us problems.

    It must be hard for Costello to take that he worked so hard to pay of debt and Swan gets in and just spends.

    And yes the stimulus spending was a waste. And wait for the NBN turkey. That will send us bankrupt.

    It is in the DNA of the ALP to waste money. It is what happened last time and it will happen this time.

  114. So you think it is good to waste money??

    Where did I say that?

    But since you asked – yes, I’ve been doing it all my life. I’m good for the economy. Just imagine how stuffed this country would be if nobody spent money.

  115. I agree with Sinclair Davidson to the fact that News supports the Libs

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2010/12/22/news-bashing/

    “My theory is that The Australian behaves like a newspaper – critically holding those in authority to account with little fear or favor. They have been very critical of the Rudd-Gillard government because (1) they are the government and (2) there has been much to criticise. The left don’t take well to non-believers.”

  116. “The Australian behaves like a newspaper – critically holding those in authority to account with little fear or favor.”

    I’ve just copied this onto a file.

    We’ll see.

    We’ll be watching over the next decade.

    And will hold them…and Davidson to account.

    Frankly, I reckon he’s full of sh*t.

    N’

  117. “The Australian behaves like a newspaper – critically holding those in authority to account with little fear or favor.”

    Then where was their criticism of howard launching us into an illegal war? AWB, Haneef, treatment of Australian citizens. There was never any. In fact, they were happy to push the party line.

    And specifically, without ‘favor’. Then where is their reporting of the great success the BER actually was, the improvements the insulation scheme made to a pathetically inept industry, or their abysmal attempts to portray AGW denialism as some kind of scientific equivalence.

    They are a biased and ideologically driven organisation, not a news outlet, and have been for years now.

    Seriously, WTF!!

  118. Tom, there is a good example in today’s OO.

    The furore is the latest to mar the BER, which has been plagued by cost over-runs, delays and complaints over lack of consultation with school communities.

    Therefore the reader is lead to conclude that this is ‘yet another stuff-up’ of the Federal government’s program. However, the truth is revealed.

    The company, Project Kendall Pty Ltd, is expected to be placed into liquidation at a creditors’ meeting in Sydney today…

    Absolutely zilch to do with the BER, the story is in fact about a builder who has gone into liquidation. Now would the OO normally have run a story in National Affairs about a builder going bust..of course not. And since when has a builder going bust been described as a ‘furore’.

    The above quotes from: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/building-the-building-education-revolution-projects-delayed-as-builder-folds/story-fn59niix-1225975205134

  119. Yes, don’t you love it Min. Apparently, somewhere under 3% is a ‘plague’

    If locusts came in that sort of number, would it even make the news?

    And this is seen as ‘holding those in authority to account’

    Some might call it ‘making shit up’

  120. “AWB, Haneef, treatment of Australian citizens.”

    What about AWB?? I say that Labor just used AWB for political purposes. Why didn’t Rudd follow up his accusations when in govt??

    I will tell you why. Rudd is a fraud.

    Haneef?? Stuff happens. Plenty of innocent people have had things done wrong to them. Our system of justice is not perfect. Sometimes innocent people get wrongly accused. Guess what- it will happen again. I do not believe Howard was using haneef for political purposes.

    Using things for political purposes is a specialty of the ALP

  121. Further to the fallacy that the oo hold all governments to account, this struck me as ridiculously absurd

    ‘He said there was a persistent view, despite recent government changes, that family payments were being made to people too far up the income scale and that assistance should be more tightly targeted.’

    Where was their outrage when these stupid payments were introduced in the first place? At a time when we should have been encouraging programs that enabled consumers to spend within their means, we simply got government handouts to bolster consumption, and pushing our economy further into structural deficit. And now that the government is slowly rectifying this, it can’t happen fast enough for the likes of the oo, and it’s all the present governments fault.

    Seriously, WTF!!

  122. ‘I do not believe Howard was using haneef for political purposes.’

    Stuff happened because a politician stepped in and put his own perceptions onto a matter that should have been kept far away from him

    AWB happened under the noses of a government who were preparing to invade a sovereign country for their flagrant flaunting of international sanctions, sanctions our own country were enabling them to flaunt.

    Where was there condemnation? Nowhere!

    Yet now, apparently it is the government’s fault that the Catholic Education Commission did not see that a private company was going to become insolvent, a company that was surreptitiously hiding this fact from all observers.

    Seriously, WTF!!

  123. “Where was there condemnation? Nowhere!”

    My understanding is that the Federal police looked into the AWB thing and found nothing to prosecute. I say the ALP was using AWB for political purposes otherwise they would have and should have followed up their allegations when in govt.

    I say the ALP is a fraudulent political party.

  124. “Now we have to find out Kevin Andrew’s hand in this.”

    Bet you he did nothing wrong. Just acted correctly with the information he had available.

    After 3 years I have not seen much evidence of a mean and sneaky Howard govt.

    However i have seen plenty of evidence for mean and sneaky people making unfounded allegations against Howard

  125. ‘mean and sneaky people ‘

    nasty fat hobbitses

    ‘Just acted correctly with the information he had available.’

    Obviously, which is probably why he was so wrong lol

  126. Just to go off on a tangent, I read an article this morning that very much echoed my thoughts on the wikileaks saga, except it conveyed it far better than I am capable. While I do want to see illegal or unethical behavior by our governments exposed, I truly think that the approach taken by wikileaks sacrifices too much of our privacy for the returns garnered. Once that Pandora’s Box is opened, there is no turning back, and hearing him whinge the other day about emails he had sent to a girl a while back being splashed across the media. Hypocrisy anyone??.
    I found the whole article enthralling, but it is long. The following are some of the choice points he raises. His closing argument is, I think, his most compelling, so, if nothing else, it is worth going to the last page and just reading that.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/12/the-hazards-of-nerd-supremacy-the-case-of-wikileaks/68217/

    The strategy of Wikileaks, as explained in an essay by Julian Assange, is to make the world transparent, so that closed organizations are disabled, and open ones aren’t hurt. But he’s wrong. Actually, a free flow of digital information enables two diametrically opposed patterns: low-commitment anarchy on the one hand and absolute secrecy married to total ambition on the other.

    Openness in itself, as the prime driver of events, doesn’t lead to achievement or creativity.

    there is no such thing as a neutral Internet leak organization. Anyone who plays the game brings biases into the work.

    Assange has stated that if there were deaths from leaks, it would be acceptable because of the bigger picture. The ideological framework and rationale for collateral damage has been made explicit.

    Respectful civil disobedience is not only more productive for others, but for oneself. It is the path away from extremism.

    We hackers could change history. But if there’s one lesson of history, it is that seeking power doesn’t change the world. You need to change yourself along with the world.

    We sanction secretive spheres in order to have our civilian sphere. We furthermore structure democracy so that the secretive spheres are contained and accountable to the civilian sphere, though that’s not easy.

  127. The history of the Coalition in power according to Neil re just about everything, Children Overboard, AWB, Haneef, Hicks, WorkChoices and it goes on throughout their decade plus in power:

    Howard: “I know nuthink.”
    Downer: “I know nuthink.”
    Andrews: “I know nuthink.”
    Minchin: “I know nuthink.”
    Abbott and Costello: “Whose on third?”
    Abbott: “I can brain fart nuthinks.”
    Hockey: “I know nuthink.”
    Bishop: “I know nuthink, but can out stare everyone.”
    Bishop: “I know nuthink, but my bouffant is a knockout.”
    Anderson, Truss and Vaile: “We Nationals don’t have to know, just follow the nuthinks.”
    Ruddock: “I know less than nuthink and if I knew nuthink I wouldn’t tell you anyway.”
    Vanstone: “I know nuthink and I don’t know it in Italian.”
    Turnbull: “I know plenty but must say I know nuthink or I’ll show up the rest of the no nuthinks.”
    Pyne: “I know nuthink, and know how to whine a lot about it.”
    Abetz: “I know nuthink but I will still make things up about somethink.”
    Robb: “I know everything there is to know about nuthink.”

    …and the rest of the Coalition of the time collectively knew a smidgeon more than nuthink but said they knew nuthink in fear of being sacked by Sergeant Howard Shultz.

    That just about sums up Neil’s defence of the previous Coalition government.

  128. “AWB, Haneef”

    What about these things?? What did Rudd do about it when he had the power to do so???

    My opinion of you lot has never changed.

    You use the lives of refugees, Hicks, Haneef, whatever for political purposes.

    They are just tools to bash Howard over the head.

    The only thing Rudd did something about in your list is he allegedly got rid of Workchoices. I say allegedly because i believe they kept some things but the average aussie is not an IR expert so the ALP can spin away.

  129. My understanding is that the Federal police looked into the AWB thing and found nothing to prosecute. I say the ALP was using AWB for political purposes otherwise they would have and should have followed up their allegations when in govt.

    It’s very difficult to prosecute when the chief witness says nothing but “I wasn’t told” or “I don’t remember”. In my opinion, he would have been under strict instructions from his lawyer to say nothing but those words.

    Now, how exactly did the ALP use AWB for political purposes? They weren’t in government at the time, and if there had been an investigation from the AFP like you said there was, could an opposition actually launch this?

    Seriously, Neil, WTF.

  130. “You use the lives of refugees, Hicks, Haneef, whatever for political purposes.” says Neil.

    Seriously, WTF.

  131. Tom, do you still bang you head against the wall? I think I might know the cause – you’ve been reading too much of Neil. I too feel like heading to the nearest wall and I’m just a reader. If I engaged myself in debate with him I’d probably be frustrated enough to push the wall over. But I do give him one point of credit, he is the consumate (one-sided) conspiracy theorist.

  132. “conspiracy theorist”

    Me?? that is you lot.

    Also, according to TB, ALP politicians govern for all Australians while Conservative politicans just do things to try and get re-elected.

    Also you lot twist peoples words.

  133. I am yet to see any evidence here that people twist other peoples’ words, apart from your posts.

    Goodbye, I’m off. I don’t want to be trapped into one of your pointless arguments.

    Have a good Xmas.

  134. “I am yet to see any evidence here that people twist other peoples’ words, apart from your posts. ”

    Well this statement by Downer is a possibility
    http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2007/s2100454.htm

    “for example the $10 billion Murray Darling initiative was very well supported by the public, was a wonderful thing to do, something I’ve wanted to see happen all my adult life.

    But it didn’t shift the opinion polls. When we brought down a very popular budget in May, yes, popular with the public in terms of the initiatives, didn’t shift the opinion polls.

    And when we intervened in the Northern Territory in the Indigenous communities there again, the actual initiative was very popular with the public but it didn’t shift the opinion polls.”

    Adrian of Nowra then comes out and states

    “Oh and let us not forget this gem from Downer who ended up admitting the NTER, which only received 12 months funding from Howard, was implemented to gain a poll bounce leading into an election:”

    All Downer said was they introduced good policies which did not change people votes. The Murray basin plan Downer said is something he wanted to do all his life.

    It is drawing a long bow to twist Downers statements to say they were only brought in for political purposes.

  135. Banging head against wall, and there is an emoticon for that.

    Then why did Downer mention that these things didn’t change opinion polls if it was not about the polls? He was in effect saying he had an eye to the polls when these hastily and ill thought out policies were bought in. The timing was also suspect as they were only raised in an election year when the polls were going bad for them. The Howard government had been lobbied about the MDB for over a decade, as had Hawke/Keating before him. So why did it take until the 2007 election year after a series of bad polls to bring in what was a very hastily cobbled together policy, and that goes equally for the NTER, which was even worse as the recommendations in the very report Howard claimed he was basing his very late and hastily cobbled together policy were mostly ignored?

    And if Howard’s MDB plan is so good why is it currently being so heavily criticised and attacked?

  136. ‘And if Howard’s MDB plan is so good why is it currently being so heavily criticised and attacked?’

    Aren’t we back at where we started?

    For the oo, libs is good, Labor is bad

  137. The second biggest story on news.com at the moment is about a monkey.

    The biggest story is about a fake shark.

    Still no sign of Downer, unfortunately. Ear biting monkeys and fake sharks are obviously more newsworthy that wanting to bomb the crap out of a country and possibly igniting another world war.

  138. The Downer Wikileak was mentioned on SBS News last night. The only mention I’ve seen so far.

    The difference between the coverage of Labor government/opposition Wikileaks as compared to Coalition government/opposition ones is stark in the amount of space given to one and the total lack of space given to the other.

    Then again so far only the tip of the iceberg has been released so the Coalition stuff might be so revelatory that it’s being held back for now.

  139. No he won’t read them, Bacchus, but next time you mention the subject he’ll ask for a damn link. It’s enough to make you want to . . . 😥

  140. Seriously WTF?

    The CIA has launched a taskforce to assess the impact of 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables. Its name? WikiLeaks Task Force, or WTF for short

    Life imitates art.

  141. “Will you actually read any of these Neil?”

    Give me time. I will have a look.

    But I did not like Adrian twisting Downers words. Downer just came out and made this statement

    “for example the $10 billion Murray Darling initiative was very well supported by the public, was a wonderful thing to do, something I’ve wanted to see happen all my adult life”

    followed by the May 2007 budget was good policy and the NTER was good policy. However this did not change the way people were going to vote.

    It is a long bow to say the NTER was brought in not because they thought it was good policy but that it would change the way people would vote. Howard would have done it anyway. Furthermore the Little Children are Sacred report was not released until June 2007.

    In general Howard was a man who did what he thought was right. I do not believe he followed the Americans into Iraq because it would win votes. On the contrary these sort of actions lose you votes.

  142. But I did not like Adrian twisting Downers words. Downer just came out and made this statement.

    I didn’t think he did. But if he had have, I would have liked it.

    In general Howard was a man who did what he thought was right.

    In a way I’m inclined to agree with you, only partly of course. I actually do believe that Howard thought he was doing the right thing on the odd occasion.

    But of course, he only thought he was doing what he thought was right, no matter how wrong it was.

  143. Neil said:

    In general Howard was a man who did what he thought was right.

    As St Bernard’s translated aphorism goes: the road to hell is paved with good intentions

    Every politician says that, and some may even believe it. Certainly, believing one’s own cant is helpful if you are going to lie in public. It’s like an actor staying in character. Good intentions [“doing right”] however, even if we could all agree on the criteria and what met them, are not enough. Doing right, especially in public policy is not about doing what feels intuitively right. It needs to be affirmed or rejected after rigorous data gathering and timely analysis and modelling of risk, uncertainty and prospective benefit. One must look both to the probable consequences of being wrong and being right. One only has to look at the NIE of September 2002 to know that Howard did not get past the cherry-picked executive summary, if he looked at it at all. Howard, looking to play best buds to the US administration, tried to anticipate the US position by urging military action against Iraq.

    If he really thought such action was “doing right”, he was deluded.

    I do not believe he followed the Americans into Iraq because it would win votes. On the contrary these sort of actions lose you votes.

    On the contrary, these wag the dog exercises tend underpin the ruling regime since the number who are willing to cry fool’s errand in public as the troops leave are much fewer in number than those who figure that this would sound disloyal or disrespectful of the troops and those who are surely troubled at the risks they face. And once people start dying, how many want to say to the bereaved: you do realise that he was a victim of wag the dog politics don’t you? Nobody wants to think their loved ones died in vain.

    So war is generally a slam dunk for the rulers, providing of course, they don’t lose. And let’s face it — Iraq no more than Afghanistan, was going to defeat the US.

    What Howard thought was the right thing was something he knew would serve him politically — position hostage voters around affirmation of the US alliance and wedge the ALP as soft on national security, especially since this dovetailed nicely with his trope around “border security”. He’d played this card beautifully in 2001 and he was always going to play in again in 2003. It was the gift that kept on giving.

    Dr Haneef was a case of third time to the well, but when the well was examined it proved to be dry. It turned out the guy was innocent and suddenly many people finally saw Howard for what he was — just a ruthless, reckless opportunistic misanthrope uttering vacuous and banal phrases about leadership as a way of bullying the public into supporting him against their better judgement.

  144. “Dr Haneef was a case of third time to the well, but when the well was examined it proved to be dry.”

    Don’t agree with this at all. So you think by locking some innocent person up this convinces some people that a leader is worth voting for??

    What I do believe is that people like you use difficult situations for political purposes. I gave always believed this from the moment I arrived on Dunlops blog.

    In fact it is the same with leftists all around the world. Make a difficult situation more difficult by hurling abuse at Howard/Conservatives.

    “What Howard thought was the right thing was something he knew would serve him politically”

    How do you know?? Are you claiming to be a mind reader??

  145. Despite having early reservations about the name of this post, I am now convinced that no other name could possibly have been more appropriate.

    After each of your comments, Neil, I find myself mumbling: “Seriously, WTF!”

  146. So you think by locking some innocent person up this convinces some people that a leader is worth voting for??

    Under our immigration/terrorism laws, when you first lock them up, they are guilty of something and the minister doesn’t have to say what it is. So nobody knows they are innocent. The onus is ereversed and the media can get its jollies speculating. What is not to like about that?

    Making Australia think that the arc of terrorism reached from the UK to Australia was a very powerful and difficult to refute claim in real time. Howard was entitled to think he could get away with this wag the dog as he did with Tampa/9/11, especially as the ALP were a bunch of cowardly custards who couldn’t imagine how this could play for them without them rsiking looking like terorist fellow travellers, and doubtless hoped one day to play the same game.

    You quote me:

    What Howard thought was the right thing was something he knew would serve him politically

    Then continue:

    How do you know?? Are you claiming to be a mind reader??

    Not at all. Unlike you it seems, I’m able to interpret the conduct of other people in the context of established usages and culture.

    It would be impolitic for Howard to have admitted his decisive reason for doing things was that they would serve him politically, but whatever else this loudmouthed intellectual mediocrity missed, he knew which way he’d sooner the buttered toast fall and he could see a politcal opportunity when it arose. Doubtless, his spinmasters reminded him regularly how precarious his position was in February 2001 and as we now know, even then one Peter Costello was breathing down his neck.

  147. Tom R … I prefer the original French attributed to Saint Bernard de Clairvaux. When I was just a wee lass and studying French (c. 1971) I had poster on my wall of a St Bernard captioned as follows:

    L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs

    Roughly: Hell is full of worthy intent and well wishing.

    In an apt twist, which will amuse those of us who recall the Catholic history, St Bernard spent the latter part of his life raising the banner against heresies surrounding resort to human reason raised by Peter Abelard and trying, but failing, to beat back the Muslims.

    He carried the can for the failure of his crusading campaign.

    Doubtless, he thought what he was doing was right.

  148. It is a long bow to say the NTER was brought in not because they thought it was good policy but that it would change the way people would vote.

    Reconcile that with the fact that the planning phase of the NTER had taken 48 hours.

    There is also the minor problem that it didn’t address ANY of the recommendations of the Little Children are Sacred report, but in fact went directly against some of the advice in the report…

  149. I think Fran & Mobius deserve a Xmas drink for their valuable contributions over the past few mths.

    The same goes for Jane, Patricia, Kevin, Ben, Shane, Catching up, Eddie, Pip, Feral, Damo, Lynot, crowey, Debbie & others who contribute here that I haven’t given a Xmas drink to yet. Yer contributions are highly valued.

    Christmas drinks & treats for each of you:

    http://freerangetalk.com/?p=21383

    Have a wonderful holidays.
    N’

  150. TB, Bacchus, Tom R, Augustus and handyrab too. Good stuff from all, plus the team here at the Café.

    I’ve more than likely forgotten people, but I’ll put that right later.

  151. They weren’t forgotten Migs…I gave them all, includin’ you & Min, a drink on the music thread yesterday or the day before. They are too valuable as contributors to have slipped my mind.

    N’

  152. But of course, all of the above can feel free to dive into the drinks & treats too. 🙂

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

    N’

  153. “Unlike you it seems, I’m able to interpret the conduct of other people in the context of established usages and culture. ”

    Well for me, I look for motives. I have always believed that the motive for bringing up Haneef, Hicks, AWB were to use these things as tools to bash Howard.

    I do not believe the motive was pure.

    How else can you explain when David Hicks returned home and the new ALP govt put a gag order on Hicks and vitually no-one condemned this. You lot would have if Howard was in power.

    “There is also the minor problem that it didn’t address ANY of the recommendations of the Little Children are Sacred report”

    So you really believe the motive for the NTER was to “look strong” and this would help win the election?? A long bow to draw it seems to me. Also govts ignoring things in reports is nothing new. How much did Swan ignore of Henry’s tax review.

  154. Thanks Miglo and Nasking. I’ve enjoyed participating here.

    Over at LP, a topic vaguely on the idea of Christmas began. Mercurius sought, tongue in cheek, The Right to Call It ‘Christmas’ and inveighed against PC.

    I responded as follows:

    Oh sure. We atheists aren’t nearly as given to spit out humbug! as the rightwing PC press would have people accept. Almost everyone I know calls it Christmas and runs around saying Merry Christmas or versions of it. I participated in a “Kris Kringle”. A Fijian-Indian colleague got a bottle of bottle of daiquiri mix and I got a keyring with space for a digital image.

    Long ago, when I embraced the international socialist revolution as the goal for which working humanity should strive, I accepted the fact that I was, for the foreseeable future, part of a tiny and eccentric minority. If I can accept that, then people attaching cultural significance to Christmas is a doddle. And if ever it happens that support for the ISR becomes a commonplace, I can’t imagine that I’ll be thinking about how to handle Christmas culture.

    More broadly though, given that many (most?) of us come to this site with a conception of a better world in mind, I wonder how we might complete the following sentence:

    In a world quite a bit better than the one we have now […]

    For mine, I’d say:

    from the time each of us acquired consciousness of self, each of us would feel a well-founded sense of belonging and purpose. Every human being would anticipate that discovering and realising their human possibility was a realistic goal, and assume with confidence that most other human beings, possessed of the same insistent urging, would take vicarious pleasure in their progress, collaborate equitably with them in their project, doing directly and indirectly through systematic aggregation and organisation what each reasonably could to support them. Noting that inequity is corrosive of the community that makes the realisation of human possibility a plausible goal for all, most every human being would seek to abate it wherever he or she saw it not merely because it was just as a matter of generality but because it was just for him or her too.

    Let everyone reading these lines keep safe over the coming weeks and enjoy the best of health and true community with their peers.

  155. Good points Fran.

    I’d also like to wish joni & the bf a HAPPY HOLIDAYS.

    W/out joni providin’ me w/ a great opportunity, his assistance over time, and his inspirin’ posts…well, I probably wouldn’t be here.

    Same goes for Migs & Min. Yer the tops.

    I’m off to do Chrissy duties for the next coupla days. Enjoy yerselves.

    Keep safe. And merry. 🙂

    best to everyone from sanqween too.

    N’

  156. Well off the record, Min. One of Ben’s recent posts had over 450.

    And we can’t forget the good posts from Joni, Kevin and Shane either.

  157. Norman, Jason, Pip, Lyn and Bilko have also provided us with valuable comments too, as has CU. Past contributors like Reb and kittylitter have also provided valuable commentary.

    Names are springing to mind; Pterosaur, Mangrove Jack, Lang Mac and Gravel have also enlightened us.

  158. Neil tried:

    I have always believed that the motive for bringing up Haneef, Hicks, AWB were to use these things as tools to bash Howard.

    You’re entitled to believe what you please, but the fact remains that each of these issues entailed very serious wrongs. That Howard was up to his neck in these wrongs made not a scintilla of difference. Right now, we are all putting the boot into Gillard and the ALP over her attitude to Assange.

    While the election was in the balance, many of us got stuck into Conroy on net censorship and asylum seekers and the abandonment of action on mitigation and the RSPT cave-in. We opposed the war in Afghanistan.

    How else can you explain when David Hicks returned home and the new ALP govt put a gag order on Hicks and vitually no-one condemned this.

    What modelling do you rely on in forming this conclusion? You might be aware that not everything we say is reported in the mainstream press. They of course look not just at what we say but whether it has any wider relevance — i.e. does it stand to force a change of government?

    Given that the opposition wasn’t bothered about Hicks being gagged, the government got a free pass from the media. They got it on Afghanistan too because despite about 60% wanting Australian troops home, this was bipartisan policy. Public opinion was simply irrelevant.

  159. Oops. Forgot to include Mark, whose stories about depression inspired us all.

    And to all my Aboriginal friends who read our posts, your positive feedback has been valuable and appreciated.

    But I’d like to save my biggest thanks to Min, without whose support I could never have carried on with the Cafe during those times when it all seemed too much.

    And Aquanut, we know you’re out there and we look forward again to your wonderful company.

    Hey, I almost forgot Dave 55 and Roswell.

  160. Even Massive Spray has popped into see us at times, and I’ve always enjoyed his contributions.

    One bloke I’d liked to have seen here is our friend from Arizona, Sparta. If fate has its way then I’m sure he’ll eventually find us.

    John McPhilbin is another. John has had a busy year studying so has had to give up his blogging activities. He has been sadly missed. Maybe I should send him an email and invite him in for a get together with all his old friends.

  161. But wait. there’s more. Min, it’s been a pleasure to see your daughters here at the Café. And Nas/Ben, it’s also been a pleasure when your better halves have sat down with us.

  162. Migs, I’ll pass your sentiments on to the girls.

    I used to learn one heck of a lot from reading John McP’s posts and so it would be wonderful if he could find time to drop on by to the Café.

  163. It was actually the US government who put the gag order on David Hicks as part of the terms and conditions for his being permitted to serve out his time in Australia. Also it wasn’t the Labor government in power at the time it was the Liberal government.

    It’s at: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s1889328.htm

    Can he talk, or can’t he? The American gag order on David Hicks has confused legal minds here as well as in the United States.

    But according to Australia’s top law officer, the Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, the Australian Government can’t enforce the gag order imposed by the US military commission.

  164. And Nas, don’t underestimate your own worth to the Café. I know that blogging is important to you, and you are important to this place.

  165. “You’re entitled to believe what you please, but the fact remains that each of these issues entailed very serious wrongs.”

    I would say that you are selective in your moral judgement. Would “The Left” have said identical things if it was an ALP govt?? I do not think so.

    I would say with Haneef- stuff happens. Given the nature of the current world immigration officials tend to shoot first and ask questions latter. Even tourists to the USA get unfriendly treatment at US customs. If Haneef was a terrorist and he set off a bomb which killed your family, you would be the first to condemn Andrews.

    “It was actually the US government who put the gag order on David Hicks ”

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jan2008/dahi-j03.shtml

    “As Hicks’s December 29 release approached, the Rudd Labor government imposed a 12-month control order on him and the Murdoch press stepped up its invective, demanding he issue a public apology. South Australian Labor premier Mike Rann followed suit, having already made great play of demanding a control order on Hicks—even before he had been repatriated. Federal Liberal Party leader Brendan Nelson chimed in as well”

    At least the Libs were consistent. They would have agreed with the gag order after he was released from Prison.

  166. Neil said:

    I would say that you are selective in your moral judgement. Would “The Left” have said identical things if it was an ALP govt?? I do not think so.

    That’s because your judgement is at once ideological and partisan. I gave you several examples of “the left” criticising ALP governments, which you have chosen to ignore. Have regard to the beam in your own eye Neil.

    FTR, I voted informal at the last election rather than give the ALP a preference, precisely because they had disgraced themselves over asylum seekers, RSPT, the ETS, Afghanistan etc … I repeatedly urged others to do likewise, even though this meant that I could not cast a valid vote for The Greens. I utterly reject your claim.

  167. Fran, you pay Neil respect by responding to him. I can only wish – in my wildest dreams – that he’ll reciprocate accordingly.

  168. Not to worry Miglo. I’ve been about the intertubes long enough to know when to draw a line through the scoresheet.

    At some point, the stupid will reach critical mass and I’ll probably move on.

    We can’t be far off because Neil keeps moving the goalposts when the term of the exchange don’t, in his view, comport with his Weltanschauung.

  169. Most of us have moved on from Neil, Fran. He is no longer worthy of debate, but we do obtain a great amount of amusement listening to his waffle.

    Yes, he is annoying, but he’s also likeable.

  170. “How else can you explain when David Hicks returned home and the new ALP govt put a gag order on Hicks and vitually no-one condemned this.”

    Neil, light unto dark..you’re confusing the gag order which was imposed by the US government as part of the terms and conditions for Hicks’ release into Australian custody with the control order imposed by a Federal court Magistrate and which were suggested to the court by the Federal Police (normal routine). Many many people, prior to their release from prison have such control orders imposed.

    The control order included reporting to police 3 times a week and a midnight curfew but had nothing to do with Hicks being able to speak out (gagged) about his experiences.

  171. December 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm Fran Barlow

    “It is unknowable how long that conflict [the war in Iraq] will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” -in Feb. 2003

    There is an important point you missed in that post and Neil has either forgotten or chooses to overlook. The COW thought the war in Iraq would be over within six months and actually thought the Iraqi people would line the streets, waving American flags and throwing roses at the feet of the invaders.

    It is in that context that Howard made the decision to fully support the US in the invasion, and the fact he’s a total sycophant to them. Howard thought the war would be over swiftly, they would be victorious and he could rub the faces of his detractors in the glorious images of victory, and thus as well reap the political victory from it.

    One of the reasons Iraq was invaded, apart from the main one of oil, rather than Iran or Pakistan, the real instigators of terrorism and holders of WMD, was that Saddam’s military was decimated and their morale was extremely low. The COW planned so well for the invasion but didn’t plan at all for the aftermath. That goes as much for or even more for Howard. Howard’s ego would have had him imagining making his grand victory speech and watching the News poll figures sky rocket. It then all went to shit when instead of welcoming the invaders the population, as just about all populations being invaded do, fought back and began an insurgency.

    The one leader of the COW who so far has not had to face any scrutiny or enquiry over the invasion of Iraq is Howard. Now why is this?

  172. Why doesn’t this surprise me.

    ABC News Breakfast this morning, apart from some of its usual government bashing and yet again quoting the opposition attack points, tabled the latest Wikileaks about Rudd and the Walcott criticism over not getting enough notice for the Regional Forum.

    The far more important and damaging leak over Downer is yet to get a mention yet every Wikileak on Rudd is given headline status and prominent discussion.

  173. This was emailed to me by a right-winger, saying how good this Canberra Times article by Barnaby Joyce is. Personally, I find it offensive (and pathetic). Noticable from the email recipient list were the names of our mutual gay friends. Read on and you’ll see why.

    Certain things paint an indelible image in your mind. This happened to me lately when my mother-in-law told me that whilst doing meals on wheels in Winter there was always a place you could find pensioners…in bed. This was not because they were ill but because they could not afford the price of the power to stay warm any other way. How completely self-indulgent and pathetic we have become that in our zealous desire to single-handedly cool the planet we have preferred those who can afford the power bill over those less fortunate to avoid privation. How pathetic we are that South Korea, using our coal, can provide power cheaper to their citizens after an 8,300 km sea voyage, than we can with power stations in our own coal fields.

    Oh yes, and aren’t the solar panels doing a great a job? In Canberra last week it was revealed that they would add $225 to the average electricity bill, and that the Government’s proposed carbon tax would raise them by a further 24%.

    It is just that the poverty creep is making its way up the social strata, though I doubt it will reach the most affluent group, The Greens. Bitterness on my part I suppose but I represent a party that caters for the poorest electorates. Now what other lunacy are we considering, none other than shutting down the Murray Darling Basin so you can have a diet that suits the misery of the Winter nights’ temperature in the unheated house..

    Yes, we have become so oblivious to the obvious because the loudest voices are not necessarily the neediest. We spend… sorry, borrow.. for school halls that do not make students more competitive in competency. No school hall taught a student a second language or a higher level
    maths. We borrowed for ceiling insulation and burnt down 190 houses and 4 installers died.

    We borrowed towards aimless $900 cheques as we decided that somehow imported electrical goods to Australia would reboot the US economy. We borrowed so much that we are now 170 billion dollars in gross debt. We
    are told not to worry about gross debt, its net debt that counts. Well try that out on your local bank manager. Try paying him back what you think you owe him, because of what you think others may owe you. Not surprisingly he will direct you to what is noted on your loan statement.

    It is funny how the people who try to assuage our concerns with the net debt myth can never clearly identify what are the items that make up the difference between the figure on the Office of Financial Management website as Australian Government Securities outstanding and their miraculous net debt figure.

    Since the election, the Labor-Green government has borrowed an average $1.6 billion each week. Every fortnight that amounts to three new major public hospitals or the inland rail fromMelbourne to Brisbane. Not bad going for a country that cannot keep its pensioners warm.

    Whilst we are waiting we are merrily selling at a record rate our agricultural land, mines and now the hub of commerce the ASX, so that when the day of reckoning for our children comes they can try and get out of trouble by working fastidiously for someone else and hoping they feed them. The average foreign purchase of agricultural land over the past two years is 2.7 billion a year, or more than 10 times that of the average of the previous 10 years.

    So when is all this going to change? When are we going to shake ourselves out of this dystopia that we are inflicting on others less connected but more affected by the self-indulgent political delusion. What is our current solution to the very real problems becoming more and more apparent at the bottom end of the lucky country?

    Well apparently, it is gay marriage. Yep… I am sure that will warm the cockles of your hearts that our nation’s wisest are going to engage in hours, possibly days, at the end of the political year on gay marriage. Then when we are finished with gay marriage we may be able to engage the remainder of our time on euthanasia.

    You cannot reduce power prices without increasing the supply of cheap power. No other nation has an earnest desire to feed you before they satisfy their own. It is a fluke of history that you are here in this nation but luck is easily lost with bad management and naive aspirations.

    Seriously, WTF.

    Cry me a river, Barnaby. For a politician who weeps for the poor, why do you support policies that cripple the working class, such as WorkChoices?

  174. Yet much of what he’s crying a river over started under a previous government he was an integral part of, a government that was at the height of an economic prosperity yet did little to put that prosperity back into the nation either structurally or socially, preferring to rack up surplusses so large they lost count one week to the next, and Joyce sat silent against that government’s failures.

    And the highest sanctimony in Joyce’s spray is that what he is indirectly suggesting is that all the things he is railing against be made public and/or governments directly interfere in private enterprise and the market. As if the Liberals would ever countenance that in a million years.

    As is the norm with Joyce he is all noise and bullshit.

    Of the hypocrites that is the Coaltion and especially the Liberals, Joyce stands tall as one of the greatest.

  175. I wonder if anybody explained to barnie that things got this way under his administration?

    In fact, since Labor came to power, the treatment the Pensioners receive from the government is improving. It just has a long way to go.

    Cheap politics at its cheapest.

  176. It’s not like the Canberra Times to publish such bullshit. Maybe they did it as a joke, to give the readers something to laugh at.

  177. Australian vs OECD Asylum Flows

    Maybe Neil can explain how Howard managed to stop the asylum seeker flows throughout the OECD as well as Australia, or was it pure coincidence that the global asylum seeker decline in flow just happened to parallel Howard’s Pacific Solution and then increase again matching Australian flows.

    That Howard had such a huge influence a domestic policy he implemented effected refugee numbers globally, astounding. Howard will surely go down as one of the most influential leaders the world has ever seen, only that Wikileaks showed that the US and UK thought Howard was insignificant. Go figure.

  178. Oh and a major government failure.

    Just heard on ABC News that the time taken to process asylum seekers has increased under Labor. Julia Gillard has acknowledged this and said that the idea of the regional processing centre was to reduce processing times.

  179. Miglo’s topic heading is very appropriate for this one:

    ”Our current unfair dismissal system encourages Australians to behave like greedy whingers,” Ms Collier writes. ”A no-fault dismissal system would set our heads right on the issue and provide for dignity of exit, allowing people to focus not on legal conflict but on managing departure in the chosen way whilst being encouraged to embrace the future opportunities that are always just around the corner.”

    Yes folks under a coalition government you too can be awarded the dignity of exit Now isn’t that something for the workers to look forward to. Abbott would transform you from a greedy whinger to dignified.

    The above from: http://www.theage.com.au/national/fire-at-will-liberals-flirt-with-nofault-sacking-20101225-197jm.html

  180. …this loudmouthed intellectual mediocrity…

    Fran, what a pearler! Succinct and all encompassing. I love your wordsmithing.

    Abbott would transform you from a greedy whinger to dignified.

    Dignified greedy whinger, perhaps, Min.

  181. Or maybe a dignified greedy jobless whinger, Jane.

    Agree completely, Min. No doubt Smuggles would regard that as his “greatest” achievement, if anyone is ever stupid enough to let him loose.

  182. Am happy to share this testimony about this great man called Dr Iwajowa. I am Sandra from California , my husband had an affair with another lady for almost 10 years now and it was the worse thing that ever happened to our marriage. I was forced to take a good hard look at MY behavior in the marriage and I came to realize that I was partly to blame for his affair. I had become emotionally unavailable to him and when something good or bad happened in my life, I called my friends instead of my husband. I had stopped allowing him to love me and to support me and he felt as if I no longer needed him. As a musician on the road with his band, it became to much temptation for him when a girl he met on road became interested in him and was more than available for him emotionally and physically. Once I really started to examine my behavior, I realized that I had as much work to do as he did. When going through all theses problem i came across Dr Iwajowa then i explained things to him. after explanation to him, he told me what to do by bringing back my husband so i decided to follow the rules which he gave to me. Now, My husband cut all tires with his other woman and became committed to working on our marriage to save it. Today, we have a beautiful son, another on the way in a couple weeks, we own our home, and have a fuller, happier life than we ever imagined. After i came across the testimony made by Julie about how this man of spirit brought back her ex husband for more than ten years in marriage. so my if you are in such pain and you don’t no what to do you can contact this great man for help i promise you all he will help you the way he helped me so via Email IWAJOWATELLERSPELL@YAHOO.COM or call him +2347030410643

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