Winners and Losers

Out of every disaster come winners and losers, and I don’t mean – in the case of the Queensland floods – those who were victims of it.  So who do you think has won and who do you think has lost as a result of the floods?  Do you think that Anna Bligh has come through as a winner, and Julia Gillard too?  Has Tony Abbott been on the losing end?  And the media?  How have they performed?

I’ll be adding to this post later tonight or tomorrow, citing examples of why I think such and such has won or lost.  But in the meantime I thought I’d pop up the post now to at least get some discussion going.

Update: I seems that I don’t need to add to the post – you’ve all done well without me. 🙂

But here’s a group who’ll come out winners if victory is measured by sheer guts, determination, and the inherent will to win: Queenslanders.

 

190 comments on “Winners and Losers

  1. Migs, I can’t help but think that the MSM had no other option than to give Anna Bligh in particular all the airtime and printed information possible. The alternative being that they would be withholding important information from the public.

    It’s been very interesting to watch; the comparison between the Anna that the MSM would have us believe is struggling in her role as Premier and the current Anna Bligh who is efficient, compassionate and who gives the strong impression that she is complete control of the situation.

  2. WINNERS

    Anna Bligh (Strong, Spoke clearly and simply, took control and also showed genuine human emotion)(I believe she will still lose the next election)

    Channel 9 (was far ahead of 7 in reporting from the outset)

    Mavis The Tug Boat and the Captain.(true heros)

    Chopper Pilots and Rescue Squads (acrobats of the rescue world)

    LOSERS

    Barnaby Joyce (not a time to be snide about dams considering many dams have also been opposed by the LNP)

    Tony Abbott (not a time to be penny pinching marshall)

    Julia Gillard ( seems to have lost all spark and reality since becoming PM, once again the scripting and wording of her speeches was ridiculous)

    EVEN

    The media who seemed to have drawn a truce at the moment, however I think that is simply because the average aussie would not tolerate an attack during a crisis.

  3. Actually Shane, I’d give the two leaders about the same as the media, and, at the moment, I’d probably put the media on the up side of OK for now.

    Mind you, I just saw some goose on ABC24 pushing tabot about the debt that Labor will have to run up for this, which he remarkably didn’t follow through on too much. He has learnt from his earlier brain farts.

    Yes, Gillard is a little stiff, but I can live with that. joyce certainly aint stiff, but I’m glad she aint like that.

  4. Tom

    Gillard has been stiff since elected. To me she has lost the wonderful traits she seemed to possess while part of Kevins team.

    Very disappointed to date.

    Having said that Tony Abbott seems to be getting worse with his only words Debt and Waste that he now even includes them during natural disasters. Hope the public remember his stupid comments.

  5. When I get around to finishing the post I’ll speak more about Abbott’s insensitive comment that “rain falls on the just and the unjust” and the media’s lack of coverage to it.

  6. Migs, I didn’t hear about that one. It sounds as if it’s almost as bad as his “not pure of heart” Bernie Banton statement.

  7. Min, the reason you and others are unaware of his statement is due to the mainstream media. It could be very damaging to him, hence their silence.

  8. Tom, I tend to agree with you as it’s a bit difficult to be sparkly when it’s such a serious situation. But then again Julia IMO could do with a little more publicity showing her in more human settings. There is the chance of course knowing the MSM that they are holding back on anything remotely positive towards Gillard.

  9. Migs, as I said yesteday Anna Bligh and Cambell Newman have been a tower of strength thoughout and continue to do so. Kevin Rudd has been a winner by letting the local government get on with its job and chipping in in his own electorate http://www.crikey.com.au/2011/01/13/kevin-rudd-brisbane/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrikeyDaily+%28Crikey+Daily%29

    I am proud to live in the electorate of Griffith

    THe ALP must be asking themselves why did we choke because Rudd like Bligh have out shone Abbott and Gillard

    Piers Akerman and Bolt have disgraced themselves

    Langbroek and the LNP are probably a winner by just letting Bligh get on with the job although it would been good to see some bi-partisanship but never the less they have stayed out of the politics.

    Like when all natural disasters happen the people of Australia are the winners as it renews our faith in one another.

  10. I basically agree w/ Shane’s assessment above…and the followin’ from Min:

    “But then again Julia IMO could do with a little more publicity showing her in more human settings. There is the chance of course knowing the MSM that they are holding back on anything remotely positive towards Gillard.”

    I was disappointed to hear my mother-in-law, presently stayin’ w/ us, voice her anger the moment she arrived yesterday about the “measly million dollar donation from the Australian government” crap. Whoever started that hyperbole & distorted reality of the true situation deserves a good kick up the butt.

    Obviously, part of the reason the federal government matched the QLD government’s million bucks for the Premier’s Flood Appeal was to motivate donations…and the real government expenditure is in the areas of Centrelink delivered Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement payments, to deal w/ long-term infrastructure needs, healthcare incl. increased mental health funding and so on.

    How truly ignorant & knee-jerk can people be? I reckon people need to think a bit wider & not be so naive…and take any negabore rumours & gossip w/ a pinch of salt. Do some research.

    Those who initiate such rumours for political gain are as bad as looters as far as I’m concerned. They cause anxiety & panic & mistrust in those who need support…and those who could help.

    N’

  11. Like when all natural disasters happen the people of Australia are the winners as it renews our faith in one another.

    That’s how I see it too, Augustus, however I’ve noted the element that use it to endorse negativity. Again, I’ll speak more about that when I continue with my post.

  12. Nas, Tom R (on the Situation Serious thread) seems to think that it was Ackerman who started the crap that the Govt was only giving $1M.

    He is beneath contempt (Ackerman, that is, not Tom R).

  13. Migs, as David Suzuki once said at a talk he gave Canberra years ago that I was lucky enough to attend, in reference to Pauline Hanson, “You have thank those people for they are the ones who show you who you are dealing with.” They are the ones who separate the crowd and clearly put all on display. As for looters Martial Law.

  14. “Kevin Rudd has been a winner by letting the local government get on with its job and chipping in in his own electorate”

    Agree Augustus.

    “Piers Akerman and Bolt have disgraced themselves”

    Agree wholeheartedly.

    “Langbroek and the LNP are probably a winner by just letting Bligh get on with the job although it would been good to see some bi-partisanship but never the less they have stayed out of the politics.”

    Agree.

    I felt Ch. 9 did a superb job. Whereas, Ch.7 was bitsy…some useful moments…but way too many ads. The ABC was fine, some good reporting…but kinda aloof (cool & distant) & uninspirin’ alot of the time.

    The PayTv Weather Channel was confusin’. The postcode info didn’t correspond that well to the actual weather. Probably the satellite stuff was the best.

    The Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology River Heights site etc. was very useful for us.

    Winner: Miglo, Bacchus & others on this blog for checkin’ out contributors whereabouts & situation whilst we Qlders were preparin’ to put emergency plans in place & dealin’ w/ family.

    Facebook was also useful. We were able to contact a friend who’d changed phone numbers…her boyfriend’s residence went under in the floods and she stays there sometimes.

    N’

  15. The SMH has obligingly provided a response for your blog Migs 🙂

    Abbott reaches for the heavens while Bligh stays down to earth

    The Queensland floods have been the political remaking of the Premier, Anna Bligh, and a testing time for the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

    Yesterday two more politicians entered the disaster zone intent on being seen to help out.

    The floods of almost biblical proportions seemed to bring out the latent priest in Tony Abbott.

    He toured Brisbane and the ravaged city of Toowoomba, strewing a trail of adjectives that left our prosaic prime minister for dead.

    Like a fire and brimstone preacher, Abbott reflected on the ”massive damage”, ”the horrifying business” and the ”terrible devastation”.

    At one point he even resorted to a line from the King James Bible.

  16. Bacchus, it’s as if Abbott is trying desperately to hold back his impulse to “brain fart” as any boxer looking for the sly punch, but sadly no openings, what makes it worse for the dear possum is he knows he has to keep his mouth shut or else his credibilty will plummet and must gaul him to see Anna Bligh in full control and the people of Queensland responding to it.

  17. “The floods of almost biblical proportions seemed to bring out the latent priest in Tony Abbott.”

    Bacchus, now we know who to nominate to build that Ark ya mentioned. 🙂

    N’

  18. I’ve since seen that, Bacchus, but as at last night the blogospehere was awash with questions as to why it had been overlooked. It seems now that only the Moreduck media have ignored it.

  19. I reckon the Moreduck media know who to look after by simply avoiding them. With all the talk about an expected budget blow-out why haven’t they sought the opinion of Hockey?

    Because they know he’ll stuff it up, that’s why.

  20. “why haven’t they sought the opinion of Hockey?”

    Migs, we don’t need a black hole on top of floods. 🙂

    N’

  21. “Business as usual then I guess”

    True Tom R.

    Akerman workin’ overtime to produce flatulence.

    N’

  22. Pity we bring it down to winners and losers.

    The Minister and I have just been out and about – not far and not where most of the crisis has been played out …

    … we travelled out to North Lakes Wetfield {sic} 😆 Shopping Centre, just past Strathpine and back to Virginia on Sandgate Rd about 15km from Brisbane) … it may be wishful thinking but I reckon people are a little more friendly and helpful the “societal mood” seems to have changed. Got some great help in Officeworks from a girl with a hearing disability … and anyone looking for cheap PC storage a WD 320Gb HDD for $48 is a BARGAIN! (I put my two BD discs back and bought one)

    Drivers are definitely more tolerant!

    As for Anna Bligh, I reckon she has done a fantastic job, its just a pity that under “normal” circumstances she doesn’t seem to have a plan, policy, procedures, protocols and the experts that she has been working with to make the flood crisis one of the best managed disaster programs I’ve ever seen/been involved in.

    Just a pity that sort of expertise is not behind her politically and more particularly economically/financially …

    Her biggest problem is her advisors and chief among them the Black Knight Andrew Fraser … everyone I speak to says what a great job she’s done … BUT … Labor or Liberal voter they all say she’s dead in the water (‘scuse the pun) at the next election …

    The Prime Minister seems obsessed with how much money she can give away … remember, I vote Labor (but I don’t buy Happy Meals) and I’m only giving you my perception.

    Kevin Rudd and his wander through the electorate would win the people – but rolled up long pants? GMAB … real Queenslanders wear shorts … as much as possible!

    We wear shorts to restaurants and hospital!

    My mate and I turned up at a 60th birthday party the week after Christmas in shorts, shirt and bow ties!

    Long pants in a flood indeed! 🙄

  23. “why haven’t they sought the opinion of Hockey?”

    Tony will wheel Hockey out shortly, and get him to push the we can’t aford an NBN along with a recovery pitch. Perfect Time I recon if you are replacing infrastructure then replace it with the most upto date, but Cambell Newman may already be thinking that as he is prepared for Brisbane to have a Fibre based system and can see the value in it. Cambell Newman for Leader of the Opposition Federally I say.

  24. Abbott said in an interview that “rain falls on the just and the unjust” which I believe means that rain falls, that’s all. As Anne Davies says in the SMH the text is about tolerance and loving one’s enemy. In Abbott’s case though what with his previous nasty comment about Bernie Banton, who would know what he meant this time. He uses a great deal of old fashioned language with a religious background, strongly coloured by his judgmental personality. My friends who are practising Christians, some of them Catholics, have much more generosity of spirit than Mr. Abbott.
    Tom R, ABC24’s Joe O’Brien was the “goose”, and he should know better.
    It seems that the MSM for the most part have ignored this latest pronouncement for reasons we are by now quite used to.
    Anna Bligh has been outstanding, with very clear explanations and directions every step of the way.
    For the benefit of Piers Yukerman, as of this morning Centrelink has paid out $35 million to flood victims.
    I think PM Julia is being very constrained with everything she says because she knows from past and present experience the journos will pounce from a great height whatever she says, resulting in criticism for being “insincere”, “cold” etc.
    The roles of Bligh and Gillard are quite different in that Queenslanders need to be kept up to date and to know their Premier is in control, whereas the PM’s job is less visible, making sure that the money flows quickly to wherever it’s needed, and that Defence and other Depts., are on the ball.
    Augustus, I agree with you about Kevin Rudd, another victim of MSM machinations.

  25. Pity we bring it down to winners and losers.

    TB, I’m a Canberra analyst. Everything has to be measured, reviewed, assessed and analysed. That’s how we learn to do things better next time round.

    We are close to perfection, but not quite there yet. 😉

  26. ‘To be fair to the ABC, Paul Lockyer’s reporting from the Lockyer Valley was excellent.’

    I will say, I reckon the media by and large have done an excellent job, and I have been listening to ABC radio on the way too and from work, and they have been fantastic. There are a few stray shots out there, but I reckon on this occasion, the meejay can hold their head up high

    (I say that as one who has not been to murdochs rabble since it began, but have relied on the ABC, and the free to air channels on tele at times)

  27. I think the media coverage has been great but I hate to be negative, but do we need the 24-hour coverage we have been getting on the TV. It is the same thing repeatedly. At the same time if you are holidaying at say Surfers, there has been very little information on how to get home. The RTA site could offer more clear information. Some of the information has been incorrect. The message is that roads are closed, and then you meet some one who has got through. I am talking about the Pacific Highway.

  28. I have just been over to Piers Akerman site for the first time in around 2 years. I am shocked what I found. Pages of hate filled extremists. Even in a time of crisis that man is inciting the worst in people. His audience are not Aussies, they a bile filled extremists who cannot even stop when a tragedy happens. So amazed.

    How can the Daily Telegraph permit such bile to be posted ?

  29. Abbott can’t help himself. I’m just watching an interview on Sky. Firstly he congratulated Gillard on $s but in the very next breath he went back to his usual theme of it needing to be delivered in a timely and efficient manner.

    So there we have it folks Abbott’s theme in the ensuing months will no doubt be constant negative harping about “ending the waste” and about the government’s ability to handle the situation (see the BER).

  30. Min, Abbott uses the word “bureaucrats” for the public service as tho he’s talkin’ about pond scum. I can understand why he is loathed by so many. He would make a terrible PM. Totally unmotivatin’…a grandstander.

    “How can the Daily Telegraph permit such bile to be posted ?”

    Anythin’ to make money & grab attention Shane. That’s News Ltd thru & thru, unfortunately…bar the odd character.

    I do find the Sky News digital boxes handy at times. I wish ABC 24 had the same…so you could see the speeches/warnings made by authorities, healthcare workers etc. if you missed them.

    Tom R.,
    that’s good news re: ABC radio’s usefulness.

    N’

  31. You can count the staff in my department as winners. We can walk with spirits high after learning that our personal donations have topped $40,000.

  32. Wonders never cease, the MSM are finally getting their heads around the fact that the words Prime Minister no longer end with the word “Howard”. Since the ’07 election I can’t recall a time when the media have said just a plain “The PM said..”, but rather that we have to be constantly reminded that it’s no longer John Winston Howard.

    The Age headline reads: Defence effort biggest since Tracy: PM

  33. Scanning the news there is much grief to do with floods outdie of Australia. In Brazil the death toll has reached 480, in Sri Lanka the death toll rises to 27.
    How lucky are we to have the systems in place to put experienced emergency workers and ADF personel and reservists to clean up, and clear the roads etc. But most importantly how lucky are we to have the volunteers that show up when they’re needed most.

    Time for a little levity. I just had a look at Grogs Gamut, http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com and his take on Tony Abbott is priceless.
    “Yep, real statesman like. He is the drunk uncle at the wedding who gets up and mentions that ex-boyfriend who everyone like more than they do the groom”.

  34. Pip, that is an excellent piece courtesy of Grog.

    I tend to agree with Grog about his interpretation of Abbott’s biblical statement.

    “The rain falls on the just and the unjust”

    While the passage obviously refers to the fact that bad things happen to good people, in the context of the events it was a decidedly odd thing to say given it suggests there are some who deserved the rain.

  35. Thanks Min/Pip.

    BTW Pip, I intend to link to Grog’s Abbott post when I finally get around to completing my own post. 😕

    I did find some other good posts too when I wandered around the blogs listed in Australian Blog Sites (the link is under our Blogroll).

  36. You have me to thank for ordering Grog back to work. I told him, on Dec 26 in a comment to his Ponting blog, that Tony Abbott’s butt was hanging out there waiting to be kicked and he was the man that should be doing it. 🙂

  37. And it certainly didn’t take long for Abbott to say something stupid and give good cause for his butt to be kicked.

    Speaking of kicking butts, I’ll check our game out later. 😛

  38. I’ve generally moved away from watchin’ Ch. 9 today because of the constant promotion of Tony Abbott. Quite sickenin’. Shame ’cause I was enjoyin’ their coverage.

    I popped onto ch. 9 just now only to see Matt Franklin from ‘The Australian’ assessin’ the leaders & spinnin’ the BS when it came to Abbott.

    Accordin’ to Franklin, Abbott did the right thing stayin’ out of the way…and will now probably get stuck in helpin’ people like Kevin Rudd has. But he was adamant that not too much should be read into Rudd’s efforts because he’s helpin’ out his constituents as he should be. Hmmm. I wonder how many Libs were out there workin’ their butts off…and Nats in the country?

    Firstly, Abbott did come up to QLD…and did the helicopter action man sequence. Short memory Franklin.

    Secondly, is the followin’ what Franklin believes is keepin’ outa the way…not interferin’:

    “Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has called for more dams to be built in Australia, saying it’s odd that virtually no water storages have been built in the past two decades.”

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/water-issues/dam-push-to-damn-or-not-to-damn-20110107-19ilw.html

    How useful.

    I won’t bother repeatin’ the full-bore negative stuff Franklin said re: Gillard.

    Good on Grog for tellin’ it as it is when it comes to Abbott.

    BTW, been watchin’ ABC 24 the last coupla hours & it’s been much better…highly informative & more personal, positive interviews at ground zero. And no ads. 🙂

    N’

  39. Of course, Tones will be doing the hard work of keeping the government honest. (I wish there was an emoticon for someone sticking their finger down their throat).

  40. LOL Feral.
    —————

    From GetUp!:

    Possessions, memories, hopes and, most tragically, lives continue to be swept away in the floodwaters of Queensland and northern New South Wales. Today, tens of thousands of Queenslanders will return to their devastated homes to learn they’ve lost everything.

    The Queensland Flood Appeal has raised over $54 million so far – a testament to Australian generosity. But while emergency responders look to the immediate physical needs of flood victims, there is also a heavy emotional toll.

    Since the floods began, our team has been in contact with major emergency responders and service providers, and they’ve told us there’s an important gap that GetUp members can fill. Experts agree that depression, post-traumatic stress, and even suicide dramatically increase after natural disasters.

    In Queensland a rapid increase in mental health services is needed to cope with the despair many are experiencing upon returning to their flooded homes. Right now, Lifeline is bringing on extra staff – not just to handle the huge increase in crisis calls, but to offer face-to-face counselling to flood victims on the ground, many of whom are without phone service.

    Lifeline needs urgent funds to provide these essential counselling services. Click below to make a tax deductible donation to Lifeline’s Community Recovery Project:

    http://www.gofundraise.com.au/DonationPage.aspx?eid=585&cid=280

    Lifeline’s Community Recovery Project is providing immediate relief to those suffering the trauma and stress of recent days, and will support individuals and families as they rebuild their lives in the weeks and months to come. One of their key services is financial counselling – developing a plan for financial recovery can make an enormous difference to a flood victims.

    Lifeline’s immediate goal is to get 50 to 100 new counsellors trained in ‘psychological first aid’ and into the field over the next 1 to 2 weeks.

    So far, they’ve raised $34,000 to fund increasing services since this crisis began, but as part of a movement of 430,000 Australians ready to respond, together we can help them raise enough to reach out to thousands more Australians impacted by the floods. Click below to donate:

    http://www.gofundraise.com.au/DonationPage.aspx?eid=585&cid=280

    Through these times of heartbreak and human need, flood ravaged communities will need all the help and support they can get. We are developing other ways that members can help those in need by harnessing technology and GetUp’s huge community – stay tuned in the coming days.

    For now, helping Lifeline provide a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on and a comforting voice is the small miracle we can provide for individuals and families struggling through a flood of despair. Click here to donate to Lifeline.

    Thank you for caring,
    The GetUp Team

    PS – If you or someone you know is experiencing an emotional crisis, in connection with the floods or otherwise, you can call Lifeline’s 24 hour hotline on 13 11 14.
    —————————
    N’

  41. ”TONY ABBOTT: I think there was a tendency to think that, you know, there was no point building dams because it was never going to rain again and they would never fill up. What we now know is that it can rain and will rain and the important thing is to ensure that if and when it happens we’re ready a) to mitigate the severity of the floods and b) to make better use of all this water than we have in the recent past.”

    The Opposition leader was asked why they did not build dams while in office. This was his about his third attempt at answering. I am not too sure, what he is getting at. Is he saying his government thought it was never going to rain again. How many dams can you build for $500 million?

    Another interview.
    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who also was in Brisbane on Friday, said it was important not to ignore areas outside of the southeast………..
    Mr Abbott said that as he had been travelling he had been taking note of flood victims’ stories….
    “I’ll be checking in with them in the days and weeks ahead, just to try to make sure that I can learn from them just how effectively the overall response has been,” he said……………..
    “Because it’s one thing to put out a press release, it’s one thing to have a website, but if the assistance is not effectively getting to people in trouble, well then it’s all a bit meaningless.”…………….
    The opposition leader also cautioned the government on its spending priorities…….
    “It is important that we get back to surplus on schedule but plainly there are going to be very large additional demands on the budget and that means that the government needs to rethink its priorities at this time,” Mr Abbott said…………
    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/defence-effort-biggest-since-tracy-pm-20110114-19qx2.html

    M Abbott main occupation appears not to be the welfare of those in the flood areas. He seems more intent on adding to his dirt file to use when parliament sits. He has not made one positive statement since the rains started falling. At least some of the interviewers are beginning to ask him what he means and demand answers.

  42. At least some of the interviewers are beginning to ask him what he means and demand answers.

    It’d be nice to have a Kerry O’Brien around to go though him like a dose of salts CU…

  43. Just heard from my daughter that the Wimmera is closed. A friend from Bendigo, whose mother lives at Murtoa, told my husband they were sandbagging her house, something that’s never happened in living memory.

    She’ll have to be evacuated now, because she can no longer flush her toilet, so there’s a distinct danger of sewage borne disease.

    In my neck of the woods, we had 26mm overnight and there may be more to come, but no danger of waterlogging because of the sandy soil. And I don’t think we’ll have the deluge the eastern states have had.

    The barrages are open at Goolwa, but there’s so much water coming down the Murray it’s not getting away, especially at high tide.

    My husband says that if we get strong NW winds and a high tide, it will be disastrous as the sea will come in and the river will bank up until we have a 1956 situation.

    He also said the blackfellas at Meningie have been saying for six months or more that the barrages should have been opened, because 2011 is going to be the year of rain. Naturally, no-one listened; what would they know!

    I saw an interview given by the PM yesterday in which she said that so far the government had provided $35m in Centrelink payments and gave details of how and where to apply for assistance.

    Officers are in all the evacuation centres and will be dispensing cash on the spot-$1,000 for adults and $400/child. However, she was at pains to let people know that was just the hors d’oeuvres and that there will be ongoing support. Black eye and black mark, Pies!

    Now that the immediate urgency is over, there will be plenty of RW douche bags pushing their political barrow.

    Apparently, Campbell Newman is calling for a judicial inquiry, so all the nut jobs will be salivating at the chance to crucify Bligh, Rudd and the PM.

    I hope that if there is such an animal, those execrable liars in the LIEberal party and their touts and urgers in the MSM get a bollocking!

    Smuggles left himself wide open with the dam meme, imo. A fair chunk of the 20 year period he refers to was occupied by his mob!

    I am amazed at how conveniently all the dribbling idiots on sites like Dolt’s forget that the current government has only been in power for 3 years, hardly long enough to have sited, planned and built even one dam, but plenty of time for the Rodentochracy to have built plenty.

  44. OMG jane, one of my brothers lived in Murtoa for 20 years before moving to the big smoke (Horsham). When I passed through Murtoa last year the Marma Lake was bone dry. Couldn’t get any yabbies.

  45. Male politicians must be feeling lonely with woman in top positions. Two female Premiers as well as a Prime Minister. To rub salt into the wound, two state Governors and a woman Governor Generals.

  46. M Abbott main occupation appears not to be the welfare of those in the flood areas. He seems more intent on adding to his dirt file to use when parliament sits. He has not made one positive statement since the rains started falling. At least some of the interviewers are beginning to ask him what he means and demand answers.

    And not before time, CU.

  47. “Apparently, Campbell Newman is calling for a judicial inquiry, so all the nut jobs will be salivating at the chance to crucify Bligh, Rudd and the PM.”

    Indeed jane…and I noticed he mentioned the idea had come from a reporter for ‘The Australian’.

    I don’t think I’ve ever detested one news organisation so much. They truly are a disgustin’ mob of finger-pointers.

    jane, I hope yer friend’s mother at Murtoa gets out safely. Amazin’ how many other places across Australia, includin’ NSW, Victoria & Tasmania have flooded or have come close.

    “He also said the blackfellas at Meningie have been saying for six months or more that the barrages should have been opened, because 2011 is going to be the year of rain. Naturally, no-one listened; what would they know!”

    Typical!

    Got me thinkin’ of that movie ‘The Last Wave’. At least that’s fiction.

    N’

  48. Canberra has been on water restrictions ever since I moved here in 2003, and no doubt before that too. Apparently the place was a dust bowl in 2002 in the years before my move. You don’t see many lawns in Canberra, most people plant native shrubs which aren’t as thirsty. Our dams are now 100% full, which is ‘damn’ good.

    Well, well, well. I’m so funny I kill me.

    I’m just a reservoir of fun.

  49. Next thing that you know someone in the MSM will be whingeing that the desal plant on the Gold Coast is a white elephant..oh wait a mo’ they’ve already done this.

  50. Well, well, well. I’m so funny I kill me.

    Well I giggled anyway, but then again I’m still recovering from finding the key last night 😆

  51. “Then they slowly cooked him.”

    Migs,
    it’s their modus operandi.

    Initially praise a leader (but ensure you’ve put in place some doubts & accusations previously…and a bombing campaign plan) whilst dumping on the rest of their mob…a compare & contrast tactic…all the time tryin’ to create the perception yer a “fair & balanced” news organisation…offerin’ a peace treaty.

    And then gradually send out the bombers…target?…the praised one.

    Before ya know it, the previously praised individual is lookin’ like Pearl Harbour or Darwin after the Japanese attacks.

    They’re a sickenin’ bunch. And so obvious.

    N’

  52. Nas, their straight faced claim as being fair and balanced is about as genuine as a baby-kissing pollie at election time.

  53. Migs @8.28pm, I think it would be safe to crank up the yabbie pots, shortly.

    Indeed jane…and I noticed he mentioned the idea had come from a reporter for ‘The Australian’.

    Yes, Nas’, I heard that after I posted. You’re right, they’re disgusting all right.

    I believe our friend’s mum has been evacuated, is with rellies and OK.

    Speaking of mums, is your mum still OK?

    Min, are your folks in Melbourne OK? I understand it’s been bucketing down there.

    Interesting that Peter Garrett’s been under fire for causing the disaster in Qld. It’s either because he’s now the Minister for Rain Dances or because he knocked back a dam construction at some time.

    I love the naive idea that one dam would have saved the state from devastation.

  54. Jane, the loudest opponent to that said dam was Bananahead Joyce. You know, the same bloke who now reckons that dams should have been built.

    Damn idiot.

  55. “Speaking of mums, is your mum still OK?”

    She’s good thnx jane. Gonna put an old time arvo “tea” on for her…scones, cakes, wee sandwiches, tea…should put a nostalgic smile on her face. It’s a relief she’s relaxin’ now. No rain, blue sky, creek recedin’.

    N’

  56. You could have knocked me over with a feather. According to The Australian, Anna Bligh is a shining light amid the storm. The last time The Australian were generous to a Labor politician was when they named Rudd Australian of the Year for guiding us through the GFC not long back.

    Not so the ABC News Breakfast this morning, which put the boot into Julia Gillard big time even bringing up John Howard as the face of disasters and giving great speeches and consolation during them. According to News Breakfast on their paper headlines bit, the Australian also mention Gillard’s performance during these floods.

    You know what craps me off the most about this is that if Gillard had become front and centre as Howard used to do and she pushed Bligh aside, guess what the media punditry would have been saying?

    Across the board at the moment the media are using Bligh’s great performance to put the boot into Gillard with one for stuff’s sake going on about the lack of inflection in Gillard voice during this. Another even used Rudd’s stoicism against Gillard.

    Just as it was for Rudd here we have the death of a thousand cuts by the media for our PM.

    Just as it was for Rudd they have decided they don’t like Gillard and will now across the board attempt to denigrate her at every turn.

    If anyone had any hopes of 2011 being better media wise then I think we’ve already been shown they intend to be worse. Only online have things improved and expanded for the better.

  57. Mobius re: John Howard “..giving great speeches and consolation”.

    Just like John Howard did when he wanted a photo op with troops leaving for the Gulf. The families, some of whom had travelled thousands of kms to farewell their person were kept waiting for days because Howard had been held up as he had want to attend a different photo op. The families of course were expected to meet their own additional expenses, not to mention the stress that this additional waiting caused.

    But of course you would never read about that one in the newspapers. With a great deal of delight I chose this particular photo and used it to wrap doggy do.

  58. And “Just as it was for Rudd here we have the death of a thousand cuts by the media for our PM.

    Just as it was for Rudd they have decided they don’t like Gillard and will now across the board attempt to denigrate her at every turn.”

    I agree absolutely Adrian. The MSM used Gillard to undermine Rudd’s leadership and now they will use Rudd to try to undermine Gillard’s, and all the while completely ignoring “minor details” such as Abbott’s verbal stuff ups, and lack of any coherent policies, and the almost complete dearth of any reasonable talent on his team.

  59. Or the fact Min I have just read that Abbott went to the flood disaster zone not to console or help those hit by the crisis but to talk to individuals about the response they received. In other words, like he did with the insulation program and BER, he is gathering as many individual negatives as possible to use against the government no matter how small a percentage and minor those negatives are.

    At the next parliament sitting expect to see Abbott and the opposition trotting out negative after negative whilst ignoring all the positives, like the army of volunteers from round Australia queueing up to go to Qld. The media will support Abbott in this attack every step of the way until it will be put down as yet another failure by the government.

  60. Min re ‘Mobius re: John Howard “..giving great speeches and consolation”.’

    And who can forget the immortal

    “They are throwing their kids overboard’ line.

    Yep, fantastic speeches.

    I see the oo is already into major attack mode, while decrying against it. This article is a pearler.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/shallowness-of-rating-politicians-during-disasters/story-e6frg6zo-1225988003775

    ‘Shallowness of rating politicians during disasters’

    An admirable title, rarely followed up in the article. This bit was choice.

    ‘As for Gillard, documents relating to the proposed Traveston Crossing Dam, vetoed by Peter Garrett in 2009, reveal it would have reduced flood levels in Gympie by about 4m. Garrett vetoed the dam over concern for lungfish, turtles and cod.’

    Wonder if they’ll print my comment?

  61. I wonder if Tony Abbott, after Queensland, after Brazil, after Sri Lanka, and after the blizzards in Europe and America, still thinks that “Climate Change is absolute crap”?
    One imagines, when you think about why Tony Abbott isn’t mucking in with the rest of the pollies, like Andrew Fraser and Kevin Rudd, that he might be afraid of losing control of his carefully cultivated image with the electorate. As he seems to get into the most trouble when he freeforms, could it be the case that his handlers have instructed him to just stay in his bubble and stick to the script?
    Also, another thing that sticks in my craw is that whenever you see a media interview with Tony Abbott(now that he has decided to come on the scene looking as fresh as a daisy after his little holiday), the journalists assume the ‘fawning stance’ and they let him get away with blue murder, hamming it up for the cameras so as to give himself positive photo ops, and saying whatever his script his without nary a sceptical question from the journalist. Mission Accomplished for Tones.
    Contrast this with the stance towards the Labor politicians, and you get the journo’s ‘sceptical stance’, wherein they ‘ask the hard questions’ and demand answers. Then the responses from the ALP politicians are sufted through for the bits that they can criticise, which are then amplified and sent through the echo chamber for the rest of the day.
    And don’t get me started on slimeballs like Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt. They just beaver away in the background, making sure that the fires keep getting stoked, and that the animus against the ALP never subsides into appreciation for a job well done.
    They make me sick…and want to vomit all over their anally-retentive little conservative brains. Or, I have that image in my head of a person ripping off one of their heads and vomiting down their throat, they disgust me that much. That, in a time of crisis all they can think about is petty political vindictiveness.
    Also, look to Campbell Newman being catapulted into federal politics off the back of this disaster. I can think of at least one ALP politician in the Brisbane area that he could be put up against in 2013.

  62. I never knew of this at all and it’s on Wikipedia. Thanks Jeremy Sear for his piece on it.

    These are some of the original verses of Advance Australia Fair:

    Verse 2
    When gallant Cook from Albion sailed,
    To trace wide oceans o’er,
    True British courage bore him on,
    Til he landed on our shore.
    Then here he raised Old England’s flag,
    The standard of the brave;
    “With all her faults we love her still”
    “Britannia rules the wave.”
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    Advance Australia fair.

    Verse 3
    While other nations of the globe
    Behold us from afar,
    We’ll rise to high renown and shine
    Like our glorious southern star;
    From England soil and Fatherland,
    Scotia and Erin fair,
    Let all combine with heart and hand
    To advance Australia fair.
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    Advance Australia fair.

    Verse 4
    Should foreign foe e’er sight our coast,
    Or dare a foot to land,
    We’ll rouse to arms like sires of yore,
    To guard our native strand;
    Britannia then shall surely know,
    Though oceans roll between,
    Her sons in fair Australia’s land
    Still keep their courage green.
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    Advance Australia fair.
    *

    …and Abbott would have loved this lost verse, and I would not be surprised if he bought it in given the PM’ship.

    With Christ our head and cornerstone,
    We’ll build our Nation’s might.
    Whose way and truth and light alone
    Can guide our path aright.
    Our lives, a sacrifice of love
    Reflect our Master’s care.
    With faces turned to heaven above
    Advance Australia fair.
    In joyful strains then let us sing
    Advance Australia fair!

  63. Mobius @9.07am. This shows Abbott’s complete lack of compassion and lack of ability to think about anyone but himself and how he can use each and every situation to his own advantage…the same as his mentor JWH.

    I think that Abbott might just shoot himself in the foot (again) with this especially in Qld as there are so many people who have been effected and who have had nothing but praise.

    In my opinion if Abbott harps on and on about negatives ‘end the waste’, inefficiency etc then he also runs the risk of insulting big time the army of administrators & staff, volunteers, ambulance, fire brigade, police, SES, tradies busting themselves to restore services, the people directly effected plus their friends and relatives.

    PLUS the army of journalists and media who for once in a blue moon are on the ground reporting directly instead of relying on regurgitating LNP Press Releases.

  64. I hope we do not go back to the days of Mr. Howard who in my humble opinion love to attend funerals and other disasters. He always made himself the most important person at any of these events. He appeared to see himself as Head of State, a role that belonged to the Govern General.

    Since Labor has come to power, the, Head of State, the Government General is carrying out these roles. PM Gillard is being condemned for not showing the same joy in funerals and disasters.

    I fail to understand what she has done wrong. PM Gillard has stood by Premier, giving her both personal and Commonwealth support that she is able. PM Gillard has ensured that all the neces-sary resources are available. She has visited as many flood centres as it is physically possible, giving the locals support. Is it her accent so shocking? Funny thing is that it sounds similar to those she is talking too.

    Premier Anna Bligh has been coming over as being well informed and on top of what is happening. PM Julia Gillard is sometimes appearing to be a little like a school marm. I am a little lost to describe Mr. Abbott, he gives me the impression of a little man that pops up from a hole in the ground, says a few well rehearsed words and pops down again.

    It is easier for Premier Bligh to look good. She is in charge and has information to get out. She is the one receiving condolence, not giving it.

    PM Gillard role is different. She has to give out condolence, which is harder for most. I do not mind her looking school marmish; most teachers are very genuine in what they say.

    As for Mr. Abbott, I think he sees his role as acting in some play where he believes he is the centre of attention. He really has not contributed much to what is occurring. He needs to listen to what the survivors are saying. (As long as we pull together, we will be OK, that is the Australian way) That is the message that should be on the Harbour Bridge, on Australia Day weekend. His dress gives the impression he is still on holidays.

    Mr. Rudd is in his home ground and has only to be himself. He has been gracious since he became Foreign Minister. He appears to see both roles as being equal. He could be right.

    We do see glimpses of a different PM Gillard when talking to people in rescue cen-tres. Her accent is very similar to many she talks with, a more relaxed and communi-cating appropriately with those, she is talking with. We should remember, the media can show the worse or best of anyone.

  65. CU “Is it her accent so shocking?” Certainly people have made fun of other PM’s umms ahhhs etc but by making fun of Gillard’s accent, what the media is trying to do is to make her appear dumbed-down and lacking in style and class.

  66. Wrt the PM’s accent: Are we Australians or what? Or do we want our PM to sound like a Toffee-nosed Englander?
    Anyway, what’s so much better about Abbott’s accent?

  67. Personally I do not think so. Mine is much worse but we should judge by what is said, not how it is said. Style and class are of little importance as well, which is just as well for Mr. Abbott.

  68. Abbott talks in this very controlled manner which makes his sentences stilted. He is struggling for control of nearly each word less he brain farts and to stay strictly on script yet the media have never picked him up on that.

    On the other hand when he does free flow and talk half way normally it’s when he inevitably brain farts and puts his foot into it. This proves that the real Abbott is being rigorously controlled and he hasn’t changed an iota as he says he has.

  69. I agree Feral and CU. This ongoing, neverending drawing of people’s attention to Gillard’s accent is about as important as her empty fruitbowl and polka dot jacket.

  70. I fail to understand what she has done wrong. PM Gillard has stood by Premier, giving her both personal and Commonwealth support that she is able. PM Gillard has ensured that all the neces-sary resources are available. She has visited as many flood centres as it is physically possible, giving the locals support. Is it her accent so shocking? Funny thing is that it sounds similar to those she is talking too.

    I don’t think she has done anything wrong, CU. She immediately put the logistical and financial machinery in place and spoke to the nation.

    In the eyes of many, it was her speaking that she was measured on.

  71. Losers will always be losers, much like those people who respond to flood stories on news.com by spitting acid.

    Many suggest that Anna Bligh is crying crocodile tears to win votes. Other say that by producing tears she lacks strength in the time of a crisis.

    For goodness sake, she’s just seen half her state washed away.

    And then those same people get stuck into Julia for not showing any emotion.

    Huh!

  72. This small piece over at DragOnista’s blog titled Abbott’s holiday is a political misjudgement, whilst being a couple of days old finds something else on which Abbott should be questioned. An excerpt:

    Abbott’s decision to return from Christmas leave to visit Queensland was the right thing to do, even if he squandered any political capital he earned by callously drawing a link between the cost of rescue efforts and the NBN.

    However, the Opposition Leader’s decision to resume his holiday is an affront to the thousands of Australians who are struggling with the grief, loss and fear caused by the floods.

    The political clumsiness of this decision is what strikes me the most. I understand the tactical reasoning for sending Bishop to Queensland. Clearly some politico saw the need to provide a conservative female counterweight to Labor’s Bligh and Gillard, both of whom have earned considerable kudos for the way they have conducted themselves during the crisis.

    However, Bishop should have done so as the Deputy Liberal Leader and therefore not drawn attention to the fact that Abbott had resumed his Christmas leave.

  73. My OH has an old saying “The rain it falls upon the just and the unjust fellow but more upon the just because the unjust pinched the just’s umbrella”

  74. I’m just wonderin’ how much money Tony Abbott has donated to the Qld. Premier’s Flood Appeal? I hazard a guess he has long pockets and very short arms. Yet all the blowhards who send out the chain e-mails attacking the federal government ONLY kicking in $1 Million probably haven’t got the required two braincells to rub together to compare and contrast the PM’s very quick donation to the cause with Abbott’s (I’m guessing) stingieness.
    I’m also guessing that, put into the same situation, Abbott wouldn’t have donated any government money to the Private collection. Instead he would have simply tried to make a virtue out of all the money the government was kicking in to the rescue and recovery effort. Howard was notably parsimonious in that way too. I still remember how he used to codify overseas disaster aid to mandate that the country in question used that aid to favour Australian companies with contracts for the rebuilding phase.

  75. Migs @12.33. Thank you for this as it answers my earlier query about where was Abbott given that J.Bishop was described as ‘Acting Leader of the Opposition’ without so much as a flutter of eyelashes by the interviewer on Sky.

    Of course if it had been Gillard the press would have been all over the story like a rash about being on holidays during the time of one of Australia’s biggest natural disasters.

  76. Too right, Min @ 1.22pm. Which gets us back to the age-old query of, when are the media going to start holding Tony Abbott to the same standards that they hold the ALP to?

  77. ‘when are the media going to start holding Tony Abbott to the same standards that they hold the ALP to?’

    You do recall where we are don’t you Feral Skeleton? We are in a country in which the True Government is in exile! 😉

  78. I think Abbott will be a loser simply because he’ on the wrong side. Any crisis favours the incumbent government if the crisis is real (9/11, Qld floods) or perceived (Tampa) as long as the government doesn’t stuff it up (Katrina). Good politicians have been ruined simply by being in opposition at the time (Beazley).

    Abbott could do or say nothing or do and say everything right yet still come out second behind Gillard.

  79. Jane, the loudest opponent to that said dam was Bananahead Joyce. You know, the same bloke who now reckons that dams should have been built.

    Damn idiot.

    I well remember that, Migs, but why aren’t the MSM pointing out his hypocrisy? Three guesses and the first two don’t count!

    As a matter of interest, Inquirer in today’s OO says that 7bn tonnes of water fell on Queensland in 72 hours and very sensibly asks how it’s possible to manage that volume of water in that time?

    ME, Min, Tom R what disasters were there to compare with the current one, when the Rodent ever gave great and rousing speeches, and didn’t elbow everyone out of the way so he could bignote? They are just so full of shite, aren’t they?

    And I’ll never forget his “compassionate” treatment of the widow of our first Afghanistan casualty, who was subjected to a witch hunt by Vets Affairs because she campaigned for better pensions for the widows and families of serviceman who paid the ultimate price in the line of duty.

    And let’s not forget who was the glaring omission from the suck hole wreath laying in his honour when Dubya came out here; that moron Steve Irwin was invited, but not the widow and family of the dead soldier, all so the Rodent could bignote with Dubya!

    And not one word of “outrage” about that from the MSM! Instead they took the bat on his widow! Is it any wonder that anyone with a shred of moral fibre and decency, loathes them?

    There is one statement they made I agree with, though-the Rodent as the face of disasters. Truer words have never been spoken! LOL

    Lack of inflection!!!! I think the term is using a measured tone, you morons! She was doing her job, ffs! Letting people know where Centrelink officers are and how much emergency cash they could have up front. That’s her role, not bignoting and looking for photo ops, like the Rodent.

    And letting her hair down a bit when talking to victims, the natural touch, unlike the Smuggles Set whose only mission is to capitalise on this disaster. They make blowies look noble!!!!!

    Min @ 10.37am, Smuggles will do himself an injury if he starts carping about the response to this calamity. You only have to look at how few people lost their lives, to appreciate the magnificent effort everyone put in and how effective they were.

    CU @10.51am, beautifully put. Gillard, Rudd and Bligh have each behaved as we, as a nation would expect.

    No bignoting and jostling for photo ops, keeping people well informed and calming fears and in the case of Rudd rolling up the shirt sleeves and trousers and going hands on. And then there’s Gopher Abbott.

    Min and FS, when they mock Gillard’s accent, they mock the rest of us. She speaks with an Australian accent, so every time they get stuck into her they’re putting all of us down.

    I think when the penny drops, there will be a back lash against the “elitist media”. What a joke to see the scales fall from their devotees eyes as they realise that Dolt, Pies & co despise them.

  80. Not that it’s important in the scheme of things, but if there are people in the Northern Rivers/SE Qld area and you are yet to do your weekend shopping I would highly recommend that you do so asap.

  81. Well I’ll be! The Queensland opposition didn’t want the Mary River dammed.

    Queenslanders have been urged not to forget that the Greens, and not just Labor, are equally responsible for today’s decision by Anna Bligh to give the ‘green light’ to the Traveston Crossing Dam that the LNP has warned will become one of Queensland’s greatest ever environmental disasters.

    State Opposition and LNP Leader John-Paul Langbroek said the dam was an “environmental, economic and social disaster” and none of the measures announced today would disguise or mitigate the obvious environmental consequences.

  82. More than that Migs:

    Senator Barnaby Joyce, the Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, welcomes today the capitulation by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh on the Traveston Crossing Dam project.

    The project is heading into mothballs after the sustained efforts of LNP member for Gympie, David Gibson, as well as the efforts of the process of the Senate Inquiry set up by Senator Joyce and fellow Queensland Senators Ian MacDonald and Russell Trood.

    “It has been sustained efforts by all the parties, including the Greens, that has brought a result,” Senator Joyce said. “I hope all in the Mary Valley get some sense of justice and reprieve. The effort has to continue to put the final nail in this multi-billion dollar debacle which was the ‘proposed’ Traverston Dam.

    “We are not celebrating yet but a few quiet beers at this stage are well in order.”

    and

    Then Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt also opposed the construction of the dam, saying in September 2009:

    ”When I visited the site of the proposed dam last year with Warren Truss, I was impressed by the convincing research that showed the devastating environmental impacts the dam would have, should it be approved.

    ”It was clear that Anna Bligh was intent on creating a massive evaporation pond over some of Queensland’s best farming land.”

    Mr Hunt said the fate of the dam will rest with Mr Garrett, who will make a final decision on the project under the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

    ”The Labor Party had cynically put plans for the dam on hold just prior to the Queensland election. Peter Garrett must not be complicit in this act of deception. If he examines the science and considers the research that I have seen, he will agree the dam would be a disaster, and must make his decision accordingly.”

    .and not content with that Warren Truss also got into the act:

    ”Research demonstrates that there are no strategies that can prevent the devastation that would be wreaked upon the endangered Mary River Cod, Mary River Turtle, Giant Barred Frog and the vulnerable Queensland Lungfish should the dam be granted approval by Mr Garrett.

    ”Brisbane’s water crisis is of Anna Bligh’s creation, and in spite of Anna Bligh’s recent spin and hysteria, there are better and cheaper alternatives available to supply water to Brisbane, which make the Traveston Crossing dam unnecessary.

    After solely blaming Garrett and Labor, Andrew Bolt has been asked to also put the facts straight but I wouldn’t hold out any hope of that.

    Then there is the little snippet that the Queensland LNP opposition in March last year were demanding that Anna Bligh considerably increase the capacity of the Wivenhoe dam, which would have abrogated its flood mitigation potential and if constructed before the current flood crisis made the situation in Brisbane far worse.

    Won’t hear about that from the MSM or Bolt anywhere either I bet.

    Must be great having so much of the media on your side, including the public broadcasters, that you don’t have to be held accountable for anything and can say and do anything you like with impunity.

  83. You mentioned Bananahead Joyce earlier Migs…

    Senator Barnaby Joyce, the Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, welcomes today the capitulation by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh on the Traveston Crossing Dam project.

    The project is heading into mothballs after the sustained efforts of LNP member for Gympie, David Gibson, as well as the efforts of the process of the Senate Inquiry set up by Senator Joyce and fellow Queensland Senators Ian MacDonald and Russell Trood.

    “It has been sustained efforts by all the parties, including the Greens, that has brought a result,” Senator Joyce said. “I hope all in the Mary Valley get some sense of justice and reprieve. The effort has to continue to put the final nail in this multi-billion dollar debacle which was the ‘proposed’ Traverston Dam.

    “We are not celebrating yet but a few quiet beers at this stage are well in order.”

  84. I note that both Ackerman and Bolt are now blaming Labor, The Greens and Global Warming Alarmists for the floods.

  85. Joyce:

    It has been sustained efforts by all the parties, including the Greens, that has brought a result,” Senator Joyce said. “I hope all in the Mary Valley get some sense of justice and reprieve. The effort has to continue to put the final nail in this multi-billion dollar debacle which was the ‘proposed’ Traverston Dam.

    “We are not celebrating yet but a few quiet beers at this stage are well in order.”

    Hunt:

    ”When I visited the site of the proposed dam last year with Warren Truss, I was impressed by the convincing research that showed the devastating environmental impacts the dam would have, should it be approved.

    ”It was clear that Anna Bligh was intent on creating a massive evaporation pond over some of Queensland’s best farming land.”

    Mr Hunt said the fate of the dam will rest with Mr Garrett, who will make a final decision on the project under the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

    ”The Labor Party had cynically put plans for the dam on hold just prior to the Queensland election. Peter Garrett must not be complicit in this act of deception. If he examines the science and considers the research that I have seen, he will agree the dam would be a disaster, and must make his decision accordingly.”

    Truss:

    ”Research demonstrates that there are no strategies that can prevent the devastation that would be wreaked upon the endangered Mary River Cod, Mary River Turtle, Giant Barred Frog and the vulnerable Queensland Lungfish should the dam be granted approval by Mr Garrett.

    ”Brisbane’s water crisis is of Anna Bligh’s creation, and in spite of Anna Bligh’s recent spin and hysteria, there are better and cheaper alternatives available to supply water to Brisbane, which make the Traveston Crossing dam unnecessary.

    So who does Bolt blame, Garrett and The Greens of course.

  86. Beat you Bacchus.

    Feel free to reward yourself with a cold beer from the fridge. Or if wine’s your fancy, select a bottle from the rack.

    We like winners.

  87. Sorry that last post was in the wrong blog.

    Very hot and sticky so I’ll blame that for the wrong posting.

  88. Listening to Joyce during his recent interview with Jones confirm once and for all that they are full of bullshit, claiming that if Gillard doesn’t build dams the economic future future of Australia and South East Asia are under threat. Throughout the interview Jones harped on that Joyce is in touch with the electorate better than any politician in Australia.

    Why didn’t Joyce show some guts and honesty and admit that he opposed the damming of the Mary River? Why didn’t Jones show some honesty either?

  89. Migs, did Joyce elaborate as to where these dams of his should be built and how much farmland and grazing land would be lost. Or isn’t he game enough to provide details in case of a backlash from the farmers.

    And re: “Why didn’t Joyce show some guts and honesty..” plus when are the MSM going to consider doing some homework and find out some factual information as to Joyce and other in the LNP’s previous stance on this issue.

  90. Lol, I wonder where the LNP Member for Gympie, David Gibson is today? Helping with the clean-up? Standing by Barnaby Joyce’s side calling for a dam on the Mary River, and dams all over the damn place?
    And what about Barnaby himself? Still suggesting more ‘multi billion dollar debacle(s)’ aka dams for Queensland?
    How about Greg Hunt? Does he still believe in ‘the devastating environmental impact’ that dams in Queensland could have? Does he still believe that dams are just ‘massive evaporation ponds’? That dams can be ‘a disaster’?
    Anyone in the media thought about putting in a call to Warren Truss, or any of them for that matter, and asking about all the endangered species that would be affected by Dams on every river?
    No, instead the media is content to follow in the Coalition’s wake and echo their every meme.

  91. FS @1.22pm, I don’t think we’ve got that long to live! LOL

    Migs @3.25pm, you should know by now that they have neither.

  92. Feral re: “Does he still believe that dams are just ‘massive evaporation ponds’?”

    And Hunt would be spot on. Australia doesn’t have high enough mountains nor deep enough gullies, plus our climate therefore a huge amount of water in our shallow dams is lost through evaporation.

  93. Well, well, well! This from Paul Burns at LP. Looks like the PM has found a gag for the Smuggles Set! Won’t there be some ducking for cover,especially if she decides to have a decent look-see at the AWB scandal as well?

    I’ll bet it’ll give the MSM @rse lickers apoplexy; hope they’ve got dodgy tickers……oh hang on, a small black stone encased in ice won’t cut it, I suppose?

  94. And apparently there’s been a 3.9 magnitude earthquake at Cleve over on Eyre Peninsula. So now we’ve had the lot, drought, fire, flood and earthquakes and best of all apoplectic explosions at RW douche bag HQ!

  95. ‘He’s a nasty piece of work.’

    akerman wasn’t even mentioned migs 😉

    Love the link btw Jane, about time some light was shone on the shady dealings of our previous opposition government. Yes, I would LOVE to see more behind the AWB, but, unless there were hidden mikes, I don’t reckon we’ll find much.

  96. I have rarely ever read catalaxy, but I was always under the impression that they were fairly level headed. Not today, as they appear to be trying to imply that Bill Shorten (amongst others) is trying to get insurers to pay out people who aren’t insured. Even though his link says no such thing. the meme runs through most of the thread. It starts with a jc comment at 11.42, followed up by somebody with a perfect title for match their comment.

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2011/01/14/how-the-nanny-state-works/

    And this is how this shit starts. I can already see it printed as fact in the oo tomorrow

  97. Tom, clearly a ridiculous statement made about Shorten.

    There was an interview on Sky with Swan who said that a Tribunal is to be established for people who may have complaints about insurance companies. Clearly the government is trying to lop off at the socks any fear or smear campaign.

  98. Some good news, the report is that Scott Rush’s death sentence has been repealed the reason given is that this sentence was too harsh in relation to his part in the crime.

  99. Min,
    Of course Hunt is spot on about dams being just giant evaporation ponds, in Queensland especially, if you site them where the Oppo wants to. However, I guess my point was, opaquely put, that I wonder if Hunt has the balls to say it again about his own side’s latest cockamamie idea?

  100. Feral, you are spot on there…if Hunt was right about dams in the first place why isn’t he prepared to stand by his original opinion especially given is that this opinion is backed up by factual evidence. It’s clearly just point scoring to try to grab the headlines away from Bligh and Gillard.

  101. I must admit that Mr. Truss was at the very least only gave cool support to Mr. Abbott’s dam brain fart. Mr. Truss obviously has a longer memory than most of the Opposition.

    The web is wonderful in that it only takes seconds to find out what someone said last year. Has anyone heard of any support from the real farmers in the Opposition and farming groups?

    Therefore, according to Mr. Joyce, Traverston Dam Traverston was a multi-billions dollar waste of money. The sad thing is that the arguments put forwarded by the Opposition were correct.

    Mr. Joyce today has claimed that this dam would lower flood levels by I think 4 metres. Sorry, I do not believe him unless he gives the source of his claims.

    Mr Abbott said that Mr. Howard had put $500 million aside for work on our river system, with the aim of preserving water. He indicated that some of this could go towards building dams. Going on Mr. Joyce’s costing, the dam Mr. Abbott must be near miraculous if it can be built for less than $500 million.

    We need to learn to live with our climate; it will in the long run be a lot cheaper. Mr. Abbott would be better advised in putting any energy he has into developing policy than using all his time with wedge politics. The trouble with automatically opposing everything, regardless of whether it is right or wrong always comes back to haunt the opposer. It is time for Mr. Abbott to pop back into his hole.

    Glad to hear about Scott Rush, his parents will be relieved. I thought he lost the appeal.

  102. “In other words, like he did with the insulation program and BER, he is gathering as many individual negatives as possible to use against the government no matter how small a percentage and minor those negatives are.”

    I wonder if Abbott was like that at school…puttin’ ideas in people’s heads, creatin’ negative perceptions, makin’ mountains outa molehills, gettin’ the dirty on people, dividin’ not unitin’, spreadin’ malicious rumours, backstabbin’, dobbin’, gettin’ others to do his dirty work…the negabore whisperer in the corridors & behind the door?

    Can see why Howard & Murdoch support him so much.

    It’s how some get to the top. Sad really. Tragic for the people.

    N’

  103. Migs, there are certain things not to like about that young fella, especially his taste in footy teams!

    Min @6.10pm, because he has his orders. there’s political point scoring to be made. Sod ethics, sense and morals!

    CU, developing policy? Wash your keyboard out with soap and never mention the p word again! Bad, bad CU!

  104. “And don’t get me started on slimeballs like Piers Akerman and Andrew Bolt. They just beaver away in the background, making sure that the fires keep getting stoked, and that the animus against the ALP never subsides into appreciation for a job well done.”

    Too true Feral:

    It’s Bolt, Akerman & Jones…brewin’ up trouble:

    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and caldron bubble.
    Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
    Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

    http://tidingsofmagpies.blogspot.com/2010/10/song-of-witches.html

    N’

  105. Min / Feral, same position Hunt had on climate change, one minute he believes the next he don’t, a little vote chasin’.

  106. ‘Migs, there are certain things’……….’to like about that young fella, ‘

    WOOHOO, I’m young again!! 🙂

    CU

    ‘Mr. Joyce today has claimed that this dam would lower flood levels by I think 4 metres. Sorry, I do not believe him unless he gives the source of his claims. ‘

    From a link from the MegaTwilight Of The Idolators

    http://asiancorrespondent.com/45841/heres-the-evidence-that-dams-could-save-queensland-towns/#

    A comment from Dave Ross in that link is relevant I think (mind you, would not have minded if he provided sources for his ascertions)

  107. Interesting point in that link Tom R that when dams do mitigate floods they extend the period of the flood significantly. Something I didn’t know.

  108. It’s good to know he’s OK.

    I’m wondering if anybody over there expressed concern for his welfare like many bloggers here did. Not that they have to, of course.

  109. Mobius Ecko, I would believe that dams where there are monsoonal rains fill quickly, as ocurred this year in Queensland. After the earlier rains, the dams would be full. Any further rain would have to be let go. What they are saying that at the best, unless empty, the most that is likely to happen is for the water to be delayed, thus prolonging the flood. Truth as I see it, is that there would have to be a great number of dams to make flooding at the most a little less severe. These dams would have to be a the head of the rivers, while most of the rain would fall on the lower plain, over a great area. John Bradfield proposed much more than building dams.
    Dreamers of the past.
    “Although in most respects severely pragmatic, Bradfield had a penchant for the grandiose that was revealed in some of his wilder plans for high-rise office blocks astride the southern approaches of the Harbour Bridge and in his proposals for a massive water-diversion scheme in Queensland. In his early seventies he put considerable time and energy into publicizing a plan to irrigate the western districts of Queensland and part of Central Australia by damming certain coastal rivers and running water-pipes through the Great Dividing Range. Aspects of this scheme, and especially his lack of scientific evidence, were publicly attacked by G. W. Leeper of the school of agricultural science at the University of Melbourne.”
    http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070391b.htm
    Raising the ghost of Bradfield
    Dr Robert Wooding
    “This chapter represents one facet of a more extensive research project on the historical development and future prospects of the Australian inland, especially the area that lies between the Great Dividing Range and the deserts of Central Australia. The question I will attempt to answer here is that of why a grandiose ‘nation-building’ solution to the perceived problems of the inland has retained a significant presence in public debate for more than seven decades, even though it has repeatedly and convincingly proved to be impractical and financially unviable. ……………….

    There appears to be a longstanding tendency for Australians and those who govern them to panic about the future prosperity of inland Australia during periods of drought and economic uncertainty and to reach out for grandiose, expensive and unrealistic nation-building schemes which will allegedly secure that prosperity. Psychiatrists and psychologists describe a personality that veers between despair and unrealistic optimism as labile, and our shifting attitudes towards the inland over the past two centuries has warranted the use of this term…………

    For the most part we have perceived the inland areas of Australia as having almost unlimited potential as future sites for nation-building projects such as dams, irrigation areas, railways, roads, new towns and cities and vast mining and industrial projects. However, during times of drought or uncertainty, our optimism has rapidly dissipated and we have become haunted by apocalyptic visions of decline and despair which we have attributed to our own selfish and heedless actions in neglecting or unsustainably exploiting the environment. At these times, we have demonstrated an urge to reach for all-embracing solutions; the grander and more unrealistic they are, the better we seem to like them. As I will now discuss, the most popular of these possible solutions has always been that of building dams, channels and pipelines to bring water from where it is plentiful to where it is scarce. …………….

    It is impossible not to be impressed, and perhaps even inspired, by the grandeur and daring of Bradfield’s Scheme as a nation-building vision for the future of Australia, and by the energy and enthusiasm with which he and others promoted it. But, as is the case with many other problems facing inland Australia, the issue of how to manage — and possibly augment — its limited supply of water is far too intricate and complex to be fixed simply by reaching out for a grand solution: no matter how tempting this might be to us in our urgent need to quell a rising state of panic.

    The dilemmas currently facing inland Australia arise from aspects of the physical environment which date back many millennia (and, in some cases, millions of years), combined with problems of our own making which have arisen over the past two hundred years. Having taken a long time to develop, these problems are not capable of being solved through a single engineering blueprint. They will only be overcome through the slow growth of insight and a sustained and concerted effort on behalf of governments and the inland’s inhabitants. ………………………………………

    http://epress.anu.edu.au/anzsog/auc/html/ch06s03.html

    Article is a little dated but still revalent. Nothing new under the sun. No easy fix.

  110. The Bowen Basin in Queensland is full of dams … when its dry we call them open cut mines … and get coal out of ’em 😉

    I’ve just received some photos of the Baralaba mine after the levee broke over the main pit … not pretty

  111. Ah Neil has appeared on GT. That’s a relief.

    Oh! I must go and say hello … BTW, Adrian it’s Neil of Sydney … 😉

  112. The Rights promulgation of Bradfield’s Engineering solution to Queensland’s water ‘problem’ is another example of the Right using a false equivalency to gain support for their ideas. I think it goes like this:
    Bradfield designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
    The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an example of Engineering genius.
    Therefore Bradfield’s pet project to solve Australia’s ‘problem’ of a dry inland must also be a solution of engineering genius.
    QED.
    Also, it’s just occurred to me, that in that Lizard brain of Abbott’s, which is always on the job to find ways to gain the political advantage over the federal Labor government, I have no doubt that he will tie the recent floods to his proposed repeal of the Queensland government’s ‘Wild Rivers’ Legislation. No doubt the proposed legislation is being rewritten, even as we speak, to include a section that will allow communities the ‘Right’ to put dams on ‘Their’ ‘Wild’ Rivers, should they so desire it.

  113. I find it hard to believe Mr. Abbott was a champion boxer as you can see his punches coming. I think most of us, including the MSM could write a extensive account of what his actions will be for the next 6 months. After June he will not be in the position to do much at all when the makeup of the Senate changes.

    Bradfield was a very clever man but a little impractical. Even he did not think that dams on their own were the way to go.

  114. I think most of us, including the MSM could write a extensive account of what his actions will be for the next 6 months.

    Quite true, CU.

    Do you think, perhaps, that the MSM might map some of it out for him? His party has a history of responding to the demands of the media, rather than the people.

  115. Miglo, is not that what happens now. I cannot recall a single independent thought from the man. He also appears to lack imagination.

  116. CU, when I worked in ATSIC Howard used to formulate his policies based on the editorials in The Australian. He had dozens of brilliant policy makers yet he ignored them in favour of vote-getting.

  117. Another man with little imagination. Sure he did not know what the editorials were about before being printed. Both survived by wedge or divide and rule politics. Neither takes much brains, only cunning. I wish Australians were not prone to be taken in with fear campaigns.

  118. BTW, Adrian it’s Neil of Sydney …

    BTW, TB it’s Adrian of Nowra… 😉

    Sorry I missed the nuance in that reference to Neil. I’m not very well at the moment.

  119. I’d forgotten about them, FS. I wonder when the toads will turn up, I gather snakes are already a problem?

    Perhaps Pharoah Smuggles will make his move then. Hopefully, he and his minions will be vanquished and swept away at the parting of the sea of reeds. Go Moses Gillard!!

    Miglo, is not that what happens now. I cannot recall a single independent thought from the man. He also appears to lack imagination.

    CU, you’re dead right. He has to consult Emperor Rupert if he needs to scratch himself. And of course about the Rodent-he has plenty of rat cunning and he knows how to conduct a smear campaign. However, neither of these qualities would have been much use if the MSM had done its job properly.

    Migs @12.27am, why am I unsurprised by that information. Once again, if the MSM had been doing their job even half decently, he wouldn’t have got away with it.

    If I were Gillard, I’d have a crack at media ownership laws after the Greens get the BOP in the Senate. I’d like to see Emperor Rupert forced to divest himself of some media in this country.

    ME, is it the same illness that laid you low a few weeks ago? Hope you make a full recovery asap.

  120. Jane via Migs’ comment. I’m likewise unsurprised. Plus this would explain the OO’s grandiose opinion of itself. They were The Power Behind the Throne.

  121. Regretfully they have been the power behind the Throne. You can bet they will fight hard to keep this power, which they only have because the Australian public is naive enough to let them.

  122. A now famous saying by a Republican in the US goes like this:
    “I used to think that Fox News worked for us. Now I know that we work for Fox News.”
    Rupert chews Conservative Regressives up, then spits them out when they are no longer useful to him. He cocoons those that are. Eg Sarah Palin and Tony Abbott. They have the charisma that he lacks. They are useful tools. 😉

    jane,
    Haven’t you heard? Stephen Conroy has already instituted an inquiry into media diversity!
    Also, yesterday Julia Gillard set up an inquiry into Australian government agencies involvement in the torture of Mamdouh Habib in Egypt. Which, of course, may also elicit information about what the Howard government knew about it at the time. The Rightoids are v.upset about it. They’re saying crap about Gillard helping a Terrorist and paying him off with taxpayers’ money. They’re also conflating it with ‘our boys’ fighting terrorists in Afghanistan while she is paying one off. So I said, ‘Does that mean torture of an Australian citizen of Middle Eastern origin is OK with you? 🙂

  123. “Australian government agencies involvement in the torture of Mamdouh Habib in Egypt”

    In spite of the outcry by the Opposition, Mr. Habib has evidence that cannot be pushed aside. I am sure that PM Gillard would not willingly buy into this if she had a choice. It has opened Pandora’s box and where it goes no one can say.

    I hope we, the public at last are going to get the truth about many actions of the previous government.

  124. I think that it was Jane who provided this link yesterday.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/new-probe-into-habib-detention-20110115-19rkq.html

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard requested the new probe amid dramatic claims of Australian government complicity in his 2001 CIA rendition to Egypt, where he was detained and tortured.

    The Prime Minister’s office yesterday confirmed that Ms Gillard had asked the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security to conduct an inquiry into the role of Australian agencies in Mr Habib’s arrest and detention, The Australian reported.

    The investigation follows a secret compensation payout made by the federal government to Mr Habib in December, apparently triggered by untested witness statements implicating Australian officials in his detention and brutal maltreatment in a Cairo military prison.

    Therefore this enquiry is zilch to do with Habib personally but all about an untested witnesses’ claim that the Howard government knew about Habib’s secret transfer by US authorities to Egypt. If I remember correctly there was some outcry over this, that there were witnesses with information but that the government failed to call them to give evidence.

  125. Government needs to learn very quickly that they as well as everyone else have to obey the rule of law. It is important that everyone is seen as innocence until proven guilty.

    Justice requires that everyone have access to legal representation. No one should be questioned or interview in Secret. Torture is not acceptable.

    Separation of powers between the government and justice must always occur. People should not be kidnapped and sent to an island for over ten years to prevent them access to the legal system.

    The so-called war of on terrorism has led to our rights being eroded. It has not made us safer. Governments have used the fear they created to give themselves more power at our expense. This in my humble opinion has led to the terrorist winning.

    The result of the last few years is that we have fewer rights, I would imagine the people and their families who are kept imprisoned are now terrorists if not before. I fail to see how imprisoning these people can make things better.

    It is imperative that governments learn that they can only do what is legal and within the Constitution. It is not acceptable to bend the rules. If they need to do this, it must be done in the open by attempting to change the law or rules.

    Our protection under law was not been won easily and we all have a duty to ensure it is protected.

  126. ME, is it the same illness that laid you low a few weeks ago? Hope you make a full recovery asap.

    Relapse by the looks of it but in early stages.

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  127. Min @2.13pm, Paul Burns over at LP posted it.

    ……there were witnesses with information but that the government failed to call them to give evidence.

    No doubt you’re astounded to learn this, Min?

    I also think that perhaps it could be a preemptive strike against the Smuggles Set’s plans for making political capital out of the response to the floods. Call it an insurance policy, mayhap?

    I reckon she ought to announce another little look-see into AWB, this time with much wider TOR, so those well known slugs Dolly Downer, Reith, Smuggles and the Rodent will have to testify under oath.

    CU @4.08pm, well said.

    Not that I’d be too confident any of them would have any compunction about committing perjury, which includes their stock standard response “I can’t remember!”

  128. Migs, I’ll send some cold water starch and a hot iron to stiffen up that wobbly bottom lip. Might as well bung some on the upper lip while you’re at it. Job’s done, then. 🙂

  129. Jane, I’m absolutely astounded. Who would have thunked it. It seems quite incredible that the Howard government should fail to call witnesses. One would think (and I know that it’s far fetched), but just maybe they had something to hide.

    And I agree about the preemptive strike. One thing is for certain and that is that Gillard is far far cluier than the MSM would have us believe. Maybe this is just the appetizer before Gillard decides to tackle the AWB scandal. If so, then it’s a good one as it starts the process of undermining the carefully groomed perceptions reinforced over and over by the MSM.

  130. I’m not very well at the moment.

    Sorry to hear that, Adrian!

    Just had a discussion with my doctor’s, replacement (my doc’s retiring) about s/cysts and he said there’s nothing much they can do until they “flare up” … I’ve been “knifed” a couple of times, not pleasant but the buggers return … my brother in law claims his were zapped with the freeze technique but I got a blank expression when I asked (two doctors separate visits) …

    Not sure the new bloke will get my business though. My doctor’s $65 a pop was bad enough – this new bloke hit me for $75! I am now searching locally again, if they want to treat me as a customer, I reckon I should act like one and shop around.

    The Minister gives me a hard time ’cause her doctor bulk bills, my reason for paying (ie he was my doc for over 30 years) has just retired … in fact I think I paid for it. 🙄

    Get well soon, mate!!

  131. jane, that is what happened previously. Maybe they should be locked up until they regained their memory.

  132. Min. you cannot come through the union movement without being exposed to all the cunning and sly behaviours known to man.

  133. zapped with the freeze technique

    That would be for warts, which I had done in my 20s.

    This is my third one if you don’t count that it’s a recurrence of one from well over 20 years ago, and that was the most painful thing I ever went through in my life, considering I’ve had a live nerve in my tooth burnt by a red hot wire, destroying half the dentist surgery in my reaction.

    So I’m very apprehensive that even though it had swelled to baseball size in a very bad spot a couple of weeks ago, and they appeared to have got it out relatively painlessly as compared to 20 odd years ago, it’s now coming back.

  134. Min @5.49pm, I’m sure you had to call for the smelling salts after reading that! 🙂

    And over at Murdochracy HQ, there may just be a frisson of panic, perhaps and the sound of “carefully groomed perceptions” collapsing. Oh joy! I hope Gillard doesn’t go to water on this!

    TB, you probably bought his first BMW; I’m convinced that the husbandy substance has paid for a whole suburb of investment properties for the chiropracter he’s been going to for 30 years. 😉

    CU @7.08pm, maybe in one of their own detention centres!

    ME, bloody hell! I think I’d have demanded to be knocked out for any dental work after that experience! As Min said, brrrr!

    Hope this time the treatment works.

  135. Jane, to quote Maxwell Smart: And Loving It 🙂

    In Gillard’s favour (by way of publicity for the story) there is nothing that gets more hits on the Murdoch ‘news’ than some hot juicy scandal. The evidence being the “TOP Stories” in the DT. Today’s insightful offering includes Kyle Sandilands and an AFP son who is on drug charges..all that is missing is Britney.

    If it’s a scandal and therefore gets the hits, they’ll print it.

  136. Min,
    It appears that the Fairfax rags skew to a higher level of scandal. Their most clicked story of the day has been Berlusconi’s Viagra-fuelled escapades with a 17y.o. Moroccan Prostitute at another one of his Milan villa soirees, and also how he pulled strings to get her off a Theft charge.
    Oh well, at least it has a tangential relationship to politics. 🙂

  137. Also disgusting is that sales for the gun that was used in the recent massacre in the US have tripled. What sort of sick society is it over there?

  138. Yup, that would be right. They’ve so devalued life, whilst at one and the same time screaming to the high heavens about a few cells without a developed consciousness, merely because it is within a woman’s womb, that a member of the governing body is advocating that it is fine to shoot people.
    Sheesh!
    I guess it’s for reasons like that that I still appreciate and applaud Howard’s courageous stance against the creeping creepy gun mentality in this country.

  139. I mean those wingnuts in the American Christian Right have totally devalued and abused into flatulent non-existence the First Commandment. What flamin’ hypocrites!

  140. Actually, that’s the subtext to the Berlusconi imbroglio. Murdoch’s supposedly pushing the issue to destabilise Berlusconi such that he can get his hands on some of B’s media assets in Italy.

  141. Min @8.52pm, bring on the AWB scandal, I say. I want to see sweat pouring down that fat waste of space Downer’s face!.

  142. Jane, I just remembered about when Downer was full bore against Rudd last year, maybe something about the AWB has been in the pipeline for some time.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/contributors/downers-taunts-not-proper-for-un-envoy-20100802-113gm.html

    These comments (from Downer) are bitchy. Some would say they are hypocritical. They are certainly ungracious, given that Rudd lobbied UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to appoint Downer as his part-time Special Adviser on Cyprus when he retired from politics in 2008.

  143. Also disgusting is that sales for the gun that was used in the recent massacre in the US have tripled. What sort of sick society is it over there?

    The US gun lobby, some republicans and many wingnuts are now arguing if there had been more guns at that Tucson meeting then the gunman would have been less people shot.

    Again they overlook or bury the fact that most gun deaths and injuries in the US are caused by an owner’s gun, either fired by the owner, a family member or friend or by a perpetrator getting hold of an owner’s gun. In other words if the gun wasn’t there in the first place there would be far less gun deaths and injuries.

    Yet the right and the gun lobby want to keep adding more and more guns into a society that already has the highest gun related deaths and injuries outside of conflict areas using the reasoning that more guns will abate gun deaths and injuries.

    CRAZY doesn’t even get close to describing the madness that is US gun ownership.

    Yet right across the border the country with the greatest per capita gun ownership has amongst the lowest gun related crimes, deaths and injuries, and that is Canada.

    For just once in its history the US has to take a lesson from Canada instead of always ridiculing it.

  144. ………maybe something about the AWB has been in the pipeline for some time.

    I hope so, Min; seeing that mob exposed for the liars and corrupt ne’er do wells that they are is something to be desired, imo. Wonder how Dolt, Pies and Neil will try to spin it?

    The US gun lobby, some republicans and many wingnuts are now arguing if there had been more guns at that Tucson meeting then the gunman would have been less people shot.

    Strewth, ME. It would have made the shoot out at the OK corral look like a Sunday School picnic. Do you think these people ever engage their brains before they hit the accelerator in their gobs?

    Yeah, if their logic was correct, war zones should be the safest places on the planet. Perhaps a few of them should do a bit of hands on research in Afghanistan or Somalia or the Sudan?

  145. Jane, that is an excellent question. How will Dolt and cronies and Neil spin it? My guess is that they’ll do their usual and try to change the subject 😀

    Mobius & Jane. That is one thing that I could never really comprehend at all, the reasoning behind the US of A’s obsession with guns. Their ‘right to bear arms’ was only recently confirmed that the bearing in arms did not have to be connected with being ‘as part of a well regulated Militia’ as stated in the 2nd Amendment but..

    In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two Second Amendment decisions. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia[1][2] and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

    Therefore the USA has actually hurtled backwards with regard to gun control.

    The above from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

  146. God only knows why the US is so obsessed with owning guns, Min, although according to Michael Moore, Canadians probably own as many, but don’t feel the need to aim them at their fellow countrymen and pull the trigger, anywhere as often.

    It must be something in the psyche of some in the US which seems to come from a toxic mix of weird religious sects, that really angry hate filled fundie attitude and extreme individualism.

    Having said that, the truth is that most US citizens don’t own guns and don’t want to. And it shows the enormous and disproportionate influence the NRA wields in US politics.

  147. Jane @11:23pm

    Canadians I believe are the greatest per capita gun owners in the West.

    From my recollection there are two main reasons for the disparity, one of which Michael Moore bought up.

    First. Canada has tight gun controls and laws in place whereas in many states of the US gun control could not be any laxer, and in one of two staunch conservative states they are relaxing the laws even further. I believe one state wants to allow citizens to openly carry firearms almost harking back to the Wild West.

    Second, which is the valid point Moore raised, fear. Canadians are not constantly bombarded with messages of fear. In the US fear in one form or another is pumped out continuously, from the government, political parties, racist groups, advertisers through to special interest lobby groups like the NRA.

    I think I raised this point with Sparta once in relation to terrorism in that for such a chest beating apparently brave people he and his fellow citizens certainly appeared to be scared a lot, so much so they were willing to give up basic democratic freedoms and human rights to not be afraid, yet for all that indications were they are even more afraid after the freedoms were taken away and more rights were abrogated.

    Here Howard followed the US fear mongering and bought in his take on it but at least he took away the guns before embarking on a fear and smear campaign.

  148. Yes, ME, that summary hits the spot, imo. Add to that the vile rhetoric spewed forth by mobs like the Westboro Baptist Terror Group and there’s a very toxic political landscape.

    I’d also say that the US is losing the belief that it is the leader of the pack; the rise of China and the GFC has sapped confidence in their position at the top of the heap. I think they can feel the ground shifting under them and don’t know how to respond.

    I agree that Howard’s tightening of gun laws was the right thing to do; he could possibly have gone further. I believe it nipped a growing US style gun culture in the bud in this country and that his firm stance sent the NRA off with its tail between its legs when they come out here to stir up trouble.

  149. I mentioned this some time ago on another thread but it is again topical.

    I asked a Canadian Indian why North Americans were so obsessed with shooting animals for sport. He replied, simply, that they are allowed to. Gun laws give you that authority.

    He added that until the 1930s it was still legal to shoot Canadian Indians.

    Gobsmacking stuff.

  150. He added that until the 1930s it was still legal to shoot Canadian Indians.

    Sounds familiar behaviour in another country, Migs.

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