Give Tony Abbott a horse

For the mere sake of wanting something to say, Tony Abbott – that walking, talking suggestion box – sniffed some political opportunism when emerging from the dusty camps of Alice Springs declaring that the place (and just about everywhere else) needed another intervention. were there to capture this Gillard trumping, black fella fixing policy gem.  It came under the heading of breaking news.  I tend to think that it was more like breaking wind.  Full of shit to be more precise.  Except for one small bit:

“I accept that the original intervention wasn’t perfect,” he (Abbott) told ABC Television today.

It never was going to be.  In 2007, in response to the Northern Territory Report into sexual abuse called Little Children are Sacred, the Howard Government announced a national emergency in remote Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

The ‘NT Intervention’ involved sending police and the army into remote communities, alcohol bans, winding back Aboriginal land rights, health checks for Aboriginal children and the quarantining of welfare payments in over 70 Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal groups strongly condemned the NT Intervention. The authors of the Little Children are Sacred report also spoke out against the intervention, arguing that its heavy handed, top-down approach was inconsistent with the recommendations in the report.

Forty Aboriginal organisations put forward an alternative proposal for action based on consultation and partnerships with local communities, welfare organisations and women’s groups. This proposal was ignored and the NT Intervention went ahead.

It sure wasn’t perfect.  But look who gets some blame:

He (Abbott) said the government needed to get fair dinkum about enforcing current laws, noting that there had not been a single truancy fine imposed in the territory for 10 years.

Yes, let’s have the readers assume that this must be the Gillard Government’s fault.  Why wouldn’t the journalist have the morality to report that this comes under the jurisdiction of the Territory Government?  No, Tony’s on a roll . . . let’s do some more bashing.

Alcohol is also causing serious problems, said Mr Abbott, who urged retailers to get involved in the solution.

“I would certainly appeal to everyone involved in the retail alcohol trade, from Woolies and Coles down, to ask themselves the question: this might be good for business, but is it good for the country?”

Oh, so now it’s their fault too.  The first intervention hasn’t worked because the government fails to impose truancy fines on people who can’t afford to pay them and supermarket giants continue to sell alcohol.  Unbeknown to Abbott and (though it was reported in regional media at the time and Abbott was in opposition by then), the food vouchers provided to Newstart recipients in lieu of their allowance were being traded for cash to buy grog, for as little as one-fifth the value of the voucher.

Opposition indigenous spokesman Nigel Scullion, who was with Mr Abbott on the tour, said retailers should be acting now to take cheap grog off the shelves.

Then why do we need an intervention?  Let’s just take cheap grog off the shelves.
Mr Abbott said he was disappointed Prime Minister Julia Gillard didn’t take up his invitation to join him in Alice Springs, saying the issue requires bipartisan support.
Of course he was disappointed.  He had to troll around dusty camps in Alice Springs while the real Prime Minister was jetting around the world winning friends and admirers.  How humiliating.  “She should be toughing it up here while I’m posing in Fukushima in my Gae Waterhouse approved suit”.
Well I’ve covered just about all of the article I didn’t see anything of substance.  Abbott wants another intervention but he hasn’t even mentioned issues such as health, schooling, employment, living standards, municipal services or policing.  And he was never going to.  And neither do the media expect him to.  Let Abbott speak and we’ll make a story out of it.

Like John Howard he just wants to mount his gallant steed and ride into the Northern Territory as the returning hero.  Can someone give Tony Abbott a horse?

117 comments on “Give Tony Abbott a horse

  1. Another great post, Miglo.
    Has the first intervention been wound up, or does Abbott want to intervene in the first one?
    With all the bluster about alcohol abuse I can’t help wondering whether Abbott has an alcohol problem himself, either that or he has delusions of grandeur; either way his ego is being massaged very nicely by ltd. news.

  2. Mr. Abbott is demanding that Opel petrol be made compulsory in the NT. Something he refuse to do when he had the power.

  3. It is wonderful that ABC’s 7.30 and Chris Uhlman managed to be in the Alice the same time as Mr. Howard. Surely that was an coincidence.

  4. Have a listen to this one from over a month ago. The first intervention didn’t work and in fact made the situation worse in many situations and so what does Abbott want..another intervention. But this time he’s going to listen to the people…or so he says.

    The only thing that is going to help is to start from the beginning – provide people with the basics in life to give them back their dignity. Yet more punitive measures only serves to rob the people further of the very thing that enables them to make changes – their dignity.

  5. Here is one opinion about Abbott’s idea for a Second Intervention, and one which I am certain is shared by many others. Kinda says it all doesn’t it…

    A group of indigenous people were conversing at the river when the Opposition Leader swung past in can-do mode, with red desert sand on his chinos.

    The appearance of his entourage was followed in short order by a man rising to his feet. ”F— you,” he thundered and raised two middle digits aloft.

  6. BTW, I have to say, Lindsay Tanner is a bloody legend!!

    I saw yabot on the 7.30 Null last night, and luckily had to get the kids ready for bed, when I came back in, Lindsay Tanner was on, giving the media a well deserved slap in the face. I particularly liked the parts when he wouldn’t reply, saying that if he did, his words would be twisted around to mean something entirely different to fit in with the message the writer wanted, not what was actually said.

    Interestingly, nothing on ltdnews about it I see today. And the ABC only has one choice bit, declaring that ‘Federal Government like student politics’. Which, is kinda what he said, but, as he mentioned, misses the point entirely

  7. I must object Miglo, How Dare You Suggest He Get a Horse!

    No doubt he would have to ride it bare back.

    The photos of speedos, bikes and weights are more than enough.

  8. And did Abbott consult with the community folk of Alice Springs about another intervention? I’m guessing not.

  9. Yes, Sue. Abbott gives us so many opportunities to use that adjective in relation to himself. I think ‘bare faced……. ‘ is probably the most appropriate.

  10. Thanks for the heads up Sue.

    I also was unaware that obama had already released a legally binding prrof of his birth certificate.

    The only thing that makes conservatives in Australia look sane, is conservatives in America

    The only thing that makes the Australian media look competent, is the American media

  11. Migs, re your “The first intervention hasn’t worked because the government fails to impose truancy fines on people who can’t afford to pay them..”.

    Which then leads to one of the main reasons why Aboriginal people are incarcerated at such high rates – they cannot afford to pay fines – which then leads to one of the reason for deaths in custody, high incarceration rates for relatively minor offences. Abbott your appalling ignorance is on display for everyone to see.

  12. Tom I think the US media is mostly leaps and bounds better than what we have masquerading as media here. They at least have alternatives in most markets and also have some great TV comedy political commentators that can rip apart the rabid wingnuts.

  13. Tony said he wasn’t playing politics. Just as well the wind didn’t change at the time.
    I always thought Howard’s intervention was bullshit, just another wedge combined with an attempt to capitalise on the slouch hat factor. Send the troops in! but this time in the absence of an accommodating U.S. President Howard had to invade his own country. He also promised it would cost “a few tens of millions of dollars”, would anybody be silly enough to believe the Murdoch press would’ve held a reelected Howard Government to account on that?
    Chris Uhlmann nice & respectful interviewing Abbott last night, no talking over him, interrupting or little impatient gasps halfway through the answers to his questions.
    Plus Leigh Sales interviewing Lindsay Tanner, listening to him state the theme of his book & then proving him right with a series of attempts at gotcha questions.

  14. BSA, Mr. Tanner was not worried by the questions. The media today seems to think he should have answered the questions, in spite of Mr. Tanner stating that he did not have to as he was no longer a politician.

    Mr. Tanner was there to talk about his book, which by the way appears to be different from what was portrayed last week in the media.

    What he is saying, I believe, is that Labor has to start selling what it has achieved, which contary to popular view is plenty. It must never again do what Mr. Rudd did, give in and agree something is wrong when it was not.

  15. But this time he’s going to listen to the people….

    Yeah. What people would they be? We know he’s in regular communion with God, thanks to his mate Archbishop Pell. Perhaps he’ll also be “listening” to Danny Whatsisname from Ministries of Hellfire!

    And I suppose there’s always Pauline Hanson?

    On the whole, I prefer the opinion of the bloke in the Alice and his double digits.

    Migs, great post. I’m with Sue on the ghastly mental picture of Smuggles in smugglers astride an unfortunate horse, though.

    Smuggles and our ever-alert MSM have also failed to observe that the previous government was very much less than vigilant in imposing their much vaunted truancy fines.

    Min @11.15am, not only is his appalling ignorance on display, but his lack of interest in what is at the heart of the problems experienced by Aboriginal people is also writ large, don’t you think?

    Do you reckon he actually chooses to be such a dickhead, or is he unaware of his arrant stupidity?

    Tom R, I heard Obama has finally got sick of the lies about where he was born, but as it was only headlines between programs on the ABC, I wasn’t aware just what steps he’d taken to combat them.

    It would be great if he took legal action against the “birthers” and could pretty much bankrupt the buggers. And a dose of an American prison probably wouldn’t do them an ounce of harm. Better still a week in the stocks!

    ME @11.24am, I agree with you there. Not all the US media is in thrall to Emperor Rupert and there are plenty of political commentators who tear the wingnuts to shreds with humour.

    And let’s face it, the wingnuts pretty much write the material for them. One S Palin springs to mind.

  16. Catching Up
    Agreed Lindsay Tanner didn’t seem fussed by Sales’ questions. I haven’t seen any media comment on this.
    But I hope the MSM doesn’t construct the issue it wants to see from this interview (and book)

  17. jane, Colbert and Stewart do nothing more than playback the wingnuttery and make faces of incredulity as the idiocy unfolds, and it has me on the floor laughing every time.

    Colbert is especially insidious as unlike Stewart he plays the role of an ardent wingnut whilst utterly ripping them to pieces with comedy.

  18. Jane and “his lack of interest in what is at the heart of the problems experienced by Aboriginal people..” They’re nothing more than a tool to be used at his whim, nothing more than a useful convenience. I don’t get (an intuitive thing) that there is any “soul” in his connection to anything, he might say the words but his ego supercedes all.

  19. Can someone enlighten me to what could not have been done for the Aboriginals if we did not have the intervention.

    Without the Intervention, we could still have had -:

    Increase police presence.

    Child Protection workers.

    Improved housing.

    Education motivation.

    Income management. (This does not have to be across the board, punishing those who do the right thing, as those who are wasteful. The present method is very expensive and does provide many jobs for the bureaucrats.) Income management can be done on a voluntary basis or where children are at risk, through Child Welfare agencies and the courts.

    Job training and increased employment opportunities.

    Health checks.

    Alcohol and drug counselling.

    What did the Intervention allow to happen that could not have been done without taking peoples rights away.

    How many more are going to school. Has abuse of children ceased. Are more employed. What happened to the alcoholics, as I refused to believe restricting alcohol would have solved their problems. My guess is that they have moved elsewhere.

    What has happened is the there has been more money spent. It did not need an Intervention for this to occur.

    It is my opinion that the Intervention was hasty created to assist the Howard government’s re-election. It would have been allowed to die, if Mr. Howard was successful in being re-elected.

    The Labor government should have re-assessed the situation when first elected and a more responsible programme put in place.

    Please do not insult me by insisting that money has been spent over the decades, it has not. The Aboriginals have had less per head spent on education, health and housing Etc. than that the rest of the community.

  20. I’ve just been informed of the sad news that our traveling blogger, pterosaur has suffered a major stroke and is currently in the Launceston Hospital. My thoughts are with him.

  21. Has anybody else noticed that Fairfax are the only independent media that have availed the Government a right of reply on Abbott’s bold plan?

  22. I stand corrected Mobius, America does have a great choice in their media, and I would love to see a show like Colbert and Stewart. I thought BNW might have done it, but it appears they have decided to go for tittie jokes instead. Which is a shame, because I thought they had the talent to rise above that.

  23. Has anybody else noticed that Fairfax are the only independent media that have availed the Government a right of reply on Abbott’s bold plan?

    Yes Migs, how come everything the government states or proposes is immediately referred to Abbott and the opposition for comment yet anything the opposition states or proposes is not given a chance of reply by the government?

    This also goes at the State level. Notice that in the now Liberal States when Labor was in power there was a constant barrage of replies by the Liberal oppositions, but now utter silence as Labor oppositions are not given any press or air time at all. What is happening with O’Farrell and his cooking the books at the moment is a good example, where Labor is trying to respond but aren’t being given any media time.

  24. What annoyed me on last night.s news. was a picture of our NSW Education minister in a primary school. There was a great show of children using interaction white boards and sitting before numerous computers.

    The minister stated that he was going to take what was left over of thstimulusus money and spend it on computers etc. He said that empty schools halls were useless or words to that effect.

    The presentation gave the impression that Labor had not supplied anything more than halls.

    I would like to point out, istimulustimuls money spent under Labor that equipped the school with the equipment the children were using. It was the state Labor government plan to provide more in the coming year.

    It is nice to see the NSW Coalition who have been in power, setting themselves up to take credit for what Labor provided.

    I would suggest any parent and grandparent who makes visits to their local school to ask what Labor provided. You will be pleasantly surprise that it was much more than halls.

  25. CU @ 1.13pm “Without the Intervention, we could still have had -:”

    I would have to defer to Migs on this one, but I believe that the answer is Yes, however what we could not have had is income quarantining specifically for Aboriginal people nor compulsory acquisition of townships which were held under the provisions of the Native Title Act – as at least both of these required the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act.

    These items theoretically could have been done by the federal government’s powers under The Constitution but that would have taken far too long and what Howard wanted at the time was a quick headline.

  26. “income quarantining specifically for Aboriginal people nor compulsory acquisition of townships which were held under the provisions of the Native Title Act – as at least both of these required the suspension of the Racial Discrimination”

    Min, the money could have been quarantined if needed to protect children at risk under any state child protection laws. Those who feel they need this protection can already avail themselves of what Centerlink has to offer. As a Child Protection worker in NSW, I manage to get many mostly mothers to agree to have their rent paid before they got their benefits. They agreed to other assistance which became a part of their court conditions in having their children in their care. We need to remember, most on benefits to manage to handle their money very well.

    As for others who receive pensions or benefits, they should have the right to spend the money as they see fit. I know I would object if someone told me how to spend my money.

    Maybe there might have been a need for minor changes in how Centerlink operates to make the quarantining of money easier.

    I still fail to see why they have to give up their land rights to have money provided for housing.

    Min, without the Intervention, the action could have been quicker.

    One of Mr. Howard’s first and last acts as a PM was to wind back the Aboriginal Land rights. What the Intervention was about was ideology, nothing more.

    We should remember all the incidents of child sexual abused highlighted in the news at that time were cases that had been before the court. Did the Intervention reveal the hidden abuse that was alleged was occurring.

    I feel that the main cause of the plight of children being abused and neglected in the Territory has much to do with overcrowding and inferior housing stock. This situation also contributes to other social ills.

  27. Min, I forgot to add the Intervention and the widespread income quarantining was the most expensive way of dealing with the problem.

    Maybe Migs would be able to tell us how much of the Intervention money reached the people. How many outsiders were employed to put the programme into place.

    Did we really need the Army.

  28. CU re “Min, the money could have been quarantined if needed to protect children at risk under any state child protection laws.”. Yes it could have, but the intervention was aimed specifically at Aboriginal people and because it was aimed specifically at Aboriginal people this action (and not ALL people) it would have contravened anti-discrimination legislation.

    Howard did not want to help people, he wanted to make an issue out of Aboriginal people to take to the election – drunkenness, sexual abuse and pornography.

    Also if Howard has suggested that White people have their incomes quarantined all hell would have broken out in Howard-battler territory that their incomes might be quarantined, and Howard certainly wouldn’t have wanted that so soon before the election.

  29. the Army, I believe that our service personnel had a great time kicking the footy with the kids.

  30. ME, do you think the wingnuts even understand that it’s a pisstake? I’d be interested to know if they have the wit to comprehend it.

    Exactly, Min @1.08pm. He must have to use a semi trailer to fit his ego when he travels by road.

    CU @1.13pm, I’m absolutely certain that the sole purpose of the intervention was to get the Rodent re-elected by focusing negative attention on those convenient tried and true whipping boys, the Aboriginal population, while doing sod all of any value. A pogrom worthy of any tsar.

    And to paraphrase what you, Min and other commenters have said, infantalising Aboriginal people by pretty much announcing that they are incapable of managing their lives, is a disgrace.

    They did a pretty good job for tens of thousands of years before we showed up. I’d like to see how well all the naysayers would go if they were meted out the same treatment that Aborigines have been subjected to for the last 200+ years.

    I think they’ve done remarkably well, considering the sustained and devastating attacks on their culture and physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

  31. CU @ 3.09pm. I wonder how Abbott is going to enforce that one, maybe he can set up gangs of vigilantes to round up all the kids wagging it from school. But mister, I’ve got a note from my mum!

    This is not to trivilise the issue of Aboriginal kids and school attendance but there are improvements in attendance once the kids can see the benefit of going to school. It’s typical Abbott bugger incentives just round ’em up…and do precisely what with the kids you do round up Mr. Abbott…put them in the lockup..drag them by the hair to school!!

  32. Migs I’m off to work, but I would like your opinion on this story as you have the background education.

    That’s an interesting challenge you pose, El gordo, and one that had me squeezing my memory bank in search of a good answer.

    On a visit to the Coorong I was offered a feed of mullet from the local Ngarrindjeri people. Mullet, if you’ve tried it, is unforgettably awful, but I was assured by the Ngarrindjeri that their mullet was special.

    And it tasted superb. The different and unique flavour was due to the fresh water from the Murray spilling into and ‘diluting’ the sea water in the Coorong. If the fresh water was to stop the Ngarrindjeri will lose their primary/traditional diet. This leads me to think of heritage rights.

    Indigenous Australians now have intellectual copyright (such as medicines and recipes) recognised in the Federal and State heritage acts. This might be an angle they could give some thought to.

    And finally, there is also “secret women’s business” associated with the flow of the Murray that I’m not even meant to know, let alone be at liberty to disclose.

    Hope I’ve been some help.

  33. Migs, Coorong mullet is the king of fish, closely followed by knife jaw, imo.

    Coorong mullet has long been a closely guarded SA secret, but the cat is now being let out of the bag and it’s gaining a well deserved reputation for deliciousness. No kerosene fish here.

    My two eldest children have been known to rip people’s arms off to get the lion’s share; neither has been game enough to tackle their father, though. A very dab hand at siphoning the stuff down at a record rate.

    The above mentioned rellies do rate crayfish though, which shows an alarming lack of judgement in the piscatorial stakes, imho.

  34. Nicely put Miglo. Tony Abbott always sinks to new lows when he talks about First Australians; betraying his 18th century views.

    Unfortunately it seems that he’ll keep getting tacit support as long as he’s seen as being tough.

  35. I was just thinking about the topic (strange but true I know :)) and “Tony Abbott – that walking, talking suggestion box”.

    Does Tony ever provide any reasonable solutions to all of his suggestions? I don’t mean dumb things such as rounding up truant school kids or phone lines to patrol boats..some well thought out actual dinky di proposals.

  36. Another indication that Mr Abbott is off the mark. The following was taken from a Fact Sheet produced by the Central Land Council (Alice Springs) at the time of the NT intervention.

    What is the measure?

    The National Emergency Response Act (Cth) makes it an offence to take, possess, drink or supply alcohol on all Prescribed Areas.

    The Act also makes it an offence for any alcohol outlet not to record the name, address and place of consumption for purchases over 1,350ml of alcohol (3 cases of beer).

    These changes go further than existing restrictions under the Liquor Act (NT).

    Where are Prescribed Areas?

    Prescribed Areas are:
    • all Aboriginal land granted under the Land Rights Act (Cth)
    • all community living areas granted under Lands Acquisition Act (NT)
    • town camps declared by the Minister
    • any other area in the NT declared by the Minister

    When does it start?

    The alcohol measures started on 18 August 2007.
    The new offences start on 15 September 2007.

    What are the possible problems?

    The alcohol bans do not extend to any roadhouses or other alcohol outlets.


    The intervention is still in place and there are still alcohol restrictions. If Mr Abbott bases his claim that another intervention is alcohol fuelled then on what does he base this claim? Did he see Aborigines drinking in public areas? He certainly wouldn’t have seen alcohol consumption in the communities.

    For this reason I’m beginning to believe that his call for an intervention is purely race based.

  37. In answer to Cu’s question about money, I haven’t a clue. But there are a few positives that came out of the intervention . . . eventually.

    It was the army that alerted the Rudd Government that people were selling their food vouchers for cash, sometimes asking only $20 for a $100 voucher. The Rudd Government acted swiftly in introducing a card system to replace the vouchers.

    It was only after this was done that child abuse, drunkenness and malnutrition problems started to decrease.

    Abbott was right; it wasn’t done perfectly. Not by his mob anyway.

  38. This reminds me of a comment made by Mr. Windsor in the last couple of days, It is reported the he is fed up with business complaining about the price on carbon. It was alleged that he was through listening to their complaints. He is alleged that he told them if they had alternative answers, he was available to listen.

    This advice should be given to Mr. Abbott. Why is he still getting air time. This in the past was not the norm for opposition leaders of either party.

  39. And an excellent example of why Howard had to cause the intervention to be exempt from the Racial Discrimination Act – It’s all about where Aboriginals live. Here is what the UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights James Anaya thought of it…

    The Australian Government’s intervention into the indigenous communities of the Northern Territory is inherently racist, breaches international human rights obligations and must be changed immediately..

  40. ” It was only after this was done that child abuse, drunkenness and malnutrition problems started to decrease”

    Miglo I was under the impression that their is no data or evidence to support this claim. That no research has been carried out.

    My life long experience with alcohlics is that they do not stop drinking if the supply ceases. They always find a new source. Maybe they just moved the problem elsewhere, maybe to the town camps.

    You can still sell the food you buy with the card. I seen white people do this thirty years ago after buying food with charity handouts every Saturday, behind the pub to gamble at the TAB.

    As for child abuse, I would put forwarded, it could be pushed underground. It is very hard for families to put their own relatives in. The intervention could have gave the abuser more power in the communities.

    My argument is any good that was done, could have been achieved without removing peoples rights.

  41. is one opinion.…-why-it-just-didn2019t-work

    So an argument in the media about whether Brough or Macklin got it right is not the point. One major error is the NT and Canberra support reducing housing and services to outstations and some smaller settlements to pressure their residents to move to urban hubs. This ignores evidence of better health and other benefits in these settlements and the current Alice experience of what happens when people are moved into hubs. The displaced drunks and disruptive footloose youth who have moved to Alice show how flawed that idea is.

  42. ‘it wasn’t done perfectly.’

    Of course not, it was done in a knee jerk and in order to get it out in time for the election. Labor were saddled with it, and have simply tried to make the most of a dogs breakfast.

    ‘Miglo I was under the impression that their is no data or evidence to support this claim. That no research has been carried out.’

    I watched a bit of the Drum (from last night I think) where one claimed that there was evidence out already that showed that the rate of reported abuse had actually increased. Another mentioned that this meant that more were reporting it, and around it went

    But it appeared there had been an evaluation. I have not seen it though. Guess our media is to busy hanging on yabots brain farts to actually tell us anything

  43. Re Abbott: “I would certainly appeal to everyone involved in the retail alcohol trade, from Woolies and Coles down, to ask themselves the question: this might be good for business, but is it good for the country?”

    Poker machines anyone?

  44. ‘Poker machines anyone?’

    Touche Min 😉

    I also wonder how his new found vigour for ‘Rivers Of Grog’ (I didn’t know a glog could be a river??) sits with their vehement opposition to the Alco Pops Tax?

    One thing about the opposition, they never appear to maintain much consistency, except when it comes to saying NO!

  45. Ah yes Tom but this particular glog or grog is flowing into Aboriginal people. It is quite clear that Alco Pops is consumed only by the children of white, middle class, non-gay christians.

    That which is consumed by Aboriginals = grog
    That which is consumed by the aforementioned white upper middle class = harmless recreation

  46. Speaking of horses! 😀

    Guess who who’s football team won again last night?

    Had the pleasure of watching at Suncorp Satadium too – better known as, The Couldron!

    Broncos 20 clobbered the Bulldogs 12 … 😈



    Apologies, Migs, couldn’t find a thread to gloat! 😆

  47. ‘harmless recreation’

    Thanks for the clarification Min. It’s easy for simple drudges like meself to get confused with the inticacies of these decisions 😉

  48. TB, no idea. 🙄 But please feel free to gloat here, the Café in fact encourages gloating.

    Tom, pleased to be of assistance.

  49. TomR was that a misspelling? “drudges”? 😀

    … and I keep waiting for The Wedding Dress Thread! 🙄

  50. Was there a football game on last night? I thought the whole world was about a wedding. Must have been an inconsequential match to put it on when the greatest event in human history was televised.

  51. They had the wedding on the giant screen at the club last night while the other dozen screens showed NRL, AFL and other sports. It was a waste of electricity having the wedding on as most people were watching the NRL.

  52. The frocks were lovely, but I have a sneaking suspicion that some media outlets were employing lip readers to capture every private moment.

    Morally reprehensible!

  53. El gordo, I noticed that too on Sky news this morning..they were repeating the words that the couple were saying privately to each other. Agreed, very poor taste indeed.

  54. Migs they did the same at my local club with the same result, hardly anyone was watching the wedding and the club was as busy as it normally is on a non-holiday weekend.

    I really don’t know where they get this 2 billion watching projection and the most watched televised event in human history. I guess they will count the millions who will just switch to it to see what the fuss is about and change back to the footy or whatever.

  55. This one is from Mark Dreyfus who admittedly is Federal Labor.

    The next day I spoke to Andrew Male, the host of ABC North and West SA’s regional breakfast program to try and put right what Mr Abbott had said.

    Also on Male’s show, was Scott Martin, Whyalla organiser for the AWU, who summed up what he thought Tony Abbott was up to. “As far as Tony Abbott’s visit, I think he is drumming up a lot of hysteria and look it’s a pure vote getting adventure for him. There’s no way Tony Abbott would have come to Whyalla if he didn’t think he could get some votes out of it. He’s never been to places like Whyalla or the Pilbara in his life.”–our-very-own-obama-birther-sideshow-20110429-1dzgu.html#ixzz1KyzbvXPz

  56. I just can’t get the image of Tony Abbott out of my mind, should he succeed in his Howardesque plan of mouthing meaningless platitudes which convince the gullible to vote for him, combined with making a show of caring for the things that Mark Textor’s research tells him to, and he god-forbid becomes Prime Minister, of him riding around on his horse named ‘Caligula’, getting the Blacks(which is how racists like him and Trump are now referring to them), to call him ‘Bwana’.

  57. Oh, and I have it on good authority from Dr Rebecca Huntly, of Ipsos Mackay Research, that the truckies and sparkies of Australia think that our Opposition Leader is F.I.T.H., and without him the Coalition would have won the election last year.

  58. Miglo, Mark Riley also thinks Tony needs (or is ) a horse. Tony has been referred to as Vladamir Abbott.

    Now about the dress. Julia must have done OK as she hasn’t headlined in the MSM.

  59. On the subject of dress sense, Tony Abbott scores a nought out of ten. Everybody knows that you don’t wear a tie to a desert Aboriginal community. It’s a sign that you think you’re better than them.

  60. Speaking of giving him a horse, Paul Kelly gives him a herd

    ‘Abbott, in effect, wages a sustained political crusade to destroy the Labor base vote. It is the most elemental feature of Australian politics today yet there is a deep reluctance to identify and analyse what is actually happening.’

    Hang on, isn’t that supposed to be the medias job. Apparently not, with yabot, they merely echo his message, and move on. They NEVER analyse the message, and definitly do not expose the multiple limitations and obvious inconsistencies within it. All they do is carry the attack he has offered them.

    ‘As leader, Abbott is strong on policy principle and weak on policy detail.’

    And still, even kelly doesn’t call him on it, just goes on to say how brilliant tactically he is.

    But why is he brilliant tactically? Simple. He has a compliant media. These tactics would never succeed if an ounce of intellectual honesty was applied to the message, but they appear to be happy to not only watch, but also to assist with his constant erosion of public conficence, an erosion based mainly on outright lies. An erosion built back when Rudd and the BER were the targets, now onto the erosion of NBN and Carbon Tax, all based on lies and innuendo. No FACTS are present in their analysis, merely supposition, and, as witnessed in the recent attack on the NBNCo chiefs, the lowest form of grubby muck raking witnessed since, well, probably the Home Insulation Scheme was totally misrepresented by our journos.

    I couldn’t read much more of the oo this morning, they are particularly vitriolic this weekend for some reason. Wonder if it has something to with how well Gillard is handling herself?

  61. I can’t remember Tony Abbott ever being interested in Aboriginal issues when he was Health Minister.

  62. Tom R at 12.37
    Well said!
    The Murdoch crew delight in informing us how delicately poised the political situation is but don’t give us their thoughts on the consequences of a change of Government.
    I suspect that Abbott’s so weird & changeable they don’t have much idea themselves. Or possibly they do have an idea but are scared to tell.

  63. Ellve at 12.55
    Or Mental Health. Both are longstanding backwater issues Abbott’s picked up on in an attempt to outflank Labor.

  64. BSA Bob. Do Aboriginals have mental health issues. Abbott seems to think that if they got off the grog and got a job then there would be no problems.

  65. Ellve, Aborigines do have mental health issues. The percentage of Aborigines on the Disability Support Pension for mental issues and depression is far greater than that of the general DSP population.

    I wrote a report on the very subject about 3 years ago but I have no idea now of what the figures were, but they were significant.

  66. Miglo I know that Aborigines have mental health issues this was tongue in cheek. Tony Abbott appears to think that all Aboriginal issues will be fixed if people get off the grog. Alcoholism is an important issue but it’s not the only one.

  67. Tom R @12.37pm, Paul Kelly didn’t allow any comments on his latest masterpiece. Pity.

    Feral Skeleton @ 8.02am, Abbott is the perfect example of “FITH” disease.

    BSA Bob @ 12.58pm, the Murdoch/ABC crews are desperately working to land a blow big enough to bring down the government before the Senate changes hands – two months to go. It’s going to be a rough ride.

  68. Pip, no matter what is written in the newspapers or how they might try to manipulate the polls there cannot be a change of government before The Greens are in the Senate. There is no trigger before parliament.

  69. Ellve @ 2.01pm, I agree, but that won’t stop them from dreaming, and it has everything to do with the Rabbot’s sudden interest in Aboriginal mental health.

  70. Min @ 2,07pm, 29th, some time ago there was a blog called connect the dots or similar, which pointed out the link between the sites of mineral deposits and the compulsory acquisition of townships under Native Title.
    I’m still searching:smile:

  71. I recall that too, Pip. The intervention has been a huge success and achieved everything it set out to achieve . . . for the miners.

  72. We hear of some Aboriginals supporting the Intervention. I am not so sure that is what they are saying. I believe the truth might be if this is the only way we can get the money and support we need, we will pay the price by tolerating the Intervention.

  73. Does anyone else get the feeling that the Coalition has change their press releases being in written form to video snippets.

    Are the MSM and the ABC replaying these media releases without explanation during their news broadcasts. If I am correct, they are being presented as interviews carried out by the media.

    Now I maybe a cynic, but the impression is being created that Mr. Abbott has a press contingent following him as he swans around the country. I imagine the taxpayer is picking up his air fares to what amount to Coalition electioneering.

    I would like to see someone in the Press community recommend that all that strive to being journalists do some in-depth workshops into bias and how it effects their role as journalists. Everyone has bias of one type or another. Most thinking people realise this and take steps to ensure it does not impair the job they are doing. Modern day journalist to not seem to acknowledge this truth.

    I love the rationalising done by many ex and present days’ journalist voice the excuse that the numbers employed has declined and they do not have the numbers to do the job properly. Where is the outcry among them demanding this situation be reverse. I seem to remember in the distant past, that journalist where capable and did stick up for themselves.

    I do hope Mr. Tanner has success in his campaign, he is talking a lot of sense. I have not bought a book for years, as I have trouble reading print but this is one I will be buying.

  74. “There is no trigger before parliament.”

    The truth is for all Mr. Abbott;s screaming, threats and jumping up and down, he has not prevented Labor from getting his legalisation through. To go further he has not been successful in getting any amendments to the legalisation passed. As an Opposition leader he has been very ineffective, that is in the Parliament.

    It is my belief, no matter what happens, Mr. Abbott cannot force the Senate to an election. This is in spite of his boast that he is so popular that he will do the impossible and get control of the Senate.

    The most Mr. Abbott and the MSM can do is to create instability in our electoral system in the government for years to come. .

  75. CU, I think they’re dreaming..
    Recently, Andrew Robb was talking in a vague way about how the Coalition “would not block supply”. For mine that shows that they’re trying to find a way to do just that.
    I’m hazarding a guess that Abbott and his cronies will be completely beside themselves come the 10th July.

  76. Miglo, I’m still looking for that site, it’s out there somewhere.

    CU, I hadn’t quite realised the video thing, thanks for pointing it out.

  77. Does anyone really believe that the Independents and I would not be surprise many in the Coalition would vote for a Constitutional crisis.

    I might be wrong but was not there changes to the rules after the Whitlam dismissal.

    Mr. Abbott problem is that he is addicted to electioneering.

    I often wonder what many in the Coalition are really thinking. We hear from a few like Bishop, Robb, a reluctant Hunt, Hockey and a couple of others but nothing from the rest of the Opposition in Parliament.

  78. Pip I have no idea if I am right about video press releases but what we have been seeing do not look like normal press interviews.

  79. CU, there have to be ‘triggers’ to take a duly elected government down. It’s under s57 of the Constitution.

    Constitution – section 57
    If the House of Representatives passes any proposed law, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which House will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the House of Representatives, in the same or the next session, again passes the proposed law with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor-General may dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously. But such dissolution shall not take place within six months before the date of the expiry of the House of Representatives by effluxion of time.

  80. Pip when I was watching 7.30 on thursday, the interview of Abbott by Uhlmann, it looked as though they were in 2 locations.The whole interview seemed as if it were a noddy.

    I know the ABC announced that Uhlmann was in NT but that doesn’t mean the interview wasn’t manufactured.

  81. Min, they are the triggers for a double dissolution, which none exist at this time. One of the reasons is that the Gillard government has not had legislation blocked.

    There can also be a lower house election on its own. This happened under Mr. Menzies, the result was that the houses were out of sync.

    If my memory was correct, the problem was solved by later having a half senate election or it could have been an early lower house and half the senate. to bring the houses back into sync.

    There are rules in the constitution about the time frame when Senate elections can be called within the electoral cycle.

    Whatever happens, GG has to be convinced that an election is warranted.

  82. CU, the government in fact most governments have a substantial amount of legislation blocked.

    It’s a matter of protocol aka common law and law aka that passed into legislature, a bill originates in the House of Reps and is presented to the Senate for ratification. If refused it returns to the House of Reps for amendments etc. If returned to the Senate and if refused a second time, it can then be a double dissolution trigger if the imcumbent government chooses it to be so.

    Them’s the rules and Abbott can do all the wishful thinking that he wants…It isn’t going to happen.

  83. Yes, one of the reasons is that Mr. Abbott does not appear have the power to block Labor’s legislation to allow it to happen.

  84. There is still the convention of Responsible Government Min.

    *The executive Government (effectively the Prime Minister) holds office only while it has the confidence of the lower house of Parliament. If it ceases to have the confidence of the lower house the government must either resign or advise the Governor General to dissolve the lower house and call for a general election.
    * With a few, contested, exceptions, the Governor-General must act on the advice of the executive Government.

    * In the appointment of a Prime Minister, convention allows the Governor-General some limited discretion. Normally the Governor-General appoints the next Prime Minister in accordance with the advice of the outgoing Prime Minister — e.g. after an election in which the incumbent Government is defeated, the outgoing Prime Minister will offer the Governor-General his or her resignation and advise the Governor-General to call on the leader of the successful party. Similarly, if the Government has lost the confidence of the House of Representatives and the Prime Minister chooses not to call an election but to hand over office to another leader the house has confidence in, the Prime Minister will offer the Government’s resignation and advise the Governor-General to call on the other leader to form a Government. But occasionally, if a defeated Government refuses to resign or if there is no clear leader of a majority in the House of Representatives, and perhaps in some other circumstances, the Governor-General may make his or her own choice. (The person so chosen must be able to get the confidence of the House, or there will be another replacement.) The Governor-General will accept the new Prime Minister’s advice as to who the other ministers should be. The Constitution does not mention the Prime Minister. The position exists by constitutional convention.

  85. This is the area I believe Mr Abbott is attempting to exploit – he would need enough of the cross-bench to pass a vote of no confidence in the government to trigger this though – once again, “it isn’t going to happen”

  86. Are Supply Bills now unique in any way? I’m not sure they are & Supply would need to be passed by the Senate- some prize drongos there, with literally nothing to lose.
    The Government could wait & pass the Bill second time round in the new Senate if the country was prepared to not be paid in the meantime. Is Abbott capable of this- is the Pope a Catholic? The MSM cheersquad would give him an easy run.
    I hope I’m wrong about this.

  87. BSA Bob, to my way of thinking many people don’t know a lot about the way that either parliament or the law works and so when the MSM run Eeekk Headlines..Will the Independents side with the Opposition (cue in dark dooom dooom music) people naturally assume that this is not only a possibility but a probability – irrespective of whether it can ever happen within the framework of the law and the Constitution.

    Abbott’s Opposition has run out of time, there are no big ticket items left for him to try to persuade the indies to swap sides (not that they ever were going to). He has done his worst, completed all of the attention-seeking stunts that he can and so from now on it’s going to be…well let’s just see what happens, will logic and care and concern prevail or will selfishness and egocentrism prevail.

  88. I’m about to put up Monday’s thread early. Like in ten seconds. Tomorrow is going to be a bit manic at work, so I had two choices: stay home or put the thread up on Sunday. :mrgreen:

  89. “The reason why any early election will be for the House only is because of the constitutionally fixed terms of Senators. The Senate can be broken into three groups:
    the Senators elected in 2007 who began their six-year terms on 1 July 2008. A writ for an election for these Senators cannot be issued until after 1 July 2013.
    The Senator elected on 21 August, whose six-year terms will begin on 1 July 2011. A new writ for an election for these Senators cannot be issued until after 1 July 2016.
    The four Territory Senators, two from the ACT and two from the Northern Territory. The terms for these Senators are tied to terms of the House, and whenever writs for a House election are issued, writs to fill vacancies in the four Territory Senate seats would also be issued………..”

    “Precedent is mudied here by the 1975 constitutional crisis, a precedent few constitutionalists like to refer to except as a last resort. The dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who had the confidence of the House, in favour of Malcolm Fraser, who advised for a double dissolution before confidence in him could be tested, will always be controversial………….”

    The fact Fraser used Whitlam government measures that his party had opposed in the Senate also raised the question as to whether the measures were of importance to the Prime Minister’s program. Fraser’s victory at the subsequent election with a majority in both houses meant the legislative implications of the 1975 double dissolution were never tested. In terms of precedent, the 1975 constitutional crisis should always be treated as a special case.

    “COMMENT: As I keep saying, the government’s problem is the House, not the Senate. A bill opposed in the House by the Greens would probably need opposition support to pass, which makes it unlikely the opposition would turn around and then oppose the same bill in the Senate. After July next year, I can’t see on the current numbers why a bill that had navigated its way through the House would then be defeated in the Senate. This Parliament will either go full term to a normal House and half-senate election, or dissolve early for a House only election.”

    It was blocking supply that led to Whitlam’s demise. I was under the impression that Mr. Frazer took steps to prevent this happening again.

  90. Well the choice is clear then Migs – stay home & look after the Café 😉

    You could become a Queenslander for a day and have a public holiday like all the good people 😆

  91. Yes Migs – I’ve been off work since Good Friday & don’t go back till Wednesday – all for the cost of 4 days’ leave 🙂

  92. Pingback: Aboriginals and Land Rights |

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