Weekend Watch

Just for you Bacchus..a weekend topic 🙂
Greetings and welcome to our weekend topic. I kinda liked this pic..something about the analogy between Tony Abbott and a used teabag.

And just cos I can. 🙂

Min sneaks away quietly..by the time that Migs comes back I’ll be on dishwashing duties for a month…

132 comments on “Weekend Watch

  1. Neil said “blah blah blah blah blah ” and then mumbled something about an election promise in 2007.

    We also been over and over an over and….

    The Labor government, after coming to office, found that spending $4.7 billion on a half-a**ed broadband network would have just perpetuated the massive waste which had already been going on since the Howard government totally botched the sale of Telstra, and had experts in the field come up with something that would actually fix the problems caused by the Howard government, and set up up for a future for decades to come in telecommunications…

  2. How about I “do a Neil” on Neil? 😆

    Look over there!!!

    After winning the 1996 Australian Federal election John Howard slashed spending on Education, Health, Social Welfare blaming a budget deficit left by the previous government. When it was pointed out that he had promised not to cut spending on these areas as part of his election platform and that he had lied, he claimed that these were “non-core promises”

    And then there’s:

    John Howard’s 1996 no new taxes promise: 7.30 Report anchor Kerry O’Brien asked Howard in February 1996: “OK. the pledge of no new taxes, no increase in existing taxes for the life of the next parliament. So for the next three years, not even a one cent increase on cigarettes or beer or wine or petrol, no other indirect tax increase, no tax increase of any kind?”

    John Howard: “That promise is quite explicit.”

    By September 2002 Howard’s government had introduced legislation for 130 new taxes or levies, including the gun buyback levy in 1996.

  3. Bacchus, being an historian the thing that has always been detrimental to Australia’s economy has been difficulty of communication due to our isolation. For example, by 1870 when Australia had no communication with the outside world except via ship that a cable was laid between Darwin and Singapore.

    The cost at the time was extraordinary, but it meant communication.

    The NBN is today’s version of the telegraph cable.

  4. Exactly Min, but the backwards thinkers don’t want to see the amazing future this network sets up for Australia. It’s quite extraordinary the number of world technology leaders (like Steve Wozniak – mentioned earlier) who can see the potential in what the government is doing, whereas all the “Luddites” can see is the short-term, up-front costs 🙄

  5. Bacchus

    Politics aside anyone with half a brain will support the NBN.

    Just that Tony Abbott wants to be negative about anything and everything all of the time.

    This is the new political style of the relious right and extreme conservatives. Problem is it resonates with even the most sensible of voters when it becomes relentless in a period of economic uncertainty.

  6. Bacchus

    I do not see the same hatred when the ALP goes back on its election commitments.

    It was a an election proposal to build the NBN in 5 years and for it to cost $4.7B. If they found out after they got into office that it was a waste of money what does this say about their research in Opposition??

    And it is wrong to call OPEL a debacle since it was never tried.

  7. Neil, it was not tried because all of the telecommunications experts were telling the government that it was a crock! It was a badly thought out band-aid solution – quite typical of the government that instigated it…

    Still got your eyes closed Neil? The opposition and its enablers in the press are still going on about the Carbon tax promise 🙄 Abbott can’t open his mouth without spewing forth his hatred of any and all things ALP…

  8. Bacchus

    I think Tony Abbott can’t open his mouth without being negative about anything at all. Not just any ALP policy but any policy put forward by anyone or any organisation except for himself or his extremist support base in the party.

    I think this is also why there is apparently discontent within the actual liberals within the liberal party. Control on policy and its content is limited to that proposed by the religous and extreme sector of the party.

    It seems that any policy bipartisanship on anything will never happen while he is Opposition Leader. But rather is passed thanks to Independents or Greens. I just hope he remembers this if he ever becomes the PM (God Forbid) because unless he has control of both houses revenge from all of the other parties and independents would be very sweet indeed.

  9. Bacchus forget the revenge angle. If Abbott were to get to power the Senate needn’t listen to any of Abbott’s proposals, the Senators can still vote in accordance to who elected them. Why is that so because even though Rudd won 2007, even though Howard lost his seat, the Coalition Senators have opposed, opposed and opposed. They have set the bar for total disregard of the electorates wishes.
    Now just remember the senators elected at the 2010 election take their seats July 2011, so if Abbott was to gain the House he will not get the Senate for a very long time.

  10. Sue..and yet not one single journalist has bothered to query Abbott when he says things such as ‘I’ll wind back…….”. How? When he won’t have control of the Senate.

  11. Hi Min and all
    A bit of cross pollination.

    For those wishing to give the ALP a nudge on same sex marriage, here is the Platform Review which is most likely to address the subject.

    Labor ThinkTank on Platform Review #7 – Securing an inclusive future for all Australians

    “Labor believes that every Australian should have the opportunity to reach their potential and to participate fully in the economic and social life of the nation.”


    There will never be a better opportunity to push for this change with public opinion so strongly behind the necessary reform and a Conference coming up later this year.

  12. “Neil, it was not tried because all of the telecommunications experts were telling the government that it was a crock!”

    Well I guess I will have to take your word for it about OPEL even though I really do not believe much of what you say but so what.

    All the experts said that Brendan Nelson should not purchase the Super Hornets. Everybody was against him. Tim Dunlop even ran a blog about it.

    What are they saying now?? Well they are saying how great they are and want to buy more.

    Expert opinion?? How many experts predicted the GFC??? Swan was trying to kill the inflation dragon when the GFC hit him in the rear end.

  13. It’s well worth a browse around the Labor site Norman linked to – you can comment and add ideas to lots of topics, once you’re registered…

  14. Neil, I don’t know about the Super Hornets but I do know that everything else that Howard attempted re Defence Materiel is completely stuffed.

  15. El gordo, gawd that one should have come with a warning to empty stomach contents first before entering.

  16. Min
    That particular topic was the reason I brought the ThinkTanks to the Cafe’s attention. The momentum (I sound like a sports commentator) is there, the public is behind it, it is long overdue and the current mix in the minority government might just see it through to legislation.
    I didn’t know this option was available to influence ALP debate as part of a Platform Review and its discovery had me a little bit excited.

  17. Norman, clearly Labor is up shit creek without a paddle due to following the advice of the ‘think tanks’. Can you imagine it..our current demographic modelling indicates…blah and double blah…

    People respond to specifics – people respond to clear goals. Regarding the latter, people might not like your goal, but at least you have one.

  18. Min
    I’m not sure if you have followed the link. It is the ALP calling for input into a Platform Review prior to the Conference later in the year so I’m not sure what you’re saying.
    This is not a focus group or a so-called independent think tank.

  19. Norman, I did get this. According to Faulkner, Labor are not following the advice at grass roots level but are following the advice of the think tanks.

    Mr Rudd quickly tweeted his approval of Senator Faulkner’s speech, and called for more internal debate and said the party’s factional powerbrokers needed to be “got rid of”.

    Obviously, if the ALP is calling for “input into a Platform Review” then people do need to know that their opinions are going to be more than just check-listed.

  20. Min
    I suspect your reaction may be to the term ‘think tanks’, a reaction I would share if I thought this was another brainstorming effort based on polls and focus groups.
    I confess that I hadn’t thought of this initiative as falling within the type of advice that Faulkner was criticising. Perhaps it is but I took it to be an appeal to the grass roots to speak up.

    I haven’t properly explored the site yet but it might present opportunities to advocate in favour of ‘truth in the media’ and a move towards stricter media ownership rules.
    Perhaps I’m naive (I know I am) but this struck me as an opportunity for ordinary folk to let the ALP know what needs revision in terms of their platforms.
    Oh well.

  21. Norman, what I was getting is that Faulkner was saying that people at grass roots level have been/are being overlooked in favor of the ‘professionals’ – the think tanks/focus groups.

    Clearly the think tank strategy hasn’t worked and so it’s very timely that someone with the status of John Faulkner has come out and said so.

  22. “After winning the 1996 Australian Federal election John Howard slashed spending on Education, Health, Social Welfare blaming a budget deficit left by the previous government. When it was pointed out that he had promised not to cut spending on these areas as part of his election platform and that he had lied, he claimed that these were “non-core promises”

    Before Mr. Howard did this, he had to save our backyards from the marauding natives by altering the Aboriginal Land Rights bill that Mr. Keating had passed.

    He made sure he looked after his friends, the miners. He then got on with winding everything back. User pay was his favourite aim, but only for the lower income earners.

    He rewarded the deserving rich by extending welfare benifits to them, while at the same time reducing their taxes.

  23. “I think Tony Abbott can’t open his mouth without being negative about anything at all.”

    I think you people have forgotten how negative the ALP was in Opposition. I do not think there was a major Coalition policy the ALP supported in 11 years.

    With the GST they opposed it from the beginning right through to the end. Even after Howard took it to the 1998 and won under our system, Labor still opposed it. Rudd called the GST introduction a day of fundamental injustice.

    Shane why don’t you just admit the truth. You hate Abbot, so you tell lies about him.

    By the way i am still waiting for that apology for all the lies you told about Abbot on that mental health thread.

  24. Min
    I suspect we are in fierce agreement. I will have to do a bit of research to determine whether these (rather unfortunately named) ALP ThinkTanks are similar to (say) the IPA or whether they are in fact an attempt to make contact with the likes of me – a supporter but not a paid up member.
    My first reaction was to think that they were the latter but you have me questioning that now.

  25. Neil, not true about Labor being ‘negative in opposition’. Kim Beazley would oppose, but would then put forward amendments. Would you care to nominate the amendments that Abbott has put forward?

  26. “He rewarded the deserving rich by extending welfare benifits to them, while at the same time reducing their taxes.”

    You know CU its comments like that why I have no time for you people. 1996-2007 were some of the most prosperous times in our history. Unemployment halved and went from 8% to 4%. Anyone who wanted a job could get one.

    And you have the hide to complain.

    I remember the 28 months of double digit unemployment under Keating and the 18% home loan interest rates.

    You people are nothing but frauds.

  27. Neil. I do not hate Mr. Abbott or any other politician foe that mater. i just have no respect for him.

    I cannot help it, if anytime he opens his mouth, he contradicts himself.

    Mr. Abbott treats us as idiots. That does not mean we should act as idiots.

  28. Neil, there is not much point in making statements such as “You people are nothing but frauds”. It doesn’t make much sense does it. A number of us here are former teachers and we used to give such statements to the kiddies as Clear Thinking Exercises.

  29. I’m in furious agreement with Norman here Min – John Faulkner made no mention of “think tanks” in his speech; focus groups certainly, but I believe this think tank idea is exactly the sort of grass-roots input he was talking about.

    I think the “argument” here is probably only one on semantics – Norman & I don’t see focus groups and think tanks as being one and the same, or even necessarily related…

  30. “Neil, there is not much point in making statements such as “You people are nothing but frauds”

    O.K. Min, I lost it.

    But CU does nothing but winge and complain during a period of time when anyone who wanted a job could get one.

    This after 8% unemployment from 1983-1996 with 28 months of double digit unemployment in between.

  31. A focus group is organised to test ideas before they’re let loose on the public. My wife has participated in some of these at times when a company is looking at introducing a new product or new packaging for a product.

    A think tank is to generate the ideas. They can take many forms – from the professional organisations like the IPA to more grass-roots efforts like the Platform Review being conducted by the Labor party leading up to the national conference later in the year.

    The ideas coming out of the IPA for example, would go through the machinations of the Liberal party machine and policy meetings – if they are accepted at these levels, the ideas may be focus tested, and possibly modified based on this, before becoming policy.

    In short, focus groups may be used to test ideas that come out of think tanks, rather than to generate the ideas…

  32. Neil, you would need to provide some specifics…”when anyone who wanted a job could get one” – all demographics? My memory of that particular period in time is when manufacturing and low skilled job opportunities were just about non-existent.

    And likewise saying that CU “does nothing but winge” when clearly CU offers exceptional commentary. Constructive is to point out specifics of the argument rather than making personal comments.

  33. Let me remind you Neil:

    – double-digit unemployment
    – double-digit interest rates
    – and double-digit inflation

    all at the same time! The only time in Australia’s history that all three indicators have been sent to double digits simultaneously. Howard’s Trifecta of Misery.

  34. Before 1983??

    Gough Whitlam was elected in 1972 and handed unemployment at 2%. A level it had been for 23 years under Coalition rule. he promptly doubled it to 4%.

    It may seem strange to us but 4% unemployment was considered dangerously high.

    It took years to get over the damage that Gough did.

    I know the point you are trying to make but i am not biting. I do believe that the Howard/Costello govt was one of our better ones. Whether a future Liberal govt would be as good would be unlikely but they could not be as bad as Gillard.

  35. Bacchus, neither sounds particularly thrilling from where I’m sitting. You brain-storm and then you test it on a focus group…sigh…

  36. Neil, in case you have not noticed, unemployment is now under 5%. If what I do is whinging, how is this different from what you do?

  37. Have a browse around that Labor site Min – I certainly don’t see it as a “brain-storming” site, rather a site that allows the sort of input that John Faulkner was lamenting is missing from modern Labor. Just my opinion…

  38. Here is one for TB:

    Eh up, lads’n’lasses – does ‘ee understand Yawksheer?
    Well here’s a mildly rude joke for you to enjoy (or not)

    A bloke from Barnsley with a sore bum asks the chemist “Nah then lad, does tha sell arse cream?”
    The chemist replies “Aye,lad – Magnum or Cornetto?”

  39. O.K. I will bite.

    “- double-digit unemployment”

    For how long??? Keating had 28 months. Can you top that??

    Furthermore when we had double digit unemployment under Howard, the US also had double digit unemployment.

    When we had 28 months of DD unemployment under keatiing the US did not have a single month of DD unemployment.

    Howards trifecta was matched by the US. Whereas keatings recession was not


    In the US
    “Unemployment continued to grow through 1982, reaching 10% nationally, and reached a record peak of 25% in Rockford, Illinois.[6] Inflation, which had averaged 3.2% annually in the post-war period, had more than doubled after the 1973 oil shock to a 7.7% annual rate. Inflation reached 9.1% in 1975, the highest rate since 1947. Inflation declined to 5.8% the following year, but then edged higher. By 1979, inflation reached a startling 11.3% and in 1980 soared to 13.5%.[2][7]”

  40. Bacchus, I’m probably getting a wee bit sceptical..I would love it to happen and I’m hopeful that due to Faulkner giving Labor the rounds of the kitchen that they will have taken notice – listen to the people and not to rely on marketing techniques.

  41. From the Welcome Page to the Labor Think Tank Min:

    ThinkTank is the Labor Connect Community’s policy incubator. Sign up now to contribute your policy ideas, share your feedback and vote on other policy ideas. Watch good ideas bubble to the top, helping Federal Labor form better policy.

    Everyone is welcome to participate. Join party supporters, members and ministers and participate in Labor’s policy development.
    How ThinkTank will work

    Each ThinkTank will be about a specific policy idea so we can keep the ideas generated as constructive as possible. Once we open a ThinkTank it is all over to you.


    You can contribute your policy suggestion and then vote and comment on which policy ideas you like best.

    The ideas that rise to the top will be submitted to the National Policy Committee for consideration in developing the Party Platform. ThinkTank members will have had more direct input into the Platform than ever before in our Party’s history.

  42. Hi I’ve been reading your views on gay marriage. I’d like to know Abbott’s opinion. He’s been very quiet while he lets Gillard take the heat. He reckons he’s ready to form government at a moment’s notice so we need to hear his policy. He’s just as gutless as Gillard I suppose.

  43. Hayward…good grief..Abbott being requested to make a policy statement. Perish the thought.

    Now what could a person such Abbott’s attitude towards gay marriage be. Maybe one day someone will think to ask him.

  44. “Howards trifecta was matched by the US. Whereas keatings recession was not…”

    Neil are you suggesting when Labor has bad economical figures, it is the fault of the Labor Government. Are you alleging that when bad figures occur during a Coalition government, the fault lays outside of the government control.

    Neil for once I will say you are half correct.

    Neil, if the truth was known, governments have little control over the economical cycles.

    We can sit here for weeks throwing examples of how bad each side is when it comes to economics, but it proves nothing.

  45. I’d rather hear policies than opinions. All we heard from Gillard was her opinion and that policy will be decided blah blah blah. What’s wrong with making policies on the run. Howard used to do it and got away with it.

  46. ALLOWING same-sex couples to marry could lead to the acceptance of polygamy and incest, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, has warned.

    This is the argument run by people who are basically homophobic but who like to dress up their opinions in a ‘logical’ argument. Polygamy and incest are illegal in Australia – gay relationships are not. Gay marriage is illegal not because of the act of a sexual relationship between consenting adults which compares with incest. Polygamy is illegal whether the couple be straight or gay.


  47. Yep good ‘strategy’Hayward..it made Howard look DECISIVE…pity about the country and the country’s future tho’.

  48. “Howard used to do it and got away with it.”

    Especially in the lead up to elections. We got the what I consider to be the infamous intervention, A hospital in Tasmania and the Murray River scheme among many.

    Very well thought out ideas. It did not matter to Mr. Howard as the aim was to win an elelction.

  49. CU, one of my ‘favorites’ is how Howard used to take advantage of newspaper headlines – for example, a story about a disabled pensioner supposedly caught doing repairs on his roof. Howard would then seize it as an opportunity to Come Down Hard on Disabled Pensioners.

    It often crossed my mind that these newspaper headlines were setups for the benefit of JW Howard. But whatever it was, it wasn’t well thought out policy.

  50. CU..that is really straining the imagination..a use for a used Abbott!!!

    I was going to say fertilizer, but then it would poison the ground and nothing would grow.

  51. Min I cannot think of a positive use for a live Abbott.

    “ALLOWING same-sex couples to marry could lead to the acceptance of polygamy and incest, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, has warned”

    Min, have you noticed that the world has not come to an end by people living in de facto relationships.

    Children born to unmarried parents also seem to survive.

    Hard to tell the difference from the bastard kids, as those born to parents in holy wedlock.

    It is not very long since unmarried mothers were hidden away, babies put in homes, some lucky/unlucky few were adopted.

    I am sure that the scare tactics of the churches will have similar results. They are getting desperate, as the truth is, it has nothing to do with religion.

    No state can order churches to do anything, or are the states being asked to interfere in what the churches do. .

    Marriage was around long before the churches adopted it. All cultures, regardless of religion have some form of marriage.

  52. Bacchus

    From the link I gave re: the early 1980’s recession

    “Determined to wring inflation out of the economy, Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker slowed the rate of growth of the money supply and raised interest rates. The federal funds rate, which was about 11% in 1979, rose to 20% by June 1981. The prime interest rate, a highly important economic measure, eventually reached 21.5% in June 1982.[3][9]”

    Now if interest rates were 21.5% in the US what do you think they would be here?? Just say Treasurer Howard managed to keep interest rates at a low 10% in Australia. If you were an investor would you place your money where you could get 10% or would you put it where you could get 21.5% interest??

    If our interest rates were not similar to the US’s during the 1980’s recession, money would have flowed out of Australia to our detriment.

  53. CU, and historically even into the 19th Century many couples had a common law marriage which today we would call a defacto relationship.

    One of the aspects of the scare campaign is that gay marriage will lead to other things such as Fred wanting to marry his doberman. The fact of the matter is that when gay marriage arrives in Australia that the couples will have to abide by the same rule of law as hetero couples which includes age of consent and bigamy.

    Also, we have had civil registration in Australia since 1856, and today in Australia a majority of marriages are carried out by civil celebrants. Churches have always had the freedom of choice regarding who they will marry and not marry such as some churches will not marry people who are not of the faith or divorcees. Churches will still have that same freedom of choice – some may choose to marry gay couples, some may not…their choice.

  54. Min, some churches will not marry people of different races.

    Back in the 1950’s my mother had in her employ a young, church going Aboriginal lady working for her.

    She fell in love with the only son of a dairy farmer near us.

    Three churches in Wyong refused to marry her, including the one she regularly attended. They did not believe in mixed marriages.

  55. CU, and I am certain that there are still some churches today who do similar via stealth…that is, they don’t say overtly that it is due to the Aboriginality of one of the people but rather that they should find something more suitable ‘elsewhere’.

    In the 60’s I know for certain that there was a particular minister in Hawthorn Vic who refused to marry an Australian and ‘a wog’. I know because it was my friend’s older sister who copped this one.

  56. Neil of Sydney

    I think if you look hard enough, our interest rates are the same or sadly a little above what is happening world wide.

    This is true, no matter what government is in power.

    As I said previously, you and I can come up with examples for ever. All they prove is what the interest rate were under a certain PM.

    It does not prove that the PM is responsible for the interest rate at the time. It is much more complicated than that.

    Government can tinker around the edges. They can give limited relief. They cannot do much more.

    What government was responsible for the depression pre war?

  57. Well CU, Bacchus was trying to tell me that Howard was responsible for the trifecta when the US itself also had a Trifecta.

    I can bet you anything you like that he will not condemn Keating for 28 months of DD unemployment. Bacchus would say that Keating governed in difficult times, which is a load of crap. Keatings recession was very mild worldwide.

    having said that, govt’s do make a difference.

    We had 6 boat people in detention in late 2007. We now have almost 7,000 people in detention with hundreds of children locked up..

    All due to a stoke of the pen when Rudd abolished Howards Pacific Solution.

  58. Neil, Mr Keating did introduce many positive changes that opened up the Australian economy. The experts today are alleging that Mr. Howard benefitted from these changes.

    Yes, things were bad for a time under Mr. Keating. But it is also a fact that things were improving when Mr. Howard came to power.

    I believe that Mr. Keating believed he acted too late when the downturn first became obvious.

    I believe that Mr. Rudd’s early action saved Australia from the full effects of the global downturn.

    The Coalition would have spent nearly as much but would have struck to tax cuts, which are not as effective.

    If nothing was done, there would be much greater public debt now. The deficits would have been bigger. Unemployment higher, and more businesses going to the wall.

  59. Neil, you do not get it. There is a lot more to downturns and upturns than blaming the PM in power, whatever their colour.

  60. “Well CU, Bacchus was trying to tell me that Howard was responsible for the trifecta when the US itself also had a Trifecta”

    Neil, I think you will find that Bacchus is tryng to tell you in a different way what I am trying to tell you. That saying, interest rates under Mr. Keating were high or under Mr. Howard were low, only tells you that and no more. It does not tells how the high or low rates came about.

    Mr. Howard’s first time in control of the purse strings was a disastrer. Maybe he learnt something from the first time. or he was lucky the second time. I suggest it is probably a little of the both.

    How do explain that under Mr. Howard, before he lost power, interest rates rose eight times, and were continnuing to rise, in spite of years of surplus budgets.

    Neil. what you need to be able to ell us, is why things under Mr. Howard was so good or under Mr. Keating so bad.

    I know you see the Howard years as a golden age, but many do not agree. I know that you see anyone that disagrees with you as whining. That I cannot help, maybe we are. That is how and why.

  61. Worldwide refugee applications peaked on a 20 year high in 2001, and fell by around 50% by 2006. This period coincided with the Pacific Solution implementation and makes it difficult to judge the true efficacy of the program.

    The Pacific Solution cost millions of dollars..and for what purpose..because the vast majority of people were found to be genuine refugees anyway.

  62. CU

    I have only one thing to say.

    it is good to see that you are not whinging, complaining and moaning like you normally do.

  63. I agree with you Min, a wasteful and cruel action. People come for one reason alone, they have no choice or have given up hope.

    Because boat people come under either government, does not tell us why they come, only that they are coming.

    We could, if we like to be irrational as many against this government are, say that Mr. Abbott is to blame, because he kept screaming from the roof tops, that Mr. Rudd had made it open house for all comers.

    The sad reality is that Mr. Rudd did not change much. If anything the Rudd and now Gillard government have been tougher and given these people less hope.

    The Malayan scheme over the Pacific scheme only has one thing going for it, it might stop the boats and maybe more from the region will be allowed in.

    It is a shame we have to treat these people as enemies. We could take all comers without harming our society. History has shown that we only benefited from all who have come. It has made us strong and exciting country.

  64. Why Neil, I am saying the same thing as I always do.

    You are doing as you always do, change the subject when it gets to hot.

    The shame is that you recycle the same rubbish.

  65. Hmmm, some people get into bad habits..when they run out of arguments they decide to attack the person.

    Plus CU when push comes to shove, the law doesn’t not require a person to do otherwise than to prove that they are genuine refugees. Most of the people under Howard’s Pacific Solution were found to be just that.

  66. “The Pacific Solution cost millions of dollars..and for what purpose”

    Yeah and how much is the current system costing??? I think we would be looking at billions of dollars with 7,000 refugees in detention and they are now using our courts.

    We had 6 boat people in detention in 2007-that was the purpose of the Pacific Solution. We now have 7,000 with hundreds of children locked up.

    All due to the vote you people made in 2007.

    Oh and I almost forgot. Hundreds of dead people trying to get here by boat who were lured here by Rudd saying our doors are now open.

  67. Neil, we are clearly saying both schemes are expensive and unnecessary.

    There was no need to waste your time with cut and paste from previous comments.

  68. By the way, hundreds died under the Howard regime.

    Remember the Siev 10, loaded with the families of the men that Mr. Howard gave temporary visas to.

    They came because they realise that this was the onlty way they could be reunited with their fathers and husbands.

  69. Neil, it makes me angry that these people are not seen as human beings with rights the same as you or I expect.

    Don’t you think there is something morally wrong with putting people on an island in the Pacific, to deny them their rights to legal system. An island that is in no way a tropical paradise,

  70. “By the way, hundreds died under the Howard regime. ”

    Yes and he did something about it. By trial and error and found the Pacific Solution worked.

    The boats stopped.

    You lot restarted the boats when you voted in 2007

  71. CU
    These people are queue jumpers.

    If they have $10,000 to pay a people smuggler they are capable of living in Indonesia.

    They are taking the place of people in camps in Burma. they pay money so they can get to the front of the queue.

  72. Neil, there is no queue.

    PM Gillard is attempting to form a queue.

    It was inevitible that the boats would come again. The numbers stranded for years in Indonesia and other places with no hope for the future are becoming impatient.

    They believe they have no other choice. Why do you think that is.

    Neil, why do you the numbers coming this year have halved. believe th trend is continnuing downwards.

    I know, if these people are demonised, that means to some, they are not our responsibilty.

  73. It is completely irrelevant about how these people came here, the point is whether or not they are genuine refugees and they in the vast majority have been. We can lock them away, we can hide them out of sight while trying to look big and tough, but refugees they remain.

  74. Neil, they are capable of living in Indonesia.

    The problem is that there is no future for them or their kids in Indonesia. They are unable to live a normal life,

    How long is it reasonable for people to live in limbo and put their lives on hold.

  75. And as far as ‘the queue’, the Australian consul in Afghanistan is ‘mobile’ – that is it has to keep moving from one secret location to the next secret location. How is a person supposed to be able to join that queue?

  76. Or what about the Tamils where Sri Lanka emphatically denies that there even is a humanitarian crisis.

  77. “They are taking the place of people in camps in Burma. they pay money so they can get to the front of the queue.”

    Neil, I have concerns re the Malaysian solution, but is not PM Gillard placing the boat people at the end of the queue in Malaysia, that is a queue that is made up of mostly Burmese.

    The refugees in Indonesia are in the same position. If we took more or at least what we promised from Indonesia, maybe they would have some hope and not get on the boats.

    Neil, too many people believe there are simple answers to complex problems.

    It is rare for a simple answer to be the correct one.

    Punishing people for being forced to leave their homes is not an answer. People flee because they have no choice. They do not look around and say, it is too dangerous to go today, we will go next week.

    There is one thing I know for sure, that is refugees makes the best migrants. They do not have the luxury of home sickness and settle in quickly.

    There is no benefit to them or Australia to traumatise them further. It only makes it harder for them to get on with their lives. I cannot imagine how it makes them feel a bout us. Not very grateful, I bet.

  78. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/boatpeople-keep-other-asylum-seekers-at-bay/story-e6frg6z6-1225961715172

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

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

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

    “An Australian-based worker with the oppressed Karen minority from Burma, who declined to be named, echoes Hartley’s comments: “While the suffering of many people seeking to enter Australia by boat via people-smugglers is heartbreaking, it would be a tragedy if the granting of visas to these people were at the expense of offshore asylum-seekers such as the Karen who, in good faith, apply for humanitarian visas through the appropriate channels.” There are at least 150,000 Karen in camps on the Thai-Burma border. Some have been there for 20 years.”

  79. Neil, are you suggesting we take the lot. Maybe you are, as they do not come from Muslim countries.

    How did Mr. Howard help these people, as they have been there 20 years.

    Mr. Ruddock was more interested in those from Africa.

    If there is a queue, Australia has been ignoring it for decades.

  80. “While the suffering of many people seeking to enter Australia by boat via people-smugglers is heartbreaking, it would be a tragedy if the granting of visas to these people were at the expense of offshore asylum-seekers such as the Karen who, in good faith, apply for humanitarian visas through the appropriate channels”

    You agree with PM Gillard then, that the boat people go to the end of the queue in Malaysia, not granted entry to Australia.

  81. From Mike Carlton: Little adds up with this insane calculus

    We have learnt nothing and forgotten a great deal. Surely, when history weighs our place in Afghanistan, it will come to the same conclusion as it did with Vietnam: that we squandered young men’s lives in a futile, unwinnable fight with an enemy who posed no threat to us.

    THE most sickening aspect of the opposition’s hypocrisy on refugees is the pretence that the Howard government’s policies were a model of decency and humanity.

    Christopher ”Poodles” Pyne was yapping away in that vein on the ABC’s Q & A on Monday. Unstoppably. Nothing would shut him up…..

    The infamous Pacific Solution that Pyne and his mates keep blathering about was worst of all. Some examples:

    An Iraqi named Mohammed Faisal spent five years banged away on Nauru until he was packed off to a psychiatric hospital in Brisbane. He was eventually admitted as a legitimate refugee….


    A thoughtful person might ask why the beef industry allowed the atrocities at Indonesian abattoirs to go on for so long. One suspects there was much shrugging of shoulders and turning of blind eyes while the money rolled in.

    Indeed, Meat Australia, or whatever it calls itself these days, has virtually admitted as much. Are we really to believe that the farmers themselves had no previous idea of the horrors revealed in that Four Corners program? Gimme a break.


  82. Cannot agree with Mike Carlton more.

    It the beef farmers want compensation, I suggest they go after those they paid a levy to prevent cruelty in Indonesia, not the taxpayer.

    It is time that our government, Gillard and Howard’s take responsibility for the refugees they send back.

    If the refugees are in no danger, it should be a simple matter to keep track of them.

    The fact that no one seems to know what becomes of them, indicates they were placed in danger by being returned.

    I seem to remember, under Mr. Howard we not only locked up our own citizens, but made decisions that many were not of the nationalities they claimed to be and were returned to the country that so called language experts deemed them to be. Many were found not to from Afghan but Pakistan.

    Many of these were in danger when returned, regardless of which side of the border they originated from.

    If the government returns these people, it should give the undertaking that they will be supervised for at least twelve months, especially where they pay bribes, to people who have no hope and the alternative is to be locked up indefinitely.

  83. CU, I used to work for Lilydale Poultry and people would be appalled about the way that chooks are treated. Where is the outrage against how animals are treated in Australian abbatoirs.

    Your mention of refugees being returned reminds me of the family a few years ago who were returned to Afghanistan, the name now escapes me. But I clearly recall the fact that they were welcome members of their Australian community but through sheer bloody-mindedness Ruddock I think it was, insisted that they be returned. I read one followup story which indicated that since the family’s forcible return that the family had disappeared.

  84. ToM, I do not have clue what you are talking about.

    Honestly, I do hope that the argument is more substantial than someone calling someone else a wanker.

    So ToM, lay it on the table. But be warned my criminal law lecturer David Heilpern always said, Never ask a question unless you know the answer.

    So state it plainly ToM and I will give it my due consideration.

  85. Reb, you know that I love you to pieces. Just trust me on this one Patricia does not have a mean bone in her body. You might run her down for her pomes, but hell’s bells wouldn’t you want her on your side in a fight.

    Reb. I am calling it. Your ‘joke’ apparently has been running for almost 2 months now according to people (not Patricia) who have emailed me.


    You want the joke to continue then take it back to your own blog but do not bring it here.

    This is stated with due respect and you can say what you like on your own blog but on this blog it’s FINISHED.

  86. ToM & reb,

    As Tom R said – just point out these comments on the Café – then Min or Patricia or whoever can respond here if the comments exist here.

    I don’t read TPS, and I don’t recall what you’re talking about happening here – either I’ve missed it on the way through, or you’ve got your blogs confused (given that people post on all 3 blogs)…

  87. I’ve got the impression that someone thought Tom of Melbourne is gay and he took offense at it. I’d take it as a compliment of course.

    I don’t think this is constructive discussion. Big issues are more important than personal issues.

  88. ‘I don’t recall what you’re talking about happening here…’

    After being snipped I forget what I said too.

  89. Reb..not on this blog. Clearly not on this blog. You know that I love you to pieces and you have been my friend for years. Believe me Patricia’s heart is in the right place. You will just have to trust me.

  90. Gay suicide is not a joke and I haven’t seen it introduced here as a joke. It is an issue that is far too serious to be bantered about in a blog forum. It’s a topic than can attract comments that can be taken out of perspective even though the intentions of the comment was to be supportive. As yet I’m still to find anybody to talk to with the exception to those people who’ve lived through it.

  91. ToM. And what is your reasoning for this. From where I’m standing it seems to me that you have a personal vendetta..and you go over and over and over the same things. Patricia, Patricia, Patricia.

    There are no points to your statements.

    ToM you are welcome here at the Café but I am going to have to send your comment to the spaminator.

    It’s a personal vendetta and so will not be tolerated.

  92. Thank you Tom – was that just a continuation of the wars initiated over at TPS prior to this particular exchange? It still seems to me at this stage that you, reb and patricia have brought an argument from another blog over here, or was it the other way around – were these comments the catalyst for the goings-on at TPS?

  93. You must be very sensitive. Try putting up with comments such as I hope you die of AIDS or that all gays should die. Try putting up with it for a lifetime if you could. It sounds to me like this is an issue that highly amuses you.

  94. Precisely Hayward..I put up a topic on Gay issues and something specific that youngest daughter told me about..and what happened, people coming from other blogs to pursue some sort of vendetta against something or other which happened HOW LONG AGO on some other blog.

    You do get disappointed sometimes. I thought that the Rip and Roll issue in Brisbane might have been of interest…seems not so, just some sort of blog vendetta.

    Very disappointing as you can imagine.

  95. Hayward, I can guarantee that no one at all has said such things on this blog. Maybe you are just making this as a general statement.

    I think that your heart is in the right place..maybe back to bed with a hot water bottle.

  96. ToM, shall we calm down. Once upon a time a Great Blog Master aka Reb wrote: It’s my blog and I can do what I want to.

    You know, waking up one morning and you think YAY….you know about the same time that the woman in your life has PMT.

    ToM, I have PMT.

    In fact we have quite a number of women on this blog, and we all have PMT. Tread warily.

  97. Nobody has insulted me personally on this blog but I’m not sure about the water bottle comment. Is it a standard suggestion to those who appear angry?

    My comment was aimed at Tom of Melbourne who seems to take offense at being called gay. I was trying to say it is a mute point. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be gay and his comments can only be harmful to the gay cause.

  98. Tom and Reb I support what you are both saying about youth suicide and gay marriage.

    I also agree with Patricia that attacking one another and the PM, will not achieve what you desire.

    It is putting people off side, and harming your case.

    The explanation that you both are putting on the statement is different from most others on this site.

    Look at the words closely. You are both activists in this regard, or am I wrong. Has Patricia said anything that is not true, except you might think she is wrong for saying you are too close to the issue and your judgement has become clouded.

    What your sexual preference is, I have no interest or I cannot see why it is important. I agree with your stance on same sex marriage, I am definitely not gay. I agree that young people have the right to lead their sexual lives as they see fit. I agree that sexuality is not a lifestyle choice.

    The statement might be with a stretch of the imagination ambiguous but I think by continuing with your actions, you are flogging a dead horse. It is time to let it go. You are harming the site, for no gain. Patricia has said she did not mean to insult you, why not accept that.

  99. CU, have you read the comments? Do you think my opinion on gay marriage has caused me to be unable to think straight? Do you think it is fair to characterise my political opinion on the basis of my views on gay marriage? Do you think the comment in question was “personal”?

    please delete this reply asap

  100. I actually might get a chance to eat sometime or another.


  101. ToM, given that I haven’t eaten since 10am my blood sugar is getting extremely low, and so you are wearing my patience.

    You say, “Have you – Do you – Do you think – Do you think”.

    Here’s an idea, what about giving us YOUR OPINION.

  102. TomM, only you can answer that question.

    I do believe the debate on gay marriage is being side track by this type of debate.

    Personal attacks lead no where but undermines the case for gay marriage.

    For days now the focus has been on what you and Reb might or might not think. You both have hi-jack this and other sites.

    It HAS NOT been on the issues that you and I both support.

    No I do not see the words in the comment as personal, the way you obviously do. I believe the comment to be a kindly warning, to get back on track.

    I do believe your attack on Patricia to be personal and a little unkind but definitely unneccessary.

  103. CU, please take the discussion to Gutter Trash.

    Min has had enough here (for the time being) and I’m not going to wear out the welcome any further.

    I’ll reply at GT.

  104. “CU, please take the discussion to Gutter Trash.”

    TomM, I am not taking the discussion anywhere. I, too have had enough. There is nothing more to discuss.

    Sorry TomM there are more important issues that need to be debated, not a personal fight among a couple of contributers.

  105. ToM, do not come back here if all you have to offer is bully boy comments. You are welcome here to comment but not to bully.

  106. Min, I’m afraid I’m completely unable to follow your point here.

    My comment is quite restrained.

    You’re welcome to delete whatever you wish and exclude whoever you wish, but I’m at a complete loss to understand your rationale.

  107. ToM as you well know the Café has been subjected to diatribes relating to occurrences on other blogs.

    THE LINE IS DRAWN IN THE SAND. That’s it, Time Gentlemen. You are free to comment on this blog with the proviso that you make NO PERSONAL REFERENCES.

    For the smooth running of any blog, I believe that this is reasonable. I am very very PMT at present, so just behave.

  108. Is this an open topic? Tomorrow we celebrate the Queens birthday. I don’t like royalty and would prefer it if Australia was a republic. Who do you think would be a good president?

  109. Hayward, that sounds to be a challenge for a topic 🙂 But I’m not certain that I can manage it at such short notice….

    Who would be a good president. Ummm Bob Hawke, Malcolm Fraser.

    I was thinking, in the ye olde days good Labor people would have shot Fraser as soon as look at him (metaphorically speaking), yet today he resembles a radical Leftie..this being an indication of how far politics has moved to the right.

  110. HC, why do you think we need as president?

    There are other options to fulfill the role the GG has.

    A republic or the system we now have is not the only solution.

  111. CU…am thinking of the separation of powers doctrine. We need a head of state who is currently our GG.

    We have A Political Party – the political party voted in has as it’s head the Prime Minister.

    But the Prime Minister is not the head of the armed forces, the GG is. This was done for a purpose so that that no political party should have control of the armed services, so that we could not become a military rulership.

    Anyway..I could go on for evaaa. Discussion to be continued…..:)

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