What Is This Line Which Has Been Crossed?

The PM said that a line had been crossed.
Respect for Parliament was in decline.
A dark cloud over it meant much was lost.
“I’ve made a judgement. And that judgement’s mine.”

Journalists thought that without a doubt
The Prime Minister had drawn the line!
But where and what that line was all about
None of them seem able to define.

It’s all a bit of a mystery.
There are several threads or story lines,
Like Peter Slipper’s, back in history,
To Queensland Nationals and Russ Hinze.*

With Craig Thomson there’s a union,
But no mention of a picket line.
Though he could have pinched gold bullion
With all the other crimes he’s been assigned.

But members Oakeshott and Windsor know
That Tony Abbott’s bottom line
Began the smell. There they could not go.
His offer, they felt, they must decline.

Since then the Parliament’s been hung
And used like a dirty washing line.
Not one word of praise for her’s been sung
As the media chorus, “Gillard, resign!”

But suddenly amid all the scandal
There’s something in the Coalition’s line,
Which like a faintly flickering candle
Has the PM’s chances begin to shine.

The Slipper story’s just a fairy tale
They shrug,  spun over a bottle of wine
After a few beers and perhaps an ale.
The stench is the usual POO from Chrissie Pyne.

*Hinze pronounced here as in washing lines and not as in rubbish bins!

NOTES:    I’ve been reading some very good posts about the Prime Minister’s stand last weekend after the escalated furore over the long running saga of Craig Thomson’s alleged crimes and the more recent and over-heated scandal of Speaker Slipper’s similarly alleged crimes of fraud and sexual harassment in his treatment of a not so young staffer, James Ashby. 

Wixxy’s post,  Tainted Love,  covers the whole hypocritical nonsense of the sexual harassment claim and Tony Abbott’s ruthless betrayal of a long term political supporter and once personal friend.   There are many links there to  reports and articles on the the case.  As I followed them I noticed how few journalists seemed clear about the line the Prime Minister thought had been crossed.   For myself I had been struck by how almost enigmatic the PM was in talking about that line.  I don’t think anyone in the press gallery really understood her.  She was not talking about the bad behaviour of Slipper and Thomson, but referring to the appalling tactics of the Coalition with these charges against Peter Slipper which were as much an assault on the office of Speaker, even Parliament itself,  as upon the man.

Reading Bushfire Bill’s latest post at the Political Sword with its metaphor of the sinking Titanic, describing the imminent fall of the house of Murdoch, I understood why our main stream media’s reporting and commentary in recent weeks had been so much more biassed and negative than usual about our good government and great Prime Minister.  Yes, I agreed with him, lately they had been far worse than their usual appalling selves.  There was an almost palpable sense of urgency, even desperation, in their determination to bring Julia Gillard down.   I despaired for a few hours there.  

Then came the news late in the evening of  May lst, (May Day!)  that Rupert Murdoch had been found not fit to run a company by the committee of the British House of Commons enquiring into phone hacking.   With hindsight,  I can imagine that News Ltd management had been alerted to the fears of Murdoch and heir about that looming verdict from the Brits.  The word had gone out on the need to preserve this Antipodean corner of their empire.  No wonder News Ltd pulled out all the might of its 70% ownership of our print media and leaned upon its broadcasting allies to support their campaign.   “Gillard must go!”  was the cry.        

Tony Abbott would have been delighted to help out too.  His own war of words on Julia Gillard became even more ruthless and blatantly untrue.  He was brazenly confident he would have few critics in the media.   With obvious justification,  as even the explosive suggestion of entrapment made by Peter Slipper’s Anglican Archbishop was brushed aside.   And so he crossed the line.   Prime Minister Gillard did what she could  to protect her government and the two direct targets of Abbott’s villification.   At the same time, I am sure, behind her enigmatic reference to that line which had been crossed there was an astute awareness that her adversary had gone too far.    Time will tell.

208 comments on “What Is This Line Which Has Been Crossed?

  1. Patricia like your poems to. this is an excellent analysis of the situation, Julia has neutralised the situation and hopefully left next week clear of distractions to bring in the budget. WA politics must be a major concern to you as Barnet abd his cohorts slide their way through the slime. I read that Crooks is sliding into the Nats camp, independant bulldust. Keep up the good work.

  2. Awesome job Patricia 🙂
    I’m so glad someone else saw Gillards comment re “The Line” as an opinion on the tactics of the Coalition, who seem not just intent on destroying everything Labor do, but destroying peoples respect for parliament too.
    As for Murdoch, watch this space, things are only just starting to heat up in the UK. It will be interesting to see the fallout after the likes of Tony Blair and david Cameron front up to the enquiry…
    Thanks for your kind words too….

  3. Bilko, I agree. Patricia’s poems and commentary are not only a joy to read but are always on the mark.

    BTW, did you enjoy our brisk Alaskan style winter this morning? Bit chilly here in Canberra, don’t you think?

  4. Patricia, thoroughly enjoyable. I love your addendum:

    *Hinze pronounced here as in washing lines and not as in rubbish bins!

  5. Good stuff Patricia!

    It seems that just like in Australia, the UK Conservatives just haven’t learnt valuable lessons…and are still sleeping in Murdoch’s bed:

    Labour MP Tom Watson has accused Conservative select committee colleague Louise Mensch of tabling amendments that would have “exonerated” James Murdoch in its controversial phone hacking report following a personal intervention by the son of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch.

    The row over the Commons culture, media and sport select committee’s phone-hacking report pronouncing Rupert Murdoch unfit to run an international company escalated further on Thursday, with Watson saying that had the Tories on the committee had their way the would have issued a whitewash report that was “inspid to the point of being craven”.

    Watson also hit out against the two other Conservative MPs on the committee, Therese Coffey and Philip Davies, and called on chairman John Whittingdale to publish earlier drafts of the controversial report to back up his claim that the Tories had tried to water it down.

    “When James Murdoch sent an unsolicited second letter to the committee it was used by Louise Mensch to table a number of amendments effectively exonerating Murdoch junior from any of the accusations made by Colin Myler and Tom Crone,” Watson said, in reference to the News of the World’s former editor and head of legal.

    “Our deliberations were further hampered by Dr Therese Coffey, who persistently stated she would draw conclusions based only on the evidence submitted to the committee – explicitly ruling out all evidence from the public domain, including testimony at the Leveson inquiry and all the civil cases [brought by phone hacking victims].

    “To complete the trinity, we had Philip Davies – a man who bitterly complained that [Labour MP] Paul Farrelly and I were partisan when the committee published its previous report in 2009. He was so independent minded then he wrote a column in the News of the World to make his claims.”

    Mensch hit back at Watson’s suggestion that she had somehow caved into pressure from News International. “Tom is free to publish all the amendments. There is nothing secret about it,” she said.

    She added that she had one briefing from News Corp’s European public affairs director, Frédéric Michel, earlier this year, but she told him in advance she could not discuss the deliberations of the select committee.


    Watson is one gutsy and smart cookie…those who want to shrug off the yoke of Murdoch empire oppression should applaud him…

    This from Michael White @ The Guardian:

    As for Watson, a former acolyte of Gordon Brown who helped to topple Tony Blair as Labour leader, I have always liked and respected him more than I do his old boss. What’s more, I trust him. When he assured me that he and Brown had not plotted against Blair but watched Postman Pat videos with their young children at a crucial stage of the doomed 2005-7 handover, I took his word for it and reported the claim – to the mockery and fury of some colleagues.

    In taking on the Murdochs, as he took on Blair – he resigned as a junior minister – and took on Paul Staines, who blogs as Guido Fawkes and once threatened Watson with a libel action, Watson showed personal courage. By fair means and foul, Fleet Street’s attack dogs come after such people and go through their bins at night; they did his.

    Living anxiously like this, as the Watson family has done, must have contributed to the breakup of the MP’s marriage. That’s quite a price to pay – higher than the octogenarian media mogul has paid, at least so far. True, he has closed the News of the World. But one of last week’s revelations was that he wished he had divorced the paper years ago.




  6. Patriciawa

    Your last line, may not be the last. It looks as though Jessica Wright is giving Pyne enough rope to hang himself. I hope you are prepared for writing a Canterbury Tale from Abetz to Pyne from Grech to Ashby.

    “Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne has finally conceded he may have asked for the contact details of the staffer at the centre of sexual harassment allegations against Speaker Peter Slipper.”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/pyne-concedes-he-may-have-sent-email-20120504-1y2oh.html#ixzz1trF6b0ut

  7. Great work yet again, Patriciawa. That line that Abbott cannot see is the essential part of democracy and the body politic. Cross it and we drift into the verbal and physical violence we mock in the failed democracies of the world.

    The whitewash is being painted over that line by Rupert! Upon whom I had to commit a limerick this morning 🙂 wp.me/p1gCe-64w

  8. Abbott has been successful at diminishing the public perception of both sides of politics.

    Slogans and ridicule have replaced good policy, good financial management and just about everything that was once considered effective government.

    Abbott wants power at any cost but clearly does not know what to do with it.

    Great work Patriciawa a much clearer summary of what is going on than the fanciful stuff being published in the MSM.

  9. Has Pyne crossed the line? Will Abbott suggest Pyne stand aside so that allegations the he is involved with Ashby be fully investigated? Will Abbott stop Pyne voting in the House until he the police have fully investigated his phone and emails. Will Brandis call in the SA police and Qld police to check if any thing illegal has occured between Ashby and Pyne?
    will News Ltd run a photo of Pyne and his Missus?

    Just a few more lines that could be crossed, as previously demonstrated by the Coalition and News ltd

  10. patricia, as always, a great pome and a damn fine post. You’ve nailed the PM’s “The Line” perfectly.

    There has always been that unseen line that politicans of all stripes have declined to cross, enabling healthy debate and cross party friendships inthe past.

    However, that line was breached during the Howard era and since Lielot assumed the reins of LOTO, it hasnot only been breached, it has been obliterated.

    Much as I would have enjoyed seeing government MPs and Ministers usiing the same tactics as Liealot, I know that would reduce the government to the level of the liars Party and their barrackers and make Parliament more of a mockery than it has become.

    Only the most rabid barrackers can now fail to recognise the hypocrisy, destructiveness and desperation of the Liealot-led opposition.

  11. Sue, nice ideas but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was you…. there are apparently different rules for the Coalition….. they don’t follow rules, they just set them…

  12. wixxy
    there are probably a few in the coalition that are holding their breath because they know exactly what Pyne was upto.

  13. The line was not only crossed in Howard’s day. He lost so many, he deleted the line.

  14. Great post patricia. 🙂

    For mine, the Pyne factor is so like the Abbott slush fund of 1998, which he set up to get rid of Pauline Hanson…. it took until 2003 for an admission that PM Howard was aware of the dirty dealings……

  15. Via Lyn @ TPS…Bernard Keane’s timely and apt assessment of Wayne Swan’s performance @ The Power Index:

    It may be coincidental but it reflects a certain, almost boring, steadiness about Swan that he’s brought to the Treasury portfolio.

    Swan initially was an unlikely candidate for the gong he won last year, Euromoney’s Finance Minister of the Year. His early period as Treasurer was nervous. There was constant chatter about whether Julia Gillard or Lindsay Tanner would handle the role better; stories circulated in the private sector that he wasn’t across the basics. The Coalition peppered Swan with questions in Parliament, although in the political equivalent of “whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger”, this hostile fire only served to harden him as a Parliamentary performer.

    But he deserved the award, and deserved it more than Paul Keating when he won it in 1984 (Keating’s best years were ahead of him at that point). Swan has endured a series of major economic challenges and so far handled them all. On his watch, we have an economy with low unemployment, low inflation, low interest rates, low debt, low bond rates and a triple-A credit rating from international agencies who specifically cite the government’s stewardship, an economy so well-regarded internationally that it currency appears bulletproof, to the chagrin of our trade-exposed sectors like manufacturing. All that plus a range of substantial reforms on carbon pricing, a mining tax, superannuation and workforce participation.

    As other western countries increasingly track growth paths similar to or worse than the 1930s, it’s an achievement apparently unnoticed by angry voters but one envied by policymakers overseas.

    And Swan has maintained fiscal discipline. The Australian political benchmark is 3 or 4 budgets of rectitude before spending starts to get out of control. He goes into his fifth budget hell-bent on delivering his commitment to a surplus. He’s the only Treasurer in the modern era to be criticized by business for being too disciplined.


    In 2009, the response of policymakers to the crisis worked. More than a 100,000 jobs were saved in Australia, while unemployment surged, sometimes to Depression-era levels, across western economies. Few of those workers are aware of what would have happened without the government’s stimulus programs and the RBA’s rapid intervention, but they will remain an enduring legacy of the Rudd government, and Swan’s Treasurership.

    How much of that was Swan’s doing? His department, after all, has the best and the brightest in Canberra and the independent Reserve Bank played a key role. And Labor’s critics insist the Chinese-driven mining boom was the sole reason we avoided recession, despite that sector shedding jobs at a furious rate in 2008 and 2009.

    The government did indeed cling close to Ken Henry throughout 2008 and 2009, to the point where Henry himself began copping opposition flak for being a political shield. But Swan did more than follow the bureaucrats’ lead. In a little-noticed account of the government’s response to the financial crisis, Swan’s former chief of staff  Chris Barrett recounts a key moment in the government’s response to the financial crisis, when Swan travelled to the US in April 2008 and heard first hand from counterparts, officials and investors about the sheer scale of the crisis unfolding in the US. Together with what Treasury was hearing and seeing of the carnage unfolding offshore, it prompted Swan to abandon the substantial spending cuts the government planned for the budget just weeks away.

    Swan wore the criticism at the time that he’d overpromised and underdelivered on the fiscal pain, but his judgment was vindicated as the world economy nosedived in the second half of 2008.

    That set a pattern for Swan’s budgets – they rarely draw rave reviews at the time, but in hindsight each of them looked appropriate given the economic conditions that subsequently developed – although some of that credit necessarily goes to Treasury forecasters.

    more here:



    OUR ship is still powering ahead having weathered some awful storms…passing many struggling vessels on the way…

    I still shudder thinking about what mighta happened if we’d got a Coalition Cap’n and crew…nightmares of tax cut sails collapsing, GST storms…austerity measure reefs putting holes in us…we start taking on water…begin tilting…panic ensues…

    gawd!…too scary by half.


  16. Nasking
    “I still shudder thinking about what mighta happened if we’d got a Coalition Cap’n and crew”

    But Nas it would have been Labor’s fault and the MSM would have confirmed poor Abbott/Hockey/Robb what a mess!!!!!!!

  17. Next line crosser…. Brough

    “ANOTHER prominent Liberal is said to have met with the staffer at the centre of sexual harassment allegations against Speaker Peter Slipper in the days before the explosive claims were made public.

    A Sunshine Coast LNP member has told the National Times that James Hunter Ashby met with Mr Slipper’s long-time political rival and former Howard Cabinet minister Mal Brough on the Sunshine Coast in early April when he was still working as Mr Slipper’s press secretary.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/brough-met-slippers-accuser-claim-20120504-1y3b6.html#ixzz1tsDdRDgu

  18. Another drip on this story from non other than Jessica Wright

    Curiouser and curiouser, It was a sunshine coast cabbie that made false allegations in the Sunshine Coast News about “a girl” who had a cab charge voucher, the cabbie had a specific date for the trip. Northcoast voices checked out the allegation and found there was no voucher on or around that date.
    Another curious connection could be between Pyne and Brough and phones and emails.

  19. Thanks for all those encouraging comments, people. The last fortnight or so because of time constraints I’ve been very much a reader but not a contributor to my favorite blogs, particularly The Political Sword and here. In fact, when I finally had the time I wondered if I’d be able to write anything. Then suddenly yesterday all the comments and perspectives of you lot just seemed to blend in the sausage machine of my brain and come out as quite a tasty pome/poloni…….if you see what I mean!

    Sue suggested elsewhere that I was widely read and I have to disabuse her of that idea, much as I’d like to be thought of as erudite. I’m actually guilty of being very narrow in my reading these days and confining myself to people who think like me and write stuff I like…..following up their preferred links when I have time. Sometimes I chide myself for that narrowness.. But my alter ego, who has taken over as my super ego these days insists that after being a good girl for three quarters of a century I’m now allowed to please myself.

    I’m so glad it means spending time with people like lunalava, Min, Miglo, Bilko, N’, Sue, pip, jane, Cu……all of you at CW and TPS, getting to read great posts by people like Bushfire Bill, wixxy and archie. It would be great to have the background knowledge and incisiveness of people like Ad Astra, BB and our Kevin, poetic skills of TT and the wide reading of Lyn whose Links help us make sense of the whole range of political writing across the web. Instead, I think I’ll just keep company with you all and let what you have to say help me write the odd useful and hopefully amusing pome which reflects your thinking which right now means supporting our current government and Prime Minister. By the way I know that none of you would be doing that if you thought they were off track and doing harm to our country and the future of our children.

  20. Patricia, you can tell by the number of Facebook Shares on your posts that you are widely read. Min and I usually put up a link on Facebook and it spreads from there. Some people like what they read and Share the link on their own Facebook wall.

  21. Ah Ha

    Now the precise wording by Abbott in reply to questioning on possible Coalition connection to Ashby, becomes clear.
    Now if my memory serves

    “no Canberra coalition members blah blah blah…”

  22. Hi Miglo, nice to think I am ‘widely read’ in that sense too! I’m not sure how to check my Facebook wall or where it is.

    I do have a personal Facebook membership which I started a while back when contacted for a school reunion by a former colleague. But that took up so much time which I wanted to put in here at CW and TPS that I have badly neglected it. I must say it is great for reminding me of one or two events a year, and I try to keep an eye out for those.

    Thanks to you and Min for looking after me, and to Lyn particularly for linking me in with all the all the other writing and reading I wouldn’t otherwise be able to keep up with. I can imagine there are heaps more people who’d second that.

  23. Patricia,
    well said. We enjoy yer company too. And brill pomes and posts.

    in regard to that Brough link to Ashby…I smells somethin’ MALicious and fishy here.

    Cross-posted. 🙂


  24. I would like to add to Migs’ comment – some of the Facebook groups have memberships numbering in the thousands. Patricia, your pomes always receive HUGE interest.

  25. Thanks Patricia, I believe that most of us the contribute to this site come from very diverse backgrounds and life experiences to arrive at were we are at.

    It would not surprise me, if most have more years behind us than in front.

    I find it extremely insulting for some to say we do not read widely or are ignorant of other ideologies or views.

    I suspect that many have not been rusted onto one party all their lives.

    I do read blogs on the other side of the fence. I have always read articles that are from the right. It has become very tedious All one gets is abuse and name calling of the PM. That along with lies and misrepresentation of what is being said.

    I began with the DLP, I have in my belief, come a long way.


  26. PS, I like Archie’s verse as well.

    It takes us back to the days of the early bulletin, the days of Lawson.

    We are lucky to have access to two great writers.

    Keep up the good work.

  27. I think this was posted here a few days ago Sue:


    At the time I thought “Brough” 😉

    Speaker Peter Slipper’s sex harassment accuser James Ashby could be in sorts of legal trouble if rumours wildly circulating Brisbane about him receiving an undisclosed $50,000 payment to bring his Federal Court case are true.

    Some even claim that a well-known Slipper nemesis on the Sunshine Coast arranged the payment. We’re not yet willing to name the person but he is a senior political figure.

    Ashby, said to have been a troubled lad by those who knew him well at Caloundra High School, is widely understood in political circles to have been paid to make the claims he has made

    Bold mine…

  28. Love hearing the Libs trying to clear themselves on Lyndal Curtis. Pointed out that the PM sows exactly as Mr. Howard done in the same position.

    Lib rep, seems to think the deposition is the proven truth because it has been lodged in court.

  29. Bacchus @4.16pm, why am I not surprised?

    CU @5.15pm, that’s because the Liars are pig ignorant.

  30. Caught a glimpse of Lateline and Mr. Brandis being accused of political abuse. He did not seem amused.

    Brandis was complaining that the economy was not a they left it. Was told that it was stupid to compare the economy today with something back in the past.

    It was pointed out that one compares with where other countries are today.

    Political abuse, I like that. It is exactly what is going on.

  31. More from Jessica Wright. Ashby has been a busy boy, it looks as though he has been working for 2 of Slipper’s rivals . Also LNP party hq concerned over contact between Brough and Ashby

    “THE man who has accused the Speaker, Peter Slipper, of sexual harassment and fraud was actively working against his boss’ re-election as he continued to work in Mr Slipper’s office.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/slipper-accuser-ashby-was-secretly-helping-rival-20120504-1y4in.html#ixzz1tueq30kQ

    No wonder Slipper was concerned about Ashby and his supposed loyalty as an employee of the Speaker. The private work, i wonder if that was approved by his employer or possibly was a breach of employment.

  32. Sue, the Sunshine Coast Daily favoured the pre selection hopes of Mal Brough with nasty articles about the dastardly deeds of Peter Slipper – not good enough they cried, we’ll have to do more.

    This puts the “loyalty” email in context.

    Prissy P.O.O. is in deep doodoo. and hopefully, along with him the very ambitious Mr.Brough.

    {patricia, there’s a pome in that line… 😀 }

    The Saturday Age has also learnt that Mr Ashby held a secret meeting with another of the Speaker’s political rivals and former Howard government minister, Mal Brough, just two weeks before his explosive claims against Mr Slipper were made public.

    I wonder if Ashby realised just what he was getting into, and if he did, what’s in it for him?

  33. Now Sue and Pip, all your nasty insinuations are quite unwarranted! Mr. Brough explains it all in the Australian this weekend. Every detail you could want ot know about his meetings with Mr. Ashby. His wife was there too – as a witness! And just to show how above board it all is – here’s a picture of Mr. Brough with his lovely wife.


  34. Well, well, that was a rapid response from Mr. Brough.

    patricia, I am always supicious of self promoting trout-mouths …..

  35. Sue and patricia thanks for the links.

    National Affairs I urged Slipper staffer James Ashby to go to court, says Mal Brough

    FORMER Liberal cabinet minister Mal Brough has admitted telling James Ashby to go to the police and take legal action over allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of taxi vouchers by Peter Slipper after a series of secret meetings with the political staffer earlier this year.
    After a Gillard government campaign to link federal opposition MPs to the court action that led Mr Slipper to step down as Speaker, Mr Brough yesterday revealed he was briefly a confidant to Mr Ashby, even organising him legal advice, in the weeks before the adviser launched his explosive law suit against his then boss.

    Log In

    To the author of this piece of Murdoch flavoured crap. the Gillard government wasn’t ‘campaigning” to link the Coalition, sorry, the ‘federal opposition’ MPs to the Ashby court action; they didn’t have to.
    The government is entitled to ask questions.
    Christopher Pyne, {“the manager of Opposition business, I’ve been in Parliament for 19 years”}, usually puffed up with his own importance, has come a cropper.
    He has given three different versions in as many days and now the man who lost his seat at the last election, and would take Speaker Peter Slipper’s seat at the next election, Mr. Mal Brough, has also leapty leapt to explain what a caring fellow he is, after Mr. Ashby was advised to ask for his help by a longstanding National Party member.

    Note to Mal. If you’re in a hole, stop digging!

    Godwin Grech anyone? Utegate was designed to bring down the Rudd government.
    Ashby … designed to bring down the Gillard government??

    It’s deja vu….all over again and the man who used to be a serious reporter of politics has reduced himself to being a tabloid hack at the Daily Telegraph, whose claims to fame are Utegate and deja vu

    All we have to do is think of an approriate title for this latest effort; the truth is taking care of the rest.

    The journalists and the Coalition, must think all their readers are bloody idiots.

    When the timing is so precious and the stakes are so high and there is previous form to be considered who wouldn’t be suspicious.

  36. Grech was to be more pitied than condemned. I have a feeling Ashby might be in the same stable..

    That what me so angry about the Liberals. They use vulnerable people and hang them out to dry.

    It seems that Mr. Brought arrange legal access for him.

    Are we to believe that Mr. Pyne was there to see Mr. Slipper, when he knew he was in the chair.

    It appears according to Mr. Brandis last night, that Pyne’s office in near Mr. Slipper’s.

    Personally, I believe they set the whole scenario up. Looking at the straw polls, most of the public also believe this.

    Mr. Brandis by his answers last might, was not kept up to date with Mr. Pyne’s many stories.

    Mr. Brandis did not appear very happy on Lateline.

    This will be shame for Mr. Slipper, he will not have the chance to clear himself.

  37. Cu, i think you could be right about Mr. Ashby. He’s thirty three years old and not in the same league as the other players in this latest exercise in cynical power playing.

    Just when i thought nothing could top tonight’s headlines who should pop up again to make it quite clear that she is a first class cow!

    Germaine Greer, still on the same topic…. like she was ever a fashion plate…

    It’s high time for Gillard to roll up her sleeves
    Germaine Greer
    May 5, 2012.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/its-high-time-for-gillard-to-roll-up-her-sleeves-20120503-1xzxa.html#ixzz1tvKcQJbD

  38. Lateline transcript
    Dreyfus and Brandis


    GEORGE BRANDIS: You’ve cast this innuendo about Mr Brough as well, so let me deal specifically with it. Mr Ashby, as I understand it, is a member of the Liberal National Party from the Sunshine Coast. So is Mr Brough.

    Mr Brough, as you pointed out, Mark, is running for pre-selection in that area. Mr Ashby would be one of the pre-selectors if he’s a local member of the party. So it would be, if Mr Brough has met him, I don’t know whether he has or not, the most natural thing in the world, just as natural Mark, as you meeting with one of or local party members.

    EMMA ALBERICI: And simply coincidental that it happened in the days before these claims were made?

    GEORGE BRANDIS: Emma, the pre-selection for Fisher will be taking place in a few months time. If you can find a party member in Fisher that Mr Brough hasn’t had a cup of coffee in the last couple of months I would be surprised.

  39. Crossing the line of reality.

    There is a story in the papers curtesy of Gary Nairn, ex Howard special Minister od State, how the Finance Dept wanted to change from paper to only electronic cab charege vouchers. The gist of the story Slipper was one of 2 MPs that objected and nothing changed.

    The year 2006, Howard has control of both Houses of Parliament, Work Choices is a reality. Yet according to Nairn the Dept of Finance wasn’t allowed to change procedures. Unbelievable!!!

    Believable, the Howard government that could have changed the sysytem did not. The Howard govt aided and abetted the system that is in place now that supposedly has Slipper defrauding the Australian taxpayer. The Howard govt not only endorsed a system that is open to abuse but turned a blind eye to years of abuse.

  40. The Minister for Finance and Administration in 2006 was Senator Nick Minchin.

    Question to Nick Minchin, if the cab vouchers were open to abuse and at least one of your party was having to pay back money, why didn’t you tighten and change the system, as requested by your dept?

  41. So by his failure to act, Nick Minchin endorsed abuse of the Cab charge paper based system.

    Willful blindness by the Liberal Party.

  42. Lunalava
    Isn’t it funny, that Jessica Wright has been chasing Mal Brough all week for a comment, but he remained stum.
    Then low and behold a front page story with wife appears on the Australian and on a Saturday, how coincidental. Mal was also keen to talk to AM, the object to come across caring and sharing and that the Labor party was chasing a victim of abuse, of and a little bit of sympathy for Mal wouldn’t go astray.

  43. Brough must have thought that he needed to come clean, perhaps concerned about some emails…. So we have Mal Brough who is chasing Slipper’s seat urging Ashby to take legal action against Slipper. The stench is becoming overwhelming…

  44. Min
    Emails, phone calls, Pyne, Ashby, Brough.

    Funny on Lateline with Brandis, he kept going on about how Pyne is only 50 paces from the Speakers office. Yet he was unaware that Slipper, whom he wanted to talk to was not there. Apart from the 50 paces, I thought a visual feed to his office would have shown clearly where Slipper was. And then when Slipper returns to his office he scarpers away.

    Now another wedge against Pyne Just how many times had Pyne and Slipper and Ashby been in Canberra at the same time , working. Pyne has put on the record he needs to go to the Speakers office numerous times in the day and yet it is not until 19 March that Pyne suddenly needs the email and phone number of Ashby. Why didn’t he get it earlier in the course of the “normal ” business he does with the Speaker?

    So many questions not being asked.

  45. Pip, it would be nice if they could get their stories straight. It would be mice if there was only one story.

    We get a new one each day, to fit in with new evidence that comes to light.

    Why not say what happened in the first place.

    I see they get highly affronted when they have to endure they same treatment as Labor puts up with every day.

    They are the ones that set the precedent that it is OK to attack with evidence. They are they ones that spread rumours and innuendo and truth which has not been substantiated, as truth.

    I for one, who believes one should treat others, as they treat me.

    This is a situation of the Liberal Party’s own making.

    I choose to believe these allegations against the Liberal Party, as they choose to believe all the allegations made against the PM and Labor.

    As they do not need evidence, neither do I. That is the way our community now works.

  46. Mr. Brough has said last week he had no prior knowledge. ABC24

    By the way, the attack is not against Mr. Ashby.

    It is about how he arranged the solicitor and if the Liberal Party had any input.

    The Liberal Party has all the big boys out this morning.

    Mr. Sinodinos does not believe. Does not say there was not a conspiracy.

    Look carefully at what they say and more important not say.

    If one needed a witness, would one take their wife.

  47. Just when their credibility is being tested Abbott opens his mouth. Something new for the media that this is a lazy, do nothing government.

    That’s why all their legislation gets passed.

  48. Min, we will have to get a new word. Stench belongs to describe Labor.

    To this day, I do not know why, but she made it sound like one has committed the worse crime in the world.

    We now have the 73 year old great grandmother blamed for telling Mr. Bough.

    A 73 year old grandmother who Mr. Brough knew for 20 years, and had been in the party at least that long.

    I am a 70 year old great grandmother.

    I would not be running to any politician, if he was my grandson. I would be protecting him from the party.

    My advice to my grandson, would be to get out of the job.

  49. Nice to see theirabc playing catchup on Fairfax (a couple of days later mind you)

    Too busy with ‘Gillard’s Fluff’ I suspect.

  50. We need to remember, that Mr. Brough is not welcome in this seat. Mr. Ashby has indeed been a busy little boy in the last few months.

    My bold

    Mr Ashby met Mr Slipper’s long-time political rival and former Howard cabinet minister, Mal Brough, on the Sunshine Coast in early April. At that time he was still working as Mr Slipper’s press secretary. This information was backed by another senior LNP source, with yet another LNP member having written anonymously to party headquarters over their concerns about the meeting between Mr Brough and Mr Ashby.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/slipper-accuser-ashby-was-secretly-helping-rival-20120504-1y4in.html#ixzz1tx2K1St6

  51. Morning all whisperers
    Nothing much has changed since Malcolm F*** blocked supply to bring down a labor government supported by murdoch rags. The only difference now is that they lack control of the senate, otherwise I feel sure Abbort would try that tactic again and why because it worked once before and we all know he has never had an original thought in his head. Now it is sleaze and innuendo no pun intended to do the same trick. Brough is just building to disendorse Slipper who IMHO has been a good speaker.
    Miglo re the weather it is becoming chilli in the mornings. Do you ever think us canberra members of cafe whispers would meet face to face.

  52. Tom R

    The ABC only got interested when Brough needed to get his “story”, well the latest version, out there. And the latest version backs up the OO Saturday script.

  53. Good idea Bilko. Are number of us bloggers live here in Canberra. You, me, Sue, Lunalava as well as a couple of our readers. I’ll arrange something soon.

    I’m about to arrange a get- together in Sydney, so why not one here?

  54. Bilko, if you click on the How To tab at the top of the page there are a number of tips, including the setting up of your gravatar.

  55. It’s not rude at all. I would be thrilled if you can make it. I’ll be posting details of when and where I’ll be in Sydney. At this stage it’s Saturday 19th of May but I’ll have to check the address. You Sydneysiders will be able to give some suggestions of a meeting place nearby.

  56. el gordo, you do not get it. Under the new Liberal laws there does not have to be a conspiracy, for one to say so.

    It is good enough that there might be one.

    Personally I think there is, but in this modern age, I do not have to provide proof.

    Mr. Pyne, and now Mr. Brough, is guilty because I say so. That is now how it works.

    This new definition of the freedom of speech, that one can say what they like, can be fun.

  57. You’re clutching at straws, there is no conspiracy here.

    Says the climategate emissary lol

  58. Gillard’s timing is what has let her down since coming into power – really, her coming in to power mid-term was bad timing in itself. Australian’s need to ask themselves if (despite the delay) has the best outcome for government, regarding Slipper and Thompson, been accomplished? If the answer is yes, then is a delay to ensure the right course of action reason to chastise a political leader? I personally think Gillard is getting a rough deal. The public have been very negative towards her since day dot, and I don’t think there is any way for her to really break this perception. But PLEASE Labor, PLEASE don’t change leaders mid-term again! It will ruin yet another political career and potential future leader.

  59. The one thing that must not happen , is changing leaders. Labor must not panic. I do not see the PM as one that is easily to panic.

    Mr. Abbott is finding to his dismay. The PM not falling in a screaming heap, is something he just does not get.

    I agree that the PM put her future at risk when she took over from Mr. Rudd. I also believe the timing was not of her making. The PM could have stood aside and wait for a better time, which was sure to come.

    The PM would have been well aware of the risk she was taking. The PM had the gumption and guts to do so,

    The PM has by her actions, has Labor in power. Labor during this time has achieved much.

    If the PM is defeated at the next election, she still will leave a proud legacy behind.

    The say there should be an immediate election., Name me one PM that has called an election because they have become unpopular.

    Governments sometimes have to do things that make them unpopular for the good of all.

    Most governments, or at least those that bring in reform, generally end up unpopular.

    That does not mean the government has done wrong. It generally means the public could be a little wrong.

    Elections should be called according to the rules of the Constitution.

    There is nothing in the Constitution that says a election should be called if the government is unpopular.

  60. The ‘secret’ is out. We have known for ages that Rupert Murdoch has wanted PM Gillard out. Robert Manne wrote about Murdoch’s aspiration in The Monthly in Bad News: Robert Manne on Murdoch’s Australian and the Shaping on the Nation and many, many in the Fifth Estate have testified to his intention to oust our PM and install Tony Abbott – after all it’s his turn! But last week Murdoch’s twitter finger got the better of him and he tweeted: @rupertmurdoch 
Dramatic, slimy events in Australian politics. Country desperately needs election to get fresh start. 
28 Apr 12. There’s no room for doubt now – Murdoch wants an election and expects that it will be the end of Julia Gillard and her Government.

    While PM Gillard needs to defeat Tony Abbott and the Coalition at the next election, that is not her most forbidding task. Her most powerful enemy is Rupert Murdoch. It is he who must be countered for electoral success. Our PM has two virulent enemies, and an unequal battle with them.


  61. Lukechircop, welcome.

    I’m with you on that one. I would like to see Gillard fight her way out of this, even though many are suggesting that a change of leader might be the tonic Labor needs. Besides, who’s to say that the media won’t ravage the next leader anyway?

  62. ‘This new definition of the freedom of speech,’

    Trial by media, let’s not forget Lindy Chamberlain, guilty until proven innocent. A picture speaks a thousand words and Brough is standing next to his attractive wife.

    Media savvy…no conspiracy here.

  63. I thought the G grandmother who knew Mr. Brough approached him. Is this yet another version.

    MAL BROUGH: He rang me one, in fact it was the day before the state election, to say could we meet? And I didn’t agree to meet; I said I’d ring him back. And I consulted with my wife and we agreed that we would find out what he wanted but we would do it together so that we’d have a witness. And that’s how concerned we were about meeting with anyone connected with Mr Slipper’s office.


  64. Did he organize legal advice or not. I Maybe one believes the story that suits.

    After a Gillard government campaign to link federal opposition MPs to the court action that led Mr Slipper to step down as Speaker, Mr Brough yesterday revealed he was briefly a confidant to Mr Ashby, even organising him legal advice, in the weeks before the adviser launched his explosive law suit against his then boss.


  65. When is “No conspiracy” a conspiracy. The ABC has been running the front page with picture and headline “No Conspiracy” all day, but the story has no bi-line and a different banner.

    And why aren’t the ABC running the comments from Mr Albanese, the Age has

    And you wouldn’t know it from the ABC but just like Pyne, Brough had lied about his meetings with Ashby, the admission only came when presented with the evidence.
    Why did either Pyne or Brough lie if all is above board?

  66. “Besides, who’s to say that the media won’t ravage the next leader anyway?”

    Miglo, that is not “won’t” but will. It is as certain as day follows night.

  67. CU

    Even Grattan is now writing about theCoalition memory lapses
    She must be gettiing worried, that the coalition might mess up her campaign.
    This bit after admonishing brough and Pyne

    “Then there is the sudden opposition fondness during this affair for the word ”specific”, a lovely word when you want wriggle room.

    Tony Abbott told the ABC on April 23: ”I had no specific knowledge of this [the Ashby action against Slipper] until I read the newspapers on Saturday morning. And to the best of my knowledge, no one in the Coalition had specific knowledge of this until they read the newspapers”.

    And he told Alan Jones on April 24 he had ”no specific knowledge of any of this until I read it in the newspapers”. Which begs the question: what ”general” knowledge was around?

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/memory-lapses-on-slipper-saga-puts-coalition-in-the-frame-20120505-1y5dn.html#ixzz1txzmsf3A

  68. CU I have said all along that it does not matter who Labor puts up as leader the MSM will destroy him or her.

    In assasination you only kill them once, with chartacter assassination you destyroy them every day.

    Still I don’t understand the obvious joining at the hip between News Ltd and their ABC affiliate.

  69. Sue, there was no need to lie in the first place.

    The only reason I can find for the many versions we are now getting out of their own mouths, is guilty conscience.

    el gordo, you gave bought up a good example to support what we are saying. There have been many Lindy’s over the decades. Many people convicted because of media campaigns.

    You would think one would learn from the past.

    What is sad, is that court convictions are not always safe, thanks to contamination from the media.

  70. What does this mean. It was used by all the Coalition interviewed.

    “specific knowledge”

  71. Funny word to use.

    specific adj. Explicitly set forth; definite. See synonyms at explicit . Relating to, characterizing, or distinguishing a species


    Explicitly set forth; definite. See synonyms at explicit.
    Relating to, characterizing, or distinguishing a species.
    Special, distinctive, or unique: specific qualities and attributes.
    Intended for, applying to, or acting on a particular thing: a specific remedy for warts.
    Concerned particularly with the subject specified. Often used in combination: “age-specific voting patterns” (A. Dianne Schmidley).
    Designating a disease produced by a particular microorganism or condition.
    Having a remedial influence or effect on a particular disease.
    Immunology. Having an affinity limited to a particular antibody or antigen.
    Designating a customs charge levied on merchandise by unit or weight rather than according to value.
    Designating a commodity rate applicable to the transportation of a single commodity between named points.
    Something particularly fitted to a use or purpose.
    A remedy intended for a particular ailment or disorder.
    A distinguishing quality or attribute.
    specifics Distinct items or details; particulars.

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/specific#ixzz1ty32hs4Q

  72. Sue and Cu, @ 2.37pm,


    Even Grattan is now writing about theCoalition memory lapses

    ‘Professional’ journalists are competing – sniping at each other here… 😆

    From Twitter

    Jessica Wright ‏ @jesswrightstuff

    I left 10 msgs Mal. Didn’t you get em? Brough responds to my yarn http://www.theage.com.au/national/slipper-accuser-ashby-was-secretly-helping-rival-20120504-1y4in.html via News Ltd http://bit.ly/K6Hazg #auspol

    Grattan won’t know whether to scratch her watch or wind her butt..

  73. Fairfax’ Jessica Wright didn’t get a reply to her ten messages to Mal Brough and is annoyed that he went to the Australian…

    What’s a girl to do, huh Michelle?

  74. Another earlier tweet from Grattan on the 2nd may.

    Michelle Grattan ‏ @michellegrattan

    Now AFP investigating Slipper, Craig Emerson needs to be careful not to sound as if he’s defending Pete, as he pursues Pyne

    then this – what a difference a day makes!

    Michelle Grattan ‏ @michellegrattan

    Very hard to find Abbott press staff today</blockquote..

  75. lunalava @ 2.37pm,
    Still I don’t understand the obvious joining at the hip between News Ltd and their ABC affiliate.

    It’s very hard to watch Howard’s Murdoch Lite, formerly known as the ABC…

    how many ltd news/ news.con personnel are seen on the ABC?

    A. Even one is too many

  76. Brough on ABC24 declaring that at no stage did he approach Ashby, “Asbhy came to me”.

    Labor’s Dr. Emerson saying

    1. Mr. Brough should have said I will put uyou in touch with someone who can help.

    2. ABC bloke asking how much of this is Labor trying to divert attention away from the Budget. wtf

    3. Sen. Brandis said on Lateline that Ashby is a member of the LNP, yet it was earlier reported that he used to be a member of the LNP.

    Where is Tony Abbott this morning. He should front the media and explain himself.

    Senator Sinodinos then shown using the same line, that Labor is diverting attention away from the Budget.

    The COALition is spinning furiously…. out of their control now.

  77. I might echo lukechircop’s thoughts.

    A change of PM might create a small bump in the opinion polls but nothing else. I’m counting on a bump anyway once people notice that the carbon tax won’t send them to the wall.

    Mind you, Abbott and the media will be waiting outside the doors of any business that goes bust, for whatever reason, to announce it’s Gillard’s fault.

  78. Cuy @ 2.42pm.

    Catching up
    What does this mean. It was used by all the Coalition interviewed.

    “specific knowledge”

    There is no “specific knowledge” of the whereabouts of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott…

    There’s a rumour going around that he’s locked himself in the dunny crying

    “This is not happening to me…. this is not happening to me…”

  79. lukechircop and The public have been very negative towards her since day dot..

    Almost forgotten is the fact that a change of leader, with Gillard being it, was mooted as happening after the election. Therefore, correct the timing was off and mostly to do with Rudd’s popularity plummeting in the polls. Who knows? Rudd may have lost, Gillard become Leader of the Opposition but she would still have had the positive perception of her compared with what we now have.

  80. ‘I’m counting on a bump anyway once people notice that the carbon tax won’t send them to the wall.’

    I’m betting there will be no bump and as a consequence the trigger for the new back room boys to knife Gillard.

  81. Min, it took some time for the penny to drop; Labor usually put a woman in the leadership when they believe all is lost.

  82. El gordo, what is it about us? We always seem to turn up here at roughly the same time. 😉

  83. Pip at 3.08
    Liked your bit about Labor being accused of using the Brough/ Ashby thing as a diversion FROM the budget. The same bastards who were gleefully reporting a while back how terrible for Labor that attention would now be diverted FROM…etc, etc. But I didn’t need to tell you that, did I?

    Someone on PB yesterday asked everyone to be quiet there, lest they wake the ABC. I see they’ve woken up now & have got their orders from Newscorpse.

  84. Migs and Besides, who’s to say that the media won’t ravage the next leader anyway?

    The media did a beauty on Rudd, where every single thing that he did for the previous decade was picked over. Therefore Gillard would have seemed the logical replacement for him – but who could have foresaw the “baggage” she was carrying..her backside, her earlobes, her Aussie/Welsh accent.

    Who is there in the Labor Party who looks like Cary Grant, minus his many mistresses, speaks pristine Australian English, has never been a unionist nor an environmentalist, has had zilch to do with workers, minor ties to church but nothing too over the top, has an invisible wife, no ties to the gay community thank you. And here we have our replacement for Gillard.

  85. Roswell, in my minds eye, Uhllman is outside the dunny door trying to coax his dear leader to come out and face the music.
    He can have another soft interview with questions vetted before going to air..

  86. Min,
    but who could have foresaw the “baggage” she was carrying..her backside, her earlobes, her Aussie/Welsh accent.

    It was the jackets wot done the damage.

  87. Twitter.

    Thepaxmeister ‏ @Paxmeister

    @Paxmeister: Remember Watergate . It wasn’t the break in that brought Nixon down it was the cover up #slipper #auspol #ashby</blockquote.

    Given the end result of all the Liberal dirty tricks campaigns of the past, the truth will out.

  88. After all the claptrap fro the Coalition, especially Abbott and Pyne about the faceless men [who were in plain sight], we now know the Pane was playing at ‘faceless men’ tactics himself.

  89. I suspect Iaan Hall and el gordo are some of the many alias’ of some Liberal troll working out of Menzies House, if I want to read their tripe I can go to one of the many Liberal sites, I follow this site to hear like minded, rational discusions on the politics of the day, not to get bombarded by the monotonous ravings of the conservatives, may I suggest you ban these various alias’ to keep the blog honest and interesting.

  90. Ian, I find it helpful to any thread to ignore trolls most of the time.
    blogmaster Miglo doesn’t like deleting anyone’s comments; he is a very fair minded man and he doesn’t mind, I’m sure, if we ignore them 🙂

  91. EricA betz privileged us with his serious intonations about the Godwin Grech saga, and now it comes to light that he visited the Sunshine Coast in early April.

    He was deeply involved in the Turnbull/Grech dirty works and deserves to be under suspicion in the Ashby affair

    Coincidence, not likely!

    Senator Eric Abetz Visits Sunshine Coast Employment Businesses

  92. Ian, comments have been deleted from this site in the past and all hell broke loose.

    But Pip is right, some comments are best ignored if the writer has history. Also, some people like engaging others with a differing opinion.

    Now it’s time I peeled the spuds. The meat is on. Spuds are next. Timing is very important to we chefs.

  93. we are fair minded, they are not, and yes to a point I can tolerate some of their nonsense, but as I said when it gets to monotonous, it spoils the site and drives people like myself away, which I am sure is what they set out to do, in my case it has worked….another win to the destroyers of logic and common sense.

  94. This would have to be the first day in months, including Easter weekend that Mr. Abbott has not been before the cameras.

    Today he cannot be found.

    Now that is one coincidence, I find hard to buy.

  95. Cu, I still suspect that h’s hiding in the dunny . 😆

    He hasn’t got the brains to deal with this and is probably praying hard right now, that no-one remembers too much about his part in Pauline’ Hanson’s gaol sentence.

  96. Ian, I like to use the ones you are commenting on. They are handy hook to hang the comments on, allowing me to get across what I want to say.

    As for Iain, he is all over the place, when challenged.

    It says something for what he is saying, that he does not notice this fact.

    If it is his role to come here and cause trouble, he fails badly.

    The site does not falter, discussing whatever we believe is important.

    He is a failure at derailing us, which I believe might be his mission.

  97. Ian, Migs keeps a good eye on the site and we Admins know who are trolls due to..well, I won’t give the game away, but let’s just say that we know.

    The general rule of thumb is that all comments are welcome as long as these do not degenerate into personal abuse.

    Agreed, it does become monotonous when you have some who make continuous attempts at derailing threads with their never-ending Look Over There moments.

    Be strong..ignore them. 🙂

  98. Pip, do hope it is the type of the dunny’s we had as kids.

    One with a big hole in the ground with a wooden bench, with a hole on which one sat.

    Better still, the one that had a seat over a can, emptied weekly and stunk to the heavens.

    Pity we are moving on from summer and he will not have flies to keep him company.

    Mal, should shut up. That hole he is digging, is getting deeper. He, with the help of Pyne, will take the party with him.

    Ian, Iain comes and goes. Sometimes he gives up for a while then creeps back. I do not believe that there are many or maybe any here that agrees with him. I believe you are right, and other names are used, but that does not con anyone.

    Just give him a miss, skip his comments. It is easy to do. I can watch TV all day, and not recall one ad.

    el gordo is another matter, We have sort of got used to her. I think she might just represent herself.

  99. Pip wrote:
    I wonder whether independent national, Mr. Crook may be having second or third thoughts about hooking up with the Coalition given the recent revelations about their dirt unit activities

    Good point Pip.

    It does seem an odd time to move away from being an open-minded Independent…

    particularly when you could be joining up with a leader and his crew, including advisors, who might find themselves under investigation for possibly devising a plan to bring down another politician…possibly exchanging or promising money or some other reward as incentive.


  100. Ian, it’s people like you that attracts others to this blog. The right-wingers generally give up after a while once they realise they aren’t getting through.

    And we live in hope that they eventually might come around to our way of thinking. 😉

  101. Migs, and the right wing ranters definitely do not enjoy being challenged by things, such as to provide proof. They generally get all huffy and disappear out of view.

  102. Migs,
    my wife and I both have plenty of right-wingers and swing voters in our families…I have no problem hearing their POV on issues…we agree on somethings, sometimes partially…other issues not so much. Every once in awhile one or two might like to try and stir me up.

    But one thing that most of us agree on…the media, particularly Murdoch’s empire, should be taken with a grain of salt…

    some like my Dad have no time for them at all…and as a small businessman part of his life…and having worked high up for some large companies…he is angry about the predatory, corrupt, robber baron, bullying, politician purchasing aspects of a number of big companies and corporations these days…

    and he is sick and tired of big oil getting away with murder, so to speak.

    He might vote Conservative most of the time…but I reckon he’s right on those issues…and his description of some of the big corporations.

    We differ sometimes on social issues but it was his anger towards the robber barons and corporate aristocracy that helped fire me up as a young man…

    that and the work I did at school on the Watergate Scandal…

    and my uni study of NAZI, Italian fascist and Maoist propaganda.

    And Chartism:



  103. Migs and Min, it is reassuring to know that the right wing ranters are turning off sensible people.

    Sadly we need to let them be heard, so people can hear for themselves, the rot and lies they are spreading.

  104. Ian I have followed the resident liberal trolls and believe they have two objectives (1) attempt to divert discussion “look over here” (2) “fill” commentary, (works on most channel 10 viewers). The idea is that the not so smart audience only read the last comments, so the objective is to provide “disinformation” or fill to pad out comments that may cause damage to their own propaganda.
    Migalo does a good job at “vermin control” ie the nasty “gutter trash” type vitiol.

    I used to be annoyed by the stupidity of El Gordo until I read about the role of “the fool” in Elizabethan times. Now I know comments are hitting the mark when one or the other of the El Gordo duo start up with their rubbish

  105. Lunalava, the duo’s modus operandi are well known. There is Banana 1 who launches with some nasties, then there is Banana 2 who is nicer and does attempt to engage and who does actually have a sense of humour, which Banana 1 is severely lacking therein.

  106. The concept of “disinformation” is an interesting one. It was created in the former USSR and basically came about because it was acknowledged that they could not stop useful information leaking to the enemy. As a counter measure it was decided to “swamp” the available information pool with “useless” information.
    Thus the problem became filtering useful from useless. The Liberal party with the help of the CIA, sorry a Clive Palmer moment has a very clever propaganda team who use this technique with a small but dedicated team of online guys.

  107. lunalava, your description is about right re the ‘fill’ to pad out comments that may cause damage to their own propaganda; sometimes I’m tempted to give the tv a stab with my new letter opener. 😯

  108. nasking, I have never understood why small business supports the Liberals.

    I do not understand why many working a contractors, for one firm believe they are better off. I see them as being ripped off.

    I feel this way, in spite of coming from a family that have many earning their incomes as owner drivers of trucks.

  109. I couldn’t resist this tweet…

    .now__voyager ‏ @now__voyager

    Joe Hockey bores me. Somewhere there’s a Coles deli department missing an assistant manager.

    That’s offensive to my lovely local butchers. 😀

  110. I appreciate all the comments above regarding tolerance for trolls and completely understand your points of view, however I got enough of their intolerant lopsided views in the Media, that is why I now source my news and social interaction, in social sites, Most sites I follow now ban them,and that allows for un-interupted discourse on the news of the day. The comments on here are brilliant and educational and stand on their own, but tarnished by the childish, mono
    tone of the trolls. The media prints all their rubbish in letters to the editor, shock jocks spew their venom relentlessly, and the TV adds pictures to further back up the printed media….the only place of refuge for the truth is now in columns such as this one….don’t let them destroy it, and I’m not being dramatic…take a look at the world!

  111. Cu has a point. Sometimes by letting the right-wingers have their say the rest of the world has something to amuse them.

    Neil of Sydney was a classic example. How he could write that stuff and remain serious was the source of much amusement.

    BTW, why does Meta look like me?

  112. Ian, we are going to be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary next month..so it’s ok, the trolls and their ilk will not stifle debate. We forge on irrespective of the Bolts of this world, and will continue to proceed to put forward alternative points of view.

  113. Thank you, Min, I almost forget. The 6th of June marks the second anniversary of our first post.

    We should party.

  114. @Min glad to hear your 2nd anniversary is due, my heartiest congratulations to all concerned, and I realise the trolls have not effected your aims….just don’t understand with all the brilliant contributors you have on here, why you find it necessary to give space to trolls but that is your decision, and I respect it. I sincerely wish you well and all success in the future.

  115. Thank you, Ian.

    We’ve had our share of trolls over the last two years but they haven’t outlasted us lefties. We fight on. They give up.

  116. Sue, there must have been quite a gathering on the Sunshine Coast over Easter;
    the stench must have been overpowering!

    We should start a list of the likely players.

    Abbott ?? Abbott’s chief,Credlin ??, her hubby ??


  117. (I think I might have made an accidental addition of an .au to my fabricated email addie – au, Japanese for ‘to meet’, incidentally, for any who might have correctly interpreted Prime Minister Gillard’s recent speech as a call to ‘use your noodle’ in developing mutually-rewarding regional relationships in the Asian Century rather than as a call to falling dominoes or a food bowl half-empty, imho – which I will now correct.)

  118. Man of integrity, WA National, Mr. Crook has officially joined the crooks!

    Coalition claims 72 seats as Nationals MP Tony Crook joins

    OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott’s parliamentary numbers have won a boost, with Nationals MP Tony Crook formally joining the Coalition.
    The West Australian MP, who has been on the cross benches, will sit with his party’s colleagues in parliament from Tuesday, The Nationals say.
    The move by Mr Crook, who has voted with Labor more than 30 times in the lower house since the last election, puts the Coalition’s numbers at 72 members to Labor’s 71.
    While Prime Minister Julia Gillard still controls the house through her deals with the independents and Greens, Tony Abbott now has bragging rights for which major party has more members, and more discipline over Mr Crook’s vote.

  119. Pip

    Don’t forget Somlay

    What? no one invited Brandis

    (i thought he was confused on lateline, but it may be that Brandis isn’t even liked by his own lot)

  120. Migs and..We should party.

    You have mentioned to me a couple of options..but can we do these in public. 😀

  121. Ian and just don’t understand with all the brilliant contributors you have on here, why you find it necessary to give space to trolls but that is your decision, and I respect it.

    It’s because we do not censor opinions. Everyone deserves to be heard, whether or not we agree with these opinions, whether or not their argument is logical, whether or not their motivation is to derail debate. They may post, then it is up to others whether or not to engage with them.

    But when in doubt, play music…one for the trolls..

  122. Pip, Crook did not support the PM. In fact he supported no one. So a man that should have been on Abbott’s side has now joined him. Big news indeed,

  123. Meta, your link to the Turnbull favourite Mr. McGrath poses an interesting power play in the offing if McGrath misses out on the seat of Fairfax.

    Should Mr McGrath, the LNP’s campaign director, fail in Fairfax, high-powered federal Liberals would like to see him in at the party secretariat in Canberra.

    .A solid power bloc stands in his way: the Liberal federal director Brian Loughnane and his wife, Peta Credlin, who is the Opposition Leader’s chief of staff.

    Turnbull recruits ‘race-row’ adviser
    by: Christian Kerr
    From: The Australian January 31, 2009


  124. Sue, how did I forget Somlay who can’t stand Peter Slipper.

    As for Brandis, his other attempts at legal matters didn’t exactly go his way and he didn’t impress on Lateline last night.

  125. Re meta’s thread,

    Stephen Conroy ‘loathes’ Julia Gillard as Bill Shorten bides time: WikiLeaks
    by: Lauren Wilson
    From: The Australian August 31, 2011

    The latest cables also reveal deep animosity in Coalition ranks over the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull.

    Former Howard government minister Mal Brough told Mr McCallum in Canberra in June 2008 that some members of the Liberal caucus were supporting Mr Turnbull’s push for party leadership “only because they wanted to put him in a position to fail”.

    “Turnbull was only interested in Turnbull and his constant undermining of [Brendan] Nelson had hurt him in the eyes of many of his colleagues,” the cable said.

    A November 2009 cable – “Opposition melts down over climate change” – says Liberal Party deputy federal director James McGrath, who is identified as a protected source of information for the US, notes that key supporters of Mr Turnbull were pressing him to step aside for Joe Hockey.

    Mr McGrath told US authorities that Tony Abbott and Right faction Liberal heavyweight Nick Minchin had told Mr Hockey he would be elected unopposed to the Liberal leadership if he agreed to concessions on the deal Mr Turnbull had struck with the Rudd government on the emissions trading scheme.

  126. Pip
    I wonder what Turnbull was doing over Easter apart from sticking a few pins in effigies

  127. Sue, now Turnbull is an interesting topic..especially now that he’s stuck in a mean-nothing portfolio. Perhaps this politics thing was just a fad with him and he’ll go back to his first love, making money.

  128. Great choice Sue 😀

    That’s a good question about Turnbull. I wonder whether he’s regretting the moment when he joined forces with Steve Lewis.

  129. Min, turnbull is still making pronouncements on the NBN, and copping flack from those who understand it’s benefits.

    Witness the latest from Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Malcolm Turnbull, who decided that he would do some selective quoting, grasping onto a Stephen Conroy interview in which the communications minister said that Fibre to the Node (FttN) “would be quicker and will cost less to build”.

    This statement has the factual weight of saying, with an air of authority, that two-minute noodles are cheaper than a nice truffle fettuccine carbonara.


  130. At 3.52 I made an entry taking a swipe at the ABC for their tardiness in reporting the newest Ashby developments. I’m pleased to admit I may in this case have been a trifle harsh, as they presented a lengthy & pretty much spin free update tonight on my local channel. Who met who, that sort of thing. Not taking Rupert’s lead at all.
    Onya Auntie.

  131. Yes, Bob, I was pleasantly surprised at the ABC News treatment of the Ashby story. Even finishing up with the comment that the slipper was now on the other foot with questions for Coalition to answer!

    But then I think I have detected a slight shift in news reporting since the Murdoch verdict. Or is that just wishful thinking?

  132. Bob, I was too preoccupied with the Crows so missed the news. 🙂

    patricia, we’ll see what gets the treatment this morning.
    Will it be the Libs dirty tricks or will they concentrate on the non event of
    WA national joining the Coalition,
    At this point that’s about a conservative who voted with the Coalition, now joining the Coalition. 😯

  133. Pip @3.43am 5/5, I don’t think Greer was having a go at the PM, she was having a redhot go at the double standards which are still alive and well. She argues that if the PM was a man wearing the same suit, shirt and tie day in day out, it would go unremarked-they’re his work clothes.

    Not so for the PM. What are essentially her perfectly functional suit, shirt and tie are used as a stick to beat her with. Greer reckons it’s time for the PM to roll up her sleeves and eliminate her clothes as another target for the hypocrites.

    The Howard govt not only endorsed a system that is open to abuse but turned a blind eye to years of abuse.

    Is anyone surprised at the systemic corruption still occurring in the Liars Party?

    grodo, the msm also printed a photo of Peter Slipper and his attractive wife. Your point?

    So that’s his secret meeting place with Alan Jones. The dunny

    I’d say that’s Anal’s choice, Roswell. Public dunnies seem to be a favourite of his.

    Pip, I wonder if Crook will rethink his position as the Ashby scandal unfolds and engulfs his new “friends”?

  134. Abbott so worried about the specifics even Abbott’s spokesperson joins Tony in the “walk off” from the questions

    “Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said he had no ”specific” knowledge of the Ashby allegations before reading of them in newspapers.

    Yesterday, when asked whether he had any general knowledge of them, he repeated his denial of having specific knowledge.

    ‘Tony … learnt about the court proceedings against Mr Slipper when he read The Daily Telegraph on Saturday 21 April,” his spokesman said. Pressed on whether he knew something was brewing, even if he did not know it would result in court proceedings, there was no response.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/brough-denies-he-lied-on-ashby-20120505-1y5zs.html#ixzz1u2CCFMvk

  135. Grammar says that weasel words are words or phrases which are intentionally vague. Arguably, they hide important information like who exactly made a certain argument or just what a statistic means.

    Why, weasel words are words that suck all the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks an egg and leaves the shell. If you heft the egg afterward it’s as light as a feather, and not very filling when you’re hungry, but a basketful of them would make quite a show, and would bamboozle the unwary.’ . . .

    That Tony Abbott and his team have gotten away with his slogans and weasel words pretty much sums up the rotten state of our mainstream media.

  136. That Tony Abbott and his team have gotten away with his slogans and weasel words pretty much sums up the rotten state of our mainstream media.

    And that, dear readers, pretty well sums up the political environment in this country over the last two years. And chuck in the agenda of the Australian media.

  137. I’m just waiting for some Current Affair/ Today Tonight foot in the door journalism Even some chasing down the road, microphone in the face journalism demanding Tony Abbott answer the “specifics”

    It’s a fact the Canberra Press Gallery cannot get any answers from Abbott. Geez they just put away their microphones, or cross back to the station , when he walks away . So political insiders hand over to experts the guys who know how to put the “fly by night scam artists” in the spotlight.

  138. Maybe Gratton, Crabb and a few others in the Parliamentary Press Gallery should do a special one day training course with the Current Affair Team on how to chase down scumbag political leaders like Abbott.

  139. Jane @2.48am..thank you for that explanation. That story was widely reported as Greer having a dig at Julia’s dress sense, which was a bit odd coming from someone like Germaine.

  140. Jane at 2.48 am Anal Jones is probably into “Cottaging” which is a British gay slang term referring to anonymous sex between men in a public lavatory.


    The things I pick up atlearn through the Cafe. I was so naive I was shocked to learn that Liberace was gay, I mean who would have thought that (not that there is anything wrong with being gay).

  141. @Sue, lunalava, Min, Miglo, pip etc.
    The fact that you are comparing (however sarcastically) the likes of Grattan and Crabb to ACA is worrying for all. But is this the fault of the commentators? Or are they being limited by what our politicians are offering. I personally think the past week in politics was a terrible example of infighting, nothing-debate and pointless sledging. I discuss it in my blog for today http://theblogicalvoice.com/2012/05/06/why-people-dont-care-about-politics-anymore-leadership-polls-and-the-problem-with-landslides/ which is very much a response to the discussions on this blog. I was racking my brains to think of policy announcements or developments that occurred this week and I was coming up with nothing…

  142. lukichirop

    how would you assess the political commentators on

    aged care reform

    to me both issues were dismissed “cause there was good gossip about

  143. So we have two outstanding government policy initiatives being implemented and dismissed by the MSM because they prefer gossip.

    lukichop try to stay better informed. There is a world beyond the twitter universe, the truth is out there, (sorry started channeling Rowsell for a moment)

  144. I am a fan of Grattan’s work, so it’s hard for me to be unbiased on the issue.

    But I certainly think issues of real significance are given some good commentary in papers. Here is an article I found particularly engaging from a little while ago – it was actually the inspiration for my very first blog post on drug legalisation (http://www.theage.com.au/national/punishing-users-doesnt-work-experts-20120403-1wayx.html).

    I think it’s also worth considering the role of the consumers of media in this process. If discussion of “pm challenges” didn’t sell papers it wouldn’t be on the front cover. I’m not sure how we go about showing the media that we are more interested in policy debate though 😛

  145. lunalava

    poor old luki imagine if he had to put the same effort into Abbott,

    “I was racking my brains to think of policy announcements or developments that occurred this week and I was coming up with nothing…”

    strike out “this week” for “this opposition ” and luki may just blow his brains!

  146. @lunalava. you make a good point except that everyday australians (at least the voting majority) DON’T stay informed beyond the twitterverse. Two or three news articles and maybe an editorial a day is more than most people have time for in their frenetic lives. And yet newspapers make finding substantial policy debate harder than ‘Where’s Wally’. We’re not helping out anyone with the emphasis on nonsense – even if there is a little bit of real discussion mixed into the media madness.

  147. luki

    as a “fan” of grattan’s you must be even more dismayed at the level of her reporting

    week after week her theme “the pm must/will/last chance go”. i was going to do a search on the number of articles but thought it would be more wasteful of my time then reading her OPINIONS.

    shame really.

  148. Fran Fan of Gratton, well she does not have to try very hard to be mediocre.

    Unlike the Labor government who slugged away for more than a year to produce the disability package only to have it dismissed by a well timed media stunt.

    …and last I checked the newspapers were not selling so well.

  149. If discussion of “pm challenges” didn’t sell papers it wouldn’t be on the front cover.

    I agree! Remember the old adage “truth doesn’t sell a newspaper, only bullshit does”.

  150. yeah i’ll admit she has been paying undue attention on ALP leadership. But she does usually offers some interesting opinions on real political issues. I wouldn’t say her opinions are a waste of time :p

  151. Newspapers are still the primary driver of information. Even if newer forms of media are getting more attention, they are still only offering a response to what is reported in newspapers.

  152. Haha. I am not going to disagree with you on the value of political blogs. I think the ability of anyone to offer opinions and discuss issues of concern is a reflection of how technology has enhanced our democracy. But blog/twitter/fb discussions are still somewhat limited by newspaper content. If newspaper content is all rubbish, it doesn’t make for great public discourse.

  153. “they do give a damn if we grow a voice that opposes their political agenda.
    We’re the voice.”

    Clearly I had the same thoughts in mind when I named my blog. I like your description of the role of citizen journalists. But I still maintain they can only ever respond to news reported in print form. Unless of course, you are in Canberra every day too.

  154. Maybe what “Tony Abbott says ….that policy is bullshit is correct”

    Why work hard to produce the great financial and social reforms that make this country a better place to live, when all that is needed to win acclaim are silly three word slogans, a promise to release policy closer to the election (trust me) and an arse-licking media (paid for by a few ultra-wealthy self interest groups).

    lukinchirop you deserve an Abbott lead government.

  155. then lets go back to godwin grech

    from was it february to june, the newspapers fed on the “truth” as broken by steve lewis, except that the political journalist had not even done the first basics of checking for FACT over FICTION. A lot of newspapers got sold.

    that rubbish did not make for good public discourse, but sold a lot of papers

    now what was Grattan’s form on that, she probably trusted steve lewis rather than checking for herself , so I hazzard a guess

    The PM must go!

  156. ‘ …technology has enhanced our democracy.’

    Totally agree, the Arab Spring was inconceivable just a decade ago. We can’t be sure how it will all pan out, but hopefully democracy will flourish eventually.

    Historians will see the communications revolution in the same light as the development of the printing press.

  157. Hockey did not want to cross the “specific” line and answer .What assistance or knowledge did you or the Coalition have with Ashby? So Hockey chose to hide behind the cloak of being answerable.

    “Senior coalition frontbencher Joe Hockey has called for an end to the public commentary over the sexual harassment accusations made against Speaker Peter Slipper

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/hockey-calls-for-silence-on-slipper-allegations-20120506-1y6ll.html#ixzz1u3591zIa

  158. “silly three word slogans” will only “win acclaim” if they receive media attention and public approval. Hence why it is the role of blogs and (as miglo puts it) citizen journalists to show dissaproval of such habits.

  159. ‘Hence why is it the role of blogs and (as miglo puts it) citizen journalists to show disapproval of such habits.’

    The citizen journalists (sic) in this establishment are watermelon barrackers, not that there is anything wrong with that, but blaming the msm for bad press is silly.

  160. but blaming the msm for bad press is silly.

    El gordo, what a stupid comment. If the msm produce bad press who else would you blame? You blame them for their useless crap. Simple.

  161. ‘…If the msm produce bad press who else would you blame?’

    Only when its bad press for your side do you scream about bias. How do you think the Denialati feel after years of ignorant abuse by the media and in the blogosphere?

  162. @ el gordo. I don’t think we are are talking about bad press as being one side of a policy debate. I think in the context of this discussion bad press is discourse surrounding issues of no significance (regardless of the political leanings).

  163. The Greens have announced an agreement with the Prime Minister for $10.5mill towards dental health.
    This first step is a massive boost to clear waiting lists of people who cannt afford to go to the den tist…. and ABC24 cuts away from announcement.

  164. Sue, this morning Joe was playing at “on my high horse”, completely ignoring the fact that the Libs have tried this dirty trick before, at least once too often.

    He was not convincing about that nor was he convincing about his Budget “costings’.

  165. Sue,

    “Hockey did not want to cross the “specific” line and answer .What assistance or knowledge did you or the Coalition have with Ashby? So Hockey chose to hide behind the cloak of being answerable.”

    Or is he afraid Tony Jone’s will force him into a sweat again by asking if he was worried that he had done something illegal.


  166. lukechircop, having been briefly (very) involved in msm journalism the tricks of the trade are continuously on display. There is, and in order of importance 1. the headline 2. the photo 3. the first paragraph 4. the conclusion – because basically very few people read the article in it’s entirety. Therefore if you have a message to sell, you address points 1-4.

    You will note that we have in the msm 1. misleading headlines with the text of the article saying something else. 2. misleading photos 3. articles placed so as to create a bad impression. Sue I think that it was noted one glaring one last week where a story about Slipper was strategically placed alongside a story about a child molester. 4. positive messages about the government placed in the middle of the article where they are far less likely to be read. 5. emotive language and unsubstantiated opinions dressed up as factual information.

    And that’s just the start of it…

  167. That’s all very true min, and its interesting to hear an insiders perspective having never worked for msm myself. I think various publications use these tools to different degrees and to different ends. The ‘tricks of the trade’ are subtle and coercive. But they will always be used. I would just rather them be used to form public opinion on the upcoming budget, for example, rather than on whether Gillard will make it to the next election as ALP leader.

  168. Yesterday, when asked whether he had any general knowledge of them, he repeated his denial of having specific knowledge.

    That’s because Peta hasn’t updated his response chip, Sue.

    Migs @8.26am, spot on.

    Mn @8.37am, I read the headline and immediately saw red. And I was still feeling pretty upset until I actually comprehended exactly what her point was, which is the double standards applied to all women, but particularly powerful women in politics.

    According to Greer, Margaret Thatcher copped the same flannel. Apparently, Maggie used to dress like a member of the Royal family orf to Ascot and spoke like them as well.

    She had to alter her clobber, voice, accent and diction to keep the hounds from baying. From what I’ve read, Cameron has also had to do some tweaking, losing the Eton accent and pretend not to be a toff.

    lunalava @9.06am, I suspect he has an entire row of cottages, the grimy slug. Liberace was great- Anal is all the things Liberace wasn’t; a malicious, bitter, bullying creep. That’s why everyone still remembers Liberace with affection; always a gentleman and a great entertainer.

    lukichirop, I’ll add the extra funding for bowel cancer screening also announced this week.

    The Federal Government is announcing extra funding for bowel cancer screening as part of next week’s budget.

    At the moment screenings are only provided free to people aged 50, 55 and 65.

    The Government is spending $50 million to extend the National Screening Program so that people aged between 50 and 70 will be offered free tests every five years.

    Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says the program will gradually be expanded so that free screening can take place every two years.

    “This is really important because bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death with 80 people dying each week from bowel cancer,” she said.

    “The Government believes that by introducing regular screening we can cut the numbers of deaths by 300 to 500 a year.”


  169. “If newspaper content is all rubbish, it doesn’t make for great public discourse.”

    I like to believe we are capable of looking past the rubbish.

    If we do not challenge it, who will.

    We do have direct access to what people really say.

    There are ways and means, to get at the truth.

    I hope we help in this regard.

  170. “Senior coalition frontbencher Joe Hockey has called for an end to the public commentary over the sexual harassment accusations made against Speaker Peter Slipper….

    But apparently Sloppy’s appeal to do the decent thing doesn’t include ceasing the attacks on Peter Slipper, spruiking unsubstantiated rumours about Craig Thomson as fact and the vicious hypocritical attacks on the PM for standing by Thomson, when Liealot had the dishonesty and hypocrisy to spruik his support for Fisher, Edwards and Slagabella.

    Not forgetting that Liealot also has a defamation case to answer.

    grodo @12.01pm, that’s because you’re wrong!!!

    Honour among thieves, eh?


    Katharine Murphy on whether Julia Gillard will fall over the line in 2013.

    She discusses voter perceptions wrt politicians constantly seeking the limelight, but in an otherwise even handed and balanced piece, neglects to mention the msm’s role in the 24 hour cycle that has become the news.

    If the msm didn’t bombard us constantly with trivia, lies, disinformation and distortions, and promote the likes of Liealot and his continuous loop of 3 word slogans, the degree of public disengagement would be exponentially lower.

    Who knows,they may even start to examine Liealot’s tawdry, empty sloganeering and complete lack of policy initiatives and demand something better. I wouldn’t hold my breath.


    I would just rather them be used to form public opinion on the upcoming budget, for example, rather than on whether Gillard will make it to the next election as ALP leader.

    I agree lukichirop, with one small alteration: “I would just rather them be used to inform public opinion…….”

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