Open forum: what have been the great political stuff-ups?

In January I posted an open forum: what have been the great political moves?  Over the last couple of weeks some of the actions of certain politicians may come back to haunt them as their Achilles heel, e.g., Abbott scampering out of Parliament is sure to be replayed over and over during the next election campaign and he may be encouraged to take up more running.  Hopefully for cover.

He has been the inspiration behind this new post, to run counter to the earlier open forum.  What have been the great political stuff-ups?

I can think of two that come quickly to mind, which you may or may not agree with and are welcome to debate them or add some of your own.

Meg Lees

Before the 1998 election, John Howard proposed a GST that would replace sales taxes, as well as applying to all goods and services. The Howard Government finished on a two-party-preferred vote of 49 per cent at the election to Labor’s 51 per cent, however, retained a parliamentary majority of seats in the lower house. Howard described win as a mandate for the GST.  Lacking a majority in the Senate and with Labor opposed to the GST, Howard turned to the Australian Democrats and the Independents for support.

During the election campaign, Democrat’s leader Meg Lees stated that her party opposed the GST unless food would be exempt.  After the election Howard refused to budge on this, thinking he may have won the support of the Independents, but eventually reached a compromise with Lees.

The reaction to Lees was savage, both within her own party which was soon rife with internal conflict, and the electorate.  After receiving 8.4 per cent of the Senate vote in 1998 they experienced a massive drop in 2004 with only 2.1 per cent.  The 2010 result was a disaster, with only 0.6 per cent.

Did Lees commit a monumental political stuff-up by supporting the GST?  Yes, she did.  It is seen as the major contributing factor for the demise of her party.  We still have the GST but we don’t have the Democrats.  She blew it.

Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd swept to power in 2007 and was gone in 2010.  He is credited with guiding Australia through the global financial crisis, during which he set new levels of popularity that should have seen him settle in for a long stay at The Lodge.  His key platform in the 2007 election was his emissions trading scheme (ETS) but was rejected in the Senate.  Like Howard before him who claimed the 1998 election victory was a mandate for the GST, Rudd had a strong argument that the 2007 result was a mandate for the ETS.

Faced with the opportunity for a double dissolution election to push through the ETS, he ignored this as an option.  His popularity would have surely seen an increase in the number of seats in the lower house and we could speculate, an increase in the Senate.  We’ll never know.

Did Rudd stuff-up?  Given that he lost his prime ministership, the ETS never got through despite a mandate and that the Labor Party is facing annihilation in the polls, I’d say yes.  All this happened in a couple of short years.  He should have taken the chance.  He might still be PM.  And better still, we might have had a different Leader of the Opposition to put up with.  One less painful than Tony Abbott. 🙂

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156 comments on “Open forum: what have been the great political stuff-ups?

  1. Good post, Migs.

    I agree wrt Rudd up to a point. He’d promised not to have early elections and stuck to that promise, but I believe the real problem was that he just couldn’t get a handle on Liealot, like Keating against Howard.

    Had Rudd not frozen and gone on to destroy Liealot, he’d still be PM, with a very respectable lead.

  2. One of the political stuff ups in recent times must be Steve Fielding and the alcopops tax. A prime example of cutting one’s nose off to spite one’s face. Fielding demanding that ALL adverstising of alcohol from ALL sporting events be immediately withdrawn. I want it, and I want it NOW.

    It was politely explained, well no, sorry it can’t happen over night because clubs have entered into things called Contracts. That there had to be a timeframe where clubs could renegotiate contracts, plus enter into new contracts with other sponsors not associated with the alcohol industry. NOT GOOD ENOUGH stated Fielding. Thus the alcopops tax and it’s worthy original thought lapsed into history…

  3. Rudd’s stuff-ups were numerous and began on Day One of his PMship. Closing Nuaru, cancelling Temp Protection Orders, Pink Batts, Murray/Darling River Scheme, his total embarrassment (and Australia’s) at the Copenhagen Conference on climate change when he proposed a carbon reduction scheme (long before he tried to introduce it in Australia), Proposing an ill-considered Big Australia with a 35 mill population, his poor attempts to speak Mandarin to the Chinese etc etc. Do you want me to go on?. The list is endless and he was a walking disaster zone, till he was rightly booted out. The question is, What did he not stuff-up?.

  4. Jarl and …

    Rudd’s stuff-ups were numerous and began on Day One of his PMship.

    1. Closing Nuaru – there was only ONE PERSON left on Nauru, all others having come to Australia, and on Howard’s watch. An excrutiatingly expensive exercises which achieved nothinng – and which has now been ruled unlawful by two rulings of the High Court.

    2. cancelling Temp Protection Orders – because Howard said that everyone could be sent back “when the war on Terrorism” was won..we’re still waiting… TPVs resulted in a huge increase in the numbers of women and children due to the fact that TPVs excluded family reunions. It is also highly likely that TPVs are now also unlawful due to the High Court ruling which stated that the Minister (irrespective of who that minister might be) is the guardian of minors and therefore cannot lawfully do anything to the detriment of that minor.

    Just a couple of facts for you to run with…

  5. ‘Closing Nuaru, cancelling Temp Protection Orders,”

    The High Court rulings meant that Nauru was no longer effective. It relied on the people not having access to the legal system. The court ruled that they still had that right.

    The TPO, meant that more women and children got on the boats, leading to many hundreds drowning. This I believe led to a decrease in boats.

    It was apparent that all those on TPO visa’s would eventually get permanent visas they did..

    Mr. Howard himself believed that the halt in the boats was only temporary. Why do I say this. Well Mr. Howard went ahead with building new facilities on Christmas Island, costing hundreds of million dollars.

    Mr. Howard’s scheme was becoming politically unpopular in the community for it’s cruelty and lack of judicial fairness. It only worked by taking away human and legal rights.

    We now come to Mr. Abbott’s refusal to treat the refugee in a bi-partisan manner. Mr. Beasley agreed to Mr. Howard’s scheme, even thought he had many misgivings about it. Mr. Beasley believed Mr. Howard,as PM has the right to govern, Something that Mr. Abbott does not agree with.

    it is clear that what worked in the past, will not work today. All the experts are in agreement with this.

    What reason could Mr. Abbott not being as noble as Mr. Beasley. The only one I can see, is that he is afraid it just might work. Mr. Abbott is happy to see those boats still coming.

    This was not a mistake of Mr. Rudd. The system was unfair. The system would have collapsed anyway. Circumstances had changed. Many are not unhappy with on shore assessing. Most do want to see the boats stopped.

    “Pink Batts,”

    One million homes insulated. Safety and Health standard are now in place.

    The death and accident rate was lower that for the sixty years before.

    More than one study found that the ripped off was more perceived than reality.

    Yes, Mr. Rudd was wrong to end the scheme they way he did,. He should have stood behind his ministers. Yes, Mr. Rudd allowed himself to be rattled.

    The ministers identified the problems quickly and had put in place training and procedures, to make it safer for all.

    The four deaths are sheeted back to careless employers, all by the way, experienced in the trade and not fly by fighter. Bosses who should have known better.

    PS Was effected in dealing with the GFC. Did keep people in work.

    Murray/Darling River Scheme, his total embarrassment (and Australia’s)

    That wonderful scheme of Mr. Howard’s, drawn up at dinner on the back of a serviette. One that was found very quickly to belong in fantasy land.

    ” Copenhagen Conference on climate change when he proposed a carbon reduction scheme (long before he tried to introduce it in Australia)”

    Yes, Copenhagen did not reach the decisions most hoped. It is also not true is was a failure. The countries there agreed to keep the promise to work towards lowering carbon emissions. The GFC has not helped in countries working quicker in this regard.

    It was Mr. Abbott coming on the scene that prevented Mr. Rudd going ahead.

    Yes, many were unhappy the Mr. Rudd’s scheme did not go far enough. Mr. Rudd once again panicked.

    Proposing an ill-considered Big Australia with a 35 mill population,. Is Mr. Rudd alone in this. I believe that his scenario are more likely.

    “his poor attempts to speak Mandarin to the Chinese”

    This is a new one I have only heard today. I question the truth of it. Mr. Rudd, did use that skill for many years as a diplomat and does happen to have close ties to the Chines community.

    Now I have dealt with that list, what about the sucesses.

    Guiding us through the GFC.

    Maintaining a stable economy, in fact one of the best in the world.

    Bringing education into this century both with updating of infrastructure and electronically.

    Improving teaching conditions and curriculum.

    Well he did not fuck up the economy.

  6. Howard’s 18 in 14 years Broad band schemes.

    Selling off Telstra without spitting the retail form copper wire.

  7. El gordo, you surprise me. I was expecting to come in with ‘Julia Gillard introducing the big, bad, ruination of the country carbon tax’. Or words to that affect.

  8. If the players in the team (caucus) couldn’t play with the captain (Rudd) because he refused to consider them up to it, what other ministers got to front press conferences, when he didn’t consult or delegate then they have the obligation to change the captain for the benefit of the team.
    Since the departure of Rudd we have seen how strong the team is. All are across their portfolios they seldom make mistakes and they appear happy and united. While it is improbable that they all agree on everything that is as it should be. With Rudd it was all about him in the spotlight and when it became difficult for one person to carry the load he started to dither. The caucus could see the stagnation and in the end Rudd knew it as well or he would have contested the ballot for PM. If the deputy leader had not stood up for election someone else would have. Rudd was no longer capable of retaining the confidence of the majority of the caucus. Gillard didn’t stab him in the back Rudd neglected the desire of caucus members to be consulted he dismissed their abilities and dedication. He believed he was the one with all the smarts needed. He was a shit boss and the caucas had the guts to get rid of bad management. Good on them. They have proven their ability and we as a country as workers are lucky to have them.

  9. “Knifing Rudd has been a disaster for Labor.”

    Not deposing him when he lost the confidence of caucus might have been a bigger one.

    Sometimes unpopular decisions have to be taken

    Sometimes it is hard to explain why.

    Mr Rudd had the guts to make decisions that bought us through the GFC.

    After that he seemed to have lost it and began to panicked.

    The PM has shown she has the guts and ability to stick to the task. The PM has achieved much.

  10. I might be wrong, but today we admire Mr. Keating for the things he did as PM. When he was in that position.

    At the time he was PM, , he was hated by some, and unpopular with most.

    He was hated for because of the actions he took, that are admired today.

  11. This was written 12 months ago. What has changed.

    ’m fed up with Tony Abbott and most of his Coalition team. I’m fed up with his unremitting negativity. I’m fed up with his destructiveness. I’m fed up with his nastiness. I’m fed up with his attitude towards women. I’m fed up with his rabble-rousing tactics. I’m fed up with his time wasting. I’m fed up with his deception, his disingenuousness, his misrepresentation, his downright lies, and his campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt that they feed. Most of all I’m fed up with his ceaseless obstructionism, standing in the way of the party elected to govern this country, my country, your country.

    This two and half years ago.

    In both interviews Abbott’s aggression lurked just under the surface until some provocation brought it out into the open. In Oakes interview, Abbott became angry when near the end Oakes accused him of spouting three or four policy ideas a day, (without reference to his colleagues but all the while claiming he would be a consultative leader). Abbott’s annoyance was obvious, and the look on his face as the interview concluded one of palpable displeasure. The Jones interview, the day he announced his Shadow Ministry

  12. Tredlgt, you make a good point. The current team under Gillard is certainly a cohesive one after being somewhat fractured under Rudd.

  13. Have they broken ranks

    LIBERAL front bencher Joe Hockey has talked up Australia’s economic prospects, should Europe collapse, in an interview he gave to overseas finance writers.
    But at roughly the same time his boss, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, was warning that the Federal Government was weakening Australia at a time of “international economic storm clouds”.
    Mr Hockey, the shadow treasurer, told reporters from Bloomberg TV financial service the promise of a Budget surplus would encourage the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates – possibly tomorrow – and highlighted our relatively low jobless rate and strong minerals exports.
    “Well look, Australia is in a better position than most other Western nations,” he said.
    “We have an unemployment rate of around 5 per cent, we have strong demand for our commodities and even though they probably won’t get there we have a Government that at least is promising to deliver a surplus budget.

    Read more:

  14. Same country, Different view. Same party.

    Not once in the brief interview did Mr Hockey mention, and nor was he asked about, the carbon pricing policy which will start on July 1.
    However, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott did as he gave a contrasting view of Australia’s economic future.
    “Now, these are very perilous economic times. The international economic storm clouds have rarely been darker,” he said on the Gold Coast.
    “And yet what does this government do? It chooses to damage Australia’s competitiveness and to damage Australia’s productivity with the world’s biggest carbon tax.
    “This is the worst possible time to be introducing the world’s biggest carbon tax and yet this is a government which is so ideologically driven, so enslaved to the Greens who have foisted this tax upon them, that they feel they have got no option.”
    Mr Abbott denied he was being negative, saying: “Every day I’m out there holding a bad government to account and promoting a positive alternative.

    Read more:

  15. Cu, I found that comment from Hockey rather interesting. It indicates he’s all over the place at times, given his condemnation of our economy following the interest rate cuts last month. It also shows that he and Abbott don’t compare notes.

  16. Miglo, this one does not even bothers to try. Though I can think of better comparison than a leopard. They are a regal animal.

    it is ridiculous that the same descriptions are being written today. Not one change of words.

    Mr. Abbott claims that the PM has not grown into the job.

    Where does he think he has grown. Not into Opposition leader. He is running on the spot, in the rut he was in thirty years ago.

    The same modus operandi of that of the bully.

  17. Miglo, Hockey has made a few comments lately, that one suspects he believe he had nothing to lose by cutting himself loose.

    I find that interesting.

  18. ‘The PM has shown she has the guts and ability to stick to the task. The PM has achieved much.’

    That’s why a third of Labor voters have deserted her.

  19. well el gordo, one must question why?

    They deserted Keating too. How wrong they were found to be.

    Maybe the Australian voter can be slow at times. Do not know how to explain it any other way.

    At least they have similar respect for the bully.

  20. ‘I was expecting to come in with ‘Julia Gillard introducing the big, bad, ruination of the country carbon tax’. Or words to that affect.’

    Rudd had accepted the fact that the ETS or equivalent was political suicide, so if he had to form a minority government with the watermelons he wouldn’t have caved in to Bob’s demands on gorebull worming.

    Julia ignored the electorate, a fatal flaw.

  21. The fat lady still needs to sing. The CEF is in place. There is 400 or 500 days to go. The only thing we know for sure, it will not he grand final day. That is a promise the lady made.

    There is much more going on in this government, country and economy, than a price on carbon emissions.

    I suspect most do not take much notice, too busy getting on with their family, job or just having a good time.

  22. Hi all,
    IMHO, Kevin’s decline started when he FAILED to respond to Abbort’s claim that Peter Garrett should be charged with industrial manslaughter when those 4 death’s occurred during the insulation project. A suitable response could have been “should Abbort be charged with industrial; manslaughter for the number of people who died in hospital while Abbott was Health Minister”.
    That would have shut him up, and then Kevin went on offsiders and said sorry, when he should have said we are sorry these deaths occurred and we will prosecute the firms and the responsible people will the full force of the law.

    He threw Peter to the wolves and signalled the low respect level he had for his team. Not a team player, this gave Abbort much needed oxygen and resulted in the mess we now find ourselves in. Opposition stuff ups to many to mention they make the three stooges look intelligent. May the force be with us all.

  23. Bilko, I was at my daughters place that day. I had seen her partner come in each day after crawling around in those roofs that were like ovens. I had seen him go off to course after course. The emails came in continually on new warnings and regulations.

    I had spent the day listening to Parliament and the idiots on the radio and TV beating up the scheme.

    My daughters partner felt that there would be work around long enough to warrant upgrading his vehicle. This made sense because of the tax grants available. He sun contract to a established firm and hired his mate from school days.

    The work was hard and not good for ones health. The money was good.

    Then Mr. Rudd, instead of standing behind the scheme and his minister threw the towel in. As Jay walks through the door, I said to him, that is the end of Rudd.

    All the investigations did not reveal the corruption that the Opposition and media alleged occurred. The bosses of those who died, where in established business and should have been aware of the dangers. They were convicted of breaking the regulations that were in place.

    There were fly by nighters, but no more that usual. they were quickly being weeded out.

    It was successful, in that many were kept in employment. A million roofs insulted.

    The death and fires where less than before the scheme. Now the industry is fully regulated for the first time in 60 years.

    Yes, Bilko, that was the beginning of Rudd’s downfall.

    The PM did not allow BER to go down the same track. She defended the programme and kept it going. I am glad that happened, as many schools would have missed out.

    PM His mate hung himself a week or so later. I was also there, after he got that phone call at 6 am not to expect his mate. I am not saying that abandoning the scheme was the cause. But I cannot help but think if the work continues, he would have worked his way through his depression. he had moved into to a new home weeks before and had his third baby.

  24. The biggest stuff-up lies within the LNP by them voting in the destroying nut case,the No No Man??? Tony Abbott as their leader.

  25. CU and Miglo
    Yep Kevin fell on his sword then and whilst I was sorry to see it happen replacing him with Julia was the right course of action, mind you the crap she has had thrown at her would have felled better men than her. I am amazed how she gets up off the canvas and comes back fighting like in the Opera melody “Stand up and Fight until you here the bell” well it will ring at the next federal election and woe betide Abbort if he his her opponent.

  26. “…would have felled better men than her.”

    How true and something the Abbottistas here avoid mentioning about their supposed super hero tough man is that he cuts and runs like a coward whenever the going gets even slightly tough, and he freezes when confronted with something he hasn’t got a prepared one line rote answer to. He also turns his back whenever he’s asked something he doesn’t like instead of facing it like a real man.

    They certainly chose a dud as a hero in backing this lumpen loser.

  27. Bilko, the thing which is often overlooked is the way that Rudd immediately pledged loyalty to Julia promising to serve her prime ministership in which ever capacity she chose. She chose him to become Foreign Minister.

    More recent events suggest something else happening behind the scenes..perhaps we’ll have to wait for someone to write their autobiography.

  28. Min & ME
    good point however if Kevin had chucked in the towel and not stood at the 2010 election who knows what the HOR count might have ended up. I shudder to think the state of play now if Abbort had had another seat on his side.

  29. Bilko, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could turn back time. I know precisely the place in time which I would want to go to.

    Rudd had such a job done on him, it was incomprehensible that Gillard would suffer the same fate..sadly it happened.

  30. The false belief in those who are advocating Rudd get back in is that polls, and let’s face it this is all being poll and media driven, will somehow improve for the Labor leader and the government.

    Problem is these people have short memories and have not taken into account the acidic right wing dominated media in this country. From the moment Rudd took power, and even before then, the media went into an attack campaign criticising every aspect of Rudd and his family, including his pets. This not only didn’t let up but escalated to heights and base pettiness never seen before of a media in this country. If there wasn’t anything in any single week they couldn’t attack Rudd on, they made it up.

    Sound familiar? Yes it’s exactly what they are doing to Gillard, and it started from the very moment she got into power.

    If Rudd were to get back in the media would go into full gear, starting right from where they left off and in fact have continued on Rudd even after he stepped down. And they would do that no matter what Labor leader was put in charge.

    By the way it is mostly Coalition rusted on that are advocating Rudd get back in.

    Any Labor leader and Labor government is on a lose/lose with the media no matter what they do or how good or bad they are. Take the stupidity of their claims that the Labor government needs to get its message across and its the government’s fault this is not happening. Yet whenever anything positive is put out there by the government or there is good news because of the government it’s drowned out in negativity from the media and aping Abbott and opposition “says”. The only message they give free run to is the lies and deceits of the opposition and especially Abbott whilst they deceive and exaggerate in putting down the government, especially when the government does put its message out there.

    It all goes to show that this opposition is so bad and so unfit to government, and their supporters know this, that only a dominant supportive media along with a continuous campaign of lies and deceits gives them any headway.

  31. Mobius, that has also been my contention. Labor will not go back to Rudd..Labor needs to go forward. Perhaps after the next election Rudd might come back as (shadow) Foreign Minister and I hope that he does because he’s the best one that Australia has had by a long mile.

  32. ‘By the way it is mostly Coalition rusted on that are advocating Rudd get back in.’

    That’s wrong headed, the Ruddster gets pop star treatment on the hustings, but the Ministry don’t want him back.

    So if Crean and Smith fail to step up to the plate, the Caucus might vote for Gary Gray to take us to the next election.

    This is a bit like choosing a president… by public acclimation.

  33. “…Ruddster gets pop star treatment on the hustings.”

    Then explain his rapidly falling approval ratings before his ousting and the continuous negative press against him?

    Or are you mistaking short 30 second TV grabs of Rudd surrounded by school kids as pop star treatment? I think if you look you will see Abbott gets the same treatment from the same demographic.

    There are two captured audiences that politicians know they can rely on for positive photo/TV opportunities, and they have been using them since the invention of the camera, school kids and the military.

  34. By the way schoolkids are also used to stack important occasions like a dignitary’s visit. They have little to no choice in the matter of standing there waving little flags, clapping and cheering, plus most treat it as a time away from school and an outing. It in no way indicates what the kid thinks of the person they are acclaiming and in most cases they haven’t a clue about the person they are acclaiming.

    I have no doubt that after a session with Abbott, where in front of the camera they were all smiles, many senior kids off camera would mutter “what a tosser”.

  35. Mobius, that is absolutely correct. I remember when I was teaching being given instructions to have my class out on the quadrangle at X o’clock. It turned out to be for a photo op for a local politician.

  36. opinion/analysis
    It is fascinating to see how the Coalition’s approach to the NBN has changed radically over the past several years as Malcolm Turnbull’s understanding and maturity in the portfolio has continually grown. I think it is a tribute to the quality of the NBN debate in Australia that we appear to now have come to a point where most sides of politics agree on the fundamental policy underpinnings of much of the policy, with appropriate differences higher up the stack. It would be fascinating to see precisely how the Coalition would (will?) approach the issue in practice if it took Government. I suspect much of NBN Co as an entity and the NBN as a policy would now survive — which is not something I would have said even a year ago.

  37. el gordo, so what. They do not have the power you seem to give them. It is OK in any organisation for many to have differing views. It would not be good if this was not so.

    Mr. Howard spends much time going around the country getting his people up.

    That fiasco on the Central Coast that led to police being involved was also of the same nature.

    Yes, the union movement is the industrial arm of Labor.

    Big business also has much influence on the Liberals. Problem here is that they are indeed the faceless men and hidden.

    What it apparent, this PM appears to be in control of both arms. Yes, Mr. Howes is allow to get up an put his case. That is as it should be. As it always has been.

    Note that Mr, Howes was quickly pulled into line and the policy is going ahead as mooted.

    el gordo, going around calling out bogey man, does not not prove anything.

    All that last week proved, that once again the PM used her considerable skills to head off disaster at the pass.

    As for Mr. Rudd, I was not surprised when they moved against him. I was disappointed that Ms. Gillard took up the poison chalice.

    I was disappointed, because I felt she was sacrificing her chance of becoming a great PM. It would have been in her interest and easier if she had rejected the challenge.

    he reason I was not surprise that Mr. Rudd lost the confidence of caucus was because he was unable to cope with the shit that was being aimed at him. He was unable to give the replies that were necessary . I do not mean this as saying Rudd was lacking in skills, but he did not have enough of the mongrel. His hide was not thick enough. Not many would do better.

    I was surprised that PM Gillard was happy to ignore the taunts for so long. In hindsight, she has been correct. Spent the time putting good governance in place, while giving Mr. Abbott enough rope to hag himself.

    I believe the PM is now ready to return the taunts she gets. I believe that Mr.Abbott’s easy run is over,

    It will be interesting to see how the PM turns the latest Four Corners revelations to her benefit.

    I am sure she is not sitting in the lodge, hopeless, waiting for the axe to fall.

    All we get from Abbott is another slogan. If the TV can why cannot the government…… I sure we will hear it, probably until the next election.

    el gordo, the problem is that the PM does not react as many believe she will.

    PS. el gordo, I think history will show Mr. Howes as a bag of air, that does not have much support or power, even in the union movement. I could be wrong, but I have seen no evidence to suggest otherwise.

    el gordo the wielding of power requires two things, to be in the position and to have the ability to pull pt off.

    Howes might be in the position. He definitely does not have the ability.

  38. When one is confronted by a bullying, there is no alternative but to hold ones ground.

    There is no choice for Labor. They probably should have left Rudd in place, but it was quickly becoming clear, that he could not stand up to Abbott and the media. Re the insulation decision.

  39. I remember that photo of Mr. Keating at a girls school in the western suburbs of Sydney. One would think the girls were cheering the latest pop star, so great the adoration. That was just before Howard thrashed him.

  40. Cu, I remember Rudd being very confident in dealing with previous Liberal leaders Nelson and Turnbull because basically these are clearcut logical people. Rudd started to flounder when up against Abbott as Abbott does not behave in a logical clearcut manner.

  41. Min, spot on. it is easy to work with logical people. When one is faced with one that is completely illogical, willing to lie and say whatever it takes. It is an impossible task, while they are not challenged by the media..

    We have a new slogan. When a TV station can find them, why can’t they stop them, followed into the usual Abbott rant.

    We also have another,It appears that interest rates were lower under Howard, than they are today. I will not go into the convoluted reasoning, which is unbelievable.

    Senator Cormon raving on once again on Capital Hill. His voice sure annoys me. So arrogant.

  42. Pity the Liberals did not have the same policy.

    Justice Flick said he would not allow scandalous allegations to be made public.
    “This case is going to be conducted in court and not in the newspapers,” Justice Flick said.
    Adam Hatcher, SC, appearing for the HSU acting national president Chris Brown, told the court Ms Jackson had prepared a lengthy affidavit with “hundreds of pages of documents, which make allegations against a large range of people”.
    He said the allegations appeared to be both “scandalous in nature” and “entirely irrelevant to the issues in these proceedings”.
    Mr Hatcher and Tim Game, SC, representing HSU president Michael Williamson, objected to Ms Jackson’s affidavit being made public.
    Justice Flick asked Ms Jackson’s barrister, Brett Shields, to state which parts of the affidavit Ms Jackson would press.
    He also asked Mr Shields if he expected the judge to rule on whether particular allegations were factually true, or if the allegations were just proof that the union was so dysfunctional that it needed to be put into administration.

    Read more:

  43. Mo the AWU and Howes are defending Gray against the other unions, that was my inference, but looking at the bigger picture Howes wants Julia out and I think he’s plotting a coup.

    His idea of bringing Latham back into the tent is intriguing.

  44. Is the “good” senator using Hockey’s argument CU?

    If so, as Stephen Koukoulas points out, it is likely that the average level of interest rates under Labor will move lower than under the Coalition by year end. If you apply the same reasoning to net government debt, Labor has a lower average level that of the Coalition. If applied to the average unemployment rate, the result is 6.4% under the Howard Government and 5.0% under Labor.

  45. Unless one believes in “crowding out” (as Hockey does), arguing about which party was in power when the RBA had the cash rate at whatever level does not make any sense to me.

    Is there anybody who doesn’t know that rates are lower when the economy is sluggish, and higher when the economy is booming, that the RBA drops the cash rate in the hope that commercial banks might lower their rates and thereby give demand a bit of a stimulus ?

    Wouldn’t that suggest that the prize would be better awarded to the party in power when rates were higher ?

    The unemployment rate is the only really useful, meaningful, measure we should use to judge whether a government is meeting the needs of its people.

  46. The funny thing Migs is that if Hockey (or indeed any one of those idiots on the Coalition front bench) got his mits on the levers, he’d do a “Cameron” and the RBA would be forced to drive interest rates down to zero in a desperate attempt to resuscitate the economy.

    Then we might eventually question the wisdom of making awards based on the lowest interest rates.

  47. We do not seem to be hearing much about debt now. Has anyone noticed that Abbott’s incessant assault can only deal with one topic at a time.

  48. Like a merry-go-round, “debt” will be playing again soon, CU.

    And that prompts me to add my contribution to the great stuff-ups discussion.

    Post-Whitlam and the oil shocks, Australia fell under the spell of the neo-liberal economic agenda, and has followed the faith with religious fervour since.

    In the neo-lib catechism, debt and deficits are mortal sins.

    I often puzzle of how the myth maintains altitude.

    James Galbraith (fils of the famous one) wrote of the subject, the manufactured fear of deficits:

    It provides a cover for people whose real agenda is to cut government spending, to cut Social Security, to cut Medicare, to cut every kind of program that benefits low-income people, that benefits cities, that benefits the public-sector unions. The deficit is an umbrella argument to draw attention away from what is being done.

    That, and ignorance.

  49. Mangrove, the attitude towards the less well off, with this as you noted emerging during the Howard years, always reminds me of something which used to appear with monotonous regularity on my school reports: Could do better if tried harder.

    My little lip would drop..but I’m already trying my hardest. 😦

  50. The tragedy Min, is that the less well off have been recruited to the cause.

    “Could do better” I’m sure was a rubber stamp issued by the NSW Dept of Ed in the 50’s, along with the koala bear (which I rarely saw).

    There was also this thing called a cane, and it worked a treat 😦

  51. Mangrove, it would seem to me that lower paid workers see little benefit in a Labor government. I remember my late dad saying of course he voted Labor because Labor “looks after the workers”.

    However, we now have had so many scare campaigns directed straight at these same people about Big New taxes that the impression of looking after the workers has been eroded substantially.

    Mangrove in Victoria, a koala bear stamp was likewise very scarce. Mind you, I do believe that I spent a good portion of my schooling waving goodbye to my mum at the front gate and then hightailing it out the back gate.

  52. PM now on ABC 24. She is at a childcare centre in Bankstown. She reminded us of another mess they cleaned up, that of the ABC Learning Centre collapse.

    At least one gets the money now, not a year down the track in your tax returns.

    Care is expensive but this government is putting more in that any other government up to this time.

  53. Min – Your response was more that a little disingenuous – Nuraua waqs almost empty because of the success of TPV as a deterrent to seacrossings in unseaworthy boats and the risks invovled. The war in Sri Lanka did end and therefore there was no cause for Tamils to seek asylum – the Sri Lankan government have already said it is safe for them all to return. – there was no war in Pakistan, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are almost reaching a conclusion with the withdrawal of western forces. There is therefore no reason why those who came from those countriues should not now return.- Australia could of course pay for their safe passage, rather than expect their return by the means they came. There should certainly also be a five year review of everyone else who has been admitted as an asylum seeker to establish whether it is safe for their return ~ that should be a condition of their residency visas.

    While the Greens, Environmentalists, Preservationsists, and Conservationists search for their causes celbre, such as Whales, the Great Barrier Reef, Bengal Tigers, etc etc, they collude in and preside over the slaughter and destruction of native animals and the natural environment on their doorstep. Thousands of native Australian animals are slaughtered (euphemistically caled `culling’) every year, as a consequence of the urban and industrial sprawl in Austrlia. Such slaughter is done in their name and with their tacit approval. 5,000 kangaroos p.a. plus deer, wombat, wallabies, emu, lorikeets, black sawans, kookaburras, are all variously slaughtered are but some plus those whose natural habitat that is destroyed as cities expand. All of this is done for the population growth of humans. It is a far greater extermination of animals and the natural environment than anything perpetrated in the oceans of the world, or on some land massess.
    Its long overdue that humans in Australia learnt to live in balance and harmony with the natural environment and the other native species, and stopped this relentless destruction of anything which stands in their way.
    And in particular these hypocrises which masquerade as care and compassion.

  55. What is this about. What role could Lawler play in this case. It is about a dysfunctional union. I thought he did not have a role to play.

    The partner of HSU national secretary, Kathy Jackson, Fair Work Australia vice-president Michael Lawler has hired a lawyer to represent him in the court battle over the future of the HSU, amid allegations that he has been improperly involved in the matter.


    As vice-president of Fair Work Australia Mr Lawler has the standing of a Federal Court judge.
    The Federal Court heard yesterday that some of the affidavits to be filed in the case contained allegations against Mr Lawler.


    The Federal Court is dealing with two applications for the HSU East branch to be put into administration – one by the NSW Finance Minister, Greg Pearce, and one by HSU acting national president Chris Brown on behalf of other branches of the HSU.
    Mr Shorten is seeking to have positions at the Health Services Union declared vacant and administrators appointed “to manage a transition to a properly functioning organisation, which will involve a more democratic and representative structure”.
    He has argued that the leadership of the union has become dysfunctional.
    A new structure would provide for dedicated branches in NSW and Victoria, and for fresh elections for offices in each of those branches.
    Current members would be transferred to the branch in the state in which they work.

    Read more:

  56. CU @1.09

    the only place I have seen Lawler mentioned in the “media” was at Independent Australia and Vexnews. So the “allegations” are either being canvassed by the msm and Lawler is worried or Lawler is worried that more will be revealed by IA and Vex and eventually the msm will be dragged in.

    Anyway with his intervention today, a little more spice has been added.

  57. Yes, the sun can fly a plane. Not a drop of fossil fuel.

    A solar plane has made history by landing in the Moroccan capital after flying across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain on the world’s first intercontinental flight in a plane powered by the sun.

    Bertrand Piccard, a 54-year-old Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist, landed Solar Impulse at 11:30pm (0830 Wednesday AEST) under a full moon at Rabat Sale airport where he was welcomed by officials of the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN).

  58. Sue, I would say he has been mentioned in documents lodged by the HSU and government.

    The judge said he will not release the allegations of Ms. Jackson.

    It is murky indeed.

    I feel our view might not be far from the mark. As I said when this began, there would be a lot more than Thomson in the firing line.

    This lady could find herself in jail.

  59. If this is not a rap over the knuckles for the Opposition, I do not know what is.

    Mr. Hockey is wrong. It is not an extraordinary result that would be better under them.

    It is an extraordinary result, in spite of the Opposition.

    How much better would the country be travelling if the Opposition with the support of the media, desisted in negativity and the running down of the economy.

    The Reserve Bank is worried that Australians are unreasonably pessimistic about the economy and it believes the campaign against the carbon tax is to blame.

    The Bank cut its cash rate 0.25 points yesterday in part because of a slowdown in China and turmoil on financial markets. But also central to its decision was a concern that no matter how good the economic news Australians are scarcely noticing in an atmosphere muddied by campaigning against the carbon tax.

  60. The Bank believes lobbying about the carbon tax is acting as a drag on consumer confidence and obscuring the benefit of the income tax cuts that will come into force with the carbon tax on July 1.

    The governor’s statement released after yesterday’s board meeting referred to confidence obliquely, saying that despite modest economic growth and low unemployment households and businesses continued to “exhibit a degree of precautionary behaviour”.

  61. Thanks for those links CU.

    Even economists recognise the importance of that ephemeral measure, confidence.

    It’s why they conduct surveys to measure it.

    Perhaps the Business Council (among others) should tell Abbott to just STFU.

    Offshore events notwithstanding, I’m sure Abbott’s never-ending naysaying is slowly sinking the ship.

    Deliberately undermining confidence (the moreso when conjuring up imaginary threats), for so base a purpose as personal ambition, borders on treason.

    The consequences of falling confidence is increasing unemployment, as business postpones or winds back investment plans.

    Tony Abbott is happy to put breadwinners on the dole, homes into foreclosure, businesses into receivership, just to improve his chances of
    becoming prime minister.

  62. MJ, I have never known any other Opposition being allowed to get away with talking down the economy and the country. Mr. Abbott continues to do it, even when overseas.

    Luckily he does not take many trips. Probably does not interest him and being too lazy.

    I bet if one Googled, they would get numerous incidents of Labor Oppositions being criticized for talking the economy. What one will not find is the extent that Abbott goes too.

    I would be surprised, if the Labor criticism was not based on truth,

  63. Still not clear who approached who. Where did her name come from. This is a change, the prostitute being in another place, not Mr. Thomson

    Where does one find a name after seven years, from a business that either closed down or changed hands. This woman left the agency years ago.

    A prostitute reportedly offered a large sum of money by the Nine Network now says she cannot say for certain she slept with federal MP Craig Thomson.

    The woman has told the Seven Network the executive producer of A Current Affair, Grant Williams, had contacted her in May offering to pay her $60,000 to fly to Sydney.

    But she declined to accept the money, claiming she was in New Zealand in May 2005, when she supposedly had Mr Thomson as a client.

    Appearing on Today Tonight in an unpaid interview, the woman apologised to Mr Thomson.

    ‘It was just a terrible case of mistaken identity,’ she said.

    ‘In relation to tonight’s interview on Channel Seven, the program speaks for itself.’ Was Mr Thomson’s response.

    A Current Affair reported on May 23 that it had interviewed a prostitute linked to Mr Thomson.

    The woman has told the Seven Network that two days beforehand she had tried to retract her story after realising she had been in New Zealand at the time of the alleged meeting with Mr Thomson.

    When the Nine Network asked for her bank account details, she withdrew her comments and declined to sign a contract.

    ‘I retracted everything that I said. I emailed them, I texted them,’ she said.

    ‘We spoke and he said, I wish you had kept your end of the bargain’ and I said, I’m not signing any contract … because I’m totally unsure now’.

    ”I’m no longer 100 per cent sure and I’m not a credible witness.”

    The woman said that A Current Affair reporter Justin Armsden had initially contacted her and subsequently offered her $50,000 to fly to Brisbane for an interview.

    When she resisted the offer, Mr Williams called to offer $60,000 to fly to Sydney for an interview, she told the Seven Network.

  64. The fifty or sixty grand that Channel Nine reportedly offered the lady for her story could surely be put to better use elsewhere. That sum would just about pay the salary of an additional researcher in the newsroom for one year. They could be adding value to their news product doing that, rather than trying to whip up controversy with a ‘oncer’ story. Ratings, I know they’re focused on increasing their ratings. But it’s at least theoretically possible that an enhanced quality news product, made possible via additional researchers etc, would pay for itself in terms of ratings and even prestige.

  65. It’s a fine line between fair criticism and talking down the economy I guess, CU. Usually that is.

    But in politics, where the truth has a subjective quality, just where does the fine line fall ?

    In the case of the carbon price beat-up, it is beyond doubt that Abbott has grossly overstepped that mark. In an ideal world, Abbott should have to pay a heavy price for this when we learn the truth in a month or two. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    It’s almost as if Abbott was confident the government would implode before that time, and the issue would become moot.

    Meanwhile, there’s been a bit of return fire from the government over Abbott’s talking down the economy and undermining confidence, but not enough it seems to have had much effect. Yet.

  66. MJ. Abbott was counting on that. It has not and will not occur, therefore he has no where to go.

    I believe the Slipper matter will not go ahead. As we can see, it is going to take a decade to sort out whether Thomson is guilty or not. The water is just too murky.

    His whole game was based on him bullying them enough and the would fall over in a heap.

  67. One of the worst political stuff ups IMO was the keeping Peter Garrett NDP out back in ’84…….. I’ve numbered every box below the line from then til now… stuff the preferences deals, couldnt believe Labor gave their pref’s to the
    lib’s and Nat’s……..
    “Garrett’s first attempt at entering politics was in 1984, when the Nuclear Disarmament Party invited him to stand for a New South Wales seat in the Australian Senate at the federal election in December. He refused at first, but after consulting the band, he agreed on condition that he head the ticket. He needed 12.5% of the vote to win a seat in the Senate voting system, but a primary vote of 9.6% was insufficient when Labor gave its preferences to the conservative Liberal and National Parties ahead of the NDP.”

  68. Another stuff of Howard and his religious zealots is being fixed up. That of changes they made to the Family Law Act, that put children at risk..

    Another plus in my book, is the changes that Ms, Roxon is making to the Family Law. Throwing out of the policy that says parents must share care of the child, regardless of any harm that may occur to the child. We are now back to the position, that the needs and safety of the child, is above the rights of the parents

    While Ms, Roxon is at it, she has introduced a better definition of domestic violence, which goes to the heart of the problem.

  69. “It’s a fine line between fair criticism and talking down the economy I guess, “

    I would suggest that line has well and truly crossed, When one needs to rely on lies and misinformation, one does not have a good case.

    Unemployment. Rise in full time jobs. Drop in casual workers. 5.1% That is I believe a good trend.

  70. AFP on ABC 24. Over a dozen active investigations into different groups.

    Waiting to interview Slipper. Should hand down findings within 2 weeks.

  71. Rudd’s action in throwing garret to the wolves over the “infamous” home insulation scheme ranks as one of the most egregious stuff -ups i’ve ever seen.
    With this action he lent an air of credibility to the noxious and dishonest attacks made by an unscrupulous opposition, and betrayed not only garret, but all those who had voted for a fact-based approach to government.

  72. Cu @9.04pm. Currently in Australia there is no tort of privacy. The introduction of the tort of privacy would enable individuals to sue when they believe that their privacy has been breached.

    We have many examples where the media has made public private information, but at present in Australia there is no legal remedy unless the person can claim defamation. There are clearly many instances where it is a breach of privacy which might hurt or embarrass the individual but still not be under the strict conditions pertaining to defamation.

  73. Pterosaur, I would have to agree – Garrett was thrown to the wolves when the call should have been to rally behind Garrett and to insist that the many positives of the scheme be promoted.

    Even now we do not know how much is being saved in power bills by homes being insulated. 4 deaths – 3 OH&S, yet the Liberals were allowed to run rampant with it all being Garrett’s fault.

  74. What did Four Corners achieve on Monday night. AFP said that they were working with Four Corners. They have had the man under observation for two years. One would have been surprised, if this was not the case. One does not halve a boat arrive with no crew, without being suspicious.

    The man has left the country. There was no admissible evidence to stop him. Has two years of police work gone down the drain. Maybe bigger fish have got away.

    The AFP answered Abbott’s slogan of if the TV stations can find them , why cannot the police stop them.

    Back to that thorny acorn, one is innocence and police need admissible evidence.

    It is easy for the Opposition and media to make allegations. It is harder to take the matter to court. Political and media interference makes this task harder, I suspect in some cases impossible, allowing the guilty to go free.

  75. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Tony Negus has revealed an alleged people smuggler, known as Captain Emad, fled Australia a day after being the focus of an ABC TV Four Corners story.

    On Monday night, Four Corners aired claims the alleged people-smuggling kingpin passed himself off as a refugee to gain entry into Australia, and had been operating his business from a Canberra suburb.

    Commissioner Negus says the man fled Australia on Tuesday night.

    “When leaving Australia, the man triggered a long-standing alert at Melbourne Airport and at that time, there was an operational decision made by investigators that he could not be detained,” he said.

    “I can confirm today that the activities of those featured in Monday’s Four Corners report were known to the AFP prior to the program and had been the subject of an active investigation for around two years”

    More to come.

  76. Could this be another in the making. Such logic is amazing.

    You’ve got to admire Joe Hockey fortitude in going out there and announcing flimsy, humiliating excuses for the fact that despite his prophecies of doom, the Australian economy is actually booming:
    “This does demonstrate the resilience of the Australian people in the face of a flawed government,” Mr Hockey said. “Imagine how well our country could do if we had a good government?”
    Heads you’re hopeless, tails we’re better.
    Our rhetoric is completely independent of reality! Events in the real world affect it not at all! If things go badly, it’s evidence that this government is hopeless! If things go well, it’s still evidence that this government is hopeless! By “evidence that this government is hopeless” we mean every single thing that happens regardless of what it is.
    We have defined reality as “this government is hopeless”.
    Any other reality – like “facts” or “figures” incompatible with our reality presented by institutions we occasionally cite ourselves – is just a figment of your deranged imagination.


  77. Former senior AFP officer Rosario (Ross) Fusca told the ABC’s 7.30 program on Thursday that in late 2008, when he was involved in the AFP’s AWB oil-for-food investigation, an AFP manager offered him a better job if he ‘could make the task force disappear’.

    ‘I was completely floored by it,’ Mr Fusca said of the offer made in a Canberra bar.

    Asked why he did not report it to authorities immediately, Mr Fusca said: ‘I should have and if I had my time again would have reported it there and then.’

    He said the AWB inquiry was always under-resourced and his demand for a dozen extra staff were ignored, and he was instead given three people including one who was about to resign.

  78. Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he has not seen reports about the new allegations.

    “I’m just not aware of those reports, just not aware of them. [I’m] afraid I haven’t yet read the newspapers, not aware of that report, so I just can’t comment on it,” Mr Abbott said.

    Mr. Abbott added, he was only interested in what the public were today. or words to that effect. In other words, no one cares.

    By the way, one reporter said it was funny for a man in Mr.Abbott’s position, not to know what was in the papers, so late in the day.

  79. There always was a political stench attached to the Howard Government in relation to its handling of Wheat Board trade contracts, which saw Government fail in its duty of care and allow a breach of UN sanctions which aided Saddam Hussein by corruptly paying $300 million in kickbacks to the Iraqi regime.

  80. Lateline is worth watching. Doing it’s job for once, Emma Alberici must have read Martin today. Used him to tear Jenifer Westacott to pieces.

    Emma can do the job if she puts her mind to it..

    EMMA ALBERICI: But in that same vein, it just seems a little odd in your report that you use the finding that Australia’s productivity was lower than in the US in 2004 and you use that to support an argument that the current industrial relations framework, which was introduced some five years later, is somehow a drag on productivity.

    JENNIFER WESTACOTT: Well let’s separate the issues. We say labour productivity is an issue. We say there are a number of issues with the Fair Work Act, some of which are related to productivity, some of which are related to flexibility on these sites, some of which are related to getting these projects up and running, has to be addressed. And we’ve asked in our submission on the Fair Work Act for a number of changes to the existing industrial relations laws, but we do need to separate those issues. There’s the issues of productivity, some of which we understand, some of which we don’t, some of which are sectoral, some of which are microeconomic. And then there’s the broader issue of: what’s the kind of workplace relations system we need so that we can get these projects delivered, so that we can change to a kind of rapidly changing world and that we’ve got the flexibility to organise labour in a way that’s going to get these projects delivered on time, on budget?

    EMMA ALBERICI: Well what to you thing is the key recommendation that you’ve identified as far as changes to the IR laws go?

    JENNIFER WESTACOTT: Well we’ve said a number of things that go to the sort of – the technicalities of the act. So on greenfield sites, the sort of projects that we’re talking about in this study, we’ve said that we want good faith bargaining to be mandated for enterprise agreement negotiation.

    EMMA ALBERICI: What does that mean?

    JENNIFER WESTACOTT: Well, yeah …

    EMMA ALBERICI: Everyone says they go into bargaining in good faith.

    JENNIFER WESTACOTT: Yeah. But for greenfield projects, we want to see that mandated.

    EMMA ALBERICI: So they’re new projects?

    JENNIFER WESTACOTT: Yeah, yeah. We want to see that mandated. We would like to see employer-only agreements for those sites so that where there aren’t existing enterprise agreements or industrial agreements, an employer can create their own agreement. That’s for greenfields. For other amendments we’ve asked for in the act, we want to see individual flexibility agreements, we want to see the model clause that’s already in the act mandated for use across the system.

    EMMA ALBERICI: So an employer-only agreements, that means there’s no union input?

    JENNIFER WESTACOTT: Not initially, but over time, as people come onto those projects, then those enterprise agreements can be negotiated.

  81. n independent think tank has renewed calls to widen the GST net, saying it is one of three key reforms that could be a ‘game changer’ for the Australian economy over the next decade.

    The Grattan Institute says broadening the GST base – that has remained unchanged since its introduction in 2000 – along with increasing the workforce participation for both women and older people, could rake in as much as $80 billion by 2022.

    Grattan Institute CEO John Daley, releasing an analysis on reform priorities for Australia, said all sides of politics have things they would like to do.

    ‘But it’s hard to see how you are going to fund those without increasing the tax rates materially or cutting a whole bunch of stuff,’ Mr Daley told AAP.

    Instead, the institute believes GST should be extended to take in health, education and fresh food, which are currently exempt from the impost, yet account for 40 per cent of spending.

    Widening the base would increase gross domestic product (GDP) by $20 billion a year, while providing scope to cut income and corporate taxes.

  82. Instead we could perhaps ask, why it is that we as Australians in the increasingly Lucky Country are so down on leadership?

    There’s already a shift underway. Jessica Irvine’s recent article on “the collective whinge” and Laura Tingle’s essay on “great expectations” highlight the parlous state of Australia’s relationship to political leadership. They both point out the unrealistic expectations we have of leadership and that the inevitable disappointment is turning us into, well, whiners. But it doesn’t end there. The complaining about leadership is the same in many other contexts, not just in politics.

  83. Cu, it’s a lot to do with the cult of personality..once it wasn’t expected that a pm would have any.

    No but seriously, it used to all be about the common good and how to achieve this.

  84. Min, it is a change that many are starting to question that there is something amiss. For sure, it is more than blaming the media.

    Abbott is not that clever, he has just been lucky enough to tune into the mood of the country.

    Why the mood of the country is the way it is, is another question.

  85. Catching Up wrote:

    Min, it is a change that many are starting to question that there is something amiss. For sure, it is more than blaming the media.

    Abbott is not that clever, he has just been lucky enough to tune into the mood of the country.

    Why the mood of the country is the way it is, is another question.

    It ultimately does boil down to the media, in my view. They’re the ones who speak each day, sometimes each hour, to most of the population.

    As we know, the media speak with virtually one voice: a conservative, anti-Labor voice that spruiks the interests of the power elites: the resource and media baron billionaires and other associated vested interests.

    Those who hold the microphones control and shape the public debate (such as it is in this unlucky country). They shape the mood that people adopt regarding the government and politics. They influence perceptions to an extent that’s without rival in a democracy. They are the most powerful presence in the democracy. More powerful than political parties, they are able to indirectly install and toss out governments at will by their ability to manipulate the voting preferences of literally millions of people.

  86. “Abbott is not that clever, he has just been lucky enough to tune into the mood of the country.”

    I don’t believe it’s that simple. Yes Abbott isn’t that clever, those who control him are the manipulative, devious and cunning ones.

    As to the mood of the nation. I believe it has been in large part formed by the media and Abbott has actually piggy backed on the media or is controlled by them and other vested interests. He goes along with what the monkey sees monkey does, or more accurately what the monkey tells him to see and do.

    The media on the other hand in large part used the sense of entitlement the population engrained under a decade plus of Howard to tell the people they were not getting enough from the government and the government was giving them the wrong things and giving things to the wrong people. This fostered the discontent we see today.

    This doesn’t only go to the general population but to business as well, who now unreservedly expect not only government handouts to get them started and run their businesses, but tax payers money to bail them out whenever they go under as it’s always the government’s fault they fail. Again that was in part Howard’s fault as he bailed out his brother using tax payers money and then had to continue bailing out businesses because of that.

  87. ‘Yes Abbott isn’t that clever, those who control him are the manipulative, devious and cunning ones.’

    Are you referring to Minchin?

  88. Thanks Migs, I’ll message via FB. He had some VIP information to tell me about, not all of it good and something which you might be interested in.

  89. I believe it has been in large part formed by the media and Abbott has actually piggy backed on the media or is controlled by them

    I think it is a bit of both, and more. I think they work hand in hand with each other. See yesterdays reaction to the economic figures, it started slowly, and both the media and libs were very guarded in their statements, preferring to simply acknowledge that, well, numbers is numbers (whatthe??), until an angle can be worked. And how each of their cases, while they began apart, merged into the one case, their final ‘analysis’ that, well, it isn’t really happening at all, the numbers are not numbers, they are just wrong.

    And that is just one case. It happens regularly, and is more pronounced the more sudden the news is that can upset their rhythm. Watch the next time it happens. It is easy to see (or I’m just paranoid) 😉

    The revelations of the Thompson stitch up is another. It began with a very straight reportage of the facts (finally, if only all of the allegations prior to that were reported in a similar fashion)

    It now appears, after channel 9s abysmal attempt to defend itself with their belated ‘second shooter’, that there is no upside to this one.

    Simple solution, it is off the radar.

    The Labor pollies can talk about it all they want to try and keep the pressure on. If the media don’t play those statements, it’s almost like it never happened. Again, Labor are hopeless at getting their message out 😦

    Almost.. thank god for new media 😉

  90. Everyone is laughing because both leaders are on the nose and rolling on the floor in a scrap.

    Its true to say Abbott’s been lucky in being in the right place at the right time….Costello must be kicking himself.

    The Murdoch rags are barracking for the conservatives and there is nothing wrong with that, it’s a democracy.

    The Green Industry ‘unreservedly expect not only government handouts to get them started and run their businesses…’

    The Auditor General is not happy with solar panels on schools, something doesn’t add up….another brilliant policy idea from Julia.

  91. Cu, it’s a lot to do with the cult of personality.

    There was also a time when we whinged loudly about pollies being nothing but personalities. Now, we whinge the other way. One constant remains. We whinge.

    Leadership is about leading (you know, kind of like being consistent on taking action with climate change, and making that happen, or consistent in your approach to a fair go for workers, and taking steps to ensure that happens. All of this chatter about no ‘leadership’ gleefully skips over these issues, and steps straight into the ‘cult of personality’, a personality the media are trying (succeeding) to create out of constant negative articles about handbags and earlobes, and the most unedifying screen captures they can locate. I don’t recall seeing that image of Gillard with the redhead baby spread across any ltdnews rag. But I’ve seen plenty of her in awkward poses, and silly expressions on her face.

  92. Cuppa @7.09am. Perhaps, and finally, a majority are becoming sick and tired of the dumbed down version of the media.

    Consider 10 years ago, current affairs had the expectation that the viewer was intelligent enough to understand words of more than one syllable, yet the general viewer was far less well educated than they are today.

  93. The Murdoch rags are barracking for the conservatives and there is nothing wrong with that, it’s a democracy.

    bullshit. They are a media organisation who pretend to present us with the facts, and instead attempt to instil us with ideology.

    They fail miserably to even follow the first point in their own Professional
    Conduct Policy

    1.1 Facts must be reported impartially, accurately and with integrity

    There is shitloads wrong with that!

  94. I kinda like this one..

    It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper: Jerry Seinfeld

  95. The Auditor General is not happy with solar panels on schools

    link it! Let me guess, it’s another oo ‘report’ like their debunked BER, AGW ….. name it report. I want to see where the Auditor General said he is ‘not happy’

  96. always just exactly fits the newspaper

    I guess they are looking after the environment Min.

    If they gave both sides of the story, they’d have to pulp twice as much paper 😉

  97. And which AG Tom R? There are now three State Liberal AG’s and the NSW one has openly supported a pedophile priest along with making several let’s say radical right wing assertions. A man whose not even fit to be a politician let alone have the power of Attorney General, yet O’Farrell is deathly silent on this man and his distasteful utterances.

  98. Tom,
    Interestingly the oo has managed to pick one page, 4 paragraphs (5.26-5.28, 5.96) out of a 160 page report to get their “bad news” story. 🙄

  99. Tom’s right, its just hate media with a beat-up and I retract my previous comment that the AG is ‘not happy’.

    ‘THE federal government is paying 10 times its carbon price to cut greenhouse gas emissions at thousands of schools, according to a highly critical audit that warns of safety risks under the program.

    ‘Labor’s election pledge to install solar panels in every school has emerged as one of the most expensive schemes to reduce emissions, prompting the Auditor-General to question the policy’s cost and value for money.’

    David Crowe in the Oz

  100. prompting the Auditor-General to question the policy’s cost and value for money

    The oo also fail to state someting else here

    Questioning a policy’s cost and value IS PRECISELY WHAT THE AUDITOR GENERAL DOES!!

    interestingly the oo has managed to pick one page, 4 paragraphs (5.26-5.28, 5.96) out of a 160 page report to get their “bad news” story.

    Yes, there is so much wrong with the murdoch press, phone hacking is just one of their issues.

    Professional Conduct Policy
    1.4 Do not knowingly withhold or suppress essential facts.

  101. Ltd News must have their Professional Code of Conduct policy hanging up in offices to use as dart boards so they can pick which code they will break that day.

  102. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a bad move but as far as timing goes it was dreadful: Malcolm Fraser calling an election when at the very moment Labor replaced Bill Hayden with Bob Hawke as its leader. Labor’s fortunes turned immediately. So it did for Fraser.

  103. Roswell, I highly suspect that Hawke was being kept in reserve to suddenly enter the was all in the timing. I remember that people were looking for a Hero, and there was no one better suited than Hawkie.

    I have a great photo of youngest with old Hawkie from a couple of years ago when she was dancing at a folk festival..Hawkie, the old bugger is still as feisty as ever.

  104. TomR
    Murdoch press does not have a code for

    Not hacking telephones
    Not hacking emails
    Not bribing public officials
    Not blackmailing targets for expose of what are consenting adults

    too many others, to list here

    Which is why they got into a spot of bother

  105. Stevens is on ABC 24. Turned off Abbott to switch to him.

    Talking about the lack of personal savings during the early 2000’s. It went down to zero.

    This ended 2007. Behavior change 2007.

  106. Rate of growth and consumption now more normal.

    During Howard’s years it was not.

    Howard was not good for households.

    Why did not people save through the Howard’s year in the ten years up to 2007.

    It appear luckily we threw him out.

    This is a speech that one should listen too, if interested in the economy.

  107. Pollitics tweeted that watching Abbott’s speech after Steven’s had him shouting at the screen.

    I know exactly how he feels. I’ve only ever listened to one of Abbott’s gibberish speeches from start to end and I wanted to bash my head against the screen in the vain hope it would make Abbott permanently go away.

    I shoulder shake shiver every time I think of Abbott making speeches on the world stage as our representative.

  108. Stevens. We cannot base growth on falling savings and housing booms.

    He said the boom period is now over. It will not be back. It should not be back.

    The glass is half full.

    Good speech. One all should hear.

  109. Abbott based his speech on the golden days of Howard, and how bad things are today. This immediately after by Stevens talking commonsense.

    Who advise those in Asia not to invest in Australia. Appeared to be connected to Abbot and Hockey.

    Swan disgusted.

  110. Apparently Kathy Jackson has sacked her pro bono team.

    Things aren’t going well for tabots ‘hero’

  111. I think it was Keating, that said a PM changes the mood of the country.

    We had Abbott to day saying that Howard allowed us to be comfortable and relaxed, or words to that effect.

    Was that the truth, or did we become an society with a sense of high entitlements and little else.

    Did Howard leave behind a fair and just society, where there was a fair deal for all.

  112. Howard’s legacy:

    …gross (household) debt rose from 70 per cent in 1995, to about 150 per cent in 2007. Correspondingly, by 2007 the share of current income devoted to servicing that debt had risen from 7 per cent to 12 per cent, despite interest rates in 2007 being below those in 1995.

  113. Once again, ,Hockey and Abbott disagree.

    Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey says there should be a debate about increasing the retirement age to 70.

    A report by the Grattan Institute think tank has called for the retirement age to be lifted to 70 in order to increase the numbers of older people in the workforce.

    It also wants the GST to be expanded to cover food, education and healthcare.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ruled out lifting the retirement age and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he does not think it is worth talking about.

    “I’m not saying it’s wrong but I don’t think there should be any further lifting of the retirement age without full community debate, and I’m certainly not proposing that,” Mr Abbott said.

    But Mr Hockey says the change should be on the table.

  114. Will this lady end up in a prison or mental hospital?

    My emphasis.

    Former Federal Court Judge Michael Moore has been appointed as interim administrator of the troubled Health Services Union (HSU).

    The appointment has been announced on the last day of submissions to the Federal Court.

    Today, HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson also sacked her legal team and represented herself.

    She told Justice Geoffrey Flick she opposes the appointment of Michael Moore.

    Ms Jackson also said she wanted Justice Flick to disqualify himself because of an apprehension of bias in the case.

  115. follow on

    Wonder if Pyne has had coffee this week with the lady.

    She said comments he made earlier this week about her attempts to contact him out of court suggest she is guilty of serious misconduct.

    The judge rejected her application, but he said she could return to court next week to argue for a new course for the case.


    Yesterday Ms Jackson’s barrister, Brett Shields, began making submissions on her behalf and was due to continue today, but the court heard she has sacked her legal team.

    Many years ago, I appeared in a matter involving Magistrate Holbrook in a child protection matter.

    The mother was so far off her head, that she had us in laughter for most of the hearing.

    Now one cannot laugh in court. We all had sore sides and faces, trying to suppressed the laughter. The magistrate solve the problem by bending down behind the bench every few minutes.

    As we left the court, that learnt lady, said we were shocking for wanting to laugh.

    I wonder how often the Judge bent to pick up something while listening to Ms. Jackson.

    PS that matter I refereed to did have a good outcome down the track, to the surprise of us all. She did get her act together and the kids were returned to a mother that loved them. We all believed the damage she had done to herself was permanent. We were wrong.

  116. CU
    and who will back her with funds to take further legal action. it looks more as if the coalition have actually started reading wixxy and vexnews and are backing away.

    still on a bright side, jackson may spend a bit more time in court if what w and v have written is true.

  117. HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson has personally told a Federal Court judge he should disqualify himself, arguing in court she had been denied procedural fairness.
    It was an extraordinary morning on the last day of submissions into whether the HSUEast and the east branch of the federal HSU should be placed into administration.
    In two hours, Ms Jackson sacked her lawyers, appointed a new one who then said he was unavailable, and made a string of adverse allegations about the conduct of the case so far, including the rejection of any need for an administrator until she had been heard in full.

    As the case began, Ms Jackson’s barrister Brett Shields told the court his instructions had been withdrawn, as had those of his instructing solicitors.
    Instead barrister David Rofe, QC, who earlier in the week appeared for Ms Jackson’s partner Michael Lawler, sought to have the case halted for a week to enable him to get on top of the material.
    Justice Geoffrey Flick said he wanted to know whether the whole course of the case – previously agreed by all parties – was going to change, allowing Mr Rofe 15 minutes to take instructions from Ms Jackson.
    He said he had already reached a view that an interim administrator should be appointed, with the former federal court judge Michael Moore the most likely candidate.
    But after the brief adjournment, Mr Rofe said he would be withdrawing as Ms Jackson’s counsel today, as the judge had not given him enough time to make such a decision.
    “In 57 years of practising at the bar table I have never been put in such a position … this is outrageous,” Mr Rofe said.
    Approaching the bar table herself, Ms Jackson said she wanted Justice Flick to disqualify himself, as there was an “apprehension of bias”.
    Ms Jackson said she wanted her affidavit of June 1 to be read in full by the court and said: “I want to call all the witnesses.”
    She said comments by the judge earlier in the week, critical of her attempts to contact his chambers, were “suggesting that I was guilty of serious misconduct … the clear implication was that I was guilty of contempt”.
    After rejecting Ms Jackson’s application that he exclude himself from the case, she tried a second time, saying she had been denied procedural fairness.
    However, Justice Flick told her she could make that application again next Friday if she wished, when she would be given a full opportunity to argue for a new course of the case, including fresh witnesses and evidence.
    Ms Jackson also alleged former Justice Moore was far too “connected” to Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten and the ALP to conduct his duties without an apprehension of unfairness.

    Read more:

  118. “gross (household) debt rose from 70 per cent in 1995, to about 150 per cent in 2007. Correspondingly, by “

    Bacchus, remember that truck, that disappeared after the first Howard election.

  119. “Ms Jackson said she wanted her affidavit of June 1 to be read in full by the court and said: “I want to call all the witnesses.”

    Read more:

    But any affidavits that mention Lawler, the same lady wants withdrawn.

    Cannot help but think, her lawyers are trying to manipulate this matter to make Thomson look as guilty as sin. The Judge is not allowing that to occur. As he said, the matter wild be decided in the court, not the media.

    Who is using who. Jackson or the Opposition.

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