bullshit.com.au – otherwise known as news.com.au

In my article The AIMN, The growing irrelevance of the Murdoch media I wrote:

Another direction we’ve seen the MM (Murdoch media) lean towards are those stories that are trivial, narrow, shallow and sensationalist. And often untrue.

I’ll admit that not everything they write is trivial, narrow, shallow, sensationalist or untrue. They often broach topics that are in the national interest, politically or socially, but they sure do stuff it up when it comes to the headline. Take this headline: Riot on Nauru in wake of Rudd PNG asylum boat solution. Then read the article. Here’s a paragraph from it:

There was confusion over the motivation for the riot, with some reports from Nauru suggesting it was linked to the Mr Rudd’s hard line announcement. This has not been confirmed (my bold), but chants of “freedom” were heard at the centre as the riot ignited.

So it had not been confirmed. What has been confirmed is that bullshit.com.au, I mean news.com.au intend to take over with Kevin Rudd where they left off with Julia Gillard. That is, a Labor Prime Minister is an evil person who is responsible for everything that’s wrong in this world.

Minster Peter

139 comments on “bullshit.com.au – otherwise known as news.com.au

  1. Do not forget that the owner of News Corp has vowed to destroy the Greens! The man is seriously biased against progressive policies and wants to entrench the wealthy and vested interests as the ruling class as it serves his purposes!

  2. Of course he is Michael! A quick browse of any of the Murdoch bio’s will confirm that Rupert loathes leftist leaning governments, ergo sum any leader of such is patently related to The Lord of The Flies. As I have written on previous occasions, don’t get to complacent about the outcome of the nearing election.
    Murdoch will use all and every means at his disposal to push it the Coalition’s way.
    And if it is seen that Abbott can’t deliver, then Rupert will switch to Malcolm Turnbull, and in the light of the events over the past few days, it could be well argued that Murdoch is already hedging his bets.
    Rudd would be wise to set a date in the very near future before the Libs decide to have a leadership spill and install Turnbull.

  3. I think Mal ‘connect’ Turnbull will most likely be opposition leader and make some much needed reforms to the Lib’s, …. after Tony loses the election. 😛
    Only the meeja and rusted on’s see Tony as an successful LOTO… the rest of us see a failure that has been wedged at every turn.

  4. I’ll tell you why the Murdoch press will go after Kevin Rudd. Its because he has not got the OK from that slime ball Murdoch to make these decisions. Abbott does not do or say anything unless he gets the OK from Murdoch. Look what the Murdoch press did to Julia, they crucified the poor lady because JG would not fall into Murdochs line. If Murdoch told Abbott and his cronies to “lick my arse” they would be fighting each other to be the first to do so.

  5. No matter the nations policies on migration their will always be those in their own home countries that carry on in this manner and wish to do it to come to Australia it shows you they don’t have any respect of the law or due process .How would all Australians react if we let in people without medicals bringing in more Tuberculosis or leprosy or any disease that will make others sick in plague proportions .possible murders thieves or rapists pushed out of their religious countries, or those of conflicting beliefs that are at war in other countries bring their problems ton Australia or any other country. These ones are better resettled in countries of similar religious beliefs.
    With Murdock’s press he interferes in too many governments he operates as the pen is mightier than the sword and many non thinking people trust the press to be accurate The press always builds up stories as much as they can to sell their papers and news stories.

  6. Migs, I agree with your assessment of the Murdoch press. Quite often the content of a report is accurate but the headline bears little or no relationship to the actual report.

    More often the report is as misleading as the headline, with the truth buried in a short sentence at the end of the article, .

    I remember a particularly misleading report on a BER project at a school in NSW. The headline screamed about the “waste” of money wrt a school canteen which was only half the size it should have been.

    The article was accompanied by a photo of a couple of sad looking women holding a couple of pies or some such and the article rabbited on about how the building was too small to accommodate all the equipment.

    The very last sentence advised that the error had been detected and corrected before being submitted and the canteen had been built to everyone’s satisfaction.

    So an article consisting of several paras of mendacious beatup, had its kernel of truth relegated to a cupboard in the corner of a dusty locked room.

    This has been the characteristic approach to “news” by Ltd News for years and they whine about falling sales.

    Rudd would be wise to set a date in the very near future before the Libs decide to have a leadership spill and install Turnbull.

    I think Rudd would be wise to heed your words, edward eastwood.

  7. I dont know why people are so worried about Malcom”” Let them eat copper Turnbull,”” i agree he will improve the LNP vote,but it wont be enough to get them over the line and people should stop freaking out about Turnbulls return and have confidence that Rudd and Labor have the policies and the smarts to beat Abbott or Turnbull, even allowing for a biased media pack. I dont mind if Turnbull and Rudd do go head to head in the election,because i know who will win,and it will not be Mister Fraudband and for Gods sake dont throw the towel in just because Malcom might be Kevins opponent,show some faith and intestinal fortitude.

  8. Brickbob You just don’t get it. Rudd comes in with sweeping changes as per
    The last week – 2 big back flips (Carbon Tax and Boat people) His party cannot
    accept or sustain this type of operation. The wheels soon wobble and fall off.
    Longer term the unions will bide their time then slip in and shaft him, it is all
    just a matter of time.

  9. Michael. Fortunately I have a loving wife who downloaded all the editions of The Australian for June and July onto the IPad. So even though I was out of WiFi range for the past month or so I was able to catch up on all the fun and games of the dumping of Gillard. What a joke this country has become Michael. Labor stumbles from one fiasco to the next totally driven by polling, including NewsPoll.
    Now we have the Ruddster who is going to save Australia, Save The World and solve every labor cockup since 2007. Good Luck. Rudd will have to set up polling booths tomorrow afternoon to get close to avoiding the electoral debacle that has taken years of Labor planning to achieve. Michael. If Rudd was in a pub talking as I walked past inevitably I would backtrack a few steps, slap him, then continue on to a sensible conversation with my mates. Michael, Rudd is a Gold Plated Proven Tool. Those that built up a hatred of the scrubber Gillard are not going to accept this Rudd Tosser to look after our affairs for three years…. or three months if the Unions and Shorten have their way. Fortunately a lot of the Gillard and labor baggage has left the building already….. Bet you are glad I am back…

  10. I hear that bookmakers are hurrying to lay off the bets they took on the ALP winning the next election. Seems the odds have shortened dramatically. As a person who enjoys a bet I know that the favourite wins the race less than 35% of the time.

  11. HeyShaneigld I had a lazy $2.00 on theLabor Party to win the Election. I ould be laughing!!!

  12. Hey Patricia, your lazy $2 may turn out to be a better investment than the $1,000s bet on a LNP win. Good luck, but there is still some way to go.

  13. I fail to see why the new scheme is harsh. Yes, those that come by boat will be resettled in PNG if genuine, The others that do not qualify can choose to return from where they came from, or elsewhere. They can also take up the option of remaining in detention.

    What will also happen, is that we will take up to 27.000 refugees, on comparison to the Opposition’s 13.000.

    I suspect that there will also be more, to assist processing with other countries within the region. There is hope that many of those in camps for over a decade, will also manage to get here, and begin their lives again.

    Does not appear that harsh to me

    If they do not want to end up in PNG, they do not get on boats, but wait their turn in Indonesia and Malaysia.

    Why do we need TPV if they are not setting foot on our shores. Are the Opposition saying, no matter how they come, they will never get permanent visas.

    What I have noticed, that many of the boats are full of women and very young children. We have not seen that since TPV were introduced. Bridging visas work in the same way. They do not allow the men to bring their families in once they get here. The solution as they see it, is to put them on the boats.

    I have not seen any figures, but I am going on the boat arrivals we see on the nightly news.

  14. Fed up,

    On the issue of being “harsh”, it seems somewhat hypocritical for an Opposition who declared that Nauru was the solution. Is Nauru harsh? Is PNG harsh? Is turning back boats for people to drown at sea harsh? Is not supporting onshore processing harsh?

  15. In reply to voyager,i hope you renew your membership of the LNP, in the future they will need all the funds they can muster,dont waste your time trying to convert me to your rabid right wing agenda,and dont forget to blow out the candles in front of Tonys portrait before you go to bed,you dont want to burn your house down now do you? . Now get a good nights sleep and i hope you feel better in the morning.

  16. This is the first processing, that entails resettlement. Yes, maybe not in the country they want, but one where they can get on with their lives.

    On Bridging Visas, they are not allow to work, not even voluntary, not able to study. Not able to reunite with their families.

    Now that is harsh.

    To make it worse, they have to survive on very low benefits.

    One could say, their lives are in Limbo, with nowhere to go.

  17. I agree with you Voyager. Rudd has over promised and under delivered. Nothing has changed with Labor. Gillardd was the master at under delivery. Asylum Seekers, Carbon Tax, Economy, Debt and Union dominance of the Labor Party. This are the unresolved issues that gets up the voters nose. Rudd is simply not a manager. He is more suited to reality shows like Q&A etc. Please just give us some one who can manage the country. Sit in an office and do the work. Talking to cameras day in and day out doesn’t get the work done Kevvie.

  18. Looky… Tweeds back…. a sure sign, ay 😉 😆
    Hi, Sailor.. I hope your good at bailing 😉
    …as you lot sink below the plimsoll line under the weight of Kapitan Abbott….. gee, to late to turn the boat, umm, ‘around’ now….. guess the only ploy(s) left are ..abandon ship…. or mutiny 😛
    ..and calling QandA a reality show LMFAO… well duh 😛

  19. I’m reading news.com under the headline where Kevin Rudd is slipping in the latest electoral polls. Notice the plural: polls? Yet the article only mentions one poll. Newspoll. Doesn’t that go against the other polls?

  20. No, Essential has the same as News and waiting for the next one which will confirm Rudd has hit his high mark and now in decline as predicted. Better call an election before Rudd recedes further as more people wake up to his con.

  21. Agree scaper. Rudd needs to get the election over by late tomorrow afternoon to have a chance.
    It will be a little bit weird to have a competent government again.
    Lovo. Thanks for the sailing advice. Did New York to Gibraltar solo so probably up to speed. Thanks for the advice though.
    Q&A is a reality show of performing seals. Polls say Q&A viewers were also Big Brother acolytes.
    ….say no more.
    I would focus your energies on Rudd. You know in PNG they still eat people. Imagine the headline.
    Win Win for Rudd. “Asylum Policy solves PNG protein shortage.”

  22. You may like to have a look at the latest Essential and Morgan 2SP 😉

    Then when the writs are issued and Mr Abbott can no longer avoid debates…

  23. No, Essential has the same as News

    Is Mr scaper intellectually challenged? Can he not ‘read’ the numbers?

    And then there is:

    waiting for the next one which will confirm Rudd has hit his high mark and now in decline as predicted

    Really? Mr Scaper ‘knows’ a poll result before the poll is even conducted. Amazing.

    Clearly he’s ‘intellectually’ challenged, based on recent statements at least. I guess he has a HISTORY. Just sayin …

  24. Tweedles 😉 and ” Lovo. Thanks for the sailing advice. Did New York to Gibraltar solo so probably up to speed. Thanks for the advice though” ….. Tweed, I, as a desert dweller, whom looks at the worlds oceans as sewers..(.and our inland rivers), have nothing but praise for you and your solo sailing…. well done, it’s just too bad that no one would sail with you, 😛 but I’m guessing that’s a norm 😀
    …. the smell of the ocean makes me want to dry-reach… just say’n 😯
    … and as for ” thanks for the advice though” … no worries, cobba, I’m a lefty… always willing to help… which is something you may not be up to speed with. 😆

  25. What a tag team, soxy and the hand of the school janitor whose limited imagination can not think of another name.

    Meanwhile, the NBN blowing out as predicted, men getting raped on Devil’s Island and bodies floating in the sea. All down hill for Rudd from now on…suffer little piggies!

  26. Is Mr scaper intellectually challenged?

    We try to keep redundant questions to a minimum around here 😉

    the NBN blowing out as predicted

    According to the oo, which means …….. nothing really.

  27. Looky, looky…Tommy the brave is jumping on the wagon of no fortitude. All I need is repty to jump on and then they would enough for a game of contract bridge.

    Nah, a game of snap is about their limit.

  28. is jumping on the wagon of no fortitude

    😆 At least I didn’t jump on your failed ‘convoy of incontinence’ 😉

  29. Yes, Mr Turnbull keeps saying NBNCo is blowing out, the last time to 100 billion. Problem is, no one can find evidence for his assertions.

  30. no one can find evidence for his assertions.

    Evidence is over-rated FU. Why use that, when you can have repetition instead

  31. 2SP gets proved wrong yet again, so another “look over there.” Why am I not surprised? 🙄

    😆 @ Tom R, July 24, 2013 @ 8:29 am

  32. The only thing Manus Island locals like about the dumping of boat people is the jobs created every time they burn down $60million of infrastructure.lol

  33. You don’t know my position, Tommy. You had a chance the other day on the open thread but you ran away. Remember when I opened the discussion with the three points why Australians resent boat people???

    I see no comment on the Dateline story, to be expected.

  34. Wonder what Abbott will have to say today, as his comments on PNG do not seem to be going down too well.

    Both Abbott and Rudd will be on ABC 24 shortly.

    scaper, you do realise, there are already Mosques in PNG.

  35. There is much more to the boat problem than scaper and his ilk like to admit to.

    I believe what we have seen in the last week, is only the beginning to what needs and will be done. Mr. Abbott has missed the boat and looks like being swamped, as the circus moves on.

    I suspect the number of deaths, at this time, will lead to fewer coming. I believe that the sinking of the sievX and massive loss of life, had more to do with stopping the boats, than anything Howard did.

    “……In any case, Jakarta thinks Indonesia’s limited maritime forces have got bigger problems to deal with than helping Australia “stop the boats” – especially “illegal, unreported and unregulated” (IUU) fishing. Every year, more than 1.5 million tonnes of fish are taken illegally from Indonesia waters by ships from other countries. At $2 billion a year, the value of this catch each year is 10 times more than total losses to piracy in the Malacca Straits.

    In fact, asylum seekers may be the biggest thing in Australian politics but they are barely a page 3 issue in Indonesia, which, as Natalagawa frequently reminds us, is a transit country with its own internal problems of displaced persons. Indonesia knows that the easiest way to rid itself of foreigners trying to get to Australia is simply to do nothing. It is part of the tragedy of people drowning in our northern seas that no one wants them – not our government and not Indonesia’s either.

    So, if Canberra wants to motivate Jakarta to help with what Indonesians see as our problem then, like it or not, ways must be found that also enhance Indonesia’s maritime sovereignty and improve its woeful maritime capacity.

    This is why Indonesia has been consistent in calling for a “regional solution” in which it plays a central role. With other nations involved, it can ensure its sea borders are not compromised – and maybe even wangle resources to better secure its porous coastline. That’s what will be on Jakarta’s agenda when Rudd zips off for the regional meeting President Yudhoyono has promised for August.

    It could be expensive, and we might have to foot a large part of the bill, but surely a regional arrangement led by Indonesia, however messy, is more likely to achieve better results for both countries – and vulnerable asylum seekers – than Abbott’s proposal for high seas pass-the-parcel?………..”

    Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/turn-back-the-boats-why-indonesia-isnt-happy-20130723-2qfmo.html#ixzz2Zv83R2YF

  36. CU, there won’t be if the PNG government pursue their intended goal.

    No comment on the Dateline story? Seems you lot condone rape and torture of the boat people. Funny that, the left only seems to find their moral compass when it suits…you must be so proud!

  37. You don’t know my position, Tommy

    Of course not, you never posit one, you prefer to post a random link attacking the Government and run. I have pushed you in regard to this several times, without avail.

    Now, to try and claim what you have about the open thread the other day is the height of hypocrisy. Go on, link to this ‘discussion’.

  38. There is, of course, the small problem of section 45 of the PNG constitution:

    45. Freedom of conscience, thought and religion.

    (1) Every person has the right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion and the practice of his religion and beliefs, including freedom to manifest and propagate his religion and beliefs in such a way as not to interfere with the freedom of others, except to the extent that the exercise of that right is regulated or restricted by a law that complies with Section 38 (general qualifications on qualified rights).

    (2) No person shall be compelled to receive religious instruction or to take part in a religious ceremony or observance, but this does not apply to the giving of religious instruction to a child with the consent of his parent or guardian or to the inclusion in a course of study of secular instruction concerning any religion or belief.

    (3) No person is entitled to intervene unsolicited into the religious affairs of a person of a different belief, or to attempt to force his or any religion (or irreligion) on another, by harassment or otherwise.

    (4) No person may be compelled to take an oath that is contrary to his religion or belief, or to take an oath in a manner or form that is contrary to his religion or belief.

    (5) A reference in this section to religion includes a reference to the traditional religious beliefs and customs of the peoples of Papua New Guinea.

  39. scaper visit this site, and see what Labor has to say. Remember they are still allegations, that the government is taking very seriously. Not saying the man is lying, but are we getting the full picture.

    Yes, scaper, what is happening is shocking, Yes, it needs to be stopped. I would guess, most of this behaviour has arisen from the no benefit policy, and no processing for so long. Yes, I do believe that the new PNG policy will address this. People will know what their future is, very quickly I hope. Yes, it could have been avoided, if the complete Houston Plan was implemented.

    “……….Immigration Minister Tony Burke says he’s still trying to work out whether accused rapists, being held at the Manus Island detention centre, should be charged by Papua New Guinean authorities.

    Former prison guard Rod St George has blown the whistle, saying up to half a dozen men were attacked and sexually abused, and were punished, for reporting the assaults in the first place.

    Mr Burke has told Paul Murray it’s unclear, whether the perpetrators will be subject to local law..”


    Abbott once again, defending the FBT rorts. The elder Bishop does not represent me, Mr. Abbott. ABC 24 Talking about carbon tax. Bronwyn, we oldies are not stupid.

  40. No comment on the Dateline story?

    It’s never a good idea to go off “half-cocked,” basing a response on allegations alone. I’ll see what comes out of any investigation before I draw any conclusions.

  41. Abbott not happy with the questioning.Has tried to closed it down, with no luck. Has too many oldies surrounding him, preventing a quick get away.

    Answers in the stupid mold. Did manage to get one from seniors.

  42. I’ll see what comes out of any investigation before I draw any conclusions.



  43. Funny how Burke/Rudd was made aware of the events on Devil’s Island before the announcement on Friday. Typical of Labor, get warned of the consequences of dropping the Pacific Solution, pink batts and the situation on Devil’s Island but just keep steaming ahead. Culpable for the consequences.

  44. Agreed scaper. The finest example is the mining tax. No consultation whatsoever from Rudd, Swan and Gillard. Nada, nil, zilch. Just barge ahead and tell those affected to tow the line whilst lying to the masses about securing $10b in tax. This saw Gillard remove Rudd. Now he’s back and the same scenario appears with the car leasing debacle. It’s the mining tax all over again with hundreds sacked already. But the socialists will find some spin to justify labor stupidity….every time! EVERY TIME!
    Just heard across the airwaves a 10yr old and baby girl among those drowned today. Answer that Rudd, Gillard, Swan…you could have done more. No point blaming others. You are the Govt, nobody else, YOU!

  45. Yep, this government never has taken responsibility for any of their stuff ups, it is always someone else’s fault. Not leadership or good governance.

    The mining tax is the most hilarious example of governance I have ever seen in this country…introduce a tax, spend the proceeds before it is collected and receive SFA.

    Yeah, kids drowning at sea. Rudd has no compunction for our own that dies in roof spaces so what would he care about a few kids dying because of his dismantling of a proven solution. Dr Death rides again over the corpses of no consequence.

  46. Funny, when Burke answer questions on the TV before this. Not only answered questions, but ask for the man’s name, so he could inquire further. That was not forthcoming, until the media got their two bobs worth out of the story. I am sure that Burke immediately began inquiries. One thing for sure, he did not attempt to cover the story up. scaper, you are just a little slow keeping up with the news. Yes, Burke has taken himself off to the Islands today, which is the first opportunity for him to do so. Did manage to talk to the man last night.

  47. Hey, they never consult with me, when the taxation system is changed. That is not fair. We do elect governments to govern., Yes, maybe industry does not always get their own way. Well, that is the way it works.

    After the action of the mining companies and the million they spent against any change, I am not that sure that consultation is what it is made up to be. Well for the rest of us anyway.

    There was not much consultation when Howard obtained control of both houses.

  48. CU, are you saying that Bourke was not made aware of problems on Devil’s Island before the announcement last Friday? If so then you need to keep up.

    He knew there were systemic problems but went ahead with announcing the policy. Your defence of Rudd and this disgusting policy is most revealing.

  49. Not a Lib talking point but the reality of the situation. If the situation was reversed, the Libs dropped the policy and the boats began coming I would opine the same. The Federal Police warned Rudd so all that has happened is on his head.

    You see Tommy, I’m not ideologically restrained like your below average self and that affords me the freedom that you will never have.

    If you are referring to my attempt to have a discussion on the issue with you and you running for your ideological security blanket then find it yourself. Told you where it is.

    I note you do not use your gravatar. Shame as it portrays you perfectly, a snotty nosed wimp!

  50. Told you where it is.

    SHOW me where it is. Instead, you are just making shit up again.

    I’m not ideologically restrained


    You seemed very restrained when I asked you for comments on the libs ‘position’

    No argument against what is quite obviously FUD you were peddling for the oo this morning in relation to their NBN claims then I see

  51. Restrained? Not at all, made it quite clear on the Bolt thread that I would not eat a cucumber sandwich passed by hand from either side on the boat people issue.

    If you are looking for the attempted discussion it is towards the end of the last Café Talk thread, further reading there might reveal that I believe I’ve got a workable policy. But in reality there is no solution until the issue is depoliticised. In another word…never.

  52. Well Burke did say that was the first he heard of the claims. He did not say there was no problems. He also said the Department is denying the allegations., If one watched the interviews, one would be aware that it was the first Burke heard of them.

    He immediately asked to speak to who was making the claims.

  53. To pre-empt the MSM…two boats were escorted into Christmas Island today. A large one holding well over one hundred people and another one escorted by the same boat hours later of around eighty.

    Yep, testing woody jaw’s resolve.

  54. You might have also noticed, there have been many removed, including families over the last few weeks. Maybe this was an effort to manage any problems.

    Now when did we first hear of people sewing their lips up, and jumping off buildings. I remember,m it was back in the days of Howard.

    All it proves, is new action had to be taken, to give people some hope. That has occurred with the new PNG action. At last, these people have a chance at settlement. Something they do not have now. Not necessary in the country of choice, but resettlement, that allows them to get on with their lives.

  55. Oh, stop being an apologist for Rudd and his toxic solution!

    You can catch your new found hero on the Bolt Report this Sunday. Your last hero never had the guts, the union wench.

  56. The LNP victory is in the bag…no sweat.

    Hubristic about the opportunity to attack your neighbours and loved ones with SerfChoices.

  57. Well, scaper, we do have Abbott, every day, telling the smugglers the PNG scheme will not work. Who does one believe, Abbott who says it will not work, or Rudd that says it will.,

    I am sure the smugglers are thankful for Abbott, putting them right.

  58. further reading there might reveal that I believe I’ve got a workable policy

    So put a link to it then. I’ve just reread your bile there, and I see nothing that resembles anything but sniping and trolling. Business as usual for the dirtman cut’n’run

  59. Scaper, if Rudd’s solution is a toxic solution, then what is your solution? If one criticises without an alternative to offer then you’re just wasting time..

  60. PNG Prime minister pulling no punches in relation to Abbott. Accusing him of lying about what was said between them..

  61. Accusing him of lying about what was said between them..

    First Indonesia, not PNG. Which other neighbour can tabot get offside with I wonder?

  62. It was Julie Bishop not Abbott who again lied about what was stated in private meetings with the head of a country or senior authorities. She’s earned the rebuke of the Indonesian Ambassador, Foreign Minister and Prime Minister and now the Prime Minister of PNG.

    So we have a leader of a party who wants to be leader of the country but can barely string a sentence together without being rehearsed and coaxed, and when he has to think off the top of his head in a situation either runs away, his predominate choice of action, he brain farts or he freezes.

    And we have the slated future Foreign Minister who verballs the leaders of countries garnering their ire.

    Doesn’t give me any confidence about this lot representing us on the world stage, especially the thought of Abbott speaking to an important world leader in that annoying halting and stammering mannerism whilst flicking his tongue out over his bottom lip reptile like.

  63. At least if we lose the election to the media-mining-IPA party there will be one consolation. The huge, enormous schafenfreude factor from watching them stuff everything up. The economy, foreign relations, industrial relations, asylum seekers – these knuckle-draggers are a disaster waiting to happen.

  64. …and it will all be blamed on the previous Labor government cuppa. You see it happening first hand in the States right now.

    O’Farrell, who before the election promised he would not engage in a blame game and would take full responsibility for any failures, is not only not taking any responsibility whilst engaging in a full “blame the previous government for everything whilst claiming their successes as yours,” he’s not taking any responsibility for his ministers stuffing up, something he promised he would never do if in government as he would be fully and openly accountable.

    Newman is even worse with the other state Liberals not far behind.

    So yes an Abbott government will in all likelihood be a monumental fuck up but you won’t hear much about it from the MSM, who will cover up for him and his government, the ABC will become Fox News and the NBN will be handed to Murdoch for his propaganda tool.

    They will do what they always do, slash and burn to the bone, marginalise those least able to defend themselves, punish workers at the behest of big business, hand out huge largesses to the wealthy, allow infrastructure to crumble, spend billions of public money on self aggrandisement, lie and deceive, etc. until the connection between how good they say things are under them and the reality becomes so great the people turf them out.

  65. Further to scapers NBN sledge he has refused to engage in since publishing the ridiculous claims, Albo also launches into them for the FUD they so obviously are.

    Communications Minister Anthony Albanese has rubbished speculation that constructing the national broadband network could cost 20 per cent to 40 per cent more than originally estimated.

    He said unsourced reports, published in The Australian on Wednesday, from construction companies saying contractors wanted more money were unsurprising.
    Mr Albanese also dismissed suggestions the final cost would increase because of claims 30 per cent or so of capital spending had been allocated but only 2 per cent of premises have been connected.

    I couldn’t believe that such a silly statement could be made about infrastructure. What happens with an infrastructure project such as this, is of course the spend establishing the project is higher at the start.”


    Note the bolded section. Unfortunately, stupid remarks like that made by the oo yesterday, and dutifully regurgitated by it’s gormless minions like scaper, are made almost daily, so it is highly believable ‘that such a silly statement could be made about infrastructure.” in this media environment.

  66. Min, please point me to where at this place, anyone has put up anything that resembles an alternate policy on this issue. The following needs to be achieved in order to formulate a policy that is humane.

    1: Identify perceived objections in the community.

    2: Determine how the perceived negative can be converted into a positive by utilisation of inclusion in constructive policy development.

    3: Identify possible consequences and ensure they are addressed.

    4: Determine a transfer and resettlement strategy that in the long term, will be an asset to the community, GDP and hence budget positive.

    5: Be consultative with the community to commence a national discussion with the view of gaining acceptance.

    6: Legislate outlining timelines, costings and ensure full transparency by a reporting regime removed from government.

    I believe no side has fully worked through the first point in full apart from gaining political mileage.

    Yep, I believe I have a workable policy that is incorporated into other policy but will keep it close to my chest until after the election, then I will lobby through established connections in an attempt to at least create party room discussions. Doubt the success though as too much political blood has been shed to result in consensus any time soon.

  67. Tom, the alleged NBNCo blowout in cost, even if true, is a damn long way short of Mr Turnbull’s 100 billion.

    Would ;love to know of any such big and long term project, whether private or public enterprise has ever come in on or below cost.That type of miracle does not happen.

  68. “Abbott and the Lieberals are a diplomatic incident waiting to happen.”

    Wrong tense, has happened. Managed to put off our two nearest neighbours. Not bad for one not yet in power.

    I seem to recall that they have made waves in Sri Lanka when there as well. Not sure how they get on with Malaysia, but I suspect they have no love for Abbott either.

    This is the Asian century we are in. Cannot afford to put these countries off side, if we want to be in the forefront, and not the poor white trash of the region.

  69. We now have Morrison on. The man who knows all. Like some that come here. Of course, there was no problems under Howard. Not that how I recall the headlines and the thousands in the street. Trying to sound like statesman this morning. Wonder if Morrison is running for the top job. New slogan, Operations Sovereign Borders Something about pulling all agencies together. At least, for the First time, we have some real policy from Abbott. Setting up many new task forces. I thought that Abbott was going to cut government departments. Just played half from earlier this morning, More to come. Target military effort.. Three Star General in control. 15 agencies under one demand structure.

  70. Minister Burke has arrives Manus Island. Rudd saying Mr. Abbott is not able to work with those in the region, to create a regional solution. Cannot work with our neighbors, as well as not wanting Labor’s policies to work.

    Fraser, scathing of present policy. Establish major processing in Indonesia, and take large numbers. Yes, that answer is just to simple.

  71. Min, please point me to where at this place, anyone has put up anything that resembles an alternate policy on this issue.

    Well, I for one, have both supported the Malaysian solution (with reservations) in that it at least initiated dialogue in a meaningful manner with our neighbours in a regional solution. I also have said, numerous times, that I also believe that sending our own boat to take asylum seekers here would be a step forward, as would removing the practice of burning boats.

    You on the other hand, appear happy to sit idly by, attempting to garner political points from the issue, without positing a position.

    There are words for that behaviour. I’ll stick with gutless. Your list above is rendered pointless by your own actions. This one in particular

    5: Be consultative with the community to commence a national discussion with the view of gaining acceptance.

    Which you steadfastly refuse to do yourself. I can just see the likes of bolt, etal participating in such a manner also. It is why the cartoon I linked to above is so appropriate for you.

    The issue isn’t waiting for an election. It is there regardless of our political climate.

  72. Yes, ME, if there is one thing you can count on, it is that the media would cover for them. If they would sell out their professional principles for an Opposition party, how much more degraded would the media standards be if that party became government. I can certainly see their ABC becoming Fox News – it’s almost there now. The complaints on twitter about the Foxification of ABC literally never let up. Day and night people ware complaining. This ABC must be becoming one of the most complained-about public service broadcasters in the English-speaking world, if not the western world as a whole. What a disgrace.

    I’ve been listening to Canada’s CBC Radio in the last few days to see how they do public broadcasting there. It’s quite different. There is not the obsession with politics in news and general chat programming that we’ve seen here in recent years. There aren’t the constant grabs from the opposition (or the government, for that matter) constantly cluttering up news bulletins. The contrast between their ABC and the CBC is quite strong. It’s like the CBC operate behind a spin barrier – partisan propaganda doesn’t seem to get broadcasted like it does on the useless ABC.

    Never fear though. The worse the Old Media get in Australia, the stronger the New Media, of which we at the Cafe are a part – will grow. We know the truth about things – what people have said and done, what has caused which effects. The internet provides the tools, plus the platform, to research and document right wing stuff-ups. And as the disconnect grows between conditions on the ground and the right-wing spin put out by the ABC/MSM/OM people will seek out truth and sanity. When that happens, here we will be, putting out facts, telling the truth the OM will not, cutting through the RW spin, not bending over for the mining/media overlords.

    As the banner at the top says, “We won’t back down”. (I’d credit the line to Tom Petty, but he’s another RWer I hear…)

  73. the alleged NBNCo blowout in cost, even if true, is a damn long way short of Mr Turnbull’s 100 billion.

    FU, you have fallen for the trap. It is not true, it cannot be true, as shown by the fact that major conditions are deliberately ignored in the article. Giving it the ‘gravitas’ you have done is their game. It is a lie, pure and simple, positioned on the front page of an indoctrinator to obfuscate the real issue. The NBN is the best way forward, and fraudband is a waste of tax payers dollars.

  74. scaper, on many occasions, I have said we should go back to the days of Fraser, and how he dealt successfully with the same problem.

    On many occasions, I have suggested we take more from the region. We have done the opposite, taking less.

    Not sure I like Morrison’s new policy, with handing all over to the military

    Then at least have plenty of new slogans.

    Wonder if the military will do better than they did in the territory, during the Intervention. Not too sure what role they had there either.

  75. The media/mining/IPA party is getting caned in “comments” at The Age this morning. Here is a sample.


    They really are just hopeless, and cannot be taken seriously as an alternative government. Three of their top names showing such disrespect for the leadership of another nation, and seemingly not understanding that they have done so.

    How do they expect us, and other countries, to take them seriously if they were to be in government?

    Date and time
    July 25, 2013, 6:45AM


    They’re like children at a dinner party asking:

    “Why does Uncle Joe have hair growing out of his ears”?

    They’ve accused the PNG government of corruption to their faces. I mean, did they think PNG doesn’t have media?

    Date and time
    July 25, 2013, 6:58AM


    Perhaps it’s desperation, as Indonesia has also been slighted by them.. Now that’s diplomacy, insults are the LNP norm, but now they can’t stop themselves.

    Date and time
    July 25, 2013, 7:10AM


    The LNP just simply lack judgement. Who could forget Abbott when in China saying that we would not trade with them unless they were a democracy? What about his attempts to alienate are biggest neighbour in Indonesia.. “telling” them what they supposedly were told in “private”talks even though this was denied by Indonesia? Now he is trying to win friends and influence our PNG neighbours.

    This is also the party that said for us to have a seat on the security council was a waste of money.

    The LNP have no idea and to let this mob loose on the world stage would be immensely damaging to Australia, but they would reek even more damage to our domestic economy by setting us back years. They have no vision, half baked policies and no idea.

    North Coast NSW
    Date and time
    July 25, 2013, 7:12AM


    Yes, they really do need at least another three years in the wilderness with the hope that they will listen and learn to what the Australian public really want.

    A fair go for ALL.

    Date and time
    July 25, 2013, 8:16AM


    Oh dear, another instance of the opposition confecting issues out of thin air. And doing it to the extent of needing to be rebuked by the foreign government they’ve tried to drag into their tawdry domestic games of winning elections by telling lies.

    So far we have Indonesia now PNG – who’s next – Malaysia, Singapore and Chjna? After that, the world!

    Date and time
    July 25, 2013, 8:20AM


    Desperate, inept, incompetent .
    abbot and morrison are responsible for the unedifying and fevered pitch this issue has taken on .
    Both of them have carried on about asylum seekers like seagulls that missed out on chips.
    About the most disgraceful political opportunism seen since the sinister Tampa affair.
    Does the nlp have anything else?

    Date and time
    July 25, 2013, 8:31AM

  76. The opposition are getting feral. I wonder if they think this makes them look ‘tough’ on borders?

    ”I am disappointed with some of the debates put forward by some of the leaders in the opposition in Australia, in particular statements that I am alleged to have made to them which are completely untrue.”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/png-pm-peter-oneill-attacks-tony-abbott-over-untrue-aid-claims-20130725-2qkan.html#ixzz2Y7wKQ1XN

    For a foreign PM to say this about the libs just wonders how low they will go. I fear I cannot even begin to imagine the depths. The sad part, as I have stated before, is the further they go, the further Labor appear happy to follow.

    It also exposes scapers wish list above to be a pipe dream, In this environment, there is no way to have a meaningful national debate on the topic. scaper himself is a prime example of that. All they want is to create chaos where dialogue should be.

  77. CU, I agree with some of your suggestions but believe the focus should be on community acceptance and ensuring that the proposed new Australians are integrated into the community and the economy.

    Comes back to addressing point 1 and 2 in the main.

  78. What goes around comes around Tom. They’re letting go of a lot of chickens. When the chickens come home to roost, watch out Lieberals!

  79. Wonder why the PNG PM would think that Abbott would deal in facts. It would be a first, if they did.

    ….He says no details have been released publicly on the amount of money the Australian Government has committed to in its new deal.

    “There is no indication that we were boasting about the amounts of money that was paid,” he said.
    Video: Peter O’Neill speaks to Liam Cochrane (ABC News)

    “I think those details were politely not discussed and I think it’s unfair on them (Australian politicians) to try and drag us into the debate.

    “We understand the elections are coming around the corner, but please let us debate on facts.” .

    The PNG government has also made its displeasure known through its High Commission in Canberra.


    By the way, Hockey said they would not be apologizing,

  80. Rudd’s reply. Abbott is not capable of working with people in the region to bring about a REGIONAL SOLUTION.

    Are the boats really a national emergency?

    We really need to listen to Fraser. Said he was getting the same advice on centre in the middle of Australia, I feel that the Fraser solution will work, will be cheaper. As Abbott keeps saying, it worked before.

  81. Comes back to addressing point 1 and 2 in the main.

    To which you refuse to engage in point 2 on this site, only sniping at any policy put forward by Labor, and ignoring the contributions from the opposition. And your like is replicated widely throughout the msm, which makes your whole list a nice ideal, but totally unworkable, and, I am beginning to think, just another diversion to not actually discussing the issue, but a plan on how to discuss the discussion. As long as we don’t actually discuss the issue, you feel you have won.

  82. Tom R @ 10:17 am

    Have you read Turnbull’s attack on the NBN that led to his $100 billion blow out claim? It was well and truly ripped apart by several online IT and business sites.

    What the opposition did was take the absolute worse case in every instance at an exaggerated highest projected cost for the NBN whilst not doing the same for their fraudband. Even worse though, in the costing for their fraudband, which only came to $3-4 billion less than the NBN, they left out entire infrastructure and maintenance costs, whilst including these at inflated pricing for NBN.

    For example they will need to build and install at least 10,000 ugly large fridge size service boxes around the country for fraudband. These boxes are complex, expensive and maintenance intensive apart from being an ugly eyesore, but that cost is not in their fraudband pricing.

  83. We need to remember, if we have any decency, it is about stopping boats, NOT people.

    Abbott seems to be about stopping people. He is lowering the numbers we are to take by 7000. He is saying, any, will only get TPV. As none are allow in by boat, he must mean all we take, from everywhere.

    Did work for the Yugoslavian and East Timor crisis, but all other TPV, where turned into permanent visa’s down the track. It is unlike that many that are coming will be able to return tho their countries in the foreseeable future.

    Australia would be better placed, getting money and UNCHR into Malaysia and Indonesia to process and we taking many more than we are now. I do not see why the Defence Force should be involved, in what are civil matters,

    Abbott’s complicated, and I suspect expensive plan, seems to be aimed at turning back the boats. There are many other ways to stop boats coming. People just need hope that if they wait, they will end up settled somewhere. That is not occurring now. Many have been in the camps for over a decade. That is the reality.

    Abbott claims it is an emergency. Is it? They numbers are no where near, they were after the Vietnam war. We took many times the numbers that are coming now.

  84. The only “emergency” wrt to boat arrivals is totally confected, a tool of the liars party and the corporate media, as they fan the flames of xenophobia and racism.

    Unless, and until regional solutions are developed to manage the flow of refugees, millions will die. While parties ignore the “push” factors which create refugees, no “solution” will be found. Our role in the creation of these “push factors” (extraterritorial invasions, AGW) must also be addressed meaningfully if any humane solution is to result.

    The ALP approach at least invites greater engagement with regional nations, while the dill abbott merely further alienates our closest neighbours.

  85. Senator Wong, defending the triple AAA rating from all agencies. It appears that some of the media do not think it means much. Once again pointing out that Robb and Hockey are still talking down the economy.

  86. Facts

    “.Figures show that developing countries accept the vast majority of the world’s refugees, with Australia 47th on the list of host countries in 2009.
    Interactive: Where Australia’s refugees come from
    Interactive: How Australia ranks in asylum seeker applications
    How do you think Australia should treat asylum seekers?

    While the Australian government grapples with a heated asylum seeker debate at home, it has emerged that developing countries are the ones bearing the brunt of the problem, hosting as many as four-fifths of the world’s refugees.

    Of the 10.4 million refugees under UNHCR mandate between 2005 and 2009, the largest numbers were being hosted by Pakistan (1,740,711), Iran (1,070,488), Syria (1,054,466), Germany (593,799), Jordan (450,756), the UNHCR’s ‘2009 Global Trends’ report reveals.

    The five major refugee-hosting countries accounted for almost half (47 per cent) of people deemed refugees by the UNHCR.

    They were followed by Kenya (358,928), Chad (338,495), China (300,989), Vietnam (339,300), Eritrea (209,200) and Serbia (195,600).

    Australia was ranked 47th, hosting 22,548 refugees between 2005 and 2009 (0.2 per cent of the global total)..”



    Many statistics are only released mid year in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Annual Report. The most recent is for 2011/12.

    As of January 31, 2013, about 28 per cent (2178) of the 7875 people in immigration detention were residing in community-based accommodation, and increase from the approximately 20 per cent at June 30 of last year.

    By April 4, 2013, these numbers had fallen to 4,737 people in detention (including 2,399 minors).

    4,319 of the people in detention were irregular maritime arrivals, and of those, 2,778 resided in community accommodation.

    Community detention is available for unaccompanied children and for families deemed by the Department of Immigration ‘vulnerable’ while their asylum claims are assessed.

    Asylum seekers in community detention reside in the community without the need to be escorted, but must report regularly to the Department of Immigration. They do not have the same rights as other Australians, such as the right to study and to work.


    In 2013, as of April 10, there were 75 irregular maritime arrivals (boats) carrying 5031 passengers.

    The number of irregular maritime arrivals in December 2012 and January 2013 were down compared to the preceding 11 months, however they still made up the vast majority of people held in detention.

    As at January 30, 2013, the number of people in immigration detention who arrived by air or boat — at any time — was 7569 and made up about 96 per cent of the immigration detention population.

    Visa overstayers or condition breachers were the next largest group at 305….”


    There is NO natural emergency. We can cope with all that are coming.

  87. One would believe it would be prudent for the Opposition to wait until the 20th August, to see what comes out of the Bali meeting. Maybe there will be a true regional solution emerging.

    I see that Abbott believes the navy will need to interfere in what goes on in Indonesian waters and their thousands of islands.

    I believe that Indonesia is more interested in using their stretched navy, to overseer the illegal fishing in the region, that a few asylum boats.

    At least Abbott notified Indonesia of their new slogans.

  88. According to Abbott, Labor that has been in government for two terms, since 2007, has nothing to do with the triple AA ratings from three agencies. All the credit belongs to Howard, and yes maybe Hawke, and as an after thought, Keating.

    Two terms and six years, during a time when there has been GFC, that the rest of the world is just coming out of.

    Both Abbott and Rudd would like to delete the last three and six years from history.

    It is a shame, that Gillard did conduct a good and productive minority, that last full term. That can never be erased, as much as these two men would like.

  89. And so it goes…the competition of meanness has gone up another notch. When did this all begin, during the Fraser period or the Howard era?

    A small win, the Minister for Small Business will part of cabinet if a coalition government is elected.

  90. So the liars have produced another booklet/comic book full of motherhood statements with little detail and no costings 😯 and they can’t tell us what departments will do what until they get reports from said departments which will be, surprise surprise, after the election 😯

    And they are still lying with every breath. 😯

    BTW, posted “It’s not the refugees that are politically expedient, but the LNP and the greens.” 😀


    Cheers 😀

  91. Have you read Turnbull’s attack on the NBN that led to his $100 billion blow out claim?

    I did ME, and it was an embarrassment. and also a reason why turnbull can never be treated as some sort of ‘lefty’ release for the libs. He sold his soul to push a massive lie on us all. He is just another toady for big business draped within a veneer of pseudo concern for the working people. Reminds me of someone here 😉

  92. you can’t even get to point 1 as evidenced in the last Café Talk thread.

    Since your sole ‘perceived objection’ is everything Labor does is bad, and you then deliberately ignore everything the opposition does, your list doesn’t mean diddly. It is, as I pointed out above, a distraction, for someone too chicken shit to engage in constructive debate. You say you want to, but only after an election, and only after a range of other fairy tale roadblocks put in there.

    You also want to pretend you don’t know when this race to the bottom started. I’ll give you a hint, it had something to do with portraying victims as perpetrators when someone lied about them throwing babies into the water. It has been downhill ever since, and with snipers like your self doing nothing but posting political point scoring pieces on this issue while refusing to address the core problem at all, it isn’t going to change, no matter how many ‘draft formulas for future debate’ are floated.

  93. Further to the NBN and turnbull ME, there is an excellent post up by sortius is a geek. Most is very technical and brutal in its take down of the lies peddled by turnbull, but I did like this quote, which cut to the core of what turnbull is doing.

    As far as Mal’s line: Remember videoconferencing requires 2 mbps.

    I laugh, & I laugh, & I laughed, until I realised he was serious, & then I cried.


  94. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-25/barrie-says-operation-sovereign-borders-will-make/4844368


    Mr. Abbott, in Tasmania, once again on talking down the PNG scheme. Sadly he is succeeding at his task.

    Wonder how many boats would continue, if Abbott came out and said, If I am elected, the PNG solution will remain. Introducing for the second time at least, another army man.

  95. Mr. Fraser, had a bigger problem, and found a solution that did work. By the way, I have no great admiration for Fraser, but in this case, he proved his worth. Took guts at the time, as the white Australia policy was still well and truly entrenched.

    “…Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has called for a royal commission into the immigration department and its management of offshore processing centres, labelling Manus Island and Nauru ‘Australian gulags’.

    ‘It’s quite clear the department is ultimately responsible,’ he told ABC television.

    He said two earlier inquiries into the Immigration Department during the Howard era had failed to find anyone responsible for handling of the asylum seeker policy.

    He said the policies in place to handle the situation were wrong and reflected long-held ideas from the department.

    ‘It’s the kind of policy I would expect the department to recommend. In my time, they recommended fixed detention centres in the middle of Australian deserts so they had that mindset for decades.’

    A major processing centre should be established in Indonesia, in conjunction with the UNHCR, with Australia, the US and Canada to take verified refugees, he said..”


  96. Worth a read.


    Mr. Abbott, reminded us this morning, that Mr. Rudd, back in his early days did take a boat load of AS back to Indonesia. There was a stand off for weeks, if I recall correctly. The outcome was that they would allow the AS off the boat, as long as all came here, down the track.

    Now, I wonder how Abbott could have done that better. The only way I can think of, is he dump; all in the harbour and take OFF.

    After that, there was no more talk of turning boats back.

    Of course one can physically forcibly turn them around, but would Abbott get the outcome he desires.

    Smith on ABC, with Indonesian defence minister, shortly.

    Abbott is not just saying he will consult with a three star general, but that person will be in charge of all the other agencies involved. Also the officer will be responsible to the IM.

  97. Indonesia Defence minister now telling us some home truths on ABC 24. It appears we already have extra close cooperation between us and Indonesia.

    Reminding us there is a special conference in Indonesia August 20.

  98. I see no mention of the UN refugee agency issuing a pretty damning assessment of the Rudd Devil’s Island solution. Just a few shortcomings.

    “These include a lack of national capacity and expertise in processing, and poor physical conditions within open-ended, mandatory and arbitrary detention settings,” the agency said.

    “This can be harmful to the physical and psycho-social wellbeing of transferees, particularly families and children.”

    It said it was troubled by the absence of appropriate protection guarantees for asylum-seekers transferred under the arrangement, and that permanent settlement of refugees in PNG presented major problems.

    “From UNHCR’s first-hand experience in supporting Melanesian and non-Melanesian refugees for nearly 30 years, it is clear that sustainable integration of non-Melanesian refugees in the socio-economic and cultural life of PNG will raise formidable challenges and protection questions,” the statement said.

    It said nations should, as a matter of principle, grant protection to asylum-seekers within their own territory.

    From the hate media!

    And you and others rattle on about Abbott as a diversion from what Rudd is doing. PATHETIC!

  99. Our role in the creation of these “push factors” (extraterritorial invasions, AGW) must also be addressed

    For once i agree with you. Your role was created when you voted for Rudd in 2007. And then the push factors exploded. Please come here for free everything said Rudd and his supporters like you.

  100. I think you lot need to read accurate accounts of what Rudd is really like. A long copy and paste of an article in the hate media in July, 2010. Nothing has changed. Unhinged?

    The opposition did not bring down Kevin Rudd, nor the Labor Party’s factions. The answer lies within the man’s complex personality

    WHEN a light aircraft carrying 13 people, including nine Australians, went missing deep in the treacherous Owen Stanley Range on its way to the Kokoda Track last August, our High Commission in Papua New Guinea knew exactly what to do.

    Staff, including a large military deployment, swung into action on the ground. An operations room was set up in Canberra to co-ordinate with the families.

    In question time, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said everything was being done to locate the Twin Otter turbo-prop.

    But no one had reckoned on Kevin Rudd. As the day wore on, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade began hearing that ships and planes were being redeployed around the region.

    Without their knowledge, the prime minister had launched one of the nation’s biggest overseas search-and-rescue efforts.

    HMAS Success, with a Sea King helicopter aboard, two Black Hawks, a Caribou short take-off and landing plane and a search and rescue aircraft from the Australian Maritime Authority had been called in, even though the advice from PNG was that there were unlikely to be survivors.

    Around midnight, Rudd called senior DFAT and military brass to the Lodge. The Prime Minister was in shirtsleeves, standing over topographical maps of the Owen Stanley Range.

    Rudd had famously walked the Kokoda Track a few years before. Now he was planning the routes for the rescuers. It was, says one source, an extraordinary example of his micromanagement.

    And of Rudd’s belief that he was the smartest guy in the room.

    On the evening of June 2 this year, the Labor Prime Minister was at it again. This time, he was holding court in his Parliament House suite to a handful of the country’s top miners over drinks. It was at the height of the furore over the new mining tax and Rudd had been advised to extend the hand of friendship to guests such as BHP Billiton chief Marius Kloppers, Minerals and Metals Group boss, Andrew Michelmore, Xstrata Coal’s Peter Freyberg.

    The cream of business, arguably with the future of the nation’s economy in their hands, they were ripe for some charm from the PM. Instead Rudd began skiting about his international credentials.

    ” I am,” he announced to this startled group of senior executives of global business “the most globally recognised person here.”

    Perhaps he meant it as a joke, but there had been too many cases of inappropriate remarks, too many indications that Rudd’s personality was getting in the way of his — and Labor’s — credibility and success. A few weeks later, he was gone but we will never understand exactly why till we better understand the temperament of the man we called Kevin07.

    THIS week, as Kevin Rudd flew back to Brisbane to start the post-Lodge chapter of his life, everyone had a story to tell about our 26th prime minister.

    Some were charming, some perplexing, some damning in their portrait of a man who, until a few days ago, wielded the kind of power which silences critics. Now, with Rudd’s departure, there are many people no longer concerned about holding back. The Kokoda incident, for example, was first told to one of our reporters at the time. Only now, however, has permission been given to publish it. There are many more stories about a man who, despite his television and Twitter celebrity, remains something of a mystery.

    For the past few years, he has dominated the national political conversation: swarmed by schoolgirls, the poster boy of social networking, the avuncular visitor to nursing homes, cobber-in-chief on the ground with our troops in Afghanistan, the compassionate leader apologising to indigenous Australians.

    Millions of words have been written about him, yet this complex and contradictory Queenslander has confounded us at times, no more so than now, with his rapid departure.

    How could a man so bright, so driven, so positioned for achievement and success come undone so badly and, for some, so suddenly?

    THE British statesman, David Owen argues in his book, In Sickness and in Power, that many great political leaders have suffered from hubris, something Owen believes should be redefined as a medical condition.

    In ancient Greece, he writes, a hubristic act was one in which a “powerful figure, puffed up with overweening pride and self-confidence, treated others with insolence and contempt”. It’s not difficult to see Rudd in these words, easy to charge him with narcissism, defined as a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy or other glib labels of human behaviour.

    Easy, because Rudd, despite his chirpy Kevin 07 image, has always had a pretty bad press from those who have known him up close. In David Marr’s Quarterly Essay on Rudd he writes that at the Australian National University in the late 1970s, “fellow students remember him as ‘painfully correct, a bit of a sociopath’ “.

    Years ago, even former Queensland premier Wayne Goss, who was a supporter of his former Cabinet Office chief said: “Kevin has worked hard at becoming normal. He’s come close but I don’t think he’ll ever quite get there.” Many who worked with him in Queensland openly loathe him.

    Voters, seeing Rudd through the prism of television and social media, have known for a long time that he has a temper (over his dinner on a RAAF flight); that he is a control freak (keeping public servants at their desk 24/7); that he was inaccessible (one cabinet minister could not get a meeting with him for two years); and that he is chaotic (his office was so disorganised, people held back the business of state until he went overseas so they could deal instead with Julia Gillard as acting PM). Bad boy Kevin.

    Yet these details of his behaviour miss the personality flaws that may in the end better explain why Rudd lost support across the key constituencies of his party, the public service, the electorate and business.

    For these, look to Rudd’s awkwardness in public situations: his robotic hand gestures, his clumsy friendliness, his shameless resort to slang.

    Rudd is an emotional man; he showed that the day he was defeated for the Labor leadership by Gillard.

    He is emotionally resilient. Biographers and profile writers cite his capacity to absorb disappointment throughout his life.

    But there is evidence to suggest that while he is good at macro-empathy — such as the apology — he lacks the emotional intelligence, the interpersonal skills that help us connect with others. Rudd has IQ in spades, but he has had to work hard on his EQ, his emotional intelligence. Many would suggest that is still a work in progress.

    Does it matter? Personality and warmth are no substitutes for good policy and astute politics, but there is strong evidence that personality is at the centre of the story of Rudd’s ousting from the Labor leadership, that there is indeed something in Tony Abbott’s implied comment that Rudd lost his job because he is not as “together” as Gillard.

    For a while, the electorate brushed aside “Ruddisms” as endearing rather than eccentric. But in Canberra, the PM’s personality became an issue over his ability to manage staff, manage his time and negotiate with interest groups.

    The former prime minister is not the first politician to work on his identity and polish his image, but his makeover has been deep and long-lasting.

    The bookish boy who grew up in hard circumstances in Queensland, on the outer at times with his peers and missing a father who died when he was 11, has always worked to construct himself. Knitting Kevin became his life’s work. A colleague from the Queensland years told Marr that Rudd “taught himself to be a formidable bureaucrat” even though he lacked the feel for public policy and politics. A Canberra insider says: “[Rudd] sat down and asked people: ‘What do I have to do to become prime minister?’

    “He approached the whole prime ministership and the getting of it like a graduate of the Department of Foreign Affairs planned it all, mud-mapped it, workshopped it.”

    By the time he was fighting the 2007 election, he was Kevin07. Until now, that identity was seen as a clever marketing persona for the election. A professional construct. Almost three years on, the question is whether Kevin07 was part of an extended coping mechanism for a boy who found life hard to navigate?

    ONE of the paradoxes of Rudd is that he could look so democratic on the net or on Rove, even when miming a sports nut at the cricket or football, yet his reputation in Canberra these past couple of years has been as a little Napoleon.

    Indeed, it is hard to escape the feeling that he saw the machinery of state being there to serve him, whether it was his security detail or the RAAF.

    Many of those around him were prepared to sleep in their suits in an emergency but they began to wonder if the dramas and late nights and short notice were based on whim or necessity.

    A busy prime minister must fit in his physical exercise when he can. But did that really justify Rudd calling a security detail back to the Lodge at 2am?

    Rudd’s alleged poor behaviour on VIP jets has been documented. There was a temper meltdown about the lack of a special meal and two-day old newspapers on a flight from Port Moresby in January last year. The PM apologised to an RAAF flight attendant for his behaviour. But sources say it was not an isolated incident.

    On other occasions, Rudd’s whims and wishes could cause havoc with flight plans and staffing schedules. Last December, on a fraught return flight from Washington (with delays in DC and Hawaii due to mechanical faults on the RAAF’s Boeing 737 jet) the former PM kept changing his mind about his final destination: from Brisbane, to Sydney and then ultimately Canberra.

    Public servants faced similar frustrations. They didn’t mind working hard and long; they had done that under John Howard. What was depressing was that they were so often asked to work to no end, pumping out material under pressure which would never be read. His office was renowned for the build-up of paperwork but so often Rudd was the problem; his short attention span meant that he could manage to make a video for the internet but could not manage his intray.

    Staff used to schedule him to be out of the office as much as possible so that others could attack the paper mountain. Scott Prasser, former senior Queensland public servant, says that Rudd “doesn’t know what it is like to form a project team, get it together, get the resources, go out there and talk to interest groups like the rest of us have to do when you’re running a policy”. He says Rudd’s people were “delusional” about the impact they thought they were having on policy.

    One senior bureaucrat said public servants would hold on to briefs that needed the PM’s signature until Rudd was overseas: “Rudd was so determined to handle everything himself that his office became a giant black hole, nothing ever seemed to emerge from it. We’d wait weeks for answers without getting them. It was completely different when Gillard was running the country. Despite her additional workload we would get very quick and well-considered answers.”

    Over the term, many senior bureaucrats had been personally humiliated by Rudd but instead of blaming him, they often questioned their own competence.

    Others were simply kept at a distant. Rudd could be aloof to junior staff seconded to his office.

    According to one senior government figure, he did not even know the name of a young adviser with whom he often dealt on policy matters. To many of these people, Marr’s Quarterly Essay was a circuit-breaker. It gave them permission to share their stories with others, and they did.

    In its own way, the story told by Marr of an angry, controlling leader proved cathartic to Canberra’s administering class and in time could be seen as a shape-shifter when it came to national perceptions of the PM.

    Rudd often put his colleagues and the party offside. Colleagues were dismayed with the treatment of Kim Beazley when he was appointed ambassador to the US last September. Rudd announced the appointment of Beazley on the same day he announced the appointment of Brendan Nelson as Australia’s next ambassador to the European Communities, as Australia’s representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as Australia’s special representative to the World Health Organisation and as Australia’s ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg.

    Labor insiders believe Rudd deliberately denied Beazley, the Labor leader he vanquished, a day in the spotlight as he realised one of his lifelong ambitions.

    The prime minister was a loner, far from consultative and keen to centralise power in his office. He appeared to have no mates in politics.

    One veteran who has known Rudd since his days in Foreign Affairs says: “There are only two sources he goes to for advice: God and the cat.” Cabinet was often out of the loop, on big issues and small. When Rudd announced the appointment of former National Party leader and deputy prime minister Tim Fischer as the ambassador to the Vatican, cabinet greeted the decision with stony silence. Only Foreign Minister Stephen Smith knew in advance about the appointment.

    A well-placed Canberra insider said ministerial calls to the PM’s mobile phone were always diverted to staffers, generally a gofer. From the time he became opposition leader in 2006, virtually none of his senior colleagues had a direct line.

    They got in touch by sending a text. The story has often been told how Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was forced to get on the same plane as Rudd to give him a detailed briefing on the national broadband network.

    Now we learn that booking a flight with the PM to get face-time was almost standard operating procedure. One Rudd staffer joined the boss on a flight to the Middle East, en route to Afghanistan, to brief the PM. The staffer then flew straight back to Sydney.

    Some of those who had worked with him in Queensland were not surprised.

    They paint a picture of a man who, in his dealings with the press, for example, sometimes lacked the gravitas needed for the role. One person who came in for a tongue lashing remembers Rudd as fragile, shrill and brittle.

    Another senior business person says: “Rudd was basically a smart person in policy terms, very high opinion of himself, tough when dealing with people, not good at dealing nicely with people.

    “And lots of people thought when he became leader he had a glass jaw.

    “He wouldn’t take kindly to criticism because he had this very strong self-image. I don’t think he’s actually changed. People that knew him thought that Kevin07 was the aberration rather than the reality. The reality was the PM who turned up and wanted to be a control freak, who thought he knew everything.”

    Rudd’s skewed understanding of process meant he could shut out someone who was trying to get his ear about significant policy while being immensely accessible to others. The editor of the Mackay Daily Mercury, David Fisher, has run a critical line on the emissions trading scheme and the mining tax. As the only paper in the crucial marginal seat of Dawson, Rudd needed to win him over.

    The two met several times when the Prime Minister visited the region and Fisher found Rudd “interested and wanting to know what was wanted in the region . . . I liked that you could speak directly to him, not through a paper exchange or reports or bureaucrats, but actually to the PM”.

    Early in his term, Rudd exploited this notion of the direct line, bypassing the bureaucracy when he set up the 20/20 ideas summit in Canberra in early 2008.

    As hundreds of Australians great and small invaded Parliament House for a weekend talk fest, Rudd was relaxed: luvvies such as Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman couldn’t get enough of him back then.

    Yet Rudd’s famous visit to Blanchett in hospital after the birth of her third child rather than attend the funeral of Labor stalwart John Button got him into trouble, revealing he could not read the situation or prioritise his responsibilities.

    At the same time he showed enormous compassion to the family of The Australian’s columnist Matt Price after his death in 2007, dropping in to see how they were whenever he was in Perth, but without publicity.

    IT’S November 2009 and Rudd has taken a quick detour to Afghanistan on his way to India. On the ground with the troops he’s a top bloke, announcing he wants to “have a yack with youse all”. Why does he do this, retreat to language that is out of date, embarrassing and underlines his insecurity? Anyone who knew him from the Goss era vouches for the fact that while he may have relished four-letter words, he was a world away from strine, although there is some evidence that he began collecting ockerisms back then.

    Performances like Afghanistan tested public trust. Where was the authentic Kevin?

    Attorney-General Robert McClelland said last week that while the former PM was a “particularly decent man” leaders “have to ensure they don’t camouflage their personality and indeed their person”.

    So often the PM seemed to be imitating the populist politician, changing his demeanour according to the forum. On the ABC he was a wonk, on 2GB he was the “the bloke in charge” liberally peppering his conversation with “mate”. He made adapting to different audiences an art form.

    What is surprising is how he often misread situations where he should have felt comfortable. In April 2008, at the height of his power and popularity, he gave an address to the Sydney Institute annual dinner that completely misjudged his audience.

    Many of those there groaned inwardly as Rudd failed to read the occasion or recognise the sheer power in the room.

    There was great goodwill that night to a PM with an agenda at the start of his term.

    The PM delivered a bureaucrat’s tutorial on policy. It was as if he could not help himself as he did an “information dump” on the hundreds of people in the Star City ballroom.

    They had to listen, right? And he was the smartest person in the room, right? The nation’s elite has come to be dazzled. They left disappointed at the discovery that Kevin07 was turning out to be an apparatchik with mediocre delivery. It was a similar story on October 30, 2008, when the prime minister addressed the 25th anniversary dinner of the Business Council of Australia.

    Labor had had a patchy history with the BCA, which had been estabolished in the Hawke era as a moderate business voice designed to help the structural reforms of the 1980s.

    By the time Labor had won back power from John Howard, its relationship with the BCA has been seriously poisoned by the dismissive approach taken by Mark Latham when leader.

    Expectations were high that Rudd would heal the wounds that night in 2008. Instead he gave the country’s top company chief executives an Economics 101 lecture about the global financial crisis which was then unfolding.

    The murmurs of disappointment mounted steadily as the PM droned on. Some chief executives were not so surprised.

    As Opposition Leader in 2007, Rudd had courted the big end of town, and had been hosted at several boardroom lunches at investment banks such as UBS, Macquarie and Deutsche Bank. There was interest and curiosity on both sides, and Rudd was well received during what amounted to a roadshow across Sydney and Melbourne.

    But the moment Labor was elected, business found itself on the outer, cold shouldered by a prime minister who had once pursued them. Says one senior executive: “I think it was almost like he was simply acting. You’d go down to the Lodge and he’d do the big introductions but you never really thought that it was really him. That it was the real Kevin. I remember hosting lunches for him with our major corporate clients before he became PM and he was far more engaging and importantly he seemed to listen.

    “As soon as he was elected it was like he shed that diplomatic persona and agenda. His arrogance in dealing with the financial and business community then became extreme.”

    One big-four bank chairman says: “He was always quite dismissive in our discussions.

    “The language was peppered with glib, off-the-cuff remarks. There was no sense of engagement and deep consideration for our perspectives.”

    Others say that while Rudd never yelled or became visibly angry in encounters, his displeasure was pretty obvious. Often business people found themselves being lectured by the PM who had a tendency to suck all the oxygen out of the room, ruining any real exchange of views. One chief executive goes as far as saying: “I think he suffered a complete lack of empathy. It was almost like he had a form of Aspergers or autism.”

    On the night of Tuesday June 22, just 24 hours before Rudd conceded defeat and agreed to a leadership spill, the prime minister and several of his senior cabinet attended a dinner organised by business people with about 40 guests in one of the senate dining rooms in Parliament House. It was an extraordinary night. Rudd “blew his stack”, according to one guest, telling the audience that he had “gone out on a limb for you guys”. Another recalls: “The address was awful. It was kind of, you don’t love me any more, I did all these things for you, and I’m angry about it. It was typical Kevin. It was a reiteration of all the things he’d done. It was tinged with a tone of, you don’t appreciate what I’ve done.”

    Australia’s most senior business people were appalled. Embarrassed for a prime minister under such obvious stress, they switched off. One of those present wondered if this was indeed his “last supper”

    Two days later, Rudd was gone.

    KEVIN Rudd, like many people, has many faces and it was calm Kevin who was able to so successfully navigate shows like Sunrise and Rove! even courageously appearing alongside unpredictable satirist Sacha Baron Cohen.

    He was far from obvious TV talent yet tapped into a cultural swing to dorks and nerds to great effect. But it was panicky Kevin who fronted the young and the restless on ABC TV’s Q & A at a special youth forum in Old Parliament House in February. As he chewed out a young woman who had challenged him you could almost hear the wave of disappointment among the under-25s across the country. Not cool, dude.

    It was the moment when the tide seemed to turn against Rudd and the prime minister became increasingly strained and tetchy in public. Some of those who saw him up close during his years on Sunrise, where he debated now opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey each week, saw similar poor behaviour.

    The appearances turned him from a Queensland nonentity to a national figure able to bid for the Labor leadership but behind the scenes, Rudd was competitive to the point of being mean-spirited, determined to win every point.

    Often minutes after being on the screen, his public political game face would vanish and he would return to personal attacks. Once, as shadow foreign minister and in the earshot of many, he finished an interview and then called rival Alexander Downer a c . . t.

    Rudd’s focus on appearances was highlighted by his weekly picture opportunity outside St John’s Anglican Church in the Canberra suburb of Reid. He made a point of welcoming the media to photograph him leaving church, assigning a press secretary to wait outside with journalists and have them set up their cameras in a way that would ensure the church was in the background.

    Herald Sun editorial executives got a different side of Rudd recently during a private dinner at the upmarket Nobu restaurant in Melbourne. The PM had spent most of the day in difficult negotiations with recalcitrant Victorian premier John Brumby over health reform but things went well in the private dining room until Rudd was shown the next morning’s front page on a BlackBerry.

    It revealed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s pledge to shut the border to asylum-seekers, with the government’s health policy relegated to the inside pages.

    For more than 10 minutes, Rudd let fly, swearing and thumping the table as he attacked the news judgment. Rudd was often angry at the coverage his government received in The Australian, and as Phillip Adams reveals in The Weekend Australian Magazine today, he wanted Adams involved.

    Says Adams: “He once rang me a dozen times in one day and it turned out he wanted me to leave The Australian because he was so pissed. He wanted me to leave in a storm of protest.”

    But Adams found Rudd “funny, engaging” and very good company even if ” tenacious” in his ambitions in the early part of his political career. “In the many, many hours of discussion I never, ever found him anything other than cordial and bright and conversational and chatty,” he says.

    LIKE all prime ministers, Rudd needed to find the centre ground. He tried very hard but the same lack of intuition for personal exchanges tripped him up in policy and political terms. He railed against people-smugglers as “the absolute scum of the earth” while arguing he was “compassionate” toward refugees; but splitting the difference in his public rhetoric just confused the electorate. In the end the issues that undermined his authority did not take money off the kitchen table.

    It was asylum-seekers, climate change and the taxation of mining profits which, in deadly political sequence from last October to this June that outfoxed him.

    At first, the polls held as the government negotiated with the asylum-seekers rescued by the Oceanic Viking last October. Voters looked to Kevin07 to solve the problem. Kevin07 looked to the polls to tell him whether to move to the Right, or keep Labor’s policy where it was, a little to the Left of where the former Howard government had it.

    It didn’t work. Not for the first time, Labor’s private polling would tell Rudd that doing nothing was the worst option. On April 9, the government suspended processing of asylum-seeker claims from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. It was another non-decision.

    At this point he was still relatively well-liked by the public, and had reassured his colleagues by his performance in the health debate with Abbott.

    But the doubts in the public mind returned on April 27, when the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that Labor would shelve its plans for an emissions trading scheme. Rudd blithely confirmed the report, then ducked off to another media stunt. Labor’s vote went into freefall.

    Now voters were telling Labor pollsters they no longer knew what Rudd stood for. His colleagues had realised early on that he was a ditherer with a short attention span. Now that message was getting through to voters.

    The public hyperbole over his climate change plan jarred with the concessions he had allowed. At times the prime minister seemed to be negotiating against himself, dreaming up concessions that hadn’t been sought, to appease lobby groups that hadn’t gone to war with the government.

    The war would come much later, after the poll slide, when the proposal for a resource super profits tax pitted Rudd against the nation’s global mining giants.

    The RSPT was toxic for Rudd, not because voters were worried about another tax, but because of the prime minister’s shrill tone.

    The irony of Rudd’s term is not that the polls turned against him when he made decisions. The government applied means tests to handouts such as the baby bonus in its first budget and to the private health insurance rebate in its second budget but Labor remained outrageously popular. Voters soured when Rudd sat on his hands. By the time the fight broke out with the miners, the private Rudd, the ditherer and the bully, has meshed with the public.

    WAS Kevin Rudd simply out of his depth? Leading the country is a tough job and not everyone is up to it. Even Paul Keating, a man of great talent who was a brilliant treasurer, seemed to curl up in a ball and retreat to Mahler when he found himself under pressure as prime minister, according to aide Don Watson’s memoirs.

    Rudd was a formidable campaigner in 2007 yet the man who could learn Mandarin and who had an extraordinary memory for detail could not seem to master the procedural skills needed to be keep his government on track.

    That, after all, is what lies at the core of last week’s coup. The perception in the electorate the government was no longer functioning smoothly encouraged his colleagues to move against him.

    When Rudd became Opposition Leader in December 2006, it was with the promise of being a different sort of politician, a non-politician who was above the dirty deals and cynicism, indeed the very opposite of the professionals.

    Yet he leaves with the labels of amateur, the apprentice prime minister who in the end could not survive. His policy problems arose not from ideology but from chaotic process, a lack of intuition and an inflexibility which, in turn, were a reflection of Rudd’s personality.

    Similarly, his demise was not caused by external circumstances: the only significant external shock, the global financial crisis, strengthened his incumbency. He was not brought down by a battle over ideology within the party, even if he tried to apply that spin at his press conference the night before he stepped down. Despite Howard congratulating Abbott for Rudd’s scalp, the leader was not destroyed by the opposition. Abbott cracked Rudd but it is hard to escape the feeling it was Rudd’s personality that prevented him withstanding the assault.

    In February, as things were falling apart for the PM, David Koch told him on Sunrise “We get lots of viewers saying ‘we preferred the Sunrise Kevin Rudd than the prime minister Kevin Rudd’.” “I am who I am,” Rudd replied. “And people will like it, they will loathe it, that’s part of the political process. But I can always lift my game.” Too late, for now.

    * Helen Trinca, Brett Clegg, Tom Dusevic, Geoff Elliott, Richard Gluyas, Annabel Hepworth, Christian Kerr, Glenda Korporaal, George Megalogenis, Michael McKenna

  101. scaper, you have indeed been a busy boy. Only glanced through, see little that is new.

    scaper, of you bothered to read and comprehend what most write here.

    Not many see Rudd through rose coloured glasses.

    Many of us only tolerate him. Yes, he is the leader, PM, put there by his caucus.

    As bad as you and other might portray Rudd, believe me, he will never be as
    bad as Abbott.

    Many of those old stories, were found to be false.

    I cannot recall one thing written about Abbott, that has been found to not be true.

    Yes Rudd has many negatives, but he also has many positives.

  102. scaper, go and grow up. I do not have to prove a thing. You put the comments up, you prove they are true. Where did you find the article? Do not believe they are yours.

    Most of them add up to nothing anyway.

    I would rather ask Abbott, why he is avoiding the Charter of electoral honesty, that Costello introduced. That is about present concerns. I would say, Hockey is scared stiff that the economic numbers are going to be better.

  103. Wonder what the names were there for. Where is the link. Who in the hell are they. Not that interested in gossip anyway.

  104. No, why would I be in denial. Just accepting reality.

    Now if I seen Abbott as an option, that would indeed be denial. There would be no other explanation.

  105. scaper, once again you have not read what has been written. I have no live for Rudd. Just saying, he is nowhere as bad an option as Abbott.

  106. From my end it suggests you’re too thick to do simple tasks yourself, so need the assistance of a teen to help you 😛

  107. Soxy, you do realise that it was agreed here to not bring family members into the discussion? Bad form on your behalf. You have crossed the line on at least six occasions.

    Sure, critique me but don’t use my daughter as a prop as it looks creepy.

  108. It is clear that Australia is letting the developing Countries carry the heavy load of looking after Refugees! Thanks for that article, Fed Up! It makes it all so clear!

  109. Dear Scaper,i hope your next work of fiction is a best seller because this one is a dud,and should’nt you be sending your manuscripts to a publisher? i hear there is a good publishing company in Melbourne called News Limited,they might accept your manuscript. Good luck.””

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