One for old time’s sake


June 6th, 2010. The day Café Whispers opened.

June 6th, 2014. The day we closed.

So why this ‘anniversary’ post?

Well even a year after closing our doors we still have up to 3,000 visitors a month dropping into the Café, maybe hopeful that the doors have re-opened. And we still receive email (via The AIMN) from people (many we don’t even know) who tell us they were disappointed we closed.

It just seemed fair to give those dedicated daily visitors a chance to simply get together again.

So what’s been happening over the last twelve months?

I guess that’s rather easy to answer: You just have to look at the mess this country is in, who is to blame, and what we’re trying to do about it.

On the latter Carol and I have been kept more than busy over at The Australian Independent Media Network – mainly as overworked admins, not as a writers – where all the team is committed to holding the Abbott ‘government’ to account. The expectations we had here at the Café for the worst opposition leader in history have been exceeded beyond anything we could have imagined. Tony Abbott has quickly filled the role of being the worst prime minister in the worst government at the worst possible time.

He has ignored climate change. Jobs are being lost. Services are being eroded. Retirement savings are disintegrating. The poor are being used as scapegoats to the advantage of the wealthy. Refugees are (still) being dehumanised and (still) made to suffer for political gain. Our freedoms are being eroded. And much of this is unfolding under the stunned gaze of a seemingly compliant opposition.

Whilst – as stated – we are committed to holding the government to account, we are equally committed to holding the opposition to account as well. For in many areas they have been equally disappointing. And again like the government, at the worst possible time.

It has been a disappointing twelve months in Australian politics (though not without sensationalism) and for those with an interest in the environment, the future, social justice, science, education etc, it has also been a disappointing year for Australia.

The next twelve months don’t look any brighter either.

Pity that.

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that in the coming months Tony Abbott will call an early election. From that moment on we can expect with complete certainty that the Murdoch media will go feral on Labor whilst hoisting Abbott and his government on a pedestal he/they are certainly unworthy of. It will be ugly. You can add the Murdoch media to the list of those we in the social media attempt to hold to account!

One thing that has annoyed me personally over the the last year is the mainstream media’s fascination with political wedges. Maybe it’s because the political parties themselves are aiming for nothing else. Repeated scoops such as ‘Shorten goes soft to avoid being wedged’, ‘Abbott drove in the dividing wedge’, or ‘Shorten succeeded in wedging Abbott’ ad nauseum are all we hear. Instead of focusing on wedges and mainstream media commentators, Tony, Bill, how about coming up with something that resembles workable policies and direction for all Australians?

Speaking of the media, the media frenzy that surrounded Tony Abbott’s address to the National Press Club a few days before the expected leadership challenge earlier this year provided the perfect example of how out of touch the mainstream media is with the issues important to voting Australians.

After Mr Abbott’s address he fielded questions from the invited media representatives and one after one they threw questions about the expected challenge. With the rare exception it was apparent that nothing else was worthy of consideration. They were only interested in the challenge.

They then scurried back to their respective offices and penned a story for their dwindling readership about (their) biggest issue in Australia: the challenge (that never eventuated).

They blew the chance to question Mr Abbott on the real issues: the budget, the lies about Labor’s debt, same-sex marriage, the mistreatment of asylum seekers, growing unemployment, climate change and the government’s ignorance to it, unfair subsidies to mining companies, negative gearing etc etc.

Think of any important issue … and it was ignored that day.

And on the main they continue to be ignored (although we can expect them to be twisted around a bit once the election is called).

That day in the Press Club – though now long forgotten by most – stands out to me as no better example of how the media fails us.


But to finish on a lighter note … my New Year’s predictions were that by the end of the year we would have a new prime minister and that Port Adelaide would make the AFL Grand Final. I concede that both my predictions look a bit wobbly.

And now how about a song?

73 comments on “One for old time’s sake

  1. I was sincerely sad to see the demise of the whisperers. It was such a great platform to expose the idiotic and chaotic Rudd/Gillard/Rudd government. The exposure would not have been possible without the mindless happy clappers who inhabited the cafe. Thanks to one and all. As for Gillard we see her sleepers left behind soaking up public funds. Gillian Triggs springs to mind. As I said many times, Abbott flogged Rudd and Gillard at every turn whilst in opposition. He has manfully turned around the many idiotic policies of Gillard and Rudd since becoming PP…as he said he would. Lots more to do yet.
    As an opportunity to progress female leadership in this country Gillard managed to achieve the opposite
    …the next female to stand for the PM role will be confronted by the question
    …but what if we get another Gillard?

  2. Tweed, where do you spread your wisdom now Whispers is inactive? Have not seen you around.

    Have you retired or found a new outlet?

  3. “I was sincerely sad to see the demise of the whisperers”.

    How ironic, because it was people like you who brought about its demise. We just got sick and tired of running a blog where people such as yourself would come in day after day and repeat the same garbage five thousand times.

    Seriously, when I saw your comment I was almost sorry that I had published this post.

  4. What a pleasant surprise addition to the In-box on a Saturday morning.
    Good work MT and great idea to do a post. More would be welcome.
    All the best , don’t let those Canberra -5C during the week get to you.

  5. Thank you, VOYAGER.

    Much has happened in the last twelve months. For one, I retired from the public service and moved from Canberra to rural Victoria. And frankly, I’m happy to have left all that Canberra crap behind me.

  6. Michael, what is sad, we were so right. Trouble is, nothing is better, in fact worse. With the legal paternity coming in behind Triggs so strongly, could Abbott be facing opposition from his own side of the fence, Could it be, Abbott and Co have gone too far.

    Abbott out again this morning threatening leakers. A laugh when he is the biggest leaker himself.

  7. Ahhh Tweed ,tweed, tweed, How facts belie your minds twisted views!!!.Considering current facts and in particularily the reverence shown to Julia Gillard since her departure from office, who do you think(And for FFS try to be objective here for truths sake lol.Cons and truth) History is going to treat kindly and reverently for people to laud in future.?
    Give you a clue….
    From current protagonists,it aint gonna be Howard,saddled with the weapons of mass destruction and it aint gonna be Abbott,saddled with thuggery stupidity and inefficiency.
    Give you another clue…….
    She is the First Female P.M. in Australia.. 🙂

  8. Hello Michael, Nice to see you in This Page Once again, Mr or Mrs Tweed what a sad specimen you are , Very like Abbott “Just bash Labor Blame Labor etc etc ” Here is your Change to Tell us all What your ./ Our Buffoon of a PM has achieved that is worthy of any faint Praise, He Lied and Lied and is still Lying to get his Job and is somehow managing to hang On , This Latest leak from Cabinet disclosing Security Matters all his Ministers have denied doing it BUT I think it was Abbott himself to Highlight that he is TUFF, What a shambles his Prime ministership has Been and still Is I was One of the Over 200,000 Marchers in the streets of Australia First time Marcher Only A Clown like Him would try and Push through such a very Unfair and One sided Budget Are these the same People who told their Local MP’s to get him Out , His ” NO CUTS ” declaration will Remain as a testament to His Character a man with zero credibility Untrustworthy , Meaningless words dripping from His Lying Lips , I have to agree Michael Labor Have been disappointing In their Muted replies , Murdoch press created this Buffoon Murdoch Press will work Overtime to Protect this Buffoon , This Latest leak Stunt was designed to Flush out His Enemys in Cabinet , But they wont challenge ,They are Happy to let Abbott take the credit for all the Stupidity Hoping he will fall over, Sadly that wont Happen He has No shame ,

  9. Hi again for bye again. Good to see Whispers active even for one one post.

    And not good to see nothing has changed with the RWNJs. Their answer to everything is Labor, even when Labor is no longer in power and we have demonstrably the worst government led by the worst PM and serviced by the worst Treasurer in our history, their answer is still Labor to every Liberal failure, malfeasance, cock-up, lie, deceit, gaff, leak, blow up, back flip, deficit, debt, dysfunction, in fighting, leadership challenges and a list that goes on.

  10. I think their thinking process is that a broken clock is correct twice a day whilst trying to distract from the fact their clock is well and truly broken.

  11. Nothing changes for them. Seen another pop up on another site today. N of. Still same script.

  12. Thanks for asking fed up. My partner and I are grey nomads/gypsies cruising the med for the past couple of years. Access to Wifi and 3G restrict my ability to comment but I do comment wherever I see evil. There is still residual evil in our parliament i.e. W. Swan, S. Conroy, the freak show amongst the greens. Have you heard Christine is leaving the Senate to save the world. She hasn’t worked out how or when it with whom. The greens have been reborn as The Normal Greens after the axing of Christine and Adam. Reminiscent of the Real Julia era? I still haven’t seen a green that you would say looks normal. Something in the X Y combos and DNA bits that doesn’t quite come together. Di Natali tells us he is just a regular hobby farmer that grows grapes, makes wine and has olive trees. …. and the rolled Adam B tells us he is excited about the pending arrival of his baby. Too much information I think. Lee Rhiannon and SHY are just are out there in their own personal universe.
    Amongst Gillards sleepers there is evil keeping alive Gillards failed policy. Triggs and Tanya come to mind. Now Bill Shorten would be mighty comfortable with Tanya protecting his back. Now there is déjà vu all over again. I can see Tanya .. I have as much chance if leading Parliamentry labor as I have being Captain of Carlton.
    Tony has had a tough time fixing labor cockups this time around. I think there is sufficient doubt in the electorate about Labor and their green pals to give Tony another term. Hope so.
    Try and put the Cafe back together it was fun and productive. Tony needs it.

  13. Hi Michael
    Good to see another post here, & best wishes for your other work.
    And your new place of abode, country living’s great, ‘aint it?
    Yes, Abbott’s the worst, absolute worst. I frequently think his objective is to demolish the place brick by brick as you say. So that his own, or rather his installers’ Jerusalem of horror can be imposed in its place.
    Under the heading of “I would say that”, please don’t be too hard on Shorten’s Labor. As you say, the media assault WILL come, their snipers already active to take out anything they see above the parapet. Labor has to work with that knowledge.
    And just leaving, it’s interesting that that poster who gives the Northern Rivers district of NSW such a bad name was first out of the blocks. Similar things happen on other sites, PB being a good example where there seems to be a continual monitoring in place, their duty trolls being kicked out of bed to get in first with same old…

    Anyways, best wishes.

  14. G’Day Whisperers….. even you Tweedles *waves*. 🙂
    It is indeed embarrassing to have such a twit as Abbott still ruining this great land….. and it is indeed still funny to see the likes of Tweedles still defending the indefencible 🙄 ( it must be the Med(s) he’s on, ay sthailor 😛 😛 )
    I do hope you and Min are doing well, Migsy….. and I totally agree “… country living is great.” one would have to be crazy to live in an city I reckon 😯 ….. all those hours wasted sitting at traffic lights, all those hours wasted commuting before and after work.. 🙄 (CRAZINESS I tells ya :mrgreen: ) I can drive from one end of town to the other in under 10 minutes…and we only have 4 sets of traffic lights and no rush hours to speak of……. and don’t start me on the ‘standing in line’ routine that ‘City People’ see as a normal part of their day(s). 😆
    Anyhoo cheers *clink*

  15. Just a different time zone Bob. Sucking suds time when I type….hence the eloquence.
    You obviously don’t like Tony but really looking back at the Gillard and Mcteirnan era was clearly the most obscene period of government Australia has ever seen. Even Tanya P couldn’t be worse than Gillard. The billions pissed up against the wall. The trashing of Howard’s Pac solution resulting in a slow graceful upturn right back to Howard’s Pac solution. But hey don’t forget the deaths at sea, 50,000 uninvited CENTRELINK recipients. What a cockup. Anyhoo I no longer participate. Like to be on the other side of the world. Just tooling around the lovely Med. Nice people nice tavernas sensational family wines.

  16. Reblogged this on 1petermcc's Blog and commented:
    An anniversary post from Cafe Whispers. I would like to see it restored seeing as the mainstream media give Tony such an easy ride. Very rare to see him challenged on his crazy maths.

  17. Peter, I’d like to see it restored too.

    LOVO, you’re on. I’ll have your watch Geelong crumble. I mean Violet Crumble.

  18. Yup. Just what TA needs to have front and centre for the coming election. Gaillards Carbon Tax. The union corruption RC will already have the sordid facts of Union Corruption, CFMEU thuggery front and centre……with Shortens droppings all over it.
    Keep it up Michael. You are in the right track…. again.

  19. Gawds I loves ya Tweedles……. you always make me feel good about meself….. thanx………. no really 🙂
    ( …..’droppings’…. *classic* …it’s so ewe..umm..Tweedles…baa 😯 ….bwaahaha 😛 )

  20. The assault has begun, as Abbott planned on Shorten. Need to keep in mind, what is put before TURC are still allegations. Remains so until someone is arrested, charged and convicted before a court.

    From my observations since TURC has been running, much seem more about disputed among union officials. Many of the employers do not appear to beyond having their own agenda.

    What is clear, there has been a ongoing war between CFMEU and AWU for coverage of the sites.

    Evidence put forwarded of so called deals. Many statements that members were ripped off made. There seems to be differing opinions in that regard,

    By the way, I have never been a lover right wing unions, That is not what this is about.

    Making agreements with employer I am sure goes on all the time. Doesn’t follow that members are ripped off. Hard to judge, if the members would have gained more by the agreements.

    This government attack on the union movement is in same boats as their hatred of the Human Rights Commissioner.

    My memories as a young woman. a time when workers were active in taking the boss on, mostly in electrical and metal trades,

    It was clear we were not fighting the immediate boss but their associations. In fact the combined unions used to meet a few hundreds yards away from the employer groups.

    The employers didn’t use Queensberry rules . It was very dirty.

    Yes, it is clear, there were agreements entered in with employers. Not sure anyone is in disagreement there. Whether the agreements were corrupt is another matter.

    We have seen TURC make allegations about witnesses, many referred to the police. Have not noticed any convictions at this time. In fact has any been arrested of charged.

    Many of the allegations were previously aired in Coles RC.

    For Abbott, it matters not what the final outcome is. What we will see, is allegations being aired every day up to the next election.

  21. “Keep it up Michael”.

    Tweed, you forget that one of the reasons I closed the blog was because I was sick of it being a vehicle for people like you to sprout the same rubbish day after day, post after post.

  22. That interview of Abbotts was a shocker. Boasting about wiping a industry out and the jobs that went with it, Whining because the senate wouldn’t allow him to go further. The hatred was heard loud in his voice.

    As was Brandis later in the day for Trigg.

  23. Tweed, why do you pedal myths and misinformation? 🙄 Is it that your just an unthinking apparatchik doing the ‘myrmidon’? :mrgreen: ….. and do you think that the likes of Bolt and Nova are credible ‘thinkers’ in this area? 😆 😆 …or just ‘paid for’ flunky’s of big oil or big coal? 😈
    Here is an link that will inform you better (….. and take the wind out of your sail, sthailor. 😛 )

  24. Bloody scoff’s, tsk tsk…… I guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with the gloat(-ing) 🙂

  25. Michael, just for old time’s sake? Or one for the road?

    Tilting at Windmills!

    Tony as Don Quixote, Knight Errant?
    A nutty nobleman? I don’t think so.
    Mad maybe, but noble? Oh, surely, no!
    With a loyal squire – his offsider, Joe?
    Our Oz Treasurer Hockey as Sancho,
    Pot bellied peasant? Let’s give it a go!

    Tomorrow though.

  26. Abbott has not been successful in his wedging attempts of last week. Seems to be back firing. Good debates in the senate today. Labor found way to say yes, while putting boot into Abbott.
    Even Brandis seems dispirited. Not his normal nasty self.

    Yes, to policy, but big no to the way it is being implemented.

    Both amendments being supported, but with big big concerns.

  27. Chair in Upper house has just said, will get better as day goes on. Better for whom?

  28. Heads are to roll at ABC. Turnbull conducting inquiry. What happen to independence statuary bodies?

  29. Sorry, Michael. Obviously I stayed at the PC too late last night in WA and tomorrow was/is already there/here……….today. Like Florence I’m confused. ! guess we’ll wait to see what idiocy they come up with today so we can comment constructively tomorrow, i.e. Friday.

  30. ……and there’s the thing ..”idiocy on an daily basis’ 🙄 ….. HELP (no, really)….. surely the Australian people…. of which I am one…. Shirley they can discern “dumb down’ from ‘hello’ 😯 …….and yet 😦
    …..and so it goes….or to put it in the words of Pope Franky.. “Wake da Fuck Up”. or something like dat.
    One wonders WOT Bobby Santa-Maria might have made of Pope Franky’s encyclical. One wonders wot “Tones the one time Jesuit whom didn’t play (redacted) with (redacted) and only wrote an character reference because he didn’t (redacted)…. nope, nope, nope….. and so it goes 😦

  31. ‘Tony Abbott’…. writes an character reference for his mate the ‘pederast’ and still is able to hold on to his dual citizen boat personage-ism……… wot an terrible-ism he are….. jest sayin’ 🙂 😉 got’s an two word slogan for Tones…… ” Clathrate Gun”, I thought he might be interested because it’s an weapon of massive destruction. 😦

  32. My New Year’s predictions were that in 2015 Port Adelaide would make the AFL Grand Final and that we’d have a new Prime Minister. I blew the first one, but number two still looks a chance.

  33. I still like to see him linger a little longer. Time for Labor to get the policies out, they are in process of doing. Hitting the spot with some of them, well would be if Abbott was not sucking all the oxygen each day with his latest disaster.

  34. Like the bowl of Petunias said to the very surprised Sperm Whale…. ” Oh no, not again” (with apologies to Douglas Adams) 🙂

  35. Couldn’t help noticing that 1.5 mill ‘hits’ coming up….. not bad for an moth-balled site 😉 Mayhap an party in the cellar is in order….. I’ll bring the crackers n’ dip 🙂

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s