Open Thread

Welcome to the first of the Open Threads.  Here you can post comments on any issue that doesn’t generally fit into topics running at the time.  No limits.

428 comments on “Open Thread

  1. A big thank you to Migs for setting up our new Open Thread.

    I thought that I would start this one off with a tribute to Nancy Wake, the White Mouse who passed away today age 98yrs.

    Ms Wake, known as the White Mouse by the Gestapo because of her ability to evade capture, was Australia’s most decorated servicewoman during World War II as part of the French Resistance.

  2. Wait for this one…from the Rev. Nile..

    NEW South Wales conservative Christian MP Fred Nile says federal Finance Minister Penny Wong is setting a bad example by having a baby with her female partner.

    But most especially….

    “She needn’t have made it public – it just promotes their lesbian lifestyle and trying to make it natural where it’s unnatural.

    Yes indeed, loving relationships are things to be ashamed of and should of course be hidden, away from public viewing lest the sensibilities of ‘normal people’ be offended.

  3. I’m getting the impression,by judging from the crowds in Q&A that the polls published in newspapers are pointing in wrong direction.

  4. I would like to remind the Mr. Nile, when I had my first daughter in 1965, as single mother, the same sentiments ruled in the community.

    should have hid myself, kept my child a secret. What’s more I had no right to keep her. I should have given her away. Maybe she would have had a better life, but I am glad I kept her.

    Thanks for Mr. Whitlam given me access to enough money to live, this attitude dies quickly.

    It was only a short time before the baby homes that had hundreds of babies closed down.

    The churches were the main drivers of this attitude.

    All children need is loving parents and a happy, stable home environment.

    The hell came for my daughter when I decided to marry, thinking as many do that it would be good for her to have a father. Life was not much better for my other three children that followed in this marriage.

    At least they are not labelling the babies with such horrible labels as bastard and much worse. They no longer expel these babies from polite society, denying them a position is society.

    If I did not have my daughter, I would not have my wonderful granddaughter and her miracle baby, among many other blessings that all my children have bought me..

  5. Eddie, I believe you could be correct.. I refuse to believe the Australian public are as stupid AS THE POLLS INDICTATE.

  6. And here is a line that makes me feel like throwing up
    “as his manager suggested in apparent desperation, an essentially good-natured but troubled man meets the woman who can settle him down.”

    Read more:

    Yes apparently the manager of a footballer is suggesting that all that is needed for his alcoholic player is ” a woman”. No personal responsibility is needed just “a woman”. Sounds so Fred Nileish or 1950s thinking.

  7. My bet is that Wilkie might indeed get his wish…

    FEDERAL Independent MP Andrew Wilkie wants former prime minister John Howard to front a “proper inquiry” into Australia’s decision to join the war against Iraq in 2003.

    Mr Wilkie, a former army officer and intelligence analysis, quit the Office of National Assessments (ONA) in March 2003, publicly disputing claims Iraq posed a clear risk through its possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

  8. Min I agree with Wilkie that Howard should front a Committee and fully explain to the Australian Public. It is good that Wilkie has raised this now after all if Howard was found “guilty” of taking Australia to a war based on lies, he should not be able to profit from his memoirs. Hicks and Howard both not able to profit but free to tell their story for free.

  9. Sue, I’ll have to wait and see on the Supreme Court decision on the Hicks one. IF the Supreme Court decides that his plea bargain/conviction/evidence obtained via coercion etc does not hold up via Australian standards, then to my way of thinking, the Commonwealth does not have the right to confiscate his earnings.

    As far as Howard – a public humiliation and to have his ‘legacy’ shown for what it truly is would be very worth seeing. I dread the time that Howard would ever be considered an ‘elder statesman’ whose opinion is worth thruppence.

  10. Min my comments re Hicks were basically from what is being pushed by the right that Hicks could tell his story for free rather then write a book. The fact that our right based media are not interested in broadcasting Hicks side of the story, is supposedly not relevant.
    Howard and Downer facing a government panel as has Tony Blair would be worth watching.

  11. Sue, my feeling is that Kevin Rudd was far too ‘nice’. I am certain had the shoe been on the other foot that Howard would have immediately sought revenge.

    Julia on the other hand is not to be underestimated and I am sure that she has had quite a gutful of media bias giving only Abbott’s opinion on policies and arguments.

    I would say, hang on folks because the 2nd half of this year is going to be very very interesting.

  12. Sky cannot help itself with the rhetoric..policies that Gillard has managed to get through. Managed? You mean successfully negotiated to get through…sigh….

  13. Min once upon a time we had foxtell in our house. Than we cancelled and when asked why we cancelled we truthfully said we could not stand the right wing political bias of sky news.

  14. Min, I think the PM is more annoyed at having words put in her mouth and having what she says twisted.

    The PM also objects to assumptions the making the preamble to the question.

    I have a feeling she could not care less about what they do with Mr. Abbott.

  15. CU, I agree and also think that Julia has been waiting for the arrival of the new Senate which is next week. The PM’s stance in refusing to acknowledge Abbott except when repeatedly pushed to do so by the MSM has been excellent tactics.

    The PM has always been described as one of Parliament’s best performers..odd how the MSM no longer run that line…

  16. …policies that Gillard has managed to get through.

    And wouldn’t that be just about every single policy against a very hostile opposition that has opposed every one of them and not offered ammendments or bipartisanship?

  17. “The PM has always been described as one of Parliament’s best performers..odd how the MSM no longer run that line…”

    Could be because Mr. Abbott and his party are poor performers in parliament.

    Mr. Abbott. Although present, ignores most of question time. He calls for the lifting of standing orders with very few questions that support his actions.

    The majority of the Oppositions questions are disjointed and aim at insulting the government, not eliciting information. The shadow front bench spends most of the time hurling insults and sexist remarks across the chamber. The aim is to disrupt answers by interrupting the minister by calling for the minister to address the question. This generally occurs before the ministers has said half a dozen words.

    There seems to be a contest to see how many can be ejected from the chamber each question time.

    Mr. Abbott whole focus is on when he is going to jump to his feet to lift standing orders. He has to be careful that he times it for full TV coverage and before the PM calls the end to questions. His action is an abuse of parliamentary procedure. No other Opposition Leader has behaved in this manner.

    Often this tactic detracts from the matter of public importance debate that follows question time, which gives the Opposition the chance to debate issues of their own choice.

    The Chair over the break are looking at the question of Mr. Abbott’s action to see if it in order. I hope they outlaw the practice as it detracts from question time. Not that question time is perfect any way.

    If Mr. Abbott and the Opposition’s actions and behaviour during the question time is seen as them being a competent Opposition, god help us.

  18. “…policies that Gillard has managed to get through”

    Funny, no mention of the fact that she has got all through with very little being questioning by the Opposition.

    Funny they do not focus on what she has not got through. I am being sarcastic.

    As I said the Abbott Opposition are poor performers in parliament.

  19. Maybe the Opposition would be better placed demanding that hoodies be banned, instead of worrying about a very small number of women wearing full Moslem dress in this country.

  20. Is democracy about the majority rule. I believe so, but only at normal elections that are called under the constitution every three years. Democracy also means that minorities have a right to be heard and their rights protected. Democracy is not winner take all.

    If a government become unpopular with the majority of the people, should the government call another election because the same people demand it. Is this democracy?

    Is the majority always right. Would this enhance good government or would it lead to instability.

    There are many issues over time that has been unpopular with the electorate but has proven over time the government has been seen to take the correct action. The GST and Land rights are among many that were not accepted at first.

    I believe that governments that has to rely on populism can only fail.


    ……”On July 14 Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition, offered a statement of political principle: ‘In Australia’ he said, ‘the people are sovereign’. He said what he, and many others, think democracy means; that politicians, when deciding on their policies, should be guided by public opinion – their duty, as political officials, is to do what the people want.
    This theory of democracy is called ‘populism’. It is a theory which, in the eyes of its critics, encourages politicians to exploit the ignorance of electors and use public opinion to justify a party agenda, or to run campaigns to sway opinion to their own ends, in each case with little regard for the public interest.
    It gives the media, with its power to influence opinion, a critical role, such that no one is surprised if party leaders and media barons might seek to align the political ambitions of the one with the corporate interests of the other…”

    ….This is a good reason to pause and ask if Abbott’s theory of popular sovereignty is really what democracy means. Most people, for instance, want majority rule but not mob rule – no one wants a ‘tyranny of the majority’. But what is the nature of the difference and what bearing does it have on the duty of legislators who make laws and officials who enforce them?….

    “….We lessen the risk of such mistakes when legislators act on principle – when their policies are supported by reasons they can articulate and defend in terms of community values, and which are supported by the facts. We expect them to seek advice and to test such matters rigorously, not to give up the task and resort to counting heads. We certainly do not want them, when things get difficult, to pass the buck back to us, under a simplistic slogan that the public is ‘sovereign’..”

  21. re hicks: he has not committed a crime, either state or federal, that would allow supreme court to make a decision. he has not been chraged under our laws, and therefore should not have his earnings stolen from him. end of story. i also would like to see a decent probe into children overboard fiasco as well as wilkie’s proposition

  22. I wonder who Mr. Hicks legal team is. That will make all the difference. I imagine he has solicitors lining up as the say is occurring in the refugee case. There are many lawyers who want the enhance their reputations.

    If the team is competent, it may open a can of worms.

  23. Eddie, that one is worth quoting from..

    No I haven’t forgotten the second O. I think that we have moved beyond the idea that greed is good to the belief that only those who are employed in the services sector, own houses, cars and generate (not earn) six-figure incomes are worthy and righteous people. We have created a two-tier society in most of the industrialised countries of the world. The prevailing social maxim is that if you are poor you are worthless.

  24. Was watching 7.30 tonight.What Retirement Villages did the anti CO2 tax rally buses call into for their Rent-a Crowd,on the way to Canberra,lol.

  25. Eddie and RoswelI i must make sure the kids don’t book me into the Village that contains Angry Anderson and all those angry groupies.

  26. It looks like James Murdoch is being recalled. Problem with emails, they are near impossible to get rid of, unlike paper documents that can be shredded.

  27. After yesterday’s Goon Show with regular groupies Ethel, Myrtle, Edna, Bert, Harold, Gordon, Winston and Dasie, Canberra will soon be welcoming Bazza, Dazza, Jezza, Macca, TJ, Stevo, Robbo and Dasie (she gets around) with their painted rigs for another Carbon Tax love-in.

    It’s hilarious. These people are going to drive from all over Australia, spend a fortune in fuel (and not to mention twice dragging Dasie out of the bingo hall) and what’s it going to amount to? Zilch. Nobody but the Goon Show hosts care.

    It’s a pity that nobody in Canberra had the wit to organise gay and lesbian festivals to clash with these shows.

    I used to live in Canberra and from what I remember the Canberrans generally have a good sense of humour (they need it), they hate the Right, and they support same-sex marriage.

    They certainly don’t support carbon tax rallies.

  28. Abbott’s carbon campaign hits a snag

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s anti-carbon tax campaign hit a snag at a Canberra butcher today where a scheduled media conference was abruptly canned.

    It is Mr Abbott’s custom to invite journalists, photographers and camera crews to observe him daily in a Liberal-friendly business, filleting a fish or driving a nail, and today was to be no different.

    But it was far from business as usual. Reporters arrived at The Butcher Shop in Dickson at 10am to find one of Mr Abbott’s staffers blocking their entrance and no sign of the Opposition Leader.

    The picture opportunity had apparently been given the chop. 😀

  29. Former minister Helen Coonan to quit, opening way for Arthur Sinodinos to enter Senate

    HOWARD government minister Helen Coonan is about to announce she is quitting politics, opening the way for NSW Liberal Party president Arthur Sinodinos to replace her in the Senate.

    The Australian Online understands Senator Coonan, 63, plans to make her announcement in the Senate during a speech late tomorrow in which she will reflect on her career as the most senior woman in the former government.

    …..It is understood Ms Coonan, who was a barrister before entering parliament in 2006, will take up a position in the private sector.

    Maybe she hasn’t got enough ‘super’ yet !!
    Or will she join Mr. Downer as a lobbyist..

  30. Phone hacking: News of the World reporter’s letter reveals cover-up

    Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and their former editor Andy Coulson all face embarrassing new allegations of dishonesty and cover-up after the publication of an explosive letter written by the News of the World’s disgraced royal correspondent, Clive Goodman.

    Clive Goodman’s letter to News International

  31. Disability changes to rely on Coalition

    JULIA Gillard will have to rely on the opposition to get tough new restrictions on the disability pension through parliament after the Greens signalled they would oppose the changes.

    One in four applicants for the disability pension is likely to be ineligible under new impairment tables before parliament.

    Greens welfare spokeswoman Rachel Siewert says the changes “are designed to restrict access to disability support, not help people into the workforce” and would force disabled people to survive on just $34 day.

    A spokesman for Senator Siewert said the Greens were “not disposed to support the bill unless the Senate inquiry into the tables can prove the changes will be beneficial”.

    The Greens’ stand means the government will have to rely on the opposition to get the measures through the Senate, where the Greens hold the balance of power.

    Opposition disabilities spokesman Mitch Fifield said yesterday the new impairment tables were “a step forward”.

    It’s ok to let the Big Miners off lightly, but not those who are already behind the eight-ball apparently.

  32. Abbott pie..reminds me of my effort in making a sponge cake..I gave it a decent burial in the backyard.

  33. Pip @6.36pm surprises me not one iota that this is how Twiggy Forest treats his Indigenous employees.

  34. I was standing in the coffee shop a short time ago, waiting for my order, when an attractive (though not stunning lady) struck up a conversation with me. I couldn’t help but notice her glance towards my left hand, no doubt hoping that no wedding band was to my finger embraced.

    Chicks. They love me.

  35. Rosalie Kunoth Monks needs our help.
    Coincidentally, I’ve heard this matter being discussed in the Parliament this morning, and it didn’t sound very promising.


    Email from Amnesty Australia

    Rosalie is an Aboriginal elder living in a small community named Utopia 260 kms from Alice Springs. Utopia is one of more than 500 homeland communities — traditional lands where Aboriginal people have lived for generations. But these homelands are now under threat from government policy that is starving communities like Rosalie’s of funds for essential services that will effectively force people to move to larger towns.
    Imagine being told that your home, the place where your family had lived for generations, would no longer have access to the essential
    services other Australians expect.

    If you think the government should not repeat the mistakes of the past, stand with Rosalie and other Aboriginal Australians who want to remain on their homelands — with their communities, families and way of life intact.
    We know that people living on homelands have much higher life expectancies than those in larger towns. For many people, homelands are the birthplace and anchor of language, culture and identity. Homelands matter, and together we can speak with one voice to defend them.
    Nearly one-third of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory live on homelands, yet they receive just a fraction of government funding for essential services. With proper support, people can live longer, healthier lives on homelands. Add your name to claim a tile on our painting and Amnesty International’s Secretary General will hand-deliver your message of support to the people of Utopia. We’ll also let the government know that you are standing with the homelands communities of the Northern Territory.
    Here at Amnesty International, we stand together to defend human rights, wherever they threatened or neglected. Today, we have the opportunity to stand with our fellow Australians and send the message to the people of Utopia that they are not alone.

    Thank you for taking a stand,

    Sarah Marland
    Indigenous Peoples’ Rights campaign coordinator
    Amnesty International Australia

  36. Not a problem, ladies. I’m used to being ridiculed, especially when I rave on about UFOs and big hairy bipods.

  37. Roswell, one of my favourite X-File scenes ever was the poor little alien sitting huddled amd alone, saying “this is not happening”….

  38. This is a site which may prove interesting…The Power Index

    About The Power Index
    The Power Index has been created to address one simple, yet complex question: who really runs Australia? Who are the people who hold and exert the most power and influence? And how? And why?

    Led by Paul Barry – one of the country’s most respected investigative journalists – our team of reporters and editors in Sydney and Melbourne follow trends in power on a daily basis and will name the most powerful people in Australia across 24 categories, supported by hundreds of deep, thoughtful and entertaining profiles of the people
    who pull the strings.

  39. Pip, your earlier comment about Aboriginal trainees in the Pilbara and that ABC story doesn’t surprise me one bit.

    It confirms for me again how shallow is Twiggy Forrest’s much publicized level of commitment to ‘helping’ his Aboriginal childhood friends. Don’t tell me that FMG can’t afford to provide decent hostel accommodation for people of any racial background training to work in their mines! He could easily do it with a modest donation from his personal wealth.

    The sickening thing about this is the way that Andrew Forrest struts around the country taking credit for creating jobs and helping Aboriginal people. Have a look at this recent Four Corners’ program where he stands up at an Aboriginal community meeting to vote on a royalties issue and says

    Hello everyone. My name’s Andrew Forrest. I’m a local boy up here. I grew up in the Ashburton Country near (inaudible) and I’ve been coming to Roebourne since I was two years old. And I have a really heart for the people here, I have a great love for this country and I do want to do whatever I can to see this community grow and improve with my own efforts.
    And with your own efforts, working together. And my heart is with Aboriginal people, it always has been, it always will be and I’m very prepared to do everything I can to help you.………

    For all his talk of helping and doing so much to create jobs he is unbelievably mean and tricky in the royalty negotiations in that meeting with this and with other Aboriginal communities, seeing generous royalties for mining rights as encouraging the ‘welfare’ and ‘handout’ dependency of the past. Kerry O’Brien tackles him on this and one is left in no doubt that Forrest is a hypocritical, mean spirited and racist bastard.

  40. Australians love the NBN, just ask your local Coalition MP

    Complaints by Coalition Member for Brisbane, Teresa Gambaro, that the National Broadband Network (NBN) should have been rolled out in her electorate is proof that the people of Australia support the Gillard Government’s world class NBN.

    “Grassroots Coalition MPs know their constituents are all desperate to have the super fast broadband being offered by the Gillard Government’s world class National Broadband Network,” Senator Conroy said.

    “That’s why Ms Gambaro has broken ranks with Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, who have pledged to demolish the NBN. She is in touch with the people of her electorate who she knows support the

    NBN and are clamouring to have it.

  41. Four biggest states rebuffed on carbon tax compensation

    THE premiers of the nation’s four biggest states have left Canberra empty-handed and unhappy after failing to receive any concessions from Julia Gillard to ease the burden of her proposed carbon tax.

    The Prime Minister told today’s Council of Australian Governments meeting that the details of her carbon pricing package were final, sparking protests from Victoria, NSW, Western Australia and Queensland.

    The states – three of them held by Liberal premiers – demanded improved compensation packages under the scheme, but were firmly

    The COAG meeting ended late this afternoon with agreements to progress aged care and mental health reforms, and streamline heavy vehicle, rail and maritime safety rules.

    The premiers also endorsed the Gillard government’s view that Australia’s economy is resilient enough to ride out global financial

    Maybe the Premiers should tell that to the Feds.

  42. The shock jocks might rally against a Carbon Tax but imagine how loud they would be shouting if they lived in south africa, where there is a call to tax those who benefited from apartheid.
    Tax rich whites
    “Not only is a wealth tax on white South Africans who earn a minimum amount of money constitutionally valid,” De Vos wrote on his blog, Constitutionally Speaking. “It is also an important and welcome idea that must be supported by all right-thinking South Africans with even a smidgen of a conscience or common sense.”


    Like a moth to a flame, Tony Abbott has now attended and addressed a second convention of the downtrodden, desperate and dispossessed.


    Many of them were also barking mad.

    Not just a little bit wacky, but card-carrying, rolled-gold, fully paid-up fruitcakes who may well have thought they were being followed to the protest by black United Nations helicopters.

    Is it just me..but I cannot help but think that Tony Abbott is receiving less than positive publicity in recent times. We’ve gone from Action Man to well, somewhat of a freak..which of course is a far more accurate descriptor.

  44. Politics on the boil stokes Abbott’s warm inner glow

    TONY Abbott began the spring session of Parliament this week by recommending to Coalition MPs that they be civil. The country should not be reduced to warring camps and it was important that MPs exerted a calming influence, he told them. Then he addressed a rally outside Parliament by several thousand commercial talkback radio devotees, some of whom were mainstream Australians and some of whom displayed various forms of hateful nuttiness.

    With Labor backbencher Craig Thomson being placed ever more neatly in the frame over his explanation for extraordinary payments made during his time as a senior union official before his entry to Parliament, Abbott has realised that now is the time not to repeat Turnbull’s error. Rather than overcooking the affair and being his usual extravagant self when it comes to talking about the government, he knows from Turnbull’s example that in these circumstances less could well be more – thus his circumspect comments about Thomson this week. And this time, the affair – unlike the Grech contretemps – could well lead to the downfall of an entire government.

  45. Labor politican Craig Thomson’s escort claims starting to crumble

    Of particular interest on Mr Thomson’s former union credit card bill is an alleged $2475 payment incurred with Sydney Outcall Services

    Documents uncovered in the Fairfax defamation case show his signature on a credit card voucher, with his driver’s licence number on the voucher.

    The large bill has prompted speculation within Labor that several people may have used the services on the day in question, in

    Either someone is a magnificent stud or there was a long queue !!

  46. shanana reckons the the Thomson case might develop a ‘life of its own’

    Certainly, once a political scandal gets rolling it can develop a life of its own

    I agree, it might, particularly if the oo pursue it with the alacrity they have to date.

    One wonders why this naval gazing isn’t replicated in their reporting of the phone taps?

  47. I am listening to Mr. Abbott speech in SA. His speech writers have a easy time of it. Not one new sentence in the speech. Just the same thing over and over.

    He has not left out one of his slogans.

    It came to me, after the introduction pointing out how focus Mr. Abbott has been. He has to be, because he has no where to go.

    Just like a young child who has a tantrum. The longer they scream and perform, the harder it is to find a way out of the tantrum.

    He has repeated every lie and misrepresentation of the last two years.

  48. At the end of the speech, he made what amounted to two asides.

    The hospitals would be run by community boards. (It would have to be the only million of dollars infrastructure run by those who have no skills to do so).

    Schools would be based on independent models. Something about what occurs in WA.

    I do not to see schools run by a handful of parents who have their own agenda.

    I do not want the hospitals to return to the past with community boards, that were dumped for very good reasons.

    After all this time, the Coalition is still were they where 12 months ago. Policies based on vague motherhood statements.

  49. CU, having been both a teacher and a parent on the P&C some committees of parents would be struggling to be able to reach any agreement on which color shirt for the new school uniform much less major works.

    And then you have the problem as for all community boards that only the old retirees or those who are able to take time off work or those with vested interests are able &/or willing to participate in these committees.

  50. Min, my experiences are similar. I am talking about the era where mothers were expected to stay home and care for the children.

    I worked at my kids primary as often as possible. I baulked at the High School Committees.

    There is no way that parents and teachers can come up with better solutions. All have their own prejudices and agendas to push.

    I also have a problem with teachers being designated as being superior.

    it is the most popular teachers that will go to the top of the pile. The teacher with the guts to tell it as it is, will not receive any reward.

    When my children were little, we had a mature newly trained teacher. She was at the school for years. All my children had her. She loved the children and they loved her. Her classes were well run and the children learnt.

    Each year when younger assessors came out to assessed her, they continually marked her down. I am afraid the lady did not fit the mould, as they believed good teachers to be. She did make it, the hard way.
    My children were lucky to have her as a teacher.

    We also had hospital boards in the early half of last century, in the days of cottage hospitals. They were done away with because they were inefficient. The biggest decision they had to make, when it came to technology, was which x-ray machine to buy.

    Today, technology is too complicated and expensive for any board to cope with. It is impossible for any one hospital to meet the needs of all.

    There is more to running modern day hospitals than the skills that doctors have to offer.

    Hospitals need to be organised on a regional, not community basis. Resources are expensive and scarce.

    Some hospital infrastructure and resources need to be organised on a National basis.

    The Coalition appear to have a problem with experts being involved in anything. They appear to have this notion that they know better than those who have spent their lives learning and studying to get where they are.

  51. CU, and that is absolutely spot on, local boards and their members will always have their own individual barrows to push. If a parent’s child is good at sport, then they will be pushing sports..of their child is good at music, then they will be pushing music. And this is without a thought of what the school needs and especially what a majority of the children need.

    LOTE..well you may as well forget about this one as the parent committee members cannot imagine one single solitary ‘use’ for learning some sorta furrin’ language.

    On a slightly different note, I did enjoy my 87yr old mother’s reply to Telstra..they suggested that she fill out a form online. Mother: My only line is a clothes line…

  52. Min, it is funny fifty years ago they just changed the name on the bill. I know this, because when my mother died, the bill was in her name. I rang up and they changed it to my father’s name.

    As for mother clubs and PC meetings at school. We had one mother who objected to raffles. She did not believe in gambling.

    Now that is OK, if you don’t have raffles, you raise money other ways. That involves work and effort.

    You would just know it, she did not have time for that either.

    Needless to say, after much bitter debate we went ahead with the raffles.

  53. It does not harm your business, if you as a business owner is on many school and other community committees.

  54. And there was the one where the mother didn’t want healthy food in the tuck shop because her little darling would eat only meat pies and donuts….

  55. committees of parents would be struggling to be able to reach any agreement on which color shirt for the new school uniform much less major works.

    Which really makes the oo’s war against the BER quite pathetic. If they were truly industrious, you would expect they could find someone to whinge about almost every building that went up. The fact that they found so few from the thousands should be testament itself to the success. Alas, the ‘massive rort’ meme is alive and well, and still being pushed by the them 😦

    ‘THE states and commonwealth must agree on a list of priority capital projects to avoid a repeat of mistakes such as the BER fiasco, according to infrastructure experts. ‘

    (I’m pretty sure the report didn’t refer to the BER as fiasco, but I haven’t looked into it at all)

  56. Tom, they just run it and run it and run it..the BER was not a ‘fiasco’ it was a hugely successful and productive program. What was it again, 5% 3% complaints and the majority of these were in NSW and Vic and to do with things such as tradies arriving 5 days late.

    Clearly the Federal government should have sent out senior bureaucrats to stand at each and every school gate to ensure that the paint was of the right color and delivered on time by Jim the Hardware Man.

    So O’Farrell..go for have shovel ready infrastructure programs organised by the previous Labor government, so go for it..if you’re game that is. Or O’Farrell don’t you actually want to get off your backside and actually do anything for NSW.

    **Update courtesy of Tom.

  57. Tom, it’s worth repeating…from your link.

    The Defense of Marriage Act has been getting some play over the past few days, as Republican candidate Rick Santorum has taken to defending it through some questionable analogies. To wit: Paper towels and napkins aren’t one and the same. Neither are water and beer. Ergo: Marriage can’t be between two people of the same gender. You follow?</blockquote?

    But but but..if a bloke was say beer and a gal was say water (actually I would prefer a nice sparkling Portugese rosé as a far better analogy) then why does a beer and a Rosé have to go together – what about two beers, a Tooheys and a Fosters can't they go together as well.

  58. I know a few guys who could also be compared to a nice sparkling Portugese rosé (whatever that is, I stick to beer (hang on, that isn’t what I mean 😆 ) )

  59. Oh yes, while I think of it..on the Craig Thomson issue: before there would be any need for a by election, Thomson would firstly have to be proven guilty. I should imagine that it could take quite some time before a case even came before the courts..that is, if the accusers feel like proceeding with their accusations. Then there are appeals and further cases to be heard…could take quite a while. Sorry Tony, it still isn’t going to happen tomorrow.

  60. The reason we have junk food in school canteens is mothers.

    Instead of backing what the government is trying to do, give their children healthy food, they sabotage the movement.

    Tom R, you are correct. No mention at all. The word waste is used once in the document. It is used when describing at one school that they moved so many tons of waste.

    Mr Abbott once again mentioned the BER waste in a speech to the Liberal Party in SA.

    Most people when they gain power forget about allegations of waste of the previous government. They do this because they know that they are only allegations not facts.

  61. Min, all Mr. Thomson has to do is retire from the Labour Party. You do have to be convicted of a crime or be declared bankrupted. As you say, both actions take time.

    Making allegations does not mean you are guilty, or make it fact.

    The fact that these allegations have been made and pushed by the Opposition for over two years, makes one suspect the credibility of the allegations.

    They could be true. They could also be the figment of some ones imagination. Who knows.

    I do know the man, well I did know him years ago. I am surprise he has come so far. I did not see him as being ambitious. I remember his as a decent man, who got on with the job.

  62. Roswell, I heard this on radio a few weeks ago and again on a repeat episode. I’m going to listen to it again very soon 😀

    The Boy From Katherine

    While Kamahi Djordon King has been painting for most of his life, he’s also enjoyed a pretty solid career as a performing artist with roles including The Sunshine Club and more recently Tybalt in the Australian Shakespeare Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet. But it’s his comic invention – the burly Constantina Bush – who has found a wide audience, beyond what even Kamahi might have imagined.

    Kamahi is a friend of Katherine Freeman and she invited him to an important function.

    It ‘s all on the audio, and Kamahi tells it better than I ever could.
    Short version.
    Katherine and Kamahi are in a long line waiting to meet the dignitaries, when she spots AFL player Luke Darcy.
    She introduces him and wanders off.
    They discover they know a mutual mate and Kamahi phones him. Luke speaks first then has to end the call as the line is moving. Hands the phone back to Kamahi….who answers a question about the VIP….paraphrasing…
    “Oh I don’t know… Constantina Bush”.
    He turns around and there stands Condaleeza Rice looking unimpressed….

    Constantina Bush

  63. There is a convoy on its way to Canberra and here are some links about the nutters
    “Real People – facing the forgotten issues with friendship and a little fun.” The earliest threads on the forum went back to August 2009, years before Prime Minister Gillard announced her carbon tax. 2009 is also when several key organizers of the Teabagger Convoy (Mick Pattel, Janet Thompson) became members. This makes the Murdoch version of events–that they represent regular people spontaneously disillusioned with 2011 politics and policies– seem very dodgy indeed:

    Here’s a better question: if it wasn’t the carbon tax that brought these people together, then what was it? The answer is global warming denial! That’s what half the Just Grounds threads were about from the moment the website started. Long before Gillard even became PM, the message board was already full of links to articles on “climate skepticism” and rants against the Copenhagen Treaty. This includes threads started by future Convoy leaders: Janet Thompson devotes an October 2009 thread to Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), praising him for “speaking out against [anthropogenic global warming].”

    It got weirder when I saw the most recent threads: the ones with instructions on how to join your local Convoy. There are a total of 11 routes to Canberra, each one departing from different cities in Australia. You’d expect these threads to be full of god-speeds, count-me-ins and dumb itinerary questions, but there are hardly any. Convoy #5 only has 26 replies, authored by eleven people. Convoy #6 has 27 replies – almost all of them written by the same two organizers!

    The same bloody names kept appearing, too: Cate Stuart, Julene Haack, Matt Thompson, Janet Thompson, Anna Hetherington-Grego. It didn’t matter if you were reading the thread for Convoy #6 (Perth) or Convoy #10 (New South Wales) or Convoy #5 (Brisbane). The organizers always spent more time communicating with Convoy leaders in other states than with the angry locals who were supposedly lining up to join their protest.

    The link to the above came courtesy of

  64. In a previous post I wrote about the failed american cattle farmers who were on the convoy. Here is their story

    the American couple in charge of Convoy #6 – used to run a factory farm near Narrogin, a town east of Perth. Though only licensed to keep 6,000 cattle, they seemed to have been squashing nearly 10,000 into their feedlot until Narrogin locals complained about the smell.
    When the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) pushed them to do something about it, they cried persecution. Janet claimed the feedlot complaints were a government plot to bankrupt her husband because he refused to believe in man-made global warming

    (if you read on the “orange convoy” started with 4 vehicles.)

  65. Thanks, Sue, following up your link to exiled on line took me to another brilliant article of theirs on Twiggy Forrest.

    Surely these people are so ugly and their vehicles such blatant reminders of the live export trade they traffic in that they’re not going to win friends for Tony Abbott and the Coaltion?

  66. Twitter has the perfect response to the convoy of Teabaggers 😀

    mikestuchbery Mike Stuchbery

    They should just get some brown people to mill about outside Parliament House. Convoy will be too scared to get out of their trucks. #auspol

  67. Coalition accused of double standards in its push against Labor MP Craig Thomson

    Trade Minister Craig Emerson today accused the Liberal Party of double standards over the issue which, were it to cost Mr Thomson his seat in parliament, could unseat the Gillard government.

    “There has been no allegation of criminality of any sort against Craig Thomson,” he told Sky News.

    South Australian Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher is facing allegations she stole groceries from an Adelaide supermarket and assaulted a female security guard in a car park last December.

    “We have never called for the resignation of this particular MP, why? Because out of respect for her and the presumption of innocence which is the cornerstone of our justice system,” Dr Emerson said.

    He said three Coalition MPs were the subject of criminal investigations before the last election and all were exonerated, but there were no calls for them to be sacked.

    “There’s the contrast, there’s the double standard,” Dr Emerson said.

    Actually, Senator Brandis has been doing a weasel word variation of ‘allegations’.

  68. No surprises here!
    Colonel Morris “Mo’ Davis, former Guantanamo Bay chief military prosecutor has accused former PM John Howard of calling in a “political favour” from the US government “to get any charge possible laid against David Hicks,

    Howard ‘called in US favour’ to charge Hicks

    Jason Leopold, of the internet publication Truthout, says he has material, including documents from the office of the former vice-president Dick Cheney, stating that Mr Howard met Mr Cheney in Sydney on February 24, 2007, and told him the Hicks case had become a ”political threat” to his re-election campaign.

    Leopold, who has not released the documents, says he was told Mr Howard not only pushed for a war crimes-related charge against Hicks, but he refused a US government offer to have Hicks sent home so Australia could deal with him instead.

    Colonel Davis has maintained there was political interference in the charge against Hicks, which he says any reasonable person would see as a ”favour for an ally”.

  69. Pip have you noticed that the Liberal supporters only mention in hushed sympathy type concern about Senator Mary Jo Fisher and the shoplifting. They forget to mention she has also been charged and will face court on charges of ASSAULT. A newspaper report at the time said when Mary Jo Fisher tried to escape and had reached her car she attacked the shop security person.

  70. Sue, Nikki Savva on Insiders today, re Ms Fisher had a “snap”….”there are lots of reports about shoplifting cases”, I’m paraphrasing but I get her drift…’s called double standards !!

  71. Pip @ 11.39 don’t bother watching Insiders where the story on Howard, calling in a political favour with Bush, was dismissed with the words .Everyone knew that at the time. Funny i don’t recall the press hammering Howard about this re-election ploy. All i remember at the time was that Sydney-siders were upset the Bridge was closed so that Cheney could get a quick ride to Kirrabilli to have a beer with Howard.

  72. Nikki Savva, “the difference is, Mary Jo Fisher will get her day in Court.”

    So she should, but the real difference is that the Craig Thomson story has been playing out since 2005 or 2007, not sure, and there have been no charges laid against him.

  73. Remember these are allegations that began back in 2007. That us four years ago.

    There are no investigations currently concerning Mr. Thomson.

    There are no criminal actions against Mr. Thomson. There have never been any criminal charges against Mr. Thomson.

    He is not bankrupted or are there any actions being taken to have him declared bankrupt.

    A supposedly unhappy so called union people have approached the police, the last attempt was at Wyong Police Station. No action is being taken by the police because of lack of evidence.

    The evidence of the signatures have been sourced in a brothel. Not the most credible of places.

    It appears that the credit card is not one that only Mr. Thomson used. It was a card used by other people in the office.

    The greatest sin that can be sheeted home to Mr. Thomson is that his union poached members from another union. I do not know how seriously this is, but I do know that since the 1980’s there were great great upheavals in the industry that they serviced.

    This was more so in the disability area, where people were moved from institutions to community housing. There where many fights between the nurses who where the main carers previously and the new brigade of community housing staff, that were not mainly made up of nursing staff. To muddy the waters more, there were the DOC’s workers in the traditional field that were covered by HAREA.

    There was competition for these new workers among the nursing unions, Public Service Association and HAREA. It took a long time to sort out the mess.

    At times this fight was bitter on all sides.

    PS I forgot there was another player in the field, the union that covered the workers in NGA. This union covered the workers in homes run by the churches and voluntary agencies.

    I would think that after four years and no new evidence, it is fair to say that Mr. Thomson might not have a case to answer.

  74. Sue, the story on Howard calling in a political favour with Bush, was dismissed with the words. Everyone knew that at the time.
    I usually can’t watch the Insiders for that very reason.

  75. “Nikki Savva, “the difference is, Mary Jo Fisher will get her day in Court.”

    The problem is that Mr. Thomson will not. There does not appear to be any evidence to charge him with. Only allegations that appear to be going nowhere.

  76. Cu, ltd news is conducting their own kangaroo court with Senator Brandis as chief prosecutor throwing the mud.

  77. “Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says embattled Labor backbencher Craig Thomson can no longer remain the chairman of Parliament’s Economics Committee.

    Mr Thomson has been embroiled in a scandal centring on claims he used his Health Services Union credit card to pay for prostitutes when he was the union’s national secretary.

    He has consistently denied the allegations, and took defamation action against Fairfax media for publishing the claims – but then dropped the lawsuit….”

    Why do we bother with a police and court system in this country. Think of the money we would save if all was found guilty by innuendo and allegations. No need for proof. No need for a legal system.

    Maybe that is how Mr. Abbott is going to balance the budget.

  78. Climate Change Action

    Abbott Absurdities on Climate Change #11

    The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott continues misleading the public on the Gillard Government’s plan for a clean energy future. This week Mr Abbott exaggerated the impact of a carbon price on butchers, cynically exploited the anxiety of Qantas employees over the airline’s restructuring and took a xenophobic stance against international trade in carbon permits.

    Mr Abbott’s unprincipled, serial misleading of the public is unprecedented in modern Australian politics. While it continues, I will continue issuing these Bulletins to hold him to account.

    Myth busters

    Myth Busters
    Tony Abbott, his mates in the right-wing think-tanks and the shock-jocks are all out in the community spreading lies and misinformation about climate change. Mainstream Australians need to make sure their voices are heard above the vocal minority of climate change deniers. You can get the facts here or report a “myth” that you hear on the radio or out and about.

    Shock Jocks

    Shock Jocks
    Shock jocks on commercial radio have been running a deceptive campaign against taking action on climate change. They don’t want to see the big polluters pay and don’t want to see Australia taking real action to lower our carbon emissions.

    Here are some of the things they’ve been saying. With their mates in the right-wing think-tanks they’re waging a campaign arguing against action. If you don’t want them to be making decisions about Australia’s future, make sure you are spreading the facts to your friends, family and colleagues.

  79. Cu we are not alone in our low opinion of Tony Abbott and his cronies 😀

    from Twitter

    mikestuchbery Mike Stuchbery

    I’m going to write a book about Tony Abbott’s years as Opposition Leader. It’s going to be called ‘On The Origin Of The Specious’. #auspol

    mikestuchbery Mike Stuchbery

    A lot of tweeters needs to realize that it’s not 1959 and socialists and ‘Reds’ aren’t a force attempting to seize power. #auspol #

    geeksrulz Geekster

    geeksrulz Geekster
    Downer, Vaile & Howard failed in duty of care allowing AWB under their watch to bribe Saddam Hussein $300M, breaking the UN sactions #auspol

    unenergy B

    “Charity worker” who had spat with MP is $400-an-hour spin-doctor for pokies” #Auspol doesn’t fit News Ltd narrative tho

    geeksrulz Geekster

    They agree on stuff RT @gordongraham Tony Abbott has attended two rallies this year where Pauline Hanson has been in the crowd … #auspol

  80. Got to know many of them Reds. Funny I found them to be decent and caring people on the whole, not monsters as they were portrayed.

  81. Cu, that’s the difference.
    The conservatives are caring….about themselves and the biggest corporations, while they deceive the ordinary punters with weasel words.

  82. Catching up @ 12.25pm.

    Tony Abbott intensifies pressure over embattled Labor MP Craig Thomson

    TONY Abbott has called for embattled Labor MP Craig Thomson to be sacked as chairman of parliament’s economics committee, as the ALP accused the Coalition of double standards over the alleged misuse of a credit card.

    ltd news will run this story across all their papers repeating the details ad nauseum, but your point is what matters.

    “He has consistently denied the allegations, and took defamation action against Fairfax media for publishing the claims – but then dropped the lawsuit….”

    Why do we bother with a police and court system in this country. Think of the money we would save if all was found guilty by innuendo and allegations. No need for proof. No need for a legal system.

    Maybe that is how Mr. Abbott is going to balance the budget.

    I doubt that Abbott’s finance experts, Robb and Hockey will balance the Budget in this lifetime.
    Are they still waiting on the results of the investigation of their dodgy budget costs assumptions ?

    It’s quite likely that Thomson dropped the lawsuit because of the unaffordable legal costs, but that won’t be suggested by the media.

  83. Australia could be heading down a dangerous path. Thanks to Abbott, Bolt and Jones a lot of hatred is now manifest in the community towards Julia Gillard and the government. Some people are actually starting to believe that their lives are going to be ruined because of the carbon tax. The call to arms on talkback radio and the blog sites are becoming quite regular. It is worrying that such suggestions aren’t blocked by moderators.

    Is there a lunatic out there who is that convinced that the government is hellbent on destroying him that he will be motivated enough to heed the call to arms?

    I’m afraid that if this frenzy of hatred is not curtailed we will see this country enter its darkest hour. Do you know what I mean?

  84. Good MORNING Roswell.

    When Joe Hockey was asked by a nutter whether people would have to “take up arms” he gave a very weak answer, beginning with “I understood your anger”.

    A real leader would have made a much stronger denunciation of the suggestion without any doubt or acceptance of the idea.
    A real leader would not pursue the backing of shock jocks like Anal Jones etc.,

  85. Roswell, once upon a time someone said to me how could the Germans in Nazi Germany let it happen, why didn’t the German people do something about it. Now this is with due respect to the Holocaust survivors but one can imagine kids locked up behind razor wire, teens sewing their lips (which Ruddock explained away as..just something that kids do, a fashion trend), and in all honesty I can now see how Nazi Germany happened.

  86. It’s a shame the no carbon tax/election now mob only listen to the shock jocks…and believe all they read in the fish and chip paper.

    It’s not just a shame, but shameful, that the ‘news’ never includes this information; the preferred style is to mindlessly repeat the mantra of Abbott and his Teabaggers.

    Calls for a Double Dissolution are Constitutionally Impossible

    The “Convoy of No Confidence” currently descending on Canberra continues to be reported as demanding a double dissolution.

    In response to these reports, let me repeat once again that it is constitutionally impossible for there to be a double dissolution.

    It is possible to demand the government call an early election for the House of Representatives, and the government can request an early House (but not Senate) election at any time.

    But it is constitutionally impossible for the Prime Minister to request a double dissolution and just as constitutionally impossible for the Governor General to issue the proclamation for a double dissolution and subsequent election.


    If the House of Representatives passes any proposed law, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the House of Representatives, in the same or the next session, again passes the proposed law with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor‑General may dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously.
    There is not one piece of legislation that has been rejected, unacceptably amended or even come close to meeting the requirement of failing to pass the Senate. Not one. Even if in the next three months a bill did meet these requirements, the legislation would still have to sit on the back burner for another three months before being re-presented and then going through the whole process again.

    Even if a piece of legislation passed these hurdles, it still requires a Prime Minister to advise that a double dissolution should take place.

  87. And thank you Antony Green..and in bold…

    In response to these reports, let me repeat once again that it is constitutionally impossible for there to be a double dissolution.

    My majors in law were two things – criminal law and constitutional law..later specialising in Constitutional law. But then I’m only Min…

  88. Just a note, I will be choofing off in about 4 weeks. It’s been an absolute pleasure to meet every one of you, some whom I’ve known for several years. I hope that we have the opportunity to keep in touch. Fear not, until Migs comes back I’ll be stil here but will, given current circumstances be leaving a little thereafter. Cheers to all.


    from Twitter

    mumbletwits Peter Brent

    Is this true? Is it wise? MT @bobbaldwinmp Tony Abbott in lead truck in “Convoy of No Confidence”.

    Yes, and no..

  90. Truck body shuns convoy

    THE major organisation representing truckies across the nation has distanced itself from the Convoy of No Confidence protest to hit Canberra tomorrow.

    Check back with The Canberra Times online on Monday morning for updates on the Convoy of No Confidence and the chaos on our roads.

    Help us keep Canberrans up to date; send your photos and updates to

    The Australian Trucking Association’s manager of communications and government relations, Bill McKinley, said the protest did not have the ATA’s support because the aim of the protesters was constitutionally unsound.

    ”What they’re asking for can’t be delivered,” Mr McKinley said.

    ”This isn’t a trucking industry protest, it only includes people from the trucking industry.”

  91. Pip, hallelujah and the truth shall set ye free. Exactly. As per what I’ve been trying to tell everyone for the past TWO WEEKS, this convoy is made up of say 11 people who are sus type lobbyists.

  92. Just maybe the 9000 protestors in the Convoy, is not quite 9000, especially after reading this comment by the organiser

    President of the National Road Freighters Association Mick Pattel said the sheer costs involved with the convoy had deterred many otherwise willing participants.

    ”People are joining, doing 200 or 300km and then going home,” he said.

    ”They just can’t afford the fuel.”

  93. Sue, they may not be able to afford the fuel..but they sure as heck can afford to pay for the publicity. Let’s get it right here..people PAY to have things in the newspapers..sigh…

  94. ABC news the venue which is to host the convoy has been told to expect 200 vehicles, rather than the 9000.
    Two hundred not nine thousand.

  95. Looks like there’s about SIX trucks from Qld 😆

    THERE was meant to be a convoy of trucks and cars one kilometre long, but in the end Queensland just wasn’t passionate enough to drive to Canberra.

    Beenleigh truckie Ken Wilkie, who led a humble convoy of a half-dozen out of Yatala early yesterday morning, said it was disappointing there was not more interest from south-east Queenslanders in driving to Canberra to deliver a vote of no-confidence petition and protest against the federal government.

    “I have to be honest here, I can’t lie; I’m disappointed. I’ve only got about five or six behind me,” he said while on the road yesterday afternoon.
    Advertisement: Story continues below

    “One guy drove with us for about 30 or 40 kilometres and then said ‘bugger this, I’m going home’ and he turned around and left.


    And no, they have no idea of how the system works:

    He said they want both houses of Parliament dissolved and a full federal election called.

  96. Bacchus..sigh..oh dear the poor lamb, ‘he wants’ both Houses of Parliament dissolved.

    Ya’ know what I would like tonight. A truck load of Mateus and courier of pool boys, but I’m not going to get that either.

  97. Min,
    congratulations to your crew, and I agree with Roswell, our thoughts and hearts are with you and your family.

  98. What a furphy or just a lying b…….On the 6.00am news the leader of the “convoy” has just announced that numbers of trucks have been kept DELIBERATELY low as they were concerned about collapsing in on themselves.
    Meanwhile the police have announced the convoy procession of 5.30am was cancelled and the next start time was now 6.15am
    A caller to radio has said the convoy will have numbers boosted by the people who took part in last weeks protest.

  99. I saw footage of some of the “convoy” this morning on breakfast news and the trucks were outnumbered by vans and for stuff’s sake there were RVs amongst them.

  100. Thank you so much Shane..little Sophia Josephine is still in intensive care on oxygen. Being a bit of an non-religious person (actually a big bit), I don’t usually say the hopes and prayers thing…but on this occasion I’ll make an exception.

  101. 8.39am there are 40 people at the convoy protest. Abbott waiting for numbers to increase before he attends. Could be a long wait.
    Crowd (if you call 40 a crowd) angry at ABC and won’t talk to media, will only talk with commercial media.

  102. Sue

    If the coalition cheer squad of 40 refuse to talk to the ABC then their political agenda along with the commerical media is evident for all to see.

  103. I am at work, so any updates from Sue or anyone else as the Abbott Circus rolls along would be appreciated.

  104. Organiser on convoy just on radio and has again stated they asked trucks not to come. Yet Canberra was under the impression until 7pm last night that 9000 were coming. Police were called in to do traffic, roads closed, hospital in area went into an alert mode, thus reorganising operations staff rosters etc., So it would be interesting to find out how much this has cost the local government.

  105. Sue, pattel has obviously decided to ‘cut the numbers’ as he has ‘no-confidence’ in the local authorities to direct traffic 😉

  106. Sue

    If the convoy organiser asked the trucks not to come ( and I seriously doubt it) then if they failed to alert government services then they should be billed for the cost of being prepared for the so called massive convoy of trucks that were to descend like locusts on the government.

    What a total fizzer of a protest. Do we have numbers on how many are at the pro carbon tax rally yet ?

  107. Thank you Tom, the very next chance I get I will most definitely be passing on your and everyone’s best wishes to son and daughter in law.

  108. Sorry to hear that Min. I well know how everyone feels.

    great grandson has just come out of hospital after five months.

    He still has a long way to go but miracles do occur.

  109. Female reporter at the convoy rally said some of the signs are really disgusting.

    Pattell has called for a no confidence motion in the house, really where has this guy been. But it does set up a quandary for Abbott, does he do the usual and call a no confidence in the government, as that would look a tad silly with the poor number of demonstrators, if he doesn’t call a no confidence motion will the rally turn against him.
    How will the msm swing this one, the local radio was still saying as the “convoy descends on Canberra”, ho hum.

  110. Thank you Möbius. Don’t worry, little Sophia will be brought up a good leftie 😉

    ps..I did it, your amlaut 😀

  111. A comment on the abc news on the convoy

    Looks like Tony Abbott couldn’t even organise a traffic jam in Canberra!

    (a city with ONE main road!)

  112. There’s actually more to it Sue. A friend says that major roads around her office in the northern part of the city are closed today for roadworks. This would have added to the debacle.

    What a clever council? Let’s close arterial city roads while the main highway is blocked by an anticipated 9000 trucks.

    So Abbott can’t organize a traffic jam even when alternate routes are closed.

  113. Jedda @ 10.50am,
    So Abbott can’t organize a traffic jam even when alternate routes are closed.

    Brilliant 😀

  114. Eldest, what the heck everyone knows it’s Briony. I offered a Bundy and Diet Coke. Mum, that stuff’s going to kill you..umm the Bundy or the Diet Coke?

    Ans: the Diet Coke.

  115. Are these members of the Opposition adults or are they adolscents who have never grown up.

    How can anyone have respect for adults that behave in this fashion?

    “…was raining heavily in Canberra on Wednesday so, after question time, Julia Gillard walked the corridors back to her office rather than cut across a courtyard as she usually does

    As she strolled past opposition MPs’ offices, Christopher Pyne and Joe Hockey, like two schoolyard ne’er-do-wells, trailed about 10 paces behind, heckling. Hockey was bellowing the Engelbert Humperdinck lyrics: “Please release me, let me go, ’cause I don’t love you any more …” Pyne, doing his best to affect a menacing gravitas, was taunting repeatedly: “You’re drowning Julia, not waving, you’re drowning.”

    By any measure, it was disrespectful behaviour towards a prime minister but Gillard, whose government has plumbed record depths in unpopularity, is getting used to such treatment and ignored her tormentors…”

    Read more:

  116. I believe if this behaviour occurred in the school playground, the boys would be facing the principal, accused of bullying.

    They might be facing expulsion from the school.

  117. CU, I agree..this is very poor form indeed, aimed at a person who cannot retaliate – obviously they know this.

  118. Catching up and Min,
    Hockey and Pyne perfectly fit the description of schoolyard bullies, along with their leader, Mr. Abbott.

    Thesaurus Legend: Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
    Noun 1. bullying – the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something
    aggression – deliberately unfriendly behavior
    frightening, terrorisation, terrorization – the act of inspiring with fear
    Adj. 1. bullying – noisily domineering; tending to browbeat others
    domineering – tending to domineer

    The Opposition see the Prime Minister as a “weaker person” and are acting out the classic bully tactics in the hope of …..what ?

    If they’re hoping to see the PM snap and lose her temper, it isn’t going to happen. She frequently responds to their questions with a succinct put-down, but she never screeches and scowls like her opposite number.

    If they’re hoping the PM will break down and cry [like a girl], that’s not going to happen either.

    There is rarely a favourable article, or even a favourable line in any article about the PM or the government, in the main-stream media, yet PM Gillard has the guts to visit the bully-pit studio kingdom of the Liberal spokesman Alan Jones.

    Hockey and Pyne should ask their big brave leader why he refuses to appear in any interview situation where he has to do more than repeat his slogans and play pretend dress-ups on manly worksites.

  119. Well said Pip. Gillard has the gumption to front up to as you say “the bully-pit studio kingdom of Alan Jones” yet Abbott is rarely challenged in any way, shape or form. And on the rare occasions where a journo has expected a semi-intelligent answer from him, Abbott stands there gaping like a landed trout!

  120. Was what Mr. Jones saying yesterday been broadcasted on 2GB. Was he there as a private person or on behalf of 2GB.

  121. Last night’s 4 Corners should be compulsory watching for anyone under 50.

    It is hard to believe that was the world of the 60 and 70’s. Not that long ago.

    The young Ms. Coonan was impressive.

  122. The world that Mr. Howard and Mr. Abbott see through rose coloured glasses.

    The world they would like to take us back to.

  123. CU, I didn’t see 4 Corners but I can just imagine it. The world of the 60’s where babies were routinely abandoned, where it was acceptable to bash gays and women and kids..where you couldn’t say that you’ve been bullied because that would mean that you were ‘weak’.

  124. Yes, and Aids, crooked police and many other scandals.

    It covers more than the 60 and 70’s.

    It covers more decades after that.

    Maybe the term I am enjoying is a little misplaced, with some of the scenes being shown. I am not into pornography.

  125. Now who told the Tobacco company about the government documents.

    British tobacco suffers loss in plain packaging battle
    British American Tobacco has accused the Government of blocking access to government legal advice that suggests the scheme could be unlawful.

    The company has argued the documents, which date back to the mid 1990s, raise questions about the scheme’s compliance with international trade and tariff obligations.

  126. Miracle at The Gap: the day Nellie tried to end it and came out alive

    Peter FitzSimons
    August 22, 2011

    Author and Herald writer Peter FitzSimons says this story – originally published in this month’s issue of the(sydney)magazine – has generated an extraordinary reaction from Sydneysiders. For those of you who missed it, we thought we’d run it again. But first, here’s what FitzSimons says:

    It is one of those things. Sometimes you write something that seems to touch a chord with readers, and in 25 years of writing for the SMH, I don’t think I have ever had a greater, nor more poignant response than this piece. All of us have been touched by the subject of suicide in some measure, and my best hope is that this story might give hope to those who contemplate it. And I am quite serious, by the way, about there being a need to have a plaque at the Gap, at the spot Nellie jumped, telling something of her story.

    It can be a place of tragedy but The Gap has witnessed miracles, too.

  127. The persistent Senator George Brandis has his way:-

    Media Release Archive
    Police receive information on credit card allegations
    Tuesday, 23 August 2011 12:15:13 PM

    Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis has provided information to police in relation to a number of matters concerning a Federal Labor MP.

    This correspondence has now been referred for internal assessment to determine whether a criminal offence has occurred.

    As with any other matter where information is brought to the attention of the NSW Police Force, standardised assessment and investigation protocols will be followed.

  128. Meanwhile..Labor gets yet more bills passed and where are the Opposition? Nowhere to be seen of course.

    However, Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne hailed the carbon farming initiative as not only a boost to farmers but also an opportunity to increase employment in remote indigenous communities.

    Government climate adviser Ross Garnaut believes once carbon farming is part of an emissions trading scheme it could be worth $2.25 billion a year – the equivalent of another wool industry.

  129. BlueScope boss bonuses an outrage, says Xenophon

    Independent senator Nick Xenophon is outraged that BlueScope Steel is shedding 1000 jobs while the company’s senior executives are paying themselves $3 million in bonuses.

    The steelmaker announced the job cuts yesterday as part of a group restructuring after it reported a full-year loss of more than $1 billion.

    Senator Xenophon, brandishing a blown-up chart of BlueScope’s remuneration report, singled out executive director Paul O’Malley who pocketed a $721,000 bonus on top of his salary of nearly $2 million,
    and total executive bonuses of $3.05 million.

    “There is something particularly obscene about BlueScope doing that when they have just laid off 1000 of their workers,” he told reporters in Canberra.

    “This really is a dark day for corporate governance in Australia.”

    The senator will be raising the matter with the federal government as it prepares to make available $100 million immediately from its carbon tax compensation package for steel makers.

  130. Response on Twitter, to Senator Brandis getting his police investigation, mine @ 12.34pm.

    AshGhebranious AshGhebranious

    @latikambourke Latika, if NSW come back saying there is NO evidence, will Brandis call for an investigation into the police

  131. Tweet from the House of Reps.,

    CrabbTwitsard Annabel Crabb

    Mr Pyne peaks early, and is expelled from the chamber. #qt

    Again !

  132. Senator Brandis is on a roll ..making his Very Important Speech, attacking Mr. Albanese [sarcastically pronounced “Albaneeese”], for being rude to the convoy crowd.

    He says he does not prejudge the accusations against Mr. Craig Thomson…..weasel words…. sounds like pre-judging to me.

    NSW Police to assess allegations MP Craig Thomson misused credit card


    Police asked to investigate MP allegations
    Request “referred for internal assessment”
    Opposition labels support for MP “sickening”
    FRESH allegations against Labor MP Craig Thomson could carry a two year jail term, Liberal senator George Brandis said today.

    That means that were Mr Thomson found guilty of them he would have to leave Parliament, and the Government could fall.

    Senator Brandis, a senior counsel, welcomed a NSW police assessment of documents, and what he today called “a body of new material”, related to Mr Thomson.

    They are understood to relate allegations that Mr Thomson, when national secretary of the Health Services Union, used a union credit card to hire prostitutes.

    Senator Brandis was not sure whether the police assessment was the same as an investigation of the matters as he was not familiar of internal protocols.

    My guess is that the good Senator has been ferreting through his law books to find a charge or charges against Mr. Thomson with the hope that his ‘seniour counsel’ status carries some clout !!

  133. Oooo, Senator Faulkner is reciting a very long list of former
    Coalition senators who got up to some very dirty tricks and I heard that the hansard scribes are threateningto go on strike…. I hope they’re there today !!!

    Senator Faulkner says he hasn’t got time to go through the complete list,
    “how extraordinary that they come into this House and talk about ministerial standards”, they are standing in the middle of a great big glass house.”

  134. There’s a lot of unhinging going around, the Coalition and the betting agencies and ltd news must be in need of a drink.

    Coalition election odds shorten further

    The federal opposition’s odds of winning the next election have been slashed to $1.33, and one bookie expects the price will only get shorter.

    Sportingbet Australia CEO Michael Sullivan said 90 per cent of bets have been for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and the coalition, with the odds narrowing from $1.60 in recent months.

    “We can’t find a punter who wants to back Labor who are now out $3.25 and will only continue to drift,” Mr Sullivan said.

    i”With the `Convoy of no confidence’, the issues with (Labor MP) Craig Thomson and the continuing unpopularity of the carbon tax, I think punters will continue to back the coalition and the $1.33 could still look good to punters.”

    Mr Abbott’s odds of leading the coalition to the election have also shortened to $1.25, way ahead of second favourite, former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull at $4.50.

    The next election in due in 2013

  135. Gee and heck..what a great bloke Tony Abbott is (not)..

    SICK or bereaved federal MPs will be forced to travel to Canberra for the upcoming carbon tax vote after Tony Abbott ruled out Coalition “pairs” for Labor MPs unable to attend.
    The Opposition Leader warned the Coalition partyroom there would be “no pairs under any circumstances”.

  136. Hidden away on the OO was this item…

    LIBERAL MPs are anxiously lobbying the government to have the NBN rolled out in their electorates, despite their party’s opposition to the network.

    South Australian federal Liberal MP Rowan Ramsey and his West Australian colleague, Steve Irons, have both tabled questions with the government asking why their constituents are missing out on access to the National Broadband Network.

  137. Dis-bloody-gusting that Abbott refused to allow pairing arrangements in order that a member of the House of Reps attend the Memorial Service for Margaret Olley. I note that Simon Crean has expressed his disgust.

  138. How true… from

    Snobs and whingers: the new Australia

    I remember when being ‘stuck up’ or ‘up yourself’ wasn’t good at all. It was the ultimate put-down….

    Well, I’m past giving a sh*t. Your electricity bill is going up? Don’t live in a McMansion with six bedrooms, a rumpus room and a home theatre. Bananas expensive? Buy an apple.

  139. And poor hard done by Qantas who have to sack all those workers they’re doing it that tough, also Bluescope who give their senior execs $3 million in bonuses after announcing a record loss and mass layoffs.

  140. I would just like to say thank you ACTEW for my optic fibre broadband connection (70mbps, 50 gig peak, 100 gig off peak, $23.95 per month).
    Surfing the information highway has replaced live TV viewing in my household. Apart from the stimulating online discussions, YouTube is fantastic. Any craft or hobby I need more information about, I just search it and most times someone has uploaded a video.
    Don’t let a Liberal government give this great resource to the Murdochs or any other commercial outfit. They have killed off TV and radio with toxic advertising and their power to the few political agenda.
    The commercial “for profit” mob don’t always do it better.

  141. That reminds me of when I first had Sky put on which was when I was at Billinudgel – eldest daughter said that she wanted Sky as we could get only 2 channels on free to view TV. Mind you, daughter also said that she would pay for it..but that was short-lived.

    In those days Sky was advert free because one paid a monthly subscription, therefore there was no need to advertise/watch your first run movies without interruption/movies free before they reach the video the advertising shpeel proclaimed. Today it’s chokka full of advertisements while the monthly subscription has more than doubled.

  142. Min

    That is why I no longer have Pay TV. If they want me to pay for something then stop being mega greedy and getting paid for ads while ripping off the customer. One or the other, but not both.

  143. Steve @ 9.22
    i hope you were not listening to parliament as you may get dismayed.
    There has been a committee about the NBN and a member speaking on the dissenting motion said the following:
    he was amazed when given a demonstration on teleconferencing “it was as if the person was sitting across the table from you”
    that a doctor could do remote diagnosing
    and that the country nurse may need some help when using this new tool.
    But the best was to come
    he asked the demonstrator how many bits were used to which the reply was 20, so he said why would 100 be needed

  144. I junked the Foxtel pay TV because of their blatant political bias. Their news guy would have to be the dumbest person on TV and that is some non achievement nowadays.
    I just refuse to pay to watch TV advertisements, it’s cheaper to just buy the DVD (or if you have a fast broadband, download it for free).

  145. Ads on pay were the reason I dropped Pay, and they contacted me just about every month afterward attemting to get me back. My response was always the same. “Have you got rid of the ads and proliferation of promos?”

    They would usually say the ads were necessary to make money and to give the customer the wide variety of programs they enjoyed, and in any case the number of ads were less than commercial TV, to which I would respond bullshit as I had sat down with a stopwatch and timed the ads and promos on Pay and in many cases ads and promos took up more time than on commercial TV, where commercial TV is under regulations as to the amount and periods of ads they can air tied to the time of day. I know that this isn’t policed much because for several years the Today Show on Nine was regularly breaking the regulation by a considerable amount, so much so it made Media Watch yet Nine was never punished or even castigated by the regulator, ACA at the time..

  146. Mobius..I can sorta imagine you there with a stopwatch timing the adverts just so that you could point the rude finger to Pay TV. And Aye to Matelots 😉

  147. QT gem

    Julia Gillard in QT as she lanced Tony Abbott, Turnbull in the background looked like a Cheshire cat

  148. The PM has been in form for a while. It just has been ignored by the media.

    Anyone read Crikey today. There are going to be many more go down than Mr. Thomson.

    Mr Hockey is becoming very frustrated today. He sent out for an hour. He was not comfortable in this mornings episode.

    I have just read an article that says the Mr. Pyne is 2nd most powerful man in the Opposition. It was an serious article I think.

    Labor looks good for a party that is on the ropes and has lost hope. I hate to think what the smiles would be like if they were happy and content.

  149. The Leader of the Opposition launched a MPI on the forgotten families.

    Funny he did not mention families once during the speech. I had not heard what the MPI was about and I had come to the conclusion, he was debating how bad this government was.

    Maybe he is correct, this is the worse government ever. I do not believe so.

    What I do know this is the worse Opposition ever.

    Mr. Abbott used all the slogans that Mr. Bolt uses. I am sure he copied the words from Mr. Bolt’s site. He finished of by using Mr. Jones cry of we want you gone Julia. I thought that I was listening to Mr. Bolt.

    I will acknowledges that he has now learnt how to say carbon dioxide. Up to today, he has been saying carbon doxide.

    It was very clear from his outburst that the PM had got to him today. It is also clear that he has nothing new to offer.

  150. CU, a ‘worst government ever’ surely would be one that could not negotiate, one which could not get it’s bills passed by either house of Parliament. A government so bad that even it’s own members would cross the floor.

    It’s just a slogan. Whenever I hear Abbott say this in his usual droning monotone, I walk out of the room.

  151. CU the best from Gillard was an ad lib.
    As she was answering the last question Tony decided to sit with his front benches Julia said “that’s right if you cannot take the heat just keep on moving back”
    QT had the govt on the attack, Julia got under the skin of all the Lib questioners.She also put on record that in the last 2 weeks 22 Bills had been passed bringing the total for this parlt 185 but I bet that will not be reported on.

  152. The deputy opposition leader has opened a pandora’s box that jusy might come back and haunt her.

    Not one word about forgotten families.

    Ms. Bishop has attack the PM and her links with Fair Works Australia/

    Ms. Bishop has ignored or maybe does not know there are also connection between Ms. Jackson and Fair Works Australia.

    Did the PM refer the matter to FW or did the union involved.

    Why would the PM have any role in this investigation. It should be between the union and FW.

    “…Fears are growing in labour movement circles that the NSW police probe into Craig Thomson could spell the end for his former union, as the house of cards that has let well-paid officials sup for decades from their members’ teat collapses.
    Yesterday, Health Services Union national secretary Kathy Jackson announced that she would refer allegations of criminality inside the union to the NSW Police. But union insiders say the likely upshot of the probe, overseen by tenacious former National Crime Authority investigator and chief commissioner Andrew Scipione, is that the pockets of all current and former HSU officials — and not just Thomson — will be turned inside out.
    Scipione won’t need to look far. Crikey readers will recall that Jackson’s ex-husband, factional handmaiden and former HSU state secretary Jeff Jackson was accused of an eerily similar misuse of members’ funds at brothels and gastro pubs like The Lincoln in Carlton in a 2009

    Fears are growing in labour movement circles that the NSW police probe into Craig Thomson could spell the end for his former union, as the house of cards that has let well-paid officials sup for decades from their members’ teat collapses.
    Yesterday, Health Services Union national secretary Kathy Jackson announced that she would refer allegations of criminality inside the union to the NSW Police. But union insiders say the likely upshot of the probe, overseen by tenacious former National Crime Authority investigator and chief commissioner Andrew Scipione, is that the pockets of all current and former HSU officials — and not just Thomson — will be turned inside out.
    Scipione won’t need to look far. Crikey readers will recall that Jackson’s ex-husband, factional handmaiden and former HSU state secretary Jeff Jackson was accused of an eerily similar misuse of members’ funds at brothels and gastro pubs like The Lincoln in Carlton in a 2009

    Fears are growing in labour movement circles that the NSW police probe into Craig Thomson could spell the end for his former union, as the house of cards that has let well-paid officials sup for decades from their members’ teat collapses.
    Yesterday, Health Services Union national secretary Kathy Jackson announced that she would refer allegations of criminality inside the union to the NSW Police. But union insiders say the likely upshot of the probe, overseen by tenacious former National Crime Authority investigator and chief commissioner Andrew Scipione, is that the pockets of all current and former HSU officials — and not just Thomson — will be turned inside out.
    Scipione won’t need to look far. Crikey readers will recall that Jackson’s ex-husband, factional handmaiden and former HSU state secretary Jeff Jackson was accused of an eerily similar misuse of members’ funds at brothels and gastro pubs like The Lincoln in Carlton in a 2009 ….

    An alternative theory is that Jackson decided to call in the cops as a stop gap to halt the tide of revelations that were on the verge of snagging the HSU’s ruling clique. If she failed to act, angry members may have forged a reform ticket and demanded fresh elections.
    As she noted yesterday, the Fair Work investigation which commenced in 2009 is still being worked through. Uncomfortably for Jackson, her partner Michael Lawler is a member of Fair Work Australia and a vice president of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission….

  153. Sue, did you listen to the MPI. Ms. Bishop’s speech was beyond the pale. We are in for some very dirty politics.

    It is a brave soul that becomes involved in union disputes, which I believe Mr. Thomson has found to his distaste.

    There is a lot more going on than Mr. Thomson’s alleged misdoings.

    I wonder why you say you are talking about the forgotten families and do not even mention the word family is not seen as dishonest.

    The Opposition needs to be careful. It is much easier to hit back at real dirt.

    I feel that they might be under estimating the PM and her ability to hit back.

    I’m waiting to see how much of her speech repeats outside the coward’s castle.

  154. Good gracious even the Oz reported Julia’s withering attack on Abbott.
    So the week started and as it ended for Abbott as a Liberal leader of “no consequence”

  155. Catching up, from your link to Crikey about Ms Jackson:-

    As she noted yesterday, the Fair Work investigation which commenced in 2009 is still being worked through. Uncomfortably for Jackson, her partner Michael Lawler is a member of Fair Work Australia and a vice president of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

    Added to the murky stew is the interference of Senator Brandis endeavouring to engineer a case for Police charges against Mr. Thomson, followed by a hasty Court conviction, followed by the handing over of the keys to the Lodge.

  156. Urgent request to Cafe

    Apology to the Prime Minister
    The Australian newspaper published today an opinion piece by Glenn Milne which includes assertions about the conduct of the Prime Minister.

    The Australian has acknowledged that these assertions are untrue.

    The Australian has unreservedly apologised to the Prime Minister and its readers for the publication of these false claims.

    Read more:

    This APOLOGY does not seem to be in the Australian on line.
    Has anyone seen it?
    Is it only in the paper version?

    Did anyone read the said article and if so should it be forwarded to the government as part of the request for a media inquiry?

  157. Sue, this arrived in my emails at 1.10pm.

    The Australian offers unreserved apology to PM over Glenn Milne column in today’s edition

    *Australian apologises to PM for Milne’s false claims August 29, 2011 – 3:51PM

    Read more:

    **It’s now 6.25pm CST, and I can still click on the Herald Sun/Bolt article.

    For any ltd news lurkers, can you explain why the article was not deleted from the Herald Sun when it was deleted from The Australian ?

  158. Pip
    I looked at Herald sun at 7.28pm I now think it is gone.
    Scum bags
    No mention on news will see if it is mentioned on 7.30

  159. Milne has trashed the PM, now the tables are turned.

    From Twitter:-

    dfg77 Dave Gaukroger

    Maybe Glenn Milne had misplaced his copy of the News Ltd Professional Conduct Policy?

    corinne_grant Corinne Grant

    Wondering if Glenn Milne will blame today’s article in The Australian on migraine pills

    Monday, 29 August 2011
    Milne debacle: how a 16 year old story was spiked by The Oz

    Glenn Milne has egg all over his face after the re-hired columnist filed an error-filled op-ed reviving discredited allegations that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had somehow been an accomplice to her one-time partner Bruce Wilson’s alleged fraud.

  160. Research shows that the carbon price compensation for industry is too generous and costly.

    Does that mean that Mr. Abbott is lying about industry facing great costs and are likely to close down.

    Does it mean that industry will be propped up by the carbon price compensation.

    The Man would not be guilty of spreading another lie would he, the research must be wrong.

  161. ME. do not forget, the actions of Mr. Abbott led to an woman going to jail. It was later established that the lady was innocence.

  162. From Penny Wong:$70-billion-savings-task/

    Both Mr Robb and Mr Hockey have been upfront about the fact that the Opposition needs to address a $70 billion black hole in their costings – just to get back to square one.

    Mr Abbott, however, has given no indication of how he will address this enormous hole in the budget – and has even refused to nominate the fiscal task facing the Opposition.

  163. Yes Cu, that report shows that both the coal and gas industries are planning for significant expansions despite the impost of a carbon tax.

    So can Abbott now explain how his statements that the tax would destroy those industires gel with reality?

    Oh shit TomM, this means Abbott lied. Looking forward to your dozens and dozens of posts pointing out how Abbott is a liar and doesn’t deserve to be in power.

  164. Oh and that report states the polluting industries would still expand with a carbon price of $40 per tonne.

  165. Example of the honest and upstanding MP’s on the Opposition side!!!!

    “….The revelation came as it was confirmed late yesterday the Finance Department would investigate Senator Edwards’s use of three government Comcars after he gave his maiden speech last week.

    In an email trail provided to The Advertiser, Senator Edwards’s staffer wrote to Senator Xenophon under two assumed names in June and July, urging him to support a ban on the live animal trade…”

    Read more: of honest

  166. The problem is not so much that Mr. Abbott lies. The problem is that he creates his own reality, ignoring facts and data.

    He then goes forth with this is a bad, bad, government and not much more.

    Interspersed is up, up up and a couple of motherhood statements.

    He is only interested in creating the perception that Labor Is bad. He is not even interested in creating the perception he can do better.

    I believe that NSW voted in the Coalition for one stupid reason, that is it was not Labor.

    The government they voted in is quickly falling apart, even before we have a budget.

    Mr. Abbott’s has no principals or pride and is happy to accept the role on these conditions.

  167. Is Wilkie running with the hare or hunting with the hounds ??

    Coalition pressure building on Wilkie

    THE federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie says he and the Liberals have been discussing the issue of preferences in his Tasmanian seat of Denison, amid speculation of a push by the opposition to convince him to abandon support for the Gillard government.

    Senior Liberals confirmed to the Herald yesterday that the party would most likely give its preferences to Mr Wilkie if he abandoned the government.

    But they rejected suggestions a specific deal had been offered, saying that would amount to inducement, which is not allowed.

    Mr. Wilkie told the Insiders program that he would not allow one extra day for the government to legislate his pokies reform bill, and would withdraw his support if it did not happen, regardless of the fact that it will only happen if the other cross-benchers vote for it.
    It apparently doesn’t matter that the government will try to legislate.

    ”We would be unlikely to preference Wilkie if he hangs on to the government for the next couple of years,” a senior Liberal said.

    ”But if the government changes, then we would be much more inclined to support Wilkie than Labor.”

    Mr Wilkie meets regularly with the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, as well as senior shadow ministers to discuss portfolio-specific matters.

    He declined to say yesterday with whom he had discussed preferences or the details of the discussions.

  168. Pip, given Wilkie’s prior form it doesn’t seem likely that Wilkie will be impressed by threats and intimidation..

    And from your link, once again grasping at straws:

    One of the senior Liberals said it was hoped that Mr Wilkie would abandon the Gillard government before the May 2012 deadline, should its standing continue to deteriorate.

    Here’s an idea, why don’t the Liberals come up with some policies – but then under Howard’s tutelage they haven’t been much about carrot for some considerable time, only stick.

  169. From Twitter:-

    AndrewBGreene Andrew Greene

    The Opposition Leader tells community forum “it might be economic for Australia one day to have nuclear power generation” – but no plans yet

    John Howard was very excited about this same idea when his mates set up a company in readiness for the nuclear age…..

  170. Guess who…

    Julia Gillard is a fantastic prime Minister. I think she really does her best for us…I think she’s doing a fantastic job, and I can only say good on her…

    😆 😆

    On the 2GB link, go to “The Clash – Paul Howes v A……”

  171. I think he’s actually being a bit sarcastic Pip. ‘Twill be interesting to see what he’s game to say on the matter tomorrow…

  172. From Twitter

    JustinianNews Justinian

    Another authority demolishes Soapy Brandis’ “legal” advice []

    It’s not law Thomson should fear fear-20110829-1jich.html

    The political furore enveloping Craig Thomson has led to speculation that his disqualification from Parliament will bring down the Gillard government. However, it is unlikely that he will be disqualified. The damaging public debate will no doubt work to the political advantage of the opposition, but the law is unlikely to
    produce the outcome they desire.

  173. Bacchus I was reading yesterday that the Company supplied plastic staples but the employees would chose to use metal staples as they were quicker. An employee was to testify to that today. The employee is a brother to one of the directors of the company. Today the company pleaded guilty with no conviction recorded and the family of the deceased was satisfied.

    So all the complaints how it was the governments fault, yeah right.

  174. Yes Sue – that’s what the article I linked said too – as you say, how is that the government’s fault? As usual, and as is being witnessed in other matters at the moment, when have facts ever got in the way of the loony right telling a tale?

  175. Thanks to the insulation scheme and Mr. Garrett hard work, the industry is now much safer. He introduced regulations and training for the installers.

    Before the Insulation scheme was introduced there was no regulation of the industry, except for normal health and safety regulations that were ignore by some installers..

    The industry now has lower death, accident and fire risk.

  176. Min. Do you want the Spring banner for CW? I have the previous one somewhere but might be able to whip up a new one if I can find the time in my very busy schedule at the moment.

  177. High court slaps down asylum seeker deal

    Click to access hca32-2011-08-31.pdf

    Hopefully all politicians will now abide by their responsibilities as signatories to the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees

    The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (and its 1967 Protocol), to which Australia is a signatory, defines a refugee as:

    Any person who owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country.

  178. It looks like we are going to dump all the wasteful, expensive procedures of the last decade or so.

    It looks like it is possible that onshore processing with be restored.

    I hope, along with this, they are processed as quickly as possible.

    The Pacific solution is in no way an option. Anyone who believes Mr. Morrison, is allowing themselves to to be duped.

    I do not believe the Pacific Solution did work, that is immaterial, it is not now a viable option.

    Rulings of the High Court has made this so.

    Taking more from Malaysia and Indonesia would put a dent in the boat trade.

    The numbers have been going down over the last twelve months.

  179. Cu, I haven’t looked for Coalition comments yet but Nauru has ratified the UN Refugee convention.

    I’m not interested in what the Coalition have to say about Nauru, the asylum seekers’ applications could and should be processed onshore IMHO.

    Labor and Liberal have both disgraced Australia with their wholly self- interested politicking and it’s time to do the right thing.

    Real leaders do not drag us into the gutter.

  180. Pip, small correction. No Nauru has not ratified the UN Convention. They said at one stage that they were going to..from memory when Howard was PM and then again when Abbott had his ‘holiday’/photo op over there, but no Nauru haven’t as yet got around to doing so.

    I will stand corrected if I’m wrong on this one.

  181. Mr. Abbott has claimed to be responsible for extending our lives by two years. I heard today that more babies are surving world wide, maybe he will take responsibility for that as well.

    “….But putting aside such quibbles, fortunately we can test the Abbott claim to have played a role in the increase in the life expectancy of Australians with recourse to ABS data. What happened to life expectancy while he was Health Minister from October 2003 to November 2007? Well it went up, of course, as it did throughout the life of the Howard Government. In fact the ABS data shows that from 1996 to 2003, Australian life expectancy rose by about 0.37 years every year (based on rolling triennial data). And what happened when Abbott became Health Minister? 2004-06 is the last triennium the ABS currently has data for, and it shows life expectancy only rose 0.24 years while he was Health Minister. That’s a big fall on the average rate of the Howard Government under Abbott. Abbott claiming credit for improvements in life expectancy are another example of, shall we say, his struggle with truth….”


  182. CU, sadly I don’t think that the link works unless you are a Crikey subscriber so your quoting is very much appreciated.

    Gawwd..our lives extended by 2 years due to Abbott.. what does he promise if he is elected PM, 5 years. I’m opting for quality rather than quantity….

  183. I believe he would still have to prove the people well being is not at risk.

    What is to be gained by taking the people to Nauru. Are we going to leave them, there forever.

    The minister appeared to give the impression that the ruling applied to all off shore processing.

    Polls are say that there is a large majority that supports onshore processing.

    Maybe commonsense will prevail. The ruling gives Labor a chance to change the way it handles the problems.

  184. Well Min, I told you he is a miracle worker. He is going to have to be if he is to get his budgetting to work.

  185. “It’s an odd claim to make – improved something that played a part in achieving something else over the life of an entire government, especially when he was only Health Minister for the final four years. The additional caveat is that Tony Abbott never actually ran the Health portfolio when he was minister; rather, it was run by John Howard’s office while Abbott biked around the country. But he’s not Robinson Crusoe there – Kevin Rudd did the same”

    Anotehr quote from the same article.

  186. You can subscribe to the free edition. This quote where taken from that edition.

    I am in two minds as whether I will renew and than they come up with a couple of good editions. Problem is that it is a little pricey.

  187. I got similar impressions to what Ash is writing.

    I feel no party won today.

    “Why today’s High Court decision is not all that clear cut.”

    “…….Always go to the source. I can not stress this enough. First though, the result of this decision is a blow to the government, but maybe not as big a blow as expressed on face value.

    Yes. The decision for the government is bad in regards to their ‘declaration’, but not, as the human rights group seem to be claiming under the law as such.

    From the High Court decision

    There was no power to make the declaration of 25 July 2011. Because the declaration is invalid, there is no power to remove the plaintiffs to Malaysia. Any attempt to do so would be unlawful. In the case of Plaintiff M106, his removal from Australia to any country is also unlawful absent the consent of the Minister in his capacity as guardian of Plaintiff M106.

    The last part is as important as the first. Applicant M106 the high court insist, can not be removed without the Immigration Ministers consent.

    Now why would they do that? Why would they allow this despite ruling Malaysia not a safe place for refugees? Well that is because they have not…”


  188. CU, there was one dissenting opinion on the High Court ruling but I haven’t been able to locate it yet. My first job tomorrow morning is to read the whole thing.. It could be that the dissenting Justice may not have wanted to make an statement, hence the reason that none can be found. When Justice Kirby was the lone dissenter on a number of rulings he always made a statement, but it doesn’t follow that this Justice has.

  189. Thanks Min. I wish they would write them in English. After working as a DO (Children’s Court) and taking matters to court on a regular basis, I can read them but I think I am becoming lazy.

    I do not believe the government is in much trouble over this result, as many would like to think.

  190. This really does look more like incompetence on the behalf of the Governments legal team. Reading ashghebranious’s blog that CU linked to, it seems (to me) that it is just the language the Government got wrong? Which is pretty inexcusable, particularly in the current environment. I have a feeling that we will be getting a new Immigration Minister before too long.

    But, reading the comment on that blog about TPV’s being ruled against last year, I was taken back to an earlier article I had read, which appeared to be in direct contrast to that claim. I think I will go with ashghebranious’s comment rather than the one I am about to put up, considering their record of MSU

    LABOR has been forced to consider reopening the Howard-era detention centre on Nauru and reinstating temporary protection visas, after the High Court destroyed its plan to deport asylum-seekers to Malaysia.

    They also appear to forget that Nauru is in the wrong direction for people travelling by boats, and pretty much rules it out of contention for the Governments purposes (if in fact those purposes are to stop the people making the trip in the first place)

  191. Maybe it is time to drop the political game and drop the money wasting procedures of the last decade. Many hundreds of million dollars are been wasting each year. There has been much suffering caused to the people, who at the end of the day are fleeing terror.

    Yes the was a lull in the people coming. This occurs in cycles without doing anything. The numbers are now a third of what they were last year.

    The off shore processing has cost millions of dollars, resulting in all or most of the refugees becoming permanent settlers. Admittedly some were on temporary visa’s which only made their lives harder.

    The numbers at no time have been more than what Australia can cope with.

    Refugees, especially since WWW11 is what has made this country strong.

    As for the boat trade, this can be dealt with in other humane ways.

    About 30% want the boats turned back and no one allowed in. The rest according to the polls are open to onshore processing and entering the community as soon s possible.

    Whether the Pacific Solution worked or not is immaterial. Owing to changes in circumstances and High Court decisions, it is no longer viable, as much as the Opposition would like to say it is.

    What keeps people coming is desperation, not desire. Because there is some shocking boat sinkings that slow things up. The people have been trapped for years. As the time drags on and the money runs out, you are inclined to feel the boat is the only option.

    Yesterday’s decision has open the way for this government to do the right thing, that is if they have the guts. Bring in decent procedures, opening the way to focus on the real problem, that of the boat trade.

    Common sense should tell us that it is ridiculous to spend so much money on what amounts to ideology not the needs of Australia or the refugees themselves.

    It is time for Australia to grow up.

    “…..A looming problem for the Government is that if its off-shore options are closed its alternatives might antagonise not only those voters, but those who believe the refugee claimants should be allowed to live in the community as their cases are reviewed.

    The numbers involved are so small compared to the magnitude of the political issue.

    So far this year, after eight months, 2183 people have arrived in the Australian jurisdiction by boat to apply for asylum – roughly a third of the total for 2010. Those who fly in are greater in number but are invisible in this debate.

    So that’s not even 3000 p…

  192. The government needs to get out of the race of competing with the Opposition in proving how tough they are.

    The refugees need to be process onshore, in the community after initial assessment on health and security are carried out.

    This allows the government to focus on the real problems of the boat trade.

    Punishing the victims is not a ethical way to proceed.

    Wasting millions should not be continued.

    Allowing the refugees to contribute to the economy, instead of being a drag on it, makes sense to me.

  193. CU, this is the ideal opportunity. The Opposition cannot blame the government (although doubtless they wil try it) as these are High Court rulings. Any attempt by any government to try to get around the High Court’s decision is going to be met with strong resistance from the Greens and I suspect some of Labor’s own team.

  194. The government and the Opposition tell us that the ‘boat people’ are a problem…..

    Tanzania extolled for naturalising refugees
    By Correspondent
    31st August 2011

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed gratitude for the unprecedented humanitarian gesture of the Tanzanian government to naturalize 162,000 former Burundian refugees.

    This was said recently in Dar es Salaam by UNHCR deputy commissioner for refugees Alexander Aleinikoff during his four days official visit to the country where he met various government officials and discussed the state of refugees.

    In discussions with Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, Aleinikoff said the government’s decision had helped the UN serve other needy people.

  195. More from Frank Brennan at:

    First, from now on, government will have to process boat people onshore in Australia unless they are certain that they can line up a processing country which provides appropriate access and protections ‘as a matter of legal obligation’ either under international law or under the domestic law of the country.

    Second, the government can no longer rely on the general power to remove an alien when wanting to remove from Australia someone who is seeking asylum. The government will be able to remove asylum seekers prior to the determination of an asylum claim only to a country which is legally obliged to process the claim and to provide protection.

    Third, no Commonwealth official will be able to remove unaccompanied minors or other children of whom the Minister is the guardian without the consent in writing of the Minister. The High Court has noted that the minister’s decision to grant consent to removal of each child would be a decision which might require ‘the giving of reasons as well as the availability of review’ by a court.

  196. When Howard came into government he sacked six public service heads of department, with hindsight both Rudd and Gillard should have done the same.
    After 12 years of Liberal Government there are more than a few public servants who are not committed to the Labor Government policy agenda. Godwin Grech is of course the worst example.
    We have had the Defence Department debacle, where the military believes it is running the country on behalf of the Queen’s representative and now the immigration debacle.
    Both orgainsations have very poor track records (remember immigration under Vanstone). Both need significant overhaul.
    How is it possible for the public service head of the Immigration Department, Andrew Metcalfe, to bucket Labor Government policy at a Senate estimates hearing.
    Immigration Minister Chris Bowen looks a complete fool; who are the people advising him? are they going to be sacked or as I suspect will we just get more hand wringing and whining.
    Labor should get serious about booting out senior public servants and while they are going about it, turf out their media advisers.
    They have very little left to lose at this stage.

  197. Pip, the previous situation (from memory) was that this was very limited. Wasn’t there a complaint from Human Rights about the Howard government refusing access to the refugees there.

  198. lunalava, that same thought has bothered me since 2007.

    There have been so many examples of poor advice which could possibly be questioned, and, in the end gives innocent public servants a bad reputation as well.

  199. Lunalava, you are certainly right there. Rudd, somewhat foolishly promised that there would be no mass sackings and you know what Rudd is like..when he makes A PROMISE it’s set in concrete.

  200. And re “Labor should get serious about booting out senior public servants and while they are going about it, turf out their media advisers. They have very little left to lose at this stage.”

    A resounding YES Luna’…

  201. Min, I’ve found it 🙂

    The ‘Pacific Solution’

    On 19 September 2001 Australia signed an Administrative Agreement with Nauru to accommodate asylum seekers for the duration of the processing of their applications. This was replaced by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 11 December 2001. Australia also signed an MOU with Papua New Guinea on 11 October 2001, allowing the construction of a processing centre to accommodate and assess the claims of asylum seekers on Manus Island. The centres were managed by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

    Under the ‘Pacific Solution’ unauthorised arrivals at excised places were transferred to the Offshore Processing Centres on Nauru and Manus Island where they were detained while their asylum claims were
    processed. Claims were not processed under Australian law and claimants had no access to legal assistance or judicial review. Rather claims were processed by Australian immigration officials, and in some cases UNHCR officials in accordance with the criteria of the Refugee Convention. Persons who were found to be owed protection were eventually resettled either in Australia or in a third country (with the emphasis being on trying to find resettlement solutions in a third country in preference to Australia). Some asylum seekers were also processed on the excised offshore territory of Christmas Island.

    The ‘Pacific Solution’ was widely criticised by refugee advocacy and human rights groups as being contrary to international refugee law, unjustifiably expensive to implement, and psychologically damaging for detainees.[67]

    Claims were not processed under Australian law and claimants had no access to legal assistance or judicial review.

  202. Malaysian solution: always a bad idea

    There was one interesting feature of the Malaysian deal. Australia negotiated an arrangement with Malaysia which involved minimal detention before the transferees were to be released into the community with work rights. What a cracking idea! If Australia capped initial detention to just a month for health and security checks, overcrowding in detention would be solved instantly; the cost of operating the detention system would reduce dramatically; and the foreseeable mental harm which is caused by indefinite detention would stop.

    It is not clear why the Australian Government thinks it necessary or desirable to detain boat people indefinitely when they do not think it necessary or desirable for Malaysia to detain those same boat people (except for preliminary health and security checks), and do not think it necessary or desirable to detain asylum seekers who come to Australia by plane.

    The big question is whether the Government or the Opposition can forget about populism and point scoring, and see their way clear to solving the detention problem by acting decently: they could save our reputation and our taxes.

    Julian Burnside AO QC is an Australian Barrister and an advocate for human rights and fair treatment of refugees

  203. Pip, one thing that gets me is that it’s one hell of a lot of time, effort and money and for what result?

    Ans: Just about none as most people are found to be genuine refugees anyway. Labor needs to stop playing the Liberal’s game..fair enough in the lead up to an election when you KNOW that the MSM would tear strips off for ‘being soft on’. Now is Labor’s big chance to effect reform rather than trying (unsuccessfully) to follow Howard’s lead.

  204. Min, I agree. The government has nothing to lose by resorting to
    honesty and integrity in dealing with the asylum seekers and refugees locked in detention.

    A considerable percentage of Australians want that to happen, and I believe that is one of the reasons we ended up with a hung Parliament.

    Let ltd news and their subsidiary the Coalition do their worst !!

  205. Abbott is telling a porkie..via Sky News he says that Nauru ‘is an option’ under this current legislation but that’s a lie because as Frank Brennan has explained, the legislation has never before been tested.

  206. Abbott is having a press conference. Cannot past the chance to say up, up, up and up.

    A short comment on that the Labor government much be laden with shame.

    Then the brick boss joined him in talking down the economy.

    Another lie, the high court judgement distinguish Nauru from Malaysia. The first time I heard that.

    Does not support gambling bill. Cannot up the gambling body. More concerned about on-line gambling. Must look after the local mob.

    It is unusual to see Mr. Abbott been asked some questions.

    Nauru is the place. Why doesn’t any one ask him why it would work now.

    Maybe many of our top legal experts are wrong. None that I have heard have said the judgement only involved Malaysia. Most are saying the matter is not clear.

    We should Drop carbon tax. Getting the economical about their jobs.

    Malaysia has made an announcement, that the best way to deal with the boat people is for the Australian and Malaysian with the boat trade.

    Malaysia does not appear as Mr. Hockey is saying feeling insulted.

  207. Min, heard Hockey spruiking the same line on ABC earlier.
    I haven’t had a second read of the decision yet, but it looks like Nauru is unsuitable because they don’t have the domestic laws needed to satidfy requirements.

    Nauru is also unsuitable because it’s so much further from Australia, and all other considerations aside, they have to import WATER.

    So much money spent which could have been used much more
    productively onshore.

    Earlei refugees were accommodated in hostels while they were processed after which they moved into the community and got on with their lives….IT’S NOT THAT HARD.

  208. Broome footprints last big step for gas giant

    Woodside remained confident the footprints would not stand in the way of its development.

    “We believe Woodside’s proposed Browse LNG development can successfully coexist with the heritage values of the Dampier Peninsula,” it said.

    “Studies completed as part of the strategic assessment have found the dinosaur footprints within the Browse LNG precinct are not of museum grade and the footprints in other parts of the Dampier Peninsula are greater in number and of better quality.”

    Mr Burke said the west Kimberley belonged on the heritage list.

    “The place is breathtaking, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

    I wonder who commissioned the studies ?

  209. Growing concern over Kimberley heritage listing

    The peak group for mining and exploration companies wants the Federal Government to hand over its environmental assessment and approval powers to the states.

    The call comes after the Federal Government announced the heritage listing of a large part of the West Kimberley in Western Australia yesterday.

    Environment Minister Tony Burke travelled to Gambanan, three hours north of Broome, to make the announcement to a gathering of traditional owners.

    The area covers more than 19 million hectares of land and includes the West Kimberley coast from Cape Leveque to Cambridge Gulf, the Kimberley plateau, the Fitzroy River and land south of the Oscar and Napier ranges.

    The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies says the additional layer of approval could affect investment in the mining sector.

  210. Min and Pip
    Time for Labor to use this High Court decision for returning australia to the type of country we used to be.

  211. “Claims were not processed under Australian law and claimants had no access to legal assistance or judicial review.”

    Now thanks to Court Judgements, they do have access to legal assistance. Therefore there is no benefited in taking people off shore or excised areas.

    If these people had access to legal assistance, the judgements we are now seeing would have come during the Howard years.

  212. Listening to the refugees solictor. Some of the rights the refugees are entitled to, is the right to employment among others. New Guinea is not allowing that. There is far as I know, there is no work on Nauru.

  213. Greens to block asylum law change

    Legal experts say the Government could amend the Migration Act to allow the asylum seekers to be transferred.

    But Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says her party would oppose that move.

    “Of course the Greens wouldn’t be supporting legislation that would undermine the ruling of the High Court, undermine Australia’s obligations to the Refugee Convention and of course put children in harm’s way. So I don’t see that that’s a feasible option.”

  214. I suggest we should all email Mr. Bowen direct, if we are intersted in fairness and justice. If we are interested in saving millions of dollars.

    I believe there is a commnuity cabinet meeting today. I believe in Queensland.

    I have forward a part of one of my comments.

  215. It is also true that the Greens will have control of the Senate many years into the future. Mr. Abbott also will not be in the position to bring about any change to the act.

    Another thing that he has little power to change.

  216. The Senator did not only try to run away. She tried to pervert the course of Justice. It looks like the police continued to act after the two security guards and the owner filed papers to have the charges to be dropped.

    One law for the Liberals, one law for Labor.

    Thanks for honest cops.

    “….It is alleged she pushed a security officer and repeatedly closed her car door on the officer while trying to flee the store.

    Prosecutors told Adelaide Magistrates Court Fisher was reported by police and returned to the store about two hours later to pay for items.

    Prosecutors also said both security officers and the supermarket had been approached by a representative of the Senator and within two days had filed papers with police asking charges not be pursued…”

  217. Just watched the news conference with the PM.
    When talking about the legal advice the govt had taken, the case was based in part on precedence written in the federal court by the current chief justice, fisher.

  218. The “people” that organised the convoy of no cosequence like to display their true selves for all to see.

    Mr Albanese fought his way through to address the gathering, saying he was used to addressing demonstrations.

    But he told the crowd they had a funny view of democracy, in shouting him down and carrying images of Prime Minister Julia Gillard next to pictures of a dog.

    “The sort of other signs that we see at this demo, my view is there is nothing democratic about that.

  219. Ms Gillard said the High Court had changed the interpretation of immigration law, singling out Chief Justice Robert French for mention.

    “His honour … considered comparable legal questions when he was a judge of the Federal Court and made different decisions to the one that the High Court made yesterday,” she said.

    Read more:

  220. Pip the story gets better the store had cctv of the incident but after viewing by the store and a person acting for fisher( liberal) the footage was now no longer available. then the poor security worker was convinced to retract her complaint. No doubt, as most of the evidence has disappeared and some of the evidence can not be used (intimidation) “poor” mary jo will probably get off wothout conviction.

  221. So much for fairness and justice.

    “February, 2003

    Journalists are not welcome in Nauru. Neither are lawyers, human rights advocates, or even concerned citizens. This isolated Pacific nation plays host to two detention centres the Australian and Nauruan governments would rather you didn’t see. 18 months ago, asylum seekers on board the ‘Tampa’ were intercepted en route to Australia. They were diverted to Nauru and John Howard’s so-called ‘Pacific solution’ was born. It’s a plan to detain and process asylum seekers outside of Australia. Out of sight and away from access to Australian courts and appeals.


  222. And in support of the PM, Wilkie and pre-commitment gambling

    Under Mr Wilkie’s plan, poker machines will be programmed to cap a gambler’s losses at $120 an hour rather than $1200 an hour.

    Lower-intensity machines, which take smaller bets, will not require any form of pre-commitment.

    Apparently the Salvos are not welcome in some clubs. But really next time I see those Clubbies heckling govt ministers I will known that they can afford to GAMBLE /LOSE $1200 PER HOUR. boohoo.
    How about shouting that back at them, poor clubs indeed.

  223. Sue, Fisher was shown on teev entering the Court, smiling like I’ve never seen her do before……celebrity style……cocky doesn’t quite cover it !!

    I wonder if the security guard has any problem with her arm after having a car door closed on it several times ??

  224. Albanese jostled at carbon tax rally

    Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has been heckled and jostled outside his Sydney electorate office by several hundred anti-carbon tax protesters.

    During the rally a female protester grabbed Mr Albanese by the tie and called him “gutless” and a “maggot”.

    The rally at Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west was organised by the Consumers and Taxpayers Association, the group which staged last month’s Convoy of No Confidence in Canberra.

    Mr Albanese earned the group’s ire then by describing the convoy to the national capital as the “convoy of no consequence”.

    Today protesters raised several issues at the rally beyond the carbon tax, including homosexuality and communism, but saved their vitriol for the minister.

    Astro-turfing Teabags !!

  225. Get this about those protesters. They jostled and name called Albenese because he named called their convey and that is the most disgraceful thing a minister can do, name call.

    All around were posters name calling and Mirabella geeing them up name calling.

    The most prominent posters and symbols (black coffin) were the ones stating Democracy is Dead, to which Albenese rightly pointing out how could democracy be dead when they were there protesting that democracy was dead.

    Consistency and lucidity aren’t their finest points.

  226. “All around were posters name calling and Mirabella geeing them up name calling.”

    Mirabella, long way from home. Maybe better to spend some time with her babies.

    One of the nastiest woman in parliament. What she has to offer escapes me.

    What skills she has as Shadow Industry Minister is a mystery.

  227. And now for something completely different. You know girls how we’re supposed to be a Size 8 so as to conform to ‘normal standards’..scientist daughter did an estimate of the models in those mind numbing supposedly ‘womens’ magazines…and given the proportions the models have to be 7 foot 6 inches minimum..they’re clearly aliens.

    I wonder if they belong to the union…

  228. Over the years there have been plenty of stories about the Defence dept and Defence contracts, but this story must take the cake.
    Defence super invested in a hedge fund BUT didn’t read he fine print.

    “The Victorian Supreme Court has ruled that the hedge fund, Agora Asset Management group, was fully entitled to charge Military Super the $8 million exit fee – even though Military Super, aghast at the size of the charge, cancelled its redemption request.

    In what amounts to a sobering lesson about reading the fine print, the court found that in 2007, when Military Super invested $150 million in the Agora Absolute Return Fund II, it formally committed to paying ”up to 5 per cent” if the assets were withdrawn.

    The actual amount would be entirely at the discretion of Agora.”

    Read more:

    “Neither Mr Seton, Military Super’s chief executive nor Military Super’s chairman, Tony Hyams, returned calls yesterday.”

    I just bet they didn’t return calls but I am betting that they paid themselves a performance bonus

  229. Housekeeping matter: the law regarding online defamation includes,

    A private figure claiming defamation only has to prove you acted negligently, which is to say that a “reasonable person” would not have published the defamatory statement.

    A public figure must show “actual malice”—that you published with either knowledge of falsity or in reckless disregard for the truth. This is a difficult standard for a plaintiff to meet.

    It is therefore the Blogmaster who is responsible for all comments which may contravene this.

  230. Thanks MIn, I believe it needed saying. Many are flying close to the sun. Malice is definitely in some of the comments. Malice and nothing else.

  231. Thank you CU, so if in the future anyone finds that their comment has gone bye byes it isn’t personal but a value judgement based on the above.

  232. It must be Spring time in Canberra as I just spotted our first blowfly coming through our open screen door (I often wondered why swallows returned to Cappuccino).

    In one of those articles that helps restore my faith in the ABC’s ability for investigative journalism comes the piece about Magpies being “misunderstood”

    During breeding season the males genitals swell up to four times their “normal” size which is enough to make any sensible guy act a little strange.

    Also if the male does not do a good job defending the nest site, the female will throw him out.

    So try to be a little bit more understanding of these birds as they negotiate the difficult time of parenthood.

  233. Here is why Abbott’s hospital reform is so much worse than the Federal government. If you remember Abbott was all for locally run hospital boards, the community knows best etc,,,,,Well here is his style courtesy of the O’Farrell NSW govt and guess what the doctors are not happy

    “Mrs Skinner replaced Labor-appointed hospital boards state-wide this year, a move some doctors worried was politically motivated.

    During that process, she removed the only local doctor from the Tweed area on the Northern NSW Local Health District Board, replacing him with two members who have been heavily involved with the National Party. These were Sue Page Mitchell, a former federal National Party candidate in the 2007 state election and distinguished GP; and Malcolm Marshall, the chairman of the Lismore National Party electorate council.”

    Read more:

    So on the Board 1DOCTOR replaced 2 NATIONAL PARTY members .

    talk about JOBS FOR THE BOYS, O’FARRELL.

  234. Sue, thank you for that…just what we here on the Tweed don’t need, more jobs for the boys…as if our local Council isn’t bad enough.

  235. Min, re ‘talking points’, I watched an interview with Climate Change Minister Greg Combet on ABC24 yesterday afternoon, where he gave a very concise list of things the Liberals are misrepresenting, and when he finished, Lindall Curtis asked, [paraphrasing] “is this because of the government’s spin?”
    The only conclusion I could draw from that piece of non-sense, is that she had her comments written ahead of the interview !

  236. “Mrs Skinner replaced Labor-appointed hospital boards state-wide this year, a move some doctors worried was politically motivated.”

    Surprise, The reason they were done away with many long yeas ago, back in the days of local communiy hospitals.

    Like everything with Mr. Abbott, it is back to the past.

  237. It was my recent misfortune to visit a dietitian for advice on weight loss.
    This health care professional was flogging gastric lap banding and I suspect getting a commission from the surgeon.
    It was not so long ago surgeons were cutting people open to slice the nerve to the stomach as a cure for gastric ulcers. Some still believe stomach ulcers are caused by “stress”.
    Before Joseph Lister (1827 – 1912) most people believed that chemical damage from exposure to bad air (see “miasma”) was responsible for infections in wounds. Lister was almost drummed out of the medical profession for insisting doctors wash their hands between patients.
    It’s disturbing when otherwise intelligent people behave as though stupidity were a virtue.

  238. ‘It’s disturbing when otherwise intelligent people behave as though stupidity were a virtue.’

    Joseph Lister was up against the status quo and in the present climate change debate its the Denialati who will be seen by history as rational and Bearmanpig as stupid.

  239. Actually el gordo it was the other way around, Lister had to try to convince the sceptics that the science was right.

  240. Once again el gordo has got it completely arse about face. El Gordo I would NEVER refer to you or the flat earth, climate denier ratbags as “otherwise intelligent people”.
    Yes I know, life is like a box of chocolates and we should not be too disgusted by the Turkish Delight.

  241. Min
    Did you know that Lister observed that the midwives (women) washed their hands while doctors(men) did not.
    So for el gordo and his continual side tracking and harping about climate denial.
    A woman (our PM) is leading our nation forward while a man (the current opposition leader) is stuck in the past.

  242. Oh dear poor petal is being criticised by the Oz’ now that hurts
    “Opposition gets Malaysia deal wrong ”

    now this is cutting, from greg sheidan

    “I think the opposition’s calculation is political, and mistaken. For the first time, listening to parliament this week, I thought the government had the better of the argument on the illegal immigrant issue.”

  243. Sue, Greg Sheridan must be feeling quite out of sorts to be writing such a fair and balanced piece…’s been a long time between drinks on that score.

  244. Sue..I suspect that you have to have sex to contract these things. We blogmasters are free and pure, well almost…

  245. Completely off any topic whatsoever, one of Min’s trivia Aspie moments..did you know that for years unto a decade this one was an unknown Cole Porter tune.

  246. Oh to be old and know how to spell. This morning in Canberra we received a text message to stay indoors because of a fire with toxic fumes. But as the text had spelling mistakes we wondered whether it was a hoax. Next the internet and the ACT services area. ACT emergencies “no emergencies in the ACT”, only when i drilled down to the ACT emergency alert area was there a message. Then i heard about it on the radio.

  247. Danes vote for their first female prime minister

    “Far right’s 10-year grip on government has ended as Danes vote in a centre-left coalition led by Helle Thorning-Schmidt

    But with economic stagnation and a rising budget deficit dominating the campaign, the outgoing government promised spending cuts while Thorning-Schmidt argued for more investment in education, welfare, and infrastructure.

    Given the austerity policies favoured across Europe by the dominant centre-right as the response to the lack of growth, Denmark will be watched to see whether the new government will take a different approach and succeed.”

    The new PM for the Danes priorities education, welfare and infrastructure, sounds familiar.

  248. Goodness, the SMH is running actual real live criticism of Tony Abbott.

    THE two independents who were once thought to be weak props to Julia Gillard’s minority government are no longer holding weekly meetings with Tony Abbott, and both have denounced his political conduct.

    Tony Windsor has criticised Mr Abbott for exploiting a “redneck” politics that is “damaging our institutions”.

    Rob Oakeshott has described the Liberal leader’s political style as based on “fear and loathing” and said he was encouraging “nutjob” elements.

  249. Another point to do with the SMH article is will Wilkie walk if the government fails to get through his poker machine reforms. I can’t imagine that he get any joy whatsoever from the Liberals as they’ve already stated that the will not be supporting this.

  250. Min
    totally agree, I also put up a link.

    Now yesterday, I noted that A National Party MP from NSW had resigned. Today the reason why, not that the MP had grown a sense of honesty, no he was being talked about as dishonest.

    ‘It is understood that in recent weeks one of Mr Cansdell’s former aides has been openly discussing her intention to raise the matters.’

    Read more:

    It also looks as though more will come to light, then just the stat dec

    ‘suggestions in his electorate that he had acted inappropriately as a member of parliament”. He admitted to signing the false declaration but ”believed” that a second allegation that he had misused parliamentary resources during the federal election campaign in the seat of Page was incorrect.’

    So the story to be followed MISUSE parliamentary resources FEDERAL campaign. Was Cansdell trying to unseat Federal MP Janelle Saffin, with state resources and was this common practice in NSW?

  251. AntonyG
    the guy had a vote of 84% and his opposition an independent has already said he would be a national. so the bigger story is i think the use of state parliament resources in a federal campaign and using state funds against a labor federal member, that i reckon is why he resigned. an attempt to kill the real story.

  252. Sue..I certainly agree with that thank you for Tony Windsor..surely the most honorable man in politics. We could do with another dozen or so like him.

  253. AntonyG

    I had to read about it a few times before I spotted the one little opener. will the msm spot it, will julie saffin spot it. is it against the electoral rules? if so should it be sent to the electoral commission.
    oakshott has a complaint with the electoral office about a newspaper set up in his electorate by a ‘former’ staffer of a federal national member. the ‘former staffer’ was still listed as an employee when the complaint went in. the newspaper has now closed. the newspaper did bodgey polling then Luke Hartsuyker used the ‘poll’ results in an attack on oakshott.

  254. Ha..I thought that I should reread it t’is…exactly, why would he be using State parliamentary resources in a Federal Election. Well spotted Sue!

    He admitted to signing the false declaration but ”believed” that a second allegation that he had misused parliamentary resources during the federal election campaign in the seat of Page was incorrect.

  255. Sue,
    Wasn’t Zapatero a bright boy.

    “The move represents a U-turn for prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who abolished a similar wealth tax in 2008 — just before the country plunged towards recession.”

  256. Thank you for the warning Sue…asylum seekers, well that will be not just spoiling them but encouraging them. But on the other hand, as long as they arrive by plane then they’ll be fine…

  257. These are core values?

    “….Oakeshott had read an article in The Australian Financial Review quoting Abbott as saying he intended to be pragmatic in his negotiations with the independent MPs. So his opening line to Abbott was to ask him his definition of pragmatism.

    “Everything is up for negotiation except for core Liberal values,” Abbott replied, Oakeshott recalled this week. When he asked what core Liberal values were, Abbott said “no on climate change and no on national broadband network”.

    “When did they become core Liberal values?” Oakeshott wanted to know…..”

    Read more:

  258. CU
    I hope Hunt and Turnbull read that, what idiots ( no not the right word) they are. To think they are prepared to destroy their own ideals to keep in with Tony Abbott and the extreme right. Bye, bye political career, if Tony becomes leader I can see a change on his front bench.

  259. From Laitka Bourke…

    Govt law changes seek to create virtually unfettered power to expel asylum seekers anywhere without having to look at what will happen to them.

    Those destinations will no longer have to be a signatory to the UNHCR refugee program.

    Changes will allow asylum seekers to be sent anywhere “at the discretion of the Minister.”

    This effectively revives the Malaysia Solution but absolves the government of any responsibility to ensure the welfare of asylum seekers.

    And I thought the Howard govermment’s treatment of asylum seekers was abhorrent. This surpasses anything Howard did.

  260. Reb, thank you for that one. Gillard’s crew are living in the past if they think that ‘coming down hard on’ asylum seekers is going to win them any votes.

    It’s a complete can of worms..if they water down the law regarding unaccompanied minors, and the point of this one is that the High Court decided that the Minister cannot do anything to the minor’s detriment – then it opens up the possibility of a flow on effect, so Contract Law for example. At the moment under contract law one cannot enter into a contract on behalf of a minor if that contract is to the minor’s detriment…but what happens if you can enter into a contract on behalf of the minor if it is to that minor’s detriment?

  261. Yes Min, it’s a disgrace.

    It’s actually worse than what they were hoping to push through before the High Court determination.

    The Gillard govt should just abandon this offshore processing scheme altogether and adopt a more humanitarian approach.

    That might just restore some integrity and public confidence.

    The fact that Gillard wants to pursue this hard line approach simply illustrates how beholden she is to the right wing factions.

  262. Reb, one thing that I cannot understand is that if Gillard wants a regional processing centre then why can’t it be Australia as after all we are the wealthiest nation in the region.

    Gillard now has to face the fact that she has been neatly wedged by Abbott. It seems that it’s Abbott who now supported ‘the humanitarian approach’.

  263. Bad manners of Mr. Abbott firstly put them off. Finally it appears it came down to Mr.Abbott’s character flaws that make him unfit to be PM.

    “…Windsor insists Abbott’s conduct was central to his decision because it exposed “character flaws” in the Liberal leader.

    “He started with an expectation” that he’d win. “When that wasn’t working, there was a bit of panic, then begging, and a grab bag of gifts. There was no economic or financial structure,” Windsor said this week.

    “The key to his character is the begging. He said to me ‘I’ll do anything, absolutely anything, to get this job’. He said it to me a number of times, he left phone messages saying it.

    “I don’t dislike the guy. I don’t think he’s prime minister material. It wasn’t the only factor. Broadband was important to me, climate change was important.”

    Read more:

  264. CU, I cannot argue with you on that one. Even though the Gillard government leaves a lot to be desired, and I pick out the asylum seeker issue…Abbott would be a nightmare for Australia.

    Tony Windsor must be one of the most astute and honest of politicians, may we have many more like him.

  265. Cannot help myself. More gems of wisdom from same article.

    “There is a real nasty, vitriolic edge that’s crept in – particularly into the right wing of politics in this country, and I think Tony Abbott has sort of aided and abetted that to a certain degree.

    “It’s doing damage to our institutions. Tony Abbott is part of that and probably part-instigator. But I become offended when a woman in my electorate comes in absolutely terrified by something Tony Abbott has said. We in the game – for us it’s just spin. But for other people, when it’s washed through Alan Jones, people think the country is broke, yellow hordes are on boats and climate change is a concoction of Jewish bankers. It’s not good for democracy.”

    It’s plain that Windsor and Oakeshott speak to each other a great deal. Their viewpoints are very similar. Oakeshott argues that Abbott’s embrace of the far-right populist movement has brought the extreme political periphery to the centre.

    “People are swallowing these tricks. Jacques Laxalle is one of the most influential people in public policy in this country,” he says, referring to one of the people behind the Consumer and Taxpayers Association, organisers of the No Carbon Tax Rallies. “Ten years ago he was positioned as a nut job. That’s what Tony Abbott is playing with…..”

    Read more:

  266. Reb, at no time has the Gillard government not sought the blessing of the UNHRC

    They do not demand that a country sign the Convention. They demand that the country involved protect asylum seekers.

  267. ‘But I become offended when a woman in my electorate comes in absolutely terrified by something Tony Abbott has said.’

    Can’t imagine, try as I might.

  268. ME, more wonderful actions of the O’Farrell government.

    “….Drastic cuts to staff and offices of NSW Industrial Relations will hit workers and small businesses, the Public Service Association said today.

    Last week’s NSW budget included a 28 per cent cut to NSW Industrial Relations, the body that provides free advice and support to businesses and employees about their work obligations and rights as well as investigating breaches of workplace laws…….

    ……..Employee numbers will be cut from 157 to 109, with job losses mostly in the education and inspectorate branches that assist small business. About 40 per cent of NSW IR workplace educators and 29 per cent of investigators will be cut.

    Offices to be closed include Penrith and four regional offices at Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Wagga Wagga and Orange. Staff numbers in the Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle offices will be halved. Only Lismore and Dubbo will remain to cover all of country NSW……

  269. And that from the party that always claims to be “for small business” Cu.

    Just like the furphy they are “for pensioners” and “for rural people” they are nothing of the sort and a look at history shows they are worse for those groups.

    The Liberals are the party “for big business” and “for themselves in power” full stop.

  270. CU, sadly Malaysia hasn’t got the best track record as far as the protection of asylum seekers. On this one Gillard got it wrong…. Of course since the Crikey article came the High Court decision that unaccompanied minors should be protected.

    Children, pregnant women, the sick, elderly and unaccompanied minors who arrive by boat in Australia could all be sent to Malaysia. “There is no blanket exemption,” said Gillard, although exceptional circumstances would be examined on a case-by-case basis.

  271. ME, what of the promise that no front line jobs would go.

    Min,I am well aware of the Malaysian History. The UN which is working in the country are willing to give it a go.

    I am sure they are more aware of the problems than Mr. Morrison who made a 24 hour visit.

    One of the pluses is that the agreement with Australia is leading to improvement for all the refugees in Malaysia.

    Now this might not be true, but who are we to disbelieve the opinions of the experts working in the country.

  272. There are now a group of lawyers who are going to challenge the detention of people smugglers on the ground it is not illegal to ship asylum seekers to Australia as the High Court has ruled the asylum seekers aren’t illegal.

    That will effect Abbott as well.

    I note that Abbott is opposing Gillard’s amendment on purely hypocritical grounds. You have to listen to what he’s actually saying in opposing it. He hasn’t got any objection to a minister being given unfettered powers “in the public interest” because he knows Howard did this a couple of times, remember Andrews, and also the reverse where he curtailed FOI and transparency by giving ministers unfettered power as “not in the public interest”.

    What Abbott has said is that “this minister” is incompetent so shouldn’t be given unfettered powers to send people to other countries. So he means that his minister would be able to have that power.

    That is a bit rich from a man who was incompetent and failed in every portfolio he was ever given as a minister and shadow minister.

    Abbott is still saying Nauru is legal but I don’t know how. Just being a signatory to the UNHCR doesn’t make it legal under the High Court ruling from the way I read it. The decision doesn’t specifically say anywhere that the offshore detention of asylum seekers is dependent on being a signatory to the UNHCR.

    In that case Malaysia is still on the cards because though it’s not a signatory, Gillard’s policy has the processing centres being overseen by the UNHCR and run under strict humanitarian grounds.

    And whilst Abbott is coming over all faux teary and concerned about asylum seekers he cares naught about, except as a path to the lodge, he is ignoring the horrible plight of the 4000 who now will not be swapped and continue to suffer horribly as they have no humanitarian oversight.

    Notice how those suffering people have been shoved out of the debate by Abbott.

  273. Mobius, that is an interesting one because if the people that the people smugglers bring over are found to be ‘legal’ and a clear majority of them have found to be so – whence the crime?

    Yes I know it’s a bit of legalese…

    Abbott saying that Nauru is still ‘legal’ is Abbott talking through a hole in his head. The problem is that the media is so p’weak that there is no one on a regular basis to pick him up on it. Certainly we have some excellent commentators, but note how they have only a weekly or fortnightly column compared with the shock-jock types who are in our ear every 5 minutes.

  274. El you don’t. You don’t want WorkChoices, you do not want a full stop to the issue of gay marriage..believe me, you don’t…

  275. Yabbot is correct on this..

    TONY ABBOTT: “It is really legislation for offshore dumping. It’s providing the minister with an unfettered discretion that doesn’t require any need for relevant human rights standards. So it doesn’t actually meet the test which the Prime Minister set for it, which was that it should simply restore the previous legal understanding of the situation.”

  276. I think that any alterations to the Migration Act will go to a High Court challenge. The question is: will the High Court support any legislation which waters down their previous decision. I think not.

    Anyway…it won’t get through the Senate with both the Libs and the Greens against it. But if it did, then the above would apply.

  277. Yes egg, that is correct.

    Basically it gives the minister to send people anywhere he likes under the guise of being “in the public interest.”

    Gone is the duty of care responsibility to ensure that the asylum seekers would be well treated. Gone are the human rights protections..

    Although Catching Up seems to think that Malaysia is a great place for asylum seekers.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the government reacts when the first asylum seeker is tortured and/or caned in Malaysia….

    The Gillard government probably hasn’t thought that far ahead.

    Those focus groups probably haven’t been conducted yet.

    Anyone with a passing interest can read the proposed amendments to the Act here.

    I think it was only a couple of weeks ago, I was mocked by the Gillard supporters for suggesting that the government would attempt to change the law to push its Malaysia Solution through, and yet here it is…

    Click to access migration-act-legislative-amendments.pdf

  278. Reb, I bow to your superior knowledge about Malaysia. Yes I did say, Let’s see how it works..but given the recent High Court ruling the answer clearly is ‘it won’t’ at least not without a watering down of human rights conditions.

    On the other hand Abbott is still talking Nauru and turning the boats around ‘when safe to do so’. When safe to do so is clearly an invitation for people make sure that it’s not safe to do so….

  279. Reb, you may well be correct. What I believe is not disputed that turning the boats back, is anymore humane. Back to Indonesia that will not take them, which also is no paradise.

    What is to be gained by processing them on Nauru, that cannot occur more cheaply onshore?

    Mr. Abbott has said he is not happy with taking any of the four thousand. Why not?

  280. I don’t see why we don’t just have onshore processing…

    It costs taxpayers $500,000 for each asylum seeker to be processed offshore, whereas it’s only $40,000 onshore…

    The Gillard govt has the opportunity to do the right thing, but it seems hellbent on playing hardball over this issue.

    So much for Labor being a progressive, compassionate party, it is now worse than the Coalition as far as I’m concerned. Shame on Gillard and shame on Bowen.

  281. Reb, I tend to agree. Gillard should have just shrugged and said, Sorry’s a High Court decision and so it looks as if it’s onshore processing for us.

    On the other hand, what would you recommend to stop the Indonesian people smugglers. I do mean this as a sincere question giving due regard to the fact that you know more than most of us about the situation.

    The often very young Indonesian fishermen/people smugglers are just as much victims do you ‘talk’ to Indonesia when the graft goes straight to top.

  282. All of us here are in agreement, onshore processing is the correct choice on humanitarian, economic and political grounds.

    Most Australians are with us on this, so what has happened to the ALP?

    Death to the right faction!

  283. Reb, you are being a naughty boy again, twisting what I am saying. I did not say Malaysia was a wonderful place.

    I said the UNHCR thought that things could be improved.

    Indonesia, Nauru and every other places off shore also are not places one would choose to live.

    Whether Nauru is legal or not is immaterial. Nothing that is done there, that cannot be done on shore.

    The High Court can only make decisions on matters of law. The proposed bill would stand unless it conflicts with the Constitution or maybe other laws.

    It will be left up to the Australian people at the next election as to whether any action taken on asylums seekers is accepted.

    That is the way our democracy works. Governments make laws. The judiciary test them.

  284. Min, I don’t profess to know more than anyone else on the subject, although I have a lawyer friend who keeps me informed, you may have heard of him – Stephen Estcourt – he is the QC who together with Major Mori defended the legal rights of David Hicks.

    More recently he’s been involved in ensuring that the rights of asylum seekers seeking asylum in Australia are not diminished simply because it suits certain political individuals. He’s actively involved in the current situation.

    I guess my views have been influenced by some of the things he’s been telling me.

    In terms of the boat smugglers, wasn’t there some collaboration between the Australian government and Indonesian govt in the past that (partially) helped to address this?

    But yes, I agree, while there are young Indonesian fisherman with no money and little prospects then the temptation to get involved in people smuggling is always going to be there…

  285. Reb, you know the situation..the Indonesians nod wisely and do nothing. Once in a blue moon they allow a high profile smuggler to be caught. If the Indonesians fail to do anything about people smuggling (for all sorts of reasons eg child prostitution) then buckleys and no chance that they will do anything about a few thousand refugees.

  286. “Most of us would like to see onshore processing.”

    Many would like to see the people in the community as quickly as possible.

    A large number are happy to see the boats sink, if that means they do not enter the country.

    Many would like to see the matter just go away.

    Some also realise the matter is not as black or white as many assume.

    Which side will you be on if another boat sinks or the invasion of boats come.

    The reality is that governments have to make choices. Choices that have downsides as well as upsides. Choices that do the less harm.

  287. ‘A large number are happy to see the boats sink’

    A small percentage of the Australian population.

    There are nutters in every society.

  288. Gone is the duty of care responsibility to ensure that the asylum seekers would be well treated. Gone are the human rights protections..

    That is not what ABC News reported this morning in airing Abbott’s response and how he’s now wedged, which I’ll get onto.

    ABC News said that the one provision the legislation for giving the minister blanket say was that they had to guarantee the welfare and well being of refugees. Having not read the entire amendment, only snippets online, I cannot attest to this only it’s what was reported.

    Now how Abbott has wedged himself.

    From the moment Rudd changed the immigration act the opposition have been harping on about how the government has “gone soft” on protecting our borders. Harping on would be an understatement, but they have been relentless in that line of attack with Morrison as their lead attack dog.

    Now Abbott is saying the government is too tough, which follows that the opposition is softer. The message is now out that Nauru is the place to be detained because it is humane, soft, can’t have unaccompanied minors and almost guarantees you a place in Australia. Abbott has stated that overseas places like Malaysia are hell holes and his detention is better and compassionate. Abbott has done the one thing he kept accusing the government of, sent out an open invitation to the boats to come in droves.

    He may have also added 4000 more into the mix who had been given a lifeline to Australia but have had that taken away by the courts and now Abbott. Expect them to seek out people smugglers as well.

    If Abbott gets into power and the boats keep coming, as they inevitably will, watch the excuses fly and of course it will be all Labor’s fault just as O’Farrell is blaming Labor for his growing list of failures and broken promises.

    Min I heard on that piece this morning that the organisers of smuggling people are committing a crime but those fisherman they pay for the use of their boats and passage of the (legal) asylum seekers to Ashmore or Christmas aren’t doing anything illegal.

    There’s another wedge on Tony and the MSM that kept calling the boat people illegal. The High Court has ruled they are not illegal. Wonder if you can be fined for calling someone an illegal when they are not.

  289. In terms of the boat smugglers, wasn’t there some collaboration between the Australian government and Indonesian govt in the past that (partially) helped to address this?

    Hi cafetarians,
    The AFP under Keelty were running rampant around Indonesia paying for boats to be sabotaged. This ‘scheme’ put lives at risk, but it kept asylum seekers out of the headlines and that was all Howard cared about. Who knows what else the AFP were doing? It was certainly very shady, legally and morally/ethically speaking, but typical of conservative politics.

    To me it is much like the animal cruelty issue, people know what is going on but turn a blind eye if it profits people and serves a purpose. Plus, the asylum seekers have been so demonised as to be less than human, haven’t they?

    I don’t know why Labor won’t go the onshore processing route, it really shows that political power is all that interests them and not doing what is right for the country, financially and morally. It says it all when wedging Abbott and pandering to voters who will never vote for them anyway is the ‘solution’.

  290. Hello Min and all.

    The WiFi in my hotel is so poor that I’ve been forced to come downstairs into the casino where the reception is quite adequate.

    I’ve had an eventful trip to date. Apart from catching a bug and having the inconvenience of my luggage going to the wrong continent it has been rather fascinating.

    I’ve seen the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the Sistine Chapel, the statue of Madonna and Child in St Peter’s Cathedral, the battle fields of Somme and the statue of David. We’ve all seen photos of David but none of them capture his expression. To see the expression at the moment he sees Goliath is beyond description. And who should be standing there, an old friend from Adelaide I met on a cruise in 1976 who I hadn’t seen for ten years. Her screams of excitement had people laughing.

    I also caught up with Joni in Germany and that was also great.

    Today I hand fed some chipmunks in the Grand Canyon.

    Did I mention that the chicks are hot in Vegas?

    Heading back home next week and I must admit that I’m a bit homesick now. Speak to you all again soon.


  291. Hi Migs, it’s wonderful to see the boss back on board. 🙂 That is so extra special that you met with your friend from Adelaide and in front of the Statue of David no less..clearly one of those meant to be things.

  292. Nice to hear from you, and seeing such wonderful history as well.

    I love that old stuff and it’s something Europe does so well, mix the old and the new. I practically lived in museums and art galleries there.

    As much as I loved my time living in America, after Europe it was a shame to see a sameness across the US with history being mostly preserved in memorials and recreations. Development and the quest for the almighty dollar has seen much of their history gone, unless a dollar can be made from it.

  293. Armchair opinionator – thank you for that – that is one story that I most definitely did not know about, Keelty and the sabotaging.

    Yes absolutely, it is not illegal to seek asylum. Where the term came from I believe is the Navy term SIEV, suspected illegal entry vessel. That is, the vessel is suspected to be illegally in Australian waters – the vessel is illegal but the people on board who claim asylum are not. The crew of course are not even illegal because they are innocent until found guilty of charges. It is only when people either have their claims for asylum rejected or are convicted of the crime of people smuggling that they become ‘illegal’.

  294. ****Can I be a complete nuisance and ask that the Open Topic now be taken to Open Topic II. We now have 410 comments on Open Topic and so will be impossible for some people such as those accessing the blog via an iPhone to download.

  295. Last night I read a negative story about Abbott and now this on the NBN, the world must be turning upside down.

    Finally some truth about NBN costs and from News Ltd.

    “AUSTRALIANS will access the National Broadband Network for as little as $50 a month, according to the latest telco to reveal its NBN packages.

    In the best indication yet of what most Australians will pay for super-fast internet, iiNet announced its premium packages – including speeds of 100 Mbs and 1 terabyte of data – would cost just $100 a month.

    That’s about $90 less than Internode’s premium service revealed earlier this year.”

    Read more:

  296. Thanks Sue, my wonderful underground opitic fibre connection is running at 70 Mbs (I can upgrade to 100 Mps) with 150 gig per month upload/download for $23.95.
    I spend a lot of time downloading you tube clips (currently wood turning how-too’s). The family recently had a virtual birthday party for our son in Melbourne (via Skype) he even got to blow out the candles with some help from our grandson in Canberra.
    I understand that several coalition MPs are whinging to the government about when their electorate is scheduled to receive the NBN roll out – worried they might miss out maybe? – tuff luck turkeys!

  297. Looks as though there are more electoral law violations attributed to Cansdell. He rented an office for $150/ week when the going rate was $500/week.

    “The arrangement raises questions under NSW election funding laws, whereby indirect political donations of more than $1000 in a financial year are prohibited”.

    Read more:

    Resigning so quickly certainly does appear to be designed as an attempt to cover up illegality.

  298. Min I reckon that Cafe Whispers is under attack by a politically motivated computer goon squad. All my computers are protected by a number of high level virus checking software and both me and another regular contributor have noted suspicious activity associated with this site.

  299. Luna, absolutely no idea..I will have to wait until the boss is available. So far the problem seems to be a WordPress one. If you go to – instead of the usual Sign In there is a black bar. I wouldn’t mind some feedback to see if anyone else is having this problem, just on the offchance that it’s something to do my account rather than a general WordPress problem.

  300. I can login and access my site without any problem Min, but I notice that WordPress have made some changes to the layout of the Dashboard…

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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s