Open Thread XXIV

With the extra room across the top I can have two Open Threads up at once.  I’ll archive Open Thread XXIII after a few more comments.

523 comments on “Open Thread XXIV

  1. Funny how money given the the lower income earners is always wrong. I wonder if there is ever a time that it is OK for this to happen.

    I as sure the retailers are not going to reject that money when it is, spent. It is unlikely to be saved. These people do not have much choice.

    The Federal Budget has focused on relief for families to score political points at the expense of the economy, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.


    He said the main problem with the budget was the cancellation of company tax cuts, which were a primary selling point of the last budget.

    ‘I’m all in favour of trying to do the right thing by the forgotten families of Australia and I will not begrudge the families of Australia some extra benefits, particularly when they’re about to be hit with the big new tax, the carbon tax,’ he said.

  2. Cu, I watched part of Insiders Business yesterday and they all seemed to agree that the low income earners payment will be spent on essentials and will stimulate the economy.
    I can’t remember whether that was before or after they discussed what the big miners will do between now and when Tony becomes the PM, regarding “deferring” certain projects.. 😯

  3. CU, that’s the beauty of the extra money for the less well off. They will spend it and that will keep the retail sector going, whereas the wealthy will hang on to it.

    Swan has targetted it beautifully, which is why Liealot was screaming until someone told him that it’s a good idea.

    Now he’s magnanimously allowing the families of Australia their extra money because they’re going to have to cope with that GREAT BIG NEW SCARY CARBON TAX which will cost them millions and billions of dollars and they’ll all be rooned!!! Rooned, I tell ‘ee!

    I don’t know what bogey man he’ll conjure up after they get their $18,000 tax free threshold, their compensation and the sky stays put. He must be running a bit low on bogey men by now.

    I suppose he’ll just have to keep telling them they’ve never had it so bad and hope to God that Rupert and his Empire don’t come crashing down and the sheeples start to think for themselves.

  4. Drum. The PM is not doing her job of upholding the standards of parliament. Believe it or not, Mr. Thomson is already found guilty. When did this happen, It must have been a quick court action. They are only findings made by FWA. They have not been tested.

    The PM is upholding the syandards of Parliament by defending the right of the presumption of innocence.

    Talk about Tommy rot.

    The Drum has reach a new low standard tonight.

  5. Adam Bandt’s comment the other day regarding the fact that parliament is not a court of law, and should never become one gets my vote for being the most precise comment to date.

  6. Is George Brandis correct, the presumption of innocence no longer matters.

    How can he say this, when history shows, that conviction by media and public outcry is often wrong.

    Does justice no longer matters.

    Remember Lindy Chamberlain and that dingo for one case. There are hundreds more.

    If this was not an minority government, we would be hearing little about this matter.

    How can a man who is a trained lawyer, has so little respect for our judiciary system.

    GEORGE BRANDIS From: The Australian May 15, 2012 12:00AM
    Increase Text Size
    Decrease Text Size

    IT is always dangerous when legal doctrines are taken hostage by politicians and sharpened into rhetorical weapons. A great deal of nonsense has been talked about the presumption of innocence in the Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper cases.

    By invoking this principle, Julia Gillard has tried to stifle public discussion and parliamentary scrutiny of events that are a matter of legitimate public interest.

  7. Could not have happened to a nicer person. I believe a certain ex Labor MP from the Central Coast is having a quiet chuckle.

    A SENIOR staff member of the NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, Chris Hartcher, has resigned and his electorate officer has been suspended after election funding authorities launched an investigation into allegations against them.
    Tim Koelma, who had worked for Mr Hartcher for a decade, and Ray Carter, Mr Hartcher’s electorate officer in Terrigal, were suspended in late March after the NSW Liberal Party wrote to the Election Funding Authority alleging they had breached funding laws.
    It is understood political donations to the NSW branch of the party were being sought through a trust connected to Mr Koelma…

  8. Few inconvenient facts.

    ABBOTT: People who work hard and put money aside so they won’t be a burden on others should be encouraged, not hit with higher taxes.

    FACT: The tax to GDP ratio of the first 5 Labor Budgets averaged 21.1%. The lowest ever tax to GDP recorded under the Howard government was 22.2% and the average was 23.4%. The last time a Coalition Government delivered a tax to GDP ratio below 21.1% was in 1979-80. Cannot see where the “hit with higher taxes” statement fits these facts in the current Budget context.

    ABBOTT: And people earning $83,000 a year and families on $150,000 a year are not rich, especially if they’re paying mortgages in our big cities.

    FACT: Average annual earnings are around $53,500 in NSW and $51,500 in Victoria. Maybe they are “not rich”, but someone on $83,000 is earning around 60% above the average wage whether they have a mortgage or not.

    ABBOTT: Madam Deputy Speaker, from an economic perspective, the worst aspect of this year’s budget is that there is no plan for economic growth; nothing whatsoever to promote investment or employment.

    FACT: After registering a 19th straight year of economic growth in 2010-11, the Budget shows Australia growing at 3% in 2011-12, 3.25% in 2012-13 and 3% in 2013-14. Having risen a Chinese-type 18% in 2011-12, business investment is forecast to rise a further 12.5% in 2012-13. Employment is forecast to rise by 1.25% in 2012-13, which will see the creation of around 175,000 new jobs from now until June 2013.

    ABBOTT: With a growing economy, it’s possible to have lower taxes, better services and a stronger budget bottom line as Australians discovered during the Howard era that now seems like a lost golden age of prosperity.

    FACT: Despite the unbroken economic growth during the Howard Government era, which was a worthy achievement, the tax to GDP hit a record high of 24.2% of GDP, some 3.2% of GDP higher than in 2011-12 (that’s about $40 billion of extra tax in a single year!)

    ABBOTT: I applaud the Treasurer’s eagerness to deliver a surplus – but if a forecast $1.5 billion surplus is enough to encourage the Reserve Bank to reduce interest rates, what has been the impact on interest rates of his $174 billion in delivered deficits over the past four years?

    FACT: The official cash rate set by the RBA averaged 5.42% during the Howard government. Since Labor were elected in November 2007, it has averaged 4.73% and is currently at 3.75%. The futures market, having seen the Budget, is pricing in a cash rate below 3% by early 2013.

    ABBOTT: The forecast surplus relies on the continuation of record terms of trade even though growth in China is moderating and Europe is still in deep trouble.

    FACT: The Budget forecasts are for the terms of trade to fall by 5.75% in 2012-13 and to fall a further 3.25% in 2013-14. Based on Treasury’s sensitivity analysis, if the terms of trade were to continue at a record high as Abbott asserts, the surplus would be over $5 billion in 2012-13 and over $10 billion in 2013-14.

    ABBOTT: I know what it’s like to deliver sustained surpluses because I was part of a government that did; indeed, sixteen members of my frontbench were ministers in the government that delivered the four biggest surpluses in Australian history.

    FACT: As a share of GDP, they are not “the four biggest surpluses in Australian history”. The two biggest surpluses as a share of GDP were actually delivered by the Gorton and McMahon governments, followed by the 3rd largest surplus from the Howard Government, the fourth largest at 1.9% of GDP was delivered by the Whitlam government.

    The “four biggest surpluses in Australia’s history” in dollar terms, which fit Mr Abbott’s claim, were in fact driven by the highest tax to GDP ratio in Australia’s history plus there was an extra $5.2 billion in dividends in those four years from the RBA.

    ABBOTT: If the budget really was coming into surplus, it stands to reason that the government would have no further need to borrow. If the government really thinks that a surplus can be delivered, as opposed to being merely forecast, why is it proposing to add a further $50 billion to the Commonwealth’s debt ceiling?

    FACT: The debt ceiling is rising due to the requirement to main a deep and liquid bond market and to allow for intra-year cash flow lumpiness in government accounts. See also:

  9. Over at Pure Poison they are wondering when the press gallery is finally going to call Abbott out on the rubbish he’s spouting:
    Contrasting the GFC deficits with the pre-GFC boom as if there wasn’t a GFC – surely someone could ask Abbott if he even noticed the existence of a global financial crisis or if he’s a weirdo conspiracy theorist who thinks the rest of the world just made it up.

  10. The GFC was overplayed and now we are 200 billion dollars in debt, which is a pity because we are facing a deflationary spiral and economic uncertainty.

    ‘Oil fell sharply to extend recent heavy losses as the mounting political uncertainty over Greece and the prospect for slower growth in China, the world’s second-biggest energy consumer, weighed on the demand outlook for energy.’

    Read more:

  11. The GFC was overplayed

    😆 😆 😆

    As it was, the doomsayers at ltdnews were saying we went into recession (under their new rules). And we came dangerously close.

  12. CU @1.59

    Tony Abbott wasn’t the LOTO when the GFC hit, so it is irrelevant, it did not happen to him, so it did not happen.

  13. In hindsight the GFC was overplayed…anyhoo, Julia is preparing the groundwork for Smith (the new PM) to drop the tax as economic activity around the world drops.

    The government ads on CO2 compensation don’t mention that the odourless gas is the reason for the handout.

    ‘The opposition’s climate spokesman, Greg Hunt, said the government had a duty to explain to people precisely what it was doing and why.

    ”There’s no mention of the carbon tax in the carbon tax ads; there’s no mention of electricity prices in the carbon tax ads; there’s no mention of gas prices in the carbon tax ads,” he said.

    Read more:

  14. Sue and Tony Abbott wasn’t the LOTO when the GFC hit, so it is irrelevant, it did not happen to him, so it did not happen.

    Unfortunately quite a number of people believe the same thing..if something doesn’t happen to themselves personally, then it simply doesn’t exist.

  15. Min

    And the corollary that Abbott so fears,

    Come July 1, The Carbon Tax, won’t affect Joe Public, Port Augusta won’t be wiped out,

    the carbon tax doesn’t exist for the voter

  16. ‘the carbon tax doesn’t exist for the voter’

    No, for the sake of the planet.

    “If one imagines a length of the Earth’s atmosphere one kilometre long, 780 metres of this are made up of nitrogen, 210 are oxygen and 10 metres are water vapour (the largest greenhouse gas). Just 0.38 of a metre is carbon dioxide, to which human emissions contribute one millimetre. Australia’s share of this is 0.015 of a millimetre, the breadth of a human hair………”

    Christopher Booker

  17. Sue, the same as the mega miners tax..nothing quite as pathetic as a billionaire crying in his Woodford Reserve about having to pay taxes.

  18. THE woman who supposedly blew the whistle on corruption inside the Health Services Union will have to pay legal fees of more than $40,000 she incurred while defending herself against findings by Fair Work Australia.


    Ms Jackson’s request for the union to pay her legal fees was rebuffed because she did not seek permission from its finance committee to engage lawyers before doing so. On March 29, the national executive rejected her request.

    Read more:

  19. Sue, the GFC had a big impact on Abbott – he struggled to pay the mortgage.

    Or was that due to his drop in salary. 🙂

    He only wants to win government for the pay rise.

  20. “f something doesn’t happen to themselves personally, then it simply doesn’t exist.”

    There is a silver cloud in what you say. As most will not notice the new price on carbon emitters, there will be no outcry.

    I note that the power companies are busy knocking on doors, offering 10 and 12 % off electricity tariffs for the next two years.

    Something just does not compute.

  21. If this hadn’t been tweeted by Greg Jericho I would not have believed it ….

    Greg Jericho ‏ @GrogsGamut
    RT @lyndalcurtis: HR Nicholls Society conference dinner speech will be delivered by Kathy Jackson.

    David Horton ‏ @watermelon_man
    shocked, shocked I tell you “@latikambourke: Kathy Jackson is giving the address to the HR Nicholls society’s annual dinner. #notjoking”

  22. Does one suspect that politics today, has followed Alice down that hole into wonderland. Maybe the is too kind, it is more like Hades..

  23. We need to remember, that all the money going into peoples accounts is not only for compensation for the Clean Energy Future.

    There is also an element of redistributing some of the profits from the mining super profits.

    This is not to give everyone a handout, but an attempted to deal with the multi-facet economy, created by the high dollar and mining boom.

    We also need to remind ourselves, that even though the cut in company tax did not occur, there are many other goodies, especially for small business.

    All business, which is going through a slump at this time, will benefited by mostly lower and middle income earners have more to spend.

    The lower dollar will also assist.

    The voters by any stretch of facts or imagination are not paying a carbon tax.

    Up to five hundred business are being charged for the carbon they emit.

    Many have already taken the necessary steps to avoid this charge, by lowering their outputs of carbon.

    The business world has been asked by the government to put forward some ideas that will decrease company tax.

    Maybe if business had put some pressure on the Opposition, they may now have that reduction.

    All business still benefited by the recent budget.

  24. Kathy Jackson being applauded by the members of the HR Nicholls Society. Lets hope they pass the hat around to pay for her legal fees, or maybe her fee for the speech wil cover the cost.

  25. An injustice we should all be ashamed of. This petition from Getup! I would urge everyone to sign the petition against this black mark against the treatment of refugees.
    We have no need to act like a totalitarian regime. I thought we were better than that.

    No Detention Without Appeal
    This mothers day, Ranjini and her two sons, aged 6 and 8, faced their fourth night of indefinite detention – without charge, without trial, without appeal.

    Ranjini was verified as a refugee last year after fleeing the civil war in Sri Lanka. On Thursday night, she was told to pick up her kids from school in Melbourne and meet Department of Immigration officials. ASIO had given her an averse security finding. They were flown to Sydney and detained in Villawood detention centre, where they will stay indefinitely. They have no right of appeal.

    46 other refugees are currently detained under the same circumstances. On Friday morning, one of them, Kumar, attempted suicide in a Melbourne detention facility.

    No matter what, we mustn’t allow anyone – let alone children – to be detained indefinitely without charge, trial or appeal.

    A Parliamentary Committee has already recommended that there should an independent review and appeals process for ASIO findings – a basic principle of justice.

  26. Jane, thanks for the reminder –

    No matter what, we mustn’t allow anyone – let alone children – to be detained indefinitely without charge, trial or appeal

  27. Pot calling the kettle black.

    One of the most abusive woman in the hose complaining.

    Mr. Albanese, please bring it on. Keep it fair and factual while you do so.

    Just last week, Labor’s Leader in the House Anthony Albanese strode into the Parliament and under parliamentary privilege launched a muckraking tirade and highly personal attack on several Opposition members, including myself.

    Like an old fashioned mafia hit-man, Albo’s message was clear – lay off our guy. I wonder if veiled threats would be ruled out under a code of conduct?

  28. I see that the UWA Liberals want Workchoices back.
    I thought this quite interesting, especiaaly for the call to do away with penalty rates on weekends. Working in the Food and Beverage Industry USA.

    “The median hourly wage for food and beverage serving and related workers was $8.72 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.54 per hour, and the top 10 percent earned more than $11.62 per hour.

    “various exceptions to the minimum wage apply under specific circumstances to disabled workers, full-time students, youths under age 20 in their first 90 days of employment, tipped employees, and student learners. Tipped employees are those who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employer may consider tips as part of wages, but the employer must pay at least $2.13 an hour in direct wages.”

  29. Listening to Abbott talk about his wife and her work at the child care center, I was reminded of former President Richard Nixon’s famous “Checkers” speech. Here it is for those of you who may have missed Nixon working on his “homespun” image, we all know how this honest, fair dinkum guy turned out a few years later.

  30. Sophie is upset with Albanese over comments in the House.

    Sophie who manipulated the No Consequence protestors outside Albanese’s office in Sydney. She sure has plenty of experience of leading the oldies, for her benefit.

  31. lunalava @ 12.33

    I so look forward to see Tony and Margie in matching Liberal sack cloth coats.
    And who will donate the dog? they have the daughters.

  32. “Listening to Abbott talk about his wife and her work at the child care center”

    I was wondering how one can teach anything at a Occasional Day Care Centre.

    I also noticed, that he does not believe that one needs training to teach these kids, unless they are at high school.

    I got the impression but might be wrong, that he and his wife believe that they should employ foreign speakers to talk to the children. That is indeed in Mr. Abbott’s camp, once again doing something on the cheap.

    He did not say why the government he was in abandon language courses.

    I noticed he made a great thing of Mr. Rudd’s language ability, while reminding us, that Mr. Downer spoke french.

    Does one remember Mr. Downer outburst at the media, for making much of Mr. Rudd’s Chinese speaking ability.

  33. I’m no Republiccan but I do like their banner from a few years ago of a picture of Monica Lewensky, which had underneath . . . The Democrats left a bad taste in my mouth. 😯

    Whatever was she referring to?

  34. Mr. Abbott is wrong. This is not fact until tested in a court of law.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott agrees there is no place in politics for personal innuendo but says the findings against federal MP Craig Thomson are fact not rumour.

    A Fair Work Australia report, tabled in parliament week, found Mr Thomson, the former head of the Health Services Union, misused some $500,000 of union funds on escort services and on personal and election campaign expenses.

  35. Is this the answer.

    What kind of circuit breaker do we need to change the vicious political culture gripping the nation? To many the solution is obvious – bring on an election and let Tony Abbott seize power.

    Gone would be the lies, gone the union sleaze, gone the kind of personal rumours that yesterday forced Bill Shorten to ‘deny’ a still unpublished story. And gone would be the exclusive ‘insider’ briefings that made fools of Australian journalists during the recent Rudd leadership challenge.

    Yes, Super Tony would sweep all this aside with one flourish of his cape.


    So back to the circuit breaker. It’s unlikely that Tony Abbott winning power will do much to turn the tide of vitriol in public l



    With the Coalition in power, some of that animosity will be refocused on the man who has done so well in demonising Labor – Tony Abbott. Union ‘density’ will likely increase (though watching union officials’ actions in past years, perhaps this generation of leaders is dense enough).

    The Labor movement will take to the streets in numbers not seen since the anti-war and anti-WorkChoices marches of the Howard government years.

    And Labor will, no doubt, release its own sleaze files. The Greens (if they can avoid the mud slinging) will mop up primary votes … and so on. In short, the currently intense rancour seen in public life will get worse.

    PM now addressing the ACTU.

  36. I expect Labor to move a motion to suspend standing orders, as the first item of business when the house resumes.

    I expect that Mr. Abbott be given time, to explain why he lied in his reply to the budget address.

    There were many straight out lies within his speech.

    It is only fair, we have the right to know why.

    Now I believe it is considered a sacking offence to do so within the house.

    news Opposition Leader Tony Abbott appears to have again misrepresented the cost of connecting to National Broadband Network fibre infrastructure, in comments which the Government has said represent a deliberate attempt to mislead the Australian public on the issue.

    In his budget reply speech last week which was nationally broadcast from Federal Parliament, Abbott questioned the need to “spend $50 billion on a National Broadband Network so customers can subsequently spend almost three times their current monthly fee for speeds they might not need?”

    “Why dig up every street when fibre to the node could more swiftly and more affordably deliver 21st century broadband?” he added. “Why put so much into the NBN when the same investment could more than duplicate the Pacific Highway, Sydney’s M5 and the road between Hobart and Launceston; build Sydney’s M4 East, the Melbourne Metro, and Brisbane’s Cross City Rail; plus upgrade Perth Airport and still leave about $10 billion for faster broadband?”

    It’s not the first time a leading Opposition figure has made the claim that end user retail NBN prices will cost more. Earlier this year, Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated several times that NBN prices would higher than those currently on the market.

    Kids like to play I spy with my little eye. Here is another game, spot the rot.

    Cannot help but think that bad connection of the PM’s address to the ACTU conference is not accidental.

  37. The loes just go on and on.

    Another aspect of Abbott’s speech may also be incorrect; his statement that the funds being ploughed into rolling out the NBN could be invested instead in building transport infrastructure such as roads, whilst still leaving “$10 billion” to invest in broadband as well.

    Abbott made this same claim in February. However, at the time, analysis showed that the NBN is not an expense in terms of the Federal Government’s annual budget, and cutting the project would not free up money to be spent in other areas. This is because the project is an investment expected to make a return for the government — a long-term profit. That return is currently projected to be between $1.93 billion to $3.92 billion.

    According to a research note recently published by the Parliamentary Library of Australia last year, Labor is technically correct to account for the NBN on this matter, and the Coalition is wrong.
    “Australia has adopted internationally accepted accounting standards, and these are applied in the budget treatment of the NBN,” the library’s Brian Dalzell, who works in its economics division, wrote in the report (available online here in PDF format). “While the applied accounting treatment depends on the specific transaction conducted between the Government and NBN Co, this treatment is governed by accepted accounting standards and is applied equally to all government business entities (GBEs). This treatment is not determined by the return generated by NBN Co (or any other GBE).”

  38. As a journalist, you can only point out when a politician is mistaken on an issue so many times before you have to draw the conclusion that the politician is deliberately ignoring commentary on the issue and is choosing to, as Conroy put it last week, “wilfully mislead” — in layman’s speech, ‘lie’ — to Australians. When that politician is an important a figure as the Leader of the Opposition, that is a very serious issue indeed. Right now, on the NBN, Tony Abbott is on very shaky ground — and it may just be on the verge of collapsing underneath him.

    This minority government has been working through the too hard basket. Never a truer word said….We are working for…and achieving.

    PM ABC 24 address to ACTU.

  39. I found the PM’s speech to be very good. Very strong and direct. Expect the media to pull it apart.

    Funny, no slogans.

  40. Poor el gordo keeps putting up losing arguments and quoting losers.

    “If one imagines a length of the Earth’s atmosphere one kilometre long, 780 metres of this are made up of nitrogen, 210 are oxygen and 10 metres are water vapour (the largest greenhouse gas). Just 0.38 of a metre is carbon dioxide, to which human emissions contribute one millimetre. Australia’s share of this is 0.015 of a millimetre, the breadth of a human hair………”

    Imagine the most toxic substance on earth where the smallest amount, the merest fraction in a medium, can cause serious illness, disability or death, but in even smaller controlled amounts can be of great benefit.

    Botulinum toxin

    There are about to be a bunch of medical breakthroughs on the use of Botox outside the cosmetic industry.

    Man made CO² can be thought of in the same way. Natural CO² is essential and as long as it stays within a range conducive to life then it’s beneficial. Pile on man made and man caused CO² increasing their PPM and the globe warms as a result.

    And the old Australia is such a small contributor false meme. el gordo certainly knows how to bring out the same old crap time and again. Let’s just take that attitude with everything why don’t we el gordo, oh that’s right, if everyone did that nothing in the world would ever get done or invented.

    I wonder why you even bother to do anything el gordo, let alone make the really hard and onerous effort of turning on a computer and having to do the slog of typing on a keyboard to put out tripe.

  41. CU @3.07

    I liked when the PM was talking about the media and their daily headlines of “Schlock and Awe”.

  42. Möbius, el gordo takes a dip in the toxic substance every morning. The trouble is, she forgets to wash it off afterwards.

  43. Migs , found this on another site about our good friend El Grondo from 2010….

    ” Quote On the matter of strange scholarship …According to Rob Oakshott – senior net savvy members of the conservatives target blogs, email and stink tanks with a plethora of climate skeptic rubbish).

    So how old is el gordo (with a name like el gordo and a tally of all the rubbish climate skeptic links he has been dropping in here of late – its a classic illustration of the method used
    1. troll stays polite
    2. pretends to have a reasoned debate
    3. Posts outrageous pieces from climate sceptic sites prolifically.
    4. Doesnt object to being called a fool
    3. Repeats step three

    Even Oakshott admits it goes on. Lies for electronic dissemination – courtesy of the Coalition.

    I would warrant the entire climate skeptic push is just about the same as the tea party push. Engineered and run by a minority of the wealthy for a minority of the wealthy……”
    Things that make ya go mm!!

  44. LOVO, el gordo is of the female gender. I know where her name comes from, but I won’t reveal confidences. 🙂

  45. Murkier and murkier.

    In an orginating application filed last month, Mr Ashby claims damages and costs for the alleged breach of contract.
    He says in January 2012, he was required to travel with Mr Slipper ‘‘in a vehicle that was not a Commonwealth Car, was not obviously a taxi cab and which did not have a meter of any other form of charge device’’.
    Mr Ashby claimed Mr Slipper told him he was ‘‘being picked up by a friend’’ and at the end of the journey, Mr Slipper signed three blank cabcharge vouchers and handed them to the driver.
    The same events occurred twice more in February, Mr Ashby claimed.
    The interlocutory application makes no mention of the claims under the Fair Work Act.
    The application for an injunction will be heard when Mr Ashby’s claims are heard before Justice Steven Rares on Friday.

    Read more:

  46. Now do we expect Mr. Abbott to stand aside.

    A senior Victorian construction union official is suing Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for defamation.
    In a writ lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court today, John Setka, assistant secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, accuses Mr Abbott of defaming him in remarks made at a Master Builders conference.

    Read more:

  47. Cu, via contributor Lloyd B…from Possum of Crikey..

    Court has now released Ashby statement of claim, in which he abandons Cabcharge allegations. Were they thrown in just to get publicity ?
    Retweeted by Possum Comitatus
    Reply Retweet Favorite

  48. she/it/him seems to be following the formula, how many times has ‘it’ done the outta step with thread thing as in step 3. above…. sh/it/he probably getting paid to post shyte for a living…… say hi to clive,gina, abbott and co. for me next time ya collect your filthy lucre El Fatso……

  49. Min, I suspect that most will disappear very quickly. Friday will be interesting.

    Going on the other article, I say that leaves the government out of the claims.

    It is dirty politics and nothing else.

  50. Come on, is not this the same mob that claimed he was not sick. Is it not unusual for a doctor to make such a public consultation. Ensure the whole country is looking on.

    JUST before question time began in the House of Representatives last Wednesday, Liberal backbencher Mal Washer slid into the empty seat beside the embattled Craig Thomson to ask him how he was getting along.

    Washer, who is a doctor, was concerned about Thomson’s health. Thomson has managed to maintain his composure but he sounds like he has been hollowed out, and without the television make-up he looks like a ghost.

  51. Whille lighting the fire & feeding the critters I thought I’d put on 9 News to see how they’d get out of talking about positives in Newspoll. Simplicity itself of course, they talked about Craig Thomson instead. Showing footage of Gillard addressing the Union delegates, they pointed out that when discussing the union movement’s current difficulties she didn’t name anyone & that the person she didn’t name was Craig Thomson. I thought Kathy Jackson might be in the frame?? but evidently not. Then showing a shot of Abbott agreeing with them.
    Then something about a petition being organised by councillors in Thomson’s electorate. Oddly given that we’d just been told who Gillard really named even though she hadn’t, the allegiances of these good councillors weren’t named either.
    Move to the story about Abbott now being sued & saying there’s no way HE’LL be standing down.
    And that’s all right with Channel 9.

  52. Bob, the worse thing about what you have written, except for the last bit, is that it is old regurgitated material.

    The two men are a couple of independents, I would say with right wing leanings, if anything.

    Nothing I note about what a good speech the PM delivered today.

  53. Australia is so insignificant and such a minor influence on the world it has become the seventh biggest polluter on the planet.

    Sad thing is that with the Liberal State governments in the reigns bringing in legislation allowing companies to pollute, and Abbott looking like getting to rule the country, then it looks like little insignificant Australia will be heading for the top five polluters on the planet.

    So becoming a world beating polluter makes a difference globally but cutting our CO² makes no difference.

  54. C.U.
    Thanks, I thought I’d heard something about those two before.
    The only mention they gave of the P.M.’ speech was in the context I described.
    Nothing about Ashby either, it can’t be going in a suitable direction I suppose.

  55. Bob and..

    Then something about a petition being organised by councillors in Thomson’s electorate.

    So what..shire or town councillors have absolutely zilch to do with federally elected representatives.

    I was a Shire Councillor, Riding President and would have been Shire President should I have chosen to stand again..perhaps I could have had influence in voting little Johnny out of office…nope???

  56. They have gone quiet on Slipper. May only mean that we know, Mr. Abbott can only deal with one thing at a time.

    Morrison and his mob are keeping a low profile.

  57. Australia ‘has become the seventh biggest polluter on the planet.’

    I dispute that.

  58. ‘…cutting our CO² makes no difference’.

    Exactly, it was just a feel good moment for the watermelons and now its all over.

  59. El gordo and

    I dispute that.

    That’s nice.

    Therefore you are pro-pollution and prefer to sit on your backside, do nothing and argue against all efforts to limit pollution.

  60. el gordo, I would expect nothing less. Still does not change the facts though.

    A spokesman for Mr Ashby explained the removal of the claim about Cabcharge misuse by saying there was now a criminal investigation into that matter and it should proceed independently of the civil case.

    He said Mr Ashby was helping the federal police as a witness.

    He added that taking out the Cabcharge allegations meant the civil claim did not have to be delayed until after any criminal case.

    The spokesman also flagged that Mr Ashby would extend the scope of his claim against the Commonwealth and Mr Slipper once he had more documents.

    In relation to the sexual harassment claims, Mr Ashby is relying on sections of the Fair Work Act and is seeking compensation.

  61. I believe he was right then, and is right now. Back in the GFC, the money had to be got out the door as quickly as posssible, otherwise it would not work.

    Although mostly positive about the future of the Australian economy, Dr Henry says he is concerned about a creeping attitude of lumping future generations with responsibility for environmental problems.

    “I’ve been [to China] recently with the Asian century white paper. It’s quite interesting talking to senior policy people in China about environmental issues.

    “They see environmental issues effecting future generations as being very much problems for the present generation.

    “We in Australia to date have not shown a preparedness to think this way.”

    But Dr Henry says business can expect a bright future in what he and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have dubbed the Asian century.

    “It’s very likely things will get better from here [for business]. If they are making a go of it now where the Australian dollar is and thinking of competition particularly with China, it is likely that they will find the going easier.”

  62. I thought we covered this ground earlier

    We did, we proved it was indeed a pollutant . You are just stuck in a time warp

  63. I just read this comment on the delimiter link. It’s brilliant and hilarious.

    I don’t think Tony Abbott is lying at all.

    That would imply he knows what the hell he is talking about.

    And it says it all about Liealot.

  64. iane, the problem is as Kroger said, he is a Rhodes Scholar by…..

    If he does not know, it can only be by choice.

    The question is has he become stupid as he has become older, or is he faking lack of brains.

    Maybe he took too many punches to the head, during his boxing career.

    Whatever he is up to is a mystery. I feel that he fakes it not because he does not know what he is up to, but it is so unacceptable to the majority, he is keeping his plans under wraps.

    Mt, Howard was careful to act in a similar manner after he lost his first attempt a government,

    Mr. Howard only showed his true colours after he gained control of both houses.

  65. Did anyone notice the change in the voice of the PM that was shown in news clips.

    it sounded hesitate and nervy. I heard her speech.

    The PM came across as strong and clear. There were sound problems but not like some I heard on the news.

    Maybe I am imaging things.

  66. Cu, I’m for the punches to the head when boxing. He has a head that one would love to punch. He must have taken some hard knocks.

    The man is punch drunk.

  67. Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson has mounted a spirited defence of the federal budget, denying accusations that the return to surplus is just smoke and mirrors.

    About $7 billion worth of spending moved forward in last week’s budget, adding to this financial year’s deficit and propping up next year’s surplus.

    At a post-budget economists’ lunch in Sydney on Tuesday, Dr Parkinson said the spending cuts were real and substantial.

    “Every budget sees monies moved across financial years. The idea that somehow there is a tablet that says how one constructs your budget and that somehow we’ve – the Government or the Treasury – have done something inappropriate this year, let me just reject that completely and utterly out of hand,” he said.

    He says the restraint in the budget is real, with spending cuts making up for a fall in tax revenue.

    “This is the longest period where we’ve got outlays to GDP below 24 per cent since the period ’78/’79 to ’81/’82,” he said.

    “So we’ve got the lowest revenue share since 1996 and we’ve got the lowest outlays share since the late seventies, early eighties.”

    Cutting too hard?

    The size of the turnaround from an expected $44 billion budget deficit this financial year to a projected $1.5 billion surplus next year is the other criticism.

    Critics say the budget cuts too hard too quickly, endangering the fragile non-mining sectors of the economy and there is no need to rush back to surplus.

    But Dr Parkinson refutes that argument.

    “The problem with this argument is that if it’s not appropriate to restore the structural budget when we have low unemployment and the economy’s expected to grow around trend, when will it be appropriate?” he said.

    AUDIO: Treasury secretary defends quick return to surplus (PM)
    He says many of the Government’s spending cuts will not have a major negative impact on the domestic economy.

    That is partly because much of the money saved by the Government was set to head overseas, such as the cuts to defence spending or foreign aid.

    It is also because many of the savings or revenue measures target high-income earners, who tend to save more of their income and that means the negative effect on their spending will be minimal and therefore will not take much demand for goods and services out of the economy.

    7.30 worth listening to tonight.

    There was definitely a threat to the economy. Credit given to Rudd, that he was ahead of the pack, in the dangers that were coming.

    We maybe able to condemn Rudd for much, but for the gutsy way he handled the GFC we cannot take away from that.

  68. Migs and co. I’m not sure but as you know I spend an inordinate amount of time in the cellar 😯 …. I’m not quite sure but I think ya got rats Migs 😕 …… I heard a squeak and low and behold @ May 15, 2012 @ 8:50 pm, May 15, 2012 @ 8:53 pm, May 15, 2012 @ 9:09 pm, May 15, 2012 @ 9:21 pm…. 😆 … fat f*ker it is too and but also…. P.S. I think theres something under the bridge in the cellar and I dont know what she/it/he is…… but its trying to charge a toll, f*ked if Im paying The e-troll…. 😀

  69. CU @11.54pm, the more I see and hear of Liealot, the more convinced I am that he found his Rhodes Scholarship in a Weeties packet.

    However, I think that like Howard, Liealot possess rat cunning. He has zeroed in on nebulous fears in sections of the electorate and has fed them as surely as an arsonist pours accelerant on a fire, aided and abetted by the msm.

    He had some very good fortune in the timing of the Rudd coup and although he stabbed Turnbull in the back to get his hands on the LOTO, he and his partners in crime have been able to deflect any and all anger away from him and squarely on Gillard’s shoulders.

    And he and the msm have been able to mount a very successful attack on the PM’s personal integrity and honesty and the competence of the government as a whole.

    The ignorant keep harping about the “lie” although they are well aware that the PM did not lie about the carbon price at all. It’s as though they’ve been hypnotised to parrot the catch phrase when cued.

    Hopefully, we’ll find the key word to awake them from their trance before it’s too late.

  70. There is a story in the Telegraph on the PM meeting a western suburbs family of 7. The family had lots of questions for the PM. The family combined income $140,000. In education, the big question, they wanted the govt to “fix” was the school start age so that it was the same across Australia.
    The family feared that people would spend the budget handouts on “big tvs and another tattoo”, so instead would be willing to give back compensation and have the Federal govt “fix Sydney’s public transport system”

    I hope the family get the opportunity to ask Tony Abbott to promise that a Coalition federal govt will take over “fixing” Sydney’s Public transport system.

    What a shame the Telegraph didn’t inform the family on who is responsible for “fixing” Sydney’s Public Transport System, or better still take Barry O’Farrell on a train out to meet the family and repeat to them his election promises.

  71. Greed by stealth:

    Peter Peterson Spent Nearly Half A Billion In Washington Targeting Social Security, Medicare

    WASHINGTON — Peter Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire who has been calling for cuts to Social Security and other government programs for years, is hosting a “fiscal summit” Tuesday that brings together Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former President Bill Clinton, Rep. Paul Ryan, House Speaker John Boehner, Tom Brokaw and Politico’s John Harris, among a host of other elites who will gather at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

    The bipartisan luminaries will be carrying on a discussion to a large extent framed by Peterson, who has spent lavishly to shape a national conversation focusing on the deficit rather than on jobs and economic growth.

    That amount of influence — building the very foundation on which political discussion rests — doesn’t come cheap. And Peterson hasn’t skimped.

    According to a review of tax documents from 2007 through 2011, Peterson has personally contributed at least $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to cast Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government spending as in a state of crisis, in desperate need of dramatic cuts. Peterson’s millions have done next to nothing to change public opinion: In survey after survey, Americans reject the idea of cutting Social Security and Medicare. A recent national tour organized by AmericaSpeaks and largely funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation was met by audiences who rebuffed his proposals.

    …Peterson, who served as commerce secretary under President Richard Nixon, founded the Blackstone Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, which owes its great profitability largely to a once-obscure tax break that allows investment managers to pay lower taxes than regular, working people. Before that, during the 70s and early 80s, he ran Lehman Brothers, the firm that blew up at the start of the financial crisis in 2008. He chaired the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the George W. Bush administration…

    Peterson is in this debate for the long haul: He’s even working on children. Earlier this month, Columbia University’s Teachers College released a new curriculum about the federal budget and fiscal policy that will be distributed free to every high school in the country. “Understanding Fiscal Responsibility” was introduced at a ceremony featuring Peter Orszag, a former Obama administration official who left to join Citigroup. The Peterson Foundation has already given $1.6 million of a promised $2.4 million for the curriculum.

    The first two lessons are titled “Social Security and the National Debt” and “Medicare and the National Debt.” The curriculum wants teens to ask, “How high a value do we place on guaranteeing quality health care to the elderly?”

    Another effort to persuade America’s youth about the shakiness of the entitlement programs is a joint venture between the Peterson Foundation and mtvU, the campus-based network created by MTV Networks, called Indebted. Peterson has already shelled out nearly $2 million to fund this effort to convince college students that Social Security won’t be there for them, so therefore it should be slashed now — a self-fulfilling policy prescription if ever there was one.

    More here:

    Bi-partisanship that keeps the privileged few tickled pink.

    They crashed the economy…now they should PAY.


  72. Rahm has alot to answer for:

    Dimon is influential in the Obama White House with close ties to Rahm Emanuel among others. Dimon was one of three CEOs—along with Lloyd Blankfein and Vikram Pandit—found by the Associated Press to have had liberal access to United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner in the seven months after the financial crisis in fall 2008. Nonetheless Dimon has often publicly disagreed with some of Obama’s policies.

    Read it and weep:

    When is this White House gonna stop treating the people like mugs?:

    Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan CEO, Defends Lobbying, Fends Off Critics At Shareholders Meeting

    Too oft it looks like one face of the same coin.


  73. Relax! They’ve Got It Covered
    Why Jamie Dimon’s $2 Billion Gambling Loss Will NOT Speed Financial Reform

    Among the more laughable  features of  commentaries on Jamie Dimon’s recently revealed $2 billion (at least) gambling losses are earnest pronouncements that the debacle will stymie the efforts by Dimon and Wall Street in general to further deregulate the financial industry.

    A scheduled vote this coming Thursday in the House Agriculture Committee should reassure Wall Street that nothing has changed.

    The vote in question will be on H.R. 1838, the “Swaps Bailout Prevention Act” as  exclusively reported here back in February.  The bill nullifies one of the few positive contributions of the Dodd Frank reform act, the so-called Lincoln Rule banning any federally insured institution, such as JPMorgan, from trading derivatives, thereby forcing them to set up separately funded subsidiaries for such trading.  H.R. 1838 now enjoys bi-partisan support, has already been endorsed by the Financial Services Committee (agriculture has historic jurisdiction regarding derivatives) and will quite likely proceed on its merry way toward full enactment…


    Back in 1986, Dimon was the bright young  protégé of “Sandy” Weill, when he was forced out of American Express in a coup de requin.  Master and servant made their way to Baltimore, Maryland, where Weill acquired a storefront moneylending firm called Commercial Credit.  Potted media biographies flung together since the news of JP Morgan’s massive gambling losses broke  last week put a decorous sheen on this phase of Dimon’s career.  ABC News for example described the Baltimore company as “a sleepy finance firm that catered to middle-class clients.” Weill’s former assistant, Alison Falls, got it right at the time.  “Hey guys,” she is said to have remarked “this is the loansharking business.”

    As outlined in an excellent takedown by Michael Hudson in Southern Exposure in 2003, the firm specialized in preying on poor people, especially African Americans such as Johnny Slaughter, from Noxubee County, Mississippi, who not only was charged 40.92 percent on his loan in the mid -1990s but was also sold disability insurance even though he already had a disabling spinal injury.  A neighbor, Mattie Henley, was charged 44.14 percent.

    Following on this ingenious and immensely profitable business model, it took the pair only a few sleazy insurance company acquisitions and the enthusiastic endorsement of Wall Street and the media, not to mention the Clinton Administration, to the creation of Citibank (Dimon and Weill parted company in 1999), the glories of subprime, and our current utterly disastrous situation.

    More here:

    There’s a bunch of suckers born every minute. Voting patterns show it.
    As does lack of REAL finance reform.


  74. Migs,
    it’s a nightmare incrementally becoming reality.

    Thnx to corporate aristocrats and their lackeys.


  75. Speaking of horrors…the stripping of the last vestiges of dignity:

    Police break up Brisbane tent embassy protest
    By Andree Withey and Francis Tapim
    Updated May 16, 2012 09:41:57

    When the dispossesed Aborigines are pitted against the soon to be dispossesed Greeks…

    and the police, protectors of the people, are commanded to become the servants of THE FEW, a shadow is thrown across the land of QLD…

    evoking dark memories of a man who led but did not compromise…who put his boot by way of police and policy on the throat of many…

    and stirred up winds that would become a cyclone eventually sweeping most of his party and friends away…some into jail.

    When a Dreamtime becomes a Nightmare…some search for THE LIGHT…and expose the shadow for what it is.


  76. “Labor’s bequest to Australia
    On Line Opinion – 16 May 2012

    his is also the third longest period of federal Labor rule in Australia’s history. Labor’s record in government may have been obscured by the fog of politics, but in almost four and a half years they’ve changed the country.We explore what this means for the future. Send submissions to ”

    Interesting study coming up. We forget that Labor has not served as long as the Coalition since Federation.

    I believe we also forget that Labor when in power has bought great changed to the country for the good.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts about the affect Labor governments have had on the country.

    In comparison, the Coalition has served for a much longer time, what changes have they left.

  77. It is nice to know the business world is so honest and above board.

    We all know the any illegality or wrong doing is to be found on the left of politics or in the unions.

    “Financial markets might be volatile, but that is not stopping some investors from risking prison by insider trading.

    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission says there have been more breaches of insider trading in the past three years than in the entire preceding decade.

    In the three years to December last year, ASIC won 11 convictions for insider trading, with another seven cases yet to be decided.

    In the prior decade to 2008, ASIC won 10 insider trading cases and lost five.”

  78. Cu @10.30am to me the changes which Labor brought were the end of the master and servant worker relationship, the end of classism. The rise of the middle classes only occur under Labor governments because it is to the benefit of the bosses to keep a resource of labour who have little ambition and who cannot imagine rising above their station in life.

    We see this a little with a minority of people today who cannot envisage doing anything but being either on the dole, or in a poorly paid job where they can never do any better..resigned to one’s fate.

    Labor governments say that each person irrespective of background can obtain, and is deserving of the best which Australia has to offer.

  79. With Tony Abbott’s budget reply proving to be another flashpoint for both sides at Canberra to indulge in some old-fashioned name calling, the one painfully obvious feature that stands out in the fracas is that the federal opposition sees the NBN as nothing more than a target to score cheap political points.

    That shouldn’t come as a real surprise to those who have been following the debate – and while Abbott’s assertions about the network being a colossal waste of money and his continued insistence on investing that money on roads is almost laughable, it’s Malcolm Turnbull’s latest attack on the network that should raise the ire of those committed to the NBN.

    Turnbull’s salvo was delivered at the Broadband World Forum Asia in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday and the shadow broadband and communications minister has used the forum to further reinforce the idea that the opposition’s NBN vision is more focused on upgrading telecoms infrastructure rather than any future-proofing of the economy.


    ‘FTTN services are comfortably offering speeds well over 25 mbps, as high as 80 mbps in the UK for example, and that is more than adequate for the vast majority of residential customers. And as BT is demonstrating in the UK, it is also possible in a VDSL area nonetheless to run FTTP to particular premises who need superfast services.’

    Statements like this should send a chill down the spine of those who are hoping that behind the political bluster the likes of Turnbull are truly committed to a long-term broadband vision. A FttH network provides capacity, robustness and unparalleled ubiquity that cannot be matched by the Coalition’s alternative and the tech heavyweights mentioned by Turnbull are the very ones that are championing the case for a FttH future.

    Turnbull may not like the comparison but his speech is another example of the retrogressive policymaking that will certainly leave Australia with a broadband solution that will be adequate but nowhere near what’s needed to embrace a digital future.

    Federal Police are investigation the release of that video of Mr. Rudd’s, showing him swearing. Surely the police have more important things to do with their time.

    Have the police become the investigative arm of government.

  80. nasking, I wonder if the new Queensland government is starting off as it intends to continue.

    Echoes of previous National governments appear very strong.

  81. Rebekah Brooks came out fighting yesterday (Tuesday) after being charged with hiding evidence of phone hacking from police, describing the investigation as a waste of public money and portraying herself as the victim of a witch-hunt

    Read more:

    I wonder if they realise that they are only being treated as they have treated others.

    Many in this country should also remind themselves, that treating others as they themselves like to be treated, could be a prudent policy.

    No one is above the mores and pillars of our society.

    It can come back and biter ones tail.

    Mr. Hockey now on. ABC 24

    To ignore and trashed what makes our society work, can come back and bite

  82. More rumours. I am waiting for the day when many come home to roost. I believe that early in the piece, they would fight the matter in the courts and the public arena. They are if nothing else, keeping their word.

    MORE former staff members of Speaker Peter Slipper are considering making claims of sexual harassment as his court fight with adviser James Ashby begins.
    It is believed they had previously complained about the Queensland MP’s behaviour, with several understood to have taken leave after becoming “distressed”.
    One ex-employee said: “My understanding is that one former staff member who left in unusual circumstances may have been contacted” by lawyers for Mr Ashby.
    The new developments came as the MP’s long standing driver, Tim Conroy, was named in court documents as being involved in an exchange of text messages with Mr Slipper about Mr Ashby.
    Mr Conroy last night claimed that the reported conversation – detailed in court documents – was a “complete fabrication”.
    In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court late yesterday, Mr Ashby accuses Mr Slipper of treating his female and heterosexual staff better than gay men who worked for him.

    Read more:

  83. Insider trading breaches surge: ASIC
    By business editor Peter Ryan
    Posted May 16, 2012 10:27:22

    Financial markets might be volatile, but that is not stopping some investors from risking prison by insider trading.

    The Australian Securities and Investments Commission says there have been more breaches of insider trading in the past three years than in the entire preceding decade.


  84. As the Ashby thing in its initial state falls apart it’s interesting to watch the liberals’ every twist & turn getting easy reportage. So many changes, so many caught out already & yet each “development” is reported with a straight face. One sided.

  85. Interesting:

    Solar PV will do to grids what mobiles did to telephony

    By Giles Parkinson on 16 May 2012

    The head of one of biggest energy utilities in the US, David Crane of NRG, predicts that solar PV will have as much of an impact on the energy industry as mobile phones did on the telecommunications industry.

    Crane told a Deutsche Bank conference in New York this week that technologies are rapidly breaking down barriers in the energy industry, particularly in the retail market. “Over the next 20 years, distributed solar will do to grid power what cell phones have done to fixed line telephony over the past 20 years,” he told the conference.

    Crane has become one of the most influential thinkers on the clean energy revolution, in the US and globally, and as we reported in this story, Shock of the new energy business models, he has said that solar PV is the biggest game changer in the energy industry in the past 25 years, and he has also predicted an end to the “hub and spoke” model of centralised generation.

    Crane appears to have softened is views about the hub and spoke, notably because of the plunging gas price in the US, thanks to bountiful shale gas reserves. But he is insistent that will have no impact on the retail market, where he says the issue of retail grid parity, and the ability of solar PV to beat grid-based retail electricity prices by a comfortable margin, will change the nature of the industry – not just in the US, but in most other markets.

    Crane runs a substantial company. It has a portfolio of around 25,000MW (about half the size of Australia’s grid) spread over coal, gas, nuclear, wind and solar. NRG is the largest single investor in utility-scale solar in the US, with nearly one gigawatt of facilities built or under construction, out of a total solar portfolio of 2000MW. But it is the rooftop and distributed solar market that Crane suggests will have the greatest impact.


  86. In 2008:

    On September 13 thousands of people gathered outside of the Janschwälde power plant an hour outside Berlin near Cottbus to protest power company Vattenfall’s plans to continue and expand its Braunkohle, or “brown coal,” lignite mining operations.

    Vattenfall’s opencast mines – home to sinister half-kilometre long iron machines that slowly strip away the earth to reach the layer of coal – form shocking scars on the landscape of the Lausitz region near the Polish border. The lignite extracted here – the dirtiest combustible on the planet in terms of emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) – helps fuel our laptops, chandeliers and iPods in Berlin.

    For environmentalists, mining and burning lignite to produce electricity is an ecological disaster. “This practice is ecologically unsustainable,” says René Schuster of the environmental group Grüne Liga. He lives in the Lausitz and has been keeping track of lignite mining for years.

    A human and ecological disaster

    First, the open-face mining technique requires that groundwater to be drained from huge swathes of land, since the lignite has to be dried before it can be extracted. The result is a 100-metre reduction in groundwater in the Lausitz region, with drastic consequences for local agriculture and ecosystems.

    But there are more immediate consequences affecting people’s lives. Thousands of Brandenburg residents have lost their homes since mining began in 1924. A total of 136 villages have been destroyed to make way for the mines, displacing at least 30,000 people. The last community to go was the hamlet of Horno – a few kilometres from the Polish border – whose residents put up a bitter legal fight till the bulldozers cleared away the last homes in 2005. Now, despite past promises by Brandenburg politicians that the resettlement would end with Horno, five more villages have been slated for demotion to make way for lignite mines over the next two decades.

    Then comes the ecological disaster: burning lignite releases more CO2 than any other method of power generation: at least 1,100 grammes of CO2 per kilowatt hour compared to 750 grammes CO2 per kilowatt hour for a normal coal power plant, or just 360 grammes of CO2 per kilowatt hour for a natural gas-fired power station. Germany, considered to be an environmentally friendly country, burns more lignite than any nation in the world.

    Vatenfall’s clean coal answer

    Vattenfall, the Swedish company that controls the lion’s share of the electricity market in Berlin and eastern Germany, is fully aware of lignite’s climate-crashing qualities. Vattenfall’s solution to keeping lignite (and other types of coal) ecologically viable is call Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The company invested €70 million into the world’s first ‘clean coal’ power station. The small CCS pilot plant – located in Schwarze Pumpe, 20 kilometres south of Cottbus – was opened to much fanfare in September. In the CCS process, about 90 percent of the CO2 created by burning coal and lignite is ‘captured’ before it can be released into the atmosphere. The CO2 must then be transported and stored underground – for example, in old gas fields, where the CO2 actually aids in the extraction of remaining gas deposits.

    Rene Schuster is highly sceptical about the viability of CCS, even on a small scale. “Transport and storage of the CO2 is a big unsolved problem. Vattenfall has not yet received authorisation to store the CO2 in underground geological formations in Saxony, and the gas would have to be brought there in trucks,” Schuster says.

    Filthy stuff.


  87. Now if this was a fund with connections to unions, imagine the outcry.

    A total of $176 million is either lost or missing as a result of the collapse.

    More than 6,000 investors lost money, some robbed of their entire retirement savings.

    One of the company’s former directors, Shaun Richards, has been jailed but neither the Federal Police nor the Australian Crime Commission are currently investigating the collapse.

    The committee says the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) must take some of the blame for the slow response.

  88. David Murray makes a lot of sense.

    ”I was disappointed that the budget did nothing to move forward on the issue of productivity, which is a glaring issue in Australia today, notwithstanding the terms-of-trade boom, and why the budget reverted back to handouts for votes instead of trying, as they say, to move forward,” he said.

    ”The distraction from the very basic requirement of dealing with public goods, the process of vote-buying with debt, builds division, friction, lack of collaboration, less wealth creation and ultimately a spiral down in the economy.”

    Read more:

  89. For our SA readers, great news at last from a site that overwhelms me with tearful joy:

    FRUCHOCS will be on sale in every state for the first time this month – but under a different name because our interstate sweet tooths can’t pronounce the brand.

    The iconic South Aussie treat will go under a new name – Menz Choc Apricot Balls – when sold in 630 Coles supermarkets nation-wide, the East Torrens Messenger reports.

    Robern Menz chief executive Phil Sims said the name change was in part sparked by a failed attempt to launch FruChocs into WA and Tasmania in the 1990s.

    “It’s really bizarre to hear people from NSW or Queensland not even able to pronounce the word FruChocs,” Mr Sims said.

    “Fruc-Hos is a common one we hear.

    “For now we’ve had to make the tough decision to adjust the name, as our priority is to make sure that the market understands what they are and gives them a try.”

  90. I was disappointed that the budget did nothing to move forward on the issue of productivity, which is a glaring issue in Australia today…

    Get yer productivity on:

  91. Let’s analyse this thing called productivity. And how much of it is the employer’s responsibility? I would have thought about 85%.

  92. Info on Twitter

    Joe O’Brien ‏ @joeobrien24

    Paul Keating speech to ACTU Congress live on #abcnews24 in around 45mins – about 8.15pm AEST

  93. ‘he would not raise ”false hope”

    A very responsible position in light of a possible world recession.

  94. El gordo, then you’ll agree that Abbott’s being very irresponsible by forever preaching false hope.

  95. ‘…forever preaching false hope.’

    The Australian people believe Tony will scrap the CO2 and mining tax…this is not a false hope, it will happen.

  96. If I may butt in, Abbott will have trouble dismantling the carbon tax. Without a friendly Senate it would be near impossible.

  97. Migs, to add..Tony Windsor said from the start that taxing the big polluters was going to be written in concrete. I believe Tony Windsor.

  98. oh no Miglo

    now we will hear the gumph on”Labor will have learnt its lesson and vote to stop the carbon tax”

    and on and on and on it will go

    and thanks to min i repeat

  99. El gordo and..

    A very responsible position in light of a possible world recession.

    Ok, so that’s your attitude..that assisting people with disabilities should be put on the backburner, but you’re fine and dandy with Abbott paying millionaire stay at home “mom’s” to have nannies.

  100. “15-hard-years-ahead-says-murray”
    Since Abbott is going to be in power within 12 months then Murray is saying he is going to cause 14 years of hardship. How true.

  101. ‘Ok, so that’s your attitude..that assisting people with disabilities should be put on the backburner’

    No, I can’t speak for Hockey, but I’m thinking he will sack a third of the public service and from the savings we will help those with disabilities.

  102. El gordo, you are talking through a hole in your can you sack the service providers and still provide a service.

  103. No, I can’t speak for Hockey, but I’m thinking he will sack a third of the public service and from the savings we will help those with disabilities.

    I’m convinced you’ve lost the plot.

  104. “15-hard-years-ahead-says-murray”

    A world recession is beyond our control, but if Labor had not put us $200 billion dollars in the red… we would be laughing.

  105. ‘…how can you sack the service providers and still provide a service.’

    Outsource to private contractors.

  106. Miglo, not only hard but very expensive. It will certainly create unnecessary instability for business.

    What is he doing this for. He wants to exchange a efficient scheme for his expensive pie in the sky Direct Action which will not deliver.

    el gordo, good governance is about choice.

    What Mr. Hockey is saying, they will not be choosing a NDIS. They do not see it as top priority.

    Mr. Hockey sees giving tax on super profits back, giving money to mothers earning up to $150.00 and already most likely covered by their bosses scheme, more deserving.

    It is not as matter of not being able to afford. It is about what one finds more important.

  107. El gordo..and

    Outsource to private contractors.

    And that’s been a howling success and umm, it’s cheaper..or sumfin’…

  108. Migs wrote:
    Nas, a galley ship coming to you soon, compliments of Workchoices Mach II.

    Cheers Migs.

    Does that come with a Tony Wabbott mouse pad?:

  109. “Outsource to private contractors.”

    el gordo, this might surprise you, but these people still have to be paid. It is not true they come cheaper.

    Experience has shown, they are often more expensive and less efficient.

    I remember back in the dark ages of my working life, there were periods when PS were sacked. Many took redundancy.

    It was only a matter of months, even weeks, that one seen many of these people back as consultants, on contracts, raking the money in.

  110. Outsource to private contractors.

    Yes I remember the days (in the early 90s) when those thoughts were considered reasonable. The company I worked for at the time decided to replace two IT staff earning about $50k each (so with a cost to the business of about $80K each at the time) with outsourced staff. The same two fellows started up their own “business” contracting their services back to the company for $300K pa. That worked out really well 🙄

    The only way “outsourcing” produces any savings is if services provided are drastically cut – the decision these days depends on how much the company values its customer servive…

  111. Just watched last nights Lateline…catching up. Was impressed by Euclid Tsakalotos…as noted on Lateline:

    economics professor at the University of Athens. He was elected to parliament in the May six elections as a member of the left coalition SYRIZA party, and he’s considered a close confidante of leader Alexis Tsipras.
    TSAKALOTOS:… It’s all very well saying that it’s just the Greek people who have been profligate but there’s a crisis in Spain and in Portugal and in Italy, and part of the problem was the banks made an awful lot of money during those periods, and now that they’re not making money the rest of society is socialising their losses. Quite frankly, that isn’t capitalism, is it? It’s not a capitalist solution that every time the banks don’t make money and make losses, the rest of society pays for it. Thus we think that to get out of this crisis we have to have a very different banking system that invests in the real economy; we have to have growth, Germany cannot get out of this crisis if it doesn’t expand its economy – it’s no longer a small open economy, and it can’t run its macroeconomic policy as if it doesn’t care what’s happening in the south. If it continues to do so, as many economists in the Financial Times and the economists in the New York Times have said, the eurozone will collapse, and it will collapse because of bad German economic policies and a bad architecture that cannot deal with the recession…

    EMMA ALBERICI: All that aside, would you agree that Greece – if we look at just Greece for the time being – there might need to be some cultural shift in your country that there can’t continue to be an attitude that says paying tax is an optional measure; and also this idea that people are entitled to a pension in their 50s, where virtually everywhere else in the world we wait until our 60s?

    EUCLID TSAKALOTOS: You’re listening a little bit too much to the creditors’ point of view. But that having been said, you’re quite right. Nobody in the left in Greece suggests that we should go back to the pre-2008 situation. You’re quite right, we need to expand a taxable base. We need to have important reforms in the public sector, we might want to make the public sector more public and not be a field for private interests and private gain. We have a big program which is not a return to the pre-2008 program. We were very critical of the model of development that was based on lending and big projects in the pre-2008 period, so you’re actually preaching to the converted. But, on the other hand, we also need a model that has a regulation of the banks, that deals with social inequalities, that deals with regional inequalities – and that is what the Greek left is saying. And we’re appealing to progressive forces in Spain and Italy and France that there is no reason why the eurozone should always be the eurozone of Merkel, why it should always be the eurozone of the banks, why it should always be the eurozone that restricts democracy, that doesn’t allow peoples to vote on alternative policies – which says more or less you can vote for anything you like as long as you vote for what Merkel and Schauble says is right. That can’t be a permanent just equilibrium for Europe.

    EMMA ALBERICI: The Germans have a very persuasive view and that is that money talks. The Germans have put something in the order of $600 billion into the stability fund – the financial firewall, so…

    EUCLID TSAKALOTOS: Of which all these loans they are making.

    EMMA ALBERICI: They tend to have a view that gives them…

    EUCLID TSAKALOTOS: They haven’t given us…

    EMMA ALBERICI: …that that gives them a bigger say.

    EUCLID TSAKALOTOS: There’s two issues there. The first issue is that Germans have not put any money into Greece which they’re not profiting from. Even German newspapers you will read and understand how much profit they’ve made from loans to all the southern European economies. Not just now in the crisis but before the crisis as well. The second issue is that after every crisis of capitalism – in 1929, in 1974 – we never returned to the status quo. All these arguments that we’re hearing – that we must go out of this crisis by reducing wages, reducing the public sector – we heard in the 1930s, and no economy in the 1930s got out of a recession or reduced its debt-to-GDP ratio through austerity. It was true then, it’s true now, and unless there’s going to be a settlement that will have to be imposed on Schauble and on Merkel, and by what I see in German election results they’re losing ground, and people are discussing euro bonds, they’re discussing a different European Central Bank, they’re discussing a very different macroeconomic strategy; the discussions, the debate has opened. I will just tell you what very many leader articles and opinion makers have been saying in the main financial papers: the eurozone will either change in a more progressive direction, or it will collapse – and it will not collapse because the Greek left got 17 per cent of the vote, it will collapse because it didn’t understand what the economics of monetary union are and that you cannot reduce your debt through recession.

    EMMA ALBERICI: Mr Tsakalotos, they’re tough words you speak, but the fact remains that the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank have sent you a very clear message – you being Greek society. The $170 billion bailout money is not negotiable: it comes with conditions and conditions of severe austerity?

    EUCLID TSAKALOTOS: Well, because I’m a professor of economics and I’ve studied economic history, negotiating positions can change when the balance of forces change. Obviously, I wouldn’t expect Merkel and Schauble to say anything else before negotiations, but if the peoples of the south change the balance of forces, difference social forces come to the fore – as they did in the 50s and 60s. In the 50s and 60s, after the recession of the 30s, no economist who had been saying these things about the necessity of austerity was in power. They had all been marginalised because people came back after the war and said and, “We will not return to the devil’s decade of recession, unemployment, hunger marches; we can do something better”. And we’re in this situation again. We can do something better. And if Merkel and Sarkozy and the others don’t understand that, I think they will have to understand it when the balance of forces changes.

    EMMA ALBERICI: I think it’s Hollande now you will be dealing with, not Mr Sarkozy. But at what point do you countenance a Greek exit from the Eurozone?

    EUCLID TSAKALOTOS: Well, we’re not actually proposing a Greek exit. We’re proposing different kind of proposals for economy and society which are good for Greek people and for the peoples of Europe. We have no intention of leaving by our own accord monetary union, and as very many economists have been saying, the eurozone cannot withstand a Greek withdrawal. It’s rather like adultery. Once you’ve done it once, the temptation to do it again is greatly increased. If they throw Greece out, investors will know that Portugal or Spain or Italy will be the next, and the eurozone – this is in professor Krugman’s blog of this week – once Greece go, the probability of another country goes is very, very strong, and that’s what gives us bargaining power against what the Germans are saying and against what the IMF is saying.

    More here:

    Good interview.


  112. This from Crikey:

    Rundle: Greece is now the cutting edge of the world
    by Guy Rundle

    That is what has happened in Greece. Rather than the shell-game of finance capitalism dictating the terms, people have made a fairly clear statement of what they want — the social-political has come to the centre of society, as it should. What the morons who constitute the ranks of financial journalism call “chaos” is really the exact opposite — it is politics, people expressing their will in a non-violent form, and then trying to negotiate an arrangement between differing manifestations of ideas and interests.

    Chaos, by contrast, can be seen on the screen on every finance trader across the Western world, where stocks, shares, currencies move according to no rational basis, driven by the echo chamber of rumour. The idea that the business of everyday life should be governed by these processes rather than by the rational activity of production for use, indicates the nihilism at the heart of the market, its alliance with dead matter — numbers, money, power — rather than life.

    The Greeks have rebelled against this. It looks like their rebellion will continue — with the failure of the latest attempts to form a coalition government the country is going back to the polls. Syriza, the left coalition that had taken 5% of the vote in the last election, and 17% in this, is now polling in the mid-twenties.

    Such a result — if it occurred in the new elections, to take place in mid-June — would give Syriza the 50-seat bonus still in place. That would give them about 120 seats out of 300. Presuming that Democratic Left retained 10 seats or so — they would lose some seats back to Syriza — then there would be extreme pressure on Independent Greeks — the right-wing breakaway party — to support Syriza in their shared belief, a rejection of the austerity measures contained in the second memorandum.

    That would deliver a government expressing the popular sentiment — in Europe but rejecting the memorandum. That is the scenario — a rational democratic one — that finance journalists call “the nightmare”. It is, but not in the manner they suggest. The truth is, that if Syriza forms government while rejecting the memorandum, but refuses to unilaterally leave the euro, then it is really Europe’s problem, not Greece’s. The usual groupthink that has everyone writing articles as to how Greece will leave the euro next week, etc, fails to take account of the fact that there is no easy way to expel a country from the eurozone. The onus is on the EU to do the expelling.

    Much more here:

    Makes sense.
    Get a load of the Greek cuisine:


  113. Nas’, thanks for the links, I’ll have a read tomorrow. 🙂

    16 May 2012, 6.03am AEST
    Penny Wong, Joe Hockey and the dire state of political punditry

    If there is a turning point in the Australian debate on same-sex marriage it may well be Penny Wong’s remarkable grace and honesty when answering Joe Hockey on last night’s Q&A.

    Wong was asked by host Tony Jones whether Hockey’s view that children were better off with a mother and father was hurtful to her.

    “Of course it is,” she said. Then, with a curt nod: “But I know what my family is worth.”

  114. No probs Pip. Thnx for your superb effort.
    Lots of useful links and info. Sometimes I get so caught up, focused, I forget to mention it.


  115. Pip,
    From your link:

    The trend towards employing ex-politicians to pontificate is increasing at an alarming rate. The Age gives us the reflections of Amanda Vanstone and Peter Costello on a regular basis. Mark Latham seems to be embedded in the Financial Review, and Graham Richardson is such a fixture on Q & A that he is presumably now entered as a depreciation for tax purposes.

    The Richardson comment got me chuckling. 🙂

    BTW, Sky News is a real sinner when it comes to using ex-pollies and advisors to pontificate.

    Something so incestuous and lazy about it.

    The soggy, tasteless bread that comes with 24hr news.


  116. The head of Infrastructure NSW has a few words too say…

    ‘Mr Paul Broad cited Roger Fletcher, a fellow Infrastructure NSW board member who exports lamb from Dubbo.’

    ”For every dollar it takes him to take meat from Dubbo to Singapore, 80¢ goes from
    Dubbo to Botany. Give me a break. He’s supposed to stay competitive.
    ”We have to unblock the freight and economics of the state to sustain our competitive advantage.”

    Read more:

  117. ‘CLIMATE Commissioner Tim Flannery was drowned out by an interjector at a public forum last night after predicting Sydney’s west faced a future of severe heatwaves, violence and death by rising temperatures.

    ‘The protester, dressed in a penguin suit, went into the Parramatta RSL auditorium and called Professor Flannery a “hoax”.

    ‘The protester drew clapping and booing before he was escorted out by security staff, as another interjector called out: “I can’t believe that you people are listening to this waffle.”

    From the Daily Terror

  118. You have to stop wearing that penguin suit el gordo.

    Another show of sheer ignorance on the subject being driven by ideology rather than any facts or science, which they chose to deliberately ignore, distort or lie about.

    Lucky for the world, the world has mostly passed these nutjobs and deniers by and is slowly, very slowly, moving to address the problem and make the planet a more livable place for all.

  119. A world recession is beyond our control, but if Labor had not put us $200 billion dollars in the red… we would be laughing.

    How would we be laughing? You made the statement so tell us how we would have gotten through the GFC without that spending?

    Remember that the opposition’s scheme to get through the GFC was only $4 billion less and followed a similar plan to the US and those European countries that all failed, went into recession and saw large jumps in unemployment.

    Australia did not go into recession, which is a huge deal, and saved an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 jobs because of the government’s reaction to the GFC.

    The other country that got through the last GFC in a relatively good state was Canada, and guess what, they more or less did what our government did. That was under a conservative government, so are you saying they also stuffed up badly?

  120. Mobius and Australia did not go into recession, which is a huge deal, and saved an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 jobs because of the government’s reaction to the GFC...with the Australian government and Wayne Swan in particular winning alcolades for quick, decisive action. There is much scoffing about “school halls”, but remember that what was needed were projects which were shovel ready and which would stimulate local economies.

  121. ‘….how we would have gotten through the GFC without that spending?’

    No pink batts and pumping excess money into tradies pockets to build local infrastructure were excessive.

    And handing money out to all and sundry (sadly not me) to piss up against the wall or gamble away, is not appreciated.

    The whole approach was wrong…real infrastructure developments will produce a better political outcome.

  122. So the Abbott/Coalition support for the NDIS was just politics

    “Mr Abbott has used the commitment to shed his ”Dr No” image by saying: ”I am Dr Yes when it comes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”

    Joe Hockey, saying it would be irresponsible to promise the scheme when there is no known way to fund it.

    ”I will not make a commitment to something I can’t fund,” he said. ”I’m not going to gild the lily. I will not make commitments to promises that we cannot fund and we’re not going to raise false hope for people out there.”

    Read more:

  123. No pink batts and pumping excess money into tradies pockets to build local infrastructure were excessive.

    You’ve been reading to much of yomms propaganda grodo. I have shown this to him too, yet he keeps regurgitating it. None so blind I guess.

    Swan and Treasury measured it pretty well. So well in fact, that commentators were declaring that, because we came so close to a recession, they’d call it one anyway.

    Read the data: it was a recession

    And, further proof that they got it right

    The main prop for the economy in the first quarter was the government’s national school’s spending program, which added 0.9 percentage points to GDP.

  124. And let’s not forget that it was not just valuable infrastructure which was built but very important things such as disabled toilets, which allowed kids with disabilities to attend their local school.

  125. So its the recession we had to have, just like the one around the corner. Big infrastructure spending in a recession doesn’t always work either, Japan is a good example of earlier failings along those lines.

    Mass transport improvement is a popular alternative in a deflationary spiral.

  126. “The whole approach was wrong…real infrastructure developments will produce a better political outcome.”

    Oh and just how were they to do that? You seem to have answers to everything, and no ifs and buts, absolute assertions every time.

    So tell us your plan for rapidly rolling out infrastructure developments within the time frame required? Not even the opposition were going to do that.

    In fact the government did pour large amounts of money into infrastructure developments, infrastructure that was badly neglected and crumbling under the previous decade of “record surpluses” Howard. Something you either ignorantly or deliberately overlook in your baseless and/or nescient attacks on the government.

    The thing you also overlook is that the opposition plan, a proven failure by subsequent global events, put nothing at all into infrastructure unless you call giving the wealthy large tax breaks and subsidies putting money into infrastructure, yet was only four billion less than the governments proven successful plan that has also left a long term beneficial legacy of improved infrastructure, facilities and services for the country.

    That is until Abbott gets into power and runs it all down and destroys it.

  127. In addition, it had to be shovel-ready. There was no time for 2-3yr long environmental impact statements etc, therefore the Opposition’s claim about more worthy projects would have all been far too late.

  128. A world recession is beyond our control, but if Labor had not put us $200 billion dollars in the red… we would be laughing.

    Here I was thinking we were laughing because Labor got us through the LAST world recession ❓

  129. Big infrastructure spending in a recession doesn’t always work either

    Yet in this case, it did.

    WordPress login sucks!!

  130. Yes Tom good point that should be repeated.

    In this case big infrastructure spending did work to international acclaim.

    Look at just the BER. The largest ever infrastructure program rolled out in Australia’s history. Implemented in record time across the nation mobilising thousands of workers and hundreds of businesses along with the spending on goods and services required.

    95% plus successful. There’s hardly a business in the world that would diss that success rate for even their minor projects, let alone one as large as the BER.

    Result: Thousands employed, businesses kept viable and trading, economy stimulated and recession avoided.

    Howard’s great nation wide infrastructure roll out with record surpluses under his belt?

    School flag poles with plaques praising his government.

  131. The cost of not acting in the days that followed the GFC would have been greater than the brilliant result the Labor government achieved.

    I did see some builders (just another small business operator) complaining that their profit margin on the BER was not large enough.

    The former NSW government sure got into the small business mind set and did a bit of price gouging, I wonder if that drop kick former NSW education minister Marion Frith is working on a less ambitious project

  132. ‘So tell us your plan for rapidly rolling out infrastructure developments within the time frame required?’

    Good question.

  133. I had to laugh, we are being continually being advise that Mr. Abbott is going to appear from Melbourne. Each time the announcer said that he is going to talk about the carbon tax I assume.

    Is he capable pf talking about anything else

    As for Mr. Hockey and his statement, he is not going to promise what he cannot afford.

    I suggest it not about being able to afford. It is about priories. Mr. Hockey obviously believes there are more important things than the NDIS.

    He has to put the needs of those who are enjoying super profits from the ore that belongs to the people ahead of the disabled and the lower incomes
    They in the eyes of the Opposition must be more needy.

  134. There is a disconnect between us and the northern western hemisphere, so there was an over reaction to the GFC.

    Chinese capitalism is innovative and may bring an end to the boom and bust.

  135. The money needed to be got out pronto.As for the economy, then and now, what it was spent on did not matter.

    It was about more than school halls and pink bats.

    As for the schools, it was also about language and science labs. It was about new libraries. It was about bringing schools into the computer age.

    It was about upgrading roads. It was about supplying much needed affordable housing.
    Mre. Henry has re-inforced this week the strength of Mr. Rudd and the fact that was done was correct.

    ABC 24 Abbott and Mirabella. The Opposition has a plan. If it is why good, why does he not give us the details.

    Who is dividing who. I suggest that Mr. Abbott looks closer to home.

    This PM just does not get, she has not grown into role.

    I remind him that the productiviy problem arose in his era, under Mr. A Howard.

    Email has been know about for weeks. None story.

    At least he is being asked questions.

  136. Watch the body language. The head is trying to nod once again. He is so tense, I suspect anger is flowing through his body.

    This is not going to script.

  137. PS. I forgot about housing for the homeless and all that wonderful work carried out by your local councils. The new playgrounds as one example, that parents are still using.

    Of the money was not spent and spent quickly, the debt and deficits would now be higher.

    I only hope if we are faced with future emergencies, governments have the guts to follow Mr. Henry’s and the Rudd government’s example.

    Because of the outcry and lies being spread, I fear that will not occur.

  138. Is el gordo becoming desperate or unhinged. Her comments are making little sense.

    By the way, was not there another scientific paper produced to day, with proof that the temperature has been rising for the last fifty years, with no natural causes being identified.

    This is I believe, one of the most intensive sturdy carried out in this country.

  139. In a boom and bust capitalist economy we should prepare for recession in advance.

    In a boom and bust capitalist economy we should prepare for Global Warming in advance. 😉

  140. ‘…we should prepare for Global Warming in advance.’

    And global cooling, just in case.

  141. “The trend towards employing ex-politicians to pontificate is increasing at an alarming rate. T”

    Politicians that have one thing in common. They were all notorious during their careers.

  142. CU

    at he abbott/mirabella press conference.

    Why didn’t the msm take the opportunity to ask mirabella if she would stand aside while her court case is before the courts?

    Or were they just frightened of the Mirabella attack!

  143. Cu @ 11.33am, Is el gordo becoming desperate or unhinged. Her comments are making little sense.

    She’s like the proverbial dripping tap!

  144. Forgot about that one.

    Still they did ask a question or two. That in itself is a beginning.

    That ABC announcer was correct, in reminding us more that once, he presumed it was going to be about carbon tax.

    I am awaiting for the day, when they voter wakes up that they are not paying a carbon tax.

    The goodies begin going into bank accounts this week.

    el gordo, there are over a million homes paying less in power costs thanks to that insulation put into their roofs.

  145. Cu, on Abbott’s reply to the Pyne emails question…
    Email has been know about for weeks. None story.

    Indeed it was, by Mr. Abbott and company, and by viewers of the Channel Nine early morning show, but the information was left in a dark corner while the msm went on their Slipper/Thomson junket!

  146. Cu, the msm only had to do a one-liner..that costs of the carbon tax will be passed onto the consumer. That is clearly something which is likely to happen, however Swan has made it very clear that any rorting will be treated seriously.

  147. ‘Her comments are making little sense.’

    Here’s a vid which might help to clarify….

  148. “THE Australian economy grew at a much slower pace in the first quarter than at the end of last year as the withdrawal of Kevin Rudd’s economic stimulus to combat the GFC, surprising weakness in business investment and sluggish growth in export volumes took some of the steam out of activity.

    But economists say the moderation in the $1.2 trillion economy will be short-lived as firms continue to plan significant investment, especially in the mining sector, while a substantial upswing in commodity prices is already washing through the economy.”:

    Even with the stimulus package of Mr. Rudd, there were many industries and people that did it tough.

    Look at the effect, the withdrawing of stimulus measures had on the economy in the last few months.

    Can one really believe that we would have been better off without it.

    The Opposition are not complaining about the money spent. They are complaining about how it was spent.

    They want to use methods from the past that had a proven record of not working.

  149. The facts, not that many are interested.

    Now of course you still get those who think this is all some kind of socialist-inspired mass income redistribution initiative. Well, the table at the bottom outlines in the first column the carbon pricing scheme compensating tax cuts for the 2012/13 budget for various income bands. Yes, those earning $80,000 or above only get a $3 tax cut whilst those below receive a cut of between $128 to $600 per annum.
    But this should be put in perspective by considering the accumulated tax cuts received since 2008/09 while Labor has been in power. Anyone earning above $130,000 per annum has received more than $3000 per annum in tax cuts, and those earning above $180,000 have received tax cuts equalling $6000 per annum.
    If you still think the carbon tax is some kind of socialist plot aimed at redistributing all the wealth to the poor let me give you a tip. There’s this amazing tax avoidance scheme you can take advantage of. It will only require the investment of just one year’s worth of the tax cuts that those on incomes of $130,000+ have received since 2008/09, yet will enable you to completely offset the entire carbon tax.
    It’s called solar panels, solar hot water, energy-efficient light bulbs or insulation.

  150. Who are the best money managers. We must be careful to take into consideration the global environment that existed at the time.

    Central to the political credentials of the Howard government was its claim to have been a successful economic manager – a view to which the figures give some, but not unqualified, support. Figure 1 shows that Australia’s per capita economic growth rate moved very broadly in alignment with the average of the eighteen countries. But until Bob Hawke left the prime ministership, Australia had a growth rate rather less than the average; then, under Keating and Howard, it grew more quickly than the average. The highest rates of growth were between 1992 and 2000 – four years under Labor, four under the Coalition – with all countries having a somewhat lower growth rate between 2001 and 2006.

    The coming and going of political leaders doesn’t fit neatly with the economy’s tendency to move through cycles of boom and bust. One reason for the Fraser government’s comparatively poor showing in the data is that it bore the brunt of Whitlam’s economic miscalculations. Hawke’s record was rendered unimpressive by the tail-end of Fraser’s recession of the early 80s and by his own recession of the early 90s. Keating and Howard, on the other hand, benefited from the economy’s unusually long expansion phase over the rest of the 90s and into the early 2000s. It is also widely agreed among economists that both leaders benefited from a delayed pay-off from the many economic reforms undertaken by the Hawke government.


    Under the Howard government there was an increased emphasis on private delivery of what had previously been public services, often with the introduction of a public subsidy delivered by tax rebates, for example. This was very much the case in health, in child care and aged care – with in each case vigorous public debates about the merits and weaknesses of the policy direction. Unfortunately in none of those cases are the international statistics sufficiently penetrating or discriminating to illuminate the discussions.


    But in education, the comparative statistics are quite revealing of the divergent policy approaches. The public share of total education spending Australia was already at the low end of the spectrum in 1995 before the Howard government came to power. But it became even more so in the following ten years, making the private share of education spending third highest among the selected countries and the public share 12 points below their average.


    How will the Howard government be viewed in ten or twenty years’ time? On several central measures of macroeconomic performance (economic growth, unemployment, productivity) the government scored comparatively well. On some of the achievements trumpeted most loudly at home, such as inflation and interest rates, its performance was actually worse than the average of the selected countries.
    As with all governments, the Howard government’s economic management and foreign policy decisions will be central to any assessment. In addition, the aging society, health care, the challenges of the information economy and society, and the environment will be central concerns. In each of these areas, the government is likely to be marked more harshly in the future than it was when in office. •

    The one thing that did grow was private debt. I wonder if transferring the responsibilities of government to the private sector had anything to do with this debt.

    Sorry for the length, but I believe there is much in this story that makes sense.

  151. Big Tobacco has come up with this ploy ahead of their Court case v the Federal Government over plain packaging of cigarettes.

    They’re a lot like Tony Abbott, they’ll say anything.

    Cheap cigarettes just a trap: Plibersek

    Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has slammed a decision by British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) to start selling cut-price cigarettes.

    The company says the burden of high excise is forcing it to market a cut-price product to compete with black market tobacco.

    The Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said

    “Young people who are just starting to smoke are more likely to smoke if cigarettes are cheaper.”

    She says she suspects the company’s motives.

    “What they’re interested in doing is attracting new smokers and keeping existing smokers, and they’ll do whatever it takes to do that,” she said.

    “Every time the Government has introduced something like plain packaging, like graphic health warnings, like increasing excise, they’ve (tobacco companies) said these measures won’t work to reduce smoking rates.

    “[But] they have worked to reduce smoking rates.”

    The Government is planning to bring in plain packaging for cigarettes in December.

    The laws specify all cigarette packets are to be the same shape with the same drab colour and print.

    British American Tobacco is among a number of tobacco companies to challenge the laws in the High Court.

    The companies are arguing the changes will extinguish their trademark, leaving only the names in a generic font as their distinguishing mark.

    The hearing has concluded but the bench of the High Court has reserved its decision.

  152. Pip, on the trademark issue. I think that it can be safely argued that tobacco companies change their packaging on a whim, therefore they will have problems arguing that plain packaging will impact on their Trademark. Note: Not on their sales, but on their Trademark. Presumably the companies will still have able to have a small logo for product identification purposes, their trademark therefore remains intact.

  153. Yes, Howard looked after the self funded retirees. Shame he did it at the expense of those on a full pension.

  154. Yep…it’s a good graph. The self funded retirees are a new mix, at the mercy of the markets and interest rates.

    Found this in the Oz, to prove they are fair and balanced.

    ‘THE first comprehensive reconstruction of Australasian climate reveals that the period beginning in 1951 is the warmest in the past 1000 years.

    ‘That exceeds the so-called Medieval Warming period of 1238-1267, according to the analysis reported today in the Journal of Climate by a 30-member team of international scientists, led by paleoclimatologist Joelle Gergis of Melbourne University.’

  155. Australia inspires UK on cigarette plain packaging

    Britain’s health secretary says Australia’s lead on cigarette plain packaging has inspired the UK to develop similar laws of its own.

    While the Australian Government is preparing to do legal battle with cigarette companies over plain packaging, the UK is starting a consultation process aimed at stopping young people taking up smoking.

    British health secretary Andrew Lansley says 5 per cent of 11 to 15-year-olds are regular smokers, adding to a habit that costs the country 100,000 lives each year.

    NZ set to follow Australia’s lead on plain packaging

    The New Zealand government is poised to push for the introduction of plain cigarette packaging legislation.

    New Zealand’s associate minister of health, Tariana Turia, says the cabinet has agreed in principle “to introduce a plain packaging regime in alignment with Australia”.

    But she says the process will be subject to a public consultation process, which will be undertaken later in the year.

  156. Min, @ 2.18pm, we’re lucky to have a legal minded chum here to explain. 🙂
    They know that the trademark argument won’t necessarily be good enough hence
    their argument re the ‘black market’.

  157. The Coalition has raised the prospect of a United States style move to block government attempts to lift the debt ceiling, raising the prospect of turmoil on financial markets.


    Financial markets consultant Stephen Koukoulas, a former advisor to Prime Minister Gillard, warned things could get “ugly” if the debt ceiling was held down.

    “Think back to what happened mid last year. Congress was going to block a required increase in the US debt ceiling. The US government was going to miss its bills. I don’t want to overstate it, but things got pretty ugly… Around 80 per cent of our bond market is held by foreigners. We can’t afford to alienate these people by playing silly buggers with the ceiling.”

  158. Not many people ever got the chance to become self-funded retirees. As my Dad used to say, I used to put in my sixpence and when I retired I got my sixpence back. The pension used to be equivalent to the basic wage, the idea being that one paid taxes all one’s life and so a person was entitled to dignity in retirement..but with the pension being eroded in value over the years, today trying to subsist on a pension is less than dignified. Also let us not forget that many women who are now pensioners had no chance whatsoever to obtain benefits such as superannuation payouts.

  159. Min, also the government is very generous in providing assistance to those who have the ability to save.

    They get rebates during their working lives, to enable them the save.

    When they retire they seem to forget this and demand the age pension and all it’s benefits as well.

    I wonder how the cost to the taxpayers giving super rebates compares with what is paid out with the old age pension, to those with no other income.


  160. Cu,
    The Coalition has raised the prospect of a United States style move to block government attempts to lift the debt ceiling, raising the prospect of turmoil on financial markets.

    Doesn’t this involve the liquidity of the bond market?
    Does Joe Hockey have any idea what he’s talking about?
    If he does he’s as dangerous as Tony Abbott, and if he doesn’t he’s still dangerous.

    From your link

    Australian Office of Financial Management chief Rob Nichol has asked for an increase in the limit to cover seasonal peaks in need for finance. While the government will be gin the financial year with less than $250 of debt on issue and the end the year with less than $250 it projects a peak during the year in May 2013 of $260 billion. Without an increase of the $250 ceiling and without some headroom for contingencies the Commonwealth runs the risk of being unable to meet its obligations.

    Mr Hockey said yesterday the Coalition would move an amendment to the appropriations bills to excise the debt ceiling measure in order to bring on a separate debate.

    Financial markets consultant Stephen Koukoulas, a former advisor to Prime Minister Gillard, warned things could get “ugly” if the debt ceiling was held down.

    “Think back to what happened mid last year. Congress was going to block a required increase in the US debt ceiling. The US government was going to miss its bills. I don’t want to overstate it, but things got pretty ugly… Around 80 per cent of our bond market is held by foreigners. We can’t afford to alienate these people by playing silly buggers with the ceiling.”

    Pleading the with the Coalition to leave the issue alone he said there were “a million and one things the opposition can argue about, and should argue about, but the debt ceiling is one of the few things in my views that should be depoliticised. The opposition can politicise anything else it wants.”

  161. Cu, the rebates etc giving people the ability to save sends out warning bells to me..what happens when they choose not to? They receive benefits and then end up on a pension anyway.

  162. Mon, exactly. The money to buy that motorized van, to spend a year or too, exploring this great land of ours.

  163. GST growth is growing much slower than expected. This in spite of sales growing. I wonder why.

    Remember it is a regressive tax.

    It is not doing what Mr, Costello promised.

    It is time for a full investigation into the GST.

  164. The government is always the target of a pncer movement between Tony’s Tea Party/Coalition, and the big end of town.
    Last week there was comment on Insiders Business

    Miners cautious of spending on new projects
    Broadcast: 06/05/2012

    This week
    BHP fires salvo on industrial relations, tax

    Amid increasingly strident rhetoric from Treasurer Wayne Swan targeting mining billionaires Gina Rinehart, Andrew Forrest and Clive Palmer, Mr Nasser warned of the danger of political attacks on ­specific industries or individuals.

    He cautioned that Labor’s minerals resource rent tax might affect investments by BHP Billiton’s iron ore and coal operations. The board could decide on $30 billion of projects this year, including Olympic Dam in South Australia.

    Mr Nasser welcomed the government’s commitment to delivering a budget surplus in 2013 and said government support for car manufacturing was correct.

    BHP chief executive Marius ­Kloppers echoed his chairman’s comments in a speech to investors in the US in which he warned that the company would redirect capital investment away from projects that failed to meet investment criteria including geopolitical and fiscal ­stability.

    Speaking at the same investment conference, Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese cited rising taxes and capital and labour shortages as among the challenges facing the industry.

    I remember similar moves a few years ago which did not last long…

    BHP Billiton backs away from joint venture

    It will be interesting to see whether this is reported to the ASX which would indicate the truth or otherwise of the announcement.

  165. Good old News , they’re the experts, so they have given an expert opinion on the type of hacking Thompson will claim.

    “FORMER Labor MP Craig Thomson plans to claim his mobile phone was hacked

    “Telephone number impersonation – known as “spoofing” – is not new but has escaped the attention of other examples of phone hacking.

    For a price, someone’s number can be sent to a specific web site and the user can simply type in the number they want to impersonate, the destination number, and send a message.

    Other forms of spoofing include email spoofing, IP spoofing and SMS spoofing.

    Read more:

  166. The GST has to go up, as it has for I think all but one country in the world that has introduced a form of goods and services taxing. And when it goes up it won’t be by a piddling amount.

    It will more as likely go up under a Liberal government, especially one that gets power of both houses, and somehow Labor will be blamed for it. If not Labor, everything else in the world but the Liberal government or previous Liberal governments will be at fault.

    If the Liberals do have one core value they never shift or alter, it’s to blame shift with only projection being second to it. Equal to their core of blame shifting for their failures is to take kudos for successes that aren’t theirs.

    See who says the Liberals can’t be consistent and hold core values.

  167. Reconciliation lost in Musgrave Park

    Reconciliation – the process of reconciling or bringing into alignment different positions – will not be achieved by simply insisting that one side moves all the way over to accommodate the other. They won’t do it. Why should they. We’d be asking them to give up too much.

    But that’s what Campbell Newman and Graeme Quirk demanded of the people at the Embassy when they insisted that the Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy abide by Council by-laws because… well, because they’re Council by-laws and we’ll send in the police. 

    Campbell Newman and Graeme Quirk were implicitly saying “this is our land and you’ll follow our rules”. Describing the Embassy as a “squatters camp” (yes, Campbell Newman really called first Australians asserting their sovereignty “squatters”) underlined the point nicely.

    A better approach would have been to look at the arrival of the Embassy as an opportunity to take some small, careful steps toward a more just accommodation of one another.  By all means, trouble-shoot any real, practical problems that arise, just as a sensible government would embrace the incidental benefits (less crime etc) that pop up.  But don’t just shoot the whole thing down because it’s outside the current rules. 

    Instead, ask: “How can we use this opportunity to improve Indigenous people’s sense of their place in our community?  What role could this Embassy play in representing their views (bearing in mind that we have signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and that document expressly provides that States ought to engage with Indigenous people through their own representative institutions)? What local community needs might the Embassy meet?”

    The opportunity to handle the situation in this way has not gone, although yesterday morning’s events might have strained the friendship a tad. The Council had been negotiating with representatives of the Embassy for some time and knows who they are.  But I feel a sad certainty that the relevant political leaders will see this as a problem fixed, rather than an opportunity gone begging.

    For the benefit of all Qld kids…Aussie kids…there has to be a better way…than returning to the boot on throat times.

    For the benefit of tourism and trade too.


  168. In anticipation of what might happen Monday , we have Fairfax, sources close to Thompson and Erica Betz, all frothing

    “In his statement on Monday, the member for Dobell may suggest he was the victim of spoofing, an illegal practice involving a specific website in which somebody can make it seem as though they are calling from someone else’s phone when they are not.

    Sources close to Mr Thomson say he has no evidence this is what happened, nor does he want to purport it without proof. But he may suggest it as a possibility for how the calls were made from his phone when he denies making them himself.

    Eric Abetz said that the spoofing theory did not answer all the questions surrounding Mr Thomson’s alleged use of escort services.”

    Read more:

  169. TAX cuts due in July – including the tripling of the tax-free threshold – would be ditched under a Coalition government, it was revealed yesterday.

    Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said he would offer undisclosed tax cuts based on current rates if the Coalition wins government. The tax-free threshold of $6000 is due to triple to $18,200 on July 1 delivering many workers on less than $80,000 tax cuts of $300 a year.

    Part time workers will get about $600 extra a year. In a speech to the National Press Club, Mr Hockey did not nominate how much a Coalition government would deliver in cuts.

    Something that means a million workers will not have to fill in a tax form. Sur

  170. ‘we will have all the claivoyants reports in by tomorrow at the latest…’

    What about the astrologers? Chatter on the ground is that the upcoming solar eclipse will be dramatic.

  171. Mr. Ashby’s lawyers have lodged complaints with the Human Rights Commission about comments made by the senators, Carr and Joyce.

    Good interview of the PM in Darwin. ABC 24

  172. Still coming on ABC 24 why Australian has experience the hottest fifty years of the last millennium..

  173. Yes Min, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    Remember the Workchoices campaign.

    I am not that excited at giving the media more profits.

    If our money is not good enough, we can take it elsewhere..

  174. To whom it may concern… thank you for fixing my devil smillie face 😀

    Cu, the way things are shaping up Mr. Ashby would do well to just Shut. Up.

  175. “Mr Ashby’s allegations named the commonwealth of Australia as the first respondent and Mr Slipper as the second respondent.
    The commonwealth argues Mr Ashby did not warn any employee of the commonwealth that he intended to commence proceedings seeking damages for breach of contract, and that he had filed an application unsupported by either affidavit or statement of claim.

    This method of commencing proceedings breached Federal Court rules, it says.

    The response also claims Mr Ashby had failed to maintain his allegations.

    Documents filed on May 15 amending his application and statement of claim had not included allegations relating to the Cabcharge allegations, or the allegations that the commonwealth had failed to take steps to prevent Mr Slipper from using his office for the purpose of fostering sexual relationships with male staff members.

    The commonwealth’s lawyers also complained that the amended application and statement of claim were available to the media before they were provided to the commonwealth.”

  176. Sue, from your link this is the telling point. In all cases of harassment, step 1 is always to enquire as what steps the person took to negotiate. Clearly this step is necessary to avoid situation where person #2 was not aware that their action was causing offence. The example of the girlie calendar..if nobody complains, then it cannot be deemed to be offensive.

    In papers filed with the Federal Court today, lawyers for the commonwealth state Mr Ashby “took no steps to try and resolve the issues in dispute”.

  177. Apparently the PR for Ashby has tweeted time and location of hearing. What will the judge think? especially since the Cwlth lawyers have already complained about the media getting information before the c/wlth

  178. Sue, if this had been a normal case the judge would have sent the parties off for a mediation hearing so that the issue be resolved out of court.

  179. Min, suing the Commonwealth maybe their first mistake of many.

    It is hard to fix something up that one is unaware of.

    Maybe if a boss has not put in place procedures, one might, just might be able to mount a case.

    I am sure there are procedures that one should follow under the legislation.

    I am sure it does not involve, do not pass go, go straight to court.

    I believe this action was lodged with the belief the government would fold and there would be no need to continue.

    It is politicians using the police and courts as political tools.

    It is I believe, called dirty politics.

  180. Cu, it’s not suing the Commonwealth as such as every employee is entitled to pursue harassment claims irrespective of who their employer might be. There certainly are very strong work place procedures in place and all employees would be fully versed in these.

    Irrespective of who the employer might be, one of the first things which the court will ask is what steps have been taken to resolve the issue. The employer (the Commonwealth) has stated via their lawyers that Ashby took no steps to resolve the issue. The court, under regular circumstances would normally send the parties into mediation and only then IF the issue could not be resolved via mediation eg one of the parties refused to cease that particular action, then and only then would it go to court.

  181. Sue, I seem to remember a comment being made when this matter began.

    Something along the the line, that we will be fighting this in the court and in the media.

    I believe it was just a desperate ploy of the Opposition that has fell over badly.

  182. CU @ 4:46 pm

    Clubs NSW has applied to conduct “gambling education” in NSW schools. Under O’Farrell they will probably be allowed to spread their propaganda to kids.

    Evidence the white wash of Star Casino where an O’Farrell instigated enquiry found absolutely no malfeasance or sexual harrassment of employees by Star Casino despite three major media outlets, including the ABC, running investagive stories and sixteen whistleblowers, including middle management, coming forward.

    The whistle blowers were denigrated and negatively harangued by the enquiry and the NSW gaming minister.

    This doesn’t surprise me one little bit nor does the stuff of the NSW AG as a Liberal government is in power and they always revert to type when given to the reign. O’Farrell, just as the previouis Liberal State governments did, is doing his best to ensure another long term Labor government will be in power after his second term.

  183. Anyone know how to turn off the follow-up comments function once it’s begun?

    I didn’t notice it ticked when commenting the last few days and my email box is chock a block full of comments from various threads.


  184. Catching up
    MAY 17, 2012 @ 5:38 PM
    nasking, that is the Getup one, the TV stations will not show.

    they’re morally bankrupt.

    So much for free speech when it comes to corporate media.

    They should all have their licences revoked.


  185. ME, that is unbelievable. Let the bikies teach the kids about drugs and how good tattoo’s are makes as much sense.

    Our schools are there to teach kids. We expect the teachers have the skills.

    Clubs are not there to teach the kids to drink or gamble.

    Nothing would surprise me about this government.

    I believe it will be one of the worse that the state has seen.

    You have a minister saying that sacking a few hundred will lead to better rail services. Stands there and says, she know it will. Does not know how. Does not know the c

    Then goes on to say they are separating urban and rural trains. Again no costings. No reason why this is better.

    As there are not many country lines now left, I am a little bewildered to how it is going to be better.

    Why the train to Wyong and Newcastle is much different to the suburban train is new one to me. The only difference I see, is that the Central Coast maybe a little more comfortable.

  186. Press Release/ statement from Ashby’s lawyers he didn’t take the complaint with the govt because he was frightened of reprisals.
    I wonder if the c/wealth lawyers will ask
    1. why was it ok to discuss it with the opposition
    2. why was it ok to give an exclusive interview with Steve Lewis
    I wonder if the court will ask
    why are you deciding the case through the media.

    Now Ashby has the same lawyers for the sexual harrassment case involving the time the judge was less than impressed with her legal team running the case through the media and pr agents before reaching court.

  187. ME
    Coles and Woolies can have “rewards” for parents and the school kiddies can learn with a visit to a club.

  188. I wonder what the reprisals was that he feared. Did he fear being taken out behind the wood heap and given a bashing.

    He does not appear to be afraid of the notoriety this case will bring him, fairly or not.

    Why did not one of the Opposition people he spoke to, offered to be a mediator between him and the department.

    Why rush to the courts.

    I have used my local member to represent me at times, with government departments. That is a part of their job.

  189. CU the answer on separating the trains is quite simple and you need only look at the decimation of country services by Kennett to see why.


    Rural services are not viable and must be subsidised by the urban services, which is fine under a public run system. O’Farrell cannot sell the system as it is as potential buyers, and I believe one has already talked to O’Farrell, will not subsidise the country services.

    Just like Victoria this will eventually fail and it will cost the NSW taxpayers a motsa. First losing a motsa on the sale and the closing of rural services and then even more in buying back, bailing out or subsidising the private operator.

    Oh and O’Farrell this week reneged on yet another major promise, this time on road infrastructure. After announcing one road network, a link road, with much fanfare and chest beating whilst canning the previous Labor government, a few days later announces, partly smothered by the media, that it will be at least 14 years before any major roads will be build by a NSW State government and only private roads can be built in the meantime. Sitting right next to the minister was the head of a major construction firm agreeing with him and grinning from ear to ear at the amount of NSW taxpayers money he was set to gouge over the coming decades.

  190. ‘Then goes on to say they are separating urban and rural trains. Again no costings. No reason why this is better.’

    Mobius correctly illustrates their problem, so they will have to sell the rural service first, then the city system.

    My guesstimate is that the Chinese will buy the rural service and create a revolution.

  191. Mobius, and your comment “Rural services are not viable and must be subsidised by the urban services, which is fine under a public run system.”.

    Which is why LNP policy of selling Australia Post filled me with considerable dread. I should say Liberal Party policy because the Nats would kick up a stink about it, not that the Nats under Truss are anything more than a bleat from out the back paddock…

  192. Nas – “Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” From WordPress:

    It’s now much easier for you and your commenters to keep track of the conversations you’re involved in across Some recent tests have shown that by subscribing commenters to new comments by default, they are more likely to stay engaged and come back and comment more on your blog. With that knowledge, we’ve changed the default comment following behavior to help you get more conversations going on your blog.

    We made the initial changes last week and after great feedback from you we just launched an update. Here’s how it works:
    •By default, posting a comment will now subscribe you to receive follow-up comments via email for that specific post, keeping you updated on the conversation. This is indicated by the checked box in the comment form.
    •If you have a account, you now have a global setting to change this so that by default you will not be subscribed. If you don’t have an account, then you can create one over here.

  193. The not so loyal rich:

    From Manhattan to Monaco, the world’s wealthiest people are disconnecting into a class of stateless transients.

    No Country for Rich Men


    Back in 1863, a short story took the American reading public by storm. Edward Everett Hale’s “The Man without a Country” told the tale of a poor treasonous soul sentenced to spend the rest of his life endlessly sailing the world in perpetual exile, as a prisoner aboard Navy warships.

    Today’s awesomely affluent are just as transient – by choice.

    Take Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. This billionaire renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2011, a move perfectly timed to potentially save him hundreds of millions in taxes when Facebook goes public.

    Saverin has plenty of company. The number of Americans who formally renounced their U.S. citizenship soared to 1,780 last year from 235 in 2008.

    The spark for this surge? U.S. tax officials ave been clamping down on overseas tax evasion. This bit of unpleasantness has some wealthy Americans, such as the Brazilian-born Saverin, cutting their ties to dear old Uncle Sam. They simply pay a $450 paperwork fee and an “exit tax” on unrealized capital gains, if they hold assets worth over $2 million or have paid over $151,000 to the IRS in any recent year.

    But the affluent who’ve formally renounced their citizenship comprise just a tiny share of what the Financial Times has labeled the “stateless super rich.” These uber-wealthy folks shy from the notoriety of citizenship spurned. They just live their lives as if they have no nation to call their own.

    The most famous member of this stateless-by-choice community may be Nicolas
    Berggruen, a 52 year-old “homeless billionaire” worth over $2.3 billion who has spent the last decade hopping the world from one five-star hotel to another.

    America, Australia etc. (My Country, ‘Tis Not of Me and My Moolah)


  194. Thanks Bacchus, I’ve been getting emails galore and thought I must have clicked on somethin’ without knowing… it’s good to know I still know what I’m doing. 😯

  195. Ah, the great sell out of rail, food producion and other infrastructure.

    Here is a heads up…the new battle front is Australia in between the US and China.

    The US imperial investment houses are pulling their funds out under the cover of diversification into Australia and the Chinese are investing in securing future reserves to sustain their requirements under their fifty year vision.

    In my quest I am talking to the Ziff Brothers and others to secure funding. My line of contact is Robert of Genesee and Wyoming. Who the hell are they? Well, remember the only infrastructure that Howard built? The Ghan which was built for $1.3B and sold for a third of the construction cost.

    Did lunch with Rob last week. To pave the way the Labor government will need to be destroyed and the Greens the same to ensure those Chinese are not afforded the advantage.

    Now, which side of politics is turning a blind eye to the Chinese?

  196. The scare-mongers can relax…on Amampour tonite Alexis Tsipras, head of Syriza
    says NO to leaving EU:

    Rich people to buy everything with euros

    He was asked the consequences if Greece abandons the euro and returns to the drachma as its currency: “If Greece goes back to the drachma, the second day the other countries in Europe will have the same problem,” said Tsipras.

    “I really disagree with a lot of the things that Madame Merkel say and do, “ he said gamely speaking in English, “but I agree with what she said before, that if Greece goes out of the euro, the second day the markets will find who will be the second, and the second will be Italy or Spain.”

    “Italy has a very big public debt, not like Greece,” said Tsipras. “So you can understand what I was meaning when I was telling you this road goes to hell. We don’t want Europe to be in a catastrophe way. So if we want to save Europe, we need to change these directions.”

    But if austerity measures won’t work, what will? Tsipras reiterated that the answer won’t be found with the drachma: “We don’t want a whole catastrophe for the Eurozone and for Europe. At the same time we don’t want to go back to drachmas. Because in Greece we would have the poor people to have drachmas and rich people to buy everything with euros…”

    First of all, we will cancel all these austerity measures

    He wasn’t just speaking of Greece but of the Eurozone as a whole: “We will do whatever we could do to keep Greece inside the euro and inside Europe…. We are watching this situation in the whole view of Europe and the Eurozone. You can understand what will happen if the Eurozone will be split and the Eurozone will be in this big danger.”

    When asked what he would do as president, Tsipras said, “First of all, we will cancel all these austerity measures…. We believe that this crisis is not a Greek crisis but a European crisis. And we will try to find a common solution – about the role of ECB, about the Europe bonds, about the negotiation of the public debt of all the European countries.”

    Asked if he could foresee partners in that negotiation, Tsipras was optimistic: “We think we will find partners…. We will have the same problem with Italy, with Spain, with Portugal, and also with Ireland and also in the central Europe.”

    He views the recent election of socialist Francois Hollande in France as a positive sign: “We don’t want more austerity measures. We can’t go on with these austerity measures because everything was destroyed in Greece. If the Greek people will keep with this opinion, everything will change in Europe.”

    Vid here:


  197. Lateline tonight is beyond belief. According to Jones, the government should not be criticizing Ashby. That must follow they have no right to defend themselves against the charges Ashby made.

    Combet is the man in the firing line.

    He looked a little amused and Tony Jones.

    I wish they would mentioned the whole of the comments made by Kelty.

    Maybe it is me, that I do not understand what they are at. Ro me, it is cuckoo land revisited.

    People being fed up with spin. Ads that do not mention carbon taxes. Maybe because they will not be paying a carbon tax.

    Combet sounds a little angry, or maybe disgusted.

    Is this the job of the ABC to do the Coalition dirty work for them.

    Combet insisting on carbon charge.

  198. Jones insists on saying carbon tax. Keeps repeating the phrase, even when not necessary.

    Combet has just taken him on Told him to stop talking over him and let him finish the answer.

    Combet has told him he is wrong, but Jones continues on.

    Combet told him, I do not believe I have to tell you.

    It is one of the rudest interviews yet.

    Asking questions that cannot be aswered.

  199. Wonder why Tony is so rude tonight. I wonder has he been ordered to go in hard, because of the criticism Uhlmann has been getting.

  200. CU

    wasn’t combet great. the best bit was after combet told Jones to stop talking over the top and let him finish. Jones was put on the spot, so let Combet finish,Jones then did a dummy spit and tried to get the better of Combet.
    And Combet laughed at him.

  201. CU
    even Uhlmann was less aggressive tonight. He must have been overwhelmed by the letters of complaint.
    Uhlmann only has 4 more shows to host before Sales is back, unless there is a “breaking story on a sunday evening”

  202. I think tonight was unbelievable.

    The misquoting of Kelty is beyond the pale.

    Could it be that the penny is dropping, that they might have backed the wrong horse.

    What does appear true, unless they are terrific actors, the government looks relaxed and at ease. It is the Opposition that is running about like chooks with their heads cut off, and making as much sense.

    What do you think of Jones accusations that the government is wrong in attacking what Ashby has put forwarded.

    After all. Ashby did make allegations against the government, named them in the action, therefore he must expect them to be challenged. Jones attempted to make out they were fighting for Slipper.

    Maybe, unless it is pulled into line, it is time for the ABC to go.

  203. CU

    Jones to Combet, has the voting public turned off the govt because of spin?
    Combet to Jones, these are the facts……….Combets lists everything govt doing

    Jones to Combet, that is not my question that is facts, my question, aren’t the public turning off the govt because of spin?

    double Doh!!
    Jones would not listen to “facts” he just wanted to discuss “spin”

  204. Well, Combet could have given the answer that the public must be fools, if they are not interested in the facts.

    He could have added, you are also not interested in giving the public facts.

    If the public are not getting facts, why do you think they are turning off us.

    Maybe that the answer that should be given

    I wonder if Jones realised, he recognized and acknowledged that Combet was talking fact, not spin. Who was doing the spinning.

  205. CU

    Jones was so unprepared on the Ashby questions. Jones was trying to imply the govt was attacking Ashby, when the FACTS are that Ashby has claims against first the Commonwealth and second Slipper.

    I know, Jones doesn’t want FACTS all he is interested in is SPIN. And Jones was spinning on the spot because he hadn’t done the simplest of readings.Even i saw the lodged claim against the 1. Commonwealth and 2. Slipper in the msm.

  206. Sue, I am sure Jones knew that. He would be an idiot if he did not. After all that is his job.

    What Jones set out tonight, was to make Labor look bad,.

    The questions ask of Combet were out of order.

    Jones set out to deliberately mislead.

    Why he treated Combet as an idiot, is beyond me.

    The last one to make that mistake was Corrigan, to his misfortune.

  207. CU

    We should suggest Jones have a look at the replay and see how dumb he looked pressing on spin rather than facts.

    Also what was the point on pressing on whether the carbon tax has either a 3 year fixed term or 1. How many times did Combet have to tell Jones that the Rudd ETS, with a 1 year fixed term, was voted down by Abbott and the Greens. And that the 3 year term was negotiated and voted on by this parliament.

    What was the point with Jones. I think jones is more impressed with his own opinion, rather than doing the job of journalist.

  208. Sue, you got in one earlier. He split the dummy and lost it.

    It will be an interview, I believe he will quickly want to forget.

    Why are they all so tetchy, when it is Labor that is suppose to be on the back foot.

    Maybe many of those chickens are coming home to roost.

    Where has Michael Lawler gone. Cannot wait for tomorrow. I feel it in my bones, as Mr. Abbott is inclined to say, things are not going to go, as some have planned.

  209. CU

    I actually enjoyed it when Combet laughed at Jones. Combet is so assurred of himself and was not letting Jones get away with anything. When Combet didn’t know or have an opinion, as in the Ashby case or the Shorten speech, Combet said so and would not let Jones try and capture an argument.

  210. Combet was right. It was not his place to have an opinion about tomorrows court case. Jones come back with, there is no jury. So what.

    It is up to the court to make the decision, not politicians or the media.

    That is what they seem unable to get.

    Maybe Jones wanted Combet to say something, so Ashby’s lawyers could take more legal action, as they have done against Carr and Joyce.

  211. I do not get the feeling that the ACTU is referring to Thomson at the conference. Why should they be, that is ancient history.

    This is probably why his name has not been mentioned.

    It would be the allegations of current corruption that they would be concerned about.

  212. He is claiming a breach of contract, but the commonwealth said Mr Ashby had never raised his allegations with any employee in the Department of Finance and Deregulation, which is responsible for administering his employment.

    The commonwealth listed six ways Mr Ashby could have brought the dispute to its attention in a timely fashion before launching his court action.

    The statement said it was incorrect for Mr Ashby to claim that notifying either Mr Slipper or the commonwealth would only increase the opportunity for victimisation.

  213. Here is the ABC’s LATE-est episode of Today Tonight.

    Lateline host Tony Jones was a disgrace; he really did want to get a comment from Greg Combet about the Ashby scuttlebutt for the msm idiots

    Who is running the spin factory that used to be the ABC??
    I’m guessing it’s still John Howard’s toady, Mark Scott, who copped a lot of flak on Twitter over Jones appalling performance, but apparently he doesn’t reply to legitimate questions from concerned viewers.

    Emma Alberici made her point a couple of weeks ago, [her words] that “all the commentariat are echoing the Coalition”.
    Including Tony Jones!

    People will see through Abbott: Combet

    Memo to Tony Jones:-
    Greg Combet is the Minister for Climate Change and could have reasonably have expected to be asked many questions about the latest government news re the Household Assistance Package, but that was the last thing Jones was interested in.

    There was the Coalition “echo”….

    TONY JONES: The problem is once again the Opposition has a very simple message. Tony Abbott says all that matters is a) did the Speaker sexually harass his staffer and b) has he misused his entitlements? Now the Government’s got to make the case that it’s defending itself against Ashby and that Ashby acted inappropriately.

    The polite but firm, and deserved, smack-down….

    GREG COMBET: Well I don’t know what else I can offer about it. If a case is brought against the Commonwealth, the Australian Government solicitor has to represent the Commonwealth in the court and do so in a professional manner. But there’s nothing much I can say about the matters before the court, I’m afraid.

    The attempted “gotcha”

    TONY JONES: Are you worried that if you raise questions about James Ashby and talk about them, you could end up being charged with breaching his civil rights like Senator Carr?

    Another little smack…

    GREG COMBET: No, actually, I don’t spend too much time thinking about it. I mean, it’s a serious matter that he’s brought that should be heard by the courts. You know, I don’t think it’s appropriate for someone in my role to be a commentator on it, especially when I don’t know much about it.

  214. More from Lateline
    After Mr. Combet gave a run down of legitimate government news

    GREG COMBET; ….Increases in family tax benefits that started flowing yesterday related to the introduction of our clean energy package and there’s a host of important things; further increases in the pension on the back of the most significant increase in the pension for decades.

    I mean, it’s a government – when you can cut through some of the political static around the place – that is doing some great things for people.

    TONY JONES: Well, the political static’s critical here. What if people are really so fed up with scandal and spin that they’ve actually stopped listening to all of the things that you just talked about it?

    GREG COMBET: Well none of what I just put is spin; they are facts. They are things that we are doing for the community.

    TONY JONES: Well, I know that’s clearly the case and I don’t really think we need to go through a list of other facts in favour of the Government, but there’ve been plenty of examples …

    GREG COMBET: Well actually they’re pretty important.

    TONY JONES: Yes, they are, but that’s not what my question was related to. Because the question is why people have stopped listening, have they stopped listening? And there are many examples of actual spin.

    Etc., etc.,….

    I’m now going outside to howl at the moon. :mrgreen:

  215. Tony Jones the thinking man’s brick.
    I blame the ABC for not offering some ongoing training and feedback to “stars” like Tony Jones.
    Jones has clearly gone feral and should be offered counselling.

  216. What the ABC should arrange is a heavyweight bout between Tony Jones and Chris Uhlmann.
    Last person to talk is the designated “listener”.
    Topic to be thrashed out is “Why have people stopped listening to the ABC?”
    Perhaps we could have a selection of derogative twitters running across the bottom of the screen with a series of personal put downs.
    Loser(s) should be relegated to the mid-night shift on radio national.

  217. lunalava

    points on scoring:
    who has the most spin, facts will receive deductions
    most wooden performance
    best snear
    loudest paper rustling
    gotcha moments

  218. I am glad I went out early today. If one needed any proof that the Thomson matter has been turned into a political football, one only has to look at Mr. Abbott’s visit to the Central Coast today.

    I would hate to run into the man. I would not be responsible for what I might do or say in his present.

    There has been little acknowledgement of the matter up to the last couple of days.

    On the bus this morning, the bus driver turned up the radio when the name Craig was mentioned. Nobody took any notice. One chap complaining saying after we got off the bus, the silence is wonderful.
    The local paper this morning has seen to make it front page story.

    We need to remember that it is not Mr.Thomson’s idea to make a statement. It has been demanded of him, from the Opposition. Therefore they have no right to condemn or predict what he has to say.

    They are turning up the heat and attempting to set the climate for him not to be believed.

    I do not know whether he is guilty. I also know that no one else does either.

    This is and should be a criminal matter. It only becomes political if charges are made, leading to a conviction.

  219. Lunalava @ 6.58am,,
    Loser(s) should be relegated to the mid-night shift on radio national.

    Noo, they replay programs missed during the day, and they can’t go to ABC Local, not Nightlife, nor Overnight; that’s all that’s left of the real ABC….the rest is Murdoch 2.

  220. Sue and lunalava, I’m beginning to wonder whether there’s cheap ‘coke’ on sale at the
    ABC; that’s supposed to make the snorters feel invincible isn’t it?

  221. Okay,
    how about some POSITIVES about the government:

    PM Julia Gillard certainly seemed confident & cheerful this morn up in Darwin. Pumped.

    Good to see.

    Apparently this INPEX gas project is creating 3-4,000 jobs. That’s positive. Helping lots of businesses too.

    Gillard is definitely a Labor PM…JOBS JOBS JOBS.


  222. From The Age:

    Big tobacco targeting teens, says Plibersek
    May 18, 2012

    THE federal government says big tobacco is deliberately targeting vulnerable teenagers by selling cheap cigarettes.

    British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) has released a budget brand called Just Smokes, which retails at about $11.50 for a pack of 25.

    That’s much lower than the average price of $16 and only slightly higher than illegal counterfeit products.

    I sat in a hospital for a week watching patients die and suffer due to the effects of smoking. Anglo-Aussies, Asian Aussies, Euro-Aussies.

    They all regretted starting.

    I reckon these big tobacco monsters are pretty cold-hearted types…I’d like to see them shipped off to Siberia…or space.

  223. How does Mr. Abbott explain this.

    news An analysis of rural coverage following the announcement of the three-year rollout plan for the National Broadband Network has shown overwhelming demand for the infrastructure from a large number of rural and regional Australian communities, with many expressing disappointment that they had been left off the list for the NBN’s first few years.

    The analysis was published earlier this week (we recommend you click here and read the full article) by telecommunications industry worker and blogger Michael Wyres. In a blog post, Wyres wrote that he had examined reports from a large number of local newspapers to determine what community attitudes in the regions were to the rollout, universally finding that local community representatives wanted the new infrastructure in their areas, and wanted it fast.

  224. Cu, thanks for the link

    Conroy attacks Hockey, Turnbull over misleading NBN comments

    Stephen Conroy has taken shadow treasurer Joe Hockey and shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull to task for misleading the public on the NBN.

    The communications minister launched his barrage on Hockey after the shadow treasurer used his National Press Club address to again assert that the NBN should be treated as a budgetary cost.

    Senator Conroy took aim, and fired back, not that it will ever be seen on the evening news.

    “Mr Hockey not only masterminded the Coalition’s pre-election costings debacle – where the firm hired by the Coalition to audit its election promises was later fined and reprimanded for unprofessional practices – but now he wants to ignore international accounting standards,”

    “The NBN is an investment in an asset from which the Government will receive a return. It is classified by International Accounting Standards as an equity investment rather than a budget expense.”

    However, an undaunted opposition was on the offensive again on Thursday with Malcolm Turnbull switching focus to greenfields estates.

    Of course he was!

  225. We keep getting told that Mr. Abbott is a walk in when ever the election is called.

    I wonder if this perception holds any truth.

    We have the NBN which in spite of Mr. Abbott’s lies, is certainly very popular.

    I believe there are still many that believe in climate change and want to see the matter addressed.

    Why full aged pensioners would want to vote for Mr,.Abbott is beyond me. They have done very well under PM Gillard.

    Many were ashamed of how asylum seekers were treated under Mr. Howard. I have a feeling these might outnumber those who believe the boats can be turned back. I do not believe that many believe Nauru will work again, even if it did in the past.

    Families, especially in education have done exceptionally good under PM Gillard.

    The sleeper is WorkChoices threat, which I believe will awaken with a roar.

    The last thing that makes me think it will not be a walkover, is Abbott’s rudeness and hubris. This added to becoming very bored with the message he is spreading. There is a limit one can take to hearing the same thing over and over.

    I get the impression that they have over reached, both on Thomson and Slipper.

    Both stories border on the unbelievable.

    I find it hard to believe that when faced with a ballot, one will cast there votes on perceptions. I believe they will do as they always have done, vote for what is best for them.

  226. I’ve noticed quite a few angry, grumpy, ranting conservatives and former ALPers throwing stones at our PM and her team & policies the last few years…seems to be a regular occurrence.

    It got me thinking back to my youth.

    I grew up in a conservative household…three of them in fact.

    I can remember one male member…a dominant character…who was also continually bossy, grumpy, agro…and sometimes ranted like there was no tomorrow…

    often pointing fingers at women. Accusing them of doing this or that.

    Turns out that particular conservative man was a bleeding hypocrite…and lying sod.

    I discovered over the years he had in fact been running around behind his family’s back…sleeping with gawd knows how many women.

    And his ranting and grumpiness stemmed partially from guilt and paranoia…partially to distract from his own actions.

    That’s why I often take grumpy fingerpointing ranters with a pinch of salt…wonder what lies beneath.

    I just watched the West Wing episode Full Disclosure…really got me thinking.


  227. For the first time in 40 years we have the inflation rate, the unemployment rate and the official interest rate all under five per cent. Remind me again who’s in government. 🙂

  228. nasking, I have noticed and believe I am right.

    The Liberal party is inclined to accuse Labor of doing things, they do themselves.

    They do not seem to realise that all do not behave like them.

    I am not saying Labor are angels, they are not. What I am saying, their crimes are likely to be different to the Liberals.

    Listening to podcast. Worth a listen Fits in with your comment, I believe nasking.

    [audio src="" /]

  229. But that’s all bad news Roswell.

    That’s the way it is being portrayed in the right wing media, and if they can’t get bad figures out of the data or spin it as bad, then they run their own mini polls with respondents numbering below the margin of error to make it look bad.

  230. Nas’ thanks for your contributions too… I particularly liked this

    And his ranting and grumpiness stemmed partially from guilt and paranoia…partially to distract from his own actions.

    That’s why I often take grumpy fingerpointing ranters with a pinch of salt…wonder what lies beneath.

    In the case of a ‘ranter’ who gets a lot of attention here….. not much of any consequence!

  231. Called projection Cu and the Liberals have always been masters at it. It is only second to blame shifting and kudos snaffling in their repertoire.

    Abbott projects so much and so often he doesn’t even realise he does it until it’s pointed out to him, then he cowardly changes subject, turns his back or walks out.

  232. I am enjoying listening to the Crikey podcast. Hits the spot.

    How can so many think like we do, and the polls so bad.

  233. When are we going to wake up from our stupor.

    With low unemployment, low inflation and 20 straight years of economic growth, the Sydney Morning Herald’s Jessica Irvine is astounded at how so many Australians are carrying on as if they live in a debt-wracked European basket case. Younger Australians have never seen a recession, she says, and many older people seem to have forgotten what one looks like.

    So why do people carry on like this? “There can be only one answer”, says Irvine, “we are, as a nation, chucking a full-on, all-screaming, all-door-slamming teenage temper tantrum.” Voters and business are like petulant teenagers and the government is like a weak-willed parent desperate for affection.

    Irvine’s column was the talk of Twitter this morning. “Fantastic piece on what a pack of whingers Australians are”, tweeted Bernard Keane while Aleta describes Irvine as “a breath of sensible in a world of stupid”. Trent Driver writes: “Best piece I have read in a long time. Wish you could hear the debate by the teenage girls in my ecos classes. :)”

    Others were less convinced. “I don’t understand why people like that Jess Irvine thing” said Jason Wilson. “More pundits telling the people they’re spoilt children.”

    Liam Hogan commented “three things missing from that piece: price of housing, major city rental vacancy rate, homelessness index.” Sarah Toohey from Australians for Affordable Housing agreed, “Nice points Liam. Overall econ good, lots quite comfortable, but some have really difficult lives b/c of hsg.”

    Arriving just after the ACTU conference, Irvine’s column runs into their campaign on insecure work. Jason Wilson asked: “Haven’t we just heard at the ACTU congress that ppl feel chronically insecure?”

  234. Pip and Cu,
    when I discovered the truth about this CON (appropriate eh?) I was real disappointed because as a young fella I’d looked up to him…thought his aggressive fingerpointing and ranting approach had some truth behind it.

    But over time alarm bells started in my head…things didn’t fit…

    others helped me dig beneath the surface…and I began to see the fearful, guilty, paranoid, weak character he was…needing, craving attention…attempting to charm and seduce…and then continually finding ways to divert other prying eyes.

    Those same alarm bells are going off now in my head that were back then…

    something’s wrong.

    The more I watch these CONservatives rant and fingerpoint at our PM the more I feel it.


  235. nasking, something has to be wrong. If not, we are kidding ourselves that we live in a civilized society.

    We have been through this before. One example, back in the 1970’s.

    I have hope in the fact, that the pendulum always swings.

  236. “We can be confident about the Australian economy because there are so many investments like this one in the pipeline – more than $450 billion of investments,” she told reporters.

    PM launches LNG project in Darwin

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has used the opening of an LNG project in Darwin to tout the strength of the Australian economy.

    Browse gas hub threatens dinosaur tracks
    Australia set to be No 1 in LNG: Exxon
    Prime Minister Julia Gillard says people can have confidence in the Australian economy, as other countries fight high levels of unemployment.

    Ms Gillard attended a ceremony in Darwin for the start of a $34 billion LNG project by Japan’s Inpex, saying it was a “fantastic” opportunity for the Northern Territory and part of the resources boom that is changing the economy.

    “We can be confident about the Australian economy because there are so many investments like this one in the pipeline – more than $450 billion of investments,” she told reporters.

  237. Nas’ @ 2.53pm, But over time alarm bells started in my head…things didn’t fit…

    Abbott is a classic grandiose. There he is today, doing another lap on ABC24 – on the “news loop”…

    I posted this earlier on the “Comin’ under Fire” post:-

    May 18, 2012 @ 12:09 pm [Edit]
    Tony Abbott’s brain fart statements for this morning

    1. “Politicians shouldn’t be running a commentary on Mr Ashby, it’s as simple as that”.

    2. “The Thomson.story is too crazy to be true”.

    Yep, a classic grandiose personality!

  238. This is a must listen too. Little long but not boring.

    [audio src="" /]

  239. Cu, the Pure Poison podcast is another one to listen to. A bit boring at times, but they nonetheless come up with some very good points. The theme, basically, is that Abbott is a fool and that the mainstream media are incompetent.

  240. Pip,
    Abbott sure is grandiose.

    And a ranter.

    I’ve been listening to that Pure Poison podcast…thnx to the link. Good stuff. Glad they examine the media.


  241. Another plus.

    In February 2011 when the facility was first unveiled, Caspari said HP’s next generation datacentre significantly expanded HP’s and Australia’s infrastructure capabilities, enabling local enterprise to transform their system into a more flexible and modernised “everything as a service” environment, reducing both costs and risks, while driving predictability.

    The HP chef added the rollout of the NBN would enable an increasing number of organisations to adopt new IT delivery models. He said cloud computing services would take off in the near future and that delivery models would be about connecting users to the services they want.

    Melissa Clarke, ABC 24 Tony Abbott commenting on something apparently politicians should not be commenting on.

  242. Cu, was this the one?

    1. “Politicians shouldn’t be running a commentary on Mr Ashby, it’s as simple as that”.

    2. “The Thomson.story is too crazy to be true”.

  243. I’m not sure whether anyone posted this before, but it’s a great story and
    worth re-posting.

    Washington honours Roxon, global champion in anti-tobacco battle

    THE Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, will be honoured in Washington, DC, tonight for championing what will ”go down as the most important turning point” in the global fight against tobacco in a generation.

    Ms Roxon, who introduced plain packaging legislation as health minister and is now defending it in her new portfolio, will receive the annual ”Global Champion” award before 500 guests at a gala dinner hosted by one of the US’s largest anti-tobacco groups, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

    ”We decided to honour Nicola Roxon because she has shown truly extraordinary courage and amazing strategic ability,” the group’s president, Matthew Myers, said yesterday.

    Read more:

    Love it… dare I whisper “girl power”.. 🙂

  244. At least the ABC today is saying that both are continuing to trade blows.

    I believe that they ignore, the PM refuses to answer questions in this regard and has done since day one. Furthermore she has been criticize for doing so.

  245. Cu, where is Steve Lewis now? Didn’t he say he’d been in touch with Ashby for some time?
    Didn’t his paper say they received a “dump” meaning the [Coalition} dirt files?

  246. My PC’s a bit slow atm. It thinks it’s hard work moving 340GB of files across the network onto my new 2TB drive 🙂

  247. Bacchus My PC’s a bit slow atm. It thinks it’s hard work moving 340GB of files across the network onto my new 2TB drive

    👿 !!

    Only $129 Pip. I can backup all the documents, photos and music from all our PCs now & son can have the server back that he built when he still lived here. (and pay the electricity costs to keep it running 7×24)

    It was amazingly easy to setup too – I plugged it in and started transferring files onto it.

  249. ‘Angel of The Gap’ Don Ritchie farewelled by hundreds Save this story to read later

    DON Ritchie was said to have salt water in his veins.
    He loved fishing, he loved boats and he loved the navy.

    But it was his love for life that earned him the epithet Angel of The Gap, according to friends and family who paid tribute to the Sydneysider at his funeral service on Friday.

    About 300 people, including local MP Malcolm Turnbull, gathered at the HMAS Watson Naval Chapel in Watsons Bay to farewell Mr Ritchie, who died on Sunday.

    The 85-year-old lived just metres from The Gap, the notorious Watsons Bay cliff, where for half a century he helped hundreds of people to reconsider ending their lives.

    “He was a fisher of men,” said friend and priest the Reverend Father Tony Doherty.

    Read more:

  250. I have just had my optic fibre to the home upgraded. It is so fast I now down load movies and TV direct from the US almost instantaneous.

    I would just like to say “fcuk you” News Ltd, “fuku you” commercial TV stations. Now I understand why the people who back the Liberal Party are so strongly against the NBN.

    I have downloaded thousands of ebooks – free; thousands of music – free; a few hundred US TV programs – free.

    The silly thing is, I could and would pay for this stuff but it is not readily available in Australia.

    MSM keep backing the Liberal Party you are backing a LOSER!

    PS George Brandis, by all means write a letter to the police asking them to investigate me. When are you going to come out of the closet?

  251. I just watched a recording of ABC Queensland news…what a complete and utter DISGRACE.

    They used the shouting of a rude mongrel at the fruit and vege market…whilst Abbott was visiting…the worker yelled out:


    Another biased report by…you guessed it…Mark Simkin:…/s1888089.htm?site=news

    My wife jumped in the kitchen the yelling was so loud and abrasive.

    I’m sick and tired of the ABC news being balanced in the day generally…but shifts into anti-PM, anti-Labor gear at night when so many families, workers turn on.

    The news presenter David Curnow seems to get a smug kick out of the attacks on the government and PM.…/s1889097.htm?site=news

    We’ve been putting up with these horrible news edits and biased stuff for a good long time now.

    When I watched the news tonight it was like listening to SHOCK JOCK radio during that awful segment.

    No way to treat a PM…like she’s a criminal to be yelled at.

    I might add…I’m not surprised Abbott goes for support in these markets…I worked on a market stall for a few mths in Sydney during the early 80s…the blokes can be crass cheapos. For some it’s all about money money money…and their workers sometimes get treated like crap…exploited.
    I was.

    Some are good, fair people…but it doesn’t surprise me that some crass yob yelled out like that.

    This incident reminded me of the anti-carbon tax stuff we saw…Alan Jones going at Julia…and Grahame Morris.

    A pattern of behaviour.

    Should be reported to media watch.


  252. Nasking just take down their names and give the Australian Tax Office (ATO) a call. Most of the “screaming Liberals” at the fruit and veg market are tax avoiding bastards. A lot are tax avoiding folk from near collapsed economies of Europe (ie Greece) trying to export their economic model to Australia.

  253. My high lighting.

    Mr Lee urged Justice Steven Rares to list the matter for hearing as soon as possible, saying it was of public importance to deal with it promptly.

    But the judge said Mr Lee could not even tell him how many witnesses he proposed to call and queried why a five-day hearing was required.

    ‘It is unimaginable’ that it would take so long for a case involving claims about a few conversations and messages between two people in a relatively confined time frame, he added.

    Mr Lee said he may call up to six witnesses, including Mr Ashby, one or two doctors and forensic technicians who would testify about Mr Ashby’s mobile phone.

    Julian Burnside QC, for the commonwealth, said Mr Lee was ‘trying to run too fast’, the case was not as urgent as suggested and Mr Ashby’s credibility would be a central issue.

    The commonwealth accuses Mr Ashby of waging a media campaign and failing to take any steps to resolve his complaints before launching his court action.

    From the ‘blaze of publicity’ around the case, the commonwealth had heard Mr Ashby might make more claims when he received documents as part of the court discovery process, Mr Burnside said.

    Mr Bornstein, who appeared via video link from Melbourne, said he wondered ‘whether I was on a different planet’ after hearing Mr Lee’s submissions.

    Mr Ashby’s originating claim was not properly served on Mr Slipper, but the highly salacious and criminal allegations were the focus of a ‘publicity blitz’ in the media, he said.

  254. luna, couldn’t reply any sooner…. unlike your brilliant new fibre optic set-up, my computer is slower than a pigeon carrier tonight. I’m very jealous…

    Nas I’ve just seen a replay of the Abbott and ferals show. He’s a mongrel.
    It’s time for the ABC to wake up. Get rid of the smug attitudes, and the crude commercial style. right now it’s not worth the 12c per day.

  255. Cu, why is Ashby in such a blazing hurry?
    Is he still working in the same area?

    Imo, the whole thing was ready to roll at an opportune time, and his Coalition ‘advisers’ figured they’d bring down the government very quickly,
    much the same as the Gretch exercise in deceit.

    They might well shoot themselves in both feet before this is over, but if past examples are anything to go by, no-one will be punished in the Liberal party room.

  256. Cu, from your link, the judge didn’t seem overly impressed

    But the judge said Mr Lee could not even tell him how many witnesses he proposed to call and queried why a five-day hearing was required.

    ‘It is unimaginable’ that it would take so long for a case involving claims about a few conversations and messages between two people in a relatively confined time frame, he added.

  257. That is the impression I got.

    One thing for sure, there are some egos involved. This could be an interesting trial to sit in.

    Trials are mainly boring, but sometimes they can be great theatre.

    I believe this one will be.

    Today should have been boring. It obviously was not.

    Personally, I do not believe they intended it to come this far.

    The PM was meant to fold and be gone by now.

    That is why we have Abbott on his high horse today, telling everyone to leave it up to the courts. I suggest his other hope might not go the way he plans as well.

    He will not even have the PM there on Monday to glare at. I do hope he does not pull a stunt, in refusing pairs. He is so desperate, I believe he will do anything.

    With the collapse of Greece, I think he would find it hard to say the PM should have remained at home. The PM will be were she should be. Mr.. Thomson is not that important. It will be sorted out in the fullness of time. I suspect, if the politics was kept out of it, that may have occurred before now,

  258. Lunalava,
    that wouldn’t surprise me.

    2353 over at TPS was kind enuff to send a complaint for us to MediaWatch…my iPad wouldn’t connect.


  259. Nas’, our conversation ran up a lane… computer is slow due to cloudy weather and wireless having a disagreement…

    I’m very impressed with lunalava’s account of new fibre optics.

    No wonder the old foreigner, Rupert, doesn’t want us to have the NBN.

  260. Talking of the ATO.

    With the run on banks in Europe, it will be interesting to see how much money flows back towards Australia. another area to watch would be the number on new family “trusts” that emerge.
    With recent family spats over who owns how much in family trusts and the enlightening threats of :
    you’ll be ruined, you’ll lose it all in tax,
    we’ll take it to court and everyone (ATO) can see how it has been run

    Just how much wealth do the mega rich have away from the eyes of the ATO?

  261. Todays word is con·de·scend·ing this of course is a Greek parachutist.

    As ordinary Greeks rush to the bank to take out their life savings in euros (before they turn into drachmas), big investment accounts will start pulling out huge amounts and thus the snow ball will start rolling downhill.

    There might be some cheap real estate deals on offer in a few months (there is always an opportunity in every crisis 🙂 Just be cautious of the civil unrest, Greeks may have invented democracy but they are now doing a good job working on anarchy

  262. Has Mr. Abbott found a new way to talk down the economy. It is sad when a Opposition leader believes that the only way he can achieve government, is to destroy the present government. To do this, he has to destroy the economy.

    I thought sportsmanship meant that one had to be better to win.

    In sport, playing dirty, such as tripping your opponent is seen as cheating.

    Mr. Abbott obviously does not believe that and is happy with the prospect, that the end justified the means. Playing dirty is OK.

    I still hold to the belief, that winning by dubious means defeats the purpose and is a hollow victory. How can such a victory bring trust by the people.

    Maybe I am naive and expect to much.

    Last year, the US came within a few dozen hours of defaulting on its financial obligations — an event that would have caused catastrophic damage — when the Republicans, urged on by the Tea Party, refused to co-operate with the lifting of the debt ceiling.

    Though eventually averted, the crisis saw Standard & Poor’s downgrade its credit rating for the US and world markets took a pummelling.

    If there was a lesson in this for Congress and legislators worldwide, it was that you were playing with fire when bipartisanship was withdrawn on issues of debt — an issue that is flaring again in Washington.

    Given Australia’s comparatively flourishing economy, it is remarkable that we too could be on the verge of a potentially damaging debate about our debt ceiling.

    Having somewhat deflated the Opposition’s argument on deficits by announcing a $1.5 billion surplus for 2012-13, the Opposition moved its focus to Wayne Swan’s Budget announcement that the Government would move to increase the Commonwealth debt limit to $300 billion.

    The Treasurer knew the potential sensitivities of the measure and during the Budget lock-up last week journalists were made aware of advice from the Australian Office of Financial Management.

    “Any uncertainty whatsoever as to the Government’s ability to undertake normal debt management operations would create widespread and potentially serious negative speculation, this in turn creating unfavourable perceptions on the part of the

  263. CU there are two ways to run a competition (1) out perform your opponent, (2) trip up and spoil your opponents performance.
    Abbott has decided on the second option and this is the clever bit, with the help of the MSM he has successfully portrayed the government as doing the spoiling.
    Our capitalist based economy relies on participants doing the first strategy.
    That is supposed to be the role of open markets ie to promote and reward good performance. It is also why all capitalist economies despise (and outlaw) monopolies.
    Abbott has corrupted the very fabric of Liberal Party core values. It remains to be seen whether the electorate will swallow this poison.

  264. Just look at the governments score card. Record low interest rates, record low unemployment, record high credit rating (AAA), excellent balance of trade, low debt (by world standards) and high levels of infrastructure spending.

    I am considering having a bumper sticker printed “Thank you for NOT Whinging”

  265. “Abbott has corrupted the very fabric of Liberal Party core values. It remains to be seen whether the electorate will swallow this poison.”

    I am as sure as night follows day, the public will pay the price.

  266. Lunalava wrote: I have just had my optic fibre to the home upgraded. It is so fast I now down load movies and TV direct from the US almost instantaneous.
    I would just like to say “fcuk you” News Ltd, “fuku you” commercial TV stations. Now I understand why the people who back the Liberal Party are so strongly against the NBN.

    Can’t wait.

    The people will catch on.


  267. I’m scratching my head here. Abbott talking down the economy and then you have Swan saying everything is hunky dory.

    What about the truth? Take out mining, primary production and we’ve been in a recession for over a year! Businesses are going down, left right and centre. Manufacturing, down. Retail, down. Construction, down. Service industries, down. Tourism, down.

    I had a thriving business five years ago and the only reason I can still feed my family is because I saw what was coming and scaled down to just me. Warned a few friends about the coming crash and they laughed. Not laughing now as they lost everything!

    This is a train wreck but Abbott is blamed for telling the truth? Yet Swan and Gillard waffle on about it’s all good…I know whose lying.

    Because of Swan’s management of putting forward spending on this years budget the deficit will be near $50B and he will not get a surplus next year because he banked on revenue he has yet to receive.

    If $50B was spent on my passion, Eastern Australia would have been drought proofed, the Inland Rail Network would be built, the port bottlenecks would be fixed and there would be enough left over to house the homeless (the forgotten) and to support disadvantaged children.

    What a mess!

  268. nasking, stop making us jealous. I have to wait. North and south are getting in before me. That is bad enough.

    I am between the next Central Coast and Newcastle roll out. A little strip in the middle.

    I cannot see Mr. Abbott rolling back this one.

    At the same time, if I was a voter, I would take him serious. Many vote Howard back, believing the senate with the help of the Democrats would prevent the NBNco coming into being.

    There is only one way to ensure the roll out of NBN, is to vote Labor. Any other vote puts it at risk.

  269. Scaper,
    if the economy had been left to the Coalition during the GFC we’d still be trying to create the lost hundreds of thousands of jobs…

    Give it up! Yer in lala land.


  270. Now here is a story to upset the anti-wind farmers. And guess what Barrel O’Lies looked after you, with the toughest laws to help you stop wind turbines, but where will his backbone be when the miners knock on his door.

    Wind turbines is easy – attacking them helps Abbott in the carbon tax phony war.
    Where mining helps Barrel.

    “A company with Chinese links has applied to look for copper and gold on Canberra’s northern doorstep, outraging some residents who have already been through a fight against wind turbines in the area.

    The pair were among those who successfully fought against wind turbines proposed for the area by ActewAGL and later Japanese interests.

    It’s quite sickening to think we have to fight again.

    exploration licence to cover an area of about 200 square kilometres stretching from the northern border of the ACT near the new suburbs of Gungahlin towards Spring Range and Nanima.
    Anyone applying for an exploration licence only has to inform people through a notice in a local newspaper and a statewide newspaper

    The land is in the Yass Valley Council area but general manager David Rowe said he was unaware of the licence application until contacted by The Canberra Times”

    Oh dear, they won the war because of the “noise and its effect on health” and now may end up with……… what?

  271. Cu,
    I don’t have the NBN yet…that was lunalava I was quoting. Looking forward to it tho.

    I can see Abbott doing heaps of damage. He’s working for Murdoch and a few other rich dicks. They don’t mind spoiling progress to keep their dominant hands on the profitable goodies.

    Think of the Howard years.


  272. Scaper, you are entitled to your opinion. According to the experts, Mr. Swan has done nothing different than previous treasurers.

    As for Mr. Swan saying everything is hunky dory, I do not believe that is the case. The PM and treasure have stated clearly that things could go bad. That is why they have have put in place the biggest consolidation in history.

    Yes, the GFC was real. Yes Australia did not come through completely unscathed.

    Yes, we are entering dangerous waters, because of the GFC, which many believe did not exist.

    People, when it comes to Labor, want to have it both ways. They deny the GFC and claim we should be doing better.

    Yes, the mining boom was a two edge sword. It bought wealth, but at the same time distorted the economy.

    Maybe the lowering of the dollar might bring some relief.

    At least Labor gives the impression of understanding what we are facing.

    The Opposition only appears to be offering solutions that come from the past.

  273. Nah, I’m not in that land at all. I’m over the Libs verses Labor BS, just the truth. The GFC was not as bad but I remember Swan and Rudd talking down the economy by saying it was the worst economic shock since the great depression to set themselves up as heroes. The saving hundred of thousands of jobs does not wash for me. Just more divide and fool.

    Here is another reality…businesses will be blaming Labor for their demise but the fact is everyone is at the tiller of their own destiny so it is a copout. Also, a lot of the problem is that the consumers have lost confidence and are not spending. I’ve heard people say that a change of government would solve that instantly…yeah right!

    Everyone I talk to hates this government with a passion, must mix with the wrong people but wait…they were the ones that voted Howard out. Obviously not the 23%.

    Labor, in its present form is finished. Either they have to deunionise or split and create the new DLP.

  274. Labor in it’s present form?

    Labor has been around for over a century. Believe it or not, it is always rebuilding itself.

    It adapts to meet the needs of the times. Many do not realise this, are living in the past, when they claim it has left it’s roots.

    As for in connection with the unions, that is a real dilemna. I believe it could be stronger if they separated. It would strengthen both arms of Labor.

    Labor has survived in the UK being separated. There are pluses and minus. as to whether this is a good idea,

    We can leave creating a new DLP to Abbott. That is where his roots are, and being Abbott he has not grown over a lifetime.

    Yes, this government is hated. One wonders why? It has, in spite of being hated, been a very productive government.

  275. Scaper,
    by linking to the Murdoch empire you just prove to me yer another Liberal hack pretending to be otherwise.

    I’ve always thought it about you and ToM…showing up like trolls…derailing threads…starting out on Murdoch-based blogs…infiltrating thru emails.

    Enuff games.


  276. Btw,
    We need to smash the Courier Mail out of this state.

    It’s an arm of a propaganda machine no better than the NAZIs.

  277. The first edition of The Courier-Mail was published on 28 August 1933 after Keith Murdoch’s Herald and Weekly Times acquired and merged the Brisbane Courier and the Daily Mail (first published on 3 October 1903). HWT controlled the paper until 1987 when it was acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited. Murdoch also acquired the outstanding shares of Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd.

    Political position

    The Courier-Mail is a right of center newspaper with four editorial endorsements for the coalition to one for Labor in the period 1996-2007.

    The Courier-Mail generally supports free market economic policies and the process of globalisation. It supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    We had a Courier Mail representative visit a school I worked in during the 90s…she said it was biased…and hated working there.


  278. Oh dear. I thought this was an open thread. Your ‘notify me on follow up comments’ is not working as I have not ticked the box and I keep getting email notifications.

    By the way, what did happen to my old nemesis and the Gutter?

  279. Support for federal Labor has collapsed to a mere 23 per cent in Queensland, the latest Galaxy poll conducted exclusively for The Courier-Mail shows.

    I would like to see how that poll was conducted.

    As far as I’m concerned this is yet another blatant attempt by pollsters in league with the Murdoch empire to manufacture public perception at a time they know Abbott is starting to struggle…and the govt’s school kid bonus and compensation is rolling out.

    Add the disgraceful QLD ABC news report from last night and it calls for a proper media enquiry.

    Bring down the Murdochracy!

  280. In the BRISBANE TIMES:

    Hacking saga turns into a marathon
    Ravi Somaiya
    May 19, 2012

    Ms Brooks, who will appear in court on June 13, will most likely not be the last to face prosecution, the police and prosecutors said.
    There are three current police operations, Scotland Yard confirmed: Operation Weeting, which is examining illegal voicemail interceptions, currently employs 95 officers and staff members and has made 22 arrests; Operation Tuleta, which is looking into computer hacking, employs eight and has made three arrests; and Operation Elveden, which is exploring illegal payments by journalists to public officials, employs 29 and has made 28 arrests.
    ”It is difficult to give an end date,” said a police spokesman. ”We follow the evidence and it’s impossible to say where it will lead. It’s safe to say it will last years.” A police budget for all the investigations extends into 2015, and anticipates that the cost will reach £40 million ($64 million) in total.
    Besides Ms Brooks, another closely watched figure is Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World who later became Mr Cameron’s director of communications.
    Mr Coulson was arrested but there has been no decision on whether to charge him.
    If it is proven that those in Mr Murdoch’s employ conspired to pay public officials to further business interests, experts say he could be at risk of sanctions in the US under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Even a small fine would threaten to bring the scandal across the Atlantic, and increase political pressure on Mr Murdoch


  281. Graydon Carter on News Corp. in Vanity Fair’s New Rupert Murdoch eBook: “The Notion of ‘a New Low’ Is in Fact Bottomless”

    by Vanity Fair 10:30 AM, MAY 18 2012

    Just on the heels of former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks’s being charged by Scotland Yard for obstructing justice, Vanity Fair has released a new, updated e-book detailing the fall of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire…

    Perhaps the central revelation of the phone-hacking scandal is that, when it come to News Corp., the notion of ‘a new low’ is in fact bottomless,” writes editor Graydon Carter in a new introduction. “No matter how the story ends in some technical or legal sense, Murdoch has been irreversibly reduced.

    The influence he has wielded in Britain, whether through backroom threats or the public power of his newspapers, is effectively at an end. And despite all efforts to contain it, the scandal’s impact is being felt everywhere Murdoch does business.


  282. ‘By the way, what did happen to my old nemesis and the Gutter?’

    It’s now The Farnham Report and at the moment the blogmaster is visiting a place where they squeeze vowels.


    Scaper makes sense on the economy.

  283. A mess made by a completely negative opposition with a gormless spoil at all costs leader fostered by a media that has lost whatever little credibility it ever had.

  284. Mobius, did the news media ever have any credibility?

    Slipper allegations decried as ‘character assassination’
    May 19, 2012.

    SALACIOUS allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of Cabcharges against the Speaker of the Parliament, Peter Slipper, have been an ”an exercise in ambush” and ”character assassination”, his lawyer says.

    In a feisty Federal Court directions hearing yesterday, Josh Bornstein, for Mr Slipper, said some court documents had been released to the media ”in a publicity blitz” before they were served on Mr Slipper

    Mr Bornstein said he might apply for the case to be permanently stayed on the grounds that James Ashby’s lawyers had engaged in an ”abuse of process” in their handling of the case.

    blitzkreig would be a more accurate description !

    By the time Mr Ashby’s lawyers had provided Mr Slipper and the Commonwealth with an amended application and a statement of claim on Wednesday, the case had been ”substantially altered”.

    Allegations about the misuse of Cabcharge vouchers had ”disappeared”, as had claims the Commonwealth had prior knowledge of Mr Slipper using his position to foster sexual relationships with young male staff. Further, these documents were circulated to the media before they were served on Mr Slipper, who did not see them until midnight.

    ”The sudden disappearance of these allegations speaks volumes about the inappropriateness of this as an exercise in ambush and character assassination,” he said.

  285. Spot on:

    In high school or university we are taught:

    Markets are a system and systems have structure. The structure of a well-functioning market is defined by the theory of perfect competition. Well-functioning markets of the real world are never perfect, but basic structural characteristics can include many small buyers and sellers; buyers and sellers having equal access to information; and comparable products.

    It’s all bullshit.

    What we have nowadays is a market of late degenerate capitalism. Morality is negotiable. Players want to take advantage of economic freedom but don’t want to pay the price of their strategic errors. They use political resources to influence peddle and so gain advantages from the governmental process that aren’t achievable in the “free market”.

    We have bureaucrats who transcend political parties and politicians, and a political culture of abuse and misuse of government power for private ends – cheap or free money, speculative assets, tax relief, tax incentives, loan guarantees, market intervention.

    “Regulatory arbitrage” (aka dodging the spirit of the law) is the name of the game. Banks bet against investments they actually bundled and sold to their own clients. When it goes belly up, the taxpayer takes the hit and the bankster buys a Bentley.

    In a situation where we’ve already suffered the financialisation of our entire existences, this economic philosophy puts our individual and social existences at risk.

    Rational economic policy aimed at true growth has been replaced by greed and the short-sighted quest for “shareholder value”. There is a mad obsession with high stock prices. “Eat the cake and have it too.”

    Growth without savings and capital investment? The tobacco haze of late, degenerate capitalism is dense and thick. Dark pools form as marauders take people’s money and gamble with it. Politicised credit rating agencies engage in fraud. Counterfeiting is renamed quantitative easing.

    Much more here:

    The greatest con on Earth.


  286. And a con those who support the anserine Abbott foster, who is after all the complete puppet for them, which is why they are so keen to see him in power to the point they are throwing all their considerable resources and the full force of the media in bringing down a duly elected democratic government to make sure their marionette becomes leader of the nation and not leave it to the chances of an election.

    The daft thing is that most who are supporting Abbott and mindlessly attacking this government at every opportunity are the ones who are going to be hurt the most by an Abbott government and those who pull his strings. When that happens these same people will still be blaming Labor and everyone else but the real cause of their problems and decline in fortune.

  287. ‘When that happens these same people will still be blaming Labor…’

    That depends, Julia will receive kudos from the NBN and she may have inadvertently changed our minds on ‘boat people’, but the stench from the CO2 tax may linger a lot longer.

  288. Just the US Global Financial Crisis loses have been estimated at 3.6 trillion dollars (trillion in this case being one million million). I know many people who had their life savings wiped out. Many took Peter Costellos generous offer to sell assets (and pay reduced capital gains tax) provided they invested in superannuation funds (high growth being the flavor of the month at that time). Many took Howard and Costellos advice to buy over priced Telstra shares. Many, many young Liberals were saying that share markets would “never” fall as the market had too many safe-guards.

    Words are like wind scraper, in your case mental flatulence.

  289. Words are like wind scraper, in your case mental flatulence. lol:

    lunalava, the afternoon shift is here….

  290. Yes the CO² tax will longer for a long time as its benefits flow to the nation and as other nations around the world continue to implement and expand carbon schemes and taxes.

    In the meantime if Abbott gets into power and sends Australia backwards in so many areas it’s hard to count, and we become a pariah internationally as his nonsense of a scheme rips money from the people to give to the wealthy and polluters, the stench will be palatable around the world let alone in Australia.

  291. Just a little derail for a good laugh from Twitter..

    Fit/Proper Gusface ‏@GenGusface

    TheFinnigans天地有道人无道 ‏@Thefinnigans
    @GenGusface Gussie, apparently withdrew from MTP as well where Jess wil be appearing. Interesting, the MOAR bites

    View conversation 1:03 PM – 19 May 12 via web

    MTP = Meet the Press

  292. ‘and we become a pariah internationally’

    That won’t happen, in this economic turmoil it’s everyone for themselves. The Green Revolution must come to a grinding halt if subsidies are required to keep it going.

    The tax will have to go and our friends and trading partners will understand why we may have to pull the tent down, they will probably also choose the course of least resistance.

    ‘…rips money from the people to give to the wealthy and polluters,’

    No, they are taxed rather heavily and the people benefit. CO2 is only a pollutant in your mind.

  293. Sorry el gordo, so wrong yet again.

    Anything can be a pollutant just as much of your drivel here is pollution.

  294. Great article on the ABC drum site

    Rational economic policy aimed at true growth has been replaced by greed and the short-sighted quest for “shareholder value”. There is a mad obsession with high stock prices. “Eat the cake and have it too.”

    Growth without savings and capital investment? The tobacco haze of late, degenerate capitalism is dense and thick. Dark pools form as marauders take people’s money and gamble with it. Politicised credit rating agencies engage in fraud. Counterfeiting is renamed quantitative easing.

    How did it come to this? Professor Mitchell and I seemed to agree that the explanation starts with neoliberal economic philosophies.

    The character played by Michael Douglas in “Wall Street” was supposed to be the ‘baddie’ but when the movie came out he was considered a “clever operator” by many in the US. This group really believe the “Greed is Good” motto and consider business ethics a joke.

    The Murdochs and their vassals like Abbott actually accept without question that the end justifies the means.

    It is likely that moral bankruptcy precedes actual bankruptcy.

  295. What warfare??? I don’t get it, I’m just giving my opinion on the mess that is politics today.

    Hey Scaper (if your still around), don’t much care for your twisted opinion, even less for your predictions – note the date.

    scaper… permalink
    April 18, 2011 12:36 pm
    Ah, the witch is gone.
    Kylie Mole has been sodomised by industry, the unions and now public opinion…the skank’s karma!
    The phones have been working over the weekend and so far five have put up their hands. My prediction? There will be a new PM around May 24. Either Bill or Martin, whomever…he should not only have the mattress removed from the lodge, the bed, the carpet, have the irremovable surfaces sterilised and unscrew the mirror off the ceiling of the bedroom!
    Love how Brown tells Kylie to hold her nerve. And I thought Brown was not into females…snigger…snigger!

  296. eg even more predictable, a nonsensical dig at CO² and/or the government at every chance. But enough of childish tit for tat, but when dealing with infantile side snipes from the peanut gallery titting and tatting seems apt.

  297. Mobius, let the peanuts in the gallery think about this
    If the current Budget had the same tax to GDP ratio as the peak in the Howard government, this much derided Labor Minority Government would have a record surplus.

  298. this tweet appears to be on a loop…


    Darryl Snow ‏@lapuntadelfin

    Narrow the search for Pyne. You need only look under flat, slimy rocks. You’re Welcome.

  299. It’s the AFL Indigenous Round

    Let’s walk together ….

    Goanna are entertaining on the MCG right now 😀

  300. Mobius…the clean energy business might be in strife going forward…this from China Daily.

    ‘China on Friday rejected a US anti-dumping ruling against Chinese solar power equipment, calling it “unfair” and “unreasonable”, as Chinese manufacturers warned that possible higher tariffs might hurt efforts to promote clean energy.

    ‘Shen Danyang, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, condemned the US anti-dumping tariffs as trade protectionism.

    “By deliberately provoking trade friction in the clean energy sector, the United States is sending the world a negative signal about trade protectionism,” Shen said in a statement.’

  301. Seems everyone knows how the government could do better.

    I think their communication to the public has improved.

    Learning by the day…improving by the week.

    The media empire of hate and opportunism crumbles…bit by bit.

    I recommend this song:


  302. el gordo, I would not put your money on a mini budget at this time.

    It was acknowledge that things could be difficult.

    Wishful and desperate thinking again.

  303. At this point there is no mini budget set for June. This does not mean there will not be one later. It depends on events overseas and not events in Australia.

  304. el gordo, if the economies of the world collapse, that in itself will give us a respite in carbon emission.

  305. The PM is involved on dealing with serious matters of state.

    Mr. Thomson is an irritating aside that will be dealt with by the police and if charged, the courts in the fullness of time.

    If he is charged convicted and sentence to more that 12 months jail, he will have to leave parliament.

    Rehashing the allegations on a daily basis does not contribute to good governance.

    It is a matter for the judicial system, not the politicians.

    This is not their role or responsibility.

  306. I’ve been expecting Migs and Jane to mention Port Adelaide’s stunning victory today….miracles do happen …. 😯

  307. Pip @ 10.22

    The Liberal Party meeting at the Breakers Club. Witness accounts of homophobic attack by senator Heffernan

  308. Cu, the Coalition MPs count among their numbers several lawyers, yet they ignore the Separation of Powers, and the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty, and their sheeples follow faithfully.

    Executive. Legislature. Judiciary = Separate Powers

  309. Pip

    How long do you think the story will be in the msm? Make that SMH.
    As it is only in the SMH i reckon it will be gone by morning

  310. Pip

    Forget how long it will last, it has taken 16 days to get out!!!!!!!!

    And then on a Saturday evening between a Friday Ashby and a Monday Thompson.
    Team Coalition is good, if a story must get out then the rule is BURY IT!

    Useless msm

  311. Sue, they’re all Sgt Schultz now!

    Heffernan will have his back-up with Needham, and they’ll use the previous claim against this man, but Heffernan’s copybook was well and truly blotted years ago over his attempted character assassination of Justice Michael Kirby

  312. Pip, would you hire any of them to defend you.

    They might be good at twisting and if ignoring the law. Judges take a different slant.

  313. Sue, it’ll be here today, gone tomorrow. Will it rate a mention on the Insiders ??
    Niki Savva was on last week I think so probably Gerard Henderson or Pious Akerman. potato potarto…. it’ll be dismissed.

  314. Cu, i wouldn’t hire them to do anything at all.

    Was it you that said if you’re pointing at someone three fingers are pointing back at yourself 😆

    Sue I hadn’t noticed how long it took for the story to get out!!

    You’re right about this…..

    Forget how long it will last, it has taken 16 days to get out!!!!!!!!

    And then on a Saturday evening between a Friday Ashby and a Monday Thompson.
    Team Coalition is good, if a story must get out then the rule is BURY IT!

  315. Cu, of course the Senator will have to stand down, just as Mr. Slipper and
    Mr. Thomson have, no ifs or buts…

    btw, where’s Pyne – he’s been awl for many days now!

  316. With all the fuss made over Ashby feeling threatened by an alleged request to leave the bathroom door open, I expect Abbott will take swift and decisive action to no longer accept the vote of one of his senators accused of assault and homophobic slur.
    Abbott will welcome the chance to lift standards of conduct by parliamentary members. Then again he might claim their is no comparison between the two and when asked why, he will reply
    “They just are”

  317. lunalave

    Abbott may take swift action and ask his mate Heff, to resign. Thus getting a renewal to the party and showing his leadership. A win, win for Abbott

  318. …and that has what to do with what el gordo?

    Your usual trick of scanning the web and finding the odd little thing that appears to support your assertions and very narrow ideological point of view, then post it as a triumphalism. But as happens most of the time it really doesn’t support your contentions at all.

    As stated, the one thing this economic down turn will do, as it did for the GFC Part 1, is to curb carbon emissions by proxy. It still means that forced carbon emission reductions will have to be undertaken, so rather than deferring that necessity, economic downturns are a good opportunity to enhance carbon reduction schemes having the ameliorating benefit of both stimulating the economy and helping the planet.

  319. ‘Forced carbon emission reductions will have to be undertaken…’
    Don’t have to, it will make no difference to the climate.

    ‘very narrow ideological point of view’
    That’s your problem, being a barracker, I’m more interested in seeing Labor stay in office.

    In NSW there is friction between the Nats and Libs which is becoming a festering sore and needs to be watched. Here we see them standing as one against the government.

    ‘Backbenchers from the Left and Right factions of the Liberal Party have gathered to fight alongside Nationals MPs, who are just as furious at the prospect.’

    Read more:

  320. “I’m more interested in seeing Labor stay in office.”

    Lame joke.

    Usual change of direction I see. Quick lets move over to here.

    “Don’t have to, it will make no difference to the climate.”

    Another one line absolute assertion thrown in. No ifs, buts or maybes, just an absolute assertion based on…. based on what actually? Nothing concrete at all, just a very narrow misguided point of view and scraps, mostly discredited or misconstrued, from the net, and the same regurgitated denial points that keep going around hoping that all the science and evidence that has discredited them will be overlooked by the gullible and gormless.

  321. One thing that Mr. Abbott cannot be accused of, is being consistent in his behavior.

    We might have problems of knowing what he believes or says, as this changes with the audience but not about the fear and disruption he creates around him. Once a bully boy, always a bully boy.

    It was an ugly and often violent time. The end result, for Mr Abbott and Ms Wilson, was a sensational charge of sexual assault and a date in North Sydney court.
    An investigation by The Sun-Herald into Mr Abbott’s controversial student days reveals that he spawned many more enemies than friends during those heady days.
    “He was a very offensive, a particularly obnoxious sort of guy,” said Barbie Schaffer, a Sydney teacher who was at Sydney University with Mr Abbott.
    Another ex-student, Peter Murphy, who described Mr Abbott as a “warrior on the Right” believes he was the one most responsible for creating the atmosphere of terror that reigned on campus in 1977.
    In August 1977 students on every NSW


  322. Cassidy disgraceful on Insiders with his blatant bias for the opposition in the Slipper and Thomson affairs.

    Stated that Pyne’s emails to Ashby were innocuous and the CoA lawyers were being artful in claiming that allegations were released to the media before the CoA.

    Stopped watching it after that.

  323. ‘Meaningless distraction el gordo.’

    Gergis has produced a hockey stick to match Mann’s effort and you think its a distraction?

    Good thing the science is settled.

  324. It is only the deniers who keep saying the science is settled in just one of their list of attempts at side railing the issue.

    It’s a distraction el gordo only because you raise it to be one, not because of the veracity or otherwise of the paper by Gergis or anyone else.

  325. Oh, how the Opposition smells like roses on the Central Coast. These are the people that had much to say about Belinda Neal and now putting the boot into Thomson.

    News Limited papers are reporting that Ray Carter, who formerly worked for New South Wales Energy Minister Chris Hartcher, has signed a statutory declaration claiming Senator Heffernan hit him and abused him for being gay.

    Mr Carter says the incident occurred at a Liberal Party branch meeting on the central coast on May 3.

    NSW Police say the alleged assault was reported to Brisbane Water Police 12 days later and it has now been referred to local detectives for investigation.

    Mr Carter is currently suspended from his job while he is investigated for allegedly accepting donations from a property developer.

  326. el gordo, if you really believe that Labor doing a back-flip on the Clean Energy Future bill will ensure they win the next election.

    You ignore the fact that Mr. Abbott is promising to cut emissions by the same amount. The difference is that Mr. Abbott’s scheme comes from cuckoo land, is expensive and will nt deliver. It moves the cost from the big emitters to the taxpayer.

    The SA independent is saying he might just support Mr. Abbott in dismantling the CEF bill. I would suggest, that one listens to the whole statement. He is saying that Mr.Abbott’s has to have in place, an alternate bill. I do not believe he is talking about a scheme of Mr. Turnbull, he supported in the past.

  327. Abbott is a dill on CC, as I have mentioned on numerous occasions, he won’t go to the election with that platform because Minchin (the incoming Lib president) will set him straight.

    Did you know that Abbott is conferring with Plimer?

  328. My other portfolio, besides climate change, is VFT. I think this is something the watermelons and agrarian socialists can agree upon.

    ‘Australia’s rapidly burgeoning major cities contribute 80 per cent of GDP, but the cost of avoidable transport congestion – $9.4 billion in 2005, projected to be $20.4 billion in 2020 and upwards of $80 billion in 2050 – will act as a barrier to future growth and improvements in productivity. However, infrastructure development would more than counter this cost. According to the Productivity Commission, efficiencies in transport and energy infrastructure alone would contribute a 2 percent increase in GDP infrastructure alone…’

    Infrastructure Australia Report

  329. Now if climate change is such bunkum then why has Obama just announced at the G8 summit that they have all come to a consensus on addressing it.

    So to understand the deniers idiotic position against such an overwhelming consensus is to believe that the leaders of the major economic nations, and many other nations, at a time of severe economic downturn and hardship have all universally lost their marbles in believing a majority of climate scientists instead of a handful of cranks, crooks and conservative stoolies under the employ of the fossil fuel industries and right wing think tanks to the extent that they will put time and resources during the economic downturn to addressing the problem of climate change.

  330. El gordo, do you think you might just have a closed mind on the subject of climate change?

    If so, I was once like you.

    Twenty-five years ago!!!

  331. No Miglo, the Gergis paper confirms the unusual warming over the past 60 years cannot be natural.

  332. ‘A banning came close.’

    Much amusement…but while you’re there how about setting up a designated CO2 thread, so that those with obsessions don’t upset the others with silly ‘distractions’.

  333. “Abbott is a dill on CC,”

    So el gordo you are willing to put a dill in power with your attacks on this PM.

  334. el gordo you bring this up often. I believe you have been invited to make a post yourself.

    Many others do this, when they have something that interest them.

    Are you afraid that it might fall flat, or just to lazy to put your argument together.

  335. Sue, I agree. I have just done a Google search on this union. It does not come up smelling like roses.

    If one feels the need to immerse themselves in the slime, I have given some links.

    It is very complicated and hard to work out who is right and who is wrong.

    It seem that the union had a administrator back in 2009. Dod not seem tp fix any problems.

    The answer I believe is not another administrator but a Royal Commission.

    There are links to FWA that make one wonder.

    I warn one, that you might not be much wiser.

    What is clear, Thomson is only a minor player at the most. The links mainly concern the time after Mr. Thomson left the union.

  336. ‘…willing to put a dill in power with your attacks on this PM.’


    Just been reading through the ABC transcript with Anna, Nick and Lomborg ‘we can change your mind’ and I see why Nick has warmed to Lomborg’s theory.

  337. Excellent investigations Cu. 🙂

    Tony Abbott and his gormless Shadow Treasurer should know these FACTS.
    If they do not, they should.

    {Beautiful Inspiring Set of Numbers}

    You want POSITIVE news about Australia, Come here. Else read, listen to #MSMhacks, Shockjocks & Tony Abbott.
    (This site is dedicated to PJ Keating & His Achievements for OZ)

    Latest BISONs – 20 May 2012

    1. IMF in full flight praising Australia’s BISONs – It welcomes Aust commitment to return to a budget surplus by 2012/13 to rebuild fiscal buffers. Aust has more policy flexibility with the lowest public net % debt-to-GDP, floating exchange rate. Aust economy is expected to grow 3% in 2012 and 3.5% in 2013 READ MORE

    2. Comparison of Public debt as % of GDP & Public Debt Per Person:
    AUS. 22.6%. $12,469
    NZ 31.8%. $10,677
    UK. 84.6%. $32,207
    US. 76.3%. $37,952
    CAN. 81.6%. $39,883
    FRA. 92.5%. $35,648
    GER. 77.8%. $28,728
    JAP. 204.9%. $87,600 READ MORE

    3. Fiscal Policy – The Government at the moment is part way through delivering the most dramatic bottom-line turnaround in fiscal policy since at least the 1960s. It is cutting real government spending for the first time since the 1980s. READ MORE

    4.You never had it so good – battered by rising prices? Nonsense, you’ve never had it so good, study reveals – COMPLAINTS about the rising cost of living appear to have little basis in fact, a new study reveals.It shows that incomes have more than kept up with prices, and in 2009-10 the average family was $224 a week better off than in 2003-04. READ MORE

    5. Infrastructure Spending – Minister Anthony Albanese announced a record $7.3B infratructure spending

    6. Economic Leadership – IMF MD Christine Lagarde said Australia’s renowned economic leadership will continue to extend its global influence in years to come.She told the Global Foundation’s Australian summit that the nation had always shown “real leadership” in the turbulent, ever-fluctuating global economy. The past five years have put heavier financial stress on everyone and created a greater demand for expertise and innovative, collaborative thinking on economics, she told the Melbourne summit via video link from Washington on Thursday. READ MORE

    7. Tony Abbott Must Come Clean – Prime Minister Julia Gillard says any savings in the upcoming budget rejected by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will add to the coalition’s ‘black hole’. Ms Gillard says even if Opposition Leader Tony Abbott backs all the budget measures, the coalition would still have a $70 billion costing hole in its own promises. ‘Every budget save we put forward that he doesn’t take adds to that total,’ she told reporters in Canberra on Thursday. ‘That adds to the incredible cutbacks he would need to make to pensions, health, education, Medicare right across the board if he were ever to become prime minister.’ READ MORE

    8. School Kid Bonus – A million families will get a new cash payment of up to $820 for every child they have in school, being spared the hassle of claiming back education costs in their tax returns. Families will be paid $820 for every child at high school and $410 for each child in primary school. READ MORE

    9. Roxon’s a Champion – Washington honours Roxon, global champion in anti-tobacco battle – THE Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, will be honoured in Washington, DC, tonight for championing what will ”go down as the most important turning point” in the global fight against tobacco in a generation. Ms Roxon, who introduced plain packaging legislation as health minister and is now defending it in her new portfolio, will receive the annual ”Global Champion” award before 500 guests at a gala dinner hosted by one of the US’s largest anti-tobacco groups, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. READ MORE

    10. Ross Gittin’s Robin Hood budget not before time – Be in no doubt: this budget is the most highly redistributive in years. Whether out of desire to awaken class loyalties, to soften the blow of the carbon tax, or to buy votes, this budget gives quite a bit of money to low- and middle-income families. The discretionary increase in the means-tested family benefit, to take effect from July next year, is well targeted to families in greater need.The schoolchildren’s bonus, the first payment of which will be made within a few weeks, goes only to parents eligible for the family benefit. It’s a big improvement on the education tax refund, which mainly benefited those parents able to spend big on eligible equipment and savvy enough to keep receipts and make the claim.The new income-support supplement, to take effect next March, will give people on the dole a princely 57¢ a week extra, reducing by a sliver the extent to which we require them to subsist below the poverty line. It is, nevertheless, the first real increase to the dole for more than 20 years. The budget plans for increased spending on dental health for the needy and a start to the national disability insurance scheme in July next year. READ MORE

    11. The Fish Market & the Fishy Kabuki Show – Tony Abbott spreading doom & gloom at Fish Market, while PM Julia Gillard opening start of $34B Gas Development at Darwin

    Picture by GeorgeBludger & TheFinnigans

    12. Abbott Budget Lies – The KOUK debunks Abbott’s Budget Lies – READ MORE

    13. TOP TEN – Australia’s higher education system world-class: 1 US 2 Sweden 3 Canada 4 Finland 5 Denmark 6 Switzerland 7 Norway 8 Australia 9 Netherlands 10 UK READ MORE

    13. PENSIONERS – “The Whitlam and Rudd–Gillard governments did more for poor pensioners than any other govts in the last half-century”- READ MORE

    14. More From TheKouk:

    * Under the 12 years of the Howard govt, Govt spending rose by 101%; tax receipts rose 141%.
    * Budget day facts: Australia’s GDP will be approx $1.56 trillion in 2012-13… that’s $1,560,000,000,000
    * Budget Day Facts: Govt will collect about $350 billion in tax in 2012-13 or 22.1% of GDP. This is less tax than all Costello Budgets
    * The RBA paid $18.3 billion in dividends to Govt in the Costello Budgets. Since 2010-11, zero.
    * The average RBA dividend to the Govt during Costello Budgets was 0.2% of GDP. I bet Swannie would love such a windfall now!
    * Number of Australians employed rose above 11.5 million for the first time ever..Just saying ( TheKouk on Twitter )

    15. China to levy carbon tax before 2015 – BEIJING | Thu Jan 5, 2012 1:47am EST – Jan 5 (Reuters) – China’s biggest energy-consuming companies are likely to face a direct tax on carbon dioxide emissions by 2015, the Xinhua-backed Economic Information Daily reported on Thursday, citing government sources. The tax would begin at a rate of 10 yuan ($1.59) per tonne of carbon dioxide, and gradually increase depending on a company’s emission levels, the report said. It did not elaborate on when the higher tax bands would kick in. READ MORE

    16. South Korean Parliament Approves Carbon Trading System – By Sangim Han – May 2, 2012 10:53 PM ET – South Korea approved a cap-and-trade system to cut carbon emissions as President Lee Myung Bak seeks support from factories and power plants in the fastest-growing producer of greenhouse gases among industrialized democracies. South Korea is world’s 7th biggest exporter; Australia is 21st. Both have legislated for a price on carbon. READ MORE

    Posted by TheFinnigans
    Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)

  338. Pip, are you any clearer in what you believe.

    It is easy to see why it took FWA three years. I feel that they do not have much confidence in their report.

    It is ignored that in the commercial world, inquiries can take years. I suggest this is similar.

    Was not there allegations that books and records from the period have disappeared.

    There could be at least two explanations for that.

    One, the person making the allegations does not want the truth to emerge. The second is that the person accused took the records with them.

    I cannot see a administrator getting far.

    How anyone can say, they know the truth is beyond me and beyond reality.

  339. Pip, it is even hard work reading the list.

    You have not even scratched the surface.

    Mr. Abbott is going to be a busy boy dismantling all that this PM has achieved.

    Even this week, on the world stage, important matters are being addressed.

  340. patriciawam if we had anyone interested in investigative journalism, there would be a award winning story in HSU east.

    It has everything, They may even get a politician or two.

    The problem is, it will not be done, because, from where I am sitting, Thomson at the most, is a small player.

    Also, it is not the wharfies or the Builders Labourers.

    I still think it could come back to bite Abbott. I cannot see were it can harm the PM anymore.

  341. Another weekend and no Abbott,

    Comment was being sought from Mr Abbott.

    Mr Abbott has consistently called on Mr Thomson to make a statement to the parliament which he’ll now do on Monday.

    Dr Emerson said it would therefore follow, under the Liberal leader’s principles, that Senator Heffernan should be forced to explain himself too.

    ‘Mr Abbott can’t have it both ways,’ he said.

  342. Cu, love it 😆

    It’s taking a while to absorb all that info…. there’s a very important footy match on atm…

    but I can “walk and chew gum”… still reading…

  343. Pip, I fear you will not be any wiser when you have read it. It is all allegations ans counter allegations.

    Just listening to Brandis on Meet the Press. He can twist anything to his own advantage. I have a feeling, they have lost track of the truth as well.

  344. How’s this for a blatant double standard that have become the norm for the Liberal Party.:

    NSW senator Arthur Sinodinos, who oversaw the Breakers Country Club meeting, says Mr Carter should have approached him at the time if there was an altercation.

    ‘I presided over the meeting that night and I did not see any alleged incident occur and I wasn’t informed of any such incident,’ he told ABC Radio on Sunday.

    Senator Sinodinos, the state president of the NSW Liberal Party, said no-one approached him on the night to say anything untoward had happened.

    ‘I’m very distressed that some weeks afterwards this story has come forward.

    So Ashby making allegations outside the normal channels well after the fact is OK and he is to be protected and believed.

    Shoe on other foot. “…should have approached him at the time if there was an altercation.”

    Incident in Labor Party Caucus. “It beggars belief no one knew what went on in the Party room.

    Incident in Liberal Party room: “We all know nothing, see nothing, hear nothing.”

  345. Mr. Brandis made a big thing about Thomson changing his story. Brandis is now being challenged on Pyne having three versions. Of course, he has ignored the question.

    A good laugh.

  346. Thanks el gordo.

    Interesting that you chose to show that clip when there are others available. But then again they show Anna Rose being lucid and in a positive light whilst this shows the ranting of a conservative who would have not problem seeing all land clear felled so he could build housing estates and developments so as to line his own pockets.

    De-constructing Minchin:

  347. May 20, 2012 @ 4:28 pm [Edit]
    Roast him on a spit I say !!

    Make that “them”… Brandis and Minchin.. 👿

  348. Oh and to show what a piece of work Marc Marano is, just one step above low life Minchin, Marano was an instigator in the Swift Boat attacks and other very nasty untrue smears in US politics.

    Yet it’s these known liars and base dirty tactic politicians that el gordo would rather believe than lucid and knowledgeable spokespeople who presents facts and science.

  349. Comments I posted on Wixxyleaks.

    Mr. Brandis has just said that innocence until proven guilty only applies in criminal matters. I have news for Mr. Brandis, I believe he is wrong. Maybe legally correct but wrong.
    I believe he is wrong. Nobody should be convicted on allegations, slurs or innuendo.

    The second reason that I object, is the way things are hoping, he could be facing criminal charges.

    To rub salt into the wound, Mr. Brandis is demanding that Ashby and Pyne be left alone.

    I will not even bother commenting on Bolt.

    He has a ex cop on making allegations against someone in the AWU. Micheal Smith, former cop and 2UE broadcaster. Who by the way was sacked after making allegations

    Bruce Wilson and his mate. Was not convicted by the way.

    Catching up says:
    May 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm
    I can see a big defamation coming up.

    Catching up says:
    May 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm
    We are back to the attacks made on the PM. Bolt linked the incidents to her. Ones that he has been trying hard to get up again for weeks. You know, the ones about her boyfriend. Was Wilson the boyfriend.

    Some scathing comments, that needed not be said.

    I must say he has pushed the envelope this time.

    We used to have a parer when I was young, called the Sunday Truth. It was nothing more than a scandal sheet. The Bolt show is a modern day version of the Truth.

    Yes, sexual harassment is serious, but it is not a hanging offence.

    Now we have Minchin. Carr is now in the firing line.

    They have come to the conclusion that enough pressure has been put on the tow men, and one will crack. The fat lady will then sing and the game is over.

    What a wonderful way to win government.

  350. Thanx Mo…watched a minute until Naomi Oreskes starting on about ‘major driver’ and carbon dioxide is the ‘most significant’ greenhouse gas. Utter nonsense, water vapour is more significant.

  351. Well Emerson was correct.. Bolt did attempt a hatchet job today.

    On The Bolt Report today, Nick Minchin, Gary Johns and I were astonished at the juvenile tweeting of Trade Minister Craig Emerson. Hasn’t this grown man – a Minister of the Crown – got better things to do with his time than tweet a huge stream of petulant, abusive and inane messages, virutally none to do with his weighty portfolio responsibilities?

    Far from being shamed into getting back to work, Emerson since the show has been twiddling his thumbs even more frenetically, and has, moveover, made me wonder if he’s become totally paranoid, sniffing conspiracies against him:

    It seems this is what has triggered the Minister’s suspicion of an anti-Labor plot:

    Of course, a simple explanation might be that whoever Emerson is accusing of being my co-conspirator simply read my blog beforehand, and drew the obvious conclusion

    The aim is tomorrow to refer Thomson to the privilege committee to keep it going a little longer.

  352. Bolt really is losing it and yet again shows he can’t take it when his crap is thrown back at him.

  353. Long term greenhouse gas el gordo. I thought you knew all the science on this subject, which is apparently why you are able to make such assertive no ifs or buts statements on the subject.

  354. Cu and

    Mr. Brandis has just said that innocence until proven guilty only applies in criminal matters. I have news for Mr. Brandis, I believe he is wrong. Maybe legally correct but wrong.

    That is correct, with the burden of proof resting on the prosecution. However, this maxim has been adopted by many other countries in civil matters as well as criminal matters, and I believe that in Australia we would must prefer this to any alternative. It’s a little like the separation of church and state, that while it is not specified in our Constitution that this tenet would be the preference for a majority of Australians.

  355. I did not think that politics in this country could get any dirtier or lower. I fear I am wrong. I fear what we are going to see tomorrow and the following few days.

    I do hope they do not take advantage of the PM and the Minister for Defence being out of the country.

  356. Queensland – the most backward state.

    Government pulls funding from gay health group
    From: AAP May 20, 2012

    On Sunday, the Liberal National Party (LNP) government pulled $2.5 million in funding from the group, saying its initiatives to arrest HIV rates weren’t working.

    Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says diagnosis rates are the highest in Queensland since figures became available in 1984.

    Mr Springborg said Healthy Communities had “published its intention to move the core of its activity away from AIDS/HIV to more general, political issues”.


    But Healthy Communities executive director Paul Martin says its contract requires it to provide advocacy on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

    He added it only receives funding for HIV prevention among gay men, a group that has decreased as a proportion of people diagnosed with HIV over the past 10 years.

    “It is unfair to blame Healthy Communities for the rise in HIV over the past 10 years, when we are only a relatively small player,” he said.

    springborgasaurus ?

  357. Min, I believe the separation of powers is in the Constitution.

    The right to remain silent comes under human rights.

    Anyway Mr. Brandis is very selective in how he applies the presumption of innocence. It only appears, in his eyes to apply to Thomson and Slipper.

    Everyone else is protected.

  358. Hi folks. I’m now home and will be able to set up a new Open Thread page soon. I found the existing page very difficult to open due to its size, noting that the 3G speed in Sydney is snail pace compared to Canberra. Odd.

    But thanks for keeping the comments flowing. I have some good reading ahead of me tonight.

  359. Keep going at this rate for open threads and in a couple of centuries you will hit the maximum roman numeral, depending on how you write it or what standard (there is no real standard) you use.

  360. Miglo, I believe you found out why wireless is not the answer. Why fibre is the only option.

    I suggest in Canberra, you have less trying to use the service.

    The only one that is limitless is fibre. It is stupid not to get the full benefit by hooking it onto wire.

    On the Central Coast we have shocking radio reception. T V is not much better. We are well aware of the limitations of radio waves.

    Thanks for as good day out.

  361. Cu, I’ll have to correct you on that one, there is no separation of church and state in the Australian Constitution, only the American hence the reason why Anglican Archbishop Hollingsworth could become our Governor General. Also hence the reason why government funding of religious based schools is barred in the US, but not in Australia.

    The mention in our Constitution resides with s116 which states:

    The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

    Therefore although under the Constitution we are guaranteed freedom of religious observance and that the State shall not impose any one particular religion on us, nor ban any religious (proviso: as long as that religion does not violate any other law, especially criminal laws eg age of consent), there is nothing about separation.

  362. Mobius, you are a mind reader. I was wondering this afternoon about when we might come to the limit of Roman numerals. 🙂

  363. Min, I might have worded that wrong. I meant the judicial and legislative arms.

    The government enacts the laws. The judicial arm administers them.

  364. I did a search Min and there is some conflicting information that has apparently come about because there is no real standard for Roman Numerals. The Romans weren’t into standards and had no need for really large numbers thus the same number can be represented several ways.

    If you don’t use the over score, side amplifiers and underscore then I think it’s around 39998 or some such number give or take a 9 or two.

  365. Can the judicial arm also intepret the law and make judgements in case of laws that are unclear, contradictatory or not applicable to a situation?

  366. I believe that is the case. Governments make laws. Court interpret them.

    Remember years ago when it was popular to accuse the courts of making law. This was not true.

    There is also common law that arise in my understanding from the decisions the court have come to over centuries.

    We have the Malaysian decision which was made void when the court over ruled it was not Constitutional.

    The Parliament is not and should not behave as a court. This is not true, when parliament rules are broken.

    The Opposition is attempting to use these examples, as evidence they can deal with Slipper and Thomson.

    I think that is why they are attempting to twist privileges rules to get Thomson, and I assume Slipper.

    The Opposition should remind themselves, once precedent is broken, it is broken for all times.

  367. Pip, Migs is very proud of Port’s 2 point win over the Roos. I’m certain that he’ll be along to gloat any tick of the clock. 🙂

    And Adelaide killed Carlton..I always enjoy it when Carlton is thrashed. 🙂

  368. Cu and

    The government enacts the laws. The judicial arm administers them.

    A description is that the government enacts the laws and the judiciary interprets the laws. One of the first steps for the judiciary is to work out the intent of legislation.

    For example, my criminal law lecturer when a Magistrate decided that he would not imprison a young person for foul language..the f* word to be specific, as that word had become common usage and the intent of the law was not to imprison people for things which were acceptable by society.

  369. Mobius @6.03pm and,

    Can the judicial arm also intepret the law and make judgements in case of laws that are unclear, contradictatory or not applicable to a situation?

    That is the prime role of the judiary especially in the higher jurisdictions. Under common law we have the rule of precedence, that is, that which preceded especially from higher jurisdictions such as the Supreme and High Court should be followed by the lower jurisdictions. However, there is nothing to stop any of the judiciary making their own judgements as long as they can provide supporting arguments. Should a lower court appear to be in contradiction to anything in a higher court, then of course the lawyers would be on top of it and mount a challenge.

    Under the heading of “interpreting the law”, probably one of the best known cases is the Tasmanian Dams Case (the Franklin Dam) where it was decided by the High Court that the 1967 referendum, in bringing Aboriginals within the reach of the “races” power, did so in such a way that the power can be used only for their benefit. **That is, this is an interpretation of s55(xxvi) that laws for the Aboriginal people can be made only for their benefit. Prior to that, the legislation was unclear..”a special law” for Aboriginals did not necessarily mean to their benefit.

  370. Min, thankfully the intent is not always what they thought.

    Min, the longer the Thomson matter goes on, the bigger the stink. I believe they have to pull off the coup this week.

    The trouble is that they only need those numbers for brief time. Once the vote is taken, it is all over. Like back in the Whitlam coup.

    It came down to the first one to blink, Sadly it was Whitlam, giving up and having that steak lunch instead of rushing back to the house.

    What I do not understand, why charges have not been load by the police of FWA.

    The only thing I can think of in FWA case, is that the lawyers are telling them to go back.

    As for the police, maybe there is no evidence found yet. Or maybe too much and more that Thomson is involved.

    When one looks at those links I gave earlier, I wonder how anyone can work through the mess.

    I do not believe the Coalition wants either matter to go to court. They know there are too many gray areas. Too much that will not pass close scrutiny.

    All I know, it is as dirty politics as I have seen.

  371. The ABC leading off at 7 tonight with a standard “no matter where she goes, Julia Gillard can’t escape questions about Craig Thomson” line. Sure enough, there she was in Chicago in front of the cameras & such a question was asked. Not with an American, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish or Italian accent but good old Aussie strine. Yes, an Australian news organisation had paid someone’s salary, accommodation & fare all that way just so he could ask a question which would be reported here under the “”no matter where she goes…..” headline. And I’m bloody sick of it.
    In fairness to the ABC I must say they gave the Heffalump story a bit of a kickalong with good shots of Craig Emerson ridiculing the double standard of it all.
    But even in its current state the ABC should be above something as crass as the “no matter…” ploy.

  372. Pacific and

    Yes, an Australian news organisation had paid someone’s salary, accommodation & fare all that way just so he could ask a question which would be reported here under the “”no matter where she goes…..” headline. And I’m bloody sick of it.

    And so say all of us…

  373. Min and Cu and pacific231, I gave myself an early minute today and didn’t bother with the “news”, and I don’t feel as if I’ve missed much …

  374. Min at 8.08
    The thoughtful piece on the ABC you responded to was composed by none other than I, BSA Bob. Installation of a new Gravatar has produced this unexpected turn of events.

  375. Bob and

    The thoughtful piece on the ABC you responded to was composed by none other than I, BSA Bob.

    I certainly won’t argue with that one, t’is indeed a thoughtful piece…your response that is. 🙂

  376. Min, you did not miss anything. You would know it all off by heart now.

    Not nearly as well as you Cu. If anyone wants to know factual information, then you’re the lady to ask.

  377. Min, be careful, I sometimes get it wrong. At least one can now check with Google etc.

  378. I watched an interview of the PM by the Darwin arm of the ABC. It was a pleasure to watch. The interviewer was respectful and LISTENED to what the PM said. Neither did she constantly interrupt or talk over the PM.

    However, because she actually listened to what the PM said, she was able to ask more probing questions. Enema and Uhlmann should be forced to watch that interview on a continuous loop, while writing 1,000 lines-“I suck as an interviewer.”

    Go the ‘wobbles! 😆

    Migs, two gloats! 😆

  379. …News Corporation – formerly known as News Limited – is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, who has made no secret of his support for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and disdain for Labor.

    In April Murdoch tweeted: “Oz polls show nothing can save this miserable govt. Election can not come soon enough”. Last February, he wrote: “Oz Labor tearing themselves to pieces… Tony Abbott should just lie low and watch”.

    While reports in The Australian declared the journalist Lauren Wilson “travelled to Nauru courtesy of the opposition and Toll” and her flight was “paid for by Toll”, her article in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper did not disclose her sponsor.

    A News Corporation spokesman confirmed the flights for the photographer and journalist were paid for by Toll Holdings, and that the trip was a Coalition invitation to “News Corporation as a whole”.

    Fairfax Media reported in April that Toll Holdings was earning millions of dollars from the government’s asylum seeker arrangements. Toll Holdings’ remote logistics division had air-charter contracts worth more than $11 million. It also had a $2.25 million contract to provide “kitchen rental” on Manus Island between October 2012 and April 2013, and $1.9 million for “rental of kitchen – refrigeration storage and mobilisation” on Nauru.

    According to the Australian government tender website, Toll Holdings already has contracts with the Department of Immigration valued at about $26 million.

    Toll’s website says: “We specialise in providing camp and base support solutions across a broad range of locations and terrains delivering permanent, temporary and mobile camp and base solutions almost anywhere on earth. We can design and construct your camp as well as deliver and manage all the required support services.”

    Toll has been searching for new contracts for its remote logistics division to offset the end of its contracts to provide services for Australian troops in East Timor. The Coalition’s “tent city” solution on Nauru aligns with Toll’s professed speciality in delivering “camp and base logistics in remote locations”.

    Asked on Tuesday who paid for Mr Morrison’s trip to Nauru, the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, said: “My understanding is that the trip was wholly privately funded.”.

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