« profile & posts archive

This author has written 1117 posts for Larvatus Prodeo.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

234 responses to “Peter Beattie for PM? Labor implodes?”

  1. Sam

    Beattie is not the Messiah. He’s just a naughty boy.

    On a mechanical level, for Beattie to become PM he would have to win a seat in the House of Reps. To do this, he would need to win a by-election. But Labor would lose any by-election, and thereby its tenuous majority of confidence in Reps. Indeed, right now in Queensland, Labor would lose any by-election even if its votes were counted thrice.

  2. tssk

    I think Rudd would be my choice too but News Ltd would crucify him. Even the messiah lost his patience and went nuts with a coil of rope back in the day.

    The media sharks are circling and I’m thinking this is the new strategy to depose the ALP.

    1. Undermine confidence in the sitting PM. (Hey if they could do it with Rudd they could do it this time easy.)

    2. Once the new PM is installed go to the independents and remind them that their agreements were with Julia not the ALP. It this succeeds goto step 4.

    3. If step 2 doesn’t work agitate for fresh elections. Get plenty of soundbites from Abbott about the ALP’s lack of a mandate. “The ALP must hold an election now!”

    4. Either way Abbott takes the crown and claims a mandate. Yay! Look forward to Tory style cuts like in the UK. (And if the Indys sided with Abbott look forward to one of them getting a Clegg style post so they can go out in public and draw fire away from the Libs.)

    5. Media hold massive circular celebration at having avoided a close shave inquiry wise and being the kingmakers. Their employers look forward to a bonanza of political advertising.

  3. Casey

    “Probably the only chance the ALP has is to go back to Kevin Rudd”

    Really Kim? Could you extrapolate? Because he is still popular with the electorate? Enough to turn their fortunes around?

  4. Sam

    The thing would be whether he really has!

    Picture the scene: Kevin Rudd trying to say, “I was wrong”, but he just can’t get the word out.

    Kevin Rudd: the Fonzie of Australian politics.

  5. Tyro Rex

    why is the solution not the same it was last week, even what it’s been all year? i.e. tough it out, there are some runs on the board, policy-wise, i.e. carbon price, nbn, etc … then see what happens in 2013. if the party is trounced at that election so be it. work out what’s wrong from opposition.

    the high court ruled on a policy; not the validity of the parliament.

    just because journalists think the government’s not covered in political glory (which is true) doesn’t have any actual constitutional bearing. just because journalists want something to be true (i.e. to tell a good yarn), doesn’t make it so. they are talking up Beattie for Brisbane. As this is a liberal held electorate, that means at the next general election. I’d suggest at 60 years old he’s not going to have the energy to win govt. from opposition – he’d be nearly 70 at the first attempt. Anyway, this is all just scuttlebutt. “Labor Implodes” is just a News Ltd headline.

  6. Lefty E

    I thnk thing one has to be this: the ALP has to look itself squarely in the eye and realise that the NSW Right – and their hangers on in othe states – are destroying the party, and they must be smashed – literally.

    Crushed, obliterated, anhiliated, in a federal intervention of biblical proportions, with all the subtlety of a piece of 4 x 2.

    As in they should not exist after that process. Simply expel anyone who tries to keep it alive.

  7. Paul Norton

    Agree with Kim’s post, especially the last par.

    Even if Rudd were to be restored as leader and attempted to establish a new policy direction, this wouldn’t overcome a fundamental weakness of modern Labor identified by intelligent Labor people like Rodney Cavalier and Lindsay Tanner, namely that as a political organisation it no longer has the capacity (due to dwindling membership and ultra-oligarchic internal processes) to engage with constituencies and communities in order to develop good policies which can win broad support, and effectively communicate them. This point is also the theme of an article in the latest edition of the Australian Journal of Political Science by Richard Eccleston and Ian Marsh, although from a somewhat different angle to Cavalier and Tanner.

  8. Robert Merkel

    Yes, Tyro Rex, in the short term.

    In the long term, Labor will have to tackle the question of “what is the ALP for”. It’s been ducking it at least since 1996, perhaps longer.

  9. dave

    It’s another nail in the coffin for the ALP federally but even if it is a bloody big nail they can still hang tough and see out their term, provided they keep the independents on side (Wilkie especially) and no sitting member dies or gets charged with anything. The problem with the change of leadership scenario is that the independents made the deal with Julia and as I understand it they could easily walk if she’s not there.

    Some leadership might help…

  10. Kim

    @Tyro – but the ALP is busy demonstrating it believes in and is terrified of the media narrative.

  11. Tyro Rex

    @ 9, 10, 11

    Of course the ALP has to figure the question of ‘what is it for’ and not everyone will like the answer; and I’m certainly not saying nothing is wrong with it, and of course the thing with the pandering to media reaction is deplorable.

    I just don’t know there has to be a sense of crisis engendered around it today that there was not yesterday. Chatter in the newspapers about alternative leaders is just that – chatter. And as others have said – Rudd is the only real option, but even that is a pretty stupid one. Like it or not, we have to lump it that Gillard is the leader until 2013.

    I want to also completely endorse Lefty E @ 7.

  12. adrian

    What Kim, Lefty E and Tyro Rex said!
    Particularly the part about being terrified of the media narrative and the less than complimentary comments about the NSW right .

  13. jules

    I can’t believe how easily people buy into a media narrative.

    We elected a government a year ago, they have 2 years left to go on their constitutionally mandated term (provided no one gets killed or imprisoned) and they are implementing policy and even here people are talking about this media facilitated bullshit? Talk about being led by the nose by Murdoch and mining companies.

    Left E @ 7 . That appears to be the case, and after the next election they should have a purge.

    But till then who gives a fuck what the media says. if you are gonna be screwed by a bunch of tight arsed mining companies and criminals who run media empires go down fighting at least. And you know what. Rub it in their faces: “Yes we will make you pay to pump CO2 into the atmosphere, yes we will tax mining companies who make a fortune off your and my resources while not actually doing anything to contribute to the nation and while we are at it send more boats. And a media inquiry – yeah we’ll do that too.”

    They were elected for this parliamentary term. They may be terrified of the media narrative, but fuck it. It really can’t get any worse than it is now – well it could if they lost MPs but as far as the media goes – what more could they do? They can’t actually call another election.

    The fact is that anyone who questions the legitimacy of this govt is questioning the legitimacy of our constitutional system and is probably unAustralian.

    PS I’m not even that big a fan of the ALP – but we had an election and we have to stand by the results otherwise we may as well pack democracy in and sell the whole fucking country to SERCO, Rupert, Clive and Gina.

  14. tssk

    Sam @5.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/i-was-wrong-to-ditch-emissions-trading-rudd-20110404-1cysk.html

    In his most candid public comments yet on the decision which led to his replacement by Julia Gillard, Mr Rudd told the ABC’s Q and A program: ”I was wrong.”

    ”I think my judgment then was wrong,” he said…

    He said that as prime minister at the time he took full responsibility for the decision. ”It was a wrong call for which I was responsible,” he said.

    He said he had tried to find a way through the middle to preserve the unity of the government and ”on balance it was the wrong call”.

    ”You make mistakes in public life, it was a big one.”

    Asked if he had learnt anything since losing the prime ministership Mr Rudd said: ”Everyone stuffs up”.

    ”The important thing is what you learn from it.”

    Mind you, your arguement has merit. Everyone believes Rudd never admits fault despite him admitting fault. At the time of the above admission I remember a lot of opinionistas said that the above statements PROVED he was incapable of admitting fault.

    This is the issue with Rudd. The meida have the winning strategy of presenting everything he says as the opposite and then proving negative traits (like bullying) as being true despite (and in fact because) of the very absence of such behaviour publically. (ie He’s a bully and he’s sneaky because we’ve never actually seen him act like that in public.)

    I’m intrigued at your description of him as the Fonzie of Oz politics.

  15. Russell

    If Rudd thought they had to have him back he would be even more unbearable than before.

    Although the independents did the deal with Gillard, I don’t think they’d bother going to an early election just 1 year out if the change was to someone with equivalent policy and personality credentials – like Combet, for example.

    It’s time to move people like Shorten up to see how they do with a more important role – that gives them the option to replace Gillard in 12 months time if things are still looking so grim.

  16. billie

    see http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/a-pressing-case-for-standing-up-to-rupert-murdochs-bullying-20110901-1jo2i.html

    I recommend that Gillard hold firm and the Labor Party back her Prime Ministership because the elephant in the room is the News Limited control of the media cycle and they are pushing their agenda. News is oiling the banana skin for the next labor leader to slide on.

  17. Sam

    I’m intrigued at your description of him as the Fonzie of Oz politics.

    At the risk of derailing this thread into a discussion of 70s pop culture, there was a famous episode of Happy Days where Fonzie tried to admit he was wrong, but couldn’t.

    “I was wr … wr … wr …”.

  18. Fran Barlow

    As people know, I’m no kind of a symapthiser of Gillard, but this is one of those “you made the mess so now you have to fix it” things.

    She was willing to be PM. Had she spoken up and told the hacks to back off, there’d have been no challenge last year. The ALP would have won comfortably. There’d have been far more wiggle room for the regime. Now she’s wearing a straight jacket of her own design. She has to figure out how to do a political houdini act.

    I’ve suggested yesterday what she should do. I suspect that if she tried, everyone would be so gobsmacked that it would be ages before someone could ask how that was consistent with what else she’d done to date. When that happened she could simply say … I looked at the results and decided we could do better. It’s not as if there’d be a downside to that policy.

  19. Helen

    We elected a government a year ago, they have 2 years left to go on their constitutionally mandated term (provided no one gets killed or imprisoned) and they are implementing policy and even here people are talking about this media facilitated bullshit? Talk about being led by the nose by Murdoch and mining companies.

    The voice of reason Jules!

    I’d add, though, that I’m old enough to remember 1975 (I was at Uni), I get the impression you are younger, us older ones remember that and spook a bit. I’m afeard of the ruthlessness and power of the Murdoch empire.

  20. jules

    Billie @ 17 – yes exactly.

  21. Terry

    Paul

    I read that paper in the AJPS, which appears at first to be about the Henry tax review. Gee, Swanny has got off lightly in terms of assessment of his performance, given how much blood surrounds him.

  22. Paul Norton

    Terry @22, agree. I also think the government is seriously missing the likes of Tanner and Faulkner.

  23. Paul Norton

    And slightly OT, yes, that article did use the Henry Tax Review as its case study, which is not surprising given that Richard Eccleston’s specialty is the politics of tax reform.

  24. adrian

    I think most of us know what the question is, if the answer is Peter Beattie.

    It’s funny in an entirely dispiriting way how many of us predicted pretty much how this would end up back in June 2010, although it was hard to predict just how bad it would get.

    Yet we still get the Rudd fantasists spreading lies and disinformation as though what we can see and hear for ourselves is somehow irrelevant or not to be trusted. They should get a job with News Ltd, or maybe they already have one.

    Meanwhile the press go on their merry way, doing what they love doing best, creating a crisis and destroying Labor at the same time.
    Except this time, yet again they’re getting so much assistance from Labor, it’s hard to credit what actual thought processes are going on in the leadership group.

    The latest bizarre decision of Gillard to attack the HC, and in particular the Chief Justice really makes you question her judgement and that of her advisors.

    But please not Peter Beattie!

  25. Tyro Rex

    “This is the issue with Rudd. The meida have the winning strategy of presenting everything he says as the opposite”

    Not just the issue with Rudd. It is, as near as I can tell; “The media have the winning strategy of presenting everything anyone says as the opposite”

  26. Senexx

    I would not say we elected a government a year ago, I would say we re-elected a government a year ago. Beyond that I agree with Jules that the government has to stand up for itself and assert some authority. Gillard has been way too passive.

  27. jules

    Helen I know Murdoch has some power and isn’t afraid to use it, I was only 6 tho when Whitlam was sacked so I have no idea what the media environment was like back then. But if he’s out for blood anyway – and he obviously is – and you’re on a hiding to nothing for the next election, then you may as well go down fighting.

    And not just fighting. I’d rub their faces in it. Its not gonna hurt anymore when you lose the election if you spend every day between now and then laughing at the impotence of the opposition and the media. Reminding them how much better things actually will be after you’ve implemented your legislation. “Carbon Price – Watch us. It’ll be in by the next election and people will love it – then they’ll laugh at you Tony. As they vote for us.” “Media inquiry – sure. Too much foreign ownership too. Perhaps it leads to media orgs being out of touch with the Australian People.” And for the LULZ – “Well clearly catastrophic climate change is an issue and people who obviously deny settled science usually for a financial benefit are possibly committing Crimes Against Humanity. We owe it to future generations to try them now.”

    That one would be great, just to watch Andy the Sook’s head explode.

    I’d prefer a real Carbon Tax, not the trading scheme we will get, and the original Mining Tax not this one, but at least getting those two things thru parliament would be a step forward for those of us who don’t own significant shareholdings in mining companies and think more than 10 minutes ahead. Thats why the noise is so desperate now. Cos once those 2 things are thru then we will have crossed a threshold of sorts, you can’t turn back decisions like that.

  28. Aidan

    jules @ 14

    YOU GO SEMI-ANONYMOUS BLOG COMMENTER!

    +1

    I agree.

    Wish I had said that.

    Was thinking what you said and then you said it.

    Other affirmational statements.

  29. rob

    Another change of leader would be disastrous. Lets be honest they will probably lose the next election no matter what may happen. I reckon it is now about going down with some sort of dignity rather than as a rabble.
    Labor needs its myths and the myth of a government trying to do the right thing and being taken down by climate deniers, media oligarchs and a Liberal party that will be disastrous in government is a good one.
    They should lash themselves to the mast prophesying the destruction of Medicare and the reintroduction of Workchoices 2.0.

  30. Kim

    The counter factual to “it’s the evil Murdoch media” is three years of stellar poll ratings under KRudd. It’s not as though News Ltd was pro Labor then.

  31. Mindy

    The media is reporting that the Labor party is afraid of the media. What a surprise. I’m still waiting for an answer as to why Rudd is the answer. I think Julia should tough it out and go down fighting.

  32. Mercurius

    @31 — yep, it’s a cop out to blame the media for all the own-goals the ALP has kicked since June 2010…

    So many crises of their own making, starting even with the climate-change backflip before Rudd was deposed. Yes, the media were applying pressue, but it in the end, it was the ALP backroom hacks who blinked, and they have to own that failure.

  33. Rococo Liberal

    I’m not sure whether anyone here wil want to hear from a Liberal voter, but I will put my point of view forward so at least people here can get the views of someone on the opposite side of the political fence.

    On right wing blogs the complaints are all about the Fairfax Press and the ABC being biased towards the left. Here we get complaints against the Murdoch media outlets being biased towards the right. Both are true to some extent. But I question whether media bias actually has that much effect. on voters Politicians always act like it does, and so let the media spook them.

    It follows that I agree with those above who say that the Government should just brave it out and continue with their policies. I strongly believe that these policies are wrong and that the ALP will be held to account at the next election for their disastrous rule. I also believe that the two NSW Independents should now withdraw their support for the ALP, on the basis that it is now clear that theie elctors would favour the Coalition over Labor and that the ALP’s policies are so unpopular with the electorate that the Lbor vote is less than 30%.

    Lastly, I would point out that the Gillard Government was not elected, but selected by a few ratbag independents who acted against the wishes of the majority of their electors.

  34. Mercurius

    …and on the leadership change question — what possible motive would anybody have for stepping up to eat double helpings of a shit sandwich, washed down with gulps from a poisoned chalice?

  35. Occam's Blunt Razor

    After seeing a Cabinet Minister tell the ABC that they din’t know what they were talking about 2 hours before Rudd got knifed, if I was Ms Gillard I’d be shitting bricks right now after all the assurances from the ALP.

  36. Kim

    With Kevin the motive would be vindication.

  37. Fran Barlow

    Quite right Merc. Unless you had a free hand to dump on all that went before — and who exactly has the standing or intellectual equipment to do that? — what would be the point?

    In a moment of frivolity I imagined the caucus electing Bob Brown or Adam Bandt PM. If Campbell Newman can be opposition leader from outside the parliament, can’t a coalition partner be PM from within it? Even Andrew Wilkie PM has a nice ring to it.

    Now would that not be delicious? ;-)

  38. adrian

    It’s not totally a cop-out to blame the media because it’s undeniable that News Ltd has relentlessly pursued a policy of regime change which has only intensified in recent months, partially because of Labor’s actions in themselves.
    Other media outlets have followed the agenda to greater and lesser extent, and to ignore the media’s role is to ignore the medium through which the government primarily communicates its message.

    But having said that, its only option is to ignore the media braying and to start fighting and to at least give the impression that they believe in what they’re saying and that it’s worth fighting for.

    It’s as though Gillard and the largely comatose front bench have been told to distance themselves from Abbott’s extremism and aggression by appearing calm and measured at every opportunity.
    Well there’s a difference between aggression and passion, but at this stage Labor should try both in spades.

  39. Kim

    They’re coming across more like the already dead than calm and measured, Adrian.

  40. Craig Mc

    And not just fighting. I’d rub their faces in it.

    Barkeep! Another round of KoolAid here!

  41. adrian

    Yes Kim, hence the ‘largely comatose’ front bench!

    Bring Paul back, I say!

    Hate to say it, but OBR’s right – the same people are saying the same things this time around…

  42. Rob b

    Actually, it can get “worse”, much worse. That’s for those who think Labor should “stick it” to their enemies.

    Labor is just not in danger of losing the next election (99% certainty), it could well be in danger of losing the opposition. Nothing is for ever, and that goes for political parties as well. An election thumping of epic proportions will certainly lead to many a Labor supporter asking some very uncomfortable questions, such as is this party really relevent to me in the here and now.

  43. tssk

    If I was the ALP I’d go all out as well. May as well make the last four weeks count.

  44. Tyro Rex

    From the horse’s mouth: Peter Beattie “not interested”

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/beattie-not-interested-in-canberra-tilt-20110902-1jotv.html

    And he had a warning for his federal Labor colleagues.
    “To change leaders at this point in time would basically destroy the Labor party government and cause an election,” Mr Beattie said.

  45. RetroAnubis

    Gillard’s only option is to stick around and do everything she possibly can to prevent the Libs from getting control of the senate at the next election.

    Replacing her now simply adds to the “well, that’s twice in a row you voted for one and got another” line… copying the disaster that was NSW is not an idea that even deserves consideration.

    After that she can be relegated to “well, that was dissapointing” status and quietly forgotten.

  46. jules

    Craig @ 40, I’ll have Ken Kesey’s you have Jimbo’s.

  47. John D

    No matter what you think of the Malaysian policy it was certainly going to make more refugees better off than worse off and may well have helped improve the lot of refugees in general in Malaysia. It is also true to say that the high court decision was a surprise to many including, I suspect, the opposition.
    Hardly a demonstration of gross incompetence.

  48. Occam's Blunt Razor

    Beattie is a spoil sport.

  49. tssk

    OMG Tyro @43. You know what that means! IT’S ON!!!!!!

    As in we’re going to face a weekend of musing in the papers, The Insiders, Meet the Press and The Bolt Report all pontificating about how Julia is finished and how Beattie will most likely knife her and hold an election. You have to admire the old school press bringing the concept of fan fiction to the masses.

  50. Fran Barlow

    John D said:

    No matter what you think of the Malaysian policy it was certainly going to make more refugees better off than worse off and may well have helped improve the lot of refugees in general in Malaysia.

    Hardly

    1. There was and is nothing to stop Australia taking as many refugees from Malaysia as it thinks apt. This HCA ruling has no implications at all for the 4000 the ALP agreed to take. The ALP can’t really say no to them now, given they never alleged this was a trade, but an earnest about burden sharing. So the only net difference would have been to brutalise 800 more vulnerable people, including unaccompanied minors for no good reason.

    2. The whole policy of mandatory detention, which this policy was intended to support, is wrong and would have persisted after the 800 places had been filled. This ruling makes it harder to pursue this policy, which in the end is good for more asylum seekers.

    3. It’s implausible to think Malaysia, with its 100,000 refugees was going to start behaving humanely towards them, but if one wants to entertain the idea that they might have, then this ruling would surely have brought that prospect slightly nearer. Being damned in public is slightly embarrassing, even for autocrats.

  51. adrian

    tssk, haven’t you got anything better to do than watch the Bolt Retort, the Insiders, and any of the other hogwash that passes for political analysis in this country.Consume too much of this stuff and it does your head in!

  52. Mercurius

    @48, tssk, console yourself that the outcome of Abbott reaching the Lodge will roughly resemble that of terrier that catches the car…

  53. Mindy

    @44 get yourself to Antony Green’s blog where he shows why it is unlikely, although not impossible, that the Liberals will get the balance of power in the Senate next election.

  54. RetroAnubis

    @52

    Yep, mr Green is good value…

    I would love to be optimistic, but time and time again this govt has managed to take things from bad to worse.

    I dream of being wrong.

  55. Fine

    Beattie is correct. All this talk of changing leaders is nonsense. The independents have made it clear they signed an agreement with Gillard, not Labor. There’s no guarantee they would stick with a new leader.

    Helen and jules upthread are also right. It’s two years to the next election. Labor needs to gets its carbon price legislation passed and watch Abbott unravel when he has nothing to froth about. Stop reading the Oz and Bolt.

    The High Court has saved Labor from itself and its stupid Malaysian solution.

  56. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    tssk: listening to Bolt is bad for you. Didn’t you remember the Saturday Salon thread where Fran said she turned off a radio playing his program at school? And later got agreement from the Principal when she justified it on Workplace Health and Safety grounds? Proves it, doesn’t it? Bolt is bad for you, m’kay?

  57. tssk

    You all have me wrong. I’m not going to watch the Bolt report this weekend. I just know what the ‘media narrative’ is going to be. Last night’s 7.30 Report was enough of a preview. (A carousel of ‘insiders’ waiting for their turn to kick the ALP in the head.)

    I’m going to do something more constructive with my time like play videogames.

    I loved Mercurius @51′s comment though :)

  58. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    If Labor need to understand what they’re up against, here’s Anthony Albanese speaking to some Convoy of No Consequence people who turned up in Grayndler. I thought Albo did fine. I wouldn’t say the same about the convoy.

    They should show this in Cabinet to boost their morale. “Ladies and gentlemen – do you really want to lose to these yahoos?”

  59. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @54 – The Independents wouldn’t support a Coalition Government because they know that that would bring on an election and they’d be unemployed.

    There are many reasons for the ALP not to change PM but fear of the Independents not supporting them is definitely on the bottom of the list.

  60. Fran Barlow

    Down & Out said:

    Didn’t you remember the Saturday Salon thread where Fran said she turned off a radio playing his program at school? And later got agreement from the Principal when she justified it on Workplace Health and Safety grounds? Proves it, doesn’t it? Bolt is bad for you, m’kay?

    While I certainly agree with the claim, I don’t think it was Bolt (who, AIUI only runs in Melbourne). I’m in Sydney and it was some vile spruiker on 2GB in the early afternoon. I don’t know his name.

  61. Adrien

    Probably the only chance the ALP has is to go back to Kevin Rudd, but I don’t think they’re going to.

    The one thing that they’ve done without something going wrong is booting Kevvie and replacing him with Joolia. It’s a very sad thing but it shows exactly what skills and talents are valued by the ALP machine these days.

    You are all aware that changing the leader is risky and making such an alteration in government more so? Especially when that leader has to be booted. If the government actually thinks that will work they are either completely batshit or place all their confidence in Tony Abbott’s capacity to piss people off.

    But never mind all that. This reminds me of people at the Cat who were backing McCain, I used to say: Hello! The Republicans do not deserve to win the presidency.

    At least McCain could say he ain’t Jawg Dubya.

  62. NotZed

    Well Gillard and co only have themselves to blame. Why were they pandering to the ‘no more boats’ crowd was as puzzling as it was disgusting. How does she really expect to out-right the right? Same thing with caving in on the miner’s wind-fall tax. Intentionally wedging yourself left of centre is a losing strategy when it’s already occupied (and makes the rabbid loonies going on about how communist they all are more indicative of their mental state).

    Although Labor not standing for anything is a problem for the party – it isn’t one that should prevent them from governing the country. Dump the idiot pollsters setting their policy compass, cancel the subscription to the toxic newspapers, and just show some basic leadership and moral fortitude.

  63. Fascinated

    Notzed
    My list includes:
    1. Cancel Oz advertising – that would hurt but get uber respect
    2. Process asylum seekers onshore/bill of rights
    3. Support gay marriage/supervised euthanasia/pokie legislation
    4. Without going down the tariff path, throw a stack of energy into supporting Australian manufacturers, small business, the arts, and research- through R&D, Buy Australian preference in all tenders – ‘we pay a premium’ for OZmade and OZworkers.
    5. Enforce/Legislate that political parties/unions/companies must follow law as generally applies to 1 member = 1 vote. Demonstrably protect individual members interests and rights
    6. Carbon price.
    7. Dont feed the trolls, dont go for the wedge – Just stand up for us.

  64. Spana

    Put simply, Labor has abandoned the masses which once supported it and which it once served. It is now more interested in enacting a middle class issues based agenda rather than standing up for Australian workers and the values they hold dear. Climate change, affirmative action, gay marriage, are all issues which the ALP has staked its identity on but which do not appeal to most Australians. Take refugees. Australian workers are happy to give genuine refugees a fair go and polling shows this. The middle class ALP agenda and the inner city trendies mock the vast majority of Australians who object to people paying people smugglers to get them into Australia whilse tens of thousands register and wait in refugee camps. Most Australians simply want to see an ordered and fair system for refugees. By failing on this the ALP mocks the very people, the decent Australian workers who have long supported it. These people are now jumping ship and I don’t know if they will go back. As an ex ALP member myself I rank the ALP last on my ballots – they are so unrepresentative – just a mix a unions hacks and middle class careerists.

  65. Tiny Dancer

    “But never mind all that. This reminds me of people at the Cat who were backing McCain, I used to say: Hello! The Republicans do not deserve to win the presidency.”

    Well done. You said that? He could not have done a worse job than Odumbo and probably would have done better.

  66. Darin

    Fascinated said : “5. Enforce/Legislate that political parties/unions/companies must follow law as generally applies to 1 member = 1 vote. Demonstrably protect individual members interests and rights”

    Not sure what you mean here. Do you mean that in a company each share holder gets a vote and it’s not based on how many shares you hold? Or is it that union members can’t also vote as labor party members once they’ve elected a voting member to an ALP conference?

    I can’t see either happening.

  67. Fran Barlow

    Down & Out ….

    perhaps this is who I heard …

    http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/megaphones/chris-smith

  68. Patricia WA

    Tyro Rex@26 I agree. “The media have the winning strategy of presenting everything anyone says as the opposite.” Astonishingly there are some here who can’t see that, including the author.

    True, Jules, Helen, Billie, Senexx and a few others can see the reality behind the mirage of media manipulation. There is no crisis of leadership within the the ALP and its very effectively managed government. The High Court ruling is its first real major policy failure of and yes, a major setback for the ALP, but to suggest that indicates a state of anarchy is just dopey.

    The Prime Minister’s criticism of that ruling is her entitlement and was delivered in far more measured terms than John Howard’s response on several occasions to what he considered ‘judicial activism’ when court rulings frustrated him, particularly on the asylum seeker issue.

    Larvatus Prodeo bloggers are usually so good at detecting spin. It’s sad to read a post like this which suggests the author and several of those commenting haven’t asked themselves “Cui bono?” when reading confected scandalmongering or leadership speculation of this calibre. Peter Beattie for PM? Sees himself as Labor Messiah? Really!

    .

  69. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Fran: that Chris Smith sounds like a pleasant bloke: a forger, a groper and an indecent exposer. But if he’s one of the brain trusts behind the Convoy of no Comprehension, I’d prefer to judge him by the angry and ugly rabble that heckled Albo in my link at 59. If they’re the sort of people that listen to him, then say no more, eh?

    Spana: in one of the issue you named – gay marriage – you’ve got things ass backwards. The public have come out in favour of the thing; it’s the politicians who are dragging their heels. This link is behind the Crikey paywall, so I’ll quote some goodies.

    A Nielsen poll from November of last year found 57% of Australians supported legalising gay marriage.
    A Roy Morgan poll this month for the TV show Can of Worms recorded 68% support for gay couples being allowed to marry.
    More Galaxy polling from this month found majority support for gay marriage (53%) among respondents who identified as Christian.

    Alas, politicians of all stripes are very adverse to controversy. It’s only those like Malcolm Turnbull and Anthony Albanese – both inner cityers – who have no problem spruiking gay marriage.

  70. zoot

    This seems an appropriate thread for this thought: If Mr Rabid had negotiation skills to match those of our current PM, he would now be our current PM.
    The man is not qualified for the job.

  71. tssk

    Thing was I thought it was beyond the pale when Howard did it (criticised the High Court.) I voted ALP because I wanted an end to such shenanagins.

  72. jules

    Most Australians simply want to see an ordered and fair system for refugees.

    Fair and ordered system? There fucken isn’t one you peanut. You’re using that impossibility to justify your xenophobic, racist attitude.

  73. Huggybunny

    What is happening now is absolutely nothing like 1975.
    In that election campaign Fraser campaigned with a “bodyguard” of Ustachi thugs in red tee shirts. Senior army officers (subsequently demoted) refused to contemplate a coup. The threat of violence from the right pervaded the entire atmosphere.
    The electorate, in a panic, elected Fraser.
    Huggy

  74. Adrien

    The electorate, in a panic, elected Fraser.

    Naturally the Whitlam govt’s borrowing money from tinpot dictators and the Treasurer going off to hippie commune’s with his mistress etc had nothing to do with it.

    Funny, the Gillard govt reminds me of Whitlam. Whitlam and Marx. Something Marx said about farce following tragedy.

    I forget what exactly.

  75. Adrien

    Thing was I thought it was beyond the pale when Howard did it (criticised the High Court.)

    Yeah amazing isn’t it? That these people think they can castigate the judiciary like that. Both sides.

    Even more amazing it is when you consider just how profoundly stupid it is. How can Gillard and co possibly think that Malaysia satisfied the Convention’s requirements? They don;t even pay lip service to ‘human rights’. They’re pretty openly hostile to it.

  76. tssk

    Thing is both Huggy and Adrien is right. I think we’re at the tipping point where Abbott might be given the Prime Ministership just to restore the appearance of stability.

  77. Colmac

    The talk of Rudd getting the job back, brings to mind that saying about “dogs returning to their vomit”. But then, when you have eaten as many shit sandwiches as this Government has, who could blame them, the vomit would be everywhere.

  78. Jovial Monk

    Well well well hasn’t this place gone downhill.

    Whinging about Gillard who is playing the hand Rudd left her and is playing it bloody well. Playing who do we want for Leader this week just like Andrew Dolt!

    First time I have been here since I gave you lot the boot for your gutlessness at the last election. Might see you in another 12 months but I doubt it.

    If anybody remembers, my terrier Demi is doing well, we are doing tracking as well as obedience and agility.

    Whine on :)

  79. Nick Caldwell

    “I think we’re at the tipping point where Abbott might be given the Prime Ministership”

    Uh, and by what mechanism would that occur?

  80. tigtog

    I’m with Nick, tssk. There are constitutional impediments to anybody just waving a wand and making Abbott PM because they think it looks better. Certain things have to happen in Parliament that are highly unlikely based on the current rate of bills passed by this government. There’s simply no trigger, no matter how much TA machos it up outside the House.

  81. Mercurius

    I think we’re at the tipping point where Abbott might be given the Prime Ministership just to restore the appearance of stability.

    The idea of “Abbott” restoring “the appearance of stability” is slightly less plausible than Hyacinth Bucket doing the same.

    And by what mechanism will he be “given” the Prime Ministership? A note from his mum? It may well be within his reach, but it’s out of his grasp. Neither Windsor nor Oakeshott or Wilkie have any inclination to lean Abbott’s way.

    All Coalition supporters have done since the independents made their fateful choice is heap scorn upon them. Way to get them to change their minds.

    tssk, your defensive pessimism has morphed into an oddly compelling form of performance art. I have no idea who or what you resemble IRL, but around here you most put me in mind of this character.

  82. Mercurius

    Abbott might be given the Prime Ministership just to restore the appearance of stability

    Here’s my elevator pitch for the sitcom:

    Abbott’s In Charge — A toey, jaw-jutting adrenaline junkie is put in charge of a trillion-dollar OECD economy — with hilarious results!

  83. Rococo Liberal

    There’s a river in Egypt that all you sad lefties/ALP supporters seem to be on.

    This Government has been the most utterly atrocious bunch of incompetents and hacks we will ever see. SInce 2007 the ALP has done nothing but waste money and make the country much worse than it was under the capable stewardship of Howard and Costello.

    Then we get all this toss about how evil or stupid Tony Abbott is. The man has more intelligence in his little finger than any of you permanent adolescents.

    When are you going to learn that being left is always wrong?

  84. Huggybunny

    Mercurius is on the money here.
    No way will Abbott ever be PM.
    You don’t put the rabid junkyard dog in charge of the junkyard.
    Huggy

  85. Fran Barlow

    Mercurious said

    The idea of “Abbott” restoring “the appearance of stability” is slightly less plausible than Hyacinth Bucket doing the same.

    Actually, I see Abbott as less like Hyacinth (who is consistent to a fault) than “our Rose” who is ready to hop into bed with anyone.

    As to your proposed TV show … I will borrow from Onslow: Oh nice!

  86. mediatracker

    Everyone should be forced to watch the Anthony Albanese clip, and to watch the whole 25 minutes to see the result of shockjocks, political opportunists, and the media whores who, mostly for monetary gain, push the views of these shockjocks and opportunists for their employers’ bank accounts.
    Although shocking to watch the reactions, shouts and screams from the crowd it was sad to see these people being used for the purpose of others gains.

  87. joe2

    This is a bit like the ‘Joh for Canberra’ movement but now it’s Beattie or Kev. And ditto Jovial Monk @ 79….”well hasn’t this place gone downhill”.

  88. Ambigulous

    That’s unfair joe2: Kev is a Member (in fact, a Minister) so he’s eligible – unlike Joh all those years ago, and Peter Beattie now.

  89. Jovial Monk

    Ambigulous you think it is different? Really?

    Who was the biggest loser of the “Joh for Canberra” shite? Ummm Howard.

    Who would be the biggest loser of the “Beatty for Canberra” shite? Umm, the most leftwing PM we ever had! yes, leftwing you cowardly custards!

    So get behind the only PM with balls since Keating, PM Julia Gillard!

    But, oh no, quelle horreur,, SHE is female! And Left! We only want to talk about maybe one day having a Left PM, and, sheeit! Having a gutsy WOMAN doing the stuff we only talk about over our skinny decaf soy lattes is undignified!

    You lot of do-nothings only want to TALK about what should be done! Seeing a gutsy woman actually doing things, oh shit! No no no no, this stuff is hard and Julia makes it look easy! 185 Bills passed through both Houses in the last 12 months, hmmm reminds me of someone!

    Yeah! Do you idiots, you effete heap of girly men, remember the last time a PM could steer Bills through a hostile Senate? No? why am I not surprised? The PM who did this also depended on a minority govt for a while.

    Ring any bells yet? Yeah, it was John Curtin who became PM when 2 independents told him they would support him in a no confidence vote. Well, now we have three fucking independents not two and a PM who might just stand between you effeminate hacks and another Long (“Great”) Depression.

    So how about giving this gutsy female with balls bigger than the combined shrivelled split peas that you lot can come up with a fair fucking go, OK?

    And Swan may not be a show pony like Costello but you know what? The guy actually understands economics and has got lots of economic reform through and will get more through with the ETS legislation!

  90. Patricia WA

    Well, that was worth coming back for! Thanks, Jovial Monk. Take a bow!

    Ambigulous, he’s not eligible really. He disqualified himself. You can’t lead a team through hard times that hates your guts. With Kevin Rudd, the problem wasn’t just that News Ltd and the miners were after him. He couldn’t work with his ministers or Caucus. He wouldn’t listen to advice either. I can imagine that a lot of the holding them together was already being done by Julia Gillard before the fall. If he’d continued doing well in the polls the team, and possible she herself, would have been happy for things to go on like that.

  91. Helen

    Ahem. A detour into the meta, if I may,

    “you effete heap of girly men” – assuming “we”‘re all men *and* using “girly” as an insult. I think there should be an award for packing so much sexist shit into one clause, think what you could do in an entire sentence. Then we have “effeminate” further down. You manage to square the circle of defending JG with this type of language by saying that she “has balls”, therefore by implication partaking of the wonderful masculine qualities rather than the hated feminine, although you do refer to her as a “female”.

    FFS. Do you ever wonder why Team ALP is losing votes?

    And then you let it be known that you’re actually under the impression you’re full of feminist cred:

    But, oh no, quelle horreur,, SHE is female! And Left! We only want to talk about maybe one day having a Left PM, and, sheeit! Having a gutsy WOMAN doing the stuff we only talk about over our skinny decaf soy lattes is undignified!

    Check your own language with regard to women before you start in complaining about the attitude of other people! The cognitive dissonance in that comment is horrible.

  92. adrian

    I don’t think it’s only Labor that’s in danger of imploding!

  93. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    I hear you Helen. But I reckon Jovial Monk’s heart is in the right place. And I think a bigger reason that Team ALP is losing votes is that they’re not trumpeting those 185 (is is that many? sweet!) Bills passed through House and the Senate louder than the doof currently happening in the property behind mine.

    There are a lot of uninformed voters out there who are frightened of uncertainty. A lot of them get the idea that Gillard has been gelded neutered emasculated er… hamstrung by being a minority government, rather than popping those bills out like a machine. Many folk are worried about the arrangement with the Greens. They want to know how’s it going with Bob Brown riding shotgun. Team ALP have to tell the public “It’s going fucking sweet, thank you.”

    Who else is going to tell them? The media? Fuggedaboutit.

  94. Dave

    Interesting. A few months ago most of you were in denial about ALP’s prospects for the next election. Now reality has sunk in.

    I hope the ALP loses – they deserve to with their carbon tax *lies* (are you guys still in denial that they lied about that – there was a lot of rationalising about it a few months ago).

    But my biggest fear is that we’ll end up with a landslide which will lead to an all too powerful and smug LNP government. Too much power is seldom good.

  95. Thomas Paine

    ‘He couldn’t work with his ministers or Caucus. He wouldn’t listen to advice either. ‘

    The regurgitation habit is something the media relies on. Congratulations, another unthinking person mindlessly repeating the meme, whose repetition somehow makes it science fact and an absolute. The media and party factions rely on people like you to repeat and make absolute their memes.

  96. Thomas Paine

    ‘Whinging about Gillard who is playing the hand Rudd left her and is playing it bloody well. ‘

    Intellectual dishonesty at its finest.

    The hand that Gillard has and is playing as been her making. The policy failures and the failure to be seen to have authority and credibility. She took the job through nefarious means, the responsibility is entirely with her to demonstrates that she is better than what she replaced.

    This she has most definitely failed to do. But some seem to be saying she shouldn’t be held responsible for failures.

    Rudd left her a reasonable hand and poll wise left her with 52/48 to Labor. Labor was certainly much better rated on all criteria by the public under Rudd.

    The reason for Labor’s perpetual slide into poll oblivion has been Gilalrd’s abandonment of the base through her initial xenophobic dog whistling, resurrecting the hitherto detested Pacific solution, her original intention of abandoning any action on CC at all with a citizens assembly nonsense, playing the lowest common denominators in demonising those on disability allowances and so forth.

    This and more in addition to her awful policy planning and implementation and disastrous lack of ability to communicate with the public, the people she is supposed to represent.

    Where Labor is now is the result of two things:

    The loss of faith and trust in Labor and Gillard because of the knifing and, Gillard’s poor performances.

    I have given up on Labor as a party to be trusted and see that they are on a continual march to the right under Gillard and her owners, and think it better they cop a hiding in the next election so they can clear the cockroaches and rebuild whilst the Senate is not in the Coalitions hands.

  97. Fran Barlow

    I continue to believe that changing leaders now would be about as silly as changing leaders was in June of 2010. I also find Gillard about as ethically appealing as Abbott, and in some ways worse, because she ought to know better. That noted …

    If the ALP crowd do decide to try reinstating Rudd, the only possible rationale could be that they mean to take a signicant step away from policies with which Gillard and Rudd before her were connected. Rudd spoke of the “flight to the right on asylum seekers” before being dumped and that would be a place to start. Gay marriage and a proper mining tax ought to be back on. He’d have to do a kind of mea culpa and come back as chastened and consultative Rudd. Above all he’d have to come out talking about vision and “true ALP values”.

    I think he’d find some pretty obvious questions hard to answer with advantage — “did a good government once again lose its way?” “Has this government been effective since September of 2010?” but that’s the price they’d have to pay.

    Basically, I’d regard Rudd’s chances of doing any better than Gillard in 2 years time as implausible, but at least this time, it wouldn’t be an election year, and this time, there’d be know NSW ALP to drag them down.

  98. Fran Barlow

    eeek!!! there’d be know {no} NSW ALP

    How embarrassment! {Effie Hell! — I shouldn’t be posting at 2 AM}

  99. Jacques de Molay

    Mr Rudd had little to say yesterday except a cheery “Hi SG” to the visiting UN Secretary-General.

    Asked “How’s the ticker, as they say in the Labor ranks?”, Mr Rudd replied: “The ticker is ticking away.”

    The reference was to former prime minister John Howard’s attack on then Labor leader Kim Beazley for his perceived lack of political ticker.

    The remark, in a similar vein to Mr Rudd’s reported reference to to the Lodge as “Bogan-ville”, as well as his tendency to steal Ms Gillard’s thunder, further angered ALP colleagues.

    “This kind of doubled-edged humour is unbecoming of a serious foreign minister,” federal Victorian MP Michael Danby said of Mr Rudd’s remark.

    “It can only reinforce the description of the BBC’s retiring Australia correspondent Nick Bryant that Mr Rudd ‘is seemingly devoid of lightness or humour’.”

    Labor insiders said the discontent with the Prime Minister’s leadership was deeper with the back bench than it was with the factional leaders.

    “The people who put her in are struggling to admit that they made a mistake,” one MP said.

    Another MP likened the prevailing mindset among the federal party’s leadership to a cult of denial.

    “There is more Kool Aid being drunk up in Canberra that at Jonestown,” one MP remarked.

    The MP said that the calibre of the staff in the PM’s private office was a matter of deep concern to MPs.

    “The people around her have no political judgment,” one MP said.

    “The wattles they wore at the signing with the Greens, the carbon tax, the Malaysian solution … it just goes on.”

    But while there is near-universal disappointment over Ms Gillard’s performance, there is still loathing at the prospect of Mr Rudd’s return to the prime ministership.

    There is also fear he could seek revenge if his return were to eventuate.

    “Whatever happens, we can’t have that bastard back,” another MP said.

    That MP’s view is echoed by a party elder who said some MPs were frightened of Mr Rudd’s vengeance if he were to return.

    “They know he’ll square up with them. It’s just a question of what order he’ll do it in,” the source said.

    The majority of Labor MPs contacted by the Sunday Herald Sun conceded that Ms Gillard could not be assured of remaining as leader of the Labor Party in the long term without a radical reprioritisation of the Government’s policies.

    “We’re like a flock of sheep or a herd of cattle, milling around, not quite sure where to go,” one MP said.

    “If someone fired a gun, we could all run in the same direction. “Or we could scatter. Something will probably happen, but I’m not sure what.”

    Another said: “The mood is black, depressed, resentful, solemn and hateful.

    “There is gross disappointment at her performance and the way we lurch from mess to mess.”

    Several MPs believe that Ms Gillard needs to stand up to the independent MPs and the Greens, claiming the majority would continue to support Labor.

    “The wider community no longer regards carbon tax as a critical issue because it rained, so the brown rivers and dried up plains went away,” an MP said.

    “Their concerns have been replaced by jobs. That’s a much more critical feature, so our policy agenda is out of date.”

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/ousted-pm-kevin-rudd-upstages-julia-gillard/story-e6frf7jo-1226128916011

  100. Todd

    I don’t know why you guys keep saying the NBN is a policy success. It has hardly begun. I think it will probably blow its budget, by billions.

  101. Mercurius

    @92 – Thanks, Helen.

    How unsurprising that a self-appointed “true” lefter-than-thou progressive can only praise a woman leader by re-characterising her with masculine-coded attributes.

    Jovial Monk brain explosion @90:

    You lot of do-nothings only want to TALK about what should be done!

    That’s a most unwise assumption, considering you have no idea what anybody here does IRL. Although it is of a piece with the rest of your intemperate spray. (And no, I’m not going to post my resume here, but suffice to say your uncharitable assumption is very, very, wrong.)

    Yes, I’m well aware of how many bills the Gillard government has passed. Rudd passed many too, but that didn’t spare him from the revenge of the ALP backroom hacks.

    “skinny decaf soy lattes”

    Oh, puke. Lazy stereotypes again.

    “idiots” “cowardly custards” (and I’m not going to repeat all the sexist crap)

    You’ve demonstrated the same cloth-ear that explains why the ALP is polling sub-30 on the primaries. Well done.

  102. Mercurius

    Meanwhile, Rococco Liberal @84 bores with talking-points.

    Get it through your head RC:
    * Australia fared far better in the GFC due in part to timely fiscal stimulus. Please nominate an economy you would prefer to be living in under current conditions?
    * The BER and DER improved schools (I know, I work in one) and kept self-employed tradies in work, the pink batts have lightened the burden on the power grid, the NBN will keep Australia in a position to be prosperous in the 21st century — these were and are useful expenditures.
    * Governments are supposed to deliver services in exchange for taxation — that’s the social contract. Surpluses are a sign that they’re either taxing too much, or delivering insufficient services. Such a view is no less ideological than the standard assertion that the private sector can always do it better than public. Oh really? How many times have the Sydney Cross-City and Lane-Cove tunnels gone into receivership now? ‘User-pays’ in such context just means the redistribution of wealth upwards from the pockets of suburban joes commuting to work on toll roads from Kellyville, into the pockets of, well, share holders and investors of the Eastern Suburbs. The private toll-road is the epitome of class warfare — in fact, it was the turnpike operating charters of merrie olde England that were the original template of modern user-pays privatisation ideology — and they are, quite literally, daylight robbery.
    * Tony Abbott is a meathead with issues. I don’t dispute that he’s a very effective political operator, but it will take a lot more than three-word slogans to run the country, if he ever gets the guernsey. Maybe, if things get desperate, he can do a sponsored Iron Man challenge to raise funds — I’d chuck in a few bucks per kilometre — who’s with me?

  103. Fran Barlow

    Mercurius said:

    How many times have the Sydney Cross-City and Lane-Cove tunnels gone into receivership now? ‘User-pays’ in such context just means the redistribution of wealth upwards from the pockets of suburban joes commuting to work on toll roads from Kellyville, into the pockets of, well, share holders and investors of the Eastern Suburbs.

    Much of what you say is IMO, unobjectionable, but here the picture is more complex. User-based charging for roads has a similar rationale as carbon pricing (the imposition of externalities on the commons) regardless of who operates the road. I strongly disagree with the model for building these roads, which was itself an attempt to reconcile the bookkeeping with budget fetishism about balanced budgets and cultural predispositions to the virtues of “the private sector”, but the point remains valid. (A better model where a road really was the least worst option would have entailed contracting the road and having the state underwrite the competitive tender cost, funding it out of tolls to the state).

    These long pay roads are an artefact of making urban sprawl economically feasible, and they underpin land values for those in the outer-suburbs — places like Lindsay. Abolition of tolls of course doesn’t really help them because what they save in money cost they give up in time cost.

    In the end though, the whole “build more toll roads” policy (as opposed to urban consolidation, mass transit, better residential/transit interfaces) is an attempt to make unsustainable conceptions of cities temporarily less implausible.

  104. Fran Barlow

    oh … and FTR what Helen said @92

  105. Adrien

    Uh, and by what mechanism would that occur?

    The member for Dobel is charged with embezzlement? The independents jump ship and the government can no longer be assured of confidence on the floor. This government is already in a precarious situation. It needed a deft hand to steer it thru the stormy waters and, um…

    Look at the title of the post again.

    If this was Catallaxy you could write it off as a right-wing salvo but this is LP and there’s serious consideration of actually importing am ex-Qld premier to save the leaky boat.

  106. Adrien

    This Government has been the most utterly atrocious bunch of incompetents and hacks we will ever see.

    Methinks you’re a tad too optimistic. :)

  107. tigtog

    this is LP and there’s serious consideration of actually importing am ex-Qld premier to save the leaky boat

    Where is that exactly? Kim is reporting on other people touting Beattie, she’s not recommending it herself.

  108. Patricia WA

    If this was Catallaxy you could write it off as a right-wing salvo but this is LP and there’s serious consideration of actually importing am ex-Qld premier to save the leaky boat. !!!!!!

  109. jane

    @94, it’s 188 and counting. I think they’re working overtime on the carbon price bill, which is being designed to cover all bases and prevent Sir Liealot and the Liars Party meddling with it.

    Maybe, if things get desperate, he can do a sponsored Iron Man challenge to raise funds — I’d chuck in a few bucks per kilometre — who’s with me?

    Only if he promises to keep running, Mercurious.

    @106, your scenario is highly unlikely. If the member for Dobell has a case to answer, it will be some considerable time before he is charged, let alone stood in front of a beak. And then of course, there’s the equally likely scenario that he will have no case to answer. Either way, he won’t be going anywhere for the life of this Parliament.

    Now consider the sh!t the Liars Party has heaped on Windsor, Oakeshott and Wilkie, and I think you’ll agree their jumping ship to Sir Liealot’s encampment is also unlikely.

    This Government has been the most utterly atrocious bunch of incompetents and hacks we will ever see.

    Sorry, that government is waiting in the wings safe in the embrace of arguably the most corrupt media baron who has ever, or will ever draw breath.

    Just as an afterthought, have you actually listened to Sir Liealot’s brain farts, or Sloppy’s brilliant economic insights? And the analysis of what is laughingly referred to as their *ahem* policies? Well, that’s if Sir Liealot hasn’t done an about face the next day. They must keep losing the drink coasters they scribble them on.

  110. Fran Barlow

    While there’s ample room for the left to find fault with this regime, the right has almost no space at all. By the standards of past governments in this country, this has been one of the better ones. Certainly, when one allows for context, they could claim quite rreasonably to have been the best conservative government since WW2.

  111. Mercurius

    …this is LP and there’s serious consideration of actually importing am ex-Qld premier to save the leaky boat.

    Hands up who hasn’t read the post, or the comments? *looks at Adrien*

  112. Russell

    Fran – last week I was asked to find the planning policy of Texas (Rick Perry claims it’s the best in the world), and believe me, it’s a thing to admire. I particularly liked the provision that municipalities can’t approve anything that increases traffic congestion.

    I hope things improve and Gillard stays on and is re-elected. If things don’t improve over the next year, I hope Shorten takes over and wins the next election. The Liberal government here in W.A. has completely surprised me by being better than the previous ALP one, but I can’t see an Abbott government as anything but a disaster. A Hockey / Bishop leadership might be the best we could hope for. (Don’t laugh).

  113. Mr Denmore

    I’m enjoying the schadenfreude of the Right if for no other reason that should Abbott become PM the ideological and policy bankruptcy and internal divisions of the LNP will leave those of the ALP safely in the shade.

    The fact is the public is hankering for a new politics and has no faith in either of the major political groupings to provide long-term solutions to the major problems that face us. Neither Abbott nor Gillard are anything more than opportunists, though at least the ALP has maintained a shred of policy credibility. Abbott has surrounded himself with god-bothering
    fruitcakes, mean-spirited wingnuts and agrarian socialists.

    When the electorate voted for Rudd, they were seeking a new politics. His removal just reminded them it was the same old machine running things. Rudd warned that a shift to the right on asylum seekers would prove a disaster and he has been proved right.

    I accept that he was impossible to work with, was a control freak and was not a consultative and pragmatic PM like Gillard, but he at least had a legitimacy with the public that Gillard has lacked and he retains much goodwill with voters, if not with his party.

    Indeed, it’s ironic that the country’s two most popular conviction politicians – Rudd and Turnbull – are respected despite, rather than because, the parties they nominally represent.

    Labor since Keating has run away from its own legacy, while the Liberals are no longer recognisable as the party of Macphee, Durack and the long gone moderates who occupied a now vacated centre.

    As it is, both Labor and the LNP are in a race to the bottom to appease an unappeasable ignorant and uneducated suburban fringe whose shallow materialism, bigotry and sense of entitlement sets the standard for our broken political discourse and bankrupt media.

  114. Russell

    “As it is, both Labor and the LNP are in a race to the bottom to appease an unappeasable ignorant and uneducated suburban fringe whose shallow materialism, bigotry and sense of entitlement sets the standard for our broken political discourse and bankrupt media.”

    Is it the case that they are the only voters who can be won over? Do the educated not change their votes? Obviously the media play a huge role, but will fear always win over ideas? As you say, ideas won in 2007.

  115. Fran Barlow

    I’m not so sure that “ideas won in 2007″ Russell. I’m yet to see any clear demonstration that 2007 wasn’t simply 1996 with colours reversed. Rudd in 2007 ran as Howard-lite, much as Howard ran as Keating-lite in 2006.

    One can claim that 1997 & 2007 were examples of continuous (rather than discontinuous) improvement — tweaking, rather than a sharp change in any important idea.

  116. Mr Denmore

    The important new idea is there, Fran. It just needs someone to articulate it. For now, it is easier for the big parties, with the support of a lazy media, to play Howard’s Greatest Hits over and over on high rotation.

    I maintain Rudd represented a desire to break the mould of market fundamentalism, but people overlook the global context. He came to power on the eve of the most destructive financial crisis since the Great Depression. He handled that very well by following Treasury’s advice about a quick and effective fiscal stimulus.

    The major parties in 2007 were also unanimous about a market-based solution to climate change, but the failure of Copenhagen and Abbott’s ascension generated a destructive partisanship.

    We are now locked into a dispiriting politics where the ALP is failing to communicate essentially good policy (the RSPT) and the Coalition and it’s media cheersquad are in permanent destroy mode.

    In my opinion, a chastened Rudd with Greg Combet as deputy could recast the ALP as a conviction centre left party. But they need to thrust a stake into the zombie heart of the party’s cynical poll-chasing Right.

  117. adrian

    Oh noes, even Mr Denmore missuses apostrophes!

  118. Mr Denmore

    Blame the Mr Jobs, Adrian – bloody iPad keyboard.

  119. Fran Barlow

    Mr Denmore

    Whatever ideas about political economy lurked in Kevin Rudd’s mind, consider the signalling emerging from his amygdala, pre-election:

    * “I’m a fiscal conservative”
    * Parliamentary Christian Group “I’m a social conservative”
    * Condemnation of Dean Mighell/Joe McDonald for defending workers and bad language = “I hate unions”
    * Support for ABCC star chamber = “I hate unions”; “I’m a neo-liberal”
    * Opposition to gay marriage “I’m a social conservative”
    * Opposition to euthanasia “I’m a social conservative”
    * Opposition to Drug law reform “I’m a social conservative”
    * Support for US alliance “I’m a social conservative”
    * Commitment to Afghan occupation “War on Terror”
    * Support for FTA “I’m a neo-liberal”
    * Backed Costello’s tax cuts “I’m a neo-liberal”
    * Continued support for private school funding model “I’m a social conservative”
    * Support for “Aboriginal intervention”
    * Coalition model for choosing cabinet: “I’m an authoritarian social conservative”

    There’s nothing here Howard couldn’t have backed. The odd policies were “the apology” and Kyoto ratification which signalled a slight step away from mainstream right-wing discourse, as did the disinclination to cast Obvama as OBLs Manchurian candidate. Kevin Rudd spoke Mandarin, which gave him a slightly more cosmopolitan and geeky/technocrat feel.

    Recall the brouhaha over Garrett’s “short jocular conversation”? Rudd’s edifice was Howard with a makeover.

    Yes he was/is far better read than Howard, but that’s not a political quality.

  120. Ambigulous

    Patricia WA said: He couldn’t work with his ministers or Caucus. He wouldn’t listen to advice either., which Thomas Paine objected to.

    But Thomas, no caucus member subsequently contradicted that ‘meme’. And it had plausibility because of the very rapid withdrawal of support (overnight…. remember?) for Mr Rudd by his colleagues, once the challenge was mounted.

    Thomas Paine, do you have any evidence at all that Patricia’s summary is inaccurate?

  121. Mr Denmore

    Fran, I don’t disagree with you that Rudd marketed himself as Howard lite. But then his govt never had a primary vote in the 20s. He scored points for the fiscal stimulus and the Aboriginal apology and he had a feeling for the global nature of the challenges we face that Gillard lacks. His control freakery and lack of a factional base were his undoing, but I still believe the public had a lot invested in him. His re-elevation could prove a circuit breaker in the media narrative and put the public’s critical focus back on Abbott’s cynical opportunism and lack of substance.

  122. Fran Barlow

    Mr Denmore said:

    His control freakery and lack of a factional base were his undoing, but I still believe the public had a lot invested in him.

    I don’t think so. This side of an essay, I’d attribute his undoing to his lack of political acumen, and his failure to communicate. His chief card was the bridge to power he offered the ALP. As long as he was seen as master of the ship, those who resented him had little alternative but to back him. He paid to little attention to that and was not insistent when he should have been, back in July of 2009.

    He plainly yielded to advice to start triangulating on carbon policy and later on refugees. That undid his authenticity and from that moment, his value to the spivs was at an end. Had he been the naricissist that is sometimes claimed, and promised in July of 2009 to take the regime down with him if he wasn’t given a free hand, there’s no way these hollow men would have rolled him.

  123. Fran Barlow

    oops narcissist

  124. jules

    Rudd’s undoing was that he challenged the mining industry to give Australians a fair price for our resources.

    He may have had any number of flaws and any number of people hating him (maybe with good reason), but if he hadn’t done that he’d have won the election last year. The ALP did the big mining companies bidding thats all there is too it.

    How does it feel living in a miners colony?

  125. alfred venison

    dear jules
    you are dead set right there! i have felt that way ever since the events of last year. my partner & i, and my old prof from his place, watched it unfold in horror. horror at the event & at how badly it was misunderstood/misreported.

    this was a corporate putsch, on behalf of the three biggest multinational corporates against a reformist leader. it was materially assisted by murdoch & executed by gutless careerists, to their eternal shame. it was also yet another pre-emptive shot by resource corporates across the bows of reformist governments in resource rich countries around the world. they’re not doing things like this in isolation.

    my family in alberta tells me this kind of sh!t has recently happend to their premier ed stelmach, too, when he pressed the oil corporates there to pay back the full pay royalties they owe from past deferments. royalties owed from a decade ago. he was stone-walled & then destroyed politically from within his party by a cabal of oil industry aligned corporate quislings. stelmach’s standing down from his party’s leadership & a provincial election is widely expected. he won’t be giving corporates any more trouble in a second term, that’s for sure. that’s what they did to a conservative who crossed them.

    and yes, i do feel like i’m living in a minor’s colony – and i miss kevin rudd every day.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  126. alfred venison

    miner’s colony

  127. Fran Barlow

    miners’ colony

  128. alfred venison

    dear Fran Barlow
    at least we agree on colony? ;-)
    ta.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  129. wbb

    Again too much analysis above based upon personalities. It is not about Gillard. Not about Rudd. No politician’s “personality” or “ability to communicate” would stand up in this maelstrom. This is same mistaken thinking that lead to Rudd’s demise last year.

    In the face of uncertainty and fear – climate change; GFC; refugees; globalisation – people welcome the comforting retreat from change and talk of crises that Abbott’s and News Ltd’s denialism offers.

    Stop the boats – that deals with refugees.
    No toxic carbon tax – that ends our fear of climate change.
    No pink batts and school hall rip-offs – that deals with the economic uncertainty.

    Sure, the ALP like every government has made mistakes, but given the political environment it is hard to imagine it doing too much better than it has done. The change from Rudd to Gillard was a desparate move and things would have been better had it not been made. But not much better.

    It’s a tough time to be a progressive. Check out a few other countries if you think the ALP have uniquely lost their way.

    The government hasn’t failed – it’s simply that the electorate, for now at least, wishes it had voted in Abbott last year. The ALP needs to tough it out – ignore the hysteria and anti-democratic whining and get on with its agenda. As it is doing for example with its courageous stance on climate change action. Abbott will axe the tax in a couple of years, no doubt. However a historical precedent will have been set which will be a useful stepping stone down the track.

  130. jules

    someone else’s mining colony … on reflection.

    it was also yet another pre-emptive shot by resource corporates across the bows of reformist governments in resource rich countries around the world. they’re not doing things like this in isolation.

    Thats right alfred. I never really liked Rudd till he did that, but once he did, it almost made up for so many other failings. The whole world was watching as we were let down by another pack of gutless self interested shits with no vision, no heart but, for some bizarre reason, pretensions of leadership. The list of bastards fails by both sides was long before that happened. I wonder if its time to scrap the party system, cept as a loose affiliation based on a few key policies?

    BTW if your family in Alberta are progressive NDP types please give them my sincere condolences. Well give them anyway, all Canadians will be worse off for Jack Layton’s death. Can you imagine many Australian politicians who could say this on their deathbed and mean it?

    My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

    All my very best…

  131. alfred venison

    dear jules
    thanks. jack layton was a great guy & his loss at this time is still to be measured. the ndp are good people, but many are very new, and will be severely tested coming up. their seat number went from something like 33 to 103 at the last election & many ndp mps have little experience. and now, the guy who got them to the promised land is gone, and they’re the official opposition, with an interim leader & a leadership convention coming up.

    for the first time since confederation, back in 1867, the official opposition is neither liberal nor conservative, but ndp. and a good thing, too because harper needs some serious opposing & the liberals had gradually become the other wing of the one party (corporate) system.

    i don’t know about other families but there is the left-wing of my family & the right-wing. the family in edmonton voted ndp at the last federal election this year & helped return the only non-conservative in the 28 alberta federal seats/ridings. its like that.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  132. Giles Anthrax

    Stunning that the death blow to the government should come from the High Court.

    But stuff ‘em.

    They have inisisted on playing footsie with the xenophobes and treat our signature to the UN Convention on Refugees as an inconvenience rather than a moral and legal obligation. They have reaped the whirlwind.

  133. Thomas Paine

    minors colony

  134. Patricia WA

    Partly right, Thomas Paine. If it’s minors, we live in a sand pit where children dig and play as if there’s no tomorrow.

    But hardly a miners’ colony, Jules. The miners here don’t build settlements with schools, roads, hospitals and housing for new settlers. Their people fly in and they fly out.

  135. Helen

    Bloody hell! A trollumn by Amanda bloody Vanstone up the top of the AGE opinion page today giving her two cents on who should be Labor leader. WHO CARES what Vanstone thinks? Why is this on the Opinion page?
    Slightly O/T, but the Vanstone screed plus an article by John Bloody Howard on the war on terror – centre page – if you include the illustration that goes with it, these two articles take up a good two-thirds of the AGE opinion page today. WHY. And why do people still imagine the AGE is somehow “lefty”?

  136. Helen

    …And Michelle Grattan, who has been talking JG and her government down since she got in, cries crocodile tears over their problems which, although I still think many of their policies are disastrous, are to no small degree whipped up by people like Michelle! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!

  137. murph the surf.

    The organisation of the ALP needs reviewing and would address many of the complaints about the current government.
    What happened to the recommendations from the report by Faulkner and Bracks?
    http://www.alp.org.au/australian-labor/member-news/2010-alp-national-review-report/
    Rudd could be a leader but there would have to be a change to the faction system – remember his boast that he would be in charge?
    Well Julia’s PMship is a creature of the factional system and the numbers people will decide what happens.
    It is just such a disconnect from the wishes of the party’s supporters when the workings of the sausage making machine are in full view.

  138. Spana

    Jules, thanks for calling me a racist. I might just add my job is to work with resettled refugees. I work with Somalis, Karen and Chin from Burma and some Afghans and Iraqis. This is my job. Because someone believes the best system is not to have people crossing the sea in dodgy boats, sinking and drowning or putting children on boats in search of family reunion visas does not make someone racist. I am in fact in favour of increasing Australia’s intake and taking in more of the Karen and Chin from Burma for example. These are people who do not come by boat because they are dirt poor. A system which encourages people to make this journey and die at sea or on the rocks is not one that should be encouraged.

  139. Fran Barlow

    Apparently even some right wingers agree that Gillard should just go for broke …

    It’s not hard to predict continued cataclysmic poll results with fevered ‘she must quit’ commentary and headlines, and continued questions about the polls to the exclusion of all else.

    But it will not make a jot of difference to Gillard’s tenuous hold on the top job. The alternatives are simply unworkable.

    Of course this contemporary reality also gives her a spectacular one-off opportunity – and that’s to ignore the noise and go for bold, on the asylum seeker issue and every other.

    There is a Pacific Island on the map that could easily process and welcome asylum seekers – it’s a decent-sized place, and it’s called Australia. No need for a High Court decision, solicitor-general’s opinion or an agreement with a foreign government.

    {…}

    There’s absolutely no point in Gillard shrinking, swallowing or taking the low road on any issue.

    She simply stares down the backbench critics, plays hard-ball with the Independents and Greens, ignores the media cycle and its incessant demands and sits behind her desk and governs.

    Julia Gillard has just two years left and can still leave her august and important – but always temporary – job with a strong, positive and lasting Keating-like policy legacy.

    There’s now no excuse.

  140. wbb

    Problems for the government:
    hostility to the carbon tax;
    hostility towards any type of refugee policy that allows Abbott to crap on about stopping the boats;
    a forgetting of why the GFC stimulus packages were necessary;
    the talking down of the economy by the opposition;
    the hangover at the end of the housing price bubble;
    the sense of crisis inherent in an almost hung parliament;
    the influence of the mining industry;
    the influence of News Ltd;

    None of these is caused by ALP factions.

    The collapse in ALP primary has not seen an increase in the Greens primary vote.

    Policy prescriptions inviting the ALP to move further towards the Greens will not improve the government’s fortunes. It will lead to a massive split in the ranks.

    Rather than slavishly endorsing the News Ltd meme that the government is incompetent, people would be better off winning hearts and minds on the issues they care about in the wider community.

    Where is the criticism of the Greens inability to win more votes? If their policies are good then are they incompetent at getting out their message? Should Bob Brown be rolled?

    Gillard is not the problem. News Ltd, the global economy, the undue influence of the mining industry, our xenophobia and selfishness are the problems. These problems face the Greens even more so than the ALP.

  141. Adrien

    Problems for the government:
    hostility to the carbon tax;
    hostility towards any type of refugee policy that allows Abbott to crap on about stopping the boats;
    a forgetting of why the GFC stimulus packages were necessary;
    the talking down of the economy by the opposition;
    the hangover at the end of the housing price bubble;
    the sense of crisis inherent in an almost hung parliament;
    the influence of the mining industry;
    the influence of News Ltd;

    Too stupid to read laws;
    No leadership candidate who doesn’t come across as a psycho or a phony.

  142. billie

    Patricia WA will be even less impressed with The Age’s left wing credentials when she reads the Peter Martin blog http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/09/what-labors-asylum-seeker-policy-says.html

  143. MarkL of Canberra

    Well, I certainly hope that Gillard stays as PM until the next election.

    She’s purest 24 carat gold as long as she stays on as PM.

    Mk50
    Brisbane

  144. Patrickb

    @113
    “The Liberal government here in W.A. has completely surprised me by being better than the previous ALP one”
    I suppose the extended trading hours was an improvement but then that has been more than out weighed by their ham-fisted law and order policies (e.g. stop and search, recriminalise cannabis) not to mention the massive destruction of the environment in the north, forcing indigenous land owners to contract to their disadvantage, oh and the failure to mandate local content in mining projects until the horse has well and truly bolted. I reckon the local elites would agree; job well done by the boy from Cott.

  145. FaceLift

    wbb,
    ‘Gillard is not the problem. News Ltd, the global economy, the undue influence of the mining industry, our xenophobia and selfishness are the problems.’

    Now here is a classic example of a deadly symptom – denial – the kind which refuses to take any responsibility for anything which goes wrong, or for the lack of confidence shown by just about every other sector of the electorate, illustrating why the ALP is in such a mess – the inability to face up to that fact that consistent incompetence has created the debacle they find themselves in.

    I mean, just one point, did she lie to the nation last year or not? Was she responsible for that error of judgment or not? Or did Murdoch, etc., force her to deliberately mislead the electorate?

    If Gillard is not the problem, why is her popularity sinking in the quicksand of a disillusioned public?

    If the left can’t face up to its responsibilities, they will remain in the wilderness for a long time. Better ‘fessing up now, while there is still a party worth saving.

  146. Helen

    I mean, just one point, did she lie to the nation last year or not?

    This is the cornerstone of the Australian tea party’s platform, isn’t it. She said she wouldn’t have a carbon tax under the government she led. Expecting, in that scenario, to win government outright. Post-election, she’s PM, but of a minority government where she has to share decision making with Greens and Independents. So the ALP has to trim their policy making accordingly. This “JuLIAR” stuff is just so disingenous and anyone posting here should be old / intelligent enough to see througn it.

    Or, short answer: No.

  147. MarkL of Canberra

    Then, Helen, all she had to do was say that.

    She didn’t, until far too late.

    Then she should have taken it to the next election, like Howard with the unpopular GST, and received a mandate for it..

    She didn’t. Trying to impose it sans mandate when in minority government was poor politics.

    Mk50
    Brisbane

  148. Terry

    Surely people aren’t saying the ALP can stay with Gillard for another two years? She is the very embodiment of “failed experiment”. Bring back Kevin.

  149. Helen

    This “mandate” stuff is a Howard invention. The ALP formed government, *with* some Greens and independents, and they are governing and passing legislation. The fact that it includes the Greens and Independents means that the government reflects voting patterns in the last election, so if by “mandate”you mean “the will of the voting population”rather than “I’ll impose whatever I want on you, rubes”, you would have to say that they have their mandate. The polls? We don’t govern by poll, and policy is not a popularity contest. Remember Howard’s “never ever” GST and “non core promises”?

  150. FaceLift

    Helen, I think telling the truth on your position in such key decisons is the cornerstone of good governance, and the way mature, intelligent people can gauge a leader’s worth.

    I know pollies from all sides can spin a yarn or two, but this was a full on policy betrayal of the voters who took her at her word.

    The tryst with the Greens has nothing to do with whether she lied or not, really, unless you want to admit that Bob has the leadership acumen to force ‘hard as nails’ Julia into something she doesn’t actually believe in.

    She also betrayed Rudd, whom she convinced to drop the carbon issue, and cost him the confidence of the electorate. Making such a error of judgment once is forgivable, but to then repeat it on a lie is not.

  151. Terry

    Someone commented to me over the weekend that the Cabinet currenly looks like a re-run of “Weekend at Bernie’s”, with Julia as Bernie.

    Given that two of Rudd’s alleged sins were that he didn’t work with the factions, and he was offside with the faceless men, I would have thought they were plusses here. Also, he favours a more humane approach to asylum seekers than Julia, and has done since 2003.

    Philip Adams is now calling for a return to Rudd, saying he has learned his lessons in terms of management style. I think the time has come.

  152. BilB

    Terry,

    You’re forgetting that Rudd, despite his powerfulwork skills, has the delivery style and political charisma of Baldric. People soon start thinking about their weekends when he gets into full speech. That is the main reason he, with Labour heading towards an election he, was sidelined. And then there was the backdown on the CPRS, which was very poorly done and left a lot of economic baggage behind.

  153. Terry

    Labor lost 10 out of 16 seats in the last federal election in Queensland alone. If they go to the polls with Gillard, you can guarantee that every other one of those seats will be lost, except possibly Griffith, held by … guess who? So that’s good bye Swanny, good bye Craig Emerson etc. Joe Ludwig would probably remain, however, as he’s in the Senate.

  154. BilB

    Clearly you’ve bought the News Corp line hook line and sinker.

    Some questions

    Do you believe that the Carbon Price should be brought in now?

    What do you believe your electricity bill will increase by once the carbon price has been applied?

    What do you believe that the revenue from the Carbon Price will be used for?

    Do you believe that Julia Gillard lied?

    Do you believe that Tony Abbott has lied?

  155. tssk

    Deep inside a gray office the behind men meet.

    “Alright lads. The double dismissal plan has failed. The early election plan has failed. The convoy was more of a car pool and pressure on the Indys isn’t working. Bloody hell, who could have predicted that calling Wilkie a dick would get him to ignore us. So what’s the next plan.”

    “Um, we could bring back Rudd.”

    “Ah you nuts? They electorate love him.”

    “But we have so many angles! We can pull Julia down. Once Rudd is back in we have so many opportunities. We can talk about the ‘real Rudd’ the quiet backtabber. We could ask over and over “Why does the ALP hate women?” in order to pull back the women’s vote. We could run the same old stores we did before but reversed. “Rudd must sack Gillard (or a member of our choice) and take it to an election!” If Rudd doesn’t reform and do everything the way the Coalition wants then we can state “he hasn’t learned.” Pressure him to go to an early election and bingo, Abbott PM.”

    “Excellent. When shall we three meet again?”

    “Next newspoll?”

    The behind men nod in unison and drift out into the bright sunlight.

  156. derrida derider

    As someone involved told me of the Rudd axing “this wasn’t about politics – this was personal. No-one can work with the prick.” Now there is no doubt at all that Rudd was the boss from hell, but they (and we) are still paying the political price for indulging personal dislikes.

    Julia has disappointed gravely – she seems incapable of selling anything to the public (which is surprising as she has long had a reputation for being very persuasive face-to-face) and, even more surprising, she has shown rotten political judgement – as bad as Turnbull’s.

    I reckon the aim for the government should be to keep Julia, focus on the panem (forget the circenses – you’ve comprehensively lost at that) and survive the next 2 years in the hope of doing well enough to deny Abbott a Senate majority.

    By then their (quite real) policy achievements will be sinking in and the economy should be less uneven. We’ll start to feel the broader upsides of the mining boom whereas we’re currently at the stage where the costs, but not yet the benefits, have percolated widely. In particular, the Queensland economy should be in nowhere near as dire a state as it is now.

  157. Terry

    So Philip Adams has the nation’s mood wrong? Actually people really like Julia?

    goodo.

  158. tssk

    The thing is she won’t last two years. Things are going to plan and the atmosphere is similar to the preceding Whitlam getting the boot. (It’s notable that many tried time and time again to draw parallells with Rudd and Whitlam and totally failed.)

  159. adrian

    I wouldn’t be advocating changing leaders at this stage, but it’s mildly amusing to see BilB accusing others of buying spin, when his analysis of Rudd’s government is itself so spin laden.

    Let’s just remember that the current government would sell their grandmothers for the level of polling that Rudd achieved before his sacking. And if people were turning off Rudd, I’m afraid Gillard just isn’t in the picture.
    Sure Rudd had his faults and annoyed people, but if anyone thinks pissing off his colleagues was one of them, have a look at the latest polling.

    And when you factor in the number of times News Ltd and their lackies tried, without much success, to diminish him in the court of public opinion, you realise that Rudd did in fact have a far greater an ability to communicate with people than Gillard.

    Shit, I want to believe what she’s saying and she still sounds phoney to me!

  160. Paul Burns

    Its got nothing to do with the carbon tax, with Gillard lying or not lying, with government incompetence, minority govt or anything else. So far as the electorate is concerned its all to do with the way she became PM before the last election. The electorate hated it; hated it enough to nearly put in a madman like Abbott as PM. And their view of Gillard hasn’t changed.

  161. adrian

    Unfortunately, a lot of what she has said or done since (aided by the feral reporting) has only confirmed the opinion of her created by the way she gained power.

    Why the geniuses in the ALP right considered that the electorate would think that it was OK to overturn a sitting PM for a succession of confected reasons is one of the enduring mysteries of Australian politics.

  162. Fran Barlow

    FaceLift asked:

    I mean, just one point, did she lie to the nation last year or not?

    Even putting entirely to one side the reality that she is introducing, as she promised, a carbon price rather than a carbon tax and is either too facile or cowardly to point that out, this would not have been a lie. Broken promises don’t lies unless one can say with confidence that they were made in bad faith, and that one ought to have known that one could not or intended not to honour them. I don’t doubt that when she said “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” she felt certain that she could honour that undertaking. Governments since the war have all been the expression of the will of the majority party, and she was clear she wanted “a market based mechanism, a CPRS, that’s what I support”. The August 21 2010 election meant that she had to negotiate, and effectively meant that all undertakings given prior to it were conditional. Had The Greens and others insisted on “a carbon tax” she’d have had to choose between a new election and cutting a deal. Elections are expensive and disruptive and it was clear that most people in August 2010 were less bothered by the form of the price than whether there should be a price at all. Holding a new election based on testing her pre-election formulation and whether the fixed price permit phase amounted to a breach of faith would have been absurd. The reality is that the substantive question had been tested at two elections — 2007 and then 2010 and in both cases, the majority of voters voted for parties committed to an explicit price on emissions.

    If the left can’t face up to its responsibilities, they will remain in the wilderness for a long time.

    I agree, though I suspect you and I have radically different opinions about what that would entail. To be without firm and coherent principles is an excellent definition of being in the wilderness, whether one is in government or not. To be in government without firm and coherent principles may be even worse. I believe the ALP should get some, and soon, and who the face of these principles happens to be when they achieve that is a footnote. Changing the leader, again, will retard that process and make it seem, again, as if all that matters is the superficial. Even if the ALP had a new and unusually charismatic figure available for the job, that would be a big mistake, and a bigger breach of faith than anything said about carbon pricing.

  163. Fran Barlow

    oops mods: close ital after “what I support” (Line 10)

    {achieve}

    [Done]

  164. alfred venison

    dear paul burns @161
    you’ve nailed it, as far as i’m concerned.

    i despise gillard for what she did to rudd & i’ll never forgive her for it. that’s it. walking, talking cheapness replacing truly inspirational. crap! talk about a trade down.

    and as for the ever elusive mandate tiresome debating point, here’s my two-bits. gillard’s claim to a madate might even be said to extend to me, who didn’t vote for her & despises her, by virtue of the green bandt being part of the minority government she now leads. ha!

    so, gillard frustrates me on the resource tax by her treachery towards rudd, but i get my carbon tax despite her by virtue of green bandt on the cross-benches. i’ll be mandated be damned.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  165. Helen

    People, can you please take note of what names you’re using when you refer to the pollies upthread? I’m still seeing a plethora of “Julia”s for the PM but “Turnbull”, “Rudd” etc for the others. Why is one treated differently from the others? I’ll give you one guess. Phillip Adam’s article did the same thing.

    You can tell me it’s trivial until you’re blue in the face but think about why you are doing it, please!

  166. Melbourne hammer

    Having seen both the wa and now the NSW Government manage to benefit from Gillard’s commitment to underwrite State royalty increases on the three big miners, you do have to wonder exactly what has been achieved by the last 15 months since the palace coup. In the end we will end up with a carbon tax which remains unsold by anyone, a mining tax which has failed on all of its principal criteria (to ensure that the windfall profits were actually distributed throughout the Commonwealth and not merely retained by the same state that had them in the first place), and a refugee disaster of a policy which contineus to split the ALP between those who wish to protect refugees and those who believe in border security. What a waste of the feeling that existed in 2007 – the whole thing simply reeks to me of pragmatism without policy or delivery skills. I am wondering now who will be the Hercules to clean out the entire stables here because this Labor party is so embarassing in its egotism and so weak in its political communications and policy skills.

  167. Melbourne hammer

    and…at least i used gillard

  168. Chris

    Helen @ 166 – Why did Gillard run a “Real Julia” marketing campaign rather than a “Real Gillard” one?

    Fran @ 163 – I think that technically you’re correct. But when it comes to the next election it leaves them open to the accusation that ALP promises mean nothing because if there’s a hung parliament they may break any of them. So it comes back to core and non-core promises again. What promises mean so much to them that they will not negotiate with the Greens on them, and which ones are flexible?

  169. alfred venison

    dear anyone
    Helen is dead-set right: it should be all first name or all last name throughout. or all lower case. except for interlocutors.
    personally, i had to exercise a certain measure of self restraint to refrain from referring to her as “gillinger” as in “dillinger” as in “hired gun”.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  170. Fran Barlow

    Chris said:

    I think that technically you’re correct. But when it comes to the next election it leaves them open to the accusation that ALP promises mean nothing because if there’s a hung parliament they may break any of them.

    It does and as we saw, Tony Abbott’s band of orcs was subject to the same caveat. He was, apparently, willing to do anything but “sell his @rse” to become PM, presumably because nobody, including the Canberra bike himself, thought it was worth all that much.

    That is how the Westminster system operates. The fact that it had been 67 years since such a parliament had arisen and even then not at a general election, meant that few considered it, and even if they had, they probably dismissed it in the way people dismiss the possibility of tied tests and being struck twice by lightning. Perhaps both parties should be required to publish that caveat in the fine print.

  171. tssk

    To address Helen’s point, part of it is generational for me. I’m used to addressing men after their last name and women by their first out of respect.

    But mainly it’s laziness. It’s easy to spell Rudd but Gillard is something I worry about. (Am I dropping a silent I or E etc)

  172. jules

    Spana @ 139. No worries.

    Chris @ 169 – Remember Kevin ’07?

    The he became the Prime Minister Mr Rudd. No one says Ms Gillard do they?

  173. Chris

    jules @ 173 – interestingly I’ve heard quite a few in the general population who still like Rudd to refer him as Kev or Kevin.

  174. Chris

    Fran @ 171 – I agree, but it was Labor who won the auction and so they end up with the downside of compromising. I’ve no doubt that Abbott would have similar problems if he had won. The way its turning it out perhaps in the long term winning the negotiations with the independents was more of a curse than a blessing.

  175. Occam's Blunt Razor

    I completely disagree that the bad polling is about the way the Real Julia (her words) took government.

    It is about the turds of policies that they are trying to polish. The Coalition doesn’t even need to make policy responses – just point and laugh.

    I’ll start with the 2020 Summit and Grocery Watch and just stop there – the list of FUBAR policy development and completely ineffective symbolic gestures.

    Even the BER managed to be FUBAR’d because of the obvious rorting that just reinforced the notion that the ALP is just another socialist government which is fine until they runout of other peoples’ money.

    If the ALP stick with The Real Julia then they are not going to win. There must be a huge number of backbenchers putting their CV’s together.

  176. Fran Barlow

    I might also add the following:

    Gillard unveils climate policy

    Note date: July 23, 2010

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard says a re-elected Labor government would impose strict guidelines on new coal-fired power stations and invest $1 billion over 10 years towards converting Australia’s electricity grid to renewable energy sources, as it seeks a community consensus on climate change.

    Outlining the Labor party’s climate policy, Ms Gillard also said the government would create an independent Climate Change Commission to explain the science of climate change, and a Citizens’ Assembly.

    The assembly would examine the evidence of climate change and the consequences of introducing a market-based mechanism to reduce carbon emissions.

    Ms Gillard reiterated the government’s commitment to a market-based mechanism, and said the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) would be used as the basis for community consultation. (Business Spectator)

    There’s also this interview with Paul Kelly on 20/8/10:

    JULIA Gillard says she is prepared to legislate a carbon price in the next term.

    It will be part of a bold series of reforms that include school funding, education and health.

    In an election-eve interview with The Australian, the Prime Minister revealed she would view victory tomorrow as a mandate for a carbon price, provided the community was ready for this step.

    “I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism,” she said of the next parliament. “I rule out a carbon tax.” (The Australian, 20/8/10)

    On October 19 2009, Abbot made clear that he knew the difference between a carbon tax and the CPRS that Rudd proposed, saying:

    As currently proposed, Labor’s ETS will raise electricity bills by 12 per cent within two years and is the equivalent of a 2.5 per cent increase in the GST. As this newspaper reported on Saturday, eminent economists who accept the scientific majority on climate change, such as Kenneth Rogoff and Joseph Stiglitz, prefer a straightforward carbon tax to a trading scheme that’s a speculators’ picnic.

    She certainly failed her promise to introduce a citizen’s assembly and the timeline has been brought forward, but the substantive policy — a market based mechanism similar to the CPRS, has been delivered. This also had a (somewhat shorter) fixed price permit phase. Those paying attention ought to have known that if that, for them, amounted to “a carbon tax” then this was what she was proposing. There was no deceit here.

    People voted to give the independents and Bandt, half of whom supported a price on CO2e, legislative influence. Bandt got LNP preferences in Melbourne. They also voted strongly for The Greens in the Senate. Overall, people giving 1st preferences to those supporting the Gillard government in the HoR exceeded those supporting Abbott by more than 500,000 votes. They won the 2PP (just). They commanded a majority. By any reasonable test there was a mandate for these policies.

    In fact, it was Abbott who lied before the election saying that Gillard, supported by The Greens will introduce a Great Big New Tax on everything. He had reason to know that was not the case but thought this claim would damage the ALP. The conclusion is urged that those who believed him and objected surely voted for the LNP. Those who disbelieved him were entitled to do so and have not, by Abbott’s definition any business for grievance. Multiple lines of estoppel apply. No such tax has been introduced and no Abbott-defined carbon tax has ensued.

    One might say that those who believed him and thought a great big new tax on everything was a good idea could be disappointed but that’s not Gillard’s fault. She never promised it.

    Finally, it might be that there are some who somehow missed the LNP ads but one suspects these would also have missed those of the ALP and have not been across Gillard’s claims about the carbon tax and thus didn’t rely on it. Retrospectivity doesn’t apply to mandate giving.

  177. Mr Denmore

    I was one of those who had severe reservations about the removal of Rudd, even though I accept he probably was impossible to work with and behaved in in private in a way that belied his affable public personna.

    Rudd’s dysfunctional behaviour was a pretext for a putsch by a cynical Right which thought it would put the miners back on side. These were the same gormless twits who led NSW Labor down into the ditch.

    So I don’t think the problem is Gillard as such (though there’s definitely an element of misogyny from the decrepit old men of redneck radio). The problem really is the Labor brand, which is equated in the public mind with a whatever-it-takes, power-for-power’s-sake, poll-driven machine living off its glory days.

    Apart from the asylum seekers debacle (which basically was a result of Labor trying vainly to please the ignorant Right), Labor has adopted some sensible policies in carbon pricing, health funding reform, parental leave, broadband and education. But the public isn’t listening because of a) the suspicion there is no conviction behind the reforms and b) Labor is unable to communicate effectively anyway (their biggest weakness).

    But we all know that. The big question that the media’s not asking is what would an Abbott government look like? What policies would they pursue on climate change, fiscal consolidation, skills and education, health, broadband and foreign affairs? Where are the intellects on the other side of parliament?

    My view is politics, as once performed, is busted (like the media). The major political parties don’t stand for much other than getting elected. In Labor’s case, they at least can boast some talented careerists like Stephen Smith and Greg Combet. But the Coalition side is full of wingnuts, bigots and single issue fanatics.

    I don’t get a sense from the conservatives there is any big picture vision of what the country could be – other than a reactionary longing for some imagined past of Bradman and Boongs who knew their place.

    So the centre and the centre-left needs to get its act together and rally around a leader and a set of ideas fast. Most of all it needs to find people who can communicate directly and simply, connecting a grabbag of legislative change to a vision that resonates with the electorate.

    If Rudd can sort out his management and personal communication failures, they have a chance to put it back together under him. As it is, Gillard will remain the story. They need to get the focus back on Abbott and what a DISASTER he would be.

  178. Patricia WA

    Fran, quite apart from her so called lie, there is that other tendentious claim about political assassination. Did Julia Gillard, our current Prime Minister, really knife her then Prime Minister? Did she personally plan and organise the coup? I seem to remember an orchestrated media campaign around the mining tax not quite as ferocious as this latest MSM onslaught, but which at the time gave ALP power brokers the opportunity they’d been waiting for to dump Kevin Rudd. There was much debate at the time of Rudd’s demise about how Julia Gillard herself was taken aback by the suddenness and brutality of the coup.

    But I also remember weeks before that many bloggers here at Larvatus Prodeo joining in the chorus of media complaint about Rudd about which I protested. In my choice of title Et Tu LP , please believe I had no insider information of his forthcoming fate!

    In glancing over that post about Rudd’s broken promise on political advertising I was struck by the sad irony of Mr. Denmore’s comment @94.

    I have never seen a media corps so intent on misrepresenting the government.

    If Julia Gillard is to be tried in the court of popular opinion for the assassination of a Prime Minister, how can she get a fair trial when popular opinion itself was complicit in that crime along with the Murdoch media, mining magnates and a murderous Leader of the Opposition.

    Her courage in facing down such a coalition of corrupt accusers is heroic.

  179. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @179

    “Did Julia Gillard, our current Prime Minister, really knife her then Prime Minister? Did she personally plan and organise the coup?”

    It appears the answer to those questions is no.

    However, she said yes when Kevvie’s head was offered to her on a platter. She owns this mess.

  180. Occam's Blunt Razor

    The most dissapponting thing about the knifing of Kevvie was that he even broke his last promise and did not get force a vote in Caucus. We all missed out on seeing just how few supported him in the end.

  181. Fran Barlow

    Here, for once I agree with OBR. Although it’s unlikely Gillard orchestrated the removal of Rudd, she was complicit, obviously as they’d not have moved without her assent.

    It would have been far better had she simply told the Shorten-Howes-Feeney gang that she was on record publicly as backing Rudd and had hitherto said that she was as likely a candidate for PM as “to play full forward for the western bulldogs” (apparently some sort of Aussie Rules team I presume come from WA). In those circumstances, she’d be embarrassed so soon after saying that to be assuming the job. She could also have pointed out the other obvious problems:

    it’s an election year
    by definition I’ll have to repudiate our entire program rather than run on it
    it will look as if we are panicking and give aid and comfort to our enemies
    it will look as if I’ve been installed by the miners and encourage more rightwing populist campaigns against us
    it will make us look bad in Queensland
    the Government and Rudd are still ahead in the polls

    She should have invited them to have her put to Rudd a list of grievances and get them resolved before pulling the pin. On the mining tax issue, they might have retreated saying that as there was an election planned for later in the year, and this was a longterm policy that further consultation would continue on the matter. I’ve no doubt that would have been the less risky course both for the government, and for her personally.

    All water under the bridge now of course …

  182. Occam's Blunt Razor

    If Simon Crean ever wants to be PM it’s now or never.

    Likely future candidates like Shorten, Combet, and Smith wouldn’t want to take the helm of HMAS ALP after taking the mortal hit from the Divine Wind HC. They’ll wan tto keep their powder dry for a future tilt in better circumstances.

    Crean has to be considering his future and would realise that he is unlikely to ever get another shot at the Leadership. Just like KK in NSW – when it’s this low the only way has to be up. (Like her new look!)

  183. jules

    Fran @177 nice one.

    (Not that anyone ever takes any notice, but full points for trying.)

  184. Tiny Dancer

    Yep. It’s all about the msm and Abbott.

  185. adrian

    Not really into reading the posts before giving us the benefit of your thoughts, are you TD?

  186. Adrien

    Do you believe that Julia Gillard lied?
    Do you believe that Tony Abbott has lied?

    Sure. They’re in parliament aren’t they? :)

  187. zorronsky

    ” Her courage in facing down such a coalition of corrupt accusers is heroic.”
    And I’ve never been so disappointed with people here as I am now.

  188. Martin B
  189. Mercurius

    Mr Denmore:

    The big question that the media’s not asking is what would an Abbott government look like?

    Yeah, well, I’d like to know that too.

    Would the last journalist in Australia who is remotely interested in doing their job kindly please consider the possibility of maybe one day seriously asking the Opposition what it is, exactly, beyond slogans, that they propose do when in government? Especially since, as those same journalists seem to constantly expound, Abbott is like, a sparrow’s fart away from being PM?

    When it comes to running the country, “Stop The Boats” isn’t going to cut it…

  190. Martin B

    When it comes to running the country, “Stop The Boats” isn’t going to cut it…

    Of course not. He’ll stop the waste and pay back the debt as well. Weren’t you listening?

  191. alfred venison

    dear zorronsky
    for the record, i don’t give a hoot whether or not gillard actively plotted against rudd from the start. that is not what she is “on trial” about in the court of my opinion. i despise gillard because, whether through failure of judgement or failure of nerve, she did not, when that crisis peaked, stand by & render proper deputy’s support to the party leader & prime minister in confronting a motley cabal of moral weaklings & political cowards, murdoch and the multinational mining corporations.

    gillard should have told the plotters to rack off – she didn’t & that is the problem. the highest office in this country being rolled in this way by coprorate & murdoch pressure has done damage to the nation going forward & emboldened the enemies of the people.

    there, i said it.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  192. tssk

    When Abbott comes in I’m looking forward to all the cake being handed out to the poor and destitute.

    Seriously though, I’m dreading it. It is not going to be fun.

  193. Russell

    Very unforgiving, Alf. Sometimes I think she should have stood by her man and gone down with him, but mostly I think she made the reasonable decision that the powerbrokers having made sure that Rudd was gone, that she was now the best person to be leader. Remember how mnay times she said that she stepped into the breach because she couldn’t stand to see Tony abbott become Prime Minister – maybe it was true.

    Anyone on the left would have to hope that Julia can turn things around, because a new leader would be in a terrible position. I don’t think most people care so much about Grocery Watch or whatever, if the government can go to the election with some substantial achievements on climate, communications, pensions, health, education and tax then they would have as good a record to sell as any ALP government. That’s Julia’s weakness – she doesn’t seem to clearly lead and communicate with enthusiasm. She can do it, because you occasionally see flashes of it, the real Julia, but something goes wrong in any prepared situation, and then she sounds like a zombie.

    I still think they need to give Shorten more visibility – he’s good on television.

  194. Russell

    Also, it’s past time that those useless Western Bulldogs should have presented her with a cute, feisty little bulldog. Couldn’t hurt – she and Tim taking the dog for a walk each morning ……

  195. wbb

    ” Her courage in facing down such a coalition of corrupt accusers is heroic.”

    Hear, hear PatriciaWA.

  196. FaceLift

    Having courage to face down opposition is indeed admirable, but that doesn’t diminish the seriousness of poor decision making and shoddy work as deputy PM and PM, and you’re still showing signs of not wanting to take responsibility for mistakes by blaming anything that is blue and moves to the right for everything, and painting a picture of a wholly chaste PM, so your ongoing defence remains…

    …’how can she get a fair trial when popular opinion itself was complicit in that crime along with the Murdoch media, mining magnates and a murderous Leader of the Opposition…’?

    Well, in fact, the Leader of the Opposition was carelessly handed the weapon of assassination on a plate, and it rather resembled the implement used to disable and disenfranchise the previous PM, for which Mr. Rudd’s successor must take some responsibility, even though it is now being suggested that she was just an innocent bystander who happened to witness the crime, which was, therefore, committed by whom? The same hit men who installed her as PM, perhaps?

    Maybe Murdock has made a meal of everything, but it was fed by the ALP. News hounds will always gorge on scraps but usually they are thrown by the detractors not the objects of their attention. It’s all been to easy, don;t you think?

    But the hapless PopOp is getting an unfair rap, here. They really did give Rudd’s carbon deal a go for a long time, and would have worn it if he’d stuck to his guns, albeit with some groans along the way, but Ms Gillard took the Ruddy carbon deal, hid it in the cupboard, and revived it when it had already been painted a Brownish Green splashed with her wash of Red, and looked sickly. It just didn’t look good to the PopOp or have the same appeal.

    You can’t blame Rupert, Tony or PopOp for that!

  197. BilB

    I will second that, wbb @ 196.

  198. Labouring the Point

    This is probably said elsewhere but Peter Beattie would need to win a seat in Parliament to become an MP.

    Can some-one point out which electorate he would win in a by-election?

    It is far more likely to be a bye bye-election!

  199. su

    +1 This “shoddy work” includes getting the Carbon Price and RSPT in train and beginning the work on a National Disability Insurance scheme all while keeping the Independents on side to maintain a functional majority and steering 188 bills through both houses. Far from being incompetent she has been remarkably effective.

  200. Paul Norton

    Labouring the Point @199:

    This is probably said elsewhere but Peter Beattie would need to win a seat in Parliament to become an MP.

    Can some-one point out which electorate he would win in a by-election?

    He’d have a chance in Griffith, but somehow I don’t see the incumbent making way any time soon.

  201. Helen

    a wholly chaste PM

    What the ever-loving fuck?

    Yes, I seem to have appointed myself language nerd for the duration of this thread, but really, what the fuck

  202. adrian

    Yeah what the f**k indeed.

    Which brings me to the ABC’s sudden conversion to ‘satire’ in the form of At Home With Julia. Does anyone else think WTF?
    And before anyone replies by saying look at the Howard parodies, hey those never involved John and Jeanette’s relationship, ripe as it may have been for a little satire.

    So if it’s apparently OK to do At Home With Julia, how come it wasn’t OK to do At Home With John, or Paul, or Bob or Malcolm????

  203. Fran Barlow

    I regard At Home with Julia as yet more evidence of the dissolution of the frontier between news & current affairs on the one hand and light entertainment on the other, which in the context of the dominance of the Murdochracy, affords yet another vehicle for abandoning critical analysis of public policy, in favour of mere retailing of semi-digested rightwing pap. Like those infant birds in nests, their mouths are open and the semi-digested content is being inserted directly by the Murdochratic mother bird into their willing crops. Just to add to the strength of the metaphor, they are tweeting about it too.

    Here’s the egregeious Kelly on Twitter, complete with the obligatory “LOL”:

    @RNBreakfast The FUNNIEST impersonations of Keating, Gillard, Rudd and Alan Jones you will ever hear. LOL http://bit.ly/pgSIiE

    It’s true that there has always been rightwing and/or vacuous nonsense uttered in public space, but I feel sure that not so very long ago, allegedly serious journalists would have savaged it. Now they are laughing at their own vacuity.

    On the weekend Newsradio ran a poll in which the various leadership claimants were compared. Included in the list was “Phar Lap”.

    Today, they were reporting on a WSJ poll showing that Obama is trailing a “generic Republican” 44-40 and was thus no longer favoured to win in 2012. If only the Repugs could run generic candidates rather than the actual ones they had …

    This is where #theirABC is these days — wallowing in their own crapulence, as the saying goes.

  204. Sam

    Strictly speaking, it would be constitutionally possible for Beattie to be PM from the Senate. John Gorton was a Senator when elected leader of the Liberal Party in January 1968 following Harold Holt’s kidnapping in a Chinese submarine the previous month.

    In fact, for a short time, after he resigned from the Senate and before he was elected to the Reps in a by-election, Gorton was PM without even being a member of Parliament. This is also constitutionally kosher. Our constitution permits a lot of stuff that rarely or never happens.

  205. adrian

    Well said, Fran.

  206. Paul Burns

    Well, I’m not goimg to comment on At Home With Julia until I’ve seen it. But I do think people objecting to it sight unseen are being a tweeny bit precious.
    btw, I do seem to recall somewhere years ago quite a bit of a viscious satire on Jeannette Howard somewhere. But maybe I’m just recalling a memory of satire that was in fact reality/

  207. Paul Norton

    Sam @205, that comment is quite correct but it has overstimulated my imagination as to ways of procuring John Hogg’s removal from the Senate.

  208. Helen

    Fran @204, I heard the exchange on RN Breakfast this morning, which further sapped my will to live. The trailers I’ve seen on TV for “at home with Julia” show the accent as not so much cleverly satirical as laid on with a shovel, presumably because otherwise we won’t GET IT because of course we’re STUPID. It also shows Tim buying a New Idea, which I expect will be “funny” because, wimminz things! Men buying wimminz things!! If your woman is more successful than you you will turn into a (silly) wimminz!! Which of course means loss of status LOL!!!1! Wearz the Pantz LOLZ!
    Head is sore from all the facepalming and headdesking.

  209. Mr Denmore

    Regarding Fran’s observation @204, does anyone seriously doubt that had the Chaser, say, done a skit – let alone an entire series – satirising John and Janette Howard at home, the Murdochracy’s paid culture warriors and spinners would have been urging the dragging of Mark Scott before the ABC board?

    The plain fact is that ABC journalists and staffers understand implicitly that there is an asymmetry of risk in how they approach LNP or Labor governments. Under the likes of Alston and Ferranti-Wells, the stop watches came out, or to use Mark Scott’s now approved wording – a “full diversity of views” were aired. Under Labor, they know they will be left alone.

  210. Mr Denmore

    Helen @209, the ABC’s comedy goes through so many committees for cultural surgery these days that jokes are botoxed by the time they go to air.

  211. adrian

    Exactly, Mr Denmore. The current ALP, with the apparent exception of Anthony Albanese seem to have lost the will to live, let alone fight.

    While I’d hate to see them sink to the level of the likes of Alston etc, it is crystal clear that the current tactic of meekness above all isn’t working.

  212. Occam's Blunt Razor

    Paul Burns – you are a legend.

    Anyone from the left of politics carping about satire/comedy are on pretty thin ice.

  213. Fran Barlow

    I’d be quite as insulted if there was an At Home with Howard and the Wife show. The reduction of politics to a series of utter banalities is what is rightwing, rather than who is mocked.

  214. Sam

    Haven’t seen the show, doubt that I will, don’t care either way.

    I would have thought that there might be more promising material, as Julia and Tim seem to be both very anodyne, but, really, who cares? There are more bigger things to worry about — the imminent coming to power of Abbott-Bernardi-Mirabella and all the other crazies, for starters.

  215. Sam

    BTW, I thought a comedy had already been done on Jeannette Howard. Wasn’t there a show called Keeping up Appearances where the main character was based on her?

  216. Sam

    oops, over italicised. Mods, help please.

  217. Patricia WA

    Helen @ 202 That’s the point, isn’t it? She’s not chaste> and she refuses to be chastened! Misogyny is alive and well in Oz; for a large part of our population the myth of the woman driver is still alive and well. A woman prime minister is in the same category.

    I’m wondering how the commentariat will exploit the hard as nails description her ministers were using yesterday to defend her. I think they really do trust her to get them through. Of course they also used terms like decent and warm which I doubt will be repeated much in the MSM. Much as these images of the past few days don’t get reproduced alongside speculation about her leadership woes.

    http://www.daylife.com/photo/08ny0iW3Ji7a4?q=Julia+Gillard

    As for “At Home With Julia” like Paul I’ll wait until I actually see it, but I do remember the PM laughingly giving it her OK, though what else could she do, and hearing that she is helping the film crew with some details. She knows, of course, that satire works both ways. This could help her.

  218. BilB

    I caught a glimpse of Julia at a function, with children I think, warmly engaging in away that left me instantly imagining how Toxic Tony, the Mr BahHumbug of Australian politics,, I really hope that he is kept awake nightly by the rattling chains Ghost of his Elections Past,, would have been totally out of place in the company of real people. My accumulated impression of Abbott would have him ripping open his suit front to reveal his hairy chest and budgy smugglers in order to capture back the camera’s attention. What ever it takes!

    We have a Prime Minister making it work in the harshest of situations.

    GFC
    Destructive Climate Change
    Unscrupulous Opposition prepared to destroy every positive initiative that assists Australians in order to obtain Power.
    Thinnest Political Margin
    Beligerant Avericious Mining Industry with zero concern for Australia’s interests.
    Politically manipulative Negative Media both NewsCorp and the ABC
    A solid clutch of devisive issues to contend with including Wars engaged by the previous Government and immense waste in procurement programmes.

    It takes a tough person to step into that mess, and Gillard has made this work with a minimum of wrong footing. She is perceptive, flexible and adaptible. More importantly she is a team player.

    I think that Julia Gillard’s best defense against the Dark Arts of her Liberal/NewsCorp opposition Coalition is a healthy application of good Wit.

    Good Wit against the Witless.

  219. Jovial Monk

    BilB

    Oh boy, Thomas de big Pain will whoopass on your arse.

    Gillard is not a patch on the Holy St Kevin of Dud, doncha know?

    LP will come down on you like a ton of bricks for being pro-Labor.

    Meantime, the Glorious Julia, having introduced plain packaging Bills without five years of studies, reviews and commissions is about to introduce the ETS and MRRT Bills. Kevin could never have done this. Kevin is a great file clerk gone wrong.

    LP is a sad shadow of what it used to be and what it used to be was a bunch of talkers over analysing everything. When things got a little bit hard for Labor they flew the white flag. I volunteered to help my local Labor guy.

    How dare Julia solve all the problems and end up in government as PM when all the egg heads here had given up.

    Next week LP will phantasize of Paul Keating making a comeback in politics.

  220. wbb

    “The current ALP, with the apparent exception of Anthony Albanese seem to have lost the will to live, let alone fight.”

    Combet on Q&A the other night was fighting fit. Told Jones to shutup so he could answer a question properly for once.

  221. Patricia WA

    Next week LP will phantasize of Paul Keating making a comeback in politics.

    Exactly, JM. Anyone but Julia Gillard for Prime Minister! But it’s not just LP engaged in this phantasy that there is a leadership crisis in a country which is economically sound and clearly well governed. The entire press gallery and the commentariat from Phillip Adams to Andrew Bolt are speculating on who should step into her shoes. Yet the Prime Minister has the Cabinet and Caucus solidly behind her. They know they would not be achieving their reformist legislative program without her, as do the Greens and the Independents.

    She is unpopular in the country at large only because the Coalition, supported by News Ltd and echoed by most main stream media, keep denigrating her and questioning her ability to lead. I don’t think it’s because she’s a bad leader. I think it’s because she is a very good one. They know that of all the potential ALP leadership material, and there’s plenty of it, she is the best. That’s why she has to go.

    BilB, re your comment on the PM’s warmth with children, I read a blog comment from a parent in Queensland on the day after the Malaysian ruling. Julia Gillard was at the opening of refurbished primary school which had suffered near destruction in the floods. She was comfortable with the kids, laughing with them, generally at ease. She was very well received. As she was ultimately by an initially resistant audience at the community cabinet in Brisbane.

  222. FaceLift

    BilB,
    ‘It takes a tough person to step into that mess, and Gillard has made this work with a minimum of wrong footing. She is perceptive, flexible and adaptible. More importantly she is a team player.’

    No, no, BilB. Julia Gillard, along with Kevin Rudd, created the mess, and has not stepped out of it, and, in fact, is not going anywhere. She’s staying in the mess to continue the mess, and bring the mess to its conclusion. That’s the point.

    Whilst I am full of admiration for the support shown for the Leader of the ALP, I can’t help but wonder how you can think you’ll stave off a massive election loss that will resonate for years if you can’t face up to what is happening today as a result of recent mismatched liaisons, bad decisions and poor management.

    Fran has very eloquently explained her position, and I thank her for that, but she, like you, is taking the option of encouraging the ALP/Greens to press on with damaging policy in a leaky boat, as if it is the right, noble and expedient way, sailing of to a new life in a new Australia somewhere, when the uncertainty of the journey [poor coms] and the sizeable holes in the policy fabric [ideas with no substance], have made the passengers, apart from the left and ALP/Green stalwarts at the helm, very nervous about the future, especially when the rest of the world is in such a fragile state trying the quell the storm it created.

    Australia’s current comparative strength and stability, assisted by a strong mining sector, China’s growth, and a previously excellent fiscal decision making by Hawke, Keating and then Costello, is still dependent on global outcomes. It’s not time to push out into choppy waters on a speculative journey, but to take the ship safely into harbour for major repairs, and a review of the charts and crew.

    There are gaping holes in the confidence of the majority of the people. If you can’t see that, then you’ll be baling out more than poor policy. You’ll counting how many people will fit in the life-boats.

  223. BilB

    Good one FaceLift,

    A real live Liberal supporter. Tell me what makes a person able to follow the lead of someone who is determined to lie and cheat their way into governemnt?

    Do all Liberal supporters have their memory erased when they get their membership card? Without that you would remember in the 2004 election when Toxic Tony Abbott as health minister and thinking that Latham had a good chance of winning promised to match the free health care for the over 75′s. Remember that now?

    And then just 3 months after the election he lied twice in the ABC interview where he was announcing that the Liberals were Renigging on the Election Promise. I have a transcript of that ABC interview.

    This is why Toxic Tony accusses everyone else of lying, it is because he is a compulsive lier and for such a person the only way to hide their habbit is to blame everyone else. Not only is Toxic Tony a lier, he is delusional, professing to have superior understanding on climate matters than the world’s full body of scientific research organisations and their scientists.

    And this is the man that you would have lead this country? Seriously?

    Liberals really need to read this profile of a Sociopath
    http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

    and then this behaviour of a Sociopath
    http://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/documents/health/sociopathy.html

    In my mind there is no doubt at all, Toxic Tony Abbott is a full on Sociopath. Make a point of reading the warnings about such people “be sure not to allow them to have much power”.

    Regardless, Julia Gillard is powering through the most ambitious legislative programme that this country has seen. By the time when she is re-elected in 2013 you will thank her for

    Bringing Australia through the Global Financial Crisis

    Establishing the broader Resources Rent Tax meaning that the world pays Australia a fair price for the once off use of our national wealth of resouces, just as OPEC countries did for theirs in the 70′s

    Building a high speed National communications trunk structure for Broadband Interconnectivity

    Establishing a Carbon Emissions externalities Levy so that there is a fund of money available to build alternative energy infrastructure to protect Australia and Australian Business from rapidly declining oil reserves, and to enable Australia to meet its commitments on Climate Change.

    And lots of other things.

    Yes, you will thank Julia Gillard, only you will most likely do this privately, in your mind, FaceLift.

  224. FaceLift

    Sorry, BilB, but you miss the point of what’s taking place. I know you love Ms Gillard and Labor, and clearly hate Mr Abbott. No problem.

    The point is that the PM and her ALP/Green alliance are on the nose in the electorate, and you seem to think it’s nothing to do with her performance, or that of the Cabinet.

    I have noticed the general feel here is that she is squeaky clean (I’d better not say you consider her politically ‘chaste’ in case I’m misunderstood and upset people, but I meant politically pure, not… well you know what I meant), and has nothing to adjust, rearrange or change at all, no nothing.

    It’s the Opposition and the Media and the silly PopOp who are to blame for her poor ratings! Of course!

    I think the Opposition is saying they’d love her to continue in the same vein right the way through to the next election. Here you are cheering that on! It seems you’re all in agreement!

  225. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @224 – Bilb made the following claims –

    “Bringing Australia through the Global Financial Crisis”

    A drovers dog could have brought Australia through the GFC and probably done a better job than the ALP because it wouldn’t have been able to waste all the money the ALP has.

    “Establishing the broader Resources Rent Tax meaning that the world pays Australia a fair price for the once off use of our national wealth of resouces, just as OPEC countries did for theirs in the 70′s”

    If the ALP wants a Resource Rent Tax then the first thing they need to do is either get the agreement of all States on the interface between the current system of Royalties and a RRT or get the Constitution changed. As per ALP standard Operating Procedured they have screwed the pooch by not putting in the hard yards doing policy development and consulting key stakeholders.

    “Building a high speed National communications trunk structure for Broadband Interconnectivity”

    If that is all that ther NBN was then it probably would have bipartisan support. The problem with the NBN is it is not just trunk strucuture it is also Fibre to the Home – which every day is becoming more and more obsolete technology. I built a home 6 years ago and had it internally smart wired for computers. Have not ever used it – went wireless on occupation.

    “Establishing a Carbon Emissions externalities Levy so that there is a fund of money available to build alternative energy infrastructure to protect Australia and Australian Business from rapidly declining oil reserves, and to enable Australia to meet its commitments on Climate Change.”

    I’ve got no problem with finding alternatives for petro-chemicals as the price of oil increases. As for the climate change argument – well the fact is that the science is telling us that it is too late anyway – money spent on anything except adaption is a waste.

  226. BilB

    What you are saying, Facelift, is not the message that I am getting from people with whom I speak. Generally I get the Toxic Tony flapping gums comments for a feww sentences, but it takes just a minute of real informational feedforward to turn that around. For instance on the impact of the Carbon Price for my business which runs machinery as many hours as possible and one point five kilowatts of lighting the cost of the Carbon Price will be 0.125% of my gross turnover. This is typical of most small businesses and as households are fully compensated therefore I will face no wage pressures so I have no need to raise prices. This will also be typical for 90% of businesses.

    So Toxic Tony’s flapping gum “big new tax” thing falls completely flat. Worse than that for him is that he now needs to face up to his own Horrendously Big Tax on Big Business to pay for his parental leave “Promise”, and the 70 billion dollar hole in his budget credibility. Every one that I speak with is thrilled with the idea of the NBN.

    The Carbon Price legislation will be concreted into place shortly, and then there is plenty of time to properly inform the public building to the 2013 election.

    The real thing that the Liberals have to come to terms with are that for Toxic Tony a “Promise” is only something that you say to get people to do what he wants them to do or believe. So how deep does the Con go. You will wake up one morning and find that are an Alice, or an Alan, in Toxic Tony’s wonderland of deceit

  227. BilB

    If, OBR,

    “well the fact is that the science is telling us that it is too late anyway”

    turns out to be true then John Howard, Tony Abbott, that idiot George W Bush, Rupert Murdoch, Alan Jones, and some others should be publically hung/drawn/and quartered.

    You should keep an eye on the SOI. So far it is looking like a repeat of last year. We will know in a couple of months. If that happens and it delivers similar rain and hurricanes people will finally be getting the message of the real cost of failure to act on Global Warming.

  228. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @228 – why just pick on those guys? Why not China for the massive growth in CO2 emissions? Why not Europe for exporting it’s manufacturing to China? It is a global problem that requires a global agreement that is environmentally, economically and politically effective – and that ain’t ever going to happen.

    Flooding rains in Australia is not a new thing and the recent floods were nto the largest we’ve ever had. Using them as evidence of climate change is twaddle. The same with tropical storm data – global measures of tropical storm energy do not corelate with the expected increase suggested by climate scientists. I am quite happy to accept that there is long-term global warming caused by natural and manmade influences but the evidence you refer to neither matches or supports your proposition.

  229. Occam's Blunt Razor

    . .. and (sorry Moderators for the second post in a row) are you going to defend any of your other claims? Or, just admit that you were wrong by not even trying to defend them?

  230. Fran Barlow

    For want of anything more impressive, OBR reduxed a very old talking point. It’s now so old that it staggers even with a walking frame.

    Why not China for the massive growth in CO2 emissions? Why not Europe for exporting it’s manufacturing to China? It is a global problem that requires a global agreement that is environmentally, economically and politically effective – and that ain’t ever going to happen.

    China’s “massive growth” was off a tiny per-capita base. It’s massive growth is one fifth or so of Australia’s per capita ouput. Those who insist that CO2 is essential to contemporary life have no business criticising China for getting a measure of it a fraction of what we think it would be ruinous to do without. That’s hypocrisy, and doubly so since their emissions are largely a result of satisfying our demand for consumer and producer goods. We choose to use their supply of cheap labour. We can’t now complain that their emissions have the same status ours do, when we are made rich by their emissions on our behalf.

    Moreover, if you are right and an effective global agreement “aint ever going to happen” then what you are saying is that civilisation and the usages we hope will be available to our children are effectively at an end. Our way of life is headed for catastrophe. There’s no point wasting money on adaptation if society is going down the toilet. Millions of desperate dispalced humans, war and atrocity, a fundamental change in arrangements — such consequences are far too dynamic to model which adaptations would be useful.

    The government in such circumstances should advise strongly against having children. You don’t want to have them to apologise to for our reckless short-term thinking, less still put them and their children through the horror of what is to come. Live fast spend your money and hope you don’t live long enough to see how it all ends.

    Good luck selling that vision.

  231. Occam's Blunt Razor

    @231 – Fran – the climate is changing. That doesn’t mean the collapse of civilised society is about to occur. One of the reasons we re the dominant species on the planet is that we are adaptable. You may wish to push the doom and gloom chicken little idea. I’m comfortable with the thousands of years of evidence that we can and willadapt to the challenges thrown at us and that the generations that follow us will be much better off than we ever were.

    If you don’t think it is strange to be criticising selected Western leaders from the conservative side of politics while China is committed to adding a coal fired power station every week then so be it, but it defies logic to see it as acceptable for China to continue to increase emissions at such a huge rate when total global emissions are the problem, not just western emissions.

    I’d still like to hear Bilb’s responses to my criticisms of the points on the GFC, NBN and RRT. TYVM

  232. Tyro Rex

    Why has this thread descended into the same old bullshit about Climate Change? OBR, you’re wrong, scientifically, philosophically, and morally. There’s no reason why anyone should listen to a science-denier about “what the science tells us” – your prior interpretation of it has been completely off the planet there’s no reason why we should listen now. And that’s the end of the argument, unless you can point to your article you got published in Nature or similar.

    Meanwhile Obama is announcing an American version of the BER. Because unlike what people like OBR, News Ltd, and the Party Of No may relentlessly assert incorrectly over and over again, all the evidence is that these programs produce good outcomes. And Obama knows it (may be two years too late for American politics though).

  233. adrian

    Because the same old bullshitters keep expounding the same old bullshit and well meaning people seem to think that countering bullshit with facts will convert the bullshitters away from bullshit.

    Never works, because bullshitters aren’t interested in facts, only bullshit.