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267 responses to “Overflow Thread”

  1. Nick Caldwell

    Anyone want to talk about the SEQ public transport review? I must say I got quite a start when I started typing in my usual route numbers to find they’d either been removed (despite high patronage, due to “redundancy”) or replaced with something less useful.

  2. Peter Murphy

    So leadership speculations are on-topic here? Here’s an article on Bill Shorten.

  3. Robbo

    Nick, I also got a start when I typed in my route number. To read that I would need to get a bus to one of the “high frequency hubs” and then change there just to get to the CBD, I’m just about at a point where I’m inclined to write to the minister.

  4. Peter Murphy

    Helen Abrahams, my local councillor, is fighting the good fight over buses. This is from one of her press releases:

    The 198 “Hail and Ride” Bus service has been cut. The 192 University, Highgate Hill, West End service has been cut.

    This means the residents of Highgate Hill have no bus service along Dornoch Terrace. Residents already have to walk up one of the steepest hills in Brisbane but now they have to walk even further to a bus service.

    She’s not joking either about the steepness, with Sankey street in particular having “1 in 3.9 incline; 14.4 degree angle, 26 per cent slope”. According to her:

    Translink will be conducting a survey from Monday 11 March until Sunday 24 March, so you may have the opportunity to comment directly. If not, send your comments to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Hon Scott Emerson, GPO Box 2644, Brisbane QLD 4001 or email [email protected]

  5. paul burns

    Oh, hell, why not? Shorten is a very bad idea for an alternative Labor leader. He is tainted by the same disloyalty and treachery that Gillard is tainted by. (as is Rudd.) If Labor is to win the next Fed. election they will have to put up either Combet or Smith. In me bones I think Combet is probably the best bet.
    And its not beyond possibility Labor can win if not led by Gillard. The other lot are led by an Abbott whose conversion to sanity is doubtful at least, and people like Erica Batz and that loony Islamaphobe – Cory some-one or other who, if he’s allowed to open his mouth, and I pray he will be – will lose the Libs more votes in Western Sydney in one sentence than Gillard has already managed to lose in her phony stay at the Rooty Hill pub, which was conspicuous by her absoluter failure to meet with the ppl- presumably because the ppl would’ve all come out with comments similar to those made by the anonymous tattooed lady, etc. etc.

  6. Nick Caldwell

    Nick, I also got a start when I typed in my route number. To read that I would need to get a bus to one of the “high frequency hubs” and then change there just to get to the CBD, I’m just about at a point where I’m inclined to write to the minister.

    Yeah, endless bus transfers aren’t really a starter for me, given the timing is usually off due to poor scheduling and the basic reality that bus services in and out of the city barely ever meet their arrival and departure goals. Don’t get me started on the ones that routinely leave early from their terminal stops.

  7. Cindel Towani

    [Moderator note: morphing your nym and other details to evade previous bans is a breach of the comments policy. Bye!]

  8. paul burns

    I don’t expect a progressive ALP. Rudd was not blindingly progressive on social issues but he wasn’t too bad on economic ones – the mining tax, the CPRS – even though that went nowhere in the end. Gillard OTOH for a leftie so-called was so much of a RWDB on refugees she would have left Abbott looking good if Scott Morrison and Abetz hadn’t opened their mouths. So was her stance on single parent pensions, with a policy that is a disgrace to every Labor principle imaginable.
    And Smith might lose his seat which is why he got an attack of common sense about Gillard, and got hauled over the coals about it.
    Ah, Cindel, you got me started now, see? :)

  9. PeterTB

    Given that they will lose Government at the next election regardless, I see a huge opportunity for Labor to ditch their hard left membership, and become a party for workers again.

    Let the leftists “enrich” the Greens as the extremists that they are.

  10. paul burns

    What hard left membership?

  11. Cindel Towani

    [Moderator note: morphing your nym and other details to evade previous bans is a breach of the comments policy. Bye!]

  12. Fran Barlow

    oops, forgot the sp@m trap:

    Cindy:

    It’s probably a reference to Lee Brown Rhiannon …

    Who is a member of The Greens not the ALP.

    Which ‘hard l&ft|sts’ are in the ALP? I’m not persuaded there are even many ‘soft-lefts’ in the parliamentary ALP these days. Maybe Doug Cameron? Are there others? Julia Irwin?

  13. Cindel Towani

    [Moderator note: morphing your nym and other details to evade previous bans is a breach of the comments policy. Bye!]

  14. paul burns

    Na. The ALP are teh commiesocialists. About 1910, I think. :)

  15. paul burns

    Some more pope stuff from Alaska.
    This one is really weird.
    http://www.adn.com/2013/03/11/2820619/as-conclave-approaches-benedict.html

  16. Terangeree

    Paul Burns @ 5:

    the anonymous tattooed lady

    I think her name might be Lydia.

  17. paul burns

    Terangeree @ 16,

    :)

  18. paul burns

    Over on the Destroy which Joint? thread there was a brief discussion of the Bechdel Test and Game of Thrones, which having just watched series 2 on DVD the other day is still one of my favourite shows. GOT passes the test a lot of the time – it has other issues for feminists I think – ( misogony perhaps, though that can be explained away by Daenys Targeryn triumphing in a weird way by the end of Series one, and the young King, whose name escapes me who is bad, is really, really evil so I guess he’ll get his come-uppance in the end/ don’t tell me if he doesn’t if you’ve read the books, I haven’t.)
    but the Bechdel Test isn’t one of them. So, after searching to find out more on the Bechdel Test & GOT – which is how I know GOT passed – I branched out into this post – It speaks for itself
    http://thehathorlegacy.com/why-film-schools-teach-screenwriters-not-to-pass-the-bechdel-test/
    So, if people want to go for it on this one ?

  19. Lefty E

    First indigenous head of govt in Australia – following NT leadership coup.

    A significant moment. Shame the LNP stole the march on the ALP, again, but nontheless.

    Is the ALP doing enough on indigenous representation? Question should be asked.

    Maybe they should try not to come last on marriage equality as well!

  20. Chris

    LeftyE @ 19 – isn’t it just a little bit dodgy to have a leadership vote while the leader is overseas?!

  21. paul burns

    Not when they’re Libs/Nats. Only when it is the ALP. :)

  22. Martin B

    isn’t it just a little bit dodgy to have a leadership vote while the leader is overseas?!

    And two other cabinet ministers away on official travel.

  23. Ambigulous

    The recent, governing party leadership changes in Victoria and NT may concentrate the minds of the Federal Parliamentary ALP. When to change? Just before Parliament rises, to minimise Question Time chaos/derision.

    I can’t see Kevin returning (it’s correct to say he’s been disloyal). Greg Combet is bright and industrious, but is he too self-effacing? [Ted Baillieu is bright, but never seemed comfortable as Premier.]

  24. paul burns

    Here I was hoping to settle down to start a pleasant night’s TV watching, when for the second time in a row in about a week and a half the Drum is cancelled. Last time because they were giving coverage to some moronic drongos who had been injecting themselves with drugs meant for horses to make themselves tougher. This time, because the Putrid Rabbit was making a speech to a rightwing think-tank. Bah!

  25. RWhite

    There was the briefest of flurries late yesterday arvo, re a suppose “shoulder tap” for the PM blah blah blah, barely time for it to trickle from Twitter to the blogosphere before fffffft snuffed out by all sides.

    At last report, source unknown. Liberal mischief? Mebbe. Faceless Bruce up to his tricks? P’raps. Mere excess of post-lunch viognier among the suited classes? Quite possible.

    Still, it’s certainly the case -from a very reliable ordinary voter – that Rudd is busily whispering away in the backround. All you have to do is stroke him a little at a public gathering, out of camera/mike range, and he’ll tell you he’s (quoting) “chipping away at it”. Very foolish.

    Frankly, Gillard as PM has made some sizable mis-steps, but in action she is better by far than the glacial sludge of Rudd’s endless micro-managed delay, delay, delay. All Labor’s problems stem from that lost period under Rudd, in my opinion.

    Their best course, in my mind, is to exert all the spine they have and back PM Gillard to the hilt, right to the bitter end. She’s got the guts for it, at least, whatever the result. In my mind, a spill now would be a stupid, stupid thing, symptom of a principle-less party in terminal decay. I could not vote for a Rudd led Labor Party. Are you listening, Bruce? Kevin?

    While a Labor victory *may* yet be possible, a LNP majority does seem the most likely result at present. The task will then be to see if they can make some effort to govern fairly for the whole country. And to hold them to acount, fairly and reasonably, whenever they start spewing factoids, insult, and policies aimed squarely at PLT.

    I’d rather it wasn’t another hung parliament/minority govt: though the look on LNPs faces on Election night would be priceless.

  26. RWhite

    Uh. Clearly 25 would’ve been better posted here
    http://larvatusprodeo.net/archives/2013/03/not-so-great-expectations/
    Oh well. Is it time for me cocoa, now, Nurse?

  27. Guy

    I really have no idea what to think of this piece from Bob Gosford. No idea at all. When it comes to leadership speculation, we are far beyond parody.

  28. tigtog

    My own history of judging when spills are imminent is extremely poor, as it seems to always appear a poor electoral strategy to me (at least for a party holding government), but obviously the numbers move about in ways that those of us on the outside cannot clearly ascertain.

    Gosford’s piece is a nice bit of pattern matching, but it won’t mean anything if the numbers in caucus don’t see or don’t like that same pattern.

  29. RWhite

    Thinking sideways a little, I wonder if fixed 4 year terms would make a difference, in reducing the amount of fevered media/blog/partisan speculation – on any big topic. Perhaps it’s just a natural result of big media preferring hot-press opinion to news and rational analysis.

    On LP, there’s plenty of stuff on actual politics, policy and news – much more worth spending time thinking about than reacting to unsourced fluff about who may or may not be trying to game what behind the scenes.

    Stuff to do. There’s an interesting Labor & economy comment somewhere on another thread I’d like to think about, maybe later. No time now.

  30. Brian

    Laurie Oakes says the story has been put around, but that a tap on the shoulder isn’t on and in any case wouldn’t work. (Google “Oakes Its very hard to imagine Gillard” to get around the paywall.)

    I listened to question time on Thursday. In that arena she was super confident and at the top of her game. Admittedly Geoff Kitney in the AFR wrote that up as Gillard in desperation mode, but Kitney has been unremittingly negative about Gillard.

  31. RWhite

    Meanwhile, the Tele is not paywalled for some reason, so here’s
    Oakes:
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/mps-tap-dance-but-gillard-stands-firm/story-e6frezz0-1226598479033

    I’m paying no further attention to this cage rattling – rather see what actual events unfold over the next week.

    Really do gotta fly…

  32. tigtog

    Over at Australians for Honest Politics, they’ve has just posted a list compiled by @Thefinnigans of dozens and dozens of news articles and op-eds since May 2011 that have each announced/called for Gillard’s imminent demise.

  33. Nick Caldwell

    But if the brawl with the media causes a slump in Labor support in next week’s Nielsen poll

    Seriously? What actual voter in this plane of reality would give even the slightest damn about the media and Labor stoushing with one another? I expected a little better of Laurie Oakes than this level of narcissism.

  34. RWhite

    re 33: It didn’t. Up +1% pt in fact. Given the poll error, nothing to shout about – effectively either steady or perhaps inclined to rise.

    However, there’s more than one bandwagon effect. The one in play today is media bandwagon – or “thumb on the scales”, if you will.

    By sub-editor sleight of hand, SMH reports this result as (front page digital headline):
    “Landslide: Voters Desert Gillard”
    at odds with the article header and content, but there it is.

    It’s only one poll, but this is the sort of sloppiness that is poisoning public debate, and it comes from all quarters – press, politicians, party supporters, Left and Right.

    Better far to have – to demand – factual, rational debate, minus factoids, minus spin and minus insult. To call out such trash wherever it pops up. Whether it’s on blogs like this, in the media, or in Parties and Parliaments.

  35. Martin B

    I have a general question I’d be pleased if the athiests answered: Have any of you guys had supernatural experiences, you know, ghosts and things, and what did you make of them then?

    I’ve had plenty of uncanny experiences, but nothing that was clearly something that could not have been a product of my own brain. The brain is, after all, one of the most complex, powerful and inscrutable mechanisms that we know of.

  36. Casey

    Thanks Martin B.

  37. tigtog

    re supernatural experiences, I’ve had a couple – some minor New-Agey-astral-walking things, and one full on vision experience which took me a while to process. The iconography of the vision was pagan, so I investigated some neopagan/Wicca readings/practices for a while in an attempt to make sense of my experience, but I also read a lot more on neuropsychology and cognitive processes at the same time. In the end I came to the conclusion that the most probable explanation of my vision was that I’d had some neural synaptic flashes which my brain then incorporated into a narrative in similar process to a waking dream, and what it came up with was a bunch of symbology that fit into pictures in my imagination from all the fantasy fiction I’d been reading for many years. The less overwhelming sensations of astral-walking etc seem to most likely be the result of less intense neural events.

    So, to cut short the TL;DR – pretty much what MartinB said about products of my own brain.

  38. Casey

    Thanks Tigs. Interesting!

  39. Fran Barlow

    I have a general question I’d be pleased if the athiests answered: Have any of you guys had supernatural experiences, you know, ghosts and things, and what did you make of them then?

    And like Martin B, I’ve never had observed anything that could not be explained by recourse to perfectly orthodox physics. One of my students has developed a passion for card tricks — and very impressive he is at doing them as well. I genuinely don’t know how he managed to do the things he appeared to be doing.

    I don’t believe in magic as a result however.

  40. Pavlov's Cat

    Yes, I’ve had a few too. No religious visions or iconography, more in the way of ESP and hauntings, and one particularly weird winter when the two people I was closest to were in New York and Antarctica respectively and whenever either of them emailed me in the middle of the Australian night I would wake bolt upright out of a sound sleep, check the computer and see that a message from one or the other had just arrived. This happened dozens of times. I have no idea whether or in what way this could qualify as a product of my own brain. I think there are an awful lot of things we don’t know yet, many of which will eventually be explained by neuroscience or physics. Have you read that chilling piece of Hilary Mantel’s about encountering evil in the garden? (!)

  41. Fran Barlow

    And just very briefly on the ongoing ‘Ruddstoration’ talk …

    1. I’m unconvinced that Gillard’s replacement with Rudd will lead to any better result for the ALP on September 14
    2. I regard it as probable that it would lead to a worse performance for the ALP, since it would once again entail a contest between two opposition leaders; allow multiple lines of political attack that are well attested including, ironically, the claim that Gillard’s misogyny speech had been repudiated by the ALP; lead to much bitterness within the party about a whiteanter being rewarded;
    3. Winning under Rudd would probably be no better (and probably a lot worse) in the longer run for the ALP than losing under Gillard, because once again it would place the effective leadership of the ALP in the hands of people hostile to it — the Murdochracy and their allies and drive a permanent wedge into the party. A loss in which Rudd was finally dispensed with would be a step forward, even allowing that Gillard herself also vanished into political oblivion.

    The ALP needs very soon to spend some quality time with itself figuring out how it got itself into this mess and can’t do that while Rudd is in the frame. A win under Gillard or a loss under her are probably the only options for starting that process.

  42. Mercurius

    Casey, no supernatural experiences over here. But some of the natural ones have been pretty entertaining and/or unnerving!

  43. Casey

    Have you read that chilling piece of Hilary Mantel’s about encountering evil in the garden? (!)

    Yep. Just one of the freakiest things I have ever read. I was officially scared for about a week. In the dark. Even though Hillary Mantel saw this in the daytime. Go figure.

    So everyone is coming down to brain things and science unexplained. Thanks everyone!

  44. Casey

    Thanks, Merc, good to talk to you again!

  45. Casey

    Thank you Fran for that, though as a witch I am sorry you don’t believe in magic.

    Here is that experience from Hilary Mantel, the Booker winner who no longer believes in God, as I read it:

    During this time, she discovered that her house was haunted. It wasn’t only she who felt it—she overheard adults talking about the ghosts as well. She realized that they were as frightened as she was, and were helpless to protect her. She already understood that the world was denser and more crowded than her senses could perceive: there were ghosts, but even those dead who were not ghosts still existed; she was used to hearing talk in which family members alive and dead were discussed without distinction. The dead seemed to her only barely dead.

    Until she was twelve or so, she was deeply religious. “When you’re inculcated with religion at such an early age, or when you’re receptive to it, as I was, you become preoccupied with the unseen reality,” she says. “This other world, the next world, to me in my childhood seemed just as real as the world I was living in. It wasn’t that I had a mental picture of it—it was that I never questioned its existence. I used to conduct a lot of imaginary conversations with God. I don’t think Jesus was any less real to me than my aunts and uncles; the fact that I happened not to be able to see him was pretty irrelevant to me.”

    She felt, as a child, in a permanent state of sin. There was something terribly wrong about her, for which she was to blame, but which she had only limited ability to change. Catholic guilt continued to grip her even after she stopped believing in God. Her family’s misery was encompassing and bewildering, and was it not likely that she was responsible for making her parents so unhappy? Might they not, without her, have a chance at a better life? But these suspicions were not so powerful as the effect of a thing that happened to her one day that she cannot explain.

    She was seven or eight, and she was playing in the garden behind her house. She looked up. There was something there, in the coarse grass beyond the gate.

    I can’t see anything, not exactly see: except the faintest movement, a ripple, a disturbance of the air.

    In her memoir, she says that she cannot write about this—technically, her prose isn’t up to it.

    There is nothing to see. There is nothing to smell. There is nothing to hear. But its motion, its insolent shift, makes my stomach heave. I can sense—at the periphery, the limit of all my senses—the dimensions of the creature. It is as high as a child of two. Its depth is a foot, fifteen inches.

    She couldn’t see it, but she knew that it was evil. She understood, too, that it had contaminated her.

    Grace runs away from me, runs out of my body like liquid from a corpse.

    She had sinned: she had seen what no human was meant to see. She hadn’t just seen—she had looked. And therefore she was complicit with the thing, and it was now inside her.

    My first thought is that I have seen the devil, that he did not wholly intend to show himself, and that I have only seen him because of a careless mistake on his part. I know that if you observe other people’s mistakes—and they know you have observed them—they will make you suffer for it.

    This encounter shadowed her for years. “It soured my view of the universe, and I felt on much more precarious ground. Until then, I thought the unseen reality was my friend, and after that I didn’t think that anymore,” she says. “I felt that God had done nothing for me in that moment. He might not be as strong as I’d imagined, and forces of evil seemed to be romping about unchecked.

    Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/10/15/121015fa_fact_macfarquhar#ixzz2Ns5FQnde

  46. Lefty E

    Well, that a yes from me, but you have to break on through to the other thread to read it. :p

  47. Casey

    Lefty E, more questions, sorry I can’t help myself: These energies, do they convey their issues? Are some benign, some not?

  48. mindy

    @Fran

    I suspect that a lot of the ‘pref PM’ figures are being skewed by LNP voters who wouldn’t vote for either Rudd nor Gillard in a pink fit, but say that they would prefer Rudd. I believe that for Labor voters Gillard is still preferred. It’s the same with Abbott and Turnbull. Lots of Labor voters would prefer Malcolm given the option.

  49. mindy

    I have seen my Dad sitting in a seat in my brother’s loungeroom at Christmas smiling at us (his family and my Mum’s second husband) opening our presents (in a house he had never been in). When I looked back he had gone. I have seen my dead cat trotting in front of my feet just like she did when she was alive. I often think I see something out of the corner of my eye and I dream of people and things reaching out to me quite often, usually with bad intent.

    But nothing that probably couldn’t be explained by a competent psych :)

  50. Chris

    Mindy – last Newspoll preferred PM by ALP voters only was Gillard 46 vs Rudd 42 which iirc has been getting narrower. With all voters it’s Rudd 44 vs Gillard 25. So you’re basically correct. However if the ALP is going to win the next election or at least not go down QLD style then they have to get some of those currently saying they’ll vote for the LNP to change their mind and if its Gillard’s leadership which is keeping them away then the ALP need to take that into account.

  51. Pavlov's Cat

    ‘So everyone is coming down to brain things and science unexplained.’

    Not quite. I can’t tell you why I began to feel so ill and full of dread that I almost fainted as I approached the old disused well on a nostalgia visit with my father to my home town, something I’d never got close to when I was a kid and we lived there. When I staggered back to the car I said to my father (who was sitting in it reading the paper) ‘How many dead children are there down there, for God’s sake?’ and he suddenly looked very grim and said ‘Just the one.’ A little boy the same age as him had fallen the whole 120 feet onto the rocky ledge just above the waterline and been (of course) killed on New Year’s Eve 1936. Perhaps limestone absorbs intense emotion and radiates it back. Auden had something to say about that.

  52. Fran Barlow

    Casey:

    Thank you Fran for that, though as a witch I am sorry you don’t believe in magic.

    As you avow your connection with the elemental forces — my belief is moot. Blessed Be!

    @Mindy

    Very much so. Why wouldn’t the Liberal faithful want to knock off two first term ALP PMs in sequence? That would be a record of sorts, surely?

    I’m no fan of the ALP or Gillard, but it’s pretty easy to see that the major upside in a leadership change of the ALP is for the LNP.

  53. Martin B

    I wouldn’t describe the complex operation of the mind as conventional physics myself, at least not in the sense that there is an established conventional understanding of the physics involved. I think the ability of the mid to create and recreate fully experienced realities is quite extraordinary and I am constantly surprised by what seems to me to be a treatment of these processes as straightforward, and based on objective sensory stimuli.

  54. Martin B

    So everyone is coming down to brain things and science unexplained.

    These things seem to be very powerfully experienced by human (and canine ;-) ) observers, and yet curiously impervious to recording by machines. That’s not proof of anything, but it is at least suggestive that the human observer might be playing a crucial role.

  55. Fran Barlow

    Chris

    However if the ALP is going to win the next election or at least not go down QLD style then they have to get some of those currently saying they’ll vote for the LNP to change their mind and if its Gillard’s leadership which is keeping them away then the ALP need to take that into account. {my emphasis}

    It isn’t. Anyone who is inclined to vote ALP will do so no matter who is in charge. Anyone who will only consider voting ALP if Rudd is returned is being disingenuous and even if they aren’t they are not worth having. They are more trouble than they are worth.

  56. Pavlov's Cat

    These things seem to be very powerfully experienced by human (and canine ;-) * ) observers, and yet curiously impervious to recording by machines.

    Ah, but this is what happens when you try …

    *and feline

  57. Pavlov's Cat

    Okay, so I have no idea what happened there, possibly something a little woo, but if you click on the word ‘feline’ it will take you to the link I meant to send you to.

  58. Tim Macknay

    On the “supernatural” question, I’ve also had the odd hallucination and otherwise weird experience, including some stuff that the closest descriptions I’ve found in the literature (so to speak) are those of so-called alien abductees.

    I tend to think “it’s me mind playin’ tricks on me”, as the saying goes, but I don’t really have a good explanation for it. Nor do I feel I need one – the human experience is strange.

    I don’t find the supernatural-y (or science-fiction-y) explanations particularly compelling, but mind you the science-y ones aren’t much chop either. I’m no supernaturalist, but nor do I buy into what Raymond Tallis likes to call “neuromania”. i.e. the habit of claiming that everything is neural activity, pointing to a brain scan, and thereby pretending you’ve explained it.

  59. Salient Green

    Casey, I am not an atheist but I had my first uncanny encounters at age 43 at Port Arthur. The first was in the solitary block where I had the feeling that some little creep in a particular cell was daring me to come inside and see what it was like. I did. And shut the door. I could feel him in there with me, laughing. I got out quicker than normal.
    The next was the Post office. A room to the left of the front door, empty but brightly lit from the morning sun, inviting until I stepped in and the hackles went up and wanted to retreat. No idea why. Found out later when reading a pamphlet on ghost tours that the PO was the most haunted building at Port Arthur.
    The third was at the Old Ararat gaol 5 yrs ago, as soon as I walked into the meat smoking room hackles went up and wanted out. The tour guide then explained to our group that this was the most haunted room at the gaol.
    My wife was ‘extremely perceptive’ when we first met and the kids were young, knowing who was behind the ringing phone or the knock on the door. She’s lost a lot of that now though.
    Hope this is of interest.

  60. Casey

    It is Salient, I had those feelings at Port Arthur too, when I visited before the massacre. There was a feeling in the remnants of the church, hackles and that. And also those cells. I thought I was being overwhelmed by the idea of what the prisoners must have endured. You know the guards hooded their heads and wore socks and things, no noise and no names. It drove people insane. It felt like that anguish was everywhere.

  61. Casey

    Put it this way, when the massacre happened, you would think if it was going to happen anywhere in Tas, it would be there. The site is full of pain.

  62. Mercurius

    Could everyone please just go and read Carl Sagan’s ‘The Demon-Haunted World’ (1995) and then we’ll continue the discussion? It covers — compassionately, respectfully and charitably — every spooky anecdote mentioned up-thread from seeing dead pets/relatives to hallucinations, to abductions, to detecting evil presences, etc.

    Enjoy the natural world. It’s far more wondrous and amazing than anything we can or have made up. And the reason machines haven’t been able to capture the phantasmagoria we experience is because even our most exquisitely sensitive recording devices are several dozen orders of magnitude less complex than the jelly in your head.

    Live long and prosper*.

    *I hate Star Trek.

  63. Pavlov's Cat

    I will read it, Merc, but I have an automatic mistrust of any closed system of explanation (for anything) that purports to cover all the bases.

  64. tigtog

    I’ll second Merc’s recommendation for Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World – covering every anecdote mentioned on this thread is not the same as claiming to cover all the bases, and Sagan is comprehensive and compassionate, not dogmatic.

  65. Chris

    It isn’t. Anyone who is inclined to vote ALP will do so no matter who is in charge.

    That’s quite an assertion – do you have any evidence for that? Do you think that also applies to the Liberal party?

  66. dexitroboper

    No supernatural experiences for me, even though I went to Port Arthur looking for them and have had a great time on Ghost Walks in York, Edinburgh and Dublin learning some out of the way history. I have been to numerous ruined cathedrals, ancient cemeteries and stone circles in the UK and Ireland, none of which showed any signs of anything uncanny to me. I even went to some with a witch of my acquaintance. I think its pretty clear from scientific studies that the brain is quite capable of manufacturing feelings, sensory experience and memories even when there is no external input.

  67. Casey

    I will read it too. I’m interested in this phenomenon.

  68. Lefty E

    Lefty E, more questions, sorry I can’t help myself: These energies, do they convey their issues? Are some benign, some not?

    Some are benign – the one I grew up with just went up and down the hall without apparently sensing anyone of us there. Which I see as trapped energy of some sort.

    Others are angry, or lost; occasionally mischievious.

    It doesnt happen a lot, which is my point in a way. But it happens. I could give examples of each, but some other time.

  69. Lefty E

    Fran: votes that are not worth having?

    This argument wont travel long or far in the ALP.

  70. Lefty E

    The funny thing is I dont believe in supernatural phenomena either – just the ones I’ve experienced.

  71. Mercurius

    … an automatic mistrust of any closed system of explanation (for anything) that purports to cover all the bases.

    Then you’ll be pleasantly surprised, Dr. Cat. For whatever else Sagan’s philosophy of science may be, it is not a ‘closed system’.

  72. Brett

    I second Mercurius’s recommendation of Sagan (but I also recommend the Fortean Times, my favouritest magazine ever). One of the things he talks about is sleep paralysis with hypnanogic hallucinations, AKA ‘the old hag’, which I’ve experienced on several occasions. If I hadn’t known about it beforehand they would have fallen into the category of ‘supernatural hallucinations’. I wrote about it on my blog once, in the context of how historians should deal with supernatural claims (ESH is the ‘experiential source hypothesis’ and the CSH and is ‘cultural source hypothesis’ — more or less that we treat claims as real or as culturally inspired, respectively):

    By the way, I’ve met the old hag myself. I occasionally suffer from sleep paralysis, which sometimes happens in that hazy zone between sleep and consciousness. Your body is rigid, you can’t move or speak, and you feel a crushing weight on your chest, suffocating you. It’s quite terrifying, but it’s not uncommon: perhaps a fifth of the population experience it at least once in their lives. I’ve also had associated hypagogic hallucinations, which are somewhat rarer. On at least three occasions I ‘saw’ the face of an entity, which I felt was malevolent. Once it was an old hag. Another time, it was a demonic figure. And another, a grey. In terms of the ESH, this is a bit confusing — it’s like the whole catalogue of old hag traditions in one brain. If there was a real entity attacking me, then why did I interpret it as something different each time? Simpler by far to go with the CSH: I was already well aware of hypnagogic hallucinations when I had my experiences, and I already knew something of the variety they can take (for example, they may help explain alien abduction reports). Easier to believe my mind was playing tricks on me than that all these different supernatural creatures were taking turns to scare me in my sleep. Or to put it another way, what’s the more parsimonious explanation: that I saw something real and my subconscious changed what I saw to fit some image I already held in my mind, or that my subconscious just created what I saw to fit some image I already held in my mind? I think the latter.

    It has to be said, though, that sleep paralysis seems to be poorly understood by science. It could be argued that it’s a ‘scientific’ explanation that explains nothing but reassures me that I’m not under supernatural assault. It hasn’t happened to me for about a decade so it doesn’t really matter any more.

    Otherwise, when I was a kid I saw a few UFOs when I was an active stargazer, but nothing that couldn’t be explained prosaically. And once I saw the bus driver holding his cash box by the handle on top, and thought to myself ‘wouldn’t it be funny if it flew open and all his money fell out’, which is exactly what happened. Again, I could interpret that supernaturally (precognition? telekinesis?) but there’s no need to; it was a one off and so I can easily put it down to coincidence. Odd sensations from time to time, déjà vu and so on, but nothing that seems inexplicable. No religious experiences, per the other thread.

  73. Martin B

    People who take hallucinogenic drugs, or who have mental illness can have intensely vivid, real experiences, and most people have no trouble accepting that they are the product of (complex) mental processes.

    People who are not on drugs or with mental health problems have vivid experiences and a lot of people want to take this as evidence of external phenomena.

    Again, this is not proof of anything and I’m not in the habit of telling people what to think. But personally I’m less than convinced. As I suggested above I find ‘ghosts’ to be an overly simple explanation when there is a known mechanism of great complexity hanging about.

  74. Pavlov's Cat

    Others are angry, or lost; occasionally mischievious.

    I’ve only ever had this experience of (apparently) ‘trapped energies’ once, in the shabby-elegant 19thC terrace house I lived in in Brunswick, where I once encountered a very, very angry Something on the stairs. But it was not angry with me, and, as you say, LE, seemed to have nothing to do with me or know I was there. Fortunately.

  75. Lefty E

    Most don’t in my own experience Pav. You can be in the way of it though.

    Martin, I hear you, and am overwhelmingly inclined to agree by disposition – but cant in all honesty. One point: hallucinations are rarely place-dependent, having to do states of mind, they are transportable. Thats not my experience of what Im talking about – in the least. Some places have them, others dont. You can reside in one for a year, and go through the whole range of states of mind available, and: zippo. Where another place is different.

    I think they are trapped energy or echo of some sort. This doesnt preclude an organic explanation, though Im buggered if i know what it would be.

    I dont especially mind whether it sounds credible or otherwise, and never bring it up, since its not something that conforms with my own view of myself. Id rather it didnt occur at all frankly. I must say im getting less attuned with age as well.

    Like I say, I see no religious implications at all. Its the unfinished business of some human lives.

  76. Fran Barlow

    Chris:

    That’s quite an assertion – do you have any evidence for that?

    Of course not. How could I?

    Do you think that also applies to the Liberal party?

    Absolutely.

    People in my experience do what they feel like and find rationalisations to overcome their reservations — for good or ill. They will grizzle about being messed about by friends and partners, or get the hump about some issue, but in the end, unless the issue is existential, they don’t shift.

    As to those who are genuinely uncommitted, the idea that the sight of the ALP going weak at the knees over Newspoll and returning Rudd to power would persuade a bunch of them in QLD and NSW marginals to switch sounds simply bizarre.

    The suggestion simply doesn’t describe anyone I’ve ever heard of, and if there are such people, I’d regard them as arrant fools, and have an even more pessimistic view of Australian politics than I do now.

    Lefty E

    Fran: votes that are not worth having?

    This argument wont travel long or far in the ALP.

    That describes much of their problem.

  77. Tim Macknay

    Brett, yes, sleep paralysis and hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations are one of the explanations put forward for alien abduction-type experiences. I’ve had some of them as well.

  78. Peter Murphy

    As to those who are genuinely uncommitted, the idea that the sight of the ALP going weak at the knees over Newspoll and returning Rudd to power would persuade a bunch of them in QLD and NSW marginals to switch sounds simply bizarre.

    Fran: it makes complete sense to me. A lot of people are not so much uncommitted as indifferent to the parties. More emotional commitment or disavowal is shown towards their leaders.

    My observations are that there are a lot more people who like Rudd than Gillard, and there are a lot more people who dislike Gillard more than Rudd. That’s not really a problem, except there are also a lot of people who dislike Gillard more than Abbott.

    Your observations may be different; Rudd is and remains my local MP. But a lot of the locals like the man; I do myself, even if I know he’s a bad micro-manager. Whatever happens, I want his opponent, Dr. Glasson, crushed.

  79. verity violet

    I’m a bit of a cynical, but still would describe myself as a ‘spriritual’ atheist, I am intrigued by this discussion of unexplained experiences. I had a few as a younger person. Maybe a less cluttered mind is a little sharper and more observant? Less individualised? Maybe more in tune with some collective unconscious shared by people.

    In many ways humans behave like a virus, and we are uncannily good at linking in all sorts of ways with each other. We spend an awful lot of time replicating ourselves and adapting our reactions to our environments through children, and writing and art and now online. We seem to be programmed to catalogue and share and reproduce our life experiences.

    I can’t imagine dying breaks all those links and so we seem to be able to experience the collective unconscious through odd moments when we ‘break through’ and see or feel all the layers of lived experience that are around…

  80. Fran Barlow

    Peter Murphy:

    Your observations may be different; Rudd is and remains my local MP. But a lot of the locals like the man; I do myself, even if I know he’s a bad micro-manager.

    I began quite liking him, which is odd because as the Dean Mighell and Joe McDonald events showed, he didn’t feel the least defensive in the company of rightwingers. Here was someone who was viscerally and reflexively hostile to organised labour. I suppose I’ve accepted that that is just how the ALP is these days.

    He presented as articulate and educated and in favour of acting on climate change. He spoke an exotic language fluently — which always impresses (even though it probably shouldn’t) and threatened to make Australia look a little more cosmopolitan. He’d read at least something on philosophy.

    All that though is surely irrelevant — or at least — it should be. People ought to vote on the basis of what policies they think the party will try to implement, and to some extent, whether they think that the party, if it wins, will succeed or make progress — either for good or ill. Beyond such questions, who is in charge ought to be a matter of indifference. If you are about to eat something tasty, or alternatively, something foul, does it really matter which packaging it comes in or whether there is a cute toy in the box and a 2-for-1 voucher? Not really.

    We have had Ruddstoration since about June 2010. The drumbeat of Murdochratic-led-trolling has been loud and incessant. The party had a chance to reinstate him in Febnruary 2001 and decisively passed on the chance — quite explicitly — because most of them found him simply egregious to work with. In a party where people like Obeid and McDonald and Belinda Neil and Stephen Loosely and Michael Costa and Joe deBruyn and Paul Howes can survive, calling Rudd egregious is pretty damning. If they restored Rudd now, it would look like the most unprincipled and desperate manoeuvering. He was called a psychopath in public and nobody bobbed up to say it wasn’t so. Nobody could take the party seriously, surely — and while the faithful would vote as they always do, surely anyone else would simply look askance.

    I’ve long accepted that there are in this country, a very large number of people who are at best frivolous in their attempts to apprehend the social and political world and very gullible, but I resist the idea that there can be many who would be sufficiently frivolous and gullible to rely on such a sequence of events in determining their vote.

    Is that really what has happened to this country? If so, how did I miss that? And if that is indeed the dreadful condition into which Australian politics has slipped without anyone even sounding the alarm, could Abbott make things any worse, even allowing that he did win? It’s hard to see how.

  81. mindy

    He was called a psychopath in public and nobody bobbed up to say it wasn’t so.

    There was a good reason for that!

  82. j_p_z

    In a sense there’s no such thing as the “supernatural” since everything that exists, simply exists, whether we can understand it or not. It’s only fairly recently we’ve been able to detect x-rays or solar wind or ultraviolet light, but they were there all along. “Supernatural” events neither confirm nor diminish my religious view. There’s simply a great deal about the fabric of reality that we don’t comprehend.

    That said, I have two very sane, intelligent friends who experienced paranormal events which they found intensely disturbing — one was so troubled that he wrote a whole book about it.

    Only one such thing ever happened to me, and it can be easily explained away normally, but it’s interesting all the same.

    A family member was in the hospital during the final phase of a terminal illness. We were all there, keeping a round the clock vigil to be with him when the end came: he was comatose. The hospital’s official visiting hours ended at 10 PM, (ie you couldn’t enter the building after 10) but since we were already inside, they didn’t make us leave.

    At about 3 o’clock in the morning I took a break from the hospital room and went out to the lobby, by the elevator banks, to get some air. As I was standing there an elevator opened and a woman stepped out: beautiful, about 40, very elegantly dressed entirely in black. Think of Grace Kelly in formal mourning. She went down the hall silently. I thought to myself, she isn’t a visitor because it’s too late, she’s too expensively dressed to be a nurse or an attendant, she might be a doctor but this is an odd hour to come in. I thought, well if Central Casting was going to send over the Angel of Death, she’s perfect. That made me think I’d better get back to the hospital room.

    You know what I’m going to say next. The instant I entered the room, my family member passed away.

  83. paul burns

    j-p-z,
    Wow!
    Best ghost story I’ve heard in a while.

  84. Casey

    Well, Japez. I have an inexplicable one. I was four months old and lying in a crib next to my mother’s bed. Late that night, 11 pm – she looked at the clock – she reached out to see if the baby blanket was covering me when she felt another hand settle on top of hers. The hand stroked her hand. Then the feeling disappeared. A few days later, a telegram telling her that her father, to whom she was close, died. It was precisely at 11 pm Sydney time that he went.

  85. paul burns

    F-aaaaark!
    If anybody knows anything about the details of this, be careful what you say. I don’t think its any secret that Torbay would probably not hesitate to sue if it was brought to his attention some-one said something out of turn.
    FTR, I know nothing.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-20/torbay-referred-to-icac/4584578

  86. mindy

    Will be interesting to see what comes of it. Have no idea what it is all about but if it replaces leadership speculation for a while that can only be a good thing.

  87. Katz

    Perhaps Mr Torbay wishes to spend more time with his family.

  88. Ambigulous

    Yes, that must be it, Katz.

    But first he may need to spend a little time with ICAC.
    Under law, their edicts must always be obeid.

  89. Salient Green

    j-p-z, I especially like your first paragraph, says it for me.
    I’m looking forward to visiting an auntie who, after my mum died last year says she has a few stories to tell from her nursing days.
    Richard Fidler did an interveiw with a lady who investigates hauntings.
    She tells the story of chatting to someone at the Old Adelaide Gaol, high up one of the walkways and they heard footsteps coming up the stairs and then towards them but they could see no one. The sound of the footsteps passed between them and continued on.
    She still won’t admit to believing in ghosts.

  90. faustusnotes

    I’ve never had a supernatural experience.

    I also have a theory as to a small piece of evidence that suggests that ghosts are not real… why is it there are no ghosts at Auschwitz? If ghosts are caused by people’s lives ending prematurely or wrongly, spirits not ready to leave or waiting around for justice, then Auschwitz (&c) would be the prime sites for ghostage, and we would be inundated by reports of same. Every schoolkid in Germany has to visit those sites … and yet, there is not really any noticable kind of internet movement of people claiming to have seen them. No central clearinghouse of information about them. No pictures. Nothing.

    Why?

    My theory is that everyone knows that it is in bad taste to claim that you saw a ghost at Auschwitz, because everyone knows deep down that ghosts are just stories, ghost stories are told for thrills/attention/salacity and it’s deeply wrong to trivialize the holocaust in that way. So people don’t tell those stories.

    Similarly, I have attended the evening of Hiroshima day, when the lanterns float down the river, and to the best of my knowledge no one has seen a ghost of a victim. There should be thousands congregating around those lanterns. Not only that – you never hear of a tourist returning from that town and saying they saw ghosts.

    I think these stories are not told for the same reason that there are no 9/11 jokes. Some events are too terrible to attract certain forms of popular culture froth… but in the case of Auschwitz, Hiroshima and other such atrocities, the standard explanations for supernatural activity suggest that if it has any basis in fact, those supernatural experiences would be unavoidable.

  91. FDB

    ““Supernatural” events neither confirm nor diminish my religious view. There’s simply a great deal about the fabric of reality that we don’t comprehend.”

    What does your ‘religious view’ show you Jape-easy? Why did you even bring it up? Is it contingent on the ‘fabric of reality’?

    My view, irreligious though it be, is very much contingent on the fabric of reality. I thought the big advantage of religious belief was getting you off that hook.

    Maybe when you say ‘reality’ you mean something different to me.

    And we’re back where we started.

  92. j_p_z

    “Maybe when you say ‘reality’ you mean something different”

    Die Welt ist ALLES, was der Fall ist. (Wittgenstein). (“The world consists of EVERYTHING which is the case.”) A tautology, some would say, but they’d be wrong. As good a definition as you’ll find in a fortnight’s march, I reckon.

    Was IST der Fall, Herr Fancy? Can you say you know for sure? All of it?

    “the big advantage of religious belief was getting you off the hook”

    What hook do you mean? Or maybe… _which_ hook? After all, there are hooks, and then there are hooks. I’m reminded of the “Hook” in Cat’s Cradle; but that puts me in mind of ice-nine, too, another kind of hook; and the Books of Bokonon, and the foma, and before you know it we’re off to the races. What a pisser of a read, I may just go read it again, now I’ve thought of it.

    My grandfather was a fisherman, he knew about hooks. But he also knew about nets. Peter was a fisherman too, both literally, and, well… literally.

    So many levels.

    “I won’t be afraid,
    When my ears ring
    And my head hurts,
    I’ll be on your good side…”
    – Kristin Hersh, Throwing Muses

  93. Lefty E

    In a sense there’s no such thing as the “supernatural” since everything that exists, simply exists, whether we can understand it or not. It’s only fairly recently we’ve been able to detect x-rays or solar wind or ultraviolet light, but they were there all along. “Supernatural” events neither confirm nor diminish my religious view. There’s simply a great deal about the fabric of reality that we don’t comprehend.

    Indeed. Couldnt put it better.

  94. Lefty E

    I dont know if its been mentioned laready, but there’s also tendency of the rational mind – in preservation of its self-image – to discount experiences that are not readily comprehensible.

    Like watching ‘Lost’. I simply pretend that never happened now.

  95. David Irving (no relation)

    Actually, faustusnotes, there were a couple of jokes about the 9th of November.

  96. David Irving (no relation)

    japerz, as always, you make me think. Really hard.

    I have to agree, that there is no such thing as the supernatural. (Apologies to Stevie Wonder.) I’m not convinced there’s such a thing as Wittgenstein, either …

  97. faustusnotes

    I know DI(nr), but they were rare and didn’t get passed around – I didn’t hear any for months afterwards, and can’t remember any now. In comparison there were many about the original space shuttle disaster (seven up and a dash of teachers, etc). The rapidity with which jokes about such things enter the public arena, their variety and extent of interchange, says a lot about how seriously we view the events.

  98. faustusnotes

    I think this is the best analysis of supernatural events yet presented:

    Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen *anything* to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. ‘Cause no mystical energy field controls *my* destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.

    And look how right Han Solo was about everything!!

  99. j_p_z

    DI(nr) — Heh. So long as you’re prepared to admit that Pizza exists, but that you haven’t yet been fortunate enough to encounter it in person…

  100. David Irving (no relation)

    Bullshit, japerz. I make pizza, I don’t encounter it.

    My sons all worked at various times at the best pizzeria in Adelaide at the time (Paradise Pizza – owned and operated by actual Italians), and they taught me that more is less.

  101. Ambigulous

    … and to eat there was to experience Paradise on Earth?

  102. David Irving (no relation)

    Maybe that should be “less is more”, japerz. Anyway, the zen of the pizza, which I guess kind of proves your point about pizza being a metaphysical food, now that I think about it.

  103. David Irving (no relation)

    Not quite paradise on earth, ambigulous, but they were damn fine pizzas (although occasionally you got a touch of the squitters – some of their employees weren’t quite as knowledgeable about food safety as they should’ve been).

  104. j_p_z

    DI(nr) — well, while I must admit that nothing is more fun (to my mind) than a philosophical dispute about the True Nature of Pizza (or arguing the virtues of any other favored local food), the honest man who dwells inside my brain and constantly nags my dishonest natural self, forces me to admit that the dispute will never be settled until I actually come to Australia to try Australian pizza for myself. I’ve been wanting to visit the Wide Brown Land for some time, simply for the sheer pleasure of sojourning in a great and humane nation; but if there’s a snarky pseudo-profound personal vendetta tossed into the bargain, well… now I’ll just have to go and find my passport. It’s around here _some_where… dammit I was sure of it… sort of…

  105. Casey

    Can someone tell me what they think Simon Crean is up to? Criticises Gillard, supports Gillard, won’t say which way he will vote in a spill, Kevin hasn’t got the numbers, neither does he. I’m not sure what the point of all that was …

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/divisions-tearing-labor-from-inside-crean-20130321-2gh3k.html

  106. Ronson Dalby

    News LTD is certainly trying hard with a live blog:

    Leadership Live: Julia Gillard under internal Labor pressure

    http://www.news.com.au/national-news/leadership-live-julia-gillard-under-new-labor-leadership-pressure/story-fncynjr2-1226602153908

  107. Casey

    Crean has asked PM for a spill. Told Kevin he has to nominate. In order to save the party etc

  108. Ambigulous

    Thanks, Casey.

    Can the PM refuse his request?
    Will Mr Crean need to muster 35 signatures on a petition?

    Is Question Time scheduled for this afternoon??

  109. Jacques de Molay

    Crean!

  110. paul burns

    Crean on ABC 24 now. What Casey said.

  111. Lefty E

    Crean for Rudd. Looks like its over for Gillard.

  112. Casey

    PM said she would not call a spill. Says Rudd has to stand up to the courage of his convictions and nominate. Says Labor has to become a conclusive party. Very powerful stuff from a senior Labor statesman.

  113. Casey

    Crean is supporting Rudd.

  114. Ambigulous

    If Kevin were to win, how many Ministers would resign?
    The term “shambles” might become more accurate than at present….

    In his earlier remarks, Simon Crean said “hands off superannuation!” Now there’s a bread and butter issue for all employees and many retirees.

  115. Casey

    I really like Crean right now. He’s talking light on the hill stuff.

  116. Ambigulous

    He would resign as Minister if the PM were re-elected by caucus. He wants to stand as deputy PM. Kevin wants someone else.

  117. Sam

    Gillard has called a caucus meeting for tomorrow. All positions spilled.

  118. mindy

    Well Crean has certainly put the cat among the pigeons. Rudd will have to do something now. Whichever way he goes his credibility will be in tatters.

  119. patrickg

    Rudd on Twitter: “Folks, I’ll be putting my name on the ballot for the leadership. It’s time we got our Party under control. #auspol _KRudd”

  120. leinad

    @117,

    Citation needed.

  121. leinad

    Fake account, patrickg.

    Beware the underscore…

  122. patrickg

    Oops, appears to be a fake account, that’s why I avoid twitter!

  123. patrickg

    Ugh, I never go on Twitter usually. Sad to see “real” journalists like Sally Sara reduced to nothing but jokes.

  124. Terry

    Richard Marles has just declared for Rudd on SKY News. The Victorian Right has therefore split, and the NSW right is known to be split.

  125. patrickg

    Gillard says vote at 4.30pm, “In the meantime, take your best shot.”

    Gotta admire the spunk.

  126. Sam

    The removalists will be at the Lodge by 4.45pm.

    Kevin and Therese shouldn’t get too comfortable. They’ll only be house sitting for Tony and Marge.

  127. Paul Norton

    Gillard just made a brilliant speech – she is just a completely different performer when she’s uninhibited, doesn’t feel the need to talk in monosyllables to avoid scaring the horses, and doesn’t feel the need to say something half-baked to galvanise one or other constituency that upsets other constituencies in the process. The uninhibited Gillard, of course, is the one we’ve seen very little of to date.

  128. Paul Norton

    Procedural motion to consider no confidence motion gained a simple majority but not the absolute majority required.

  129. David Irving (no relation)

    Well, the meeja should be pleased: yet again, they’ve precipitated a leadership challenge.

  130. Sam

    More than other PM in Australian history, Julia Gillard combined sheer brilliance with abject hopelessness.

    Discuss.

  131. Nick Caldwell

    The uninhibited Gillard, of course, is the one we’ve seen very little of to date.

    I do have to wonder why she only starts looking like an election-winning leader during the times when the party seems intent on flushing itself down the toilet.

  132. Jacques de Molay

    I’m starting to think this is all a ploy by Crean & Gillard to smoke out Rudd.

  133. mindy

    So if Rudd loses does that mean he should resign from Parliament? If Gillard loses should she resign from Parliament?

  134. Chris

    So if Rudd loses does that mean he should resign from Parliament? If Gillard loses should she resign from Parliament?

    Theoretically either probably could without doing too much damage as the PM could try to hold the bi-election until the main election. In practice I don’t think either would. Certainly not Rudd – I wouldn’t be suprised if he’d be happy to take on the Opposition leader role even if he doesn’t become PM again today.

  135. Sam

    I will bet all comers that the first thing PM Rudd does is ‘suspend’ the carbon tax. This will be to put in the proverbial circuit breaker and distance himself as far as possible from Gillard (short of putting her on the next rocket to Pluto).

    The Greens/green movement will go ape shit, of course. This will make it even better from the Kruddster’s view point.

    Just you wait. Remember where you read it first.

  136. Peter Murphy

    And how does one ‘suspend’ the carbon tax, Sam? It’s the law of the land.

  137. Liz

    Barrie Cassidy is saying that Rudd’s supporters have been leading a deliberate campaign to destabilise the government by leaking and causing as much trouble as they can. He said he’s never seen anything like it.

    The trouble is that whoever wins we get Abbott because if Rudd’s duplicity.

  138. Lefty E

    Yes, but Barry’s gilding the lily. Its always called “undermining the party’ by those supporting the current leader.

    Howes was all over the media in the lead up to Rudd’s demise, and they also leaked false polling to the media.

  139. Jacques de Molay

    Don’t get too wrapped up in that statement from Cassidy he hates Rudd with a passion. I believe the hatred stems from Rudd’s refusal as PM to ever go on Insiders.

    They all leak like sieves. Remember the only reason Gillard has the leadership is because her right-wing overlords were passing around the party supposed polling from the big mining companies imploring a change in leadership had to happen despite Rudd being ahead in the published opinion polls at the time. Feeney was supposedly the leaker to Bolt.

  140. Katz

    What have been the most damaging leaks since Rudd’s last challenge?

  141. Liz

    I’ve read pieces by several journos saying that one of Gillard’s problems is that she never leaked. As opposed to Rudd to sucked up to journos assiduously.

  142. Liz

    Plus it’s now well known that Rudd leaked against the government all through the 2010 election.

  143. Sam

    And how does one ‘suspend’ the carbon tax, Sam? It’s the law of the land.

    By passing a law that suspends the carbon tax.

  144. j_p_z

    After LP folded the first time, I took my eye off Australian politics. Can anybody tell me (briefly, I don’t want to be taxing or bore you) what Gillard did that’s apparently made her so disliked? Of course, I couldn’t tell what Rudd did wrong the first time around that got him the boot, either. They both seemed like smart, reasonable people. Hell, with the exception of the Iraq fiasco (and granted that’s a very large fiasco) I thought Howard seemed like a decent chap, too.

    Spend some time in the American bughouse with real idiot crackpot politicians, it’ll make you realize just how good you have it.

  145. Jacques de Molay

    Yeah it was only Gillard’s supporters that leaked like crazy!

    Anyway Rudd now announces he’s not running for the leadership so Crean & Gillard got what they ultimately wanted.

  146. Liz

    Ok. Now it’s being reported that Rudd has said he won’t be standing because he doesn’t have the numbers. Bluff? Doublebluff?

  147. Liz

    Yep. It appears Rudd was happy to wreck the government to the moment when he worked out he didn’t have the numbers. Unfuckingbelievable.

  148. Chris

    Rudd not standing for the leadership. I guess we’ll be back here again in a couple of months.

  149. paul burns

    Except that Crean has been sacked from the ministry and he probably won’t get up against Swannie.
    This mob’s hatred for each other is a bit of a death-wish.

  150. Jacques de Molay

    Keep in mind Crean supposedly visited Gillard’s office last night and this being the last sitting day for the next seven weeks (I think).

    I’d be very surprised if as I originally thought this wasn’t all cooked up by Gillard & Crean to try and smoke out Rudd.

  151. Katz

    Does Crean want to be remembered as a willing cat’s paw for Julia Gillard?

    The Borgias had nothing on this crew. Mark Latham looks like a suburban accountant by comparison.

  152. Liz

    Was this all an elaborate doublebluff? My head hurts.

  153. dexitroboper
  154. Katz

    I can’t believe that Crean would be a party to a provocation when it costs him a seat in the Cabinet.

    However, are there any plum ambassadorships vacant?

  155. paul burns

    Today will be remembered as the day Julia Gillard elected Tony Abbott to the Prime Ministership and the Coalition to Government.
    There’s a point in politics where tough becomes stupid. Gillard reached it today and bluffed the Parliamentary Labor Party into being tough but stupid.
    I despise her for her disloyalty, her obstinacy, and that blind and wilful ambition that stops her from seeing she is delivering the country to the Putrid Rabbit on a platter.
    OTOH, if Rudd had got in, the independents would have dumped Labor and forced an election. But Rudd might have, just might have won it. Gillard is so disliked by the people she hasn’t a chance.

  156. Liz

    As a wag on Twitter said, “that bulge you see in Gillard’s pocket is Rudd’s balls”.

    Now, will they just leave her alone to get on with the job? And could Rudd announce he won’t be standing for re- election in Griffith?

  157. David Irving (no relation)

    Give her 6 months, Paul. That’s just enough time for Abbott to do something so outrageous that even the Australian media can’t ignore it.

  158. Liz

    Paul, she’s a good woman constantly undermined by the Murdoch press and Rudd’s supporters. How is she disloyal for not standing down, when no-one put their hat in the ring? If the caucus wanted Rudd, they could draft him.

    And I think you mean today Rudd delivered the government to Abbott. Except, she just might win.

  159. Katz

    All those ALP MPs facing electoral obliteration have chosen to walk voluntarily and silently to the firing squad.

    Interesting.

    The hatred of Rudd must surpass human understanding.

  160. j_p_z

    Has anybody else noticed a sort of vague resemblance between Tony Abbott and Stannis Baratheon?

  161. David Irving (no relation)

    Who’s Stannis Baratheon, japerz?

  162. Sam

    Japerz 160: get your TV fixed. They look nothing alike.

  163. j_p_z

    DI(nr) — on the TV show Game of Thrones, Stannis is this sort of grim, humorless, determined weirdo who launches a mad, massive assault against the capital of the imaginary kingdom, in a crazy bid to claim the imaginary throne. The actor who plays him reminds me of Abbott a bit.

  164. mindy

    Don’t lay this at Gillard’s feet, this was all Rudd and he chickened out at the end.

  165. Sam

    Katz 159: many people have commented on the degree of hatred in the Labor caucus towards Rudd. These comments have often been met by great scepticism.

    Well, today’s events said it all. Gillard is going to lead the Labor Party to a defeat of Keneally-Bligh proportions, and still the Labor caucus – the people who are going to lose their jobs, their careers, their influence, their power, their rides in the big white cars – refused to countenance Rudd’s return.

    This says a lot about them, but it says even more about Rudd.

  166. Chris

    Give her 6 months, Paul. That’s just enough time for Abbott to do something so outrageous that even the Australian media can’t ignore it.

    He’s been around for a while now. And sure the public don’t like Abbott. But they hate Gillard even more.

    Now, will they just leave her alone to get on with the job? And could Rudd announce he won’t be standing for re- election in Griffith?

    Why would he? I doubt this is over. And he could well be interested in the opposition leader’s job post-election. This will continue to be an issue while the ALP primary vote is in the low 30s. If it stays in the low 30s or drops to the 20s it’ll pop up again. If not Rudd, then someone else.

    If it drops to the 20s will Gillard be willing to step aside to give someone else who has a chance of limiting the damage a go or will she try to cling on to the very end?

    And I think you mean today Rudd delivered the government to Abbott. Except, she just might win.

    If you really believe that there’s a lot of money to be made. Can get 4.5:1 for the ALP! (1.2:1 for the Coalition)

  167. Sam

    Except, she just might win.

    She’s going down like Bligh and Keneally.

    For those who prefer Federal comparisons, every so often the Labor Party gets slaughtered in Federal elections. It happened in 1966, 1975, 1977 (though that was just 1975 replayed) and 1996. It will happen in 2013. Its part of the life cycle of Australian politics. The Labor Party gets destroyed, eventually renews itself, wins back government, goes into decline and decay, gets destroyed …

  168. jumpy

    In the eyes of the voters, after this circus, Kev07 integrity level ( in not challenging ) has risen a notch or two.
    Gillards’ is still at rock bottom.
    The next few polls will reflect that but as the alp said ” Polls come and go and we are not interested in the voters opinion till Sept 14″

  169. zorronsky

    Good for you Liz. You and the PM would make a formidable pair. Both fighters who don’t back down to crap. I dips me lid.

  170. Katz

    Crean at least owed it to the party to follow through on his promise to stab for Deputy. In the end he squibbed it.

    What a stupid, gutless loser.

  171. jumpy

    NBN takes out the garbage under cover of Labor leadership drama shar.es/eEPvY via @sharethis
    — Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 21, 2013

    That’s right, NBN basket case gets worse and noone will notice.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-21/nbn-figures/4587008

  172. jumpy

    Kats @170

    stab for Deputy

    Freudian slip?

  173. MsLaurie

    I know twitter tends to be an echo chamber of people whose views you share, but I’m seeing a LOT of comments around “gee, Gillards tough”, even from those who don’t generally comment.

    A lot of that around the office as well…

    Its interesting.

  174. Katz

    Simon Crean’s antics are Australia’s version of Rudolph Hess’ flight to Scotland.

    Welcome to Spandau, Simon.

  175. Sam

    Katz, that’s some serious hate you’ve got going for Simon Crean. Did he once run over your dog or something?

  176. Lefty E

    I find it a little hard to believe Crean was stalking for Gillard.

    He gave an address which can easily be used as an attack ad against her, and succeeded in flushing out quite a few Rudd supporters we didnt even know about, though not enough – if accounts on numbers are to be believed.

    Maybe he’d just had enough and strapped on a bomb.

    Im staggered by the whole business. Not convinced it has worked for anyone, but time may prove otherwise.

    Sadly, Im not even convinced this is over.

  177. Katz

    I thought he was a grey nonentity until today.

    Now I think he is a clown.

    Am I mistaken?

  178. Paul Norton

    I’m coming around to the view that Australian politics is scripted by the WWE.

  179. Sam

    Katz, I’m surprised it’s taken you this long to figure it out. When Crean was Opposition Leader, Howard called him “unctuous”. This was in 2002 or 2003. Like many Howard barbs, this one hurt because he said it and because it was spot on.

    Still, for all that, I don’t think he’s been a bad minister over the past 5 years, although I can’t actually recall a single thing that he’s done. There must be something.

  180. Casey

    Can anybody tell me (briefly, I don’t want to be taxing or bore you) what Gillard did that’s apparently made her so disliked?

    Why, it’s because she was born a woman. That’s fucking it, as far as I can see.

    What the frack was today about anyway?

  181. MsLaurie

    I think part of the reason the media seem to hate her is that they simply didn’t see the original challenge (back in 2010) coming, and blame her for their blindness, and for being caught so clearly out of the loop.

  182. Salient Green

    The important thing is that Abbott and his bunch of clowns, as well as their supporters did not get what they wanted which was an early election and/or all manner of ammunition with which to attack the government such as unstable, unreliable etc.
    They would not, along with their media mates have been pushing so hard for so long for a leadership change if Julia Gillard wasn’t a threat.
    The MSM has created the ‘Gillard is hated’ meme which has been accepted because so many Australians are averse to change.
    And as I have said before on LP, The MSM, which is largely controlled by Big Greed, don’t actually see Gillard Labour as a threat but the Greens having so much power by their/our being in government with Gillard Labour, however minimal.

  183. Lefty E

    Crean wins performance poetry jam of the year.

  184. Salient Green

    Casey, yes , I think that is a big part in the general population accepting the crap fed to it by the Big Greed backed MSM.

  185. Sam

    I’m coming around to the view that Australian politics is scripted by the WWE.

    Nah, the WWE business model is to appeal to fans’ basest instincts with its blatant racism, misogyny, chauvinism, bigotry and sadism. That’s nothing like Australian politics.

  186. mindy

    Good one Sam.

  187. Peter Murphy

    Casey: people disliked Anna Bligh as well, but not as much as Gillard. The proportion of dislike that came out as misogyny was also lower for Bligh.

    As an explanation, “Being a female political leader” doesn’t cut it.

  188. mindy

    Bligh wasn’t in the glare of the national media spotlight like Gillard is. Also Bligh didn’t present such a threat to Murdoch.

  189. tigtog

    Crean is absolutely eviscerating KRudd for not nominating today, and saying that this discredits him utterly.

    Now he’s gone back into Light On The Hill mode reiterating the party principles.

    ETA: on the 7:30 report

  190. mindy

    Feeling for Crean’s staff who now, apparently, have lost their jobs.

  191. Terry

    Arts sector also a bit miffed at Crean, having waited 5 1/2 years for a national cultural policy, and then having its champion self-destruct.

    I know some of those who will be packing up in that office, unless a new minister retains the current staff.

  192. Liz

    Terry, I’ve just come from a meeting with an organisation that had been trying to get a meeting with Crean for weeks and just about had one set up. Oh, the gallows humour.

    What I feel sorry about is that the apology to relinquishing mothers has been completely eclipsed. I did hear Abbott being widely heckled during his speech because it was seen as insulting. The man can’t be let out in public.

  193. Fran Barlow

    tigtog:

    Crean is absolutely eviscerating KRudd for not nominating today, and saying that this discredits him utterly.

    Speaking as someone who has been appalled at the destructive and hamfisted role played by Team Rudd

    Crean can hardly blame it all on Rudd. He was the one declaring for a change this morning. He was part of the subversion. He was praised by Abbott for his role in the attack … The non-challenge was brought on by him. He said that he thought Rudd could be a better man than he was.

  194. Salient Green

    The conflict within the Labour party is universally perceived as a bad thing but why?
    “Never waste a good conflict” is the main thing I have learned from good relationship counselors.
    Conflict, in the hands of people committed to having a good productive relationship, is a vital tool for getting to know each other better and becoming closer.
    So, it’s not the leadership scuffles, the infighting or the apparent disunity which threatens Labour but the failure of the leadership to make good, to learn from these things and come out the other side stronger for it.

  195. Ambigulous

    I thought Nick Xenophon’s quip was good: “Not so much a spill, as a dribble.”

  196. Katz

    Crean has unintentionally gifted Gillard with clear air.

    From now on, only the most extraordinary circumstances, the nature of which I cannot imagine at present, will disrupt Gillard’s leadership.

    The ALP is now locked and loaded behind Gillard as the party approaches with fatalism the looming election. Now the media will have to talk about something other than spills. It is probably too much to hope, however, that they will consider the relative merits of ALP and Coalition policies.

    Nope, I predict a return to Slater and Gordon scandalmongering.

  197. Sam

    From now on, only the most extraordinary circumstances, the nature of which I cannot imagine at present, will disrupt Gillard’s leadership.

    Katz, you lack imagination. How about the following circumstances, which are not even extraordinary? Every two weeks, with every Newspoll, Labor’s primary vote is 30,29,28,27,26 …

  198. Katz

    Care to name a challenger?

  199. alfred venison

    rudd is right to defer at this time. a spill that would result in a narrow win for him or a narrow win for gillard would have been disastrous & he knew he didn’t have the numbers for a big win this time. really, was rudd testing the waters or was creen a stalking horse? who knows. yet. but rudd will be leader after the defeat (though he may not be leader when abbott finally falls) or he will be leader later this year, should he remain popular with the public & should ratings continue to worsen under gillard to a point where the caucus buckle & ask him to lead. nothing else will get him back in & differentiate him enough in the minds of sunrise viewers from the people who removed him before his time & in order to effect a cave in to the multinational miners & murdoch. -a.v.

  200. paul burns

    Re Gillard being disloyal – did somebody forget the stab in the back that initially removed Rudd from the Prime Ministership, while she swore she was not challenging, when, it appears she had been planning it for about 6 weeks.
    Yeah, Abbott does look a bit like Stannis Baratheon. But, j-p-z, who is Julie Bishop? Great show, but Stannis is nicer than Abbott. Will have to wait for series 3 to come out on DVD before I can watch it. Looks fabulous in the trailers.

  201. Chris

    Feeling for Crean’s staff who now, apparently, have lost their jobs.

    There’s a lot of staffers who will lose their jobs in September.

    Katz @ 198 – if the primary vote numbers do drop into the 20s there will be leadership speculation even without a clearly identified challenger. There’s always Shorten, or simply sufficient caucus pressure to convince Gillard to step down voluntarily which would clear the way for Rudd.

  202. Katz

    Shorten won’t want to take command of the Titanic before the election.

    Crean was a possibility to take one for the team. But after today’s fiasco, he’s finished.

  203. Melbournehammer

    Rudd will not be the leader after the election. He is gone for good. No one will be able to support him after he squibbed this moment – he had to challenge and show his support. He has shafted his supporters and they simply would not do it again.

    Anyone who thinks gillard can win this election however is just mad. People who think differently are like Dennis shanahan in the lead up to the 2007 election in denial about what is going on. There is a reason why the polls are consistently in the same way. The situation is not going to change.

    Gillard I think is there until the election – they are with her now for good or ill. But she can’t win.

    There is a naive belief amongst many of the left that people will not vote for Abbott – that is exactly that a naive belief – they have already done so and more voted for Howard, Newman, Barnett and so on.

    I really genuinely believe that the labor party is about to be shot for a long long time. The difference between 1966, 1975, 1977, 1996 is that the labor party had an industrial wing which could hold the place together. It simply doesn’t have that any more. The losses in qld and nsw show that people are only too happy to vote against labor in even safe ish labor seats. I genuinely expect a wipeout with labor having about 30-40 seats. Because of this schemozzle I have real doubts whether labor will govern again in the next decade. This government will not get to write its own history and e memory of it will not be positive, despite the fact that it actually was quite a good policy making body.

  204. Martin B

    Because of this schemozzle I have real doubts whether labor will govern again in the next decade.

    In 2004 the Libs won a victory so crushing, the ALP were out for at least two terms.

    In 2007 the ALP won a victory so sweeping the Libs were out of power for a generation.

    Things change fast. I do not yet think an ALP win is impossible, although it is increasingly unlikely. But even if the Libs win a commanding victory in Sep, over Gillard or Rudd, I see no reason to think it’s a long-term one. Howard nearly lost after one term, and I see no reason to think that Abbott’s a better political manager than Howard was or that the talent at his disposal is stronger or that the ALP is more tired than it was in 1996.

  205. faustusnotes

    I think Crean took one for the team.

    My evidence: Rudd didn’t stand and Crean – survivor of a trillion factional squabbles – was acting shocked (shocked! I tell you) that Rudd didn’t stand. Does anyone believe that Crean – a survivor of the Hawke era ALP – would have made that speech without checking with Rudd about his intentions? I think he and Gillard and Swan were playing a game.

  206. Fran Barlow

    Still househunting … amusingly, one offers a bathroom with ‘duel’ entry. I guess that’s what happens when competition for the loo is fierce.

    ;-)

  207. Sam

    I do not yet think an ALP win is impossible

    Of course it’s not impossible. If the shadow cabinet is discovered to have run a pedophilia ring out of the opposition rooms in Parliament House, then the ALP might be in with a chance of winning, though even then they’d still be at long odds.

  208. Katz

    And further, for what event after yesterday did Rudd imagine he was keeping his powder dry?

    Yesterday, he burned his supporters. Few of them will ever want to repeat that humiliation. Only dedicated masochists remain in Rudd’s camp.

    Rudd’s career in the ALP is over.

  209. David Irving (no relation)

    Does it have a duel flush cistern, Fran?

  210. zorronsky

    Crean was offered the deputy leadership to bring on the spill. Maybe now it can confidently be assumed he wasn’t acting on his own.

  211. Katz

    Interesting Zorronsky.

    It’s not necessary that aspirants for leadership run a ticket. But it defies reason that Crean did not think that he had an understanding — a conspiracy, if you will — with Rudd. What is unknown is the nature of that understanding.

    Rudd could have made any number of commitments, from a stated determination to run under any circumstances to a vague promise.

    Crean stated that he was surprised that Rudd didn’t run, but he would say that, wouldn’t he?

    Simply stated, the world doesn’t know what was the nature of the agreement between Crean and Rudd. I wonder if Crean got it in writing. I guess we’ll have to wait for Crean’s memoirs for an answer to that question.

    Crean also said that he last conversed with Rudd two days before the spill. If true, that suggests pretty slack planning.

  212. Katz

    The central question is when Gillard knew about Crean’s activities.

    There are four possibilities:

    1. Crean was acting under Gillard’s orders

    2. Crean began by acting under Gillard’s orders but then went off on a frolic of his own

    3. Crean acted alone but Gillard discovered the plot and trapped the plotters

    4. Crean’s coup was a surprise to Gillard who had to scramble to preserve her leadership.

  213. Lefty E

    Personally, I dont buy the ‘Crean as Gillard sleeper cell’ theory. He’s out today politely tipping a bucket on the media reform strategy debacle. His critique of ‘class war’ is enormously damging to Gillard and straight out of where he comes personally: the Hawke ‘consensus’era.

    More over, I read Hartcher as outing him as a source, in not so many words.

    No journos appear to buy it. Not that that means much, but youd think some would be happy to dance on the grave of Hartcher’s scoop.

    Nope – Gillard had lost Crean. He then embarked on a bizarre plan, which only he can account for. Crean WTF!

  214. Lefty E

    I agree Katz. Rudd might have won yesterday but he blinked. No one ever gives up the PMship, you have to draw the sword. Id say he came close on numbers, but not quite the cigar.

    Having 40% and demonstrating another 8-10 supporters on top of last years 31 would have been fatal to Gillard, in the end. And quite possibly, realising that truth, more would have come over in the party room. That was certainly Crean’s view on 730 last night. Id say Carr was onboard too but was fortunate to be OS.

    Wkith Carr, Crean and Butler the right would have been under pressure to rethink. But there was no candidate.

    Time may prove otherwise, and I hope Im wrong, but I think the Rudd tilt is over. We needed action man, not Hamlet yesterday.

    But hey, Im disappointed, maybe its coulding my judgement, but I cant see a way back now.

    Except this ugly, bitter truth: those who supported Rudd yesterday actually have nowhere to go but him now, as much as they may be burnt by the experience.

  215. Martin B

    But hey, Im disappointed, maybe its coulding my judgement, but I cant see a way back now.

    I can’t see how a reRudd is at all credible this term, even if poll numbers keep going south (which I suspect they won’t if for no other reason than that they are pretty close to the floor right now). He would seem to have strengthened a claim to leadership post-election (in the event of a loss). And hey – he may or may not have been a good PM, but he was pretty damn effective LotO :-)

  216. Martin B

    The thing I am a little suspicious of about yesterday – and I’m not sure if it has received comment – is the timing of Rudd’s statement. If it was solely a matter of Rudd’s personal integrity then surely he could have nipped the matter in the bud very quickly.

    The fact that it was only immediately before the meeting that he made his announcement makes me suspect either that:
    a) he had decided not to run, but wanted to make JG squirm; or
    b) there was indeed some number-counting going on in the Rudd camp and they fell short of whatever their target was.

  217. Lefty E

    If it was solely a matter of Rudd’s personal integrity then surely he could have nipped the matter in the bud very quickly.

    Of course. What no doubt happened was that they fell short – albeit not by much. He needed to gamble on 40% being damaging enough to get others to follow Crean and Butler. But he baulked.

    In part, I suspect this was because Crean was something of an ambivalent loose cannon in reluctant support of Rudd, dealing only with Rudd’s lietuentants not Rudd, and in the end no one came with Crean.

    I can see what Rudd was thinking…. but again, my own view is that he should have drawn the sword. C’est la vie.

    OTOH he has ‘kept his word’ in the end, thats true. Who knows how thngs will play in the future, but I think its over.

  218. Martin B

    I suspect this was because Crean was something of an ambivalent loose cannon in reluctant support of Rudd

    His presser was certainly short of ‘glowing endorsement’.

    I can see what Rudd was thinking…. but again, my own view is that he should have drawn the sword. C’est la vie.

    As I said elsewhere, I am all in favour of personal integrity, but I prefer to think about political effectiveness. I think he is in the wrong game if he values his word more than the common good. As you know, I have a different opinion about the likelihood of his success, but if he, and a majority of caucus thought that the ALP’s chances were better under him then he had a duty to put himself forward regardless of his ‘word’.

  219. Brian

    Chris Bowen gave a pretty full account this morning, and Crean has also been open.

    Rudd said two conditions had to apply. First there had to be overwhelming support for him. Secondly, the PM position had to be vacant. Gillard calling a spill satisfied the second condition, so it was a matter of the first.

    There had been dialogue between Crean and Rudd. Crean had two main motives. First he wanted a circuit breaker, so Govt could talk about policy and achievement without having a press completely preoccupied with leadership. He’s said this. Second, the authoritarian style that Gillard sometimes has was pissing him off. The media thing, authored by the congenitally authoritarian Conroy which Gillard went along with was the last straw.

    The numbers were close, but Crean told Rudd that he would bring 7 votes with him, who would come and tell Rudd. Only one ever showed up.

    So Rudd was faced with close numbers. The worst possible outcome for Labor would have been Rudd failing by a few votes, which in the end looked likely. The second worst would have been if there had been no spill and the whole thing kept on simmering. The third worst, still bad, is what happened.

    Fran Kelly and others in the MSM were saying that this resolved nothing. As usual they have shit for brains. It has taken Rudd out of play. After a defeat at the election, almost inevitable, Labor should look to the next generation, Shorten, Combet or whatever, and they probably will.

  220. Liz

    Yesterday was confusing, but it does seem like Rudd hung Crean out to dry. Crean is in the media saying that Rudd says different thing to different people. Well, he wouldn’t be the first polly to do that, but it rather puts a dent in the integrity argument. Rudd reminds me rather of Costello. He’ll only deign to be PM if he’s absolutely begged. Dude, it doesn’t work like that.

    This is a pretty good article by Ben Eltham who I have a lot of time for.

    http://newmatilda.com/2013/03/22/end-kevin-rudd

    He’s pretty damning about Rudd’s behaviour over the last almost three years.

    “Nor can he be trusted. This is the man that has done more damage to Julia Gillard’s prime ministership than Tony Abbott. It was Rudd and his supporters who derailed Labor’s 2010 election campaign with a series of devastating leaks. It is Rudd and his supporters who have relentlessly backgrounded journalists for most of this parliamentary term in an attempt to undermine the current leadership. It is Rudd who encouraged this week’s crisis to develop, in the hope of finally regaining the prime ministership. Kevin Rudd’s achievements as prime minister were substantial. His conduct since losing that office has sullied that record.”

    Whatever, one might think of the events of 2010, I don’t think Labor supporters have much choice but to rally around Gillard. Anymore leadership ructions, whether they involved Rudd or anyone else, is just heaping farce upon farce.

  221. Martin B

    As usual they have shit for brains

    Now, that seems a little unkind ;-)

    More charitably I would say that as usual, (most) journalists have a distorted time-frame for understanding that overly focuses on the moment and a distorted conceptual frame for understanding that overly focuses on the ‘contest’.

  222. Martin B

    Since this is (I believe) the appropriate space for venting, can I say that I continue to get annoyed at the kind of slippage that goes like this:

    I think that the ALP has a better chance of winning under Rudd than Gillard
    —>
    I think the ALP will definitely win under Rudd and definitely lose under Gillard
    —>
    Everyone knows that it is a fact that the ALP will definitely win under Rudd and definitely lose under Gillard
    Therefore:
    Gillard supporters are knowingly leading the party to defeat because factions/personal malice/wymyn

    I know that not all Rudd supporters have been acting that way, but I’ve seen it more than once.

    Why is it so hard to accept that people are making different judgements about a contested situation as described by the first line?

  223. Liz

    Yesterday, there were journos re tweeting tweets from a false Kevin Rudd account. They were spreading false information because they were more concerned in getting it first, rather than getting it right.

  224. faustusnotes

    The fact remains that Rudd is a preening coward, who will only fight when the outcome is fixed. He has known all along that his colleagues hate him, and the only way to win a leadership challenge is to destroy Gillard’s chances at election so thoroughly that his “colleagues” have no choice. But they won’t turn to him no matter how bad it gets. Leaving an elder of the party like Crean out to dry because you can’t handle having your nose rubbed in the big steaming turd you just dumped in the party room is the kind of selfishness that should destroy your political career. I hope that Gillard wins in September and turfs him out on his precious arse.

  225. Brian

    Martin B, you say it better and I am being unkind, but your statement doesn’t go far enough. Even yesterday Lenore Taylor, who is one of the better ones, was making unwarranted conclusions. For Kelly it seems that any solution that left Gillard as PM was not a ‘resolution’.

    Liz @ 220, I’m not rusted on as either a Rudd or a Gillard supporter. One factoid that annoys me is that Rudd leaked against Gillard during the 2010 campaign. I had from a pretty good source, which of course I cant reveal, that it was cultural warriors within the public service, senior enough to know what went on in Cabinet.

    Rudd had no motive for leaking except hatred and revenge. Marr’s essay seems to say that he isn’t possessed with either, and I incline to this view. He does have a messianic view of his own ability to lead. He does have a very principled view that an Abbott government would be disastrous for Australia. Whatever you think of him, I don’t think he would have sabotaged the 2010 election. He’s not that petty-minded. People who say that he was involved in the leaks have never come forward with evidence that I’m aware of. It’s just an unwarranted assumption.

  226. Sam

    The Government has got that putrid smell of near death and dieing about it. I suppose we’re going to be treated to the usual protestations of “it’s only a flesh wound” from its delusional supporters but those calling for an election now are correct (if for the wrong reasons): might as well get it done with, sweep away the old and let the next generation of Labor leaders start the rebuilding.

  227. paul burns

    So we are left with the forlorn hope that Mr. Rabbit will say or do several things in quick succession which will really really upset not just the majority of women (that’s a given) but the majority of blokes as well.
    Trouble is he can smell victory so close that is highly unlikely. We will have to wait till he’s elected for him to prove to those of us who don’t already know it (and I exclude most LP-ers there) what an absolute complete utter bastard he can be.

  228. Chris

    MartinB @ 222 – I don’t think the ALP will win with either Rudd or Gillard, though I suspect they’ll lose by less under Rudd. In terms of the lower house I don’t really care if they lose by a small amount or a huge amount, it won’t make much difference. But I do care if the LNP have a majority in the Senate, or even worse if someone like the Katter party end up with BOP in the Senate (thats probably a worst case scenario).

    Why is it so hard to accept that people are making different judgements about a contested situation as described by the first line?

    Because everyone believes that their own logic is unassailable and so anyone disagreeing must have other motives :-) See the same views about Rudd too – claims people only support him because of bad press about Gillard, desire for revenge, dislike of women leaders etc. Or claims that Gillard is only doing badly in the polls because of team Rudd undermining/leaking when there’s been plenty of own goals without his involvement.

  229. Chris

    Trouble is he can smell victory so close that is highly unlikely. We will have to wait till he’s elected for him to prove to those of us who don’t already know it (and I exclude most LP-ers there) what an absolute complete utter bastard he can be.

    Can expect a small target strategy from him and the LNP. The less Abbott appears in public, the more they like him (which seems to work for GIllard too). Small target policy will work if the ALP infighting continues and they continue to attract negative attention to themselves by screwing up policy like the media reforms and anti-discrimination proposals.

  230. faustusnotes

    Don’t worry Paul, by the time the election comes a large number of people will have had to start thinking seriously about the consequences of a Rabbit-run government. The polls at this stage are probably not a good indication of how volatile things are going to get in the leadup to the election…

  231. mindy

    We can only hope that if Abbott does get in he will soon be rolled by his own party and someone else installed. Maybe the ‘loyal girl’ Julie Bishop could do some knifing of her own. Now that would be satisfying…

  232. Lefty E

    Second, the authoritarian style that Gillard sometimes has was pissing him off. The media thing, authored by the congenitally authoritarian Conroy which Gillard went along with was the last straw.

    Ive heard the same from a relatively senior VIC ALP source first hand. A lot of the top-down sysfunctional stuff Rudd was routintely accused of applies very much to Gillard in the view of party members.

    Why is it so hard to accept that people are making different judgements about a contested situation as described by the first line?

    Not at all, I find it easy to accept others are wrong. :)

    But seriously, sure – though I assume this applies both ways? The fact is, aside from a couple of obvious LNP trolls, I dont know anyone participating in these debates who doesnt genuinely want to see Abbott defeated.

    My own participation in such debates is about over though. Im of the sub-school that Rudd became forever Hamlet yesterday.

  233. Brian

    “What I’m challenging the party to do is to look beyond the prism of the two individuals. Look at where we go as a party, look at where we want to take the country, inspire the people that have elected us on previous occasions, re-inspire them again.”

    That was Simon Crean, quoted by Laura Tingle in an article behind the paywall. Worth your $3.

    She thinks the leadership thing is now resolved, but leaves the other problems of competence and direction. Tingle is rightly appalled by the farce that was the media laws, but like the rest under-recognises what Labor has done and continues to do in government. Gillard made a neat speech of 10 minutes yesterday in Parliament which beautifully summarised Labor’s achievements and plans. Even yesterday bills were being passed, returned from the senate etc. The ‘rabble’ meme is Abbott-speak amplified by the press which exaggerates the actual truth.

  234. Brian

    BTW, Rudd has ruled out ever being leader of the Labor Party again. He’s history.

  235. Peter Murphy
  236. Chris

    BTW, Rudd has ruled out ever being leader of the Labor Party again. He’s history.

    And yet he has confirmed again that he will be a candidate at the next election. Do you seriously believe that he is willing to just be a backbencher in opposition (its not like he needs the money)?

  237. Sam

    Presumably Rudd will now not recontest his seat, which will add an other L to the ALP’s column in September.

  238. Sam

    If 236 is factual: oops.

  239. Brian

    Martin Ferguson has resigned.

  240. Chris

    So the media reports about Gillard losing the confidence of several people in her cabinet appear to have been true and not just made up.

  241. Martin B

    though I assume this applies both ways?

    Oh absolutely. I had actually meant to write “I know not all Rudd supporters think this and there are Gillard supporters that use reverse logic”. Although the favoured precise form of bad reasoning in reverse is probably as Chris says that Gillard is only in trouble because of Rudd whiteanting.

  242. Fran Barlow

    If the shadow cabinet is discovered to have run a pedophilia ring out of the opposition rooms in Parliament House, then the ALP might be in with a chance of winning, though even then they’d still be at long odds.

    I’m not so pessimistic but one can be confident in that scenario that News Limited would be offering sub judice interference arguments.

  243. Katz

    Rudd is the Captain Ahab of Australian politics.

    Except for the fact that Ahab had one leg to stand on.

  244. Terry

    Chris Bowen is someone for whom all of this may have an upside. He now doesn’t have to waste time worrying about universities and the ARC, and can focus on door knocking and distributing leaflets at railway stations in his now marginal electorate of McMahon.

    Saying to his electorate, which is about 60% NESB and has a large Asian population, that he supported 457 visas when he was the Minister responsible can certainly work for him. As can the proposition that he was purged by Julia Gillard and her circle for being a Kevin Rudd supporter.

    It may be a good election not to be seen as a part of the Gillard government. Whoever survives the 2013 result on the Labor side may be in a much better position to set their own agenda than is the case at present.

  245. Salient Green

    “So the media reports about Gillard losing the confidence of several people in her cabinet appear to have been true”
    Opens up to a few questions. Did she ever have their confidence? Are they just the weak sisters in the team? Are they just getting out before being sacked anyway due to Gillard losing confidence in them?
    Scarcely missed most of them but Ferguson unloading himself will be a big relief.

  246. David Irving (no relation)

    Martin Ferguson has resigned.

    Excellent! Gillard has taken the opportunity to prune some dead wood.

  247. Terry

    Could Bowen, Crean, Carr and Ferguson start up the ALP (M-L)?

  248. jumpy

    McTernan’s earning his 457 visa right now.
    But surely an Australian could do that job just as well , Bruce Hawker for example.
    Oh, hang on….

  249. Chris

    Excellent! Gillard has taken the opportunity to prune some dead wood.

    I’m just hoping Conroy will be promoted out of the BCDE portfolio. Anywhere, I don’t care where!

  250. jumpy

    Is this a record for resignations of Ministers and position holders of a Federal government in one term?
    I think it might be.

  251. Bernice

    I think there’s a substantive difference between Rudd’s pathological control issues and Gillard being bossy; differences that mask people’s discomfort with a woman in charge.
    Cast your minds, as Cut and Thrust Crean so nobly commanded yesterday, to the halycon days of Hawkey, and tell me that wasn’t a govt led by a PM whose ego barely fitted through the door of his office. Control? Pfft – ask any of his serving ministers.
    If Gillard is, as Tingle reckoned last night, given to more than a touch of paranoia about who in Caucus she can trust, then just perhaps the flight of the Ruddords might allow for an outward looking engagement.
    And hopefully those brave souls in th ALP party room did pay close attention to the reaction of the indies to a Gillard loss. Someone will be visiting Quentin well before September if that happens. And given that Abbooot + News Ltd have gone back to beating the drum of “let the people decide”, they may want to hold onto their Comm cars and staffers for a few months yet.

  252. tigtog

    Yeah, despite all the LNP and News Ltd drum-beating about an early election, I can’t believe that either of them actually wants to go before August 1st, because they don’t want to separate the House election from the Senate election. In a joint House & half-Senate election, the LNP has at least a decent chance of gaining a majority in the Senate. If they go before August, and the half-Senate elections end up being held separately, who knows who the Aussie electorate might decide to punish on that second ballot day?

  253. Chris

    I agree that the LNP probably doesn’t actually want an early election because of the split senate election. Its so close to an election now they might as well try for a senate majority as well (which IMO would be disastrous – I think there’s actually some sense for the ALP to go early just to guarantee that we’d avoid that scenario) .

    Bernice – I don’t see why the independents would voluntarily force an early election no matter who was PM. They have nothing to gain and everything to lose with an early election. Even if they retain their seats (and thats a big question) they will no longer have any influence at all in a new parliament. They were just introducing some doubt to shore up support for Gillard.

    I think there’s a substantive difference between Rudd’s pathological control issues and Gillard being bossy; differences that mask people’s discomfort with a woman in charge.

    One of the issues brought up yesterday was that Gillard’s office is now very running much like how she criticised Rudd for doing – eg the media laws which were kept secret until they were announced publicly. Even cabinet were only informed of what was happening (no discussion) just hours before their release and caucus wasn’t told at all.

  254. mindy

    Perhaps now that the potential* leaks have been dealt with she might be more open again?

    *if they existed which no one seems to be able to agree on

  255. Katz

    Labor’s problem is that a lot of the narratorial mud of the last three years has stuck.

    When the marginally engaged voter looks at Labor pollies she sees mud. The Coalition noise machine has been very effective at establishing the credibility of their narrative.

    Conversely, Labor has been poor at establishing a narrative of competence and solid accomplishment.

    The kind of punter beloved by focus group convenors has taken ownership of stories of Labor incompetence, disorganisation and corruption. These tales form the subject matter of political discussion wherever meat is barbecued and where booze is chilled in an Esky.

    Labor will be hard pressed to replace that narrative with one more favourable to them.

  256. Chris

    Mindy @ 254 – hopefully! Because they don’t want a repeat of how the media law policies were handled. There’s still a couple of Rudd supporters left in cabinet though I guess she could shuffle them out during the reshuffle if she wanted to.

    Kind of ironic how there was a warning that a Rudd victory would lead to a bunch of senior ministers resigning which would be bad for the party. And thats what happened anyway.

  257. Liz

    On a completely different note: Black Caviar is a goddess.

  258. Sam

    Terry 244: Chris Bowen could quite well emerge as Labor Party leader post election (if he holds his seat).

  259. Nick Caldwell

    Elder fires a broadside. Don’t know if I’m ever going to be as optimistic as he is about the un-electability of Abbott, but gee it’s a fun read.

  260. Sam

    Labor’s total inability to establish a narrative of competence is very largely the fault of Wayne Swan. In substantive policy terms the Government did a magnificent job in staving off the GFC yet Swan has not just failed managed to get any kudos, but has been completely unable to counter the deficit = incompetence line run by the Opposition. Swan’s performance has been political ineptitude writ large. No doubt he has done a good job mastering his briefs from Treasury, representing Australia at IMF meetings and so on, but for domestic audiences, that is, the people who vote, Treasurer is a political position.

  261. j_p_z

    Department of Nit-Picking Department:

    Katz — the fact that Ahab only had one leg is not the important thing about Ahab. Although it did give him a good excuse to say some pretty funny lines.

    Belated response to Doc Cat’s kvetching over my “Are we not men?” ref…

    You realize (or maybe not) that the chorus of “Jocko Homo”, one of the wittiest songs in the rock songbook (hell, the title alone is wittier than most things) is an erudite riff on “The Island of Doctor Moreau” and Bela Lugosi’s role in the film version. I was riffing on a riff on a riff.

    Back where I come from, we expect our doctors to know these sorts of things.

  262. Brian

    Bernice @ 251, you may have heard Laura Tingle on Late night Live with Chris Uhlmann and David Uren being interviewed by Phillip Adams. Well worth a listen as is the session they did at the Perth Writers Festival.

    It seems that with the return of parliament this year their was a concerted push by the Ruddsters to background journalists to make the Gillard Government and Gillard in particular look shambolic, especially when she wasn’t stuffing up herself. There was a deliberate destabilisation campaign. Uhlmann reckoned it was so open they might as well be wearing T-shirts.

    I’m getting the drift that Chris Bowen, Kim Carr, and Joel Fitzgibbon and his team at the whip’s office may have been involved. Not sure, but it looks like it. I’d think Ferguson and Albanese, while Rudd supporters, would not have actively undermined their boss.

    The charge from Ferguson and Crean was that Cabinet, not just the caucus, was being bypassed. Tingle said Gillard was paranoiac about Rudd supporters. Seems she was right to be. If this is so, and I strongly suspect it was, the ethics of the destabilisation really stink far beyond anything Gillard may have done in the 2010 coup.

    If anyone wants to read about Rudd’s chaotic style I’d suggest Lenore Taylor and David Uren’s Shitstorm, which was written just before Rudd’s PMship ended. I would doubt Gillard’s office ever reached those levels, but her lack of consultation appeared early, for example the East Timor ‘solution’ for asylum seekers. Crean reckoned he talked to Rudd who promised to change his ways. I doubt that would have happened. For Gillard a consultative style is now mandatory if she’s to have any chance.

  263. Brian

    Australia’s prime minister has delivered a national apology to the thousands of unwed mothers who were forced by government policies to give up their babies for adoption.

    That was the only Australian story Deutsche Welle reported on Thursday.

  264. Brian

    BTW here’s Gillard’s speech in response to Abbott and Bishop (scroll up) when Abbott moved for the suspension of standing orders so that a no confidence motion could be moved against the PM.

  265. A. Swan

    [Snipped - surreptitiously morphed nyms breach the comments policy. ~ Mod Team]

  266. David Irving (no relation)

    japerz, it may come as a shock to you that not every educated person knows as much about the minutiae of Devo (and Captain Beefheart) as you do. Sad, but true.

  267. tigtog

    This thread’s getting long, it’s been quiet for a few hours, and ending on a Captain Beefheart note could not be improved upon.

    So, a new Overflow thread has just been opened, and the portcullis has been closed on this one.