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270 responses to “Weekly Election 2013 Thread”

  1. Charlie

    Two quick thoughts: (1) watching the ‘Chaser’ the other night, the best thing on the show was the footage of PM Gillard on her last day, she looked and sounded terrific; (2) what if Sept 7 result is just as bad under Rudd as it may have been under Gillard – or even worse!

  2. Lefty E

    I think the people Hartcher spoke to are right. http://m.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/why-rudd-needs-to-slow-down-20130816-2s268.html

    Rudd and the ALP campaign need to take tomorrow off and chill out.

    Then:

    1. relaunch Monday with a few key economic themes. If this 7-pillar plan on economic restructuring is the goods, lets hear the main bits. (I mean seriously ,I follow Ozpol *avidly*, and I dont know what they are.)

    2. Then frame the LNP as all cuts and job insecurity, which will resonate with previous campaigns, and doesnt start from zero

    3. Leave Abbott out of it, and Rudd goes back to ONLY being positive till poll day.

    Thats the best theyve got.It may be too late to win , but it s certainly not to late to save the reputation of this campaign as “not bad at all, given circumstances”.

  3. Jumpy

    Newman has 4 pillars.
    Abbott has 5 pillars.
    Rudds 7 pillars must be better.

  4. Luxxe

    The media are running the line that Rudd is “failing” – when all that could realistically be expected was “less of a defeat than under Gillard”. Anything other than a rout should be regarded as a success for Rudd.

  5. amortiser

    Luxxe:

    It looks like its going to be a rout. The switch of leaders (again) looks a lot like NSW all over again and we know what happened there.

    The big problem is the ALP itself not just the leaders. The record of corruption in multiple jurisdictions has stuffed the ALP brand in the eyes of the citizenry. The fact that the corruption was not rooted out but covered up or papered over has just enhanced that perception.

    Rudd’s statement that corruption will not be tolerated is hollow when his own actions are considered. Kaiser was adversely named in the electoral rorts enquiry and had to resign his Qld parliamentary seat. The NSW premier, Iemma, appointed him to his personal staff. Then Anna Bligh appointed him as her Chief of Staff. This guy should have never been allowed near another taxpayer funded job. Then Rudd appoints him to a plumb job with the NBN on over $400K a year.

    So at the NSW level, the Qld level and then the federal level Kaiser was “looked after”. It’s no wonder that the ALP brand is so tarnished and lacks credibility in the eyes of voters.

    Then we have all the “genius” decisions heralded as master strokes. The appointment of Slipper as speaker to shore up the numbers to break the promise made to Wilkie on pokies to get his support for the minority government showed the absence of standards. This just reinforced the feeling in the electorate that the government couldn’t be trusted after the broken carbon tax promise.

    Then there was the appalling treatment handed out to Trish Crossin to get the “captain’s pick” over the line over riding the wishes of ALP members in the NT. The idea that the party was ruled by back room boys was reinforced.

    Now we have Peter Beattie being foisted in Forde and the local candidate unceremoniously being cast aside. Rudd had stated that the party would be controlled by the membership and this decision is made. People are left in no doubt that it is words that are important and not their actions. The Beattie decision is working out really well – not.

    Rudd announced the election invoking “trust” as the key difference with the opposition. Yet every major decision made by the government shows that trust is the last term that could be used to describe the government.

    It is no wonder that the polls are turnings sour. It is 3 weeks out from the election and the momentum against the government is building. If bringing Rudd back was designed to “save the furniture” the architects of this decision may be sadly disillusioned. The ALP brand has been trashed by its political and organisational representatives in multiple jurisdictions over many years. The ALP needs a thorough cleansing and the start of that will occur at the hands of the voters in 3 weeks. After the NSW and QLD drubbings another drubbing federally may finally convince good members of the ALP that there is a serious problem that needs to be fixed.

  6. Terry

    It looks like the ALP has thrown Sarah Hanson-Young a Senate lifeline after all. I’ll be interested to see if they ever get anything in return for that.

  7. PhilL

    Amortiser @ 4
    I cannot say that I disagree with your analysis but it is only part of the picture and it sounds like you agree with Abbott when he says the ALP should be given time out.
    First, lets not forget the context in which the ALP has been governing in the last three years: a minority parliament, an aggressive opposition and a Murdoch press bent on kicking Labor out. You are more likely to make mistakes when you are under pressure, no excuse I know but I bet the opposition would probably have made the same mistakes (or other mistakes) under the same circumstances.
    Second. Now lets not pretend that the wheeling and dealing, backstage arrangements and so forth are the province of the ALP alone. Look at what happened recently in Victoria and the Northern Territory. Have we forgotten the various scandals of the Howard era?

    Finally , an election is not about giving a party a good kick in the butt, because of the way they behave. An election is about deciding which way we want the country to go. Many of Labor policies have blundered and smacked too much of liberalism, but they’ve also done some good things that the Liberals would never have done even if they belatedly rallied under the banner: Gonsky, NDIS. Yes, the ALP is flawed, but the country and many of us will fare far worse under an Abbott government.

  8. Martin B

    As I said at the end of the last thread:

    If the ALP were just short of a majority in the Senate it would make sense to have X as an alternative negotiating partner to the Greens; it would be easier for an ALP government to pass legislation and harder for a LNP one.

    But if the LNP are just short of a majority then the reverse is true. The presence of X makes it easier for an LNP government to pass legislation and harder for an ALP one – they would still have to get Greens support but would need X onside as well.

    Since anyone with half a psephological brain knows which of these scenarios is more likely it is easy to see which would be best for the ALP. But I don’t expect rational thought to overcome fear of the Greens.

    I’m pleased that the last sentence is false with respect to the national office, even if the Victorian ALP would rather try to elect a micro-right Senator that could pass Abbott legislation, purely out of spite for the Greens.

  9. Martin B

    Bugger, borked the tags. Hope it doesn’t muck up more…
    [fixed ~Mod]

  10. Terry2

    Surprises me how much venom has been directed towards Oakeshott and Windsor, two blokes who in my humble opinion brought honesty, balance and common sense to the last parliament. Personally, I will miss their contribution.
    The minority government has been hard working and productive despite the constant disruption brought to the parliament by Abbott and his crew.

  11. Russell

    ” an election is not about giving a party a good kick in the butt … An election is about deciding which way we want the country to go.”

    Yes and no. Until the Ruddstoration I too was balancing the pros and cons: Gonski, disability etc v. refugees, unemployed etc and overall thought I could still vote Greens 1, ALP 2.

    But the return of Rudd, the character of the man, and a man we know cannot do the job of PM, had me re-thinking. Then the changes for asylum seekers changed everything. You simply cannot destroy people’s lives to make an example of them to others. What’s more, for political convenience.

    It’s often said that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. So an election is an act of judgment on a government. I think we have to judge this government as having crossed a line, and throw it out. In three years time we can judge the LNP government and throw it out.

    This decision doesn’t make me happy. I know that there are many vulnerable people who will be harmed much more than I will be by an LNP government, and I’m still thinking about that.

  12. paul burns

    I still work on the principle that the worst possible Labor Government will always be better than the best possible Liberal Government. And a Liberal Government under Abbott is definitely not the best possible Liberal Government.

  13. TerjeP

    The ALP look very likely to lose this election. Rudd seems very unlikely to remain as leader of a defeated Labor party because he has far too much baggage. So who should and who is likely to lead the ALP in opposition?

  14. John D

    Rudd won in 2007 by putting space between himself and John Howard. Space that was to the left of Howard on issues such as climate action, treatment of asylum seekers and changing to meet the challenges of the future.
    Rudd is now trying to win by reducing the space between himself and Abbott on issues such as climate action and asylum seekers. It is a strategy that didn’t work for Beazley in the Tampa election and a strategy that is seeing Rudd slip backwards this time around. He is also being trapped by “rules” on taxation and debt set by the LNP.
    Rudd has to put more space between himself and Abbott. Even take the risk of going for a progressive vision of he future? Or promise to return taxation levels (and % of GDP) to where they were at the end of the Howard era.

  15. Russell

    “So who should and who is likely to lead the ALP in opposition?”

    Might as well wait to see who is still there.

  16. faustusnotes

    When casting your vote, just remember that Liberal governments are economic wreckers. This one is going to be worse than the last one in that regard. You want a functioning economy in 10 years’ time? Put labour above Tony’s Wreckers.

  17. Russell

    FN, how low will you go? Do you think you could always give your tick of approval to one of these horrible parties, because you can make a comparison and find one is better in some aspect? Was Idi Amin better than Pol Pot? (trying to avoid Godwin’s so early in the thread).

    BTW I certainly wouldn’t vote for the LNP, just withhold my vote from the ALP – I don’t approve of either.

  18. Rococo Liberal

    Everybody did better under the Howard Government. Those in charge then were grown ups, not adolescents like the ALP MPs who only care about seeming and never doing.

    Refugees: Fail

    Econonomy: Fail
    Tax: Fail
    Budget: fail
    NBN: Gross fail
    Gonski: Thought bubble with no hope of actually improving education
    DisabilityCare: Thought bubble that sounds lovely but with no plan and no spending for years

    Are you ALP supporters serious?

    Labor is hopeless.

  19. Katz

    Yep. The ALP is the worst option except the bunch of hypocrites and ideologically driven liars who will replace them.

    Refugees: r@cist f@scism.

    Economy: neoliberalism by stealth vs poll-driven bribes. Division is death.

    Government finance: don’t mention PEFO!

    Internet: dial-up is good enough for most of you.

    Education: Vast subsidization of inequality of opportunity.

    Industrial relations: What’s a synonym of WorkChoices?

    Marriage equality: We’re proud of making marriage legislation LESS equal.

    AGW: crap

  20. Helen

    Jeez Rococo Liberal! How can I argue with that in-depth analysis!
    [/snark]

  21. Terry

    On the basis of this poll, Adam Bandt is in huge trouble in Melbourne.

  22. Martin B

    On the basis of this poll, Adam Bandt is in huge trouble in Melbourne.

    That’s hardly news.

    The interesting thing there is that the poll is not reporting McGowan in Indi but if one assumes she is most of the rest then Mirabella is s real chance to lose.

  23. Mr Denmore

    John D @13 comes closest to expressing my view of things. Rudd’s great virtue was he gave middle Australia the permission to be progressive without putting that label on it. Under Howard, voters were told subterraneously that it was OK to give into their worst instincts. Rudd reminded them that there was another side to the Australian character. And he dressed it up in that non-threatening technocratic suburban doctor personna (or dentist, as Hartcher describes it).

    Now he’s returned to the top job a little dented and broken, like an old toy dragged out of the attic. He’s been belted into shape by the NSW Right, who characteristically still believe (against all the evidence to the contrary) that the path to power is built by minimising the differences between Labor and the ugly Right that now owns the Coalition. And, of course, the more Rudd tacks Right on asylum seekers or work-for-the-dole or any other issue, he just looks like a pale blond imitation of the red in tooth and claw quasi-fascism of Abbott. So people figure they may as well vote for the real thing.

    The Labor Party is catstrophically dysfunctional at communications, despite having a good policy story to tell. I don’t know what it is, but they do not appear to have people in their midst who can craft a message that doesn’t sound like it has been workshopped in some Sussex St backroom with the help of a third rate advertising agency.

    Admittedly, they are up against two foes in the Liberal Party itself and the Murdoch-led corporate media that wants WorkChoices II. But they need to focus on what they can control, which is their message. They need to maintain that message consistently. And they need to put real doubts in people’s minds about what Abbott represents – as a austerity fruitcake, as a climate change denialist, as an unreconstructed 1950s male, as an exteme social conservative who denies the reality of modern families and the complexity of modern life.

    By all means demand better of the ALP, but an electorate that embraces an Abbott-led government deserves everything it gets.

  24. Katz

    It will be fun watching, and commenting upon, Abbott running the Libs into a ditch.

    Rudd’s greatest contribution is that he appears to have preserved the nation from a Coalition-dominated Senate. Therefore, the damaged to be wreaked by Abbott will be mostly self-inflicted.

  25. Luxxe

    OK so who will replace Rudd after the election? Shorten, Burke, Bowen … any other contenders? I would hope it would be Jenny Macklin.
    A Jenny Macklin/Julie Bishop contest down the track would be quite something.

  26. Jacques de Molay

    So people figure they may as well vote for the real thing.

    Been saying that for years. I got a good taste of this under Rann Labor here in SA and knew the people advising him were also advising Rudd and hoped like hell they wouldn’t start going down the same route but sure enough they did.

    Pathetic.

  27. zoot

    By all means demand better of the ALP, but an electorate that embraces an Abbott-led government deserves everything it gets.

    Nailed it again Mr D.
    Watch for my upcoming line of, “Don’t blame me – I voted informal” merchandise.

  28. drsusancalvin

    @ 21 I have donated actual money to McGowan…. I am not in Indi, but saw fit to help. On her site the donations are streaming in from all over the country. I wonder what sentiment she tapped to achieve that? And for some strange reason every time I think of Sophie Mirabella and the Liberal Party I recall that old rhyme “The Good Ship Venus”.

  29. Ambigulous

    Martin B

    At the end of the story you linked to, Cathy McGowan is reported polling 23.3%.

    So from the 33% who aren’t giving her or Sophie their first preferences, she’d need to scoop up 26.8% in second or third etc. preferences.

    That’s a very strong preference flow, isn’t it?

    (Not surprised to hear that donations are flowing in to Cathy’s campaign from all over the country. Lots of people watch Q & A .)

  30. TerjeP

    Rudd’s great virtue was he gave middle Australia the permission to be progressive without putting that label on it.

    Mr D – my clearest memory of Rudd in 2007 was that he said we should “stop this reckless spending”, that he was a “fiscal conservative” and made no apology for it and that he would take a “meat axe” to a bloated public service. If these are progressive values then I agree with you. However I suspect that whilst these values were popular they are not generally what people think of as “progressive”.

  31. Martin B

    @28

    I didn’t link, Terry did. But apologies for not reading through…

    That figure leaves 10+% other/undecided. If that is just breaking the way the commiteds break then yes, Mirabella would be safe. If it is disproportionately ALP/McGowan, however, then Mirabella would be ahead, but not safe.

  32. Ambigulous

    oops, sorry.

  33. Terry2

    So Abbott has confirmed his discriminatory parental leave scheme and, incredibly he said today that he hoped for a ‘baby boom’, but the scheme doesn’t even start until July 2015.

    I notice that, unlike the past announcements, he specifically did not say that those companies who already have generous parental leave schemes or who already ‘top-up’ the existing scheme could scrap their schemes and leave it all to the government. Did I miss something ?

  34. GregM

    So from the 33% who aren’t giving her or Sophie their first preferences, she’d need to scoop up 26.8% in second or third etc. preferences.

    That’s a very strong preference flow, isn’t it?

    A commenter here who’d been a scrutineer in past elections in Indi commented that a feature of them was how tightly second and third preferences went against Sophie.

    Here’s hoping anyhow.

  35. Mr Denmore

    TerjeP, when I say ‘progressive’ I am talking about ETS-social safety net-gay marriage-Aboriginal reconcilliation-republican progressive. Think Malcolm Turnbull as social democrat.

  36. Chris

    I notice that, unlike the past announcements, he specifically did not say that those companies who already have generous parental leave schemes or who already ‘top-up’ the existing scheme could scrap their schemes and leave it all to the government. Did I miss something ?

    I suspect that quite a few companies who already offer paid parental leave will just add to the government scheme rather than just drop theirs. Part of the reason they already have one now is to offer a workplace condition that is better than their competitors. So you’ll just end up with some people getting say 9 months paid parental leave instead of 3 like they do now.

  37. TerjeP

    Mr D – okay but Labor had tried to win with that formulae previously and it didn’t. What was different in 2007 was that for the first time against Howard the ALP ditched the rhetoric of higher taxes and higher spending.

  38. alfred venison

    here’s one way they influence politics on t.v. while saying they don’t. today: abc 24: topic: comparison of the polling for rudd & abbott. graphic of the same stats from today’s poll in column for each contender. at head of column of stats is picture of contender: (1) picture of rudd against a blank background, (2) picture of abbott against a background of the flag. its not an accident. -a.v.

  39. paul burns

    Seems Wikileaks NSW unintentionally stuffed up big time with their Senate ticket putting Family First and the Shooters’ Party aead of the Greens when they didn’t mean to do so. The words ‘run’ and ‘chook raffle’ come to mind.

  40. Terry2

    Chris@36: Hope you are right but from Abbott’s previous comments:

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/tax_rise_won_hurt_companies_abbott_B28WCS67XVyCWCW45cybuJ

    He seemed to be expecting those companies with parental leave schemes and who are to pay a 1.5% tax, to abandon their schemes in favour of the government scheme. I heard him this morning telling a small business group in Sydney that his PPL scheme would cost them nothing. Sounds like the pea and thimble trick to me and like all things from the coalition, until they put out more detail on their policies you really don’t have much to go on.

  41. Helen

    Apparently Assange has, in an interview sponsored by Deakin university, praised right wing kooks like Matt Drudge and Rand Paul, claimed that the Libertarian Right is the only hope, and claimed that opposition to abortion equals “non-violence”. The URL for the interview is here.
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/FofnFbF_JO8
    Can’t access it today. If anyone here has the time to check it out, did he really say these things?? If so, how can he possibly be taken seriously by young left activists any more?

  42. Moz of Yaramulla

    Helen, I’ve seen it reported in several places. Unfavourably. It’s one of those “what he really meant” moments. I think it’s going to burn off some of his more green and left supporters though.

  43. Rocky

    Helen, I saw it yesterday. The real Assange. He cited the GOP’s anti abortion tactics as an example of successful ‘non violence’. I’m so angry and disappointed that Leslie Cannold is standing for election as part of Wikileaks.

    I don’t for a moment believe that it’s a stuff up that they’ve preferenced right wing groups ahead if the Greens.

  44. Russell

    I’ll go crazy if I hear anymore of it. There’s Abbott on the 11.00 news saying that the Libs have indeed put the Greens last on their preferences, well, except for some candidates who are racist, because the Greens are “economic fringe dwellers”.

  45. David Irving (no relation)

    … the Greens are “economic fringe dwellers”.

    That’s rich, coming from Abbott.

  46. Moz of Yaramulla

    DInr, which would be a good explanation of the Liberals had preferenced the Greens first :) Unfortunately there are two fringes and Abbott lives at the other one. Where Treasury can’t be trusted, promised don’t need to be costed and a friend’s accounting firm can do the national budget “it’s just like a household, mate”.

  47. Tim Macknay

    The polls seem to be a little crazy. The latest Newspoll has blown out the the Coalition’s lead to 54:46, but the Essential has come back in to make it 50:50. On average, it’s still looking good for Abbott though.

  48. Tim Macknay

    How the hell did I manage to put two the’ s in there?

  49. Moz of Yaramulla

    Tim, proofreading appears to be beyond all of us. Despite appearances I did actually read my post at #46 a couple of times before hitting submit. I plead overexposure to the mind-numbing stupidity that passes for politics in this country right now.

  50. Ronson Dalby

    AV @ 38,

    “here’s one way they influence politics on t.v. while saying they don’t.”

    It’s driving me nuts: every news segment on ABC TV and radio that I’ve heard over the last few days leads with a positive Abbott/LNP story.

    ABC TV news, either last Fri or Sat, led with 4 or 5 minutes of the LNP bagging an ALP policy announcement. Guess what: news and details of the policy announcement came after the LNP lead!

    It’s enough to contend with the Murdoch and generally anti-ALP Fairfax presses, but it now seems the ABC has decided to go that way too.

  51. Ronson Dalby

    Tim @ 47,

    I just read somewhere that Morgan’s poll is 51:49, virtually the same as Essential’s.

  52. faustusnotes

    The SMH website today has an opinion piece about “selfie” obssessed Rudd as its lead article. Biased much?

  53. faustusnotes

    yes, proof-reading … I meant to write “by Amanda Vanstone”, a rather important additional piece of information …

  54. alfred venison

    yes siree, Ronson Dalby, its this kind of incidental manipulation all day every day for these bozos. Its especially egregious with abc as “aunty” retains for many of its audience the aura it once honestly had when it really was impartial and a cut above the others for that reason. Its co-option to a role the normalisation of bias is a measure of murdoch’s success in setting subtle limits to the range of thinking possible among consumers of mass media. –a.v.

  55. Casey

    Channel 7 did a treacly sweet story on Hockey on their Sunday Night show last night, with the lead reporter being none other than Peter Fitzsimons, a good friend of Hockey’s, and the people interviewed being another friend, David Koch, and his wife Melissa the millionaire. Totally in depth. Included in the footage were images of Rudd and Hockey shirtless in a river on the Kokoda Track all white and fleshy. They provided with absolutely no warning for this footage and for what we were about to view. Traumatic. The most penetrating question was: “Is he too nice? Does he have a killer instinct? Do you even need a killer instinct to be treasurer?”. The hagiographic exercise concluded with Hockey tearing up about the thought of telling his poor father (who was once a member of the Labor party and had been beaten into submission by his Liberal voting partner and son) on election night that he will be treasurer.

    Why don’t they just become the official Liberal Party station and be done with it?

  56. Craig Mc

    Its especially egregious with abc as “aunty” retains for many of its audience the aura it once honestly had when it really was impartial and a cut above the others for that reason.

    I agree. If the ABC is just going to be a LNP propaganda outlet, it should be defunded, or even better, privatised.

  57. Russell

    The ABC can’t be defunded or privatised because we would still need it for the reason it was set up. Perhaps the Act could be changed so that all appointments to the Board had to be agreed to by the PM and Leader of the Opposition?

  58. paul burns

    Utterly agree with observations on ABC bias in favour of the Coalition. They know from last time if they don’t crawl to them their funding will be cut big time.

  59. Terry2

    One thing is for sure, the coalition when in government will owe a significant debt to News Ltd for which Rupert will require his pound of flesh: do we have a Portia out there somewhere ?

  60. alfred venison

    i don’t think privatising the abc would help any cause except that of making the rich richer, after all the problem is its private sector bias, not its public ownership. -a.v.

  61. zorronsky

    ABC bias today on The Drum (TV) 3 to 1 LP to Labor with a giggling Annabel Crab outdoing the LP mouthpiece as an Abbott groupie and supported by the AFR pro LP person. GGMS.

  62. Chris

    zorronsky – now you know what the LNP supporters thinking of Insiders most weeks :-)

  63. zorronsky

    Really Chris, seems to me as a former Insiders viewer that the same odds applied as I pointed out above. And let me guess, you now watch Andrew Bolt.. True?

  64. Debbieanne

    Anyone else watch ‘The Roast’ on ABC2 at 7:30pm? Seem much less biased than ABC news. And occasionally funny too :)

  65. Moz of Yarramulla

    Debbieanne: yes, that and The Chaser. If it can’t be interesting, TV should at least be funny. I do wish we could get more Clarke and Dawes too.

  66. alfred venison

    we’ve grown complacent. we need a glasgow media group here in the australian scene. its like crying out for it.

    what the glasgow collective did with video recorders & analogue broadcasts in thatcher’s england we need to replicate with hard drives & cable/nbn today. there’re more stations and more news now but a modest study could start with the free to air broadcasters.

    its that bad that a comparative content analysis of all the buggers’ bulletins is needed expose the systemic & deliberate bias inherent in “news” today directed at today’s skeptical audiences/consumers.

    look back at “bad news” or “more bad news” for the kind of broadcast criteria to measure and then throw in some digital to boot.

    e.g. graphics used in background (flag for abbott v. no flag for rudd), placement in the bulletin (1st story, before or after the royal baby), length of story, headlines subheadings as spoken by the readers, alan kohler’s graphs, special effects, wording used (labor in “another” crisis) whose expert?, which vox pops (a particular plaint of ms venison), and who are those people behind the speaker?

    t.v. news is a heavily produced phenomenon that costs a lot of money – nothing is left to chance, everything on there is a deliberate choice. there is no impartiality, but we can & should be systematically tracking the bias and posting the findings somewhere. the gruen factor is good but not enough. -a.v.

  67. Debbieanne

    a.v can we add the words disasterous(or similar) + economy to your list, please?

  68. zorronsky

    (Murdoch) News Breakfast ticks all those boxes alfred. ‘tho I wouldn’t be surprised if things even out a bit when it’s thought that it’s in the bag.

  69. alfred venison

    that’s the spirit, Debbieanne. this kind of content analysis could be done by software i reckon, but you’d need resources to capture & scour & tabulate results, but gee it’d be fun to play around with the results, especially around the time of election campaigns. -a.v.

  70. Chris

    Really Chris, seems to me as a former Insiders viewer that the same odds applied as I pointed out above. And let me guess, you now watch Andrew Bolt.. True?

    Seriously? I rarely watch Bolt’s show, and even then its just for laughs :-)

  71. Brian

    I watched Q&A with Chris Bowen up against Joe Hockey because I thought I should.

    Bowen did well, but why wouldn’t Tony Jones stop Hockey from constantly interrupting and talking over? Hockey was full of blather and shouting people down, whereas Bowen was a model of courtesy and calm.

    Bowen missed an opportunity by not pointing out that PEFO contained full costing of Gonski and NDIS up to 2024, so only one side has to explain how they would fund them in the out years.

    Hockey pretty much promised to cut the ABC. He said that if there’s waste there, they’ll cut it.

  72. Debbieanne

    Brian the problem will be that an austerity frame work will find waste in all sorts of places that affect the majority of us. Qld is not in good shape as far as services go. Bringing in the business partnerships won’t save money but will improve the bottom line of some friend/s of the pollies. We’ve seen it all before.

  73. Brian

    Debbieanne, yes they are setting things up so that they can do whatever they like, as happened in Queensland. What’s so sad is that Australia will be changed forever in a way that will entrench inequality and privilege.

  74. alfred venison

    zorronsky, i can’t stand channel 10, but you seem to have more stamina for it, so you scrutinize the murdoch & i’ll scrutinize the abc and we’ll compare notes on the “evening out” down the road, if it transpires. -a.v.

  75. Terry2

    Brian the Bowen/Hockey debate was a real improvement on the Abbott/Rudd sham.
    The Q&A format is certainly the best forum but I understand that Abbott is still avoiding any unscripted appearance.

  76. paul burns

    Barnaby Joyce on ABCTV news this morning almost had an apoplectic fit because Virginia Trioli asked him some (unexpected?) mildly difficult questions. He’d calmed down by the end of the interview once he started to get his agreed Dorothy Dixers.
    I’m sure once Abbott gets in if the ABC does develop a bit of gumption and criticise that government they will be very quickly brought into line.

  77. Rocky

    I watched ‘Wednesday Night Live’ on Channel 10 last week. It was surprisingly funny and really mean about the Libs and Abbott. I was surprised in a good way.

  78. Dave McRae

    Thanks a.v. for that Glasgow Media Group link, fantastic stuff in there.

    And yeah, why has the ABC become a relay for NewsLtd? Fear of LNP cuts? (I’m watching the tech reporter Nick Ross for pointing out the LNP’s fraudband, I think he’ll first sacked – many of the others are gutless wonders). I can’t think of other reasons.

  79. Jess

    Couldn’t decide whether this should be on the Whimsy thread or this one

    Dear Editor of the Border Mail,
    I have fond memories of the time that Sophie Mirabella visited the electorate of Indi. She would be welcome to visit again if her schedule permits.
    Yours sincerely,
    A Distant Admirer.

    and

    Dear editor of the Myrtleford Times,
    It is blatantly untrue that Mrs Sophie “Magic” Mirabella, our local MP, is unfamiliar with the electorate. I have it on good authority that she has flown over Indi on no fewer than 230 occasions on her way from Tullamarine to Canberra, providing her with a unique bird’s-eye perspective on this electorate and the issues that matter to voters. Please retract your vicious slur on this good woman.
    Your acrimoniously,
    Not-At-All-Invested-In-The-Campaign Indi Voter.

    Here’s the link to the Facebook page. Gold

  80. Tim Macknay

    This one is my favourite:

    Dear Editor of the Wangaratta Chronicle,

    I write in regard to a recent rumour I have found emanating from disreputable elements, which alleges that our elected Member of Parliament, Mrs Sophie Mirabella is only now learning how to door-knock her electorate. While it is true that Mrs Mirabella is not a frequent door-knocker, this should be attributed to the very solid nature of doors in Indi, which is very hard upon the knuckles. Rather than a source of embarrassment for Mrs Mirabella, I feel this ought to be a point of celebration for all Indi residents, who can reflect with no small amount of pride on the quality of their doors.

    Yours sincerely,

    An Average Indi Resident.

  81. Jacques de Molay

    Labor has called on Tony Abbott to ditch a Liberal candidate whose personal website contained lewd and sexist content.

    Kevin Baker, who is contesting former minister Greg Combet’s NSW seat of Charlton, has been forced to shut down his “Mini-Mods” forum site for car enthusiasts.

    The site contained references to incest, domestic violence, racism and child abuse.

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/08/20/10/05/lib-candidate-apologises-for-sexist-blog

  82. Chris

    Jess @ 79 – so I wonder if that facebook page is part of the ALP social media strategy?

    On a different topic, one rather odd part about Abbott’s parental leave policy is that if a father decides to take parental leave instead of the mother, then he will get paid at the mother’s salary, not his own. Would that get past sex discrimination laws? Seems like it would even further encourage women to stay out of the workforce.

  83. pablo

    I thought Emma Albirici did a decent job on the LNP law/justice spokesman on ABC Lateline Mon 19. This followed a Lib announceable about mandatory 5 year prison sentences for gun import offenses.
    It was a ‘law’n'order’ issue aimed squarely at western Sydney ‘drive-by’ shootings being all the responsibility of the Rudd Government through lax customs/import policy. Albirici had NSW crime stats and Customs responses at hand to rebut this spokesman but logic could not quite penetrate this talking head, out to make the most of an urban problem.

  84. Ronson Dalby

    After watching 7.30 Report last night, I couldn’t help wondering what the Uhlmann/Brodtmann household is like after one of his pro-Lib segments (last night was LNP Academy Award stuff).

    Perhaps they just agree no politics in the home?

  85. Jess

    @82 Chris – Nah, that page is too funny to be a Labor plant.

    Re fathers getting paid at mother’s rate – my wife earns more than me so that’s ok. :)

  86. Moz in Oz

    Jess: that sums up the problem nicely. Too many Australians care primarily about their own selfish interest and will vote for whoever offers them the most. I’m sure that if directly selling votes were legal the price would be very low.

  87. Chris

    Jess @ 85 – that’s what makes me a bit suspicious – its a bit *too* good on a fairly narrow topic. Doesn’t really matter, but I’m kind of interested in how the parties run their social media stuff.

    Re: the parental leave – my problem with it is that will even further discourage men from becoming primary carers (and there’s already a strong disincentive). And if the wage gap was small or non existant when the first child arrives the gap will be definitely bigger if a second comes a long because the mother has been out of the workforce.

  88. Terry2

    Intriguing comment by Abbott when asked about the future of the ABC: he said that the ABC was safe (from being sold off under a coalition government) but that it could face “more competition in the future”.
    Does this mean that he plans to start up a new public broadcaster possibly headed by Andrew Bolt with Alan Jones as content adviser ? Or does it mean that he will be giving public money to Murdoch affiliated entities: any body got any information on this ?

  89. Russell

    I heard that and wondered if it meant competing for advertising revenue. I stopped watching SBS when the ads started so that could be quite effective for the conservatives – the turn-off, having to program to attract commercial sponsors etc

  90. zorronsky

    SBS Ads turned me off too Russell but I’ve tuned back in …better news and good programs that deserve watching…

  91. Katz

    Abbott’s PPL policy:

    Slug retirees making $45k p.a. from franked shares to pay parents up to $75k p.a.

    Now the cynicism of the Coalition pitch has finally been exposed. Abbott’s shoot-from-the-lip populism finally crashes into financial reality.

  92. Rocky

    Abbott’s PPL scheme is falling apart on any number of fronts. Labor should be able to destroy it. But, their campaigning is too poor.

  93. Chris

    Katz @ 91 – where was the outrage when woolworths introduced PPL for their employees at their normal salary? Because they too were “slugging” retiree shareholders in order to pay parents parental leave. Where were the complaints that they should instead just pay them nothing or at the minimum wage to increase the dividend that the company could pay out?

    Are you arguing that all other companies that pay parental leave should also drop their schemes because their ripping of shareholders?

    In an ideal world you’d just require that companies provide paid parental leave, but Abbotts (and now the Greens) scheme removes the problem of encouraging discrimination against hiring women.

    Even unpaid parental leave in practice costs companies money (eg cost of hiring temporary staff, perhaps at higher wages because they are on contract rather than permanent), lost productivity etc. Should we remove compulsory unpaid parental leave so companies can decide for themselves whether they implement it and instead save some money to distribute to retiree shareholders?

  94. Rocky

    We’re they Chris? We’re they not paying fully franked dividends to their shareholders?

  95. Chris

    Rocky @ 94 – it comes out of their profit. So its either reduced dividends or a reduction in the capital gain of the stock. Either way, less money for those poor self funded retirees.

  96. Rocky

    Right, so it’s not the same thing. It isn’t just self funded retirees who benefit from fully franked dividends, btw. I do, for instance and I barely earn a middle class wage.

  97. FDB

    “So its either reduced dividends or a reduction in the capital gain of the stock”

    Or increased prices in-store. Likely a combination of these – with the benefit of hanging onto your best and best-trained employees, which creates more value for customers (better service) and saves on training new employees.

  98. Chris

    FDB @ 97 – I agree – companies may for example try to raise prices because of the increase in company tax (or at least not reduce them). And you’ll get some of those same benefits from the LNP or Greens parental leave scheme too.

    Rocky @ 96 – true – every shareholder who pays tax in Australia gains from fully franked dividends. I earn more than average income and benefit from the franking credits because I pay less tax on the share income. I’d bet the wealthier Australians gain proportionally a lot more from tax concessions for dividend income than your average wage earner.

    When Abbott is elected if he suddenly declares that in an effort to help businesses delivery higher dividends to shareholders he is going to reduce the workplace entitlement for paid annual leave only having to pay at the minimum wage rather than the employees normal salary would you support it? After all, why should someone who is on holiday get paid more than someone else on holiday just because when they work they get paid more?

    I think it comes down to whether or not you think paid parental leave is something that is attached to work, or if it is a separate support benefit which parents should be entitled to regardless of the work they normally do. If its the latter then I think we should be paying the minimum wage to parents who don’t have a job too for the same period of time the current scheme pays it to parents with a job.

  99. Rocky

    Chris, I’d line a minimum social wage paid to everyone regardless of what they’re doing. And that would include a higher social wage if you have kids, obviously.

  100. Katz

    Chris, I’m sue if you tried you could confect a little more outrage.

    1.

    where was the outrage when woolworths introduced PPL for their employees at their normal salary? Because they too were “slugging” retiree shareholders in order to pay parents parental leave. Where were the complaints that they should instead just pay them nothing or at the minimum wage to increase the dividend that the company could pay out?

    2.

    There was no outrage from me because this is company policy. Shareholders had input into the decision through the Board. The payment of this impost is based entirely on the relative size of the company. How dumb is that?

    Are you arguing that all other companies that pay parental leave should also drop their schemes because their ripping of shareholders?

    No.

    Any other questions?

  101. Chris

    There was no outrage from me because this is company policy. Shareholders had input into the decision through the Board. The payment of this impost is based entirely on the relative size of the company. How dumb is that?

    Shareholders don’t get input into having to support unpaid parental leave, annual leave or sick leave. The latter two they are forced to pay it at an employees normal pay rate, not just minimum wage.

    I’d agree it’d be better if the tax increase was just paid by all companies regardless of size. But for whatever reason “small business” is held sacred by both the LNP and ALP.

  102. Katz

    Woolworths is forced to pay award rates. Whatever Woolworths pays above that minimum is ultimately the responsibility of the Board.

    And the Board are creatures of the shareholders.

  103. Katz

    I’d bet the wealthier Australians gain proportionally a lot more from tax concessions for dividend income than your average wage earner.

    Depends on what you mean.

    Let us presume that an individual accrues $18,500 solely from dividends that are fully franked. That person would pay no tax yet receive a rebate of all of the franking credits = 30% of $18,500. Therefore, this person would pay no income tax at all and receive a rebate of approx $6000. The final income of this person would be about $24,000.

    Let us presume that an individual accrues $1m solely from dividends that are fully franked. That person would pay tax at the top marginal rate for most of this and receive a rebate of approx 48% – 30% = 18% of $1m = approx $180,000. The final income of this person would be $820,000.

    Clearly, this system has distributed income from high earning shareholders to low earning sharehders.

  104. Ambigulous

    Katz,

    Doesn’t the second taxpayer pay tax of $180,000 rather than receiving a rebate of that amount?

  105. Katz

    You’re right Ambi. That para should read:

    “Let us presume that an individual accrues $1m solely from dividends that are fully franked. That person would pay tax at the top marginal rate for most of this and receive a rebate of 30% which is subtracted from approx 48%. This individual would pay in tax approx 18% of $1m = approx $180,000. The final income of this person would be $820,000.”

    Sorry about the mix up.

  106. Chris

    Clearly, this system has distributed income from high earning shareholders to low earning sharehders.

    Um, no. The low income earner has received $6000 more than without franked dividends. The high income earner gets to pay (approximately ignoring the lower income tax thresholds) $180,000 in tax instead of $480,000 in tax so is $300,000 better off. Both the $6000 and $300,000 are essentially lost tax revenue for the government which they compensate through fewer services or raising tax income elsewhere.

    Now there is some logic to the company having paid the tax already so individuals shouldn’t have to pay it again but to say that low income earners benefit more from the system I think is kind of weird.

  107. Katz

    But I didn’t say that, Chris.

    I demonstrated that the system produces a positive outcome for the small shareholder while mitigating the negative outcome for the big shareholder.

    These outcomes would be very different if both shareholders owned shares that did not pay franked dividends.

  108. Chris

    Katz @ 107- hrm – in my view they are positive outcomes for both shareholders. Not having to pay $6000 in tax is as good a financial benefit as someone give you $6000 thousand. And not having to pay $300,000 in tax is way way better than getting a refund of $6000.

    Anyway I think the franking credits issue is a bit of a distraction. The net effect regardless is that shareholders will receive a slightly lower (net) dividend. I think that’s fairly shrugworthy compared to establishing a paid parental scheme. We have a medicare levy to partially fund NDIS – that’ll hurt self funded retirees and they don’t qualify for NDIS services if they acquire their disability after they turn 65.

  109. Ambigulous

    Chris,

    it’s not necessarily “lost tax revenue for the government”, since the franking reflects a payment has been made by the corporation issuing the dividends, to the ATO.

    …. unless the tax rate applied to the company is way below personal income tax rates ….

  110. Chris

    Ambigulous – well its “lost tax revenue” from the perspective if there wasn’t dividend imputation, like pre-1987 where it did used to get taxed twice. btw I’m not arguing against franking credits.

  111. Ambigulous

    OK, fair enough Chris.

  112. Katz

    Chris:

    The net effect regardless is that shareholders will receive a slightly lower (net) dividend. I think that’s fairly shrugworthy compared to establishing a paid parental scheme.

    Perhaps those retired mums and dads and assorted widows and orphans making $45k in fixed income might have a firm opinion about subsidizing a PPL recipient $75k out of their meagre income.

    These special imposts are bad, messy policy. If PPL is good public policy, then it should be funded out of general revenue.

  113. Katz

    Moreover, many of the biggest Australian companies don’t pay franked dividends. These companies, having minimized company tax, are under Abbott’s policy to avoid paying PPL funding.

    It’s a complete dog’s breakfast

    Rudd should savage it mercilessly.

  114. Chris

    Perhaps those retired mums and dads and assorted widows and orphans making $45k in fixed income might have a firm opinion about subsidizing a PPL recipient $75k out of their meagre income.

    So the average dividend yield is probably around 3-4%, lets be generous and say 5%. So someone on $45k/year from just dividends has about $900,000 in assets, not including the family home. A 30 year old new parent even on $100-150k/yr probably has significantly less wealth than that. Contrary to popular belief, income is not equivalent to wealth or ability to fund social programs, its just the easiest way for government to get revenue.

    These special imposts are bad, messy policy. If PPL is good public policy, then it should be funded out of general revenue.

    Actually I agree with most of that. We shouldn’t for example have a medicare levy to fund the NDIS. The government should have just bumped all the income tax rates. In this case they should have at the very least applied the tax to all companies, not just big ones. And a significant proportion of Abbott’s PPL will be funded out of general revenue because the company tax increase doesn’t cover the full cost.

    As I mentioned before in an ideal world it would have been better just to make PPL compulsory like unpaid parental leave is. But there appear to be genuine fears, probably reasonably well founded, that employers would avoid hiring women who they think might have kids in the near future.

  115. jumpy.

    The debate was pretty good.

  116. faustusnotes

    Leslie Cannold has bailed on the wikileaks party with a scathing attack on their transparency and democratic processes. Apparently two members of its governing council tried to recruit senators to act outside the council’s remit. The botched preference deals appear to be down to sabotage.

    Join the Greens, Cannold …

  117. paul burns

    I can’t believe it. Abbott told Rudd to shut up about five minutes into the debate. Abbott was rattled. Rudd done him. And the worm, probably stacked with Get Up members, gave Rudd 55%. Loved it.

  118. Rocky

    Fn@115. There’s also an article by Dan Matthews who was on their National Council and also resigned. He makes it clear that Assange and Greg Barns decided on the preferences against the wishes of the National Council and Assange has been telling lies about it. They thought no-one would care about preferences.

  119. Chris

    fn @ 115 – it is a spectacular explosion by the wikileaks party. Should hopefully make the preference decision in WA less relevant.

    Paul @ 116 – yea its not a good look from Abbott. Not quite a Latham moment, but will be interesting to see if the ALP are able to use it.

  120. faustusnotes

    haha, shock! Assange is an asshat. Who could possibly have guessed?

    Also yesterday or today Chris Pyne made some nice comment about how his debating opponent (Shorten?) must “really like the sound of his own voice” – because he attended a tv interview that was meant to be a debate, but which Pyne refused to show up to. So that’s what Liberals think of ALP ministers appearing on TV to sell their govts achievements – they “really like the sound of their own voice.” Born to rule much?

  121. Katz

    Chris:

    So the average dividend yield is probably around 3-4%, lets be generous and say 5%. So someone on $45k/year from just dividends has about $900,000 in assets, not including the family home.

    No.

    You are assuming that the person in question is preserving her capital. In fact, in order to generate that income, the average superannuant is eating into her capital. Typically, it will be exhausted before she dies.

  122. Chris

    Katz @ 120 – if they’re taking part of their income from capital then the effect of the corporate tax increase on franking credits will also be proportionally less. Also self funded retirees already have really generous tax treatment – a single retiree can earn over $30,000/year without paying any tax at all in addition to completely tax free superannuation benefits.

  123. Terry2

    Re Debate: Channel 7 gave it to Rudd 56% to 44% which I go along with.

    Abbott was all over the place on his PPL, you would think after three years of gestation he could tell what it would cost and bring some clarity to the funding; this policy could bring the Liberal campaign down , not that it is not a desirable policy objective but it should not be funded by taxpayers. Abbott, like Hockey, keeps saying that if it’s OK to pay annual leave and sick pay (to ‘blokes’) at full salary then it’s OK to pay parental leave at full salary. They will not concede that, as a workplace entitlement, it should be paid by the employer not taxpayers.

    How about a compromise: companies receive a 1.5% company tax reduction only if they institute a six month, parental leave scheme payable over and above the government’s minimum wage scheme (which is also increased to six months) up to a total of full salary.

  124. Katz

    Chris, so you don’t deny that Abbott’s grab at dividends paid by companies that have paid full tariff on their company tax will hasten the journey of superannuants to a zero balance.

  125. Katz

    Re debate, Abbott’s Captain Queeg broke out of the brig, demanding answers about the strawberry ice cream. Not a pretty sight.

    The PPL … the albatross Abbott tied around his own neck.

  126. zorronsky

    @ 119
    Assange denials on display (murdoch News Breakfast) This bloke looks very unstable and untruthful.
    I’m still waiting for full disclosure re Coalition based Wikileaks..

  127. Helen

    Paul @ 116 – yea its not a good look from Abbott. Not quite a Latham moment, but will be interesting to see if the ALP are able to use it.

    Fear not, LNP supporters! Ashley Hall on RN today appeared to think it was awesome and a “”Gotcha” moment” against Rudd.

    http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3831101.htm

  128. Brian

    I checked this morning and if you owned the four big banks plus Telstra your average fully franked dividend yield would average 5.4% at current prices. I haven’t done any calculations on the impact of Abbott’s franking steal, but according to what a representative of the National Seniors Association said yesterday the impact would be quite significant for people who are getting a self-funded income equivalent to the pension.

    Many people don’t realise that if you invest through managed funds and they charge, say 1%, that amounts to about 20% of your prospective income. I would counsel caution, however, in going it alone.

  129. Brian

    BTW, in the debate there was frequent applause for Abbott’s answers and I might be biased but I don’t recall any for Rudd. Frankly I doubt the audience was genuinely ‘undecided’.

  130. Moz of Yaramulla

    counsel caution, Brian.

    WikiLeaks seems to be imploding: http://ausvotes2013.com/2013/08/21/wikileaks-party-turmoil-revealed-leslie-cannold-resigns-as-julian-assanges-running-mate-in-victoria/

    Shock, horror, Assange is an extremely entitled individual. Reading Daniel Matthews statement is a bit shocking, and the worst of it is confirmed by Leslie Cannold. Well, except the “Julian is the man, he has the vote” proposal that was voted down.

  131. Helen

    From US writer Jeff Fecke:

    While WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange have long garnered support from people on the political left, it’s never been clear how strongly they backed the left. Now, an interview with Assange and actions taken by a WikiLeaks-affiliated party in Australia are making it apparent that WikiLeaks is not a leftist organization. The two groups may share some aims, but WikiLeaks is decidedly right-wing.

    WikiLeaks’ overt anti-American rhetoric and commitment to complete government transparency has appealed to activists who view western and American imperialism as the greatest threat to world stability. Leftist luminaries, from Noam Chomsky to Michael Moore, and leftist leaders, like Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chávez and Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, have all embraced the organization. Indeed, Correa’s government has been sheltering Assange in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, preventing him from being extradited to answer rape allegations in Sweden.

    However, in an interview with Campus Reform, Assange praised America’s political right. He called former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and his son, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., the “only hope” for liberty in America. “The libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is presently the only useful political voice really in the U.S. Congress,” Assange said in the interview, adding that he was “a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very principled positions in the U.S. Congress on a number of issues.”

    The Pauls, of course, are known to have been very cozy with fringe racists groups. Indeed, Rand Paul co-authored his campaign book with a man who calls himself “The Southern Avenger.” Rand Paul has said the Civil Rights Act was wrong, as was the Americans With Disabilites Act. These things are evidently not deal-breakers for Assange, however.

    Indeed, on the one social issue Assange cited, he agrees with Rand Paul. Rand Paul supported a “heartbeat bill,” which would effectively outlaw abortion. Assange cited that approvingly, along with opposition to taxation in any form.

    “So, non-violence: well, don’t go and invade a foreign country. [...] Non-violence: doesn’t extort taxes from people to the federal Government with a policeman. Similarly, other aspects of non-violence in relation to abortion that they hold,” he said.

    Assange’s views are of a piece with radical libertarianism, which holds that government can do little but provide a minimal police force to defend property rights. This is, needless to say, about as far from the political left as one can get.

    Assange’s statements might be viewed as a one-off, or a misunderstanding, if not for the actions of his political allies in Australia. There, the WikiLeaks Party, which has been trying to gain a seat for Assange in Australia’s Senate, allied itself with the far-right Australia First Party, an overtly nationalist and nativist minor party. It’s also thrown its lot in with The Nationals, another right-wing party, ahead of the Greens.

    The party has tried to downplay the uproar since this became public, citing “administrative errors” as the reason behind their decisions. Still, it was noted by many that Assange had criticized the Greens’ policies on asylum-seeking as “simplistic and foolish,” and Crikey reported that it had been told off the record that the move was intentional.

    What is abundantly clear is that Assange and WikiLeaks are not leftist or liberal, but libertarian in their worldview. That is not to say that there are not some issues where the two groups might ally; libertarians are non-interventionists by nature, and leftist groups may still find common cause with WikiLeaks on issues related to government transparency and military intervention.

    http://www.care2.com/causes/wikileaks-assange-embrace-the-far-far-right.html#ixzz2ceNZFM8m

  132. Brian

    Thanks, Moz. Another ‘senior moment’ I’m afraid. My spelling is deteriorating.

  133. Moz of Yaramulla

    Helen, it’s interesting that the US author uses “libertarian” where Australians are using “fascist”. I suspect that Assange would identify more as a libertarian, but he’s demonstrating an authoritarian streak even more than most libertarians.

    I’m starting to wonder whether the preference debacle and his Rand support might cost him dearly on the high-level front – if his powerful personal supporters in Ecuador especially start to wonder whether he’s just another pro-USA, pro-intervention arsehole, his political value is declining as he burns off supporters and whether the considerable diplomatric cost is really worth it any more.

    At a once-over-lightly level, he’s burned off a lot of feminist supporters via the Swedish mess, left/green supporters via the preferencing, anarchist supporters through his ongoing struggles with consent and authoritarianism. Who’s left – SWM libertarians?

    My issues, I admit, are more anarchist based than anything. Yes, he’s an entitled male, and to some extent so what, it’s not as if that makes him unusual amongst politicians. But even his defence of his actions in Sweeden show that he really doesn’t understand consent and why it’s important at a personal level. Then there’s his willingness to turn to anti-democratic countries for support. Consent apparently not important at a population level either. Now we have his attempt to turn the representative-democratic WikiLeaks party into a personal feifdom, and to lie and mislead his close friends as part of that attempt. Even when overruled he persisted. Is there anything he won’t do for personal power? Does he see himself as a messianic “man on a mission” where the ends justify the means? To me, that puts him very close to his allies in Australia First.

  134. Chris

    Chris, so you don’t deny that Abbott’s grab at dividends paid by companies that have paid full tariff on their company tax will hasten the journey of superannuants to a zero balance.

    Nope. Then so does the NDIS levy, carbon pricing etc, compulsory annual leave, long service leave, sick leave requirements etc. Just like the other rights and programs I think its worth the cost – and has been mentioned it doesn’t specifically target retirees, everyone who owns shares will be affected.

    Incidentally I think this the sort of policy that only the LNP could get through. Prior to Abbott proposing it, if the ALP or Greens had tried to get paid parental leave through as a workplace right the LNP would have criticised them heavily for this big new tax on companies.

  135. Terry2

    Brian @128 : Evidently there was a strong cohort of coalition supporters as part of the debate audience (i.e. not the undecided invitees who asked questions) who were encouraged to be there essentially for the pre-debate announcement by Abbott of a $5million donation to the Broncos new club extensions.

    Clever tactics by the coalition, tricky perhaps.

  136. faustusnotes

    Moz of Yarallumla, Assange’s negotiating tactics and personal style appear to be very high-handed and authoritarian, which isn’t going to serve him well living in a rat-hole. He’s already been reprimanded for his dealings with Snowden and, I suspect, is partly responsible for Snowden getting trapped in the Russian airport. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get kicked out of the Ecuadorian embassy at some point just for being an interfering, arrogant, insufferable arsehole. Then, devoid of his only high-level political backers, we can find out the truth of the rape claims, and see whether the US is really after him or if that was just a convenient excuse for a two year holiday in the Ecuadorian embassy.

    Either way, after this election I doubt we’ll be seeing much coverage of his arsehattery any more …

  137. tigtog

    Is there anything [Assange] won’t do for personal power? Does he see himself as a messianic “man on a mission” where the ends justify the means?

    Makes me wonder just how much, if at all, he’s shaken off his childhood indoctrination as part of Anne Hamilton-Byrne’s new-age cult The Family.

  138. Ronson Dalby

    “announcement by Abbott of a $5million donation to the Broncos new club extensions.”

    What! Why should taxpayers fund that? The Broncos are a business and not a volunteers community organisation.

  139. paul burns

    Terry2,
    One would expect Abbott to pull an underhand trick like that, and one would expect News Ltd to allow him to get away with it. Didn’t do him much good though. He did not look good.

  140. paul burns

    Ronson Dalby @ 132,
    Its a football club. I suppose I could spell out footballers are the c losest things to gods we have in modern Australia … To not do it would lose votes. And he’s got to pay back his News Ltd mates somehow. Not that I’m at all suggesting any whiff of corruption there.

  141. Moz of Yarramulla

    tigtog, I could have lived quite happily without reading those wikipedia pages. Having his early hacking sentence dramatically reduced on the grounds of his disrupted childhood suggests that the bare facts given don’t convey the full story. And his has form on the “it’s all me” stuff, by the look of it. But doesn’t excuse his current behaviour.

  142. Chris

    Then, devoid of his only high-level political backers, we can find out the truth of the rape claims, and see whether the US is really after him or if that was just a convenient excuse for a two year holiday in the Ecuadorian embassy.

    I don’t think there is any real question over whether the US would like to get him on US soil or not. What is not clear is how far they would be willing to go to get him there.

    It does seem increasingly obvious that he’s probably not a very pleasant person to work with. But that’s fairly orthogonal to whether you believe he would receive a fair trial in the US, whether he is at risk of getting taken to the US involuntarily if extradited to Sweden and if he is taking reasonable steps to avoid doing so. If he’d gone to Sweden, been convicted and received an average jail sentence, its likely he’d be out of prison by now.

  143. Chris

    What! Why should taxpayers fund that? The Broncos are a business and not a volunteers community organisation.

    Because – SPORT! Look at how much government money is poured into supporting profitable sport related business (football, cricket) around the country.

  144. faustusnotes

    Looks like Rudd has screwed the pooch vis a vis his treatment of his make-up artist. Is there any level of douchebaggery that he isn’t capable of pulling off?

    Chris, I’m aware that the issue of Assangel’s Asshattery is “orthogonal” (I hate misuse of this word in this way) to how the US will treat him, but it is highly “parallel” to the question of how long he is going to be able to stay hidden in his rathole in the Ecuadorian embassy. At some point he’s going to piss someone off just a bit much, and the ambassador’s vision of the future will be an Ecuadorian boot kicking Assange in the arse forever.

  145. Casey

    I don’t think there is any real question over whether the US would like to get him on US soil or not.

    Why do you think this?

  146. Casey

    Looks like Rudd has screwed the pooch vis a vis his treatment of his make-up artist. Is there any level of douchebaggery that he isn’t capable of pulling off?

    Isn’t more that he can’t pull off the “I’m changed, I’m older and wiser” shtick, FN? Because it seems to me he just keeps lapsing into his usual revolting self where he is incredibly rude and abusive to those whose job it is to attend to him in some way.

  147. faustusnotes

    Casey, I think the US have said they want him. Do you think it’s just for show?

    Not only can Rudd not do the older and wiser shtick, but now the media are re-running stories about him making an RAAF aircraft attendant cry. That’s great copy in an election campaign, that is.

    It also will make anyone who has worked for more than about a year wonder how on earth he can manage a modern department. Everyone with any experience at work knows that even if you don’t like them, it’s always easier and nicer for everyone to be nice to the people who make your work easier but don’t have direct power over your fate. That Rudd doesn’t understand this – or thinks he is above this basic principle – makes him look like a really bad manager.

  148. Casey

    Yes the U.S. wants him. But tell me why they couldn’t have got him from Britain though? That’s what I don’t understand.

  149. faustusnotes

    Yes that seems increasingly difficult to understand given recent revelations about how much the UK cooperates with the US on anti-terrorism security.

  150. Ambigulous

    “Recent revelations” are hardly important.
    The US and UK have had extradition arrangements for decades haven’t they?

    ***
    I agree with posters (including Casey) who’ve said Mr Rudd’s performance has been lacklustre in the campaign.

  151. Moz of Yarramulla

    fn/casey: I’ve been saying that for quite a while. Who really thinks Sweden is more of a US puppet than the UK? Charles Stross calls it “landing strip one” as though that’s common usage in the UK.

    The Morales case makes me question whether the US is saying “better than prison! Win!” with the embassy setup. If so I kind of agree with them on that, especially after the latest wikileaks leaks… we might all be better off with him locked up in an embassy somewhere so he’s visible but largely inactive. An Eva Peron style figure who periodically appears in public for their adoring fans but is otherwise powerless. If only he could sing :)

  152. Chris

    Casey – Assange would have a lot of organised public support in the UK so it would probably make it fairly politically difficult for the UK government to co-operate.

    Whereas Sweden does have a history of cooperating with what the US want while ignoring pesky lawyers and courts:

    Ahmed Agiza (Arabic: أحمد عجيزة‎) and Muhammad Alzery (Arabic: محمد الزيري‎) (also Elzari, el-Zary, etc.) were two Egyptian asylum-seekers who were deported to Egypt from Sweden on December 18, 2001, apparently following a request from the United States Central Intelligence Agency.[1] The forced repatriation was criticised because of the danger of torture and ill treatment, and because the deportation decision was executed the same day without notifying the lawyers of the asylum seekers. The deportation was carried out by American and Egyptian personnel on Swedish ground, with Swedish servicemen apparently as passive onlookers.

    More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repatriation_of_Ahmed_Agiza_and_Muhammad_al-Zery

    Given that some fairly prominent US political figures have publicly suggested Assange be assassinated I don’t think its unreasonable he be a bit paranoid!

    fn @ 143 – yes I agree its relevant to how long he’ll be able to stay in the embassy and he’s very vulnerable to a change in government.

    btw they’ve literally changed the meaning of literally. It now doesn’t need actually mean literally. Words change ;-) http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/15/living/literally-definition

  153. Casey

    Chris, explain why not Britain though?

  154. Casey

    Sorry, for some reason I missed the first sentence Chris.

    still, I think having a lot of public support would not be enough to stop the Americans asking and the British Govt saying no, don’t you?

    Unless of course, nobody asked the British govt to extradite him because no charges have actually been laid?

    It all sounds a bit silly to me. If anyone would send him back, it would be Britain.

  155. paul burns

    Now I know I’m an old bloke who doesn’t really understand Facebook, but I tried checking out Facebook for the Queensland freelance make-up artist allegedly insulted by Rudd last night. Lily Montano. And guess what? That particular Lily Montano doesn’t exist. Not a single Facebook entry, about anything. Forgive me for being more than a bit suspicious about the whole thing being a News Limited set up that the Guardian and some on LP have fallen for.
    I long to be enlightened.

  156. Casey

    Paul, you can elect to not have your name come up in the search function of Facebook which you set from your privacy settings or basic settings I can’t remember which. But anyway, the fact you can’t find her doesn’t mean she isn’t there.

  157. mindy

    I think Assange’s support in Britain has fallen off a bit too as some of his more high profile supporters have been burnt by him buggering off and leaving them with big bills to cover his bail.

    Have missed the whole make up artist thing.

  158. Casey

    Anyway, her name is Lily Fontana.

  159. Chris

    still, I think having a lot of public support would not be enough to stop the Americans asking and the British Govt saying no, don’t you?

    Its clear that the UK and the US have a very close working relationship when it comes to defence, intelligence etc. However, no UK government would want to be seen as subservient to the US and Assange being extradited would be extremely controversial for them. Especially if he for example requests asylum on political grounds.

    There have already been a few very controversial cases for extradition between the UK and the US over fairly vanilla computer hacking and even copyright infringement. I doubt the UK government wants any more – at some point there is going to be a critical amount of opposition to extradition to the US over computer related crimes (the US has been considering legislation which would make breaking the TOS of a website a felony).

    Unless of course, nobody asked the British govt to extradite him because no charges have actually been laid?

    There is allegedly (sources from multiple places) a sealed indictment for Assange. If/when they decide to act on it is another matter though.

  160. Rocky

    Paul, her name in Lily Fontana. There’s several listed in Facebook. This maybe a stunt, but Rudd has a long history of rude behaviour.

    Tigtog, I didn’t know about Assange’s connection with the Family. They were a scary lot. You’d probably come out of there warped.

  161. Casey

    I reckon a childhood on the run from the Family explains a lot about Assange. As does his custody battle over his son at such a young age.

  162. paul burns

    Rocky, Casey,
    i had put in the right name on Facebook. Mistyped it here.
    I know Rudd has a long history of bad behaviour, but he also now has a long history of being set up by News Ltd. shonkies. Or haven’t you been reading some of Murdoch’s front pages lately? Funny you have a yarn like this deflecting from Tony Abbott’s ‘Doesn’t this guy ever shut up?’ line in front of a stacked Liberal audience.
    I know some here hate Rudd with a passion. I happen to hate Abbott more.

  163. Chris

    Paul @ 154 – She probably has her profile well and truly locked down now. The trolls will be out for her.

    Ms Fontana has since removed the post writing: “Didn’t think my personal page/opinion of my day would get so much attention. What a lesson to learn. I’ve removed the post and regret making the comments I did.”

    It just amazes me that even now people don’t realise that making such comments on social media sites has a huge potential for getting a lot of media coverage.

  164. Jacques de Molay

    Thanks Helen for that article about Assange.

    I used to think he was of the Left and I remember Mark saying he felt he was an anarchist and Mark looks increasingly right by the day.

  165. paul burns

    I say all sorts of awful things about the Libs and Tony Abbott every now and then on my Facebook page but nobody ever takes them up. So do quite a few of my friends, and they’re ignored too. :) But I suppose none of us get to slap Ruddy around in the make-up room.

  166. Casey

    Funny you have a yarn like this deflecting from Tony Abbott’s ‘Doesn’t this guy ever shut up?’ line in front of a stacked Liberal audience.

    Maybe, Paul. If it is a set up, we will soon find out because it will come out. It just sounds dreadfully familiar and suggests, if true, he’s still the same little Caesar he’s always been.

    I don’t hate Rudd or Abbott. Passion is a word I try very hard not to associate with either of them as well!

  167. Moz of Yarramulla

    Jacques: I can’t see his current behaviour as reflecting modern anarchist thinking. If he’s an anarchist, he’s an anarchist of the libertarian school. Viz, the strongly authoritarian type that are widely reviled by other anarchists. Most libertarians don’t call themselves anarchists any more.

    My post at #132 above lays that out in more detail.

    There are commonalities, but I note that his desire for openness and fair dealing doesn’t extend to his own activities where almost all anarchists apply those principles first to themselves. The Greens manage to run a political party with a fairly radical approach to transparency, so it’s not as if he can plead political necessity.

  168. Chris

    Paul @ 164 – I think its one thing to say bad things about Rudd/Abbott on your facebook page (unless say you’re a high level public servant) and another when you say bad things about Rudd/Abbott behaviour that you personally experienced. Especially around election time its likely to get shared amongst facebook friends and has a high chance of getting picked up by the media.

  169. jumpy.

    Who will be PM if ALP win ( unlikely ) and Rudd is defeated in Griffith as recent polling suggests ?
    Maybe Gillard should have run.

  170. jumpy.

    NZ labour leader quit today.
    Election 12 months away.
    It’s not NSW disease, it’s union disease the world over.

  171. GregM

    Maybe, Paul. If it is a set up, we will soon find out because it will come out. It just sounds dreadfully familiar and suggests, if true, he’s still the same little Caesar he’s always been.

    Which Caesar do you mean Casey?
    Gaius Julius Caesar, the Dictator of Rome (100BC-44BC)?
    Or Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus (12AD -41AD) Emperor from 37AD?
    Or do you have in mind Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (37AD -68AD) Emperor of Rome from 54AD (and underappreciated poet and lyrist) ?

  172. Casey
  173. Chris

    Casey @ 169 – well that’s one way to settle the leadership issue!

  174. alfred venison

    I remember Mark saying he felt he [assange] was an anarchist and Mark looks increasingly right by the day

    is that some kind of slander of anarchists?

    Most libertarians don’t call themselves anarchists any more

    thank god, that was an irritating tendency while it lasted. -a.v.

  175. GregM

    Well you pick Greg, I’m relaxed about it.

    Thanks Casey.
    I’m going with Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus. Anyone who names his horse as a consul and appoints it to the senate has made the ultimate Captain’s Pick. It didn’t end well for young Germanicus, though. But then it didn’t end well for Julius or young Nero either.

  176. Russell

    So, when it seemed any result was unbearable there is the tantalising dream of Rudd losing his seat, but the ALP just scraping in with the help of Adam Bandt?

  177. Rocky

    I’d love that so hard, Russell. I keep having this recurring fantasy of Rudd and Abbott having to deal with a hung parliament.

  178. Russell

    But a fantasy without either of them is best.

  179. faustusnotes

    haha Russell and Rocky, that would be great.

    I think it’s safe to say that this make-up artist kerfuffle wouldn’t have happened if Gillard was in the debate. So we’d all be talking about how Abbott said “won’t this woman ever shut up?” and Gillard’s furious and cutting response, rather than reading recycled stories about Gillard abusing an RAAF flight attendant…

  180. Casey

    No, no, no, Abbott, they will get rid of him. I bet they can’t wait to get rid of him, come on, wouldn’t you? So it will be the Hockette and Rudd in a noose hung Parliament. Of course the Rudd/Hockette bromance cannot possibly survive Rudd’s slow and obvious crackup and so it will be the stuff of tragedy on the heath.

    And let’s just slap ourselves. I cannot yet believe Rudd will lose his seat. And really, I would like that particular distinction to remain with John Howard. It suits him. What I would like is for a phsepsologistpoltergeist or anyone else really to explain whether the 4% margin of error is so great as to make the whole thing questionable? Or if there is a question of why a safe seat now appears to be under threat? Or is it? Aaaanyway if anyone can answer this it would be great.

  181. Mindy

    This whole make up artist thing smacks of set up to me. The whole Tony Abbott praise thing was overdone. If they had dialled that back a bit it would have been much more believable. Of course this could just be my utter dislike to Abbott speaking. I do like what Bob Hawke came out with though. Good one Bob.

  182. Russell

    They will have to get rid of him because it’s the easiest way out of his ‘captain’s call’ parental leave scheme, which, if you’re Western Australian (I know, not everyone can be so lucky) is starting to look like Colin’s ‘far canal’.

    (Barnett’s big idea in the 2005 election campaign was to propose a canal to bring water from the North to Perth . Then the figures looked questionable, and it fell apart, and he lost the election and party leadership).

  183. Casey

    “Let’s assume that this is right that Kevin, in the heat of the moment, was a bit rude to the makeup artist,” Mr Hawke said in Adelaide on Thursday.
    “If you’re an intelligent voter, what’s going to be more important to you, the fact that under a great deal of pressure the prime minister, just in passing, was a bit rude to a person?

    Really Mindy? As someone who worked as a secretary/research assistant to a member of parliament for five years, fuck yes, I am going to be considering it that his treatment of someone, yet another woman, who doesn’t matter is telling.

    Taking Hawke’s lead, let’s assume that this is right, that Kevin, in the heat of the moment was a bit rude to the makeup artist. Let’s then add that to a litany of rude and abusive behaviour to people who have no power and let’s then understand that all his talk of ‘having changed’ is utter bullshit.

    It is important how he treats someone who is in a service position. I’m just eyerolling right now, that Hawke thinks the makeup person, a woman in a powerless position, is hardly worthy of consideration.

    Also, she is a makeup artist, has been for a while, has a website, has a reputation in Brisbane. She may well be a liberal voter but her reaction after her post went viral (she removed it and apologised) suggests this is no plot and that she was overwhelmed by the publicity it got.

    I’m inclined to think he was just being his usual revolting self and quite frankly its more of the same from him.

  184. zorronsky

    Try as I do to push Labor, the truth is Rudd sucks so much energy out of my endeavour, hurtling me back to the dismal weeks leading up to the 2010 Leadership change and the flash of joyous excitement that change engendered. I keep recalling how then he sucked the energy out of that entire election campaign and karma comes calling.

  185. Casey

    Here’s some info on how the Griffith poll was conducted:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/22/griffith-poll-rudd-trailing-methodology

  186. mindy

    I’ll just get back in my box then :) But yes Casey you are correct and if she is a Liberal voter that would account for her glowing reference of Abbott. I can easily believe Kevin was a shit.

  187. faustusnotes

    Not Hawke’s finest hour. I agree with him that politics should be more important than the individual being an arsehole (I can see why this would be important to Hawke!) but the problem here is that Rudd has a reputation for being a bad manager precisely because of the way he treats staff. He is supposed to have changed. Apparently he hasn’t. People need to make judgments about this because they want to know if a) he is going to be dumped immediately after the election because no one can work with him and b) if he isn’t dumped, is he going to run the government into the ground through this kind of behavior?

    Also, not everyone can distinguish between these two odious men on political grounds. If only 1% of the 2PP vote is determined by the “tweedledum vs. tweedledee, makes no difference to me” voter, then not offering that 1% an obvious reason to switch from tweedledum to tweedledee on personality grounds is going to be important.

    Though personally, I prefer to think of them as tweedledum and tweedleFuckingDumber.

  188. faustusnotes

    On polls, Ithink the “margin of error” is often presented as some kind of magical number validating the poll, but the most important determinant of the poll’s representativeness is the degree of sample bias, and you can’t tell that from a margin of error. In close electorates, a large bias away from young people without fixed phones may be sufficient to change the 2PP result.

    Still, Rudd should be worried that any amount of sampling bias can put him in the negative: this indicates that his position isn’t strong.

  189. paul burns

    The woman is a professional make up artist. Presumably then she is more than aware that performers have to get in character before they go on stage and that this requires intense concentration. Since Rudd is a professional politician this is obviously what he was doing. Performers do not like being dragged out of that intense concentration before going on stage because it can make them give a bad performance. Since Abbott is either not a professional or was supremely over confident, he probably didn’t bother to prepare himself for last Wednesday night’s appearance.
    Of course, Stanislavsky and actors over the past 100 years or so might have got their techniques for successful performance preparation completely wrong.
    Or Rudd could have just gone and done his own bloody make-up. I’m sure he knows how to apply it himself by now. But there is that problem with his cow-lick.
    But I still prefer a PM who takes care to prepare for his appearances on stage or on camera, ie not Abbott.

  190. Ambigulous

    fn @185 is correct to point to sampling error….
    Casey, I think “4% margin of error” indicates the pollster reckons Mr Rudd’s score of “48%” is actually
    48 plus or minus 4,
    in other words: highly likely to be somewhere between 44 and 52, with 48 the most likely.

    That’s bad news for the PM. I think there was a swing against him, last time he faced “the good folk of Griffith” in 2010.

  191. paul burns

    Apparently these robo-polls in individual seats are all predicting massive losses to Labor and are contradictory to the findings of the long established polls. Also, a lot of people are just hanging up on them, so they could be incredibly biased. Guess, as one journo observes, we’ll know who’s right on election night.

  192. Luxxe

    Casey I don’t think the makeup artist apologised, she just expressed regret at posting her experience. I have experienced first-hand just how vile Rudd is when cameras aren’t around and when he is dealing with a minion. He is a cold, nasty, mean, petty psychopath. I can fully understand his colleagues abandoning ship on his return. Having seen what he is, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never could I bring myself to vote for Rudd again (I voted for him in 07) – even though I am a lifelong Labor voter.

  193. faustusnotes

    I found a document from Roy Morgan a few weeks ago (can’t be bothered searching for it now it was a faff) that made pretty clear that they have poor access to young people with cellphones. The margin of error tells you how much variance there is in the poll estimate, but it doesn’t tell you how wrong the estimate is itself due to sampling the wrong people. It’s the difference between accuracy and precision.

    Years ago now I had an argument at a conference iwth someone from a national health survey who was arguing it could be used to estimate prevalence of heroin injecting. But their survey didn’t have a single respondent with a history of heroin use in the 30-40 year age category – the category with the highest prevalence of use. They had admirable precision in their estimates, but their household sampling survey just completely failed to sample some people. You can’t adjust for that, you just have to explain it. But the polling companies don’t get any commercial benefit from telling anyone what sections of the population they aren’t sampling …

  194. Casey

    Mindy, you in a box? That’ll be the day :)

    Luxxe, yes that’s right. In response Rudd said he had no hard feelings, which was very big of him, I thought.

  195. faustusnotes

    I thought Rudd claiming she “expresed regret” was remarkably disingenuous. She expressed regret that her facebook update went public, not that she said he was an arsehole.

  196. Terangeree

    Please, don’t wish Bill Glasson on to us in Griffith. The electorate will be over-run by wandering zebras crossing roads willy-nilly.

  197. Chris

    Not Hawke’s finest hour. I agree with him that politics should be more important than the individual being an arsehole (I can see why this would be important to Hawke!)

    I doubt there’s any way that someone like Hawke would survive in today’s politics. There’s really no subject off topic and they live under a microscope 24/7.

  198. Russell

    But Chris, you’re forgetting the sex appeal.

    Terangeree, you folks in Griffith are just going to have take one for the country.

  199. paul walter

    Sad to see the usual quota of bad taste, prejudiced comments about Julian Assange.
    As with Manning, the late Aaron Schwarz, the late Dr Dennis Kelly and several others who we are indebted to for learning the truth about our society in the era of the New World Order, we see not a perversity, but the subject of a vicious and lavishly funded psyops on the point of breakdown- the Fourth Reich and its puppets have ran him ragged and the mugs have missed the point about considering the Wiki info and the obvious and fearful attempts by the Western empire to silence him lest more of the dirty dealing in IR are exposed.
    Information rejected in favour of cheap, vindictive bear-baiting slander against better individuals than the rest of us put together
    Perhaps Barns is the problem, he appears not to have communicated adequately with Kelly Tranter, Dr Cannold and others who understand the actual issues involved, including the citing of Ron Paul by Assange in the context of that figure’s public denunciations of US militarism and adventurism: “the $ trillions” wasted, against the gut turning servility of mainstream politicians concerning the Surveillance State; the Giant Panopticon, that turned people like Assange, nauseated, away from the Blairite sellouts who failed so badly to roll back Bush era nihilism; rule by fiat and “red in tooth and claw”, preferring to consolidate these for their own purposes.

  200. Katz

    Being a rude prick doesn’t make you a bad public administrator.

    But as Rudd has shown, it doesn’t make you a good one, either.

  201. Jacques de Molay

    Casey @ 180,

    Really Mindy? As someone who worked as a secretary/research assistant to a member of parliament for five years, fuck yes, I am going to be considering it that his treatment of someone, yet another woman, who doesn’t matter is telling.

    I agree it’s very poor form on Rudd’s behalf. I couldn’t believe it when today he essentially said he forgives her for her outburst and has noted she’s now withdrawn what she said, FMD.

  202. Paul Norton

    More on the robopolls. I suspect that we could be in the same territory as the computer that, early in the 1983 count, predicted a 100% swing to the Coalition.

  203. Terry2

    The coalition have virtually taken the PPL scheme off the table as being controversial and inequitable and evidently will make it available to anyone as long as you have a baby and even that could be a variable it seems.
    Now, the thorn in the side of the National Party: the stay at home mum, frequently in regional areas who contributes to the family business even if she doesn’t draw a salary can access the coalition’s PPL scheme – details to follow apparently.
    So, those of us who have been trying to understand how this seemingly inequitable policy will operate to the benefit of our society as a whole on a reasonably fair basis, can relax: it’s a cash splash for families – not that there’s anything wrong with that – and it has nothing to do with women’s attachment to the workforce (you don’t have to go back to work or even have a salaried job) or national productivity.
    I am not complaining about this, I just didn’t understand how a ‘school kids’ bonus’ was a cash splash and the PPL was a nation building measure. I now put aside my concerns and recommend to those who consider that they are not currently entitled to largesse from this scheme to speak loudly to your LNP candidate in the final weeks; it will pay dividends.

  204. pablo

    Luxxe @ 192. Care to elaborate on your personal experience. I have no personal experience of Abbott’s barstadry but I was reliably informed that he got me sacked from a ‘green’ job back when he was minister in charge of employment and youth affairs under Howard. I subsequently got reinstated and compensated for unfair dismissal before the Industrial Relations Commission.
    Paul Walter @ 199 Well put. I think Cannold should have waited before acting as she did.

  205. Casey

    Yes, poor form Jaques. And yet, I often think this: Too bad he wasn’t born a bit earlier. He could have put it to very very good use and spectacularly succeeded where his hero, Bonhoeffer, failed .

    Ah well.

  206. paul burns

    Now, if Rudd is to be believed, he said nothing and that is what the make-up person thought was ‘rude’. (Ch. 7, this morning). WTF? He’s about to go on stage and she hassles him at the last minute to put him off his game, probably at News Ltd instructions. Or Abbott delays her so long with polite chit-chat she has to rush to do a proper make up job on Rudd. For all you Rudd-haters out there, this looks more and more like an intentional News Ltd/Liberal Party set up the more you look into it, just like the “Don’t You Ever Shut Up?” crack, for which the Courier-Mail had its front page set up before the debate.
    Wake up top yourselves, or do you all dislike Rudd so much you’d rather live under an Abbott Government.

  207. paul burns

    Casey @ 205,
    In your eagerness to denigrate Rudd you should have checked out out Stan Wechsler’s Facebook page before you posted the mash-up from Downfall. On it he has a poster of ten or so blank half body shots and amongst them a photo of Julia Gillard. This poster is labeled ‘Spot the C___.’ (Except the c word is in full.
    You should be a bit more careful where you get your propaganda from.

  208. paul burns

    If youse want to see some truly disgusting photos of Abbott manning it up, check the Guardian election blog. I couldn’t work out how to link the photos to LP, and besides I didn’t want to put people off their morning tea/lunch/whatever.

  209. Casey

    Didn’t get it from there so how would I know what’s on this dude’s facebook page. That’s terrible, Paul. I’m not going to look because I will just get a bit cranky. I will take your word for it.

    Still doesn’t take away from the fact that Rudd has demonstrated he can’t manage people very well, given his caucus chose to dump a first term pm and then only took him back under sufferance, given that so many many stories of his terrible managerial style have emerged from departments, and from random people I know, and from people on this blog even.

    I don’t see why criticising Rudd is a choice for Abbott either, Paul. There a number of us who will go informal in the lower house at least, or green, in protest at Rudd’s egregious asylum seeker policies, in fear that he cannot run a government and he has previous form on upon which we are basing our judgement.

  210. Terangeree

    Well, IMHO, Rudd hasn’t been all that bad as a local MHR.

  211. paul burns

    I’m going Green in the lower house and giving my preferences to Labor. But Labor will never win New England. Joyce is giving his preferences to One Nation, FFS!
    In the Senate I’m going Socialist Alliance, Green, (even though I gather they may be allocating their preferences somewhat dodgily.) Libs, One Nation, Wikileaks and related ultra-rightwing parties at the very end, before the Coalition.
    The print on the senate voting paper is going to be so small that probably for the first time in a long time I’m going to be voting above the line.
    IMHO, an informal vote done on purpose in this election is ultimately a vote for Abbott. I hearfeltedly urge people not to vote informal on purpose this time. Its okay when its a protest vote and its not going to give the H of R to the worst RWDBs but otherwise …

  212. paul burns

    Abbott really said this to a bunch of soldiers in Darwin this morning.

    I want to thank them for going easy on me.

    If I’m bent over double for the next few days on the campaign, you’ll know why.

    :)
    I don’t know if that’s meant to be his distracting gaffe for the day, which I’m now convinced are done on purpose to prevent searching questioning of Lib policy by the media. Feeding the chooks, Bjelkle-Petersen used to call it, IIRC.
    Or maybe I’ve just got a sullied mind … Catholic and all that. Or maybe that’s why I think I can sometimes read Abbott like a book, though I wish I couldn’t.

  213. Moz of Yarramulla

    Interesting bit of info that I didn’t know via Antony Green – if you vote above and below the line your below the line vote takes effect if valid, otherwise your 1 above the line does. A handy backup when you have a ridiculous number of candidates to number, and almost eliminates the risk of an informal vote.

    I think I’m going “BulletTrain!!eleventy!! Party” locally then almost following the pirate party for the rest. By investigation, rather than because I support the pirates particularly.

  214. Moz of Yarramulla

    NoFibs has an interesting snippet or two on the PUPpies suggesting they want to see utilities owned by government. I doubt that means renationalisation, but it’s an interesting sign of light from an otherwise messianic partry. That and their “rise above the nastiness” which they actually seem to be carrying off.

    I have that torn feeling where I think some of their policies are really positive, but other policies make me go “wait, what?” An international (cargo?) airport in Queensland? Really?

  215. jules

    The saddest thing about Julian Assange and Wikileaks is that Wikileaks no longer functions.

    In many ways everything else is a sideshow. One which Assange is contributing to by insisting its all about him, not the system he helped set up. The wikileaks party seems like an ego tripping waste of time really, tho most of their platforms/poklicies i agree with. Perhaps that says more about the state of real political discourse in Australia.

    As for Ron Paul, he is no worse than Obama and better than Bush was. (Tho his son seems like a dangerous weirdo.) Its easy to understand why Assange – who has issues with govt power being abused – might see him as one of the few good politicians in a corrupt power hungry system. Its easy to ignore someone’s flaws when they are saying alot of stuff that makes sense re your personal situation.

  216. Tim Macknay

    The saddest thing about Julian Assange and Wikileaks is that Wikileaks no longer functions.

    I agree. Wikileaks was a genuinely good idea and Assange’s real achievement. The rest is vanity.

  217. Chris

    Now, if Rudd is to be believed, he said nothing and that is what the make-up person thought was ‘rude’. (Ch. 7, this morning). WTF? He’s about to go on stage and she hassles him at the last minute to put him off his game, probably at News Ltd instructions.

    If that’s true and he simply wasn’t talkative then *shrug*. There’s probably a lot of people out there who think I’ve been rude to them!

    The reason these sorts of thing resonate with the public though is because Rudd has a history of being rude to people in private situations. Same reason Abbott is vulnerable to any vaguely related sexist allegation. People will automatically believe it because it reinforces their view of them.

    Moz @ 213 – that’s really useful to know!

  218. Chris

    I love this quote from Leigh Sales:

    You say to a politician, ‘What did you have for breakfast and they say, ‘Well, for lunch I had a salad sandwich

    It summarises so well the way that politicians answer questions!

  219. Casey

    IMHO, an informal vote done on purpose in this election is ultimately a vote for Abbott.

    I would have thought an extinguished vote is just that and won’t influence things either way. Why do you think it helps the Abbott camp, Paul? I’m interested to hear your thoughts cause I wouldn’t want to aid the Abbott getting in under any circumstances, to be honest.

  220. Russell

    Plus, Casey, if you’re in a safe seat, it’s not very likely your vote will change the result, but it would give your tick of approval and support to the party your vote went to.

    In my case, if Labor did lose the seat of Fremantle it would be such a landslide that my vote would hardly have made a difference. So Melissa Parke (‘former human rights lawyer’, what a joke) can do without my vote.

  221. Casey

    Russell, my seat is one of those targeted marginals that Labor had picked could swing. Although I saw some recent polling which suggested the Libs are safe enough. So I’m not sure. My vote may count so I would want to make sure I am not giving Abbott any help. What do you think? Would voting informal, as opposed to voting Green, help Abbott? Or would an informal vote not matter?

  222. Chris

    I would have thought an extinguished vote is just that and won’t influence things either way. Why do you think it helps the Abbott camp, Paul? I’m interested to hear your thoughts cause I wouldn’t want to aid the Abbott getting in under any circumstances, to be honest.

    An extinguished vote helps Abbott because it reduces the number of votes he needs to win. For example, say there are 11 people in an electorate. Say 6 people were voting (after preferences distributed) ALP, 5 LNP. The ALP would win the seat. But say instead 2 people who preferenced the ALP ahead of LNP instead decide to vote Green and vote in a way that their votes extinguish before getting to the ALP, then you’d end up with 4 ALP votes and 5 LNP, so the LNP win.

  223. faustusnotes

    I have always assumed that if there are N enrolled voters in the electorate, and k of them vote informal, then the votes are counted from N-k voters, which means that the threshold the winning party needs to get over is (N-k)/2, so the number of votes required to win by either party is reduced by k/2 under a completely random distribution of informal voting – in this case neither lib nor lab benefits from informal voting. However if (for simplicity) all of the people who vote informal would have otherwise voted labour, I don’t think this works out: in this case labour loses k votes but the threshold required is still (N-k)/2, so it’s equivalent to libs picking up k/2 votes gratis.

    I dunno if that logic is correct, but if an informal vote is going to be either a) irrlevant or b) benefit the libs, it seems wiser not to cast an informal vote.

  224. Russell

    Casey, it looks like withholding a vote from the ALP could possibly give your seat to the Libs. Perhaps harking back to my Catholic upbringing of moral absolutes, for me the ALP’s policy on refugees just crosses some line, so I’m choosing to think of the election as an act of judgment on the government and withholding support, and I think I would do that even in a marginal seat. But I can see you might balance things differently – the greater good for the most people sort of thing.

  225. Casey

    You know, Russell, before I became a witch I was a Catholic, and you can’t take the Catholic out of the witch lemme say, I’ve tried. However, I almost did the same with Gillard when she swung to the right on Asylum Seekers and I ended up voting for McKew cause I couldn’t shake the notion I was helping the Libs.

    As it stands here at the moment John Newcombe (in the latest poll I saw) is trending 65% to Jason Li’s 35% two party preferred so perhaps it would matter less than I am thinking, but still, the idea that I am helping a party who would hurt the vulnerable in our community is weighing heavy on me.

  226. Casey

    Thanks Chris and FN, that is helpful.

  227. Rocky

    Pablo @204, what do you think Cannold should have waited for? WLP was supposed to be holding an independent enquiry into what happened with their preferences. Cannold then found out that wasn’t the case and that phone calls had been made to circumvent the process which had been agreed to by the National Council, for this enquiry.

    Although she doesn’t say in her resignation statement, Daniel Matthews make it clear that it was Assange and Barns that were trying to circumvent the process.

    I think Cannold is a person of integrity and she’s found out that she was lied to and that WLP’s commitment to accountancy and transparency is empty and farcical. She’s stated that in all good conscience, she couldn’t campaign for them, knowing what she does. That’s very damning stuff.

  228. faustusnotes

    I’m also thinking voting on the basis of polls is a bad plan. If a poll like the one Casey cites at 225 is sufficient to convince all the witches not to vote, it might benefit a party – at which point the temptation to commission polling as a form of political propaganda increases. In her speculation, Casey confirms the potential value of push-polling.

    The thing with voting is you don’t know what anyone else is going to do, and acting as if you do is potentially dangerous if you’re wrong. The best thing to do IMHO is just to vote according to your principles and to hell with the consequences.

  229. Rocky

    I’m voting Greens and preferencing Labor. I live in a safe Labor seat and I’ll ensure that Michael Danby knows why he’s not getting my first preference.

  230. Casey

    Correcto, FN, polls are crap. One should vote on one’s conscience. Still, it’s unfortunate Paul Burns won’t do no tarots no more. I understand, I understand, the deities are jealous so I’m not complainin’, I know what they can do. But there has to be some foolproof system ….I know: Let me go google astrological forecasts for Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd and see what I can find.

  231. Moz of Yarramulla

    Casey, surely as a witch you can do more than casting oracles. Or nasturtiums? Can you take one for the team and cast a real nasty at them?

  232. paul burns

    Casey,
    Sorry about the tarots. The praste tells me its a mortal sin and I’m opening myself up to darkish spiritual forces etc etc.
    Now about informal votes, especially if you’re in Bennelong. A vote not cast is a vote the ALP doesn’t get, either first or 2nd preference, when it could very well be the one vote or preference that defeats the Liberal candidate.

  233. Casey

    Let me be blunt: to cast a spell you need *certain intimate items*, for this Opposition Leader is in fact a very special entity. Come to the fire, sit down, look in my crystal ball, see it clouds, now it clears, now you see: Tony Abbott is in fact a demon. He has been around an awful long time. Now there is a spell I can use but the official “hexing the Leader of the Opposition spell”, as specified in the Book of Shadows, page XIVIVIL, is no easy thing. He has destroyed greater witches than me, let me tell you. This is because he is actually a “Pre Vatican One Demon”. They are very rare and very powerful. Mel Gibson’s father is one too. So is Mel Gibson for that matter. They are very old demons, horrible creatures, make horrible movies, and they have been around since the 1222 Council of Trent where they were instrumental in implementing the Nicene Creed and doing away with women priests for good. It was horrible, it was the beginning of the patriarchy which had started with the death of the old religion, my religion. But let’s not get into religion.

    Anyway the point is, his chest hair is necessary because he likes flashing it which means he is rather vain about his body. This is a weakness. Loser. As for the speedos, well I don’t need to explain why I need that do I? What a dickhead.

    Now I dunno about you, but no election in the world would be worth what I would have to do to get those things. I’m sorry, I am just not taking one for the team, who do you think i am? Jesus? wrong religion dude. That’s all there is to it.

    We shall all just have to find another way.

  234. Martin B

    I can’t vote 1 Cannold because that would show up as a WLP first preference. And I probably couldn’t have given her a high preference at all while she was associated with them. But now I’m considering finding a more minor candidate and giving her #2.

  235. faustusnotes

    I dunno, how can we trust Casey on the barricades if she isn’t even willing to pluck out a couple of Mr. Rabbit’s chest hairs? Geez, women – letting the side down again!

  236. Moz of Yarramulla

    fn: evidently the only course is for you to obtain those hairs for us :) If the last “well hung” election is anything to go by Tony isn’t going to turn you down because of your age or gender. Your vote (or lack therof) in the lower house might be more of an issue…

  237. Casey

    Listen FN, I’ve consulted the stars and have according to the site “Astrology in Crime” I have been advised as follows:

    The planet Venus is positioned in the chart as the ‘evening star’ on 7th September, 2013 – it rises after the Sun.

    An expat astrologer has writ large about this position in the election charts of nations other than ours… when Venus is positioned in the heavens as the ‘evening star’ it portends a change of a ruling party.

    So, in the absence of the requirements I need for the spell (any of you fellas feel free to go get them for me don’t let my hesitation stop you), I may well have to vote Green, even as the evening star sets on the nation and particularly because I want to feel free rend my clothes on a blog somewhere under a Coalition govt in the years that are coming without feeling responsible for putting them in power.

  238. faustusnotes

    True true Moz, I just need to turn peddling a balance of power and I’ll be guaranteed whatever body parts I need (except the sphincter – you don’t need a sphincter do you Casey?)

    Casey has identified a clear and important consideration in selecting who to vote for [Fran: advice on who vs. whom please]: one needs to be able to lament the terrible state of the nation while feeling no responsibility for it. When I was in England I actually met people who complained about UKIP getting into the European parliament, then admitted to not having voted in the election!

  239. Casey

    That was Mindy that actually pointed that out, FN.

  240. Paul Norton

    What Rocky said about Leslie Cannold. And how Rocky intends to vote in Melbourne Ports, and why.

  241. Chris

    There was some speculation on ABC radio this morning that Xenophon’s running mate actually has a chance (though small) of getting elected. Not a good sign for SHY.

  242. Su

    Canyou take one three for the team and cast a real nasty at them.

    Typical, your costings are wrong.

  243. Moz of Yarramulla

    And I will not be submitting them to treasury either, Su, until I have had a chance to revitalise that department.

  244. amortiser

    I was just robopolled in Moreton by the NSW Branch of the ALP. They must think that robopolling gives a reliable result.

    I think they should say upfront who they are rather than doing so at the end of the poll.

  245. GregM

    Buy shares in Indonesian shipyards.

    There is money to be made from Tony Abbott’s rejoinder to Kevin Rudd’s ill-fated cash for clunkers deal in 2008.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-23/coalition-announces-asylum-policy/4908186/

    They’ll be knocking out unseaworthy fishing boats all along the coasts of Indonesia’s myriad islands to cash in on this never to be repeated offer. There will hardly be a tree left standing within fifty kilometres of the coast as they get cut down to meet demand.

  246. Russell

    An excellent idea. After they’ve bought up all the old boats in S.A. Asia they should go on and buy up all the drugs that might otherwise find there way here.

    Lord, all they have to do to win is criticise the government’s record and suggest they will be more ‘responsible’ and hey presto ‘confidence’ will return to the economy. But no, they have to try and go one further on ‘boats’ !!

  247. mindy

    How much do hijacked cruise ships go for?

  248. faustusnotes

    I wonder if they’ll buy the clunkers at inflated rates, thus enabling the people smugglers to upgrade to bigger unseaworthy vessels?

  249. GregM

    How much do hijacked cruise ships go for?

    That depends, Mindy, on who they are buying them from.

    If it is from Somali pirates then they’ll buy them at a premium for the cargo of asylum seekers they will be carrying, so that they can quietly sink them in some abyssal depth.

  250. Katz

    Abbott could extend this policy and buy Fords and Holdens.

    Hey presto, car makers’ crisis over!

    Surely, Jonathan Swift thought up Abbott’s boat bazaar. Has Australian governance sunk so low?

  251. Katz

    Or, as a moneymaking scheme, Abbott could have these boats towed to the Dardenelles, where in 2015, on the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, bona fide Ozzies could bid for a seat on one of these boats.

    Imagine gliding into ANZAC Cove in the gloom of an April morning. What patriotic Australian could resist this chance of a lifetime?

  252. Craig Mc

    BTW, has Paul Keating busted a wing or something? I watched him on Lateline just before, and his right arm is missing in action.

  253. paul burns

    Finally saw vision of Abbott doing his man thing in Darwin with soldiers 20 years younger and 20 times fitter than him. Pathetic. With a bit of luck if he keeps this nonsense up during the election campaign he’ll bust a gut or something.

  254. Brian

    It was disappointing that the debate will be remembered for what did or didn’t happen in the make-up room and Abbott’s rude and jarring remark “Does this guy ever shut up?”

    I’d like to recommend that people read what Maxine McKew, Tony Windsor and Nick Minchin had to say.

  255. Jacques de Molay

    Missed this tonight but NITV are repeating this episode of Awaken on Saturday at 12:30pm:

    NITV is claiming an Australian TV first with a special election forum on Indigenous issues, hosted by Awaken’s Stan Grant, to go to air tonight.

    ALP Senator Doug Cameron and the Liberal spokesman on Indigenous Health Andrew Lamming took part along with Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

    They joined some of the Indigenous candidates including Greens candidate Barbara Shaw, First Nations candidates Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and Ken Leichleitner from the NT, Independent Senate candidate for SA Ribnga Green and the Palmer United Party candidate for far north Queensland, Bruce Gibson.

    Stan Grant says “One of the interesting phenomena in this election is the number of Indigenous candidates running for a whole range of parties.”

    http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2013/08/tv-first-as-nitv-broadcasts-indigenous-election-forum.html

  256. Casey

    Here is Tony Abbott, the head kicker, characterising Gillard’s misogyny speech as some sort of excessively aggressive behaviour on her part which even Rudd disagreed with or something. Even after Gillard has long since gone, Abbott is still trying change the narrative of what happened there. In his complaint there is no acknowledgement of him standing in front of the ditch the bitch signs at parliament house, or the provocative “government should die of shame” comments which riffed off Alan Jones’s comments. What a despicable human being.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/headbanging-gillard-sullied-political-standards-says-abbott-20130823-2shea.html

  257. zoot

    Casey, on behalf of all human beings, I want to register my complaint that you would include Mr Rabbit among our number.

  258. Katz

    Perhaps Abbott’s true feelings on these matters will remain protected by the sanctity of the confessional.

  259. GregM

    Zoot@257

    Casey, on behalf of all human beings, I want to register my complaint that you would include Mr Rabbit among our number.

    It is always a bad thing to stigmatise any person as not being a member of the human race, no matter how much you dislike or despise them, and no matter that you do it in jest.

  260. Casey

    What? You can’t very well blame us supernaturals for him. He’s your creation Frankenhumans.

    Oh GOD, I just flew down the road to get some bread and milk and there’s Ken Rosewall and his ball boys afflicting the footpath. A sea of the crappiest shade of blue you could ever imagine everywhere. You couldn’t get away from them. I was outraged and demanded to know what the hell Tony the head kicker thinks he is doing buying all the boats? Would he be refurbishing them also? Or was that going to be Kevin Rudd’s next policy announcement?

    Anyway, those Liberal demons got no sense of humour. None. Why, when I asked them if it is true that Abbott likes to inject holy water which comes from the tears of refugees, the sea of blue began to part to let me through. Quickly. They must have known I had special powers or something. Anyway, here is a video which allows us a window to see how other countries might see us and also reveals that Tony Abbott’s cross is so big, it may well possibly kill him from asphyxiation.

  261. paul burns

    Funny. I always got the impression the one sullying political standards was Abbott.

  262. Moz of Yarramulla

    it’s time to insert the suppository of wisdom

    I’d love to see that on a sign at the debates. Or anywhere.

  263. Ambigulous

    Sadly, your claim about tears of refugees might equally well be made against campaigners for Kevin, Ms Casey.

    Kevin’s favourite dish: Filet of Minion

  264. faustusnotes

    It’s good to see that the age-old internet adage “you’re bullying me” that idiots pull out of their arse whenever someone disagrees with them is finally able to strut the national stage. Poor Mr. Rabbit, I can only concur with him that having a woman disagree with you in public is the worst form of bullying, and clearly lowers the standards of parliament. I mean, what did Abbott the wall-puncher ever do to deserve such cruel and degrading public humiliation?

  265. jules

    Wow – did Abbott really say that about Gillard?

    I think if Abbott gets elected I might start a youtube channel with animals urinating on photos of him. That is about the level of respect the tosspot deserves.

    To be honest what he said reminds me of a blog post the other week. The sort of leadership Abbott provides enables the very thing this blog post refers to:

    http://newswithnipples.com/2013/07/27/one-more-time-for-the-slow-learners/

  266. zoot

    GregM@259:
    So it’s fallen to you to keep the flag of political correctness flying. I guess someone has to.
    But pray tell, what makes you think I was commenting in jest?

  267. Casey

    I know Ambi. You are so right. It’s awful.

    In other news, can someone please tell me why Tony Abbott has to pash every woman he sees? Oh it’s just terrible, the things you have to see with absolutely no trigger warnings:

    http://www.dailylife.com.au/dl-people/auspol-abbotts-miscalculated-peck-has-social-media-buzzing-20130823-2sfas.html

  268. GregM

    Casey@267

    God will smite him for that.

    Or at least visit a plague of boils upon him.

  269. Paul Norton

    GregM @268

    Or emerods, to confound his suppository of wisdom.

  270. tigtog