How many times have we heard political commentators say: “Labor never seems to be able to get its message across”. Or “Every time Labor has some good news to announce, it is drowned out by some mishap or disaster”. Or “Whenever Labor has a success or has achieved a legislative goal, leadership speculation overwhelms it.” Or “They just can’t seem to throw off speculation about a change of leader, or Kevin Rudd’s return.” Or “Labor can never get any ‘oxygen’ or clear air”. And who is to blame for this? Labor of course — it is hopeless at communication, they say. It amazes me that those who say that with a straight face either cannot see, or refuse to acknowledge, that it is the media that consistently ensures that Labor’s attempts at communication are thwarted. It is the media that can always find a negative story, a downside, a contrarian view to counter anything positive the Government achieves, any ‘good news’ stories it has to tell. How many times have you heard Barrie Cassidy, Leigh Sales, Chris Uhlmann, Tony Jones, Emma Alberici, Fran Kelly, or Karen Middleton utter those very words? Cannot they see that the Murdoch media particularly, and much of Fairfax media too, deliberately runs interference to counter Labor’s good news so that the adverse news gains prominence over the good. These journalists can easily see the phenomenon, but are seemingly blind to its origin.
Parliament resumes next week and those keen to change back to Kevin Rudd have tried several times over the winter break to make something happen before the end of the year.Part of that strategy has been to portray as critical the opinion polls to be published as Parliament resumes.Inconveniently for the advocates of change, today's Newspoll – the last major public poll to be published before next Monday – shows a strong 5 percentage point bounce in Labor's primary vote, lifting it from 28 per cent to 33 per cent.This is still 5 percentage points lower than the 38 per cent Labor achieved at the last election – but the strong forward movement will prove a momentum killer for the plotters, and keep the wolves from Gillard's door for now.Theories for the rebound include Gillard taking a holiday, the nation being distracted by the Olympics, and her decision to take on and beat the large Liberal states on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/gillards-power-play-20120807-23rgg.html#ixzz22pFaZe00
'Freedom Wars'. The title of Tony Abbott's speech on behalf of the Institute of Public Affairs this week was a bold declaration in itself.
Is that where we're at? war? There's a pattern of rhetoric here, a line of engagement borrowed from the Howard years. Culture wars, speech wars: the same battle, a pitched encounter between unassuming, but doughty defenders of everyman and a high-minded, censorious, politically correct "elite".
In his speech Tony Abbott cited Andrew Bolt as his wronged champion of free speech, a man brought down by correctness and the "Orwellian" excesses of the Racial Discrimination Act.
Argues Mr Abbott: "If it's alright for David Marr, for instance, to upset conservative Christians, in his attempt to have them see the error of their ways, why is it not alright for Andrew Bolt to upset activist Aboriginals to the same end?"
If elected, he goes on, "The Coalition will repeal section 18C in its current form."
This is the portion of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 that Justice Bromberg of the Federal Court found Andrew Bolt had transgressed in his now fabled judgment in Eatock v Bolt of September last year.
Me thinks that Abbott is mixing his apples and oranges... First ,David Marr is a small (l) liberal journo who sometimes attack the conservative Christians for their loopy views while Andrew Bolt attacks the integrity and value of race... No comparison whatsoever would stand in a court of law, but Abbott does join the two, like the little shit-stirrer he is... He talks crap...
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has been accused of ignoring facts for political gain after describing the energy regulator's position on what is driving power prices as a "furphy".
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has threatened to take action against the states unless they bring down electricity prices.
She says households have experienced 50 per cent price increases over the last four years, "linked to demonstrable inefficiencies in resource allocation in the market".
Ms Gillard received the backing of Australian Energy Regulator chairman Andrew Reeves, who agreed over-investment had pushed up prices.
"The price increases up to 1 July this year were substantially attributable to increasing costs of the network," Mr Reeves said.
Earlier this week, Opposition energy spokesman Ian Macfarlane admitted the states had been price gouging.
However, speaking to the ABC Radio's AM program this morning, Mr Abbott again blamed the carbon tax for putting pressure on power bills.
"The problem is not the regulation of power prices. The problem is the carbon tax putting up power prices," he said.
From time to time I apologise for using words that are quite impolite and rude, but are necessary to describe Abbott... My apologies to you and no apologies to him...
At a speech this week to the Institute of Public Affairs, Tony Abbott climbed on his free-speech high horse (as Gore Vidal would say, ''tethered conveniently near''). He accused the government of ''state-sponsored bullying'' because of its ''jihad against mining magnates'' and its attack on Gina Rinehart as a ''danger to democracy''.These vulnerable people need as much coddling as can be mustered. To make sure Bolt would never again be offended, Abbott promised to repeal s18C of the RDA. Presumably, he'll also have to prevail on the states, many of which have similar provisions in their legislation.At this point in the process of being serially gobsmacked, it might be worth a moment to inject some context. Neither Bolt nor his paper contested the factual claims put to the court by the claimants in the s18C case. Their claims to have always identified as Aborigines and been brought up as such were not challenged in the court. The newspaper and its journalist did not appeal the decision or seek the High Court's view about the right to freedom of speech and whether the articles were protected by the implied constitutional right to free speech on political or governmental affairs, as discovered in the case of David Lange v the Australian Broadcasting Commission.Actually, while we're in this territory, it might be worth remembering that conservative politicians were appalled by both the Mabo and Lange decisions of the High Court. They were regarded as the high water mark of ''judicial activism'' and led the Howard government to hunt around for a ''Capital C Conservative'' judge to appoint to the court. Ian Callinan was duly elevated and went on to declare his distaste for the creation of an implied constitutional right of free speech.Then there was a campaign for an Australian Bill of Rights, which would have given freedom of speech a hefty leg-up. Where was Mr Abbott on that? He was right behind News Ltd's destructive campaign, tooth and claw, to tear the proposal to shreds.For Abbott to paint himself as a protector of free speech is risible. He said in his oration: ''Imagine the reaction, for instance, had the Howard government sought to gag naval personnel after 'children overboard'. ''Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/free-speech-debate-is-coloured-by-hypocrisy-20120809-23x53.html#ixzz235TFmAcR
With the Government in better shape on the key issues, its polling has to improve to some degree. If it doesn't, then Caucus will know for certain that the biggest issue of them all - the biggest impediment to a modest recovery - is Julia Gillard herself.
It is of course in the interests of Rudd supporters to make it as difficult for the Prime Minister as they can. That has in the past meant manipulating the media to run negative stories on the eve of Newspolls.
That didn't happen in the run up to the last one when the ALP gained a 5 per cent boost in its primary vote. The camp went quiet during the winter break, no doubt resting up for their own spring offensive.
As a result - with little talk of Kevin Rudd - the Government was able to get some conversations started, with seemingly positive results.
The setting of the trials for the disability insurance scheme undoubtedly fed into the last poll. That was given special political momentum because the premiers so spectacularly came on board only after a public thrashing.
Then Treasurer Wayne Swan went down an unconventional route using Bruce Springsteen to draw attention to inequality in society, and along the way risking ridicule from those Laurie Oakes described as "snobby" journalists. Again, although the Olympics had started, he got a conversation started.
And finally, the Prime Minister came back from holidays for the "power play" that attempted to deflect some of the blame from the Federal Government for soaring electricity prices.
The manoeuvre exposed the Prime Minister to charges of hypocrisy, but nevertheless the key point did cut through: that in the last four years, without a carbon tax, electricity prices went up by 48 per cent - and with no compensation.
The tactic will give Gillard some cover as Abbott hones in on the key carbon tax vulnerability in the weeks ahead. None of this would have been as effective had it not been for the hiatus in the Rudd story.
As good for morale as the 5 per cent boost in the primary vote was for the ALP, just 1 per cent of that came from the Coalition. Most of the rest came from "others," those who have parked their vote out of disenchantment with both sides of politics. The Government needs to make significant inroads into the Coalition vote to boost its two-party preferred position.
However, the latest poll might also point to the beginning of a slow recovery in Labor's worst state, Queensland.
The poll coincided with a 9 per cent slump in Premier Cambell Newman's ratings in a ReachTEL poll taken on August 6. There are signs that the Queensland Premier's slash and burn approach to the public service is causing some disquiet in the electorate.
Australia seems gripped by a fever of disenchantment. We’ve escaped from the world financial crisis with barely a scrape, yet we rail at the prime minister, whinge about minority government and react to the mining and carbon taxes as if confronted by the plague.
Leading political journalist Laura Tingle argues that something deep in our culture now amplifies antagonism and complaint.
When we were prosperous in times past, we did things like form a federation. What has changed? What would a different politics look like? And, Tingle asks, can a leader surf the wave of anger all the way to power?
One person has shaped Aussie Whingeism 2012: TONY ABBOTT... go no further...
For all my disagreement with the social theory of this essay, which I find childish, I do admire Ms Tingle for writing something so broad and sweeping for us all to use as a jumping off pad. That takes some get up and go. She has summed up a lot of what is happening. Of course, I am also afraid that, instead of simply launching discussion, it will be taken as a prescription pad and used as pre-emptive medication by government and the media. The Financial Review, of course, has quoted it uncritically and I listened to some (not all, I admit) of a Philip Adams interview with Laura on the subject and Adams seemed to swallow it whole, like a delicious pill. Furthermore, the comments on his site were all similarly approving and uncomprehending.
I repeat here: one person has shaped Aussie Whingeism 2012: TONY ABBOTT... go no further...
Get rid of him... and a huge idiotic weight will lift from the shoulders of this country...
We hear the story of conflict in politics, every day. The story we don't hear so often is a story of friendship, across party lines.In this documentary series, Beyond the Biffo, we'll be telling that story.National Mark Coulton and Labor MP Chris Hayes are mates. They've established a cross party group to promote the Men's Sheds foundation. They are putting men's health before partisanship, with terrific results.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/blogs/beyond-the-biffo/mens-health-before-partisanship-20120813-244jo.html#ixzz23YnmtE00
Ah... for an ideal world without Tony Abbott... See toon at top...
UPDATE: PRIME Minister Julia Gillard must address parliament about the circumstances surrounding her resignation from a prominent law firm in the face of fresh claims that she'd left under a cloud of controversy, the opposition says.
Ms Gillard has repeatedly refused to answer fresh allegations she resigned from a major law firm as a direct result of a union scandal involving her then boyfriend.
In an interview on Sky News' Australian Agenda this morning, Ms Gillard was asked on a number of occasions about the case involving her former partner and ex-Australian Workers Union official Bruce Wilson.
There are far more important questions that should be asked of Tony Abbott by the media... But then this is the Merde-och press still pressing on with old shit...
Peanut gallery capers...
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has accused the Coalition of encouraging "muckraking" over why the Prime Minister left a law firm 17 years ago.
The Australian newspaper today published details of a statement it says was drafted last week by Peter Gordon, who was a partner at law firm Slater and Gordon during an investigation into Julia Gillard's work there in 1995.
The paper quotes Mr Gordon as saying that the law firm considered sacking Ms Gillard because her relationship with the firm's partners had "fractured, and trust and confidence evaporated".
But it says the law firm decided not to sack Ms Gillard, deciding she should be "accorded the benefit of the doubt."
The future prime minister was under investigation over her legal work for her then-boyfriend, union boss Bruce Wilson.
Ms Gillard took leave from the firm to campaign for the Senate shortly after the investigation, and resigned the following year (1996) when she took up a position as a political advisor.
At the weekend Ms Gillard dismissed the speculation about her time with Slater and Gordon, calling the claims levelled against her "malicious nonsense."
This morning Mr Swan accused the Coalition of encouraging the renewed interest in Ms Gillard's past.
Speaking to Radio National's Fran Kelly, he said Mr Gordon's statement showed there was no basis to dismiss Ms Gillard for misconduct, and that should be the end of the matter.
"He accepted the explanation - so end of story," Mr Swan said.
"That's the whole point. The fact is, the Liberal Party in particular has associated itself with an enormous amount of muckraking, much of it on the internet and some of it on the airwaves, and that muckraking has no justification in fact and is being used to mount a political campaign against the Prime Minister and the Government for the purposes of the Liberal Party.
"That's what much of this is about and that statement today from Peter Gordon should be the end of the matter."
While Anthony Klan was penning more than 80 reports of “widespread waste”, gaining him nomination for a prestigious journalism award, in fact, less than 2% of the complaints coming in to the Taskforce over the same period concerned value for money.
IN 2010, Anthony Klan was shortlisted for the prestigious Graham Perkin award. Klan writes for The Australian. According to the Melbourne Press Club’s media release on 2 April 2010, Klan’s nomination resulted from “more than 80 articles exposing the flaws in the Federal government’s ‘Building the Education Revolution’ scheme”.
Klan’s profile in The Australian befits a Perkin award nominee. His “forensic reporting with a financial focus” has won him a Walkley Award and News Limited’s top honour, the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Reading on, however, we learn that the reason cited for Klan’s Perkin award nomination was for exposing “widespread waste”, not “flaws” as per the above media release. The use of the word “waste” is highly emotive. It is also a stock Murdoch response to most Labor initiatives.
The article here carries on to prove that the BER was quite successful — actually so successful it was the envy of many countries around the world at a time they were throwing billions of cash to rescue "executives bonuses" and pay gambling debts on the derivative market...
Meanwhile out of more than public 10,000 schools, most were very happy with the program, while a bit mor than 300 though the money was a waste, amongst which schools (mostly in NSW and Vic) I would suspect some would have been run by Liberal (conservative) principals that would not give the light of day to any Labor initiative...
So what's wrong with the Merde-och press compared to most other media that praised the scheme as a success? Well, it is pushit a lot of shit uphill against Labor... Nothing new... And as usual I suspect the ABC had to be 50/50 no matter what...
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