Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

Garrett, you've done something awful

How could a Labor man make a flippant remark to a right-wing Sydney shock jock? Those types only get their own jokes, which they only make at other people's expense. And those types are hungry for publicity. They're not really human, Peter.

What you've done is a real worry. Rudd's talking to swingers who need to feel safe about Labor. You've just handed the Government a gimme.

Here's the Libs' latest email, which announces its latest Advertisement:

The Liberal Party has launched a new advertisement - "LABOR LETS THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG".

All through this election, Labor has been playing a game called "Me Too".

Yesterday, Peter Garrett let the cat out of the bag, telling a radio announcer that "Me Too" doesn't matter, because "once we get in, we'll just change it all". (source: Steve Price, 2UE, 2 November 2007)

Next time Australians hear Labor say "Me Too" on how they will manage Australia's $1.1 trillion economy, they should remember, that once a union dominated Labor Government gets in, they'll just change it all.


The ad is sickening, as is the Coalition's 100% fear and loathing campaign.  Peter, you've loaded a gun for them, and potentially ruined months and months of hard work by Rudd and megabucks on pre-election trust me advertising.

How should Rudd respond? I'm glad he didn't do his usual knee jerk thing, and shut up for a while. When he's asked,. I'd say something like, "Peter has learned the hard way that you don't crack a political joke to a right wing talkback host." Any other ideas?
[ category: ]

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

This I've gotta see

Senator Minchin 'looking uncomfortable', Paul? You're pulling my leg, eh...

I read Minchin's palaver on a news 'feed', but didn't actually see the Meet The Press interview (nor Insiders, etc.) as I consider after all that Sunday should be a day of rest from these people.

And Channel Ten's Meet The Press page was 'not available' ('Seriously Ten' they're calling themselves, if you can believe it, although I'm sure Mr Bongiorno tries his best).

But this I've gotta see, so I'll look out for a podcast or whatever...

loss of native habitat...

Looked uncomfortable on teev, didn't he, Jacob?

Haven't had so much fun since Shane Warne was bowling.

The usual misrepresentation

Alga Kavanagh: "As to Malcolm Duncan's assertion the legal profession stands between us and tyranny is factually and demonstratively wrong. The true facts are, the legal profession is tyranny in its ultimate form, along with religion it devises, writes and forcibly instils social controls for the benefit of elitist, wealthy and brain bureaucratic incompetents to enslave the people."

That was not my assertion at all. There is a vast difference between the big end of town and those of us who, as individuals, fight tyranny every day of our working lives. I'd even be obliged to defend you. Let me know when your mortgage falls into default.

Garrett learnt fast

After 3 weeks of travelling and no politics, I looked forward to catching up with the opinions of Webdiarists. Garrett did nothing wrong in the world of politics, you'd need nano surgery to separate truth from the fiction permeating the conjoined twins of the lib/lab coalition. Fighting about who is the best moron seems rather childish, as displayed by the programmed clones supporting both sides of politics who refuse to wake up to how gullible and controlled they are. Until then, all we will get is lib/lab supporters fluffing their feathers in attempts to cloak the depth of their ignorance regarding reality and what faces us in the verifiable future and not the delusional ones waved at us by lib/lab coalition.

It's simple logic to determine where the veracity of someone lies, just check their social credentials and you will have the answer. Garrett, lawyer and christian, all he does is display the same veracity and approach of all those who come into those categories, liars, deceivers and incompetent in the extreme. The same goes for all academics in public life, they show nothing but stupidity when addressing the future. Neither party has a clue about this country's security, nor how to implement policy which will give us more freedoms and safety instead of less freedoms and more insecurity. The only way you can ensure the lib/lab don't get your vote is to preference them both last, otherwise you are voting for them in all respects. If you put greens or independents first, then you should put independents next to diminish the grab for preferences by the lib/labs. I start at the bottom and work up, lib last, lab second last. The current way the lib/labs have forced us to vote in the senate is a prime example of how unrepresentative it is, you are forced to either number over 100 hundred names on the ballot paper or vote above the line and how a particular party dictates, not the candidate, nor the voter. But no alarm bells seem to be ringing in the minds of the enslaved about this non direct, clearly fraudulent, disenfranchising voting system is.

The real facts are the libs have totally stuffed the economy, along with our future and the labs are no different. As to Malcolm Duncan's assertion the legal profession stands between us and tyranny is factually and demonstratively wrong. The true facts are, the legal profession is tyranny in its ultimate form, along with religion it devises, writes and forcibly instils social controls for the benefit of elitist, wealthy and brain bureaucratic incompetents to enslave the people. We need a complete new system if we are to survive as a society during the next ten years. But I doubt anyone is listening except to their egocentric refusal to recognise where this debauched political system is taking us. We live in a fascist state, implemented and controlled by the legal profession and religion. There are no freedoms, rights or free vote and Garrett is only emulating what his peers inside and outside politics do. Fully verified by the evidence before us, throughout society. I could not trust anyone who after spending most of their lives advocating change and planetary survival, for power and money, does a complete U turn. Throwing away all you stood for against all the evidence and ravenously replace it with emptiness, is not the display of a trustworthy or competent soul.


In my innocence it seems that I have got into something that is far beyond me. Therefore I am conceding and leaving the field to others who are, it appears, far more worldly than am I.

Minchin stuffs big, fat, pregnant cat back into bag

Following Prime Minister John Howard’s disavowal of a further wave of industrial relations reforms should his government be returned to office, Finance Minister Nick Minchin has disavowed his avowed view of last year that a further wave of IR reforms is desirable.

As is well known, Senator Minchin touted the need for further IR reforms in a speech last year to the H.R. Nicholls Society. But now we can confidently rewrite history and confirm that he didn’t say it, he never did say it, and he never will say it — well, certainly not during the present election campaign.

This is important, indeed momentous, because Senator Minchin is a man with an uncanny sixth sense about what the voting public thinks, wants and feels.

Defending the convention that politicians may claim travel allowance on the election trail right up until their formal party launches, the Minister oraculated:

I think Australians understand they want to hear the political messages from both sides of politics and to do that you’ve got to get around the country.

Given the fuzziness of Senator Minchin’s avowals and disavowals, we can’t be sure whether this is actually a defence of that particular convention, or laying the groundwork for jettisoning yet another convention.

We can only anticipate with bated breath further communiqués from this enigmatic articulator of the zeitgeist.

Alexander of the Order of the Lash

"I should consider a new career path'

Hey, you'd make a damn lot more doing that than moderating at WD. But then again you'd have to put up with weird clients such as legal professionals dressed in skirts and no knickers and stuff...oh dear.

Anyway I have heard around the traps that Alexander Downer is lashing at his bits to get the job, and you know what these private school lads are like, and where they've been.......no...  no... not going there Fiona.

Oh deary my...

I saw the Lash in action once, it was election night in 1972, Uni of NSW Roman Recovery Ball; the Lash was somewhat pathetic, even embarrassing; may have had something to do the cheap scotch and good dope, or the far better visuals projected on the adjacent wall of the Three Stooges in action; much preferable, even if I wasn't a Stooges fan.

Anyway AD would be perfect for the job and Australia would be far better off if he took it.

Actually in all seriousness I would argue that Australia would be better off if all our politicians took up positions in the sex industry, rather than fucking our country.

We could then replace them with legal professionals with degrees of law (less - Ness) and skirts and stuff. Could be fun really because they'd would do it for love.....especially the Scottish ones......

aye they would ...

BTW, Whitlam won that night, and what a rogering we got after that one, and Gough was a public school guy.

Anyway, There Are Such Things As Heels

Fiona, the original Matron barb was decidedly Duncansian. The "sniffing" was inspired. Your sniffing comment, that is; the actual sniffing was insipid.

vertically challenged?

Fiona: I do not think that you would make any money. I believe that you would have to be more than 3' 5'' to be successful!

Fiona: What on earth gives you the idea that I am 3' 5" tall, Peter? In any event, a lack of height could allow better stimulation of certain areas.


I shall let Malcolm B Duncan defend himself, Bill. After all, he is more than capable of doing so, though I will say that I would be most surprised if he were engaging in some form of double identity this time.

As for identities, however, you and Wayne McDermott (middle initial K, I wonder?) have given me an idea. I believe that Madam Lash has retired. Maybe, just maybe, I should consider a new career path.

Dear Matron Rebarb,

He won't be missed by this Sassenach. Comes across a lot like another Malcolm B Stuffedshirt to me, and one of those is more than plenty. Not enough text to run a full prose style analysis, but enough to begin to look pretty suss. Not by any chance setting up our own alter egos with whom to exchange our tedious witticisms, are we, Malcolm B?

Now the only wit in the entire exchange (the sniffing imagery) takes on a whole new meaning…

Peace, please...

Let peace be between us Fiona. I meant what I said. And I apologise for being a prickly Scot, for surely, it is true enough...

Fiona: Agreed. My given name, incidentally, is a dead giveaway - I have both highland and lowland blood coursing in my veins, so am likely to be rebarbative myself from time to time.


Spare me from all prickly Scots. In order, then:

1. I rarely feel sorry for myself, and never with respect to moderating on Webdiary.

2. One person's view on whether intervention is necessary may differ from another person's. My judgment was that the thread was developing into a slanging match between Wayne McDermott and Malcolm B Duncan. Personally, I found it amusing (as, apparently, you did), but I considered that others might find it tiresome. My call, Ian, and I stand by it.

3. Thank you for the encouragement.

4. I mean most, but not all, of the innuendos that you can find in the heading and the first sentence.

All in a snit

My but storemen are sensitive.   Not like us lawyers.  Frankly, I think they are rather cute providing they belong to the Union and don't travel armed.

RE: Subtleties

Ian McPherson, my analogy was based on years of observing the behaviour of dogs as they decide whether to play or to fight. It was not meant to be offensive; certainly no bestiality innuendo was intended.

Fiona, your argument is your own undoing. It was a bestiality gag, and I don't think it worked very well!

As to being a balanced arbiter, it seemed to me that the exchange in which I admit you were only briefly involved was going way off topic. One function of the moderator is to try to ensure that the debate is more-or-less relevant to the thread. However, if you seriously don't like my moderation, please say so and I shall desist. Wouldn't mind a holiday, for that matter.

Now you're feeling sorry for yourself! Haven't we all learnt – yet – that we can't take this stuff all that seriously, and that we have to leave "wriggle room" for all viewpoints?

You're doing a good job. Just don't jump in when it's not necessary, that's all. The thread was rolling along nicely, and your comment really grated at the time.

You hang around, all right? You're one of the "rocks" in Webdiary, and I would certainly not be part of any plan to drive you away. Hang in there sister, you really are needed!!!

Margo: Be good, Ian. It's great having you back. 


Ian McPherson, my analogy was based on years of observing the behaviour of dogs as they decide whether to play or to fight. It was not meant to be offensive; certainly no bestiality innuendo was intended.

As to being a balanced arbiter, it seemed to me that the exchange in which I admit you were only briefly involved was going way off topic. One function of the moderator is to try to ensure that the debate is more-or-less relevant to the thread. However, if you seriously don't like my moderation, please say so and I shall desist. Wouldn't mind a holiday, for that matter.

That's enough sniffing out of you, young lady!

Fiona, I don't have much in common with Wayne, but that post of yours was mean-spirited, poorly timed and its reference to "sniffing" offensive to the max.

I think that's just about enough "sniffing" out of you, young lady!

Play the lawyer all you like, but cut the bestiality gags, OK? Or do we need a more balanced arbiter?

Enough already .. says who?

I didn't realise this was such a rigidly structured blog / webdiary thingy with a school matron keeping all the good little socialists so sternly in line. That's not for me, and I don't want to get offensive reacting to the feminazi "sniffing" innuendo so goodbye!

Fiona: You will be missed, Wayne.

Enough already

Messrs Duncan, McDermott, and McPherson, enough of this ritual sniffing, entertaining though it is. Back to the contest of ideas, please.

Spilt beer

This XXXX has ruined my trousers. Maybe I could sue?

Admittedly, 95% of you do

Admittedly, 95% of you do give the rest a bad name which must seem very unfair. 

A bulwark against tyranny?? You made me spill my beer laughing!

The open mind

So many of us not to like, Wayne McDermott.  Yet, like us or not, you can't do without us.  We are the only bulwark between you and tyranny.

Or you and Ruddock for that matter.  Interestingly enough, the Federal Attorney does not have a current practising certificate in NSW.  I shall repeat the story that at a conference some time ago, he, I and the Legal Services Commissioner were all present.  Ruddock was musing on whether he might resume practice after politics.  The Legal Services Commissioner, after Ruddock walked away, mused that he might oppose any application Ruddock made to do so.  Lawyer joke really - we're a riot.

Depends on whether I like

Depends on whether I like you or not, Malcolm B Duncan. And since it sounds like you're a lawyer it's best to begin with the assumption that I don't.


I once acted in a matter where I was instructed by F. Witt.  Any relation, Wayne McDermott?

So they say

yeah, one sort of wit...or so I've been told. :)

Quite the wit...

That's very amusing Wayne. You're quite the "wit", aren't you? Welcome aboard!


Hello Ian. Well, I'm a bit of a clown by disposition and prefer inane to pretentious. Didn't Aristotle also posit that earthquakes could be controlled using inflated sheeps bladders? Seems a dubious (and very dead) authority on democracy  to me. :) 

We'll all know soon enough...

I just pray that the forces of goodness prevail and the Coalition hold onto power.

It's best not to prejudice the vote, Wayne. As Aristotle posited, "good" is a democratic, not a moral or philosophical, matter. "Good" is what the majority of the people want, not what any one of us might desire. You and DD seem to want the Libs to retain both houses. I'm arguing for the Greens in the Senate, to keep both major parties on track. We certainly have our differences, but to claim that "goodness" is on our particular side is stupid, and inane. We'll all know soon enough. Be prepared to be surprised...


I have no idea Margo! Maybe that's why Fiona doesn't trust me. I just pray that the forces of goodness prevail and the Coalition hold onto power. 

Fear has nothing to do with it

That's quite derogatory. I'm a dumb storeman working in a manufacturing business with more than its fair share of "I always vote Labor" types. Even the ones that still have 23 years of mortgage payments on their McMansions have expressed serious, well thought out (if not articulated) reservations about what is on offer from Labor.

People will stick with Howard because he is trusted on National Security. We are not drowning in boat people, granted we may have mistakenly deported some of our  own citizens but as empathy has never been one of my weaknesses I don't let little hiccups like that cloud my judgement and neither, I think, does the bulk of the voting public

Margo: so the Coalition will win by how many seats, Wayne?

Keep it up Garrett!

The "sickening" fear and loathing campaign is right and just. There is a lot to loathe and fear ! You leftie losers would seriously vote for a party that thought Mark Latham could run this country?  That can submit us to a decade of empty ecological symbolism regarding Kyoto, then change it in an afternoon? You do know trade unionists killed Jesus don't you?

I honestly thought most lefties were either dead or quietly dribbling into their meals on wheels by now. Seems I was wrong! 

Margo: Indeed, Wayne. Welcome to Webdiary!

Of 'competence' and talents

David Davis writes: 'In any time of trouble the electorate would naturally go for Howard.  Contrast it with that mad image of Garrett running around the Botanic Gardens. Madness and whimsy can be indulged when there is no threat. In times of threat you vote for the grown ups and the folk who know what they are doing."

The Coalition/Howard knows what they  are doing?  You say 'you are not into Iran and all that'. How about Iraq -  an illegal invasion, torture, rape murder, destruction of a country and its infrastructure and the looting of its treasury and  treasures of international significance and the  displacement of millions of people can be so lightly dismissed!

The incarceration of Australian citizens without trial and the deportation of one to a foreign country where she had no relatives, no support, and survived only because of the charity of a religious order.

In times of trouble you would rely upon this mob?!

Ian, thank you for the Bianca clip, she looks and is great.

Yes, I have often wondered what happened to the young girl, though of course she is a girl no longer, but I never saw her again.  Perhaps, as is so often the case where a person has a real talent they do not value the gift highly and go on to do other things.

For those who have never been to Tamworth, the reason that I stressed the simple dress so strongly is because a good rule of thumb is that the more extreme the ‘cowboy’ garb people are wearing, the less talent they have.

The best of them wear nothing out of the ordinary, and are much less ‘dressed’ than are many of the people who flock there in what they appear to believe are ‘country’ clothes’.

Thanks, David

Here's why I'm wondering, David.  It only came out this evening.   I Wouldn't call this mob a left-wing  blog. Thanks for the opinion, I'd thought as much.  There's a good chance that Howard will win easily.

I'm not into Iran

Richard, I am not into Iran and all that but I imagine if there is a major development with global ramifications, it would favour the government.

Australians trust the government more than Labor on the economy and national security.  Since Garrett they treat the environment as about equal for either party.  Garrett is pulp mill and all the rest of it.  He's me-tooed the government on environment all the way. That is unless of course he is a liar and plans to change it all after polling day.  Hard to tell with someone who can't be trusted.

In any time of trouble the electorate would naturally go for Howard.  Contrast it with that mad image of Garrett running around the Botanic Gardens. Madness and whimsy can be indulged when there is no threat. In times of threat you vote for the grown ups and the folk who know what they are doing.

Do you really think Iran is going to be interesting in the next couple of weeks?  What is your source?  Leftie blogs? If so, please spare me.  That manic stuff is not my cup of tea. I don't think bloggers have much insight into geopolitics.

Nothing wrong with gut feelings, David

Mine is that Howard is going to win.  I've been waiting to see what's up his sleeve since he said in the debate that his commitment to Iraq would become clearer "in the next couple of days."  Nothing much has happened since then, but we're about to see a much major beat-up of the Iranian war.   

What if... Israel attacks Iranian interests in the next fortnight?  David Davis, I'd appreciate your instinctive opinion of how the voting public would react.  Mine is that they'll stick with Howard out of fear. 

Oh alright then

Politicians in days gone by in Australia may have had charisma.  You forgot to mention Peacock.  He almost won once.  In this era though, the one we live in, and surely the one that interests us most, it has no meaning. Who cares about Hawke and Peacock anyway?  They were a generation ago.

Labor found the perfect leader in Kevin Rudd because he has a charisma bypass and suits the mood of this generation and Australia of 2007.  Rudd has modelled himself on Australia's second most successful PM - the most successful of course being Menzies.

Significant numbers of Australian voters have never experienced a recession as an adult.  You guys are living in the past.  A person of average age in this country wasn't even born when Whitlam was correctly sacked.

Ian you are not Green, you are Labor.  Green has zero meaning in the House of Reps.  Your vote is a Labor vote.  I regard your vote, as does our voting system and the laws of maths, as being totally inconsequential that your first preference goes to the Greens. You are a Labor man because the Greens do not effectively exist in the House of Reps.  When they average around 9% of the first preference vote they remain a joke and I accordingly treat your vote as such.  You're Labor, no more, no less.

Margo, for sentimental reasons I will back the Liberals in Ryan but do have my concerns.  I will bet a swing to Labor of around an extraordinary 8%. Enough for panic but not enough for the seat to fall to the socialists.  The winning will be a first class lunch or dinner in Sydney.  Well if you consider that a reward!! I love prizes where I sort of win as well.

Ryan is under threat because of the influential small L Liberal population.  There are also road threats and a tradition of taking prosperity for granted.  When prosperity is a given it becomes like Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  "Higher" order issues assume greater importance.

Frankly, my visit to Ryan was not very informative.  My mother says her remote control is wearing out as she presses mute every time Rudd appears. She's on the ground in Ryan but sees no reason to change her vote. Rudd is not her cup of tea.

My view on Ryan is based purely on gut feeling from growing up there and knowing the place so well, rather than recent intelligence gathering!

button push

You amaze me - have been wondering intensely about Ryan also.

BTW, slight omission re  Cameron Thompson. Not only was he reckoning that interest hikes were good for the government, but the mortgage belt, also sort of like they ought to be grateful and enjoy them.

What a dark Hobbessian, post-lapsarian world some of them live in.

Thank You Denise.

G'day Denise,

I paraphrase Omar Kyam "The moving target strikes and, having struck, moves on".

Howard's policies have always been to confuse the real issues with a multitude of misdemeanours and diversions.

However, this close to an election, these two Liberals Jim Lloyd and Cameron Thompson are mere examples of the arrogance and dishonesty of the entire Coalition.

In the case of Nick Minchin when speaking to the neo-Fascist organisation H.R. Nicholls, was taped and on video saying that the Howard government will go a lot further with WorkChoices.

Regardless of "rock solid and cast iron" proof - he denied it.

Liberal Jim Lloyd was filmed and taped about his suggestion to Howard during their walk in Loyd's electorate of: "fairest thing to do is reimpose the GST on food".

He denied it by claiming that he was only quoting a Labor person from the year 2000.  Fair dinkum!

So Denise, "never ever" trust the Howard "New Order".


Ern G.


Bianca Ryan

Hi Peter.

Mate, Bianca Ryan is so good at 11, that she brings tears to my eyes. It is rare pleasure to see and hear someone so young with so much talent. Here she is singing a Jennifer Holliday song for her finale performance on America's Got Talent. She changed her hair, her dress and just threw the shoes away. Did she win the competition? Of course she did!

I Am Changing – Bianca Ryan

Do you ever wonder what happened to that little girl you saw in Tamworth? Let's hope she's singing now, eh?

RE: Nerd is downright exciting?petty

DD. Shocked? Australians like the oddest things at times. Look at Hawke, the big-drinking, mullet-swinging, sports-pandering ex-ACTU boss? Who woulda thunk it? Hardly a safe pair of hands on the helm of the sub-pacific empire, seeing how often they strayed into non-maritime areas...

I think in this election Australians are looking for a safe pair of hands, but only because of how Howard, and your esteemed pseudoidentical self, are framing the issue. I agree neither of them are cool, but Garrett has a worn-down sort of cool with my age group. I find it pathetic that the public buy this sort of petty oneupmanship, but heck, that's the nature of the business!

That is our nature. Get used to it. If you want cool, leave the country.

Mate, you're the frequent flyer. You check out...

An "argument used since the dark ages". Well of course Ian, there is a reason arguments get repeated throughout the ages. That reason is because they are the arguments that WORK. The "it's time for a change" argument has also been used since the dark ages. Why? Because it works. As a red hot Labor man, you'd probably be more partial to that argument even if it has been used since the dark ages! It would behoove you to do a course in Politics 101.

DD, I am a Greens guy, not a Labor guy, and I haven't been red-hot since I was 20. Sometimes your infatuation with yourself lets you forget who you're talking to. As to your comment about "arguments used since the dark ages", well derrr!

The plague upon me for mentioning the obvious fact that you're using dumbed-down, tired political cliches to push the political party of your particular choice. Yaaawwwwnnnn! I'm bored and off for a snooze...

No cool? Bollocks I say.

David Davis: "Australians don't like cool leaders. They don't much like charisma either."  I'm sorry but there's no evidence to support that assertion David. 

Hawkie?  Cool in a beer swilling back slapping early 80's way, Keating?  Cool in a late 80's early 90s Gordon Gecko sort of way.  Combined tenure, 13 years.  Gough?  Cool in an early 70's post hippy grown up way.  Aggregated charisma count?  Stratospheric - unless of course you're a blind partisan conservative.

Holt?  Cool, an a hip 60's way.  Gorton?  Pretty funky too.  Chifley?  Hughes?  Populists all, but cool in their time and within the constraints to direct contact with the populace the media and technology of the time imposed.

Sure, it's fair to say that the early public support for Howard was a reaction against 13 years of showbiz, but that doesn't prove your point.   I reckon Labor would do even better if they could find a bit of cool.

Dark ages

An "argument used since the dark ages". Well of course Ian, there is a reason arguments get repeated throughout the ages. That reason is because they are the arguments that WORK. The "it's time for a change" argument has also been used since the dark ages. Why? Because it works. As a red hot Labor man, you'd probably be more partial to that argument even if it has been used since the dark ages! It would behoove you to do a course in Politics 101.

Margo: Hi David. What was you feeling about your old stamping ground, Ryan, when you visited. Reckon it could fall. What are your odds - if they're OK, I'll have a bet with on Labor winning Ryan. 

When cool is ho hum and nerd is downright exciting

I have no idea what you are on about, Ian. Australians don't like cool leaders. They don't much like charisma either. Rudd is one of the most boring and nerd-like leaders we have ever had and that is what attracts people. He is Howard-Lite. He is Captain Me-Too.

There is no "cool factor" in this election. Australians are terrified of cool. They scarcely know what it even means other than that it frightens them. Safe pair of hands is what turns Aussies on. That's why Rudd models himself on the master, John Howard. He looks the same, acts the same and me-too's every Howard utterance. Cool has no place in our politics and I am shocked you would even raise it.

Last time Labor offered a manic thug as leader. This time they offer a copy-cat, ex public service nerd with no original thought. Aussies will go for the nerd but cool does not exist here. Generally we prefer ungainly and gauche over cool. That is our nature. Get used to it. If you want cool, leave the country.

Cameron Thompson.

Well, now that we have spent this time hammering away at  Garrett for his unspeakable transgression, do you think we will have as much time spent of the guff concerning the merit of interest rate hikes and their benefit for the Coalition, as proposed by  Queensland  Coalition MP Cameron Thompson today?

Not if the ABC hosing down of it is any indication, although the bloke Thompson is a fearful turkey judging by his mercifully brief performance on the teev ( wasn't one of this "Cameron" mob in strife in 2004?- a bible basher caught playing up behind his wife's back? ).

Then there was the genius Ruddock refusing to rule out future  Dr.Haneef style gaffes. No wonder he included amongst the uglies hidden away for the duration of the election; pitiful, obnoxious, anal and cretinous hobgoblin that he is.

Ho Hum, Once Again, Indeed...

DD, you are so predictable. Every opposition party in life has been "risky", every incumbent "safe". Both sides of politics have used this argument since the dark ages. The only thing I agree with you about is that Garrett should have gone for the passion and not the power. He is a Green at heart – although you're arguing the same case to belittle him, as you so naturally do.

Perhaps he too has been drawn to the dark side of power, that lusting after a job in a Big Business Boardroom when he has been spat from parliament? Goodness, I guess we should all rush to the Boardroom doors, lay down upon the plush carpet, and flay ourselves on the back with corn cobs on a stick, praying to each other that we NEED to be more like American politicians, slipping in and out of private enterprise and government like... well, I shouldn't go there...

After all, Howard has been promising us one thing and delivering another for quite some time. The GST and interest rates spring to mind. Perhaps JWH should be caught in a hotel room, sans memory of the evening prior, to make him exciting to the younger set? That would make him cool – and young – wouldn't it? After all, we wouldn't want an old, uncool pollie would we?

Howard can't be trusted. The Liberals are too "old" for government. :)

Ho hum indeed

The support on Labor's handling the environment slumped 10 points in the past month to an 18-month low of 29 percent, only slightly higher than the Coalition.

Good old Labor and its star recruits. Nice work, Peter.  Thanks very much.  Keep it up old boy.... and I do mean old boy.

Which pulp mill did Peter me-too today?  Which US base did Peter approve of and me-too again today?  Which uranium mine will Peter me-too tomorrow? Which climate change policy did Peter forget to me-too only to be corrected by his master and subsequently me-too?

Have fun with Garrett if you like.  The whole country is.  He's an absolute joke.  If he annoys you then you can do the charade and vote Green first and then give it immediately back to Labor in your second preference.  It means nothing but go ahead and do it anyway.

Charades and me-too all round.  .

I want to see Garrett do a flustered Kernot-style airport scene.  You know, tears, lashing out at the media and suchlike. Labor's star recruits always chop, change, betray and do academy award winning airport performances

Then they take the London option and you never hear from them again, save perhaps a short profile in Womans Day.

Garrett can't be trusted.  Labor's not ready for government.

And after all the sound and fury

ALP primary 47% and stable, Garrett preferred environment minister.

Ho hum.

Just click the video link

And here is the footage - just click onto the video link at the top of the story. 

GST on food ?

HI Ern

I found the link to the story on Howard and the GST on food in The Age.

A federal coalition frontbencher says he was not calling for the GST to be introduced on food when caught on camera on Monday.

Local Government Minister Jim Lloyd was filmed telling Prime Minister John Howard that the "fairest thing to do is reimpose the GST on food".

The two men were walking through a shopping centre in Mr Lloyd's electorate of Robertson at the time. 

I Believe that Howard would worsen WorkChoices.

 As I have previously commented, the media's penchant for using every word, joke or comment by the pollies is becoming a bit raw.

 However, it is my opinion that the master deceiver is so used to wording his lies in such a way as to skew the real intention of his speech (only when not debating) must put him in front on this issue.

 It was interesting then to see that the mistake made by one of Howard's minions on Channel 10's 9 am today has NOT been reported on the net - as far as I can determine.

 When we tuned in to the station, Howard and his candidate (unknown to us) suggested that "We should re-introduce the GST on food"!

 Without removing his fixed smile, Howard continued with his "high fives" and suggested that "we sleep on it".  To cut off the subject?


 The article was Senators vow to block IR reforms  and Misha Schubert discloses that:

  • Treasurer Peter Costello also refused to guarantee those rights in law, saying many workers would welcome the ability to trade-off lunch breaks for extra pay or shorter hours. 
  • Mr. Costello also stood by his suggestion that all workers could eventually lose the right to unfair dismissal protections. 
  • But Mr. Andrews said he had "no intention" of extending the exemption to all workers beyond the plan to scrap protections for companies with 100 or fewer staff.  But he refused to rule out further reform in future. 

Add these to the Minchin speech to the fascist H.R. Nicholls society that the Howard government has a long way to go on WorkChoices.

 And, the Chamber of Commerce's Peter Hendy said, as soon as the WorkChoices came out, that they do not go far enough.

 Does anyone think that Howard governs for the workers or the corporations?


 Let's keep our eyes on this subject.




Margo: Hi Ern. no repeats of previous posts, OK?

Does anyone believe the so-called back flips of Howard and Costello and Hockey on WorkChoices?  Fair dinkum.

I did enter a similar post in April last where I commented that "With his 1400 pages of IR obfuscation, Kevin Andrews has, in the typical Howard procedure, acted like a Magpie without a sphincter, and then - moved on. And - the Abbott and Costello - 'whose on first' get in the act and I quote the latter from the above article".

Love those Magic Moments

, Peter, just read your stories. they reminded me of another one. Maisy Timbrell, 8, raised money for the tsunami victims by dancing in the street. She danced to the tune of "Dancing In The Street", her favourite song of the moment, and raised $60 for Care Australia. The photo is wonderful.

Maisy: "I chose to dance in front of Pinkey's because there is a bus stop there and there were lots of people getting on and off and I danced in the mornings because lots of people were waiting for the bus."

Another: SBS showed a documentary about a Canadian boy about 9, who learned in school that African people had no well, and took it upon himself to get them one. He opened a web site and it took off bigtime: Money came pouring in. The doco had two magic moments: one when the boy and his family visited the village where the well was, and the villagers danced a greeting dance to entertain them. The boy jumped up, threw off his shoes and shirt and danced with them. His mother cracked up laughing. It was fantastically funny and funnily fantastic.

The second moment came when the Canadian family left the village. The villagers all lined up, and one tiny girl, black as night and with masses of crinkly hair, sang solo, acapella, the village farewell song. She was so skinny you could hardly see her when she stood side on. She sang like a bird. Her voice was so high and sharp and clear it almost hurt to hear it. It was magnificent.


You would admit, Michael, that if ever a political formation deserved a hard kick up its butt it would the Labor party of most of the Howard era.

That it still gets away with its timidity is only because the electorate has finally become conscious of the hectoring stentorianism of the Howard Coalition embodied by people like Downer, Brough, Costello,and the Abbott.

Yes they do Alan however,

Yes they do, Alan. However, those hours are self imposed. A different kettle of fish you would think?

The Story Won't Last The Weekend

Cast your minds back to the release of Mark Latham's book and the predictions of havoc it would cause the Labor Party - the end of civilisation as we know it or words to that effect.

Now it's Mark who?


There is a difference something you do by choice, for your own benefit and what is imposed on you by someone else at your personal expense.

Far better had you challenged Shepherd on her data, if possible, than just wasted people's time with a throwaway line of little  relevence to the point she was raising, about government- encouraged national debt as a quick and lazy cover up to avoid the effort of a reasoned response to structural economic problems.

As far  as I'm concerned, Shepherd is right. The country has been encouraged to live in a fool's paradise.The government has had twelve years to deal with the nation and with studied arrogance has obdurately refused ever to move beyond a characteristic lazy born to rule rent-seeking . Hence the ascendancy of the likes of people like  Richard Pratt,  while R and D, education and training languish and bright people with ideas travel offshore while money is ploughed into a futile real-estate bubble.

And Hours and Hours and Hours

Alan, if people work 100 hours per week, then according to my arithmetic (never very good, I must admit) it seems they must work 7 days, have no more than 7 hours sleep per night, and 2 hours 40 minutes or thereabouts left in which to shower, dress, travel to work and have something to eat during the day.

Doesn't give them much time for toilet breaks, or to talk to each other or to read their kids a story, does it? Anyone living like this would be crying out for a change of government, I would have thought. Then again, anyone living like this would have trouble finding the time to vote.

Working hours

Mary j Shepherd, "or increase working hours to 100" it might come as a suprise to you but many self-employed people work these sort of hours every week. 

So what Alan?

Did Garrett say he would make things worse?   Did he say he would reduce wages as the fair pay commission has, or increase working hours to 100, or say we would destroy all the forests?

Good heavens visit the Liberal website for policies and you will find snide remarks about the ALP and no policies.

Go to the ALP site and you will find hundreds of policies.

Rudd has said over and over again that his policies are not the same as the Coalition's so why is everyone claiming this me-too thing?

As for the small target - Rudd is here, there and everywhere.

Now the joke is that Howard is going to try and turn the next interest rates rise tipped for Wednesday as another excuse to keep him on before his retirement.

How can he do that?   Simply claim things would be more inflationary under the ALP.   Just like he did in the first place when he promised to keep interest rates at an all time low, which they are not.

Perhaps you might be interested in  a small stat. At the RBA website showing that during the so-called terrible recession in 1990 the nation's debt to disposable income was 47%, in 1996 it was only 69% and it is now 161%.

And that is the fault of stupid Howard feeding inflation and greed.


Odd that, Alan  Curran.   My mind has been dealing with  six seats for some time, also. Fools or "great minds"?


Ian, isn't she just terrific!  And isn’t it great to see/hear a kid with talent?
Some years ago in Tamworth I was at the very end of the main street watching  a couple sing, when   a small girl, about 8 or 9, in just a simple summer frock came skipping down the street. 
She pushed through the small crowd, walked up to singers and ask if they would let her sing.   She did not know them, they got her name wrong and she was quick to correct them, then this kid sang!  It lifted the hairs on the back of my neck. She wasn’t ‘good for an 8 or 9 year old’, she was just unbelievable.
Having sung two or three songs, she said ‘thank you’, and skipped off down the street again.
I was fortunate enough to see her twice more.  Same procedure, I couldn’t believe the sheer confidence this kid displayed. 

Something to lighten your heart, or make you cry...

David, you are of course absolutely right. As born, most of us are ill-equipped for the political world. To become such a slave to the system is awful and lamentable. The fact that Garrett went for Labor exposes his frailty, that he chose a political party for power, rather than a political party that reflected his beliefs (the Greens). He can turn around any time, and I still hope he does.

I had no idea where to put this link here, but I thought this "beat-up" column might be OK, just to give you some inspiration. This is a young girl of 11 performing on "America's got Talent". It's probably the most amazing music video clip I've seen this year.

DD says that Garrett is old, so I guess I am too. And perhaps he's right – yet Garrett made my day at the time – as he did for many of the people who are now in their 50s. This is something else again, unless Garrett sang at 11, which I doubt...

Maybe, if we're really lucky, we'll get a political voice like this, in our lifetimes. God knows we need a pollie with this sort of spirit, confidence and courage.

Bianca Ryan

foot soldiers

Having spent my mid-twenties as an active politician in a London borough - and given ludicrous power as chair of various committees when I was too young and naive to realise how ill-equipped I was for it - the one thing that was pretty clear to me was that I didn't ever want to be a back-bencher in the ruling party, let alone in opposition. The leadership group were the only ones who had a clue what was really happening, and the information deficit to even the elected footsoldiers of our side was huge ...

Unthinking Tribalism

DD: Like Alexander Downer I am a creature of the Liberal Party (sans stockings).  I am not a member but it is where my cold stone heart lies (as some here would like to believe).

David, I'll have to take your word for it on the stockings dimension.

Downer's an unquestioning creature of the Liberal party because it is and has been his route to power, influence and prosperity, as it was for his father.  He's an insider.

But for those who aren't part of the machine (or, equally so the other machine), but sign on as devotees anyway, what is the motivation?  I've never understood that.  They cannot carry out any critical assessment of what is promulgated - their duty and obligation is to support, as they do.  Foot soldiers, pawns, those mown down in the first line of defence protecting the generals.  Is it a feeling of belonging?  Tribalism?  What?  Both major parties platforms have moved miles in the last 2 or 3 decades, yet the barnacles remain, encrusted and unquestioning.  What's the meaning of being a creature of a political party without being part of that inside elite?

How can a reasonable and appropriately critical person, one of enquiring mind, take anything such a person says as any better than propaganda at worst and a glib slogan at best?  And please this is no criticism of Mr Davis, his convictions are clear and to be admired.  This forum is more than adequately staffed with unquestioning foot soldiers from the other side too, equally guilty of unthinking sloganeering.

For those who want to feel they've made a sober and informed decision weighing up the evidence, partisan positional ping pong is just annoying.

A joke

Ern, "To me what you see is what you get with Peter," Senator Brown.said

"I have never found him anything but direct and honest in what he's said.

So when Garrett said "mate, don't worry, what we say now and what we do in government will be very different things'. A joke, I don't think so. The only thing that is a joke is most of the Labor front bench.

NO Commentary - just desperate deception.

Insiders - 04/11/2007: Prime Minister John Howard speaks today confirmed the vastly held opinion that this spiteful little schoolboy just cannot tell the truth.  

Never mind the whole truth - any truth.  Just a few quotes with my comments: 

BARRIE CASSIDY: Which frontbencher do you think created the most grief for their party this week? Was it Tony Abbott or Peter Garrett? 

JOHN HOWARD: Well leaving aside commentary, can I just go to Mr Garrett? I'll go to his defence that it was a joke, I'll tell you why it wasn't a joke, it's not the first time evidence has emerged that he has said this. If you have a listen to an interview between Senator Bob Brown and Charles Woolley, on the 8th of October, you will find Charles Woolley saying, in effect, 'You all know that Peter Garrett is saying to Greens and some journos, mate, don't worry, what we say now and what we do in government will be very different things'.  

Now I have, just a few moments ago, I have listened to the audio of that interview, Charles Woolley did not regard what Peter Garrett had been saying to his friends in the green movement and even to some journalists as a joke, and Charles Woolley himself said this. So you've got the evidence, the testimony, if you like, of two journalists, and I've read the Steve Price column in the Sunday Telegraph this morning, and he's very direct and very explicit.  

And what is interesting is that Peter Garrett has not denied having said it.

Who else has heard that "evidence"? Has it been printed in the press? If so - where?

BARRIE CASSIDY: No, but Richard Wilkins was also there from Channel Nine, and he said he thought it was a throw-away line, and he thought he was joking. 

JOHN HOWARD: But Barrie, stop trying to excuse him, and let's concentrate on the facts. The facts are that you now have two journalists, both of whom I say enjoy a good reputation, and neither could be described as a Liberal Party or a government stooge, neither of them. They're both as straight as gun barrels when it comes to both sides of politics, and both of them have said that Peter Garrett, in the case of Charles Woolley, he has obviously heard around the traps, and he is connected, and he would know what he was talking about, and in the case of Steve Price, he has the experience of a direct conversation..  

BARRIE CASSIDY: Why would he be talking about it, if he had a hidden agenda?  

Too damned logical, Barrie. So here we have a PM who:

  • Will not enter into commentary about his robots but always does so about the opposition.
  • Listens to a radio conversation and interprets it without the public enjoying the same privilege.
  • Excuses Abbott's blunders upon blunders even though they were filmed for all to see, but accepts without qualification the word of an extreme right-wing radio journalist while dismissing the opinion of a non-aligned TV journalist.
  • Does not consider that a radio host who - interviews on radio - takes himself to the Qantas Airport without warning or invitation - has a  non-arranged 60 second talk with a returning Shadow Minister Peter Garrett. Strange behaviour to say the least.
  • This 60 second non-arranged talk is not filmed nor apparently, secretly recorded.

No, Peter Garrett has not denied it, Prime Minister.  Why would he? If he was honest and really meant it as a joke?

At one time I advocated that the Opposition parties should get down in the gutter with Howard and his entire "New Order", but now even that is too repugnant to consider.

Let's keep our eyes on the ball.  Iraq; WorkChoices, education for all, health for all, political accountability, nuclear Australia, nuclear dump Australia, fair dinkum on Climate Change.

All of these issues matter for the present and the future.

Caveat emptor. NE OUBLIE.

Howard's Walk

Hi Mary J, that Michelle Grattan article has also completed destroyed my recently declared love-in with Howard. Bugger. Anyway, love is never having to say that you are sorry.

This in Grattan's piece today.

Before David continues his love-in with dishonest John, just bear in mind what Howard said in Darwin this week. This from Michelle Grattan today in the Age.

"This is going to be a tough week for the Coalition if, as the market predicts, interest rates go up. To be handed such a stick with which to beat Labor was an unexpected windfall. But the PM knew where to draw the line. "(Are) you saying that a political party should outline everything they're going to do in the next term of government if they are re-elected?" Howard was asked in Darwin. "No, no, I'm not, I'm not saying that," he said quickly, seeing the familiar trap. Before the last election, he didn't signal WorkChoices and no cats were let out of bags, or belled, before polling day."

And let's get some perspective on the me-too crap.

The liberals have not put up any policies that can be copied and those that they have put up have been ALP policy for almost a decade anyway.

End of silly story.

Hurtling toward Ryan at 942 km / hr

Margo, I have just had a lovely lunch with my sister in the electorate of Wentworth and will shortly be hurtling toward Ryan at 942 km/hr.  I am in the Qantas Club and have no plans to make flippant remarks.  That said, my remarks don't mean much to anyone!

I still don't know what is going on in this election. Is Ryan in play?  Well maybe it is.  I have spent all my life when not overseas in electorates that had a strong small L Liberal contingent.

I was born in Richmond which of course incorporates Byron Bay. We know what happened there.  When I was little kid the hippies were at their height.  Richmond is an interesting electorate.

I grew up in Ryan and know it intimately.  John Moore was the local member but I think he took us for granted.  Certainly he over watered his lawn and it came into our back yard.  The Liberal Senator Macgibbon lived at the other end of the street and the Lord Mayor, Liberal Salllyanne Atkinson lived a couple of blocks away.

Like Alexander Downer I am a creature of the Liberal Party (sans stockings).  I am not a member but it is where my cold stone heart lies (as some here would like to believe).

My flight is about to board so after all that preliminary stuff I now don't have time to write properly about Ryan.

I wonder though.  It's like my current home electorate of North Sydney.  I would like to help Joe Hockey.  I am a bit confused by the vibe in North Sydney.

Ten per cent would be a crazy swing but who knows.  Maybe a lot of small L Liberal chickens are coming home to roost.

Ryan, Richmond and North Sydney may have a conservative ring to them but dig deep in any of them and you will find rebellious souls.

Richmond went Labor.  Ryan did once.  North Sydney voted in an independent.

Richmond, Ryan and North Sydney voters consider the issues. That could be a risk.  More in due course.  This may sound arrogant but I suspect Richmond, Ryan and North Sydney voters are not as switched off as many.  Again, that could be a risk.

Howard stuffs big, fat, pregnant cat back in bag

“Some people will believe us, some people won’t, that always applies in election campaigns, but we do not have any plans to further change the industrial relations system.”

- Prime Minister John Howard

One wonders if those who “will believe” will be the same people who believed the PM’s non-pledge in the 2004 campaign not to introduce a further wave of industrial relations that became known as WorkChoices.

Or maybe those who “will believe” will be the same people who believed the PM would act “in the national interest”, regardless of election non-pledges, by introducing a further wave of industrial relations that became known as WorkChoices.

When Finance Minister Senator Nick Minchin told the H.R. Nicholls Society last year that a further wave of IR reforms — beyond WorkChoices — was needed, this was excused by Government spinmeisters as “a personal view” that was not necessarily representative of the Government’s thinking. That Minchin expressed “his” view as a prominent government front-bencher was apparently neither here nor there.

So, in the Alice-in-Wonderland croquet that is contemporary Australian politics, maybe Labor could “get away with” excusing Peter Garrett’s change-it-all gaffe — or non-gaffe, as the case may be — as merely expressing a “personal view” that was not necessarily representative of the Government-in-waiting’s thinking — “We are a broad church,” etc.

Incidentally... if Labor is “anti-jobs” because it opposes (or, at least, says it does) the Government’s IR platform, then is the Government “anti-jobs” because it introduced a “Fairness Test” as an antidote to the electoral poison of Australian Workplace Agreements?

Changing perceptions

I don’t think that Garrett’s comment has done any harm to Labor at all and in fact, if the coalition keep hammering it, may well have done them some good. Those who are not voting Labor always knew that he was a dill, anyway.

There will be some voting Labor who simply don’t care. Many who hope the hell it is the truth. (Rudd looks to me to have all Howard’s problems in spades! Believes that he is important and clearly embraces the ‘god king’ concept.)

David Davis writes: The swinging voters respect Howard. Labor knows that and so chooses its tactics carefully.

They do? I have friends who will vote for the coalition based on an erroneous belief in their financial management ‘skills’, who have no time for Howard at all, or at best a grudging admiration for the sheer doggedness with which he hangs onto an idea.

My take on that is he is just too stupid to learn!

David writes further: ‘But guess what else? We all may similarly agree that Garrett is saying one thing and doing another. He is not being true to himself, to his past or to his people.’

Now that ought to increase his appeal to Howard voters — note that I distinguish between coalition voters, who though their reasoning is faulty at least have some understanding of how the system is supposed to work, and ‘Howard voters’ who have no understanding whatsoever!

The political parties and the press take these things seriously, and believe that the great unwashed are out there hanging on every word, changing their position on every utterance. Forget it. People operate on their overall perception. Thus Abbott’s attack on Bernie Banton and his Press Club performance merely confirms the common perception that he is a (brainless) thug.

It is this perception that voters react to every word, every announcement that at least partly explains why all the coalition threats, promises and predictions of ruinous disaster are having no effect. After 1100 (sic) years of being ground under the despot Howard’s heel, how could anybody believe that he had suddenly embraced democracy?

Or that he had suddenly understood that climate change might actually be real, and not just something in the fevered mind of the delusional?

Or that job security and the ability to organise time to be with the family, or to plan social activities might matter to people?

Or that locking people up without trial, and denying them their rights under international law might cause some people to wonder just how safe they were under the heel of such a regime.

Or that even the most obtuse would finally realise, when their pay no longer stretches to cover their day to day living expenses, that just because Howard is assuring them that ‘families were never better off’ doesn’t make it so.

They listen to tales from their great grandparents about how it was before Howard, of how there was hope, how there was some compassion, how there were at least some who were prepared to help other people, how the young received free, or almost free, education and they begin to believe, begin to think that perhaps we can rebuild some of that.

These are hopes, dreams and aspirations that are not changed or washed away with a single word. Once you have dared to hope, dared to dream, it takes a great deal to tear that away. For the people have far too much of themselves invested in it!

David Davis, Well Said

David Davis: In your last two posts on this thread you have made some very good points. I would endorse much of it, except the Liberal paranoia re the ALP: the idea that once elected. the ALP will do 'something terrible'.

I know this from personal experience, as for years my mother voted Liberal for that reason, despite all my efforts from about the age of 9 to persuade her to do otherwise. (Disclosure: Paul Keating converted me from a rock solid Labor supporter to a swinging voter. In my view, his most astounding achievement. I will now vote for the best on offer, and on their merits.)

The Liberals' abysmal record on climate change is now coming back to haunt them.  Peak oil is not helping either. It is possible that Garrett's stupidity will turn some swinging voters back to Howard. But more of the same is starting to look serious in the world that is rapidly shaping up, with its shortages of oil and rising food  prices, and authoritative voices spooking the share market.

Garrett may well finish up steering a significant number of swingers away from the ALP, but to the Greens rather than to the Liberals. Some may then preference Labor, others Liberal. But to increasing numbers of them, complacency is not an option, which is what is really putting Howard off his usual game. For Howard to be forced to make such a fuss about an idiotic remark by one Labor front bencher is a measure of his desperation in these circumstances to pull something out of the box while retaining his business as usual approach.

The same issue of the SMH (yesterday's) that had the story and satanic photo of Garrett on the front page, had four feature articles on climate change on a two page spread inside, including from Marian Wilkinson:

As the election nears, the emissions debate will come into sharp focus. One week before the election, the UN's peak scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will deliver its final report before the Bali conference. It is expected to show that the amount of greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere is already higher than predicted and we are now crossing the threshold into dangerous levels.

The CSIRO's Dr Mike Raupach says the release of the official report on November 17 is likely to create a call from international scientists for more aggressive targets to cut global emissions which will shape the debate in Bali. What the scientists will say is that we should stop emitting right now, but that is impossible.

Not exactly the stuff Howard wants the punters reading over breakfast before driving the SUV down to the local primary school to vote.

Time will tell.

My boatramp is the airport

Abbott's problems did not go to the nub of the election.  Garrett's "joke" does. It is about pretending to be something you're not. When Abbott swore at whats her face he meant it.  There was no deception.  Garrett is being deceitful and to make it worse he jokes about it!

I shall now have lunch with my sister who will then offload me at the airport.  I will then briefly retire to the Qantas Club and be all ears. Then I'm off to Brisbane to pass through the wannabe Treasurer and wannabe PM's electorate before retiring to my old home electorate of Ryan for the evening.  Ryan is Liberal but if enough are convinced it could turn.

Margo: Do you really think Ryan is in play, David? Tell me more when you can... 


Hi David, I am well aware that my vote will not count and (especially as I'm in Fairfax in Qld) and accept that I'm not on Kev's conversion list, but think you are overreacting to Garrett's "joke"

Like you say the "targets" are at the boat ramp enjoying Coward's Australia!

What's happened to Abbott's outbursts during the week? Nothing! Just what did he say again and who did he insult, etc? I've forgotten along with the rest of us.

Give it a couple more days and this will be the same! Disappeared into the "fog" of your (comfortable) apathetic "target" voters brains!

David, enjoy your Sunday.

Whilst you still have one?

Midnight Oil is old

I don't see how Garrett helps a young audience. He was before my time and I am old so how can he attract the young? He's some old Baby Boomer. I didn't know about Midnight Oil much until I went to live in the States and he got up one day on the back of a semi-trailer in New York City. That was way after Beds are Burning.

Later that year I danced with a partner from my firm's Las Vegas office in Colorado Springs to Beds are Burning. I was practically in nappies when I did that. The female partner was quite old. Well she was over 40 and when I was in my early 20s that was old.

Don't forget just how old Garrett is. My Gen Y mates love Justin Timberake and don't even know who Garrett is. I know this from Facebook so, Margo, Facebook already gives me new insight. If Garrett does not get Facebook soon this election is over.

Credibility and journalists

Margo I don't know where the tape is but Howard said he heard it seven minutes before appearing on ABC-TV's Insiders this morning. No doubt Insiders will have their transcript and video up later today or tomorrow.  Right now it has last week's program.

Perhaps it is best if all sides dumped the connection between credibility and journalists.  There have been repeated surveys showing that the public respects journalists less than politicians.  Personally I take the majority view.  I also view politicians to be more credible than journalists.

Those journalists who broke their ethics earlier in the year aren't worthy of much respect.  Media Watch did not cover it for ages because it protects its own side of politics.  Media Watch has no credibility.  The wide eyed Michael Brissendon of 7:30 Report left a lasting impression.

Journalists bring all this stuff to the suface and we all use it. In the end of it all though we respect the politicians more than the journalists.  Research proves it to be so.

Anyway, the glib comment at the airport is not the real story.  All it does is highlight a growing concern.  Is me-too for real or is it a charade? That is an important aspect of this election.

The comment may have been flippant but the issue is real.

If me-too is a charade and people see through the charade, your side is not going to get the swinging voters to vote for the Labor coalition. They will remain with the Liberal National coalition.  The Labor coalition is the Greens-Labor alliance.

That is what this game is about.

Turn it up Simon

This election for Labor is not about converting people like you.  You are already part of the Labor bloc.  You have no meaning in this election.  Your first preference will go to Greens.  They will most likely score 9% or so in your electorate and of course your second preference will go to Labor.  As far as I am concerned you are Labor already and Kevin Rudd would view you as such.

To this point Rudd is smart. Much smarter than you extreme lefties who don't seem to understand the fundamental mathematics of an election.

To win, Kevin Rudd needs to convert people who voted Liberal last time and mainly in marginal electorates.  This is not you.  This is not Mary J. In fact it is almost NO ONE who writes here.

Right now these people are at a boat ramp with their SUV. They are not spending a nice Sunday in front of their laptops nattering on about politics.  Their life is in the suburbs or our capital cities. They have supported Howard for 11 years and they don't appreciate being insulted for it.

Many of them now think it is time for a change but they are not stupid.  They want to change aspects but not throw out the good parts.  In short they don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

This lies at the heart of Kevin Rudd's very smart "me-too" strategy.  They have dumped the stupidity of allowing themselves to be wedged on every issue.  Labor has for once calculated what they need to do to win.  This is a smart strategy and is currently in the midst of execution.

Garrett's comments say that it is only a sham and not a reality.  This is important stuff.

Not to you of course because you hope for a sham.  You don't want the conservative government that Rudd promises.

That is all well and good Simon but you are supremely irrelevant to who governs Australia.  You are not the target that both parties covet.  Nor am I.

The sooner people get over themselves and realise who the targets are the sooner this game can be won.  For eleven years, the Liberals have known the targets are not people like me.  That is why core Liberal views are sometimes ignored.

Howard has consistently kept his eye on the target.  Rudd has done it brilliantly to this point as well.  Garrett tells the media in a "joke" ostensibly that he is taking the target voter for a ride.  He treats the target as a fool.

Treating the target voter as a fool is not how you win an election in this country.

People who rabbit on about Greens don't seem to understand how preferential voting works.  A vote transferred from Greens to Labor almost always has no meaning because the vote given back is one that would have been given anyway through a second preference flow.

If that is Garrett's strategy for a Labor victory then let's bring it on.  What a joke.  Attracting Greens votes to Labor.  Every Green vote you get you will scare away two Liberal voters who were ripe for conversion.

Brains trust Garrett?  I think not.

This is important

Garrett has made this claim more than once.  He's not joking and a number of people in this forum have even alluded to the idea that me-too is a fraud.  Me-too is a stalking horse.  When Labor gets in the copy cat is out of the bag and the conservative policies they espouse now get thrown away.

Swinging voters ought to weigh this aspect very carefully when deciding on who to vote for on 24 November. Labor has a new ad where they say to Mr Howard that it is time for a change.  A swinging voter makes this comment and even includes the comment "no offence Mr Howard, but".  Please note that, foolish lefties.  The swinging voters respect Howard. Labor knows that and so chooses its tactics carefully.  The strategy is to convince people in marginals that yes, they respect Howard but it is time for a change.

This Garrett thing reminds people that Labor is not safe and is risky. That image of him running around the Gardens reminds us that Labor is always that bit nutty and scary.  Rudd is not but Labor is. Garrett's gaffe says to people that the copy cat Labor Party is not real.

When Labor is elected a mad Garrett will run amok, not just in the Botanic Gardens but in our 1.1 trillion dollar economy.  This is the stark reality folks.

Everyone knows Peter Garrett has had to repudiate core beliefs in order to enter the Rudd conservative regime.  He now supports US bases in Australia. He now supports pulp mills in Tasmania.  Who believes this?  No one.

What is far more credible is the idea that Labor is playing a game only to revert to type once elected.

Now there is also a tape with Charles Woolley confirming the Garrett truth.

We may all agree that Sydney right wing shock jocks are not human.  But guess what else?  We all may similarly agree that Garrett is saying one thing and doing another.  He is not being true to himself, to his past or to his people.

Every time Labor gets in a "star recruit" it all ends in tears.  It's either union hacks or star recruits that become death stars. Prepare all ye for the Garrett super nova.  It's going off in a Qantas Club near you.

I will be in the Sydney Qantas Club this afternoon.  Perhaps an old rock star will be at the champagne bar joking about how it will all change to socialism after the election.  Who's shout is it?  Oh that's right in the Qantas Club the champagne is free.  So to are the lips.  Loose lips sink ships.

Labor has hit an iceberg.  It's not of Taitanic proportions but I'd not call it insignificant.  How much damage?  Mmm, let's see.

Margo: Where can I find this Woolley tape, David? I was amused when Howard spoke of 'two credible journalists' re Garrett. Maybe Labor should now run those nasty quotes about Howard from Costello - the ones he denied and THREE credible journos confirmed a few months ago.

Let's all have a cold shower and a bex!

Couldn't agree more !  Mary j Shepherd

It's the main reason that I might vote Labor! (currently Greens) ... Labor's "me too-ism" has been the strategy all along... as plain as day!... It's the reason Kev is going to set up so many committees / inquiries after the election so that they can "change" their policies (I hope!)

... We cannot afford to let fascism get any more of a hold in Aust if we are to have a future!

... so (IMHO) ... it's a small price to pay for the removal of that megalomaniac, CoWARd and his Cronies!

So ...Let's all have a cold shower and a (box of) bex!  ....and calm down!

... and then

...Start planning the celebrations!

The Beds Are Burning

Hi Margo. The key missing point about Garrett is that for the 1 million or so solid Labor votes from the under 45, this will not hurt at all. It will not cost Labor a single vote. In fact, this group will say "good on you Garrett" for showing a little "mongrelism" which is sorely missing in this election.

Margo: Again, I hope you're right, PF. Just seen Howard on Insiders, and Garrett has pumped him with adrenalin. The best performance from him I'cve seen in the camapign. He looked younger, smarter. Energised. Relaxed.

a naif

It seemed a very "green" thing to do, scuse pun. It is no crime to want change if change means improvement. But  Howard  happily chopping away about change as scary today might remind folk of Latham's unhappy 2004 experiences, also 1998 when a minor comment from Gareth Evans on matters economic became the genesis for a panic swing back to  Howard which just kept Beazley out.

Where were Garrett's minders ... the newcomer DID have minders...?

The odd thing is the softly-softly approach may have been working on an issue close to Garrett's own heart - Tassie rainforests, because the real problem behind this, ANZ, had apparently been under increasing pressure from shareholders and depositers since its role in Gunns Mill came to light.

Appreciated Ian  Macdougall's insights, btw.

Might have been interesting though, to find out if Labor was capable of independent thought and action in government or be just neolib zombies after all, as some of them currently seem to resemble on the campaign trail.

Oh my god the sky is falling

Let's all have a cold shower and a bex. What precisely did Garrett say? Nothing.

Not a thing. What on earth are the media thinking and Margo why are you buying into the drivel?

Howard rants that all the ALP policies are me-too, Garrett says things will change and what?

He said "we are not the coalition".

Now all get over it. Do you seriously think the ALP are going to ditch a 7 year old policy for pension rebates that was stolen by Howard after years of nagging by the ALP to include the disabled and carers?

Or deny tax benefits for the poorer in the community?

Because they are the only two policy statements that are largely the same.

Peter Andren died. Did you notice?

Please let's not reduce the diary to the same mentality of the Murdoch and Fairfax hacks and hackettes who still seem to think that restructuring the hospital system in conjunction with the states is the same as badly taking over one hospital.

Does anyone ever remember Howard actually taking any policy to any election to date? In 1996 he won because the country was sick of Keating, in 1998 Beazely won the vote but not the seats, in 2001 Howard's only policy was human rights violations against women and children and in 2004 it was the lie about interest rates.

This silliness is about as silly as anything Alice in Wonderland ever came across.

Shame on you Margo for jerking your knee.

Margo: I hope you're right, Marilyn. I just feel that the trust connection Rudd has made with swingers can be cut in a moment. I just hope it wasn't this one.

What to do with that treacherous dill Garrett

Margo: "How should Rudd respond? I'm glad he didn't do his usual knee jerk thing, and shut up for a while. When he's asked, I'd say something like, 'Peter has learned the hard way that you don't crack a political joke to a right wing talkback host.' Any other ideas?"

How should Rudd respond? He should give that prize dill Garrett a public flogging. He should demand from Garrett an open public apology to all the ALP members and supporters whose efforts his appalling naivete has threatened to derail, and if he doesn't deliver, Rudd should sack him. He has been a lost cause as a shadow environment minister anyway.

Of course, Rudd won't do that, because he has personally completed the usurpation of policy making in the ALP, by the politicians over the rank and file. (Note, Alan Curran, not the terrible unions over the rank and file.) Now the ALP is truly a second Liberal Party: there is no role left for the membership either in policy formation or preselection of candidates, which is how that prize galah Garrett got his - he would never have won a popular vote, even if he had been a member of the ALP for long enough.

In other words, the chickens are coming home to roost for the ALP Right. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap," as someone once said. Someone else said: "If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas." 

The really unforgiveable thing that Garrett has done, and the reason the ALP would be better off without him, is his open endorsement of lying as a means to win office. "Whatever it takes," as someone else said. The fact that he was naive enough to say it privately, even as a joke to a right wing shock jock, is no excuse. If anything, it makes it worse.

If the ALP wins, Garrett should buy Tony Abbott a drink. Abbott has drawn a bit of the heat away from Garrett lately.

If it is any consolation, a few years ago while visiting a foreign country, I spent a small amount of time talking to a serving Australian (Liberal and Howard Government) cabinet minister, who was visiting that country in a private capacity. At the conclusion he said: "Well I'm off back to Australia now - a pleasant third world country."

I said (jokingly) "I'll tell everyone you said that."

"No, no. Please don't," was the half-stunned reply.

I should have told the Murdoch press. I'm sure they would have given it a run.

Beat up

Michael de Angelos, you say "Rudd should exercise some strict discipline".

You realise that you are talking about a bunch of inexperienced union hacks. As for Howard dropping dead during his morning walks, he will still be walking when Rudd is sat talking to Latham and saying "where did we go wrong". Remember we are still waiting for Combet, Shorten and McKew to open their mouths in public. We have seen what Ms Cornes can do.

Stuffed it up

stevettt, remember these words "we stuffed it up". That will be written on Rudd's political tombstone. What can you expect from someone who is the Leader of the Labor Party because there was nobody else to put their hand up? I can't wait for Sharon Burrows views on it all.

I told you so

Margo, some time ago I predicted that at some time during the election campaign one of the Labor Star recruits would blow it for Labor. They are so sure that they are going to win that their mouths work quicker than their brains.

As Howard claws his way back in the coming weeks, there will be more gaffes from the incompetents in the Labor Party. I am eagerly awaiting the official Labor Party Launch when they wheel out Gough and he hugs Rudd, and the party faithfull cheer. That should put a lot of swingers offside.

Labor will win a few seats, but I think Howard will get in with a majority of 6. I think the deals that The Greens are going to do with Labor will cause the biggest problem for Rudd. Bob Brown is a very dangerous man.

Margo: so you say Rudd will win how many seats? Which ones, do you reckon? For certainties at this stage I'd say Bonner, Moreton, Deakin, Lindsay, Dobell, Macquarie, Kingston and Makin.

A Beat Up

The people who are most worried about Peter Garrett's gaffe - which is not what he said, but not understanding that a scumbag talk back host like Price would beat this up to high heaven - are Labor voters. I can understand why, but it's a flash in the pan.

Rudd handled it well. If the Coalition pursues it they will just look as silly as they are with their union front bench scare, which isn't scaring anyone.

Three weeks to go. Labor just needs to coast now and Rudd should exercise some strict discipline. The Libs are imploding. You only have to look at the change in Howard's morning walk - he looks like a man in a fury. I almost expect him to self immolate or drop dead sometimes.

Margo: I hope you're right, Michael - about the Garrett gaffe, of course. 

Rudd responds

Well, Rudd has done the 'it was a stuff up" let's move on line, and Turnbull and Abbott, of all people, have put the boot in by press release. It's been a rainy day in Canberra, and I'm reading a book I didn't get round to at the time, Bernie Lagan's Loner: inside a Labor tragedy (Allen &Unwin, 2005). Latham recruited Garrett, but perhaps he hadn't read it either before his encounter with Price. If he had, he'd have had a good idea of the cut of the man:

Mid 2004, Latham denied gossip that he'd played a raunchy video at his bucks night, Then:

Sydney radio broadcaster Steve Price put to air a call from a man who claimed to have seen the rumoured bucks night video. The next morning Price...appeared on Channel Seven's Today Show and said there was no doubt the video existed. He was certain, he said, because the man who'd phoned him had given his contact details. (Latham) told his staff he wanted an apology and a retraction from Price. That night Price was back on air and now said his informant had admitted the video story was an invention. 'Now, I am not sure where that leaves us,' he said lamely.'

© 2006 - 2008, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of Webdiary Pty Ltd.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.

Margo Kingston

Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner