Monday, October 25, 2010

Headlines Monday 25th October 2010

=== Todays Toon ===
Mary Marguerite Leneen Forde AC (born 12 May 1935) is the Canadian-born Chancellor of Griffith University, and was Governor of Queensland from 1992 until 1997. Leneen Forde was only the second woman to be appointed to the position of governor of an Australian state and the first to take on the role in Queensland. She was a highly respected state governor. In 1998, Forde was appointed to chair the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions. Her report was handed down in May 1999.
=== Bible Quote ===
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”- Proverbs 9:10
=== Headlines ===
Wife of Alleged Mexican Pirate Victim Tells Obama to 'Wake Up'
Tiffany Hartley, the wife of a man who was allegedly shot and killed by Mexican pirates on a border lake with Texas, is telling President Obama that it's time for the U.S. to take on drug cartels.

Cholera Invades Haiti's Capital, Hundreds Dead
Cholera epidemic spreading to Port-au-Prince as aid groups scramble to get doctors and supplies to fight the country's worst health crisis since it was struck by devastating quake

Body Found Believed To Be Missing Student
Illinois authorities are working to determine whether human remains found in a park are those of a Northern Illinois University student who disappeared more than a week ago

9 DAYS TO DECIDE: Physical Campaigns
The campaign trail is becoming a contact sport as several contestants find themselves embroiled in heated exchanges, like these Reid and Angle supporters getting into a fistfight during a Nevada Senate debate

Man tied to ferry terminal in 'bomb threat'
FERRY services have been suspended and part of the city closed after a man threatening self-harm tied himself up to the ferry terminal.

Police find mattress of missing Zahra Baker
AUTHORITIES searching a landfill discovered a mattress they hoped would provide crucial evidence in the case.

Did aliens create mutant Drumstick?
THE day a four-legged chicken hatched, her owner was travelling through the Northern Territory's top alien hotspot.

Pig totals bike in freight train smash
A QUAD bike rider allegedly slammed into the front of a freight train before being wiped out by a crossing pig.

Senate begins debating Afghan war
SENATORS will begin debating the war in Afghanistan later today as MPs continue making their contributions in the Lower House.

Fear for country ghost towns
SOME of NSW's most famous country towns could become ghost towns if water cuts from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority go ahead.

Fat cats lapping up your rates
YOU pay an average of $998 to your local council annually - but it spends just $178 on you and spends your rates on bureaucrats and staff.

Calls for anti-speeding beep test
NEWLY tested technology that warns drivers to stop speeding could save 35 lives each year. See the video

Syd-Melb rail line ripped up
FULL passenger services on the main Sydney to Melbourne train line are not expected to resume for several days after a derailment.

Overdose deaths from 'partying too hard'
A BROTHER and sister had been "partying too hard" when they died from a suspected overdose.

Man shot in leg, attackers flee
A MAN was left in a serious condition after being ambushed and shot in the leg with three possible attackers seen fleeing the scene.

Storm slams city suburbs
BRISBANE's eastern suburbs have been hammered by heavy rain as thunderstorms blew in from the west and reintensified when they reached the city.

Bomb threat closes ferry terminal
THE Eagle Street ferry terminal has been closed and a 100m exclusion zone set up after a man allegedly threatened to blow up a boat.

'Minor' arrests not worth effort
NEW laws will mean police will ignore offences such as shoplifting, break-and-enters and minor assaults because they 'will not be worth the effort.'

Loose hamster brings down plane
A BRISBANE-bound plane from the UK was delayed in Brunei after a stowaway hamster was found onboard.

Intersection crash wrecks cop car
AN officer was injured and a police car severely damaged when the vehicle mounted a kerb and crashed at a set of traffic lights.

Family faces second resumption
THREE years ago Kim Dodwell watched the Government tear down her Kedron house, and now she is fighting to save her second home.

Our deadliest rail crossings
A LEVEL crossing near Rockhampton has recorded the highest number of near misses between trains and motorists in Queensland this year.

Gabba plan 'will cause chaos'
BRISBANE City Council wants 10 levels trimmed from a proposed high-rise development at Woolloongabba.

Say tar tar to dusty track
THE historic Birdsville track could soon disappear under asphalt as a Queensland MP campaigns to have it paved from Townsville to Adelaide.

State lags on camera rollout
AN arsenal of new speed-enforcement technology is still not in use almost a year after the State Government trumpeted its introduction

Man faces sex assault charges
A MAN, 55, is facing charges over the sexual assault of a woman while she slept in her own home.

Police hunt missing driver
UPDATE 7am: POLICE search and rescue teams are expected to help look for the driver of a car that rolled in the state's north last night.

Bold vision for Fed Square East
MELBOURNE'S Federation Square East will be transformed into a cultural precinct under plans put forward by Major Projects Victoria.

Parents stung $300m in extra fees
STATE schools have collected almost $300 million in compulsory fees for students students who are meant to get a free education.

Ratbag renters run riot
RATBAG renters across the state are treating some homes like rubbish dumps and drug dens, with some letting animals soil carpets.

State reaps $44m in auction windfall
A HUGE weekend of auctions adds $44 million in stamp duty to the Government's coffers amid calls for relief for homebuyers.

Poster boy all better
ONLY six months after becoming the beaming face of the Good Friday Appeal, Rupert de Wolff is the picture of health despite his massive chest scar.

Dog goggles for the beach
HEY dudes - I'm no Hollywood hound hiding from my hordes of fans; I'm just a beach bum surfie dog trying to beat the the glare.

Cup legends ride again
RACING's elite will be recognised in an extraordinary tribute for the 150th running of the race that stops the nation.

Junking lazy habits
JUNK the fast food, kids. Junior MasterChefs hope their kitchen kudos makes you want to whip up your own healthy treats at home.

Did aliens create mutant Drumstick?
THE day a four-legged chicken hatched, her owner was travelling through the Northern Territory's top alien hotspot.

Elusive giant pig shacks up with horses
A GIANT pig on the loose is scaring residents and stalking horses in Darwin's rural area.

Couple farewells the dusty Outback trail
THE owners of an iconic South Australian tourist stopover, the Oodnadatta Roadhouse, are selling up after almost 40 years in the Outback.

Mr X backs Clarke as Lord Mayor
LORD Mayoral candidate Ralph Clarke's campaign has been boosted significantly with an endorsement from independent Senator Nick Xenophon.

Major asteroid impact site found
A UNIVERSITY researcher has found evidence of a major asteroid impact near the Queensland-South Australia border more than 300 million years ago.

Tourism plan could bury historic track
THE historic Birdsville track could soon disappear under asphalt as a Queensland MP kicks off a campaign to have it paved from Townsville to Adelaide.

Our ticking time bombs
MORE than two-thirds of vehicles involved in fatal crashes on our roads this year were more than a decade old.

Call for inquiry into centre
THE Federal Government's move to set up a detention centre in the Adelaide Hills faces delay if the House of Representatives today decides to order an inquiry.

Have a say on poor service
THEY'RE the service providers we love to hate, whose poor complaint handling procedures have been described as "legendary".

Armstrong to return Down Under
SOUTH Australia has beaten bids from Middle East billionaires, convincing Lance Armstrong to pick next year's Santos Tour Down Under for his farewell.

Annesley Council in the firing line
PARENTS are calling for the sacking of Annesley school council if a $1 million Uniting Church bailout goes ahead.

Kids to teach teachers
PRIMARY school students will "teach the teachers" to have fun with mathematics today at a two-day expo.

Armed robbers hunted after drugs thefts
POLICE are hunting four offenders after two armed robberies and the theft of a medical bag containing dangerous drugs overnight.

Last-minute pay deal averts hospital strike
WA hospital support staff have ceased industrial action after reaching a new pay agreement with the State Government.

Nothing new
=== Comments ===
Why the U.S. Is Turning to the Right
By Michael Goodwin
A Conservative friend wise about human nature and politics summarizes his views this way: "Liberals don't think they have any politics. They think they are in a state of nature. Only those who disagree with them are unnatural."

It's a brilliant insight, and tells you all you need to know about the culture and political wars in America today. Less than two years after the arc of history seemed to favor them, the high priests of liberal orthodoxy are on the run.

They have overreached, and now they must pay.

But they are not going quietly or with decency. They are desperate and dangerous, astonishingly reckless in their attacks on the majority of Americans who commit the secular sin of disagreement.

Faced with massive public resistance to their demands for conformity, President Obama and his religious-like acolytes have given up trying to persuade skeptics. They are reduced to trying to crush dissent.

To them, resistance is heresy, and must be eliminated.

They are not embarrassed by the obvious double standards they are embracing or the false claims they are peddling. They are, as my friend observed, incapable of recognizing as legitimate any view but their own, so the end justifies the means.

Obama's scurrilous conduct is Exhibit A of the panic on the left. Discarding the sunny-side-up mask, he crisscrosses the country in fear-monger mode. His base appeals to women, blacks, Latinos and students are identity-group politics at its worst.

He is not alone in having a worldview that depends on absolute conformity. Deviation is also dangerous to the institutions that form the backbone of the liberal establishment he leads.

The Juan Williams case says it all. Claims by the goon squad at NPR that he was fired for "expressing a personal opinion on a divisive issue" are transparent hogwash.

He and other NPR analysts and correspondents routinely express opinions that favor Democrats.

He was fired because he expressed an inconvenient opinion -- that he and many Americans often associate Muslims with terrorists. And he did it on Fox News, the antichrist to the church of the left.

His fears are widely shared but don't fit with NPR's authorized view of the world. So it -- he -- must be silenced.

In firing him, NPR instantly created another example of why the country is turning right. Tens of millions of ordinary people have been roused to fight for rights they assumed they had. From health-care mandates to rising federal debt to confiscatory taxes to suffocating speech codes, they have correctly concluded their liberty is under assault.

To be sure, dissenters do not have a monopoly on wisdom or common sense. A partisan label is never a guarantee of righteousness, as the reversal of political fortunes in two years demonstrates.
Rather, the American system, we learn again, is intolerant of only one thing: intolerance. Whether its hammer comes from left or right, it always wakes the spirit of revolution. Freedom of speech, to dissent, to oppose, to fight back, is not just the literal content of the First Amendment. It is the essence of who we are as a people.

Obama, of course, infamously discounted American Exceptionalism when he was asked about it, suggesting he does not view our national character as unique. His mistake.

Still, we should be grateful. Just as Obama's election was the result of George W. Bush's failures, the awakening of the American majority wouldn't have happened without Obama's overreach.
Because he did, the right to say no -- hell, no! -- will soon be secured anew. Hold on for nine more days.

Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor.
Perhaps just a taste of our future, too
Andrew Bolt

The Tea Party movement that is remaking US politics is fueled by a rising fury against big government. I suspect this highly effective new ad from Citizens Against Government Waste will go viral and only add to the fear of Barack Obama’s record deficits.

(Thanks to reader Wilson.)
Reid, not Rudd, saved the world
Andrew Bolt
I thought it was Kevin Rudd who’d saved us from a recession. Didn’t a collective of Left-leaning eonomists tell us so
We the undersigned economists are convinced by the evidence that the coordinated policies of the Australian Labor Government have prevented the Australian economy from a deep recession and prevented a massive increase in unemployment.
But, no, credit is now beling claimed in the US by the embattled Senate Majoriy Leader, Democrat Harry Reid:
We were at the top and we’ve fallen very hard. So people have been hurting, and I understand that, and it doesn’t give them comfort or solace for me to tell them, you know, but for me we’d be in a worldwide depression.
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.)
Church hears a Robertson confession
Andrew Bolt
The British Catholic Herald has got wind of Geoffrey Robertson’s embarrassment in Sydney, despite the sanctimonious windbag‘s attempts to hush it up.

Even David Marr, a specialist in anti-Catholic sneering, had to admit Robertson embarrassed himself at the debate:
“Let me start,” said Geoffrey Robertson about 10 minutes into his pitch at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, “by saying this … “ The London QC of Sydney extraction was having problems with the clock as he called for the Pope to be arraigned for crimes against humanity.

The chairman tried warning gestures, civil glances and banged his glass on an empty Schweppes bottle. Nothing worked. Robertson had things to say and could not be stopped. His adversary, Alan Dershowitz, provoked warm applause with his first words: “What I want to do in the time I’ve been allotted for my remarks …’’…

By the end, Robertson proved rather a trial for the festival organisers. He refused to allow his clash with Dershowitz be telecast by the ABC. Organisers understand he plans a rematch in London and isn’t keen for the world to see the out-of-town tryout.
(Thanks to reader Chris.)
Communism started like this, too
Andrew Bolt
Czech president Vaclav Klaus endorses Climate: The Counter Consensus, by Professor Bob Carter:
As someone who spent most of his life under a repressive and highly inefficient regime, I can hopefully afford to say that the previous most costly and undemocratic ‘experiment’ was Communism. That too started quite innocently, and its supporters — probably — also believed that they fought for a noble cause. When I listen to the views and arguments of the global warming alarmists, and there are many of them in Australia (I guess your country scores very highly on the worldwide ‘warmists per capita’ scale), they sound very similar to the arguments of the former politicians, journalists and public intellectuals in Communist Czechoslovakia.

Sceptic Viv Forbes recalls the gold old days:
Just three hundred years ago, all transport and machinery relied on muscle power, or power generated by solar energy via windmills, sailing ships and water wheels. This was the heyday for alternative energy.
(Thanks to reader Mike.)
Where will Gillard’s next detention centre be?
Andrew Bolt
Number 110 for the year:
A boat carrying another load of asylum seekers has been intercepted off Australia. It is believed to be carrying 62 people and it was intercepted off Christmas Island on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Julia Gillard faces local opposition as she empties Christmas Island into the mainland:
Northam residents are vowing to continue to fight plans to house asylum seekers in the West Australian town ahead of talks with Immigration officials.

About 150 people turned out yesterday to voice their opinions about Labor’s plan to house 1,500 hundred men at a disused army camp on the fringes of the wheatbelt town, 100 kilometres north-east of Perth.

Most were strongly opposed ...

One woman pointed to the town’s limited resources.

“There’s no advantage of 1500 men, we’re already on water restrictions,” she said.
Age writer explains the French riots
Andrew Bolt
Why does the Age give space to such dated campus radicalism, all fury and no practicality? Note how Aurelien Mondon, a post-grad student of political science at La Trobe University, fails to even mention, let alone address, the reason the French parliament decided to raise the country’s absurdly low retirement age from 60 to 62.

No, no mention at all of trying to curb the welfare bill, which President Nicolas Sarkozy warns is becoming unsustainable as people live ever longer.

Instead, here’s the various smears and class-war symbols Mondon offers instead of analysis, portraying Sarkozy as simply a boss’s tool - and racist to boot:
Sarkozy ...spent time on the yacht of French billionaire businessman and media magnate Vincent Bollore… Sarkozy’s most prominent economic reforms helped the wealthy.... The lower classes were offered an increasingly repressive society and an ever-increasing number of scapegoats to blame for their feeling of social insecurity.... Under a veil of pseudo-feminism, he attacked Muslims for being sexist… as his popularity slumped, Sarkozy expelled Roma people from France. ... Sarkozy’s attacks on minorities ... the politics of fear and favouritism, which have climaxed since Sarkozy’s election ... appeal to the more authoritarian part of the French population, and to its desire for repression.
Mondon’s solution is a red-flagger’s wet dream, in which a democratically elected government falls to some vaguely imagined collective of the young and oppressed :
Without a doubt, more than the thirst for liberty and equality, it is the concept of fraternity between the many facets of the French population (age, religion and ethnic background) that will decide what comes next. Now that the Senate has voted the pension reforms into law, only the unity of the French people could lead to their withdrawal and, possibly to French politics taking a turn for the better.
And the cost of undoing the reforms? Not mentioned, of course. Mondon must dream, and Daddy must pay.

Note, incidentally, how Mondon also hides other inconvenient truths, not trusting even his own readers with the full information:
In 2005, when the French suburbs were set ablaze by excluded youth craving recognition and equal rights, the events were portrayed as little more than the senseless actions of gangs of rioters.
Missing from that deceptive sentence are a few words which might help a reader to better understand those riots. ”Muslim” is one. Oddly enough, Mondon doesn’t even use “Muslim” when describing how “the events were portrayed” by the uber-racist Sarkozy and the capitalist press. Now, that’s evasive.

Are Age readers proud to be treated by their newspaper as sophomores, to be starved of facts and force-fed only ideological slops?

(Thanks to reader Andrew.)
Why is your marriage your boss’s business?
Andrew Bolt
This is bizarre:
UNIONS have stepped up their campaign for paid domestic violence leave with four new Victorian employers facing an innovative claim and the ACTU signalling it wants widespread use of the leave.

The Age revealed last month that the Australian Services Union and Surf Coast Shire Council agreed to a clause that allows for up to 20 days of paid leave a year for victims of family violence under an Australia-first deal.

Now ACTU president Ged Kearney has said she wants other unions and employers to adopt similar agreements.The Surf Coast agreement - regarded as possibly the most progressive in the world on family violence - requires the employer to not breach the privacy of victims and covers physical, sexual, emotional, financial, verbal or emotional abuse by a family member.
A question: for how many years can an employee claim this leave entitlement before the employer is entitled to call the cops to report an abusive husband? Or demand marriage counselling?

Indeed, if an employer is reponsible for giving weeks of leave to an allegedly abused wife, doesn’t that boss also become liable for damages if they don’t warn police or domestic violence groups about a tragedy in the making? Try explaining to a court why you didn’t ring the police, despite having to give some since-murdered woman three weeks off to get over her bruises.

Here’s another question: why privilege this one form of domestic stress above another that may seem an even more valid excuse for not turning up at work? What about someone who is trying to nurse a close relative or friend through a terminal illness or a family crisis?

This also strikes me as potentially encouraging women to tolerate abuse they should take steps to end. When you can skip work for a couple of weeks, you might be encouraged to delay the moment when enough really is enough.

And then there is this more fundamental philosophical point: to what extent is your private life the responsibility of someone else?
Ending black unemployment isn’t this easy
Andrew Bolt

I think this campaign - laudable in its intentions - has gone off on a tangent since it was launched by mining magnate Andrew Forrest:
A message from a Sydney teenager calling for an end to indigenous inequality was aired across every satellite and free-to-air television network last night.

Madeleine Madden, 13, an indigenous girl, spoke on behalf of a not-for-profit group, Generation One, about job creation and building a better future for her people.

‘’This is my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk to you, Australia, about my people,’’ she said, talking to the camera for two minutes from a stool in a studio.

‘’I do want to talk to you about the real things that can make our lives better. With a job, a real job, you can look after yourself, your family, and help your community,’’ she said.

The broadcast received more than $4 million in free media space and organisers believe her message reached more than 6 million people.

Madeleine is the daughter of Hetti Perkins and Lee Madden, and the granddaughter of Chikka Madden and Charles Perkins.
Madden’s reference to “my people” emphasises a racial division that is belied by her own mixed heritage. Even if you disagree with my own view - that we should instead emphasise our common humanity - I suspect that public declarations of a racial “us” and “them” isn’t very effective in getting the them to help the us.

Second, Madden isn’t a poster girl for the kind of people who need the unspecified help being demanded. The Perkins clan has done very nicely for itself, and is in far better economic shape than many other Australians, white or black. Madden’s mother, for instance, is a senior curator of Aboriginal Art at the Art Gallery of NSW. Rachel Perkins, another member of the clan involved in this initiative, is a talented and successful film director, and, indeed filmed this commercial starring her relative.

Third, the ad suggests that’s what needed to fix chronic Aboriginal unemployment is for the audience, mostly white urban TV viewers, to offer jobs. By presenting someone as eminently employable as Madden to pitch that message, we’ve invited to conclude what? That it must be racism that stops us from hiring such people?

In fact, the real challenge is not to provide jobs for Aborigines, but trained Aborigines willing to take them. This is why even the Ayers Rock Resort employs just one Aborigine among its staff of 670.

A campaign to tackle chronic absenteeism from schools, and to create more boarding schools away from dysfunctional communities, may achieve more.
Not all wars are worse than “peace”
Andrew Bolt
David Burchell on the moral laziness of those insisting Afghanistan is the new Vietnam:
Already Bob Brown has recalled his own rather M*A*S*H-like experiences of the 1960s, when, as a young doctor putting draftees through their medical examinations, he took it upon himself to decide whether they should go, or else be exempted, by the simple expedient of asking them how they felt about it.

The senator also shared his childhood memories from Oberon in central NSW, where he recalled among the wartime generation “a universal feeling that war was a bad thing”; again, as if all wars were the same, and as if the horror of war in general can be made an excuse for averting our eyes from all other horrors…

It would be hard to imagine a simpler or more self-evidently good cause than Afghanistan…

As Human Rights Watch has painstakingly documented, in the Pakistani border regions where the Taliban has revived its authority, girls are once again being turned away from schools, and women are being confined to their own homes in perpetuity. Even now, as Time magazine reported, young Afghan women are being mutilated for defying the despotic authority of their families.

When the UAE’s Al Aan TV network recently produced video evidence that the Taliban in the Pakistani border region of Orakzai are once more stoning women to death for infringing obscure religious laws, it occasioned barely a ripple of interest in the sophisticated West while educated women across the region were swept up into a storm of commentary and protest.

In truth our Afghan problem is more or less the opposite of what the M*A*S*H brigade pretends. The difficulty is not how to extricate ourselves from a policy debacle on ostensibly pragmatic grounds; a position which also turns out, conveniently, to provide the occasion for a series of arcane rituals of moral self-cleansing.

Rather, the problem is to re-engage a weary and jaded public with what the conflict is really about: a primal contest between universal human values and an atavistic medievalism, where the latter is too often winning out over the former because, encased in our cocoon of high-minded complacency, and habituated to experiencing the world as a theatre for our private moral dramas, we no longer really care.
No, the issue isn’t just whether we’re warming the earth
Andrew Bolt
It is disappointing that an economist as prominent as Geoff Carmody, a co-founder of Access Economics and former senior officer in Treasury, could present such a critically incomplete and simplistic analysis:
Three positions define the global warming science spectrum.

First, some say there’s no man-made global warming problem. Second, others say most global warming is man-made. Third, others aren’t sure if human influences are affecting the climate, and-or, if they are, by how much…

The logical policy response for the first group is to do nothing. To argue for any other approach makes no sense, and exposes a lack of conviction.

For the second group, implementation of the most cost-effective policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible is the sensible position.

For the third group, a risk-management approach is prudent. We have only one planet. If there is a significant man-made global warming effect, some policy insurance is warranted. The policy should use the most cost-effective measures to moderate greenhouse gas emissions…

This spectrum covers all three views on the science of climate change. For the first group, the appropriate emissions price is zero. For third group, the price is positive. For the second group, the price is positive and higher than for the second group.

This leaves just one question. What’s the most cost-effective way to price emissions? With that answer, we can calibrate the policy to set a price reflecting any given weighting of views on global warming.

The matrix below classifies broad policy options, reflecting basic design criteria that action taken by Australia in advance of our trading partners should meet.

The criteria are: (i) cost-effectiveness as discussed above; (ii) ensuring Australia does not lose (or gain) international competitiveness, while complying with WTO rules; (iii) ensuring emissions price certainty to overcome investment barriers; (iv) and ensuring any reduction in Australian emissions is also a net contribution to global emissions reductions.

I think the choice is between a national emissions consumption-based cap and trade scheme (with no offshore permit trading), and a national consumption-based emissions levy. Evidence favours the latter.
See the glaring omission? It’s any consideration of this fundamental question: is it actually worth trying to “stop” warming, even if we cause it? Is the cost of cutting our emissions actually more than the cost of simply coping with the likely consequences of doing nothing?

Carmody thus ignores the possibility of being, say a Bjorn Lomborg - sure that man is warming the globe, but not sure it makes much sense spending trillions to slow that warming by a few years at best. Also excluded is a position canvassed by the British House of Lords inquiry into the economics of climate change: that a man-made warming of the earth has also positive effects and may actually cause no net economic loss, at least for some parts of the globe. In which case, why “stop” it?
Bolt uses Mr Howard's autobiography to attack Liberals rather than illustrate how good the Liberal administration was.
Labor declines
Andrew Bolt
The Nielsen poll suggests Labor is struggling:
The poll of 1400 voters, taken from Thursday night to Saturday evening, shows the Coalition leading Labor on a two-party-preferred basis by 51 per cent to 49 per cent, meaning there has been negligible change since the election on August 21 when they tied 50-50. But Labor’s primary vote has slipped 4 percentage points since the election to 34 per cent, while support for the Greens has risen 2 points to 14 per cent....

Ms Gillard leads as preferred prime minister by 53 per cent to 39 per cent. The 14-point lead is 3 points higher than on the eve of the election.
And if Gillard’s job isn’t tough enough already:
The poll came as about 130 members of the national Left met in Canberra yesterday to demand policy shifts, including support for gay marriage, a call for the rank-and file to be given more say in forming policy and running the party, and support for deeper ties with unions… The Left meeting demanded the party show resolve on climate change and not squib putting a price on carbon as it did before the election. It also demanded progressive law reforms, which was code for wanting party policy changed to support gay marriage. There was a renewed call for the government to abolish the watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
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