Thursday, September 01, 2011

News Items and comments

Labor’s hopes of leadership are lost at sea

Piers Akerman – Thursday, September 01, 11 (06:31 pm)

THIS was to be Julia Gillard’s year of decision and delivery but the past 12 months have seen an aggregation of disgrace, policy failure and humiliation.

I have no problem with accepting those 4000 from Malaysia .. but not at the expense of other refugees. We still need to meet our commitment to those in need. I mourn for those that died because of Gillard's cold and heartless policy. I don't think she has a problem with their deaths. I am sure she feels she can exploit them to attack the Coalition, just as she had before. Truth and responsibility don't seem to matter to her.

The government should end over this. But I think it will stagger on a bit more. - ed
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Julia Gillard’s failed refugee policy revealed by High Court

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, August 31, 11 (09:15 pm)

The hollow nature of the incompetent Gillard government’s failed refugee policy was revealed by the High Court.

David Daniel Ball I don't blame the people who want to come to Australia. I blame the abysmal policy of the Gillard government. She claimed she had better when the Pacific Solution was introduced. She claimed she had better when the Pacific Solution had worked. She claimed she had better when the Pacific Solution was removed. This is not better. At least 200 people have died from Gillard's policy.
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Correct words taken out of our mouths

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, August 31, 11 (07:54 pm)

JUST when we thought political correctness was on the way out, ridiculed to death by South Park and Borat and a cynical Generation Y, back it comes stronger than ever.

Time to stand down from the high horse

Under this Gillard green government… Miranda..?? It’s Joooolias fault is it...?? BP and BC.

Are you throwing mud as Milne was, what a suprise. With his mud slinging, incorrect and defamatory, unsubstantiated piece, regarding an ex-boyfriend of Gillard some twenty years ago. No wonder there was an unreserved apology from the Australian. It would have been the perfect time for the Prime Minister to sue and expose the Newslimited for what it is.. A bias conservative organisation interested in “regime change” to limit the impact of Free to air TV, the NBN and the Anti-Syphoning laws, that are not in the best financial interests of the Murdoch empire.. But in the BEST interests of the public. Maybe he/you would have been better off trying the old fake email trick.. Oh that’s right, tried that one already and got exposed.

And since when did the indigenous people of this country invite and welcome the English Ryoal Navy to come to this country and hand it over to them..?? What do you think the English Empire and colonialism was ..?? An open invitation from other countries for England to take them over. Of course it was an invasion, take over by force or how ever you want to put it. And maybe the Tassie tiger still exists hiding in those rainforests with some aboriginals..

And gays too.. How many issues do you want to roll into one piece to throw mud at Gillard.

Whats more pathetic is that you self confessed conservative opinionist think that you are “fair and balanced” in your writing.. How FOXY of you. Or that the ABC comes out attacking conservatives, rather than asking hard questions to both sides of the political spectrum. I know there is NO climate change too. Yet another delusional position. Have fun with that one.

Murdoch has created us and them… there is NO middle ground unbias journalism, unless it’s conservative of course. That’s how it works isn’t it.

Fair and Balanced (Reply)
Wed 31 Aug 11 (11:54pm)
DD Ball replied to Fair and Balanced
Thu 01 Sep 11 (09:22am)

You forgot to mention the high court ruling that Gillard was never right about the Pacific Solution from the beginning and that her bad policy has lured hundreds to their deaths. I know you meant to so you could be fair and balanced.

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Here’s a letter to the Programming Director of Washington, DC’s, WTOP Radio:

Enough with reports (heard in today’s 1pm hour) that natural disasters can be good for the economy. The Keynesian economics upon which such reports are based is hopelessly confused on the issue.

According to Keynesians, recessions result from people feeling pessimistic about the future – a pessimism conjured by what Keynesians regard as wary “animal spirits.” This pessimism prompts people to save too much and spend too little.

But even if we accept these Keynesian notions, is it likely that the optimism necessary to improve the economy will be sparked by destroying people’s homes and businesses? How plausible is it that people – who before being hammered by the likes of a hurricane felt that their savings were too low – will go on sustained spending binges because natural disasters oblige them to dip into the very savings that they were previously trying to increase? By what logic are “animal spirits” buoyed with confidence by tragedies that make people poorer? On what theory do consumers become more hopeful about the future while standing in the rubble left by natural disasters?

Please, no more such absurd reports.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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Gene Healy wisely doubts that the Obama administration’s success in ousting Gadhafi from his power-base in Tripoli is a victory worth celebrating.

The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald exposes a journalist’s questionable premises.

The Fraser Institute’s Mark Milke shares sensible thoughts on the unsustainability of the welfare state; here are some key ‘grafs:

For the record, the fault for the ramped-up public debt cannot be placed on “too low” taxes. A variety of countries with widely differing tax levels all continued to borrow massively over that period.

For example, since 1995, and as a percentage of its economy, Greece’s total tax take has been about one-eighth to one-fifth higher than the United States (depending on the year). But high-tax Greece put itself into more debt as did the (relatively) low-tax U.S. Or consider the UK; its tax rates rose steadily since 1995 but so too its red ink problem.

In other words, the assumption that higher tax revenues will save a country from its spending and borrowing addiction is mistaken. That’s not any more likely than a modest raise for a consumer maxed out on her credit cards whose real problem is overspending.

In this new Institute for Humane Studies video (from IHS’s LearnLiberty division), I offer some introductory thoughts on free trade and protectionism.

Leave it to my brilliant younger colleague Bryan Caplan to instructively connect a classic children’s tale with The Fountainhead.

Jonah Goldberg sensibly warns against the Cult of Expertise.

Here’s the Washington Examiner‘s David Freddoso on the lunacy of government-promoted “green jobs.” (HT Adam Bitely)

Richard Rahn riffs on Vito Tanzi’s new book – a book that I knew nothing of until now, but have just put on my reading list.

Finally, speaking of books that I want to read, Nick Schulz reviews, in today’sWall Street Journal, Sonia Arrison’s 100+.

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… is from page 99 of historian William Manchester’s 1992 book A World Lit Only by Fire; here, Manchester is writing about 16th-century Europe:

[T]he sons of merchants led the way in learning foreign languages. They were already among the most attentive pupils. The growth of industry gave education a new urgency. Literacy had been an expensive indulgence in an agrarian culture, but in an urban, merchant world it was mandatory.

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Now Gillard lashes out at the Chief Justice, too

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (02:52 pm)

We’ve already seen Julia Gillard threaten media organisations for running articles that threaten her grip on power.

Now she attacks the nation’s highest judge after he humilated her by declaring her people-swap with Malaysia unlawful:

“"Can I say, looking at yesterday’s High Court decision, I believe that it represents a missed opportunity in preventing us from transferring asylum-seekers to Malaysia at this time,” she said in Brisbane…

The current Chief Justice of the High Court, his Honour Justice French, considered comparable legal questions when he was a judge of the Federal Court and made different decisions to the one the High Court made yesterday.”

How is French to respond? By entering into a public slanging match with the Prime Minister? By keeping his silence as his integrity is attacked?

What won’t this Prime Minister trash in her desperation to stay in office?
Dennis Shanahan:

Locked into a political corner, she’s decided to blame the referee in a high-stakes game designed to deflect criticism from herself and her government… In the end an attack on the High Court and the Chief Justice may make a dire situation even worse, if that’s possible.

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Labor turns on Bowen, the scapegoat

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (01:09 pm)

Labor starts to split under the pressure of failure:

THE recriminations have begun over Labor’s botched Malaysian Solution, with Immigration Minister Chris Bowen under pressure to resign over the failed policy.

With Labor’s refugee policies in crisis, several of Mr Bowen’s colleagues have questioned his competence and suggested he consider his future after the High Court yesterday ruled the refugee swap deal invalid.

Western Australian backbencher Mark Bishop told The Australian Online the “very existence of the government itself” was threatened by Mr Bowen’s mishandling of the issue.

“There appears to be continuing lack of accountability, ministers don’t seem to take responsibility for their own decision-making and consequences,” Mr Bishop told The Australian Online…

“… the proper handling of the matter goes to the core competency of the government and the relevant minister.”

Another colleague told The Australian Online: “What the f*** has happened? He got up and told us this was alright.”

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The High Court should just butt out

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (10:51 am)

Margaret Kelly, who teaches constitutional law at Macquarie University, says the High Court should have left the politics to the politicians:

THE High Court yesterday decided by six to one Immigration Minister Chris Bowen’s declaration enabling asylum seekers on Christmas Island to be sent to Malaysia for UNHCR processing was unlawful, thus ensuring a permanent injunction preventing him from sending those asylum seekers there.

The court purported to deny making any conclusions about Malaysia’s human rights standards. It said: “Nothing in these reasons should be understood as expressing any view about whether Malaysia in fact ‘meets relevant human rights standards’, let alone whether asylum seekers in that country are treated ‘fairly’ or ‘appropriately’.”

This is disingenuousness at best and doublespeak at worst. After conclusion of the arrangement between Australia and Malaysia, the Minister made a declaration under the Act that appropriate human rights protection would exist for the transferees in Malaysia. But the court interpreted the Act’s provisions to mean that access and protection for asylum seekers and refugees in Malaysia must be such that Malaysia is legally bound to provide, but they “are not”.

Not only does this effectively spit in the face of the good faith between the Malaysian and Australian governments and put the court’s opinion of what is required in place of that of the Minister, it amounts to the court making policy. The former government policy as reflected in the Migration Act is in ruins as a result.

Let it be clear: this is a result of six judges taking a view. This is not because the policy was wrong - the Government had acted on the policy the elected representatives had passed into law. The intention of the Parliament has yet again been scorned by the court majority.

(Thanks to reader John.)

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How much union money was spent on Thomson’s campaign?

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (08:28 am)

This won’t just be about Thomson:

BESIEGED Labor MP Craig Thomson now faces a possible third inquiry - with the NSW Commissioner of Fair Trading to investigate claims he misused unions funds to help his election to Parliament.

It comes amid claims the Health Services Union has yet to give information on Mr Thomson to police, as the fraud squad decides whether to launch an investigation.

Despite the union’s national executive referring the matter to police last week, it gave Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione only a letter from its lawyers and an audit of the HSU national office - but not credit card receipts and other information related to Mr Thomson, police sources say.

HSU national president Mike Williamson’s spokesman defended the decision not to send further evidence to police, saying a letter from legal firm Slater and Gordon had offered Mr Scipione “full co-operation with any investigation”.

The state government is today expected to announce plans to examine the finances of Coastal Voice, established by Mr Thomson in the lead-up to the 2007 poll. It is understood the Fair Trading Commissioner will trigger the inquiry into the association, which has not lodged returns since its 2006 incorporation.

UPDATE

So much for Thomson’s excuse. Last month he claimed “another gentleman” paid back his union for the escort agency payments that appeared on Thomson’s union credit card:

When questioned on radio earlier this month over the use of prostitute services on his union credit, Mr Thomson told 2UE: “The union reached a settlement with another gentleman who paid back $15,000 in relation to the use of credit cards at an escort agency. I don’t know whether he forged my signature or who did.”

There’s a problem with that excuse:

CRAIG Thomson’s explanation that “another gentleman” paid back $15,000 worth of credit card bills has been shot down by an audit that confirms the money was returned for disallowed wage increases.

The 2009 audit of the Health Services Union by Pitcher Partners revealed blank cheques and unauthorised wage payments.

Mr Thomson, now a Labor MP, had said he never used his union credit card to hire prostitutes while he was HSU national secretary, and that someone else had reached an agreement with the union.

The audit confirmed ex-state secretary Jeff Jackson paid back $15,000 for unauthorised salary increases.

Among the revelations was that Mr Jackson authorised a payment of $5000 for a colleague, Alex Hicks, to allow her to work on Barack Obama’s election campaign in the US. ...

Mr Jackson paid back the money.

Mr Jackson did not return calls.

Allegations that Mr Jackson used his credit card to hire prostitutes were referred to police but no charges were laid.

Mr Jackson has denied using union funds to pay for prostitutes.

UPDATE

On MTR 1377 with Steve Price today, Sports Minister Mark Arbib confirms he was consulted on NSW Labor’s payment of between $90,000 and $150,000 to Thomson:

I’ve had some private discussions.

He says he did not make the decision himself to pay Thomson and says he does not know if the payment came with conditions - as in, that in exchange for the payment Thomson had to serve out his term.

(Thanks to readers CA and the Great Waisuli.)

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Tasmanian Labor’s vote at just 22 per cent

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (06:51 am)

Even in Tasmania, the Labor brand is toxic, with the party’s vote almost eclipsed by the Greens’:

When undecided voters are excluded, the ALP vote lifts to 22 per cent, the Liberals to 55 per cent and the Greens 18 -- indicating the Liberals could likely have formed majority government if an election was held earlier this month.

Lara Giddings’ support as preferred premier has dropped to 19 per cent, down three points, while Liberal leader Will Hodgman is up 10 to 52.

(Thanks to reader CA.)

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Coorey finds the kick-the-Liberals angle

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (06:41 am)

It’s perhaps Julia Gillard’s most complete disaster. But the Sydney Morning Herald’s Phil Coorey takes only three paragraphs to kick the Opposition:

IT is hard to imagine how things could possibly get worse for this government.

Battered over the Craig Thomson affair, its primary vote mired below 30 per cent, and selling a carbon tax as popular as an infestation of carp, the High Court, out of left field, kills its Malaysia solution by six votes to one.

This decision was not expected. Even the opposition spokesman for immigration, Scott Morrison, didn’t think the court would intervene so heavily and so he started spinning a face-saving response before the judgment was handed down.

(Maybe I’m being too hard on Coorey. So I’ve taken off a link while I think about it.)

UPDATE

If these were the grounds then for concluding (wrongly) that Julia Gillard was still in the race, then the conclusion now must be general that she’s finished:

“[Abbott] as placed so much faith on the two big government negatives - the carbon tax and the boats. There are already signs that the sting has gone out of the asylum seekers debate with the Malaysian solution sending a clear and unambiguous message to both people smugglers and those contemplating the dangerous journey by boat. If the carbon tax loses its potency as well, Abbott will be suddenly threadbare.” If the twin planks of 2011 collapse underneath him in the next 18 months, then the killing season could deliver yet again.” (Barry Cassidy, The Drum, 5/6/2011)

“… the signing of the refugee swap deal with Malaysia does not draw a line under the problem but it is a significant step … At the end of last year, Gillard designated 2011 as a year of “decision and delivery”. It hasn’t been pretty, and loose ends abound, but bit by bit she is making good on that commitment.” (Phillip Coorey, ‘A significant step towards keeping a commitment’, SMH, 26/7/2011)

“IN 2011 there will be nowhere to hide. Julia Gillard made this forecast last November as she declared 2011 as her year of “decision” and “delivery” … The Prime Minister has ticked some major items off her to-do list during the lengthy mid-year winter break. She’s revealed the details of her carbon tax and emissions trading scheme. She’s sealed an audacious deal with Malaysia to turn asylum seekers away from Australia. And she’s convinced all state and territory governments to sign up to national health reforms … the PM is increasingly presenting her Government as decisive and determined, not worried about sweating the small stuff if it gets the same end results. It’s a theme she looks likely to pursue in all the big political debates as her year of decision and delivery continues.” (Steven Scott, Courier Mail, 4/8/2011)

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Abbott talking policy as Labor sinks. Must feel an election approaching

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (06:36 am)

Tony Abbott leaves himself open to a scare campaign, but has little choice but to offer reformist policies:

TONY Abbott has signalled that a Coalition government would increase the ability of employers and workers to directly strike flexible workplace agreements without the involvement of unions.

In his strongest indication yet about how a Coalition government would seek to wind back Labor’s workplace laws, the Opposition Leader said his approach to industrial relations would be about “freedom” and trusting businesses and workers to strike agreements “which suit themselves”.

But I suspect the electorate may not be quite so reistant to arguments about the need to become more competitive, given the signs of economic stress. And they might be a little more suspicious of unions and their claims.

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Mysterious accounts

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (06:33 am)

From the Sydney Morning Herald in 1996:

Indeed, says Thiess, the Government paid it money for an employee training program at a $58 million Thiess construction project and it then paid the AWU. But once in union hands, it seems, the funds went walkabout when the AWU branch in WA was crying poor and running up a debt with head office approaching $1 million.

It is now known that nearly $220,000 was withdrawn using about 40 cash cheques, ranging from $4,000 to $50,000.

Exactly where all the money ended up is far from clear. The man who should know, a former top official, Mr Bruce Wilson, says it is all “old hat stuff” and he has “nothing to say”.

However, two of the so-called “WA Inc” accounts were finally emptied in April last year, when about $46,000 was paid into an even more mysterious Perth-based account called the Construction Industry Fund. It, too, is understood to have been closed this year and may have no legal connection to the union.

Several other cheques totalling about $35,000 were made out in 1993 to a now ex-AWU official, Mr Ralph Blewitt, and, once, about $67,000 went to the trust account of the high-profile Melbourne law firm Slater and Gordon. The timing of this payment has caught the eye of AWU bosses. It coincides with the purchase of a house in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in Mr Blewitt’s name.

A cheque made out to the “Slater and Gordon Trust Account” was dated five days before the firm arranged settlement on the $230,000 property.

The “Transfer of Land” document was signed by Mr Blewitt’s “attorney” for the purchase, his then boss, Mr Wilson, whose signature also appears to be on the dozens of cheques from the “WA Inc” accounts.

Other records show Mr Wilson later lived in the Fitzroy house while serving first as AWU State secretary for both Victoria and Western Australia, then last year as head of the new, strife-torn National Construction Branch.

About a year ago, the discovery of another unauthorised bank account sparked what is now known as the “Victorian affair”.

This account, also unknown to the national office in Sydney until it was exposed by internal union feuding, was operated through the Commonwealth Bank in Melbourne under the name “AWU Members Welfare Association No 1 Account”.

Read it all.

No one was ever charged. The money is still missing. No real answers have ever been supplied.

This puts into context a column by Grace Collier, among others.

(No comments.)

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Beware those who scream “racist”

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (06:31 am)

“Racist” is a word more usually used these days to obtain advantage:

A SACKED Sudanese worker who alleged widespread abuse of migrant workers at a free-range chicken factory, fuelling a fierce union campaign and a report by ABC1’s Lateline program, fabricated evidence to support his claims of racism.

In a pair of scathing decisions over the past week, Fair Work Australia banned three National Union of Workers officials from accessing Baiada Group’s Adelaide processing plant and dismissed an unfair dismissal claim brought by union member Anyuon Mabior.

Mr Mabior was the only current or former employee willing to appear on the ABC1 program’s October 21 report.

The tribunal heard the Lateline coverage became part of a broader union campaign, including protests, harassment of workers, radio campaigns, a Facebook group and organised action to embarrass the company in front of customers and clients.

The tribunal found no evidence Mr Mabior was subjected to racism at the plant and dismissed claims he had been sent to a carbon monoxide gas chamber after complaining about workplace safety.

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Bunch of clowns

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (05:50 am)

image

Incompetent:

THE High Court has taken Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and his department to task, saying he went ahead with the swap deal despite receiving warnings from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about Malaysia’s lack of legal protection for refugees.

The 6-1 decision of the full bench of the court found that Mr Bowen and his department wrongly construed the Migration Act when he declared Malaysia a safe country to send asylum-seekers as part of the arrangement signed in July.

Section 198A of the act says a country is deemed to be “safe” only when it “meets relevant human rights standards in providing . . . protection” to asylum-seekers…

“It is clear that (Bowen|) did not look to, and did not find, any basis for his declaration in Malaysia’s international obligations or relevant domestic laws,” Chief Justice Robert French wrote in his judgment.

“There is no indication that the apparent legal fragility . . . and the associated risks to transferees were drawn to his attention.”

So why did the Government go ahead?

And why did it sign a deal that committed it to take 4000 refugees from Malaysia regardless of whether we could send in exchange the 800 boat people?

Mr Bowen said Australia might rethink its pledge to increase its annual humanitarian intake of 13,750 refugees by 1000.

Under the Malaysia plan, Australia would have sent 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia and accepted 4000 refugees in the next four years. Yesterday Mr Bowen said Australia would still take the 4000 from Malaysia but they would no longer be additional to the annual intake, meaning 1000 fewer refugees waiting in camps elsewhere would be accepted.

Now the only real option is the one that Labor demonised and so stupidly scrapped:

TOM IGGULDEN: The minister’s keeping an open mind about re-opening the Nauru detention centre and reintroducing temporary protection visas, hallmarks of the Howard Government’s Pacific Solution.

CHRIS BOWEN: I’m not ruling anything in or out in terms of our response.

If not:

AUSTRALIA should expect a stream of asylum-seekers to arrive by boat, following the demise of the Malaysia deal, refugee advocates warn. Zabiullah Ahmadi, an Afghan who lives in Kuala Lumpur, predicted: ”Within weeks, there will be lots of boats.”

Let’s count the cost:

- 12,000 people lured to Australia since the Rudd Government relaxed the boat people laws.

- More than 4000 still in detention.

- More than 300 boat people reportedly lured to their deaths at sea.

- Billions of dollars in costs.

- Our international reputation trashed by repeated bungles.

Greg Sheridan:

One, the Gillard government has shown a complete inability, quite staggering in its comprehensiveness, to manage this issue or pursue coherent or effective policy. Our government’s incompetence is notorious.

And two, we will now continue the policies that attract the boatpeople into Southeast Asia in the first place. The Rudd government caused the problem for Southeast Asia by softening the Howard government’s previously successful Pacific Solution…

This is Dame Edna Everage diplomacy as taught by Les Patterson in the Barry McKenzie school of self-regard.

You couldn’t get much worse.

Graham Richardson:

The government will look like a joke because frankly at the moment it is.

Michelle Grattan:

THE High Court has given the Gillard government a massive kick in the guts when it is already writhing on the political floor… This is another example of apparent Labor incompetence.

“Apparent”?

Annabel Crabb:

...the most egregious aspect of today’s decision by the High Court is that it provides a new and crushing chapter in what has become a tale of rambling incompetence.

Across both Rudd and Gillard governments, this policy area has played host to a most dispiriting display of opportunism, mendacity and half-arsedness.

... if anyone in the Government is still wondering why voters don’t believe Julia Gillard when she says she has things under control, today should provide a devastating answer.

(Thanks for reader Marg.)

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Last days…

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, September 01, 11 (12:01 am)

Julia Gillard’s Government has become a laughing stock.

This is a government whose latest boat people policy has just collapsed completely, ruled unlawful by the High Court.

Before that, it nearly killed off our live beef export trade through sheer panic. It has proposed all kinds of wild plans that were scrapped before they even started - including a Citizens’ Assembly, Cash for Clunkers and an East Timor Detention Centre that East Timor didn’t want. With an unblemished record of failure, it now proposes a revolutionary tax to stop us from using cheap power, and promises no jobs will be lost.

With this record, we should believe it?

I’m sorry to sound strident. But this is without doubt the most dangerously inept and untrustworthy government in our history.

To see how completely it’s failed, check Gillard’s announcement in July 2010 of the election date, and note her three core promises:

I’ve moved to strengthen border protection with a real plan for the region and for a regional processing centre. Of course, I moved to resolve the issues around the mining tax to make sure that the nation, our mining industry and our mining communities could move forward with confidence....And can I say again we will make sure, in making commitments, that we protect the Budget coming back to surplus in 2013 – three years earlier than originally anticipated.

The regional processing idea is dead. The mining tax is still not finalised. The Budget looks increasingly unlikely to be in surplus in 2013.

Julia Gillard will be almost certainly replaced by the end of September, for reasons I will more fully explain on Saturday. Humiliating people on Tuesday who helped put her in power was just one of the final straws:

Ms Gillard met with (steel) industry and union leaders on Monday.

Australian Workers Union boss Paul Howes and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) national secretary Dave Oliver both walked away from the talks thinking Ms Gillard was considering an inquiry.

But the prime minister says they were mistaken.

‘It’s possible for people to take some different takes out of a conversation,’ Ms Gillard told reporters in Wollongong.

Telling experienced negotiators they were all somehow “mistaken” when they left a meeting with a collective understanding that an offer had been made? Embarrassing them by leading them to assure their members they’d won a concession, only to hear the Prime Minister say they just goofed?

I’ve been tipping Simon Crean, as experienced and safe. Others put up a reasonable case for Bill Shorten, despite the unfortunate patrician hauteur he’s developed. An outsider is Stephen Smith.

The change could be triggered by anything. In Rudd’s case, it was something as trivial as getting a staffer to ring backbenchers to see if they were still loyal, or been wooed by Gillard.

Watch closely. And listen, too. There may be some more bad news today, which Gillard may (probably wrongly) suspect has been encouraged by Shorten.

UPDATE

Famous last words:

A senior government frontbencher, Anthony Albanese, also joined the fray by calling for news outlets to lift standards and stop publishing ‘’nonsense’’, arguing that press freedom did not mean the freedom to ‘’write lies’’.

Mr Albanese also provoked influential Melbourne columnist Andrew Bolt, declaring he was ‘’today, a much more humiliated man’’, having pointed to allegations against Prime Minister Julia Gillard that were now acknowledged to be ‘’false’’.

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The short answer is he didn't. The long answer is he wouldn't.
While it’s no surprise to conservatives and independents that the liberal mainstream media would pull out the old “attack Ronald Reagan” hand-book, dust it off, and use its previously discredited assaults to go after the surging Perry, a better question to be asked is: “What are they all so afraid of?”
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I had it, but I didn't know what it was, so I buried it with my guitar from Elvis Presley and my giant turtle from Joseph Banks.
A haunting scenario has come back to take another bite out of Apple, as another highly-prized iPhone prototype reportedly disappeared at an upscale San Francisco bar.
· · Read more · 7 hours ago via Fox News
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And into the life of a Jewish Priest
Rare inscriptions on a 2,000-year-old burial box may provide fresh insight to the death of Jesus Christ, researchers say.
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I thought the government policy awful. The high court labelled it unl-awful
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A car like this could make even me look good.
The automaker heads in a new direction with the Evos Concept.


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My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government - Thomas Jefferson.

Click "Share" to help send a message from Thomas Jefferson to our Representatives in Washington today!
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too muc...







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Marriage is a religious issue which has legal consequences. Separating the legal consequences for gays is ok. Telling religious institutions what to do in legal terms is not.
As a libertarian, I think all consenting adults who want to commit to a life partner ought to be treated the same way.
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Because it is so much better than Obama's?
As Texas Gov. Rick Perry surges to the front of the polls on a message of fiscal discipline, some conservatives are coming out of the woodwork to claim the governor's track record on spending is nothing to get behind.
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Obama promised a change from such tactics
House Speaker John Boehner has asked President Obama to postpone his planned jobs speech by a day, after the White House announced Wednesday that it was scheduling the address for the same night as a GOP 2012 primary debate in California.
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In his defense left wing rhetoric on the issue is reprehensible. German media has some responsibility for this
A 21-YEAR-OLD man from Kosovo apologised in court yesterday for killing two US soldiers who were heading to Afghanistan by way of Germany.
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People die from ALP neglect
TWO Queensland child safety officials have been secretly forced to resign and another two shifted over the suicide of a teenage girl who was under the watch of their agency.
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NBN is pure pork
STAFF at the government-owned company rolling out the National Broadband Network are set to take home an average of $145,000 a year - more than twice the average income of $70,673 - sparking fresh fea...
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Tasmanian ALP sinks
LABOR has slumped to historically low levels of support in Tasmania, ending a run of routs and record poor polling for the ALP.
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New SA Premier is a US spy
FEDERAL Labor powerbrokers Mark Butler and Don Farrell divide the spoils of government in South Australia to minimise internal party tensions, in contrast to other incompetent state ALP administration...
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Go ahead Woodside
OIL and gas giant Woodside has expressed surprise at the heritage listing of dinosaur footprints through its proposed James Price Point LNG site but believes the two can co-exist.
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Cleese sounds grumpy. Maybe he ate something funny
DON'T mention the war. Or British income tax. Or US politics.

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Gillard has never told the truth on immigration
TONY Abbott says the High Court ruling is a devastating blow for an "incompetent government that simply can't get anything right".
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Jason Clare does not seem competent.
TAXPAYERS have been hit with a $1.3 million legal bill for the botched sacking of a senior Defence bureaucrat.
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Good match
IT'S the perfect fit for mother nature. Australian wool growers are marketing the natural fibre to mothers - and have used a photographer acclaimed for her ability to capture the innocence of youth.


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Three down more to go
HEAVILY armed police swooped on a car, arresting two men and a woman, over the latest shooting to hit Sydney.
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I love books, but look forward to more ebooks replacing them.
I'VE got a confession to make. I have a thing about bookcases.

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We never voted for what ALP did.
GOD save the Queen. Or in this case it's God's representative on Earth, the Reverend Fred Nile, doing the saving.
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Social engineering at it's worst. Disadvantaging good kids is not effective education
HIGH-performing schools may be put under pressure to take on underperforming students as a condition of funding.
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Independent schools are essential
HOLY Rosary Primary School in Brisbane defies the usual labels. It is described as a school of special character, its charter is "reconciliation through education" and it is a disadvantaged small scho...
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There are things worth complaining about. Global warming lies and ALP promises
ADVERTISERS are free to use "pictionary profanity" because children have trouble understanding it, the Advertising Standards Bureau has ruled.
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He denies wrong doing on the grounds it isn't illegal to spend HSU money on prostitutes.
BESIEGED MP Craig Thomson's alibi that "another gentleman" paid back $15,000 worth of credit card bills for prostitutes has been shot down by an audit which confirms the money was returned for disallo...
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NSW was neglected because the government had been very bad.
SYDNEY'S housing property is defying a national downturn as the only state capital to record a price increase over the past 12 months.
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Another white meat.
SCIENTISTS are on the verge of growing artificial meat in laboratories without the need for animal slaughter.

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It is spring. What about the Spring Carnival?
SYDNEY'S premier racecourse Royal Randwick could be shut down for the entire spring carnival after its decades-old and dilapidated main grandstand was declared unsafe yesterday.
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Judge is no Julius Ceaser.
AN ARMED attacker plunged a knife into bikie associate Mark Judge up to a dozen times after ambushing him inside the garage of his upmarket home yesterday.
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Bowen has been shown to be incompetent. He should resign.
AN Australian navy officer yesterday declared it "open season" for people smugglers as the government was left reeling by the High Court's decision to scuttle its Malaysian Solution.
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The future
www.news.com.au
ROB Spence uses the word "borg" a lot. "Spokesborg, earborg" and "boob-borg".

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After 30 years of hidden agendas now bubbling to the surface as the climate changes and exposes the corrupt green labor models to the full glare of daylight, sunshine is no longer a dirty word for those who care about the truth.
www.theaustralian.com.au
THIS High Court decision is a disaster for the Gillard government, and for Australia's standing in Asia.

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As the ALP collapses so is their fan base
www.news.com.au
THE ABC has lost another valued member of its news team, with the national broadcaster confirming its long-serving Sydney newsroom chief of staff, Bernie Keenan, has died.

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