Wednesday, October 12, 2011

News Items and comments

Plucking heartstrings of political one-upmanship

Piers Akerman – Monday, October 10, 11 (05:50 pm)

THE sound of the instrumental now known as Duelling Banjos conjures up images of ruthless, toothless, inbred hillbillies from the creepy 1972 film Deliverance.

Rudd’s ambition will eventually destroy him. Personally, I hope it’s sooner rather than later. He’s been instrumental in the ruination of the Labor Party and a shining example of the appalling judgment that party applies to everything. Whoever earmarked him for greatness should be put in a straight-jacket.

As for the 14 year old boy ..... well, much can be said about the whys and wherefores but if he was my son I would want Rudd and Gillard as far removed from the situation as I could get them. Their four year record of ineptitude and disaster should be enough for them to realise they’ll only cause a catastrophe.

There’s no ‘impression’ of complete incompetence, Piers, just a blinding truth.

Caz (Reply)
Mon 10 Oct 11 (06:08pm)
Cavaletta replied to Caz
Mon 10 Oct 11 (07:20pm)

Hi Caz
Ken Dunlop’s on the blog looking for a re-tread can you oblige him please?

DD Ball replied to Caz
Mon 10 Oct 11 (07:23pm)

Rudd’s ambition has destroyed him but it has also made him. Latham knew him for what he is. But I gather it was felt by those that run the ALP, faceless grey men, that Rudd could be easily manipulated. Largely that was true, but also Rudd has this towering ego. Contrapuntily, Gillard has never been competent, but the powers that be probably thought she would be pliable. Gillard has no spine. She can support anything that will bring about a pork barrel. So will Rudd. What happens next will be an illustration of two poly-filla candidates trying to squeeze into ALP leadership as everything collapses around them.

Laura replied to Caz
Mon 10 Oct 11 (07:51pm)

Caz, I read David Marr’s Quarterly Essay on Kevin Rudd just before Rudd was given the chop by Julia. If you can bring yourself to read something written by Marr (and about Kevin) it’s well worth the read. Marr presents Rudd as quite the sick little puppy. (Not that we don’t already know that.) Mind you, reading the piece then was probably more powerful than reading it now because we know so much more about Rudd now.

You know, I just can not see Rudd being re-instated. He really is a vile man. And surely his present grand-standing will only serve to remind Labor just how awful he is.

Kevin? Julia? Julia? Kevin? What does it matter? They’re both despicable, disgusting, devious, deviant, dangerously dysfunctional and disastrous dopey ‘snivelling grubs’. The MP’s supporting these two clowns ought to have their heads banged together.

Originally Disgusted replied to Caz
Mon 10 Oct 11 (09:48pm)

Whoever earmarked him for greatness should be put in a straight-jacket.

How about Hawker Britton?

Australia has never been the same since Australia’s political versions of Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering went about moulding and coaching Rudd to become a Prime Minister. As for Julia, even Eliza Doolittle looked a spectacular success.

I’m sure Bruce Hawker would be happy to see his protégé return to the limelight, to spin and spin and spin; just as he did in 2007 when Hawker/Rudd fooled the nation.

scotty replied to Caz
Tue 11 Oct 11 (09:24am)

Caz, too right. Why allow a 14 year old boy out of sight in a country not his own - when the laws of Indonesia are blindingly clear to all who visit? Don’t Do Drugs or you will pay for the crime. How dopey are these people? I might seem hard - I do feel for the boys predicament of not thinking before - that he might land himself into a lot of trouble.

Good one Laura. We should throw back every insult Gillard throws at decent people. Thugs and Cowards will receive a hammering back eventually.


Blackbutt3 replied to Caz
Tue 11 Oct 11 (09:54am)

The Australian Government today announced that it is changing its emblem from the Southern Cross to a CONDOM
because it more accurately reflects the government’s political stance.
A condom allows for inflation
halts production
destroys the next generation
protects a bunch of pricks
and gives you a sense of security while you’re actually being screwed.

Damn, it just doesn’t get more accurate than that!


Step to the left would be Labor’s death knell

Piers Akerman – Saturday, October 08, 11 (09:15 pm)

Saddled with the unapologetic liar Julia Gillard as its leader, elements within the ALP are hoping to elevate the role of the party’s national president beyond that of an administrative figurehead in a bid to halt Labor’s slide into irrelevancy.

Having had power in the states and recently federally for so long one might wonder why people were saying the ALP is in bad straights. Surely it isn’t because of recent polls? As late as last year the ALP were elected and federally with enough to hold government. Admittedly the electorate weren’t aware that was what they were voting for. The electorate had been told they wouldn’t be voting for a CO2 tax if they voted ALP. The electorate had been told there was a plan that would solve the boat people issue. The electorate had been told that Windsor and Oakeshott could be relied on the support conservative choices.

Viewed from space the ALP doesn’t have a problem. They are taxing and spending at will.

But it is a house of cards. Which bottom card will fall first? Rudd? One decent, honest ALP lower house member (if there be one)? Wilkie?

One thing is certain. The ABC doesn’t know. And if the ABC did know they wouldn’t tell. Like when Rudd was trounced. One thing worth remembering, no media group got the ALP to answer the questions of Gillard’s leadership before the election in 2010.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 08 Oct 11 (11:00pm)
DT replied to DD Ball
Sun 09 Oct 11 (11:17am)

DD Ball the voters in the electorates of Oakshott and Windsor clearly did not vote for a Labor government last October, both electorates have traditionally been held by the Country/National Party and the two now former Independent members were part of the Nationals before standing as Independents and therefore considered by their constituents to be conservatives not Labor supporters.

By signing an agreement with the prime minister to support her government these men ignored what the majority of their electors wanted.

To add to the shame of it Windsor recently commented on ABC Capital Hill that he had given both Gillard and Abbott opportunity to form a government and call a new election, I knew that was not the case and did some research, at News.Com and others I found that he had in fact told media at the time that he could not choose to support Abbott because he believed that Abbott would call a new election and win it.

We can’t trust anything these people say, it is a disgraceful state of affairs.

dd replied to DD Ball
Sun 09 Oct 11 (01:02pm)

I have no understanding for the technicalities of the law but if an electorate give their votes to a person , is it not on the understanding that person will do as the electorate work for his/her advancement for the better? Otherwise they woud never ever vote for that person. If he/she wins and refuses to acknowledge and work for their electorate, are they not running on false pretences? Or can they just do as they wish after the election?

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 10 Oct 11 (07:18am)

DD, this is representative democracy. Of course they can change their mind. But if they can’t justify it they won’t be reelected. Unless they are ALP

There is no way Labor will survive another episode of a leadership coup like the Rudd fiasco. And the hopeless management of the nation’s affairs.

All the Coalition has to do to win government is not be Labor.

DT replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (10:52am)

Which is why the strategy from the 1980s was to appear to be on Coalition political ground when campaigning for Labor and I assume too why as a party affiliated to international socialists they work so hard to hide it from Australians.

OldOzzie replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (10:57am)

Labor debt in 4 years as at Friday 7th October 2011

Total Commonwealth Government Securities
on Issue - $211.392 Billion

Labor has just hosed money up against the wall with nothing to show for it, from a $20 Billion Surplus, and are running up a budget deficit of $60 Billion per year over the next 2 years

It took the Liberals 7 years to pay down the $96 Billion Debt left by the Keating Labor Government.

Given the American and European Governments have run out of money, you would think Labor would learn, but no they are going to destroy Australia with the Carbon Tax, and destroy our industry.

Labor likes building $25 Billion Desalination Plants with 25 year ongoing coats to appease the Greens, when a $1.9 Billion Dam would have sufficed with minimal on-going cost.

This article in the UK today sums up Labor

How climate change zealots are wrecking every last industry this country possesses

to quote a comment from Telegraph UK today

“he was right to maul the Labour legacy. “They thought you could borrow without regard to ability to pay, and saddled this country with the worst debt crisis in our history”

Sums up where Federal Labor is taking Australia

DD Ball replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (02:36pm)

ALP can survive lots. They are like cockroaches. Who thought after Whitlam ALP would gain power again so soon federally? Or after Keating? Hawke wasn’t good. Yet mainstream media will work hard to erode confidence in the conservative parties. Well placed repeated lies can achieve much

ausebell replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (02:59pm)

I’m reading John Howards book - Lazarus Rising. I have always been intrigued by what actually took place around the sacking of Whitlam and the book gives you a timeline which is very interesting. In a nutshell, this gov is the Whitlam gov all over. Both the Whitlam and Rudd/Gillard Labor inherited a strong economy; with low unemployment’; and apparently good prospects for growth.

Whitlam found economics irksome, far less exciting than the foreign excursions and progressive social posturing that he had been elected to champion. Sound familar?? And people are wanting rudd back??? I cannot believe people would be so stupid!!!

The way Whitlam, Jim Cairns, Treasurer and Deputy PM; AG Lionel Murphy; & Rex Connor met ad hoc at the Lodge, without the knowledge of the GG to borrow $4billion from a Pakistani commodities dealer, rather than from Morgan Stanley, a solid Wall Street bank, had Treasury bewildered why these labor men had taken this path. An untested path. Andeven after the Loans Affair was made public - and Cairns and Connor both lost their jobs, Connor continued negotiations with Khemlani AFTER HIS AUTHORITY TO DO SO WAS REVOKED!

BTW - Howards book is now in paperback - and even though I am not an avid reader, it is an excellent read and takes you back to times that you “recall” in Australian politics, but having it easily retold, makes it a great book to understand where we are today.

proud aussie replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (08:37pm)

ausebell, thank you for your review of Lazarus Rising. It is indeed a precious treasure and an excellent read, extremely well written. It is refreshing to read what is part of our political history knowing that you can trust what is written.


pat replied to Mick In The Hills
Mon 10 Oct 11 (10:03am)

Swan and Laborites state Labor saved us from the GFC but that is the biggest lie (apart from NO Carbon Tax).

The GFC was caused by incompetent governments around the world having massive debts and no surplus. We rode out the GFC because we had no debt with money in the bank and that was because of the coalition paying off Labors $96Billion debt and creating a surplus of $20Billion. We now have massive debts again and if we get hit by another GFC then were screwed just like Greece…

The Carbon, mining and other new taxes are to pay off Labors debt so face the truth....

Swan is the worst treasurer we have ever had and should resign.

proud aussie replied to Mick In The Hills
Mon 10 Oct 11 (11:47am)

Hear, hear pat. SPOT ON. Thank you.

The more we pull to the Left, the more Australians will learn to loathe the Left.

This can only be good.

It seems each generation needs a dose of toxic Leftism to learn what Leftism really is.

The previous generation were innoculated by the experience of Whitlam .. the current are receiving their innoculation through Rudd/Gillard.

The very sad thing is the damage caused between innoculations .. some of it permanent.


John Jay (Reply)
Sat 08 Oct 11 (09:34pm)
Peter B replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (07:59am)

When Rudd the dud and the disastrous Labor party were first elected I thought the only good that can come from the really dumb decision of electing yet another disastrous Labor Government (at the time all States and Federal Governments were Labor) is that Labor will start to expose thier true RED colours. It will be Australia worst ever man made disaster costing Australia and it’s future hundreds of billions of hard earned taxpayer dollars, the death of hundreds or thousands of people as well as the destruction of democracy and social and Cultural decay. It is a tradgedy Australia has and continues to takes so many steps backwards with diastrosu LEFT wing Governments but if it means Australians wake up to these extremist wolves in sheeps clothing then at least that is a good thing.

DT replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (10:57am)

JJ in 2006 Rudd was interviewed on ABC Compass, so was John Howard and Bob Brown. During the Rudd interview he was asked about his political position, he quickly and proudly answered “Christian Socialist” and then went on to explain about his German hero who was also a Christian Socialist. Later during the 07 election campaign he declared himself to be a “Fiscal Conservative”. How could anyone believe what he says?

Gillard too has of course been in denial about her far left views.

We must ask ourselves what are they hiding from us.

dd replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (12:45pm)

The really sad thing is that Australia has had three decades,at least, of Leftist Ideology in the education system right up to university level. And despite the obvious lack of reality in it’s ideas, a lot has stuck . Plain to see the Greens with their fairy airy “logic’ fill some kind of void in people. Aussies are mostly conservative people who have risen from hard times. We have gone soft and now our once hardened hides are very vulnerable to those who would do us harm. Our vigilance has weakened ,and our enemies are now within. The Greens are Trojan Horse we did not see coming.

DD Ball replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (02:40pm)

Moving to the left will make the ALP unelectable in the short term, but they are that anyway. What it will allow is a ‘snap back’ where a future leader, possibly Jason Clare, can claim they made mistakes and have renewed following their next loss.

Jim Common Sense Non Progressive replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (07:54pm)

I believe Juliar and the extreme Greens have become the Coalition’s best asset. So long as they are the ones running the circus, Abbott is almost certain to win the next election, which could be sooner than everyone expects. All it will take is one NSW-like scandal - which shouldn’t be too hard due to their lack of morals - and we’ll be rid of this Demonic Left Mob.


A teen’s plight no photo op for Rudd

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 08, 11 (09:09 pm)

THE way our Foreign Minister has jumped on the Bali case smacks more of Rudd’s ambition than altruism.

I made mistakes as a youth which I am not proud of. I didn’t ask prostitutes for drugs but then maybe I just didn’t have that opportunity. Luckily, I didn’t have Rudd on my side either.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 08 Oct 11 (11:04pm)
Jeremy replied to DD Ball
Mon 10 Oct 11 (04:56pm)

I know i can relate to you. I also did some things in my youth which i am not proud of. But never did Drugs.


A Note on Commenting



A faithful Cafe patron, whose name is here withheld, sends the following in an e-mail today to Russ and me:

“Muirgeo” has single-handedly reduced the effectiveness and value of your blog. He has certainly reduced my desire to visit the site as often, or participate in the comments. Which is his aim. And you have both cooperated with him. He has boundless energy to dissipate the goods of your productivity, and the space you have created, and you lend him unending currency to do so.

And you have sanctioned him doing so.

I understand the reason behind your principles, but is there no point where you say “enough?

Russ and I understand the frustration of trying to have a civilized conversation amongst thoughtful people – all of whom have a basic understanding of logic and ordinary rules of argumentation, and many of whom possess at least a rudimentary understanding of economics and history – only to find that conversation frequently disrupted by commenters who have utterly no grasp of such basic things; disrupted by people who mistake their passionate disagreement with the thrust of the conversation for knowledge and insight into the matter at hand, and who, in unreasoned response, fling madly into the conversation any factoid or anecdote or quotation or YouTube clip that they (almost always mistakenly) sense bears relevantly upon the point of the conversation and moves that conversation forward productively.

And we also share the normal human urge to pull our hair out upon encountering people so obviously incapable of clear and independent thought that we realize that nothing – literally no argument or set of facts, regardless of how clearly presented – can penetrate their brains.

But, still, Russ and I will not ban Muirgeo or anyone else from the Cafe for the mere offense of being aggressively and ceaselessly and hopelessly stupid.

Unlike in a physical cafe, Muirgeo cannot harm anyone at the Cafe. He can, and does, annoy – but he can do so only insofar as any of the rest of us read his comments. As I’ve said before, I completely ignore him (save for an occassional check to ensure that he’s writing nothing libelous or vulgar). And so he affects me not one whit.

When I read the comments and see his moniker, I scroll right past.

It’s true that many of his comments trigger other responses. And sometimes these responses are actually very useful: they are often from people more patient than I am in dealing for the millionth-and-first time with arguments that are either incoherent or that have been exposed as flawed countless times before.

Perhaps there’s something that I’m missing (and I don’t concede this possibility rhetorically), but unlike in a physical cafe where he and his ilk certainly would be banned for harassing the customers, here he can be ignored.

Does ignoring him not avoid at least the brunt of the problem?

Having said the above, Russ and I welcome comments about ways that we might pursue (should such be available and practical) to separate commenters interested in rational discussion from commenters not so interested.


Here’s a letter to the Baltimore Sun:

Jim Case argues that NAFTA has been “bad” for the U.S. economy because, since that free(r)-trade pact first took effect in 1994, America’s trade deficits with both Canada and Mexico have increased (Letters, Oct. 10).

Is Mr. Case aware that his evidence for the alleged failure of NAFTA is that Canadians and Mexicans are now investing more in the United States? (Such increased investment is exactly what a rising U.S. trade deficit means: foreigners invest more of their dollars here rather than cash these dollars out immediately on purchases of U.S. exports.) Does Mr. Case realize that the rise in the U.S. trade deficit under NAFTA is exactly the opposite of what protectionists, such as Ross Perot, warned would happen if NAFTA passed, namely, that NAFTA would shift so much investment from high-wage America to, especially, low-wage Mexico that we’d be deafened by a “giant sucking sound” of investment dollars being inhaled by factories and plants across the border?

Protectionists simply cannot be taken seriously as long as they stubbornly cling to the inexcusably backwards myth that a rising U.S. trade deficit is a symptom of the failure of freer trade.

Donald J. Boudreaux


Quotation of the Day…



is from Henry Simons’s brief and scathing review, in July 22, 1936 issue ofThe Christian Century, of Keynes’s General Theory:

Mr. Keynes submits his treatise as a frontal attack upon traditional economic theory. Orthodox economists are rather defenselessly exposed to the charge of making bad applications of their relative-price analysis – of applying carelessly an analysis which abstracts from monetary disturbances in the discussion of practical questions for which monetary problems are crucially important…. But the author attacks, not the bad applications of traditional theory, but the theory itself – with results which will impress only the incompetent.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (07:34 pm)

Yesterday’s column mentioned in passing that Twitter is a really good way of getting yourself fired. Rob Crilly, a Pakistan-based freelancer for the UK Telegraph, might now be aware of this. Further from the Guardian.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (09:43 am)

Naturally, it’s a horror film:


Via Michael S., who emails: “I saw this poster in the Tube here in London and thought this was a movie about Juliar & Kevin, starring Tilda Swinton as the PM. Sadly it’s not but I’m sure that in private, Juliar does indeed refer to Kevni as ‘mummy’s little monster’.” If she doesn’t already, she will now. And here’s the current state of play in Kevni and Julia’s Bali boy battle:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday … reveal[ed] she spoke to the boy by phone while he sat in a Bali jail cell.

While Mr Rudd has spoken to the boy’s father, he had not spoken directly to the boy.

Julia is leading.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (09:19 am)

Drown some poley bears and penguins as you drink:


They’re the perfect addition to a conservative cocktail. Geekosystem reports:

The ice cubes produced by these trays are cool in more ways than one. They are made out of ice, for example. Also, they utilize high-tech iceberg technology to ensure that your icy polar animals stay afloat above the water as their ice floes flow around in your drink. That is, until they start melting. Commentary on global warming anyone? Clearly, if you’re looking for ice cubes fraught with meaning and enjoy watching an ecosystem slowly dissolve in your drink, these are the ice cubes for you. All the cool kids are using them.

Buy ‘em here.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (09:12 am)

Back in 2009, Holden spotted a loophole in the rules for an automotive eco-challenge, resulting in a win for the company’s gigantic 6.2 litre V8 ute over such devices as the Toyota Prius. And now the massive V8 has done it again, this time in the UK:

A version of HSV’s fire-breathing, 6.2-litre V8-engined ClubSport R8 has won yet another fuel economy run, pipping cars with engines as small as one litre.

The vehicle won the British-based 2011 MPG Marathon by showing the biggest improvement, expressed as a percentage, over its official fuel-use figure compared with already-frugal misers able to go almost four times the distance on the same amount of fuel …

The HSV, sold in Britain as a Vauxhall VXR8, had the largest engine of all the entries that included some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market, such as the Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion, Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 and diesel-engined Smart Fortwo CDI.

Those official fuel-use figures seem as pointless as national carbon outputs calculated by population.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (04:05 pm)

The modern left’s tribal hatreds are made wonderfully clear in Professor Bunyip’s tale of two Don Watsons, featuring a former Labor speechwriter who now rails against tradesmen:

Four o’clock is the middle of ‘tradie hour’. The tradies are going home in their unbreakable and unstoppable cars. Tough as they are, they are also cosily equipped – twin cabins, 100-speaker stereo, bluetooth, cup holders, the works …

The tradie brings intimations of pointlessness. And when I hear our political leaders, I suspect at least a general trend and complete acquiescence in it. What happened to Albert Schweitzer, Mozart and the CSIRO? Where is physics, anthropology or the simple promise of the Education Acts?

Try fixing a busted water pipe by playing Mozart at it. At such moments the point of tradies becomes suddenly clear. But Watson is still troubled by the cars owned by these workers, and the direction they’re headed:

… they veer off to their Foxtel-fitted pads in the new suburbs …

The new suburbs. How absolutely ghastly. Now go visit the Professor.


Perrett tries again: I only said I’d quit because Gillard’s in no trouble

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (07:23 pm)

Purely hypothetical, Perrett says, now that he realises his threat actually increased the leadership instability he was trying to stop:

LABOR MP Graham Perrett has told everyone to stop worrying over a threat he’s made to quit his Brisbane seat and force a byelection should Julia Gillard be toppled as prime minister.

Mr Perrett, whose electorate of Moreton is the most marginal Labor seat in Queensland, insists it’s not a threat because there is no tussle over the leadership.

“It’s not a threat, there’s no coup - chill out, there’s nothing to worry about,” he told Network Ten today.

In fact, the safer a Prime Minister is, the more likely you’ll get a backbencher threatening to quit if they’re sacked.

So now he’s weakened Gillard, while also withdrawing the threat that could make a challenger think twice. Smart work.


Don’t tell the readers

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (07:18 pm)

A senior Age journalist tweets a suggestion:

Woke to more leadership chatter. We really need to stop talking about Kevin.


NBN the “most extreme”

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (09:48 am)

Either the Gillard Government is the smartest in the world, or the rest of the world wouldn’t make the same mistake:

Labor’s national broadband network (NBN) strategy has been branded the “most extreme” example of government intervention in high speed broadband planning in the world.

A report by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) makes the claim based on the amount of money being spent on the national network, saying such expenditure is linked to greater government intervention in owning and operating broadband networks, thereby reducing competition.

Australia’s NBN was the “outstanding example of extreme government intervention” because authorities had taken control to develop and operate a fibre-to-the-home network, it said in the 80-page quarterly report on worldwide broadband plans....

Australia’s plan was also the most expensive in the world to implement, with the cost of providing broadband per household at $3455, followed by Gulf state of Qatar at $2299 and Greece at $1167.

Good line from Turnbull:

Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull said Australia’s NBN was the “telecommunication’s version of Cuba” due to its reliance on the government to provide the necessary infrastructure.

(Thanks to reader Craig.)


Perrett says he’ll quit if Labor dumps Gillard

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (06:07 am)

Well, this is an interesting piece of blackmail - or high principle:

A GOVERNMENT MP clinging to the most marginal Labor seat in Queensland says he will quit politics and force a byelection should Julia Gillard be dumped as prime minister.

In a threat which has the potential to bring down the government, Graham Perrett told the Herald Labor was wrong to remove a prime minister last year and he would not be a party to such an act again.

Despite holding his Brisbane seat of Moreton by 1.1 per cent, meaning he would be wiped out if the polls did not improve, Mr Perrett said dumping Kevin Rudd had been a breach of faith with his voters.

‘’I will not be breaking faith with the people of Moreton. I did it in 2010 and I’ve been constantly reminded by my voters that I did that,’’ he said.

If there were another leadership change, Mr Perrett said he would quit politics.

‘’The consequence will be a byelection in Moreton.

‘’This is not about loyalty to Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd, it’s about loyalty to the people of Moreton. This is about me keeping faith with the people who put me in office,’’ Mr Perrett said.

But what if his electorate would prefer Rudd back in charge - as I suspect? And if Perrett wants to keep faith with his electorate, shouldn’t he also vote against the carbon dioxide tax that Gillard at the election promises to never introduce?

Still, a very potent threat.


Now tell us the alternative

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (05:54 am)

Niki Savva sets Opposition leader Tony Abbott a challenge - to show he has a vision the Government lacks:

Abbott will also get the chance to show his tax cred on Friday, when he addresses a special roundtable organised by the Menzies Research Centre, timed to follow the government’s summit.

Abbott will be rightly condemned if he allows Labor’s leadership battle to distract him from his other essential task of building up his policy arsenal.

He’d better have something worthwhile to say, to draw a distinction between the virtual nothing the government produced (a pledge of a tax cut maybe sometime if circumstances permit) and what he proposes.

It may still be too early, though, and the polls don’t tell me Abbott needs to do anything dramatically different just yet. But at some stage, the audience might respond well to a bit of hope…


Don’t finance our wages, union tells customers

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (05:45 am)

Is this the most moronic union tactic yet, to warns buyers away from a business employing thousands of its own members?

UNIONS have warned travellers not to buy tickets from Qantas between now and Christmas in a dramatic escalation of a campaign designed to cause maximum disruption to the airline…

“I would think that by October the 28th when the Qantas AGM takes place, you’re likely to see full-day stoppages,” said Steve Purvinas, the federal secretary of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association.

“If I was a person considering travel over the period up until Christmas, I’d probably be looking at airlines other than Qantas,” he said. “If I was a passenger, I wouldn’t be purchasing a ticket with them at this stage.”

If Purvinas accurately relects the attitude of his own members to the company that employs them, I’d say Qantas should hire itself another workforce. Where do these silly people think their wages come from?


Hawker tries to rise above despair … and fails

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (05:35 am)

Bruce Hawker was for a couple of years the best-known and most on-message of Labor spinners. But his piece today sounds as if written by a man with a broken heart and shattered hopes:

FEDERAL Labor’s present troubles have encouraged a spate of articles predicting the Gillard government’s almost certain demise.

What is most galling about them, particularly those from former Labor powerbrokers, is that there is barely a word of advice about how the government can improve its position.

That may be because this Government cannot now be salvaged, and certainly not under this leader.

In part, the government’s poor polling comes from being wedged by the Greens and the Coalition on the carbon tax and refugees.

History also shows that Labor should not enter into formal agreements with the Greens… The reality is that the Gillard government does not need to be in a formal agreement with the Greens.

Is Brown really going to throw his party’s support behind Tony “Climate change is crap” Abbott?.

Yet a formal agreement with the Greens is indeed what Gillard signed, and - worse - it included Gillard’s fatal promise to break her promise on a carbon dioxide tax. This monumental blunder killed the Government and suggests Gillard’s judgment is fatally flawed.

And the government’s “achievements” are half-completed and bureaucratic stodge, with little practical good to point to:

Two areas where Labor can readily distinguish itself from its opponents are education and health. However, it is difficult to identify the iconic Labor policies the government can point to and say to the electorate, “Whatever your concerns about asylum-seekers, look at these great initiatives in health and education. These far outweigh your anxieties about boatpeople.”

In office, Labor has produced and implemented some excellent policies.

However, when we look at health and education, the two main initiatives have been a restructuring of the commonwealth-state health arrangements and the web-based information service My School. Campaigning on these issues is nigh on impossible.

No wonder Hawker is in despair.


Obama sinks and sinks

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (05:23 am)

The problem is that Barack Obama was elected for his symbolism, but is now rated on his performance:

A majority of Americans now oppose giving President Obama a second term, reflecting the country’s continued weak economic performance, according to the latest IBD/TIPP survey released Monday.

By 51%-41%, respondents in October picked “someone new deserves a chance” over Obama “deserves to be re-elected.”

But as I said on Sunday, the one thing that could save Obama is the Republican candidate - or lack of one.


The next card Thomson should get is a red one from Labor

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (05:18 am)

It’s closing on this government:

A POLICE strike force investigating accusations embattled Labor MP Craig Thomson took secret commissions has been informed the MP was given a credit card by a union supplier.

NSW police have been told by American Express in the US that Mr Thomson and Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson were both supplied with credit cards by John Gilleland.

Communigraphix, a graphic design business run by Mr Gilleland, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for the HSU newsletter, Health Standard.

Senior police sources said Mr Thomson - who would be forced to resign from parliament if charged and found guilty of an offence- had use of the American Express card for two years.

Under NSW law, persons found guilty of receiving an inducement to behave in a certain way could face a jail sentence of up to seven years.

At the very least, here’s one seat Labor would lose at the next election. At the worst, here’s the seat that will drive Labor to that election.

(No comments for legal reasons.)


Please pass it on

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (05:13 am)

Sorry to post this again, but I’m hoping that this cool advice from scientists on Julia Gillard’s warming hype gets a wide audience. Please pass it on, since it’s so rare that sceptical scientists are allowed onto television.


Gillard has a good week; Labor 43 to 57 down

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, October 11, 11 (04:49 am)

Last week was described by some Canberra commentators as the best for Labor in a long time. The public barely noticed or cared:

After a series of policy announcements and national meetings in the past three weeks, Labor’s primary vote has lifted from its all-time low of 26 per cent to 29 per cent, according to the latest Newspoll survey conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend…

Despite Labor’s rise, the Coalition’s primary vote lifted from 48 per cent to 49 per cent as the Greens’ vote dropped one point to 12 per cent…

Based on preference flows at the last election, the Coalition still commands a sweeping election-winning lead on a two-party-preferred basis of 57 per cent to Labor’s 43 per cent.

Dennis Shanahan:

It is now clear voters have no faith in this government in a political or policy sense and the Prime Minister cannot claim positive attention.

For the first time, the Coalition is either statistically equal to Labor or well in front on every key electoral issue.

In fact - the Coalition is now ahead even on the one issue that Labor has invested more time and capital than any other:

But the latest Newspoll survey of important electoral issues, conducted exclusively for The Australian last weekend, reveals the Coalition has edged in front of Labor as the party judged better able to handle climate change for the first time on record, 31 per cent to 28 per cent.

That finding is utterly devastating. Labor MPs are rightly speculating on Gillard’s tactical nous:

LABOR MPs have begun questioning Julia Gillard’s tactical acumen, with tomorrow’s expected approval for her carbon tax set to be overshadowed by likely defeat of her border security legislation…Labor sources said they could not understand why Ms Gillard was pursuing the asylum-seeker legislation knowing the Greens would reject it in the Senate anyway.

“The tactics don’t make sense,” one Labor MP said yesterday. “The legislation won’t get up, so why are we going through the angst?

Let’s sum up: even when Gillard has a good week, Labor’s vote stays at catastrophic lows. Even on the one issue she thinks she can win, she’s losing. And when she tries some new tactic, she betrays the same lack of judgment.

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