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RJM 5th Apr 2012 13:01

It's gruelling to watch. Does anyone else have the idea that Gillard is doggedly ignoring the chaos around her because she doesn't know what else to do? Perhaps she's waiting for the 'miracle weapon' - the carbon tax compensation that will make the voters love her.

cf Ingemar Johansson and Floyd Patterson, round 3, June 26 1959:

Floyd Patterson vs Ingemar Johansson I - June 26, 1959 - Round 3 - YouTube

ps: I've been advised that the boxing reference is 'obscure'. If you watch the clip, you'll see Patterson getting battered again and again before he finally wakes up (so to speak) and stays on the canvas. 7 knockdowns. Gillard, like Patterson, is just taking it again and again. Tough, or stupid - either way not much of a tactic given the inevitable result.

pps: No-one would call Australian politics the sweet science. A blood sport, perhaps.

Worrals in the wilds 5th Apr 2012 13:33

Nowhere to turn. ;)
Gillard; welcome to Queensland. You spent a whole half day here recently (you couldn't even find the time to meet with the new leader of the Opposition , one of the few who escaped the maelstrom, let alone the dwindling rank and file who actually braved the crowds with How To Vote cards...a token factory visit doesn't count for sh....Luggage Point) so you'll be pleased to know that we're waiting for you even if you don't have the courage to front. We waited from 2009 to 2012 to stitch Bligh up and now and we're now waiting for you. For different issues but the same sins;
1. blatant lies to the electorate;
2. being surrounded by flunkies who've never seen a real day's work in their lives;
3. ignoring the rank and file because it's obvious that you see them as irrelevant, poorly educated bogans and
3. being massively incompetent.

The ACTU have sniffed the wind and acted accordingly. I accept the comment from CoodaShooda about whistleblowers, but I think it runs deeper than that. I think they've crunched the numbers and factored in that only 10% of Aussies are currently union members and that trade unionists recently ranked behind car salesmen on a 'who do you trust' survey. I can't remember which paper ran it, but the results were a worry. The Heavies may be many things, but they're not stupid. They know who pays their wages. :uhoh:

It is often said that the ALP is the child of the union movement. Maybe (and this is 100% heresy :E) it's time that child moved out, got a job and stopped sponging off its parents. Maybe the child should stop treating its parents like dirt while taking their money and stand on its own two feet, without recourse to its parents' ever dwindling pot of supporters and funds.

You don't want to listen to your bogan parents? You think they're idiots? Fine. Get your bloody nose ring, take your fancy education and piss off, because all you're doing at the moment is embarassing us. You're so smart? Get out there and prove it to the electorate. In the meantime, our own friends are starting to talk about you, and it's embarassing us...and costing us credibilty and memberships.

P.S. Fellahs, it's Thomson. No P. Just pointing it out before someone else does...:}

Andu 5th Apr 2012 22:50

Over the years, it's often been said by visiting Americans that "...Australia; it's like the States 15 years ago".

I think the 15 years has probably shrunk to a smaller figure over the last few years, but in one aspect, the "15 years ago" tag fits, and that is in people's attitudes to unions. In the US, unionism has been tainted for quite a few years (many would say "many years") by clear-cut Mafia connections. In many cases, the unions were out and out run by the Mafia as thinly disguised standover rackets. In Australia, although there'd be some who say Australian unions have been exactly the same for years now, many people until quite recently still maintained some sympathy for the unions, possibly because of an unconscious cultural back link to the days of the shearers' strikes.

I think the last four years have stripped the last vestiges of dissimilarities between the US and Australian unions away. The Craig Thompson affair (what a wonderful double entrendre that description evokes) and Fair Work Australia's apparent deliberate mishandling of the investigation has made it plain to even the most rusted-on Labor supporter that something is seriously on the nose within the Labor Party / Union movement nexus. The way the ACTU is attempting to do a Pontious Pilate (right time of year, almost to the day, for that particular analogy) on the Health Services Union is appallingly bad. Here's a hint lads: it isn't the tens of thousands of HSU members you've just ditched who are at fault in the Craig Thompson affair - it's Craig Thompson* and a half dozen other easily identifiable union heavyweights who were rorting the system at the expense of those very HSU members you've just ditched. Why aren't you going after them and demanding they resign, to be replaced by people untainted by this (oh so) long running, sorry mess?

*I suppose I must add the rider that it might not be Mr Thompson who visited those knock shops, but instead, some Craig Thompson lookalike who stole his credit card, accurately forged his signature and, without once being noticed, always managed to return the credit card to its rightful place each morning afterwards. Poor Mr Thompson, in submitting his expenses every month, was only remiss in not checking that these mystery expenses had somehow mysteriously appeared on his union paid for credit card.

Wiley 5th Apr 2012 23:12

On the news this morning, the PNG government has just delayed their national election for six months because "the country is not ready" for the election.

Only last week, I was speaking to a friend who works in pretty high circles in Canberra and (a week before news of the PNG government decision) he mentioned that some people he'd spoken to in Canberra had said they were concerned that Labor might manufacture some "national emergency" that would "force" them to delay the election. Utterly crazy, I hear many say. Unconstitutional. Could never happen. However, the fact that some people in high circles in Canberra are even thinking such things is stark evidence that all is not well in our nation's capital.

Worrals in the wilds 5th Apr 2012 23:23

Good points, Andu, particularly re the HSU members.

Interesting, Wiley. There was a similar story doing the rounds up here with respect to the state government, also from people reasonably close to them. At the end of the day it didn't happen. Personally I don't think the States would cop it, and if Canberra doesn't get money from the States it becomes irrelevant very quickly.

As a discussion point, I think it reflects more on what people see as a lack of government integrity rather than a 'serious' rumour.

Willi B 6th Apr 2012 00:17


Only last week, I was speaking to a friend who works in pretty high circles in Canberra and (a week before news of the PNG government decision) he mentioned that some people he'd spoken to in Canberra had said they were concerned that Labor might manufacture some "national emergency" that would "force" them to delay the election. Utterly crazy, I hear many say. Unconstitutional. Could never happen. However, the fact that some people in high circles in Canberra are even thinking such things is stark evidence that all is not well in our nation's capital.
It would indeed be contrary to Section 28 of the Constitution which states that "Every House of Representatives shall continue for three years from the first meeting of the House, and no longer (emphasis added), but may be sooner dissolved by the Governor-General".

I keep my ear close to the ground in Canberra, in a variety of circles, high and otherwise, political and real world. This is the first I've heard of any suggestion of Labor "manufacturing a national emergency to delay an election". Care to provide further and better particulars?

Buster Hyman 6th Apr 2012 00:32

The True Believers are very quiet at the moment. Surely there's something to say about Workchoices & the GST? Surely....

Wiley 6th Apr 2012 00:34

No Willi, I can't give a source because there isn't one besides a verbal conversation with a friend who isn't given to wild rumourmongering. Even he would agree that it's totally unsubstiantiated. He was repeating to me a conversation he'd had with someone he didn't name in Canberra.

I wouldn't have even posted it here but for the news this morning that the Papua New Guinea government had done something unconstitutional - delayed their election six months beyond the time that by law, it had to be held, because, in their opinion, the country wasn't ready for an election. (As one Papuan commentator said in the report: "It isn't a question of the country not being ready for an election, but more of the government not being ready for one.")

I think the person or persons who made the comment to my friend were saying that, with the number of other instances where this current government has thrown out the rule book, usually over minor matters, the ratchet effect of those actions is leading to them maybe doing something really radical - like delaying the election because, in their eyes, like New Guniea, the country isn't ready for an election, which, translated, would mean, the opinion polls are saying that the country isn't going to vote the way the government believes it should vote. Like the carbon tax, they seem to believe that they know what's good for us despite our not wanting it. It's not such a long stretch to say that they believe they know what's good for us - a continuing Labor Government - even if we don't want it.

It's not whether this is a the fact or a totally created fantasy that should concern us. It's the fact, totally undeniable, that trust in government in the country has reached such a low level that people are coming out with such comments and that they're not being laughed out of the room, as they would have been by virtually everyone on all sides of the policical sprectrum as little as four years ago.

RJM 6th Apr 2012 01:19

Re a delayed election: There would have to be a national emergency such as a world war (last time we had a 'national government' for the duration) and the Governor General would have to approve - those useful reserve powers. So it looks unlikely.

What is on the nose about unions in Australia is that unions are guaranteed 50% of the vote at the ALP's national conferences where policy and senior apppointments are decided, while unions represent less than 15% of the electorate, and less than 10% if you remove the public service unions including those of teachers and nurses. That's not democratic.

The True Believers are very quiet at the moment
Imagine how they'd be squealing, Buster, if Thomson were a Liberal staffer. Consider the case of Godwin Grech. They had cameras poking into his living room.

sisemen 6th Apr 2012 01:35

The True Believers are very quiet at the moment
Perhaps it's because even the most one-eyed ALP supporter can find nothing positive to say about the situation with cockroach Thomson and the odious decision of the ACTU.

With each passing day Gillard's stock sinks lower. The rout in Queensland will seem benign once we get to a Federal election.

RJM 6th Apr 2012 04:50

Everyone's angry. You could say there's a strange vibe on the streets.

There's a Professor Bunyip who maintains a little blog, rambling about this and that, not unlike our TRRBAPT... The current entry is worth reading:

Lessons In the Garden

IT was a fine summer for growing things, as the olive tree in the corner of the Billabong’s backyard attests. Throughout the recent drought, yields of the small, dark fruit were decent enough to fill the jars beneath the sink and guarantee a year’s supply, but only if nibbled sparingly. This year, the tree has outdone itself. There is so much fruit it was yesterday’s errand to buy a couple of additional plastic buckets for their curing, and after that to cut back the shoots rising from the root system. Lopped just a month ago, the tallest of the latest risers was just peeking over the fence -- remarkable growth in such a short time.

It may be that Bunyips have a semi-dormant hippy gene, and it could be that this also has been activated by the rain. Whatever the reason there is wonder everywhere. Outside the study, where a ham and tomato sandwich tumbled from a carelessly carried plate some months ago, a tomato vine has taken root and also is producing the goods, lots of them. Interestingly, the dropped sanger featured slices of a big, beefsteak tomato, the sort you get at Coles or Woolies, but these are the cocktail variety. The Rufous Bird, who knows a thing or two about garden greenery, attributes this to commercial varieties’ hybridisation, which apparently means they will never breed true.

Those little tomatoes, sweet and marble-size, are good enough, not least for lifting the spirits. Not so long ago, the garden was a dust bowl and the resident possums thin as wraiths. The ringtail that climbed down from the roof last night to poke about in the compost heap behind the BBQ was fat and sleek and such a solid specimen that the cat, a tireless recreational killer, put discretion above valour and did nothing more than direct its diamond-eyed enmity at the visitor, which had the cheek to turn its back and fossick up a bit of carrot.

It was quite the performance, the moggy’s display of restraint, but even that was cheering in its way. Like a voter observing Gillard’s filth, puss knows patience will pay its dividends, that there will come a reckoning for such insolence. As this shambolic Prime Minister and her toadies and courtiers fudge and obfuscate, play their games and substitute spin and subterfuge for honest decency, we all known their day is coming too. Like the drought, Gillard will go away eventually, and all her lies with her. In the meantime, there are olives, tomatoes, a frustrated cat and a wall calendar from which to cross off the days until the polls are opened.

Worrals in the wilds 6th Apr 2012 05:03

Given the rout in Q I wonder what chance (odds) the bookies are giving on a straight flush (term some how seems appropriate) in the federal next year.
Sportsbet is your friend. :E Unfortunately they don't seem to be taking bets on the makeup of the house yet.

Everyone's angry. You could say there's a strange vibe on the streets.
I've noticed that too. Anyone else?

sisemen 6th Apr 2012 05:42

I've noticed that too. Anyone else?
It's been evident in the west for some considerable time. However, since we started the fall of the State dominos it's been increasing. The result in Queensland and the latest non-performance of Gillard and her cronies has just let the whole thing loose. The mood has changed from fatalistic and grudging acceptance of the situation pending the chance to vote, to outspoken aggression and disgust.

If you push, really, really hard, you might find the odd person that still supports the ALP but come the Federal election I reckon that the 3 existing Labor seats will wither.

One wonders whether the ALP are already formulating the "line to take" when fronting Antony Green on the Election Night Special.

Clare Prop 6th Apr 2012 06:08

Yep, I have never felt so much pure hostility towards a government.

Willi B 6th Apr 2012 06:20

It is a widely held community belief that it is unacceptable for politicians to lie.

Dissatisfaction with politicians' capacity for mendacity now seems to be at an all-time high. The Reader’s Digest’s 2011 Annual List of Trusted Professions, on a ranking list of one to 45, lists politicians at number 44, just ahead of telemarketers and behind real estate agents and car salesmen - http://www.readersdigest.com.au/australias-most-trusted-professions-2011

Parliamentarians' unethical behaviour, both perceived and actual, induces citizens to believe that the system is incapable of operating in a way that protects and promotes the public interest. The present system is seen by many as being merely self-serving.

The issue facing all politicians is how the challenge of actual and perceived unethical behaviour and the consequent growing cynicism about the system of government ought to be met. Public office holders are trustees for the public interest. Being a trustee creates a duty that those elected to public office will act only in the people's interest. Unethical behaviour matters because it involves breaking that trust in not acting in accordance with certain principles that all the community shares.

In order to restore public confidence in politicians and staffers, the Commonwealth should establish a Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards to oversee issues of their conduct. Its responsibilities should include the formulation of an enforceable code of ethics, the monitoring and reporting on issues such as conflict of interest, the use of entitlements and the exercise of patronage in appointments. It should operate at arm’s length from Executive Government and provide an independent forum for allegations of misconduct to be investigated-one in which the parties cannot claim that they have been set up by the choice of personnel involved in any inquiry.

In considering who should head up such a Commission, there need be only one dictum - serving and former politicians need not apply.

Andu 6th Apr 2012 06:27

Last weekend, I had a visit from a friend who lives in Canberra. I asked him, given that so many Canberrans are public serfs, whether the feelings of the man in the street in Canberra were different to what I perceive to be the rest of the country, i.e., do people the nation's capital still support the Gillard government? He replied that if there were any, he hadn't met them. He works closely with the Defence Dept, and he went on to say that even the civilian public servants in Defence, usually the last to desert Labor, were outspoken about how shambolic things are under Stephen Smith.

Politically, I think we're approaching uncharted waters in this country. In the past, even in November 1975, the line between 'the Tories' and dyed-in-the-wool Laborites moved left or right only by a few points. Today, that line seems to me to have shifted radically. The only ones remaining with Labor and ultra Labor (aka the Greens) are the inner city latte sipping "intelligentsia" - the Clover Moores of this world who know what's good for the ignorant Great Unwashed and are committed to inflicting that 'good' upon the too-dumb-to-know-what's good-for-themselves Great Unwashed whether they like it or not - and these unwanted inflictions go well beyond unwanted bicycle paths.

Suspicions that these True Believers and 'fellow Earthians' will attempt to steal the next election with some underhanded, even illegal electoral trickery are emerging in quite a few people's minds, in most perhaps not to the point Wiley's friend mentioned. But distrust of this government has reached the point where it's close to becoming a game changer. I think it's getting close to the point where the usually Silent Majority are going to cry out 'Enough! No more! This can't go on.'

MTOW 6th Apr 2012 07:27

Yep, I have never felt so much pure hostility towards a government.
Nor me. The hatred is visceral.

Buster Hyman 6th Apr 2012 13:59

Yep, I have never felt so much pure hostility towards a government.
Die hard conservatives are just that, swinging voters vote for what they want & who will give it to them, and the true believers could quite possibly be fed up with the Labor message being diluted by Greens & independants. Enough to make them distance themselves from this Govt.

Clare Prop 7th Apr 2012 01:02

What is the Labor message? They and the unions helped played a part in creating the comfortable Australian lifestyle with a high standard of living that the world envies and now they want to pull us all back down into an economic situation like they have in parts of Europe, as far as I can tell.

I can't hear anything except patronising nanny speak about what is good for us and how bad the "other side" are.

What are unions for, wealth distribution from hard working people to high flying union execs and prostitutes? Has it really got that rotten?

The only person with a clear message at the moment seems to be Kathy Jackson but I suppose they will be sending her off to gulag soon enough.

But the good thing is that Aussies aren't being taken in by this and we have the chance here to turn the tide against this relentless global Fabian crusade to make us all equally miserable.

sisemen 7th Apr 2012 01:45

And there's no caped crusader waiting in the wings to save 'em :E

http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/z/zorro1.jpg http://btap.0catch.com/zorro%202.jpg

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