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TWT 29th Sep 2013 22:37

Labor leadership contest: Bill Shorten wants quotas to boost number of gay politicians in Parliament - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Comment from reader:


10:49 AM on 29/09/2013
I agree with Shorten! We need quotas to ensure inclusive parliament. E.g. We need a fair share of (1) fat people in parliament to represent fat people (2) uneducated people to represent uneducated people (3) ill people to represent ill people (4) under 12 year old to represent the rights of the future generations (5) illegal immigrants to ensure the rights of illegal immigrants. Couldn't be any worse than the dysfunctional Labor government that just moved into retirement with a paltry 33% of the national vote!

500N 29th Sep 2013 22:44

Nice to see Morrison, Immigration minister coming out for the 2nd time
to totally refute the AS comments that Australia ignored their calls.
He also said that the position they were was within Indos area of
responsibility :ok:

I think it's good that he has done this, helps to take back the Agenda
and not let the media have it their own way as well as letting everyone
know that some of these issues are Indonesia's problem, not ours.

Andu 29th Sep 2013 23:04

I've cut and pasted the article below from the US Politics Hamster Wheel thread, but, on the very same day that Bill **ing Shorten is calling for quotas for minorities in Parliament (surely, the very opposite of what democracy is supposed to represent? and what some might call 'apartheid'?), we see that even left-leaning publications like 'Newsweek' have seen that such policies, demanding a lower standard of minorities, are a huge mistake. It's a bit on the long side, but well worth reading, and for Australian audiences, you could easily delete 'Barak Obama' and insert 'Emily's List' or 'Nova Peris Kneebone' - or any of the other minorities for whom Bill Shorten wants to introduce quotas in parliament.

(It's worth noting that having 'Newsweek' criticize Barak Obama is a bit like 'The Age' or Mike Carlton criticize Julia Gillatrd.

I Too Have Become Disillusioned

By Matt Patterson (Newsweek Columnist ? Opinion Writer)

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League, despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a "community organizer;" a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, less often did he vote "present"); and finally an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions.

He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama's "spiritual mentor;" a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama's colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberal Dom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were 'a bit' extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass - held to a lower standard - because of the color of his skin.

Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) "non-threatening," all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon - affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don't care if these minority students fail; liberals aren't around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self-esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin - that's affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn't racism, then nothing is.

And that is what America did to Obama. True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois ; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.

What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama's oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people ? conservatives included - ought now to be deeply embarrassed.

The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clich?s, and that's when he has his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth - it's all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years. (An example is his 2012 campaign speeches which are almost word for word his 2008 speeches)

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess. Remember, he wanted the job, campaigned for the task. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. (The other day he actually came out and said no one could have done anything to get our economy and country back on track). But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense? It could not have gone otherwise with such an impostor in the Oval Office.

Ken Borough 30th Sep 2013 03:06

Makes one wonder!
More on politicians' expenditure. In Jul 2012, Kevin Andrew (Lib., Vic) purchased a digital camera costing $1771.82. It must have been some camera, but that's not all. In Dec 12 the camera required a repair that cost a claimed $358.88. WTF....

Why did this man's office require such an expensive piece of kit, and why wasn't the damage covered by warranty? Perhaps someone was careless?

Overall, the dollars are zip when compared with total parliamentary expenditure but there has to be some principle involved. (Okay, I know that 'politician' and 'principle' are not mutually exclusive. :ok:)

SOPS 30th Sep 2013 03:11

And the ALPBC continues with the huggy fluff stories. But read the comments below the article!!

Asylum seeker policy: cruel to be cruel - The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

500N 30th Sep 2013 03:18

Some good comments and plenty of them. Page after page.

At the end of the day, these "deaths" don't matter to Pollies,
or for that matter a majority of the population because they
are not Australians and as said in the article, the vulnerable

If the deaths were an issue, someone in the comments
pointed out the 1200+ deaths under Rudd ?

CoodaShooda 30th Sep 2013 03:37

I guess the vacuum in the media created by the libs not feeding the cycle is to be taken up with stories of "Misuse of entitlements".

Bolt seems to be ahead in the 'dollars wasted' stakes with his stories on Gillard taking a VIP Jet to a staffers wedding and Shorten's use of Comcars.

In the NT, many still remember Snowden (ALP) taking a VIP aircraft into Tennant Creek to attend the local Dog Show.

Not a bad thing if it reduces the impost on the taxpayer by the leeches on all sides.

But it is going to become very boring with the 'tit for tat' leaks distracting from opportunities to hear real news.

Ken Borough 30th Sep 2013 04:37


I don't care who's dipped into the trough as there are leeches on all sides. What I do care about is honesty and transparency from all sides, including the media. At the moment, hypocrisy reigns supreme.

If Abbott is trying to censor the media with his 'no speakies' and attempts to gag his Ministry, the day will come, if not already here, when it will back-fire. I hope his attempted media manipulation explodes in his face as democracy is not about concealing the truth, no matter how unpalatable. We do not, I think, live in a totalitarian state where the flow of information is controlled by the ruling class. And before anyone here gets on his or her high-horse, I would direct these comments to any politician of any colour who tries to do the same as Abbott.

alisoncc 30th Sep 2013 04:54

Public Announcement:

Following numerous requests for the Media not to report on Middle Eastern types killing each other, and Tony Abbott choosing to gag all government ministers, all future news programs will be reduced to five minutes, with four of these taken up with the weather. To make up the time incidental music will be broadcast. It is considered unlikely that anyone will notice as most viewers mentally turn off anyway.

500N 30th Sep 2013 06:10


I disagree. TA is trying to get some discipline back into the whole thing
and, yes, control the Agenda a bit which is what most want to do anyway.

Kevin 24/7 did it by saturation exposure so no time left for anything else.

Re TA / Morrison and the weekly briefings, I do not believe their
is any reason to do it daily, weekly is fine. After all, as the article
says, Labor made such an issue of AS that it sounded like an
invasion and helped cost them Government.

Now why would TA follow an already losing strategy ????????
as well as highlight his failings ?

And as I have said before, I think people like the peace and quiet
and not having the PM on the news or airwaves or front page
every day. But that is my HO.

Andu 30th Sep 2013 06:24

The 24 hour news cycle has become a monster that requires constant feeding. I can't believe that someone in the Liberal Party's media unit didn't point out to Tony Abbott that with his apparent 'no speakies' policy, he runs a very high risk of the television and radio audience being treated to endless interviews with the Parliament House cleaning staff or even the contracted rubbish collectors.

The Mike Kelly interview over the weekend on Sky was embarrassing. Who in the hell is the man? Someone towards the top of a short list for a job that does not yet exist. Whoo-ah! Talk about gravitas. The Used Carr has not yet been traded in, much as it probably needs to be.

Here's a hint to an enterprising, news-starved current affairs production team: if you want to put to air some really interesting television, go out and find a couple of the Diggers - that's the non-commissioned ranks - who were in Somalia witnessing Mike Kelly's deeds of derring-do with the Somali warlords (the 'Lawrence of Arabia/Mike of Mogadishu' tales of the deeds of derring-do he treated us all to during the election campaign).

Hearing an infantry private's version of those events from an infantry private who was there... Now THAT would be interesting television.

500N 30th Sep 2013 06:36


Daring do as a lawyer involved in Capital cases ?

Yeah, right.

According to the 2IC or one of the 1 RAR Companies over there
- which if I remember correctly the current CDF, Hurley was CO
of at the time, the biggest PITA were the Bureaucrats / DoD people
back in Aus, the lawyers and the media.

As soon as they had a "Contact, wait out", people from Canberra
would be on the line wanting to know what was going on, if anyone
was injured, killed etc etc. I believe they were eventually told to
FO and that when something was known, it would be sent.

RJM 30th Sep 2013 06:39

Good idea, Andu.

Re the media monster: it should shrink if it's not fed.

Quotas: Once we have quotas (which means an obvious minimum of one per category) for women, gays, disabled, the old, the young, various religions, various occupations, the deaf, etc, what about a quota for the competent? Whose electorate gets lumbered with which quota? An electorate chosen by a party for the gay, female or whatever candidate means that party has disenfranchised everyone else in that electorate from being preselected for that party. :*

Andu 30th Sep 2013 06:44

During the Vietnam unpleasantness, the Americans held a daily briefing on what had gone on 'in country' that day every afternoon at five o'clock, (which was where many if not most of the media types got their information they then skewed outrageously to suit their individual agendas - see below).

These briefings were universally known as "the Five O'Clock Follies" - i.e., no one believed a word the Yank Public Information Officers were saying (including, if the truth be told, most of the PIOs delivering the briefings). The need to have something to say at each afternoon's briefing led to announcements of actions and 'achievements' that were patently silly and seeming to many to be manufactured purely for the daily briefing - a clear case of 'feeding the monster' I referred to in my last post (and a monster that then was nowhere near as big and all-consuming as it is today).

I think Tony Abbott's on the right track in his attempt to rein in the media's expectations of constant (and all too often, not well thought out) sound bites from senior politicians, but he has to accept that he has to allow relevant ministers to make timely comment on issues that arise as they arise, otherwise the media will simply make things up to fill the void.

Along the same lines that it's far better management technique to tell your staff any bad news that's likely to affect your company - (because the real bad news will rarely be as bad as what the staff rumour factory will come up with otherwise), the Government has to keep its electorate in the loop.

500N 30th Sep 2013 06:55

He will allow his ministers to speak and I think he will as well,
but I think he is just trying to change the whole agenda of who
controls who and get Gov't working before crowing about it.

bosnich71 30th Sep 2013 07:10

Ken ... ref. Pollies cameras, here in Lalor, you remember Lalor don't you Ken, that used to be the electorate 'honoured' by Julia Gillard, the Marxist who now lives in a house in Adelaide worth a couple of million bucks or so, but I digress.Some years back,here in Lalor, the local council equipped all of it's officers with a digital camera so that they "could take an immediate photo of any problems arising in the electorate". One such was quoted as potholes etc. Now I will admit that the said cameras were only (?) worth $600 plus each but hey there were dozens of 'officials' out there snapping away so it was a somewhat expensive exercise especially as we, the ratepayers never did see the fruits of their artistic efforts ....... and the roads continue to have pot holes in them.

Ken Borough 30th Sep 2013 07:37

Yes Bos, I remember Lalor, pronounced 'Lawler', in Melbourne's west as opposed to Lalor, pronounced 'Layla', in Melbourne's north!

A few years ago $600 wouldn't have bought much of a digital camera, even in Singapore or HK. However, in 2012, $1700 would have bought a high-end DSLR. Surely the bloke concerned didn't need such a piece of equipment for his 'happy snaps' as he moved around his fiefdom?

CoodaShooda 30th Sep 2013 09:35

If you don't know why his office purchased the camera, why default to a position of outrage as a first response?

I've been banned from the TV room while Anne Summers salivates over Julia.

One thing that struck me in the short bit that I saw before my banishment was Julia's description of a typical Parliamentary day.

Starts with reading the papers, then being professionally made-up before discussion with staff of what was in the papers, then swotting up for question time using what was in the papers, speaking in the House and having meetings with the independents.

Whatever happened to being kept advised on the state of the nation by our exceedingly expensive public service and, perhaps, indulging in a bit of governing?

Flying Binghi 30th Sep 2013 10:54

...Starts with reading the papers, then being professionally made-up before discussion with staff of what was in the papers, then swotting up for question time using what was in the papers,...
Going of the mess she made she were probably mainly reading Fairfax..:hmm:


Worrals in the wilds 30th Sep 2013 11:04

Yes Bos, I remember Lalor, pronounced 'Lawler', in Melbourne's west as opposed to Lalor, pronounced 'Layla', in Melbourne's north!
So which is 'correct' :E? I understood that the man himself pronounced it Lawler, but happy to stand corrected. :8

Starts with reading the papers
It was said of both Keating and Howard that the day they started 1. Reading and 2. Caring about what was said in the papers was the day the music kind of died. :ouch:

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