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Andu 30th Nov 2013 06:16

I'm not sure if Australia - or this Australian, at least - is ready for Tanya Howeveryouspellit as Leader of the Opposition. The sound of her voice doesn't have that "fingernails-scraping-on-a-blackboard" effect on me that Joan of Arc's... - (silly me, that's her new name - or the one she'll be known by in the "history"(!) books, isn't it?) - I mean, Julia Gillard's voice did (and still does), but she's still a piece of work.

I think Shorten will survive this, even if the rape story gains a bit of traction in the MSM (which is unlikely)- if only because he's got more front than Myers.

Andu 30th Nov 2013 06:20

Clare Prop, I don't think any politician ever gets anywhere near the top unless (s)he has a few skeletons in the closet that can be held over his/her head by the Party/Pardee power brokers to keep him/her in securely reined in and following their bidding.

And that applies to all the major parties.

Worrals in the wilds 30th Nov 2013 10:42

I don't think any person gets anywhere near the top of anything without a few skeletons in the closet. IME the only people without skeletons in the closet are boring, grey people who never acheived much, either good or bad. :zzz:

Everyone else has at least a few embarassing stories that they'd rather weren't splashed across Saturday's page 1. I've got a whole supplement's worth, and I'm not all that successful :}. Anyone who feels their virtue is incontrovertible, feel free to stand up...:\

Of course this is a most serious accusation and should be treated as such. That's for VicPol to assess and deal with accordingly.

However, trial by media/internet is a double edged sword that can arbitarily damage the reputation of politicians from both sides of the house (and other public figures). Now that pub rumours are published online and circulated to millions rather than hundreds of people, there is potential for defamation that was unheard of even twenty years ago. We've seen that happen to footy players. Of course some of them are right for the crap that's thrown at them, but others were just the public figure in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I include the way Shorten got his leadership job as part of that mockery.
Shorten was elected leader as per the party rules brought in by Rudd. I accept that you neither like nor support the ALP (and that's a fair POV), but why do you see the election as a mockery? Honest question, not rhetorical. :)
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Fubaar 30th Nov 2013 10:57

Worrals, my problem with the new Labor leadership elections is that we have an (at least semi) Westminster system of government and Rudd's brain fart (for that's what it was) is more suited to a presidential system.

500N 30th Nov 2013 11:01

And it takes far too long and is just added expense.

That's my HO.

I hope Labor change it back.

Worrals in the wilds 30th Nov 2013 11:11

It only applies to the ALP though, not other parties. The Westminster system still apples to the Parliament as a whole.

Traditionally the ALP leader was purely elected by the Caucus (as is the Coalition leader). Today's Queensland Labor conference moved to broaden that. Further motions indicated strong support (if not a clear majority) for broadening the group that selects Senate and other political candidates.
Queensland Labor gives members, unions say in election of leader - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Passions run high during fiery ALP State Conference - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

In an age where people from both sides seem increasingly dissaffected with politics in general and politicians in particular, I think we have to ask whether the traditional Caucus system is working and provides leaders that actually represent the majority of party supporters, rather than relatively small groups within the political fiefdoms of both major parties.

Given the recent crop of pollies that have been thrown up (literally :yuk:) at both state and federal levels by both major parties, and given the clear disdain shown by the electorate to these people (to the benefit of Clive, the Greens and other loony peripherals), I don't think it does.

And it takes far too long and is just added expense.
To party and affiliated union members. If you are none of the above, then the expense is (respectfully :)) not your concern. The issue of government funded election campaigns is a vexed one, but as it applies to both sides when in opposition (my tax dollars supported the Work Choices campaign :yuk:, and vice versa) I think it evens out.
As for the timing, surely it only helps the conservatives. :E

I16 30th Nov 2013 12:14

I am thinking it must have been a really crap accent.
Ashes: ABC employee announcing at England tour match removed for racially insensitive behaviour towards Monty Panesar - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Clare Prop 30th Nov 2013 17:09

WITW I don't like or support any political party, in my ideal world politicians would represent their electorate instead of following party lines like sheep. But what I thought was undemocratic about the way that Shorten got the job, in the way that that Rudd put the rules in to protect himself from people like Shorten, was that the party members votes were worth a fraction of a caucus vote. It didn't seem very fair and democratic to me and seemed a sham.

RJM 30th Nov 2013 17:11

I'm not the first to observe that the Left media (Fairfax, ABC and now the Australian Guardian) are remarkably loathe to investigate anything to do with the Left.

Compare their treatment of the allegations against Shorten with the frenzy over the 'punched wall' allegations against Abbott. Consider the quiet departures of Arbib and Roxon, both with murky pasts.

Shorten himself is a kind of an inverse Forrest Gump - if there's shit happening, Shorten always seems to be there. Gillard threatening Murdoch with regulation in retaliation for running the AWU slush fund story; Rudd's ascension; Rudd's knifing; Gillard's ascension; Gillard's knifing; Albanese's popularity but Shorten's ascension...

It appears that Shorten's untrustworthiness is exceeded only by his political power, and that springs from the good old NSW Labor Right.

The ex MP Ted Mack recently delivered a Parkes Oration on the topic of what is wrong with our parliamentary system. I'm not sure that his answers are workable, but he puts his finger squarely on a few problems:


'Over the last 30 years politicians’ staff has increased dramatically. At federal level there are now some 1700 personal staff to ministers and members. The states probably account for over 2000 more. Add to this the direct political infiltration of federal-state public services and quangos with hundreds more jobs for the boys and girls, there is now a well-established political class.

This has provided the political parties with a career path for members. In many cases it often produces skilled, partisan, “whatever it takes” warriors with a richly rewarded life through local state and federal governments to a well-funded retirement. Unfortunately while this career path, as Tony Fitzgerald states, does include principled well-motivated people ... it also attracts professional politicians with little or no general life experience and unscrupulous opportunists, unburdened by ethics, who obsessively pursue power, money or both.'


'As things stand politics in Australia is now the province of a political class that now offers a lifetime career path in federal and state parliaments, the public services and quangos. Entrance to this world often involves nepotism and cronyism. There can be few other legitimate jobs with salary packages over $300,000 that can often be obtained with virtually no experience and qualifications and little restrictions on second jobs or holidays.'

I don't think it's much of a stretch to say that the recent ugly events in our parliament seem to have been the result of exactly the competitive pursuit of power by careerists which Mack is so concerned about. There has been precious little clash of ideology involved. Just 'skins' and 'shirts' - near identical gangs pursuing the same goal: power, and its advantages.

The people/the public/the electorate are merely spectators (and 100% funders) of this cynical game.

7x7 30th Nov 2013 20:10

Re RJM's last paragraph: the 'popular' election of the ALP leader was a total farce. The Pardee membership overwhelmingly voted for one man (~66%, wasn't it? Which is 'overwhelming' in Australian politics) - and the parliamentarians, following factional lines to the letter, voted in another, (Shorten), making a mockery of the popular vote and the millions of taxpayers' (not Labor Party) dollars the whole sorry exercise cost.

Fliegenmong 1st Dec 2013 18:13

WITW - my tax dollars supported the Work Choices campaign

:confused: That kindly Mr Howard man told me it was for information! :sad:

So, anyway, when is Jools in Jail? Seemed to be very imminent not so long back?

Andu 1st Dec 2013 20:05

It would be a brave - some would say suicidal - man who'd hold his breath waiting for that to happen, Fleigs. She's re-creating herself as Joan d'Arc, the lone, brave, virginal (!), FEMALE warrior who was betrayed by misogynist m..m...m... (spit!).. men. And, as predicted here, the MSM are falling over themselves to help her create that untrue MYTH.

Kevin Rudd could be rightfully damned for many failings during his time in public life, but by far his biggest betrayal of Australia was his opportunistic, delusional decision to contest the Labor Party leadership again in 2013 and therefore deny the Australian electorate the opportuniDy (sic) to vote Julia Gillard out and into richly deserved political oblivion.

7x7 2nd Dec 2013 09:04

Long, but worth the read.

The Danish population embraced visitors, celebrated the exotic, went out of its way to protect each of its citizens. It was proud of its new brand of socialist liberalism one in development since the conservatives had lost power in 1929 - a system where no worker had to struggle to survive, where one ultimately could count upon the state as in, perhaps, no other western nation at the time.

The rest of Europe saw the Scandinavians as free-thinking, progressive and infinitely generous in their welfare policies. Denmark boasted low crime rates, devotion to the environment, a superior educational system and a history of humanitarianism.

Denmark was also most generous in its immigration policies - it offered the best welcome in Europe to the new immigrant: generous welfare payments from first arrival plus additional perks in transportation, housing and education. It was determined to set a world example for inclusiveness and multiculturalism. How could it have predicted that one day in 2005 a series of political cartoons in a newspaper would spark violence that would leave dozens dead in the streets - all because its commitment to multiculturalism would come back to bite?

By the 1990's the growing urban Muslim population was obvious - and its unwillingness to integrate into Danish society was obvious. Years of immigrants had settled into Muslim-exclusive enclaves. As the Muslim leadership became more vocal about what they considered the decadence of Denmark's liberal way of life, the Danes - once so welcoming - began to feel slighted. Many Danes had begun to see Islam as incompatible with their long-standing values: belief in personal liberty and free speech, equality for women, tolerance for other ethnic groups, and a deep pride in Danish heritage and history.

An article by Daniel Pipes and Lars Hedegaard, in which they forecasted, accurately, that the growing immigrant problem in Denmark would explode. In the article they reported:

'Muslim immigrants constitute 5 percent of the population but consume upwards of 40 percent of the welfare spending.'

'Muslims are only 4 percent of Denmark's 5.4 million people but make up a majority of the country's convicted rapists, an especially combustible issue given that practically all the female victims are non-Muslim. Similar, if lesser, disproportions are found in other crimes.'

'Over time, as Muslim immigrants increase in numbers, they wish less to mix with the indigenous population. A recent survey finds that only 5 percent of young Muslim immigrants would readily marry a Dane.'

'Forced marriages - promising a newborn daughter in Denmark to a male cousin in the home country, then compelling her to marry him, sometimes on pain of death - are one problem.'

'Muslim leaders openly declare their goal of introducing Islamic law once Denmark's Muslim population grows large enough - a not-that-remote prospect. If present trends persist, one sociologist estimates, every third inhabitant of Denmark in 40 years will be Muslim.'

It is easy to understand why a growing number of Danes would feel that Muslim immigrants show little respect for Danish values and laws.

An example is the phenomenon common to other European countries and Canada: some Muslims in Denmark who opted to leave the Muslim faith have been murdered in the name of Islam, while others hide in fear for their lives. Jews are also threatened and harassed openly by Muslim leaders in Denmark, a country where once Christian citizens worked to smuggle out nearly all of their 7,000 Jews by night to Sweden - before the Nazis could invade. I think of my Danish friend Elsa - who, as a teenager, had dreaded crossing the street to the bakery every morning under the eyes of occupying Nazi soldiers - and I wonder what she would say today.

In 2001, Denmark elected the most conservative government in some 70 years - one that had some decidedly non-generous ideas about liberal unfettered immigration. Today, Denmark has the strictest immigration policies in Europe . (Its effort to protect itself has been met with accusations of 'racism' by liberal media across Europe - even as other governments struggle to right the social problems wrought by years of too-lax immigration.)

If you wish to become Danish, you must attend three years of language classes. You must pass a test on Denmark's history, culture, and a Danish language test.

You must live in Denmark for 7 years before applying for citizenship.

You must demonstrate an intent to work, and have a job waiting. If you wish to bring a spouse into Denmark , you must both be over 24 years of age, and you won't find it so easy anymore to move your friends and family to Denmark with you.

You will not be allowed to build a mosque in Copenhagen, although your children have a choice of some 30 Arabic culture and language schools in Denmark , they will be strongly encouraged to assimilate to Danish society in ways that past immigrants weren't.

In 2006, the Danish minister for employment, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, spoke publicly of the burden of Muslim immigrants on the Danish welfare system, and it was horrifying: the government's welfare committee had calculated that if immigration from Third World countries were blocked, 75 percent of the cuts needed to sustain the huge welfare system in coming decades would be unnecessary. In other words, the welfare system, as it existed, was being exploited by immigrants to the point of eventually bankrupting the government. 'We are simply forced to adopt a new policy on immigration.'

'The calculations of the welfare committee are terrifying and show how unsuccessful the integration of immigrants has been up to now,' he said.

A large thorn in the side of Denmark's imams is the Minister of Immigration and Integration, Rikke Hvilshoj. She makes no bones about the new policy toward immigration, 'The number of foreigners coming to the country makes a difference,' Hvilshoj says, 'There is an inverse correlation between how many come here and how well we can receive the foreigners that come.' And on Muslim immigrants needing to demonstrate a willingness to blend in, 'In my view, Denmark should be a country with room for different cultures and religions. Some values, however, are more important than others. We refuse to question democracy, equal rights, and freedom of speech.'

Hvilshoj has paid a price for her show of backbone. Perhaps to test her resolve, the leading radical imam in Denmark, Ahmed Abdel Rahman Abu Laban, demanded that the government pay blood money to the family of a Muslim who was murdered in a suburb of Copenhagen, stating that the family's thirst for revenge could be thwarted for money. When Hvilshoj dismissed his demand, he argued that in Muslim culture the payment of retribution money was common, to which Hvilshoj replied that what is done in a Muslim country is not necessarily what is done in Denmark.

The Muslim reply came soon after: her house was torched while she, her husband and children slept. All managed to escape unharmed, but she and her family were moved to a secret location and she and other ministers were assigned bodyguards for the first time - in a country where such murderous violence was once so scarce.

Her government has slid to the right, and her borders have tightened. Many believe that what happens in the next decade will determine whether Denmark survives as a bastion of good living, humane thinking and social responsibility, or whether it becomes a nation at civil war with supporters of Sharia law.

And meanwhile, Canadians clamor for stricter immigration policies, and demand an end to state welfare programs that allow many immigrants to live on the public dole. As we in Canada look at the enclaves of Muslims amongst us, and see those who enter our shores too easily, dare live on our taxes, yet refuse to embrace our culture, respect our traditions, participate in our legal system, obey our laws, speak our language, appreciate our history. We would do well to look to Denmark, and say a prayer for her future and for our own.

Isn't it a pity our Government doesn't see it this way?

Ethel the Aardvark 2nd Dec 2013 09:50

Meanwhile back in the real world,
His right honorable phoney Abbott has had a large Christopher pyneapple removed,
it's only Monday, roll on the rest of the weeks comedy acts.:O

500N 2nd Dec 2013 09:55

"His right honorable phoney Abbott has had a large
Christopher pyneapple removed,"

WTF are you talking about ?

I'm not into Strine.

Ken Borough 2nd Dec 2013 10:12

I'm not into Strine.
That's obvious 500! The guy has not written Strine - I'd describe it as incomprehensible English. Strine in fact is very clever and not to be mistaken for colloquial English as sometimes used in Australia. :ok:

500N 2nd Dec 2013 10:23

Thanks Ken. Agree, it can be very good.

I thought it might be for something like for a cancer operation
or something ?????????

As you said, incomprehensible !

Fliegenmong 2nd Dec 2013 10:54

Suspect Ethel was referring to this?, maybe..?

Christopher Pyne, the minister of muddles, is really the artful dodger

"What were the most damning indictments that Tony Abbott made of the two Labor governments that preceded him? That they suffered from ''chaos and dysfunction'' and that they broke a core promise - they ''lied''."

So what's different? Same bunch of clowns wearing a different coloured tie!

What is it about Chris Haneef Payne? (Yeah I know, but he really is a Pain) He's a colossal f*%k up at every turn, yet they persist with him? He must really have some dirt on the faceless men in the LN Pardee to still be where he is! :rolleyes::rolleyes:


Ha ha......I do hope they are taking their back flip tuition from Costello, himself a black belt master of political back flips! :D:D

Fliegenmong 2nd Dec 2013 11:00

And this from Morrison :rolleyes:

Mr Morrison said the government was succeeding in stopping the boats, but the situation with rescues and returns was "very frustrating".
"There's no real rhyme or reason to it necessarily," Mr Morrison told 2GB radio on Monday. "On this occasion [Indonesia] declined; on another occasions they accepted.”

Because they see right through you Scotty!! They know what you are doing is for domestic consumption,. and they're toying with you!! I can see why.....:\

Andu 2nd Dec 2013 11:06

I have to admit, when someone from Labor labelled Pyne a 'mincing poodle', it was rather close to the mark. With his manner of speaking, he comes across as prissy, the kind of kid who everyone who could would bully at school. T

The Education portfolio is, I think, a bit of a poisoned chalice, even for the most able Minister, particularly after Abbott's unfortunate (to put it mildly!) promise to match Labor's totally unrealistic (and unfunded) spending promises during his election campaign.

With perception being damn near everything in modern day politics, Pyne hasn't seemed to be handling his portfolio as well as I'm sure he'd like to be perceived to be doing.

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