Thursday, December 13, 2007

Australian Shame: Aboriginal Artists Centre Closes

One of the inspiring things about Broome has been Djugun Tribal Creations.

Djugun Tribal Creations is a not for profit organisation providing support and training to Broome’s emerging Artists. Tucked away in the light Industrial area of Clementson Street, we feature work from 21 artists including award winning artists Sue Poelina and Miguel Castillion.

Consisting of 3 onsite studios and a well presented Gallery, Djugun offers the experience of free daily tours. Visitors have the opportunity to meet artists and enjoy a cultural exchange while viewing the artists in action producing not only canvas painting, ceramics, sculptures and carved feature tiles as well.

In 2006 Djugun Tribal Artists in residence received high acclaim, NAIDOC Kimberley Artist of the Year, NAIDOC Kimberley Artist (most commended), and finalists in the MEMENTO Awards (National). These high profile emerging Artists are now finding their work in high demand. Unique one off designs depicting traditional and contemporary Aboriginal Art and local non-indigenous artworks are finding homes all over the state and worldwide.
about-australia.com

Never take anything for granted. The business was closing its doors today and emptying out all its equipment and stock. While we were busy defeating the Howard government, Djugun was defeated by the CDEP changes and other government bureaucracy. It has been a model for other aboriginal enterprises and its group of more than 20 artists have won numerous awards.


Photo: Broome potters get fired up (ABC Kimberley 16 april 2005)

We were shocked and stunned by the news. Sue Poelina, an award winning artist shown in the photo, predicted today that they would rise again, hopefully without the need or help of governments that have let them down.

Best of luck! The rest of us should hang our heads in shame.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Getup! Confab


Bill McHarg : Planet First

The last kind of person I expected to meet at the Getup! Refresh Conference last weekend in Sydney was a corporate high flier. With the frenetic activity of the last week of campaigning I missed the work of Bill McHarg and his Kookaburra family. His full page ads were in the Sydney press and he slipped under the Broome radar. So it was a great pleasure to meet him and hear his story. Won’t bore you with it all here but his surprise attack on John Howard and Bennelong was clearly sensational. Watch the video and read Green businessman bids to oust Howard (The Age 15 November 2007)

His video Bill McHarg : Planet First was posted on YouTube on 15 November. The Kookaburra van toured the CBD and Bennelong for rest of the campaign. The assault on Howard cost about $200,000. Bill resigned from his business and positions on a number of organisations to focus on his Climate Change passion. His family were his campaign team.

His next target is the US policy makers. They don’t know what they’re in for.

Political Satire:

1. John Howard's Ladies Auxillary Fan Club

Two of the ladies auxillary presented a live sketch of their campaign best at the Getties awards. There was also a workshop presentation by Zelda explaining their tactics and lessons for this kind of satire. Go to their Youtube Channel: joholafaclub for a run around the tan with the PM and a day at the Melbourne Cup, plus other brilliant videos.

2. Cyrius01

Winner of the best satirical video was Cyrius01 aka Stefan Sojka. He was my favourite on Youtube in recent months. If you missed his stuff, visit his Channel.

3. Dan Ilic

Dan made a presentation of some of his videos. He made some for the Getup campaign, others through Fairfax Media and many solos. He describes himself as a writer/performer/director/broadcaster. He's at Channel DanIlic.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

"The Poll That Counts" DVD

I have produced a DVD of "The Poll That Counts" series. If you are interested in a copy, please email me and I will send the details.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Kalgoorlie Update

Tomorrow I'm off to Sydney for the Getup! Refresh conference to share some grassroots politicking. So a couple of "local" updates.

The Poll:

Latest Two Party Preferred count in Kalgoorlie electorate: Barry Haase (Lib) 52.22% Sharon Thiel (ALP) 47.78. That's a swing of 4.08% to Labor. So much for the mythology about the popularity of Work Choices, AWAs and the economic boom in WA. Haase was re-elected on Kal's vote where he had the home ground advantage. The Greens vote is down slightly.

Ningaloo Reef Listing:

It didn't take long for the Pastoralists and Graziers Association to lobby the new Labor government. They are arguing for minimal boundaries for the proposed World Heritage listing of Ningaloo Reef.

Labor urged to reject Ningaloo Reef heritage listing boundaries (ABC News 30 November 2007)

Something for Peter Garrett to get his teeth into. Not to mention grassroots campaigners.

I reported this issue during the campaign but it didn't get any traction.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Bill Heffernan's Payback

The Poll That Counts: Bill Heffernan's Payback

Inside the Tallyroom, Senator Bill Heffernan sparred with The Chaser. As a close friend of John Howard and a Liberal Party assassin, he watched the Prime Minister's concession speech with despair.

It was payback time for his attacks on High Court Justice Michael Kirby and Labor Deputy Julia Gillard.

Politics doesn't have to be fought Heffernan's venomous way. I hope he will leave us in peace now.

"The Poll That Counts" series of Election Day 2007 and the National Tallyroom is now complete. If you are blocked from Youtube try TeacherTube

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Howard's Last Innings: A Golden Pair

Howard's Last Innings: Tallyroom Spectators


John Howard made his concession speech on Saturday night at 10.40 pm, Canberra time. Like his cricketing idol, Don Bradman, Howard made a duck in his last innings. In fact by losing his seat, it's probably a golden pair.

Bennelong 0, Coalition 0.

In the national Tallyroom, he was watched by both friend and foe with a sense of disbelief. Bill Heffernan, his loyal assassin who spent the night sparring with the Chaser. Joe Hockey hoping it was all just another stunt. ACTU President Sharon Burrow, vindicated at last. Penny Wong who was a formidable opponent during the campaign.

The media looked on, in silence for once. Members of the Press Gallery. Shock-jocks like Steve Price, confidante of rock stars. But also the alternative media. Koori and Tamil media broadcasters who were seated beside me. The National Indigenous Times who worked in front of us. Getup and Nick Parkin and Matt Clayfield from Election Tracker who blogged live through the evening.

And of course the public gallery who had clapped and cheered spontaneously from the beginning. Most listened quietly for the most part to the PM. But in an indication of what went wrong for him this year, many of the crowd stopped listening before he finished.

The closing credits of the video show a 1982 Canberra Times front page dating from the Fraser government. The caption reads: "John Howard - set to replace Lynch?" It hangs in the foyer of Rydges Lakeside Hotel in Canberra. Howard entered parliament in 1974 and became Treasurer in 1977. He was the last remaining member of the Liberal Party Room of 1975, which blocked supply forcing the Whitlam government's dismissal. All gone, but not forgotten!

A cliché called closure.

If you are blocked from Youtube try TeacherTube.

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Election Night: Tallyroom Tension

The Poll That Counts No.3: Tallyroom Tension


Inside the National Tallyroom in Canberra on Saturday night, the tension rose as the Australian Labor Party took the lead. People had travelled long distances and waited for hours to get into the public area. They knew why they had come. As one woman quipped, "I want my country back!". It was not just a partisan crowd. But they had come to celebrate.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

The Tallyroom: Howard Made History

The Poll That Counts No.2: Howard Made History


Inside the Canberra Tallyroom the excitement builds in the 2007 Australian Federal election. Maxine McKew, the ALP candidate, establishes a comfortable lead over John Howard, outgoing Prime Minister and Member for Bennelong.

We wait for Senator Penny Wong, ALP campaign spokesperson, to smile. What a poker face! It finally happens at 9.30 pm when Maxine appears on the TV coverage. National Barnaby Joyce, and Liberals Bill Heffernan and Joe Hockey clearly have dud hands all night. Humpty Dumpty Hockey gets hotter and hotter. Looks like he might explode as he he struggles in his own seat. Heffernan spars with the Chaser but more of that in the following episodes. Finally Howard appears, to make his concession speech, and the crowd hushes.

Footnote: Later Kerry O'Brien and Antony Green both complained about the crowd noise. Some of it was caused by the Chaser. Most was spontaneous outpourings of delight as the figures for Bennelong came on the screens or images of Maxine or Julia Gillard appeared. Unfortunately Julia was seated with her back to the public area so we missed her live facial expressions.

Think I was the only one watching the old tallyboards.

More to come: People in the tallyroom watch Howard's speech. Hefferan payback.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Poll That Counts No.1: Around the booths


I represented YouDecide2007 as a citizen journalist at the Tallyroom on Saturday night. An amazing experience! During Howard's concession speech I videoed the people on the floor of the media centre watching him: Bill Hefferan, Steve Price, Penny Wong, Sharon Burrows and many more.

Still editing. First episode "The Poll That Counts No.1: Around the booths" is on Youtube.

All episodes will be posted to Youdedcide2007, and TeacherTube as well to get around the censors. Watch this space!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Good for democracy, tragic for cricket!

Back in Broome. Incredible experience at the Tallyroom. Thanks youdecide2007 for a great opportunity and to Jason Wilson in particular.

One hour of video from Saturday needs to be edited. Then you can watch Bill Hefferan (and many others including Steve Price) watching Howard's concession speech. Plus lots more.

So put a feed on here and/or youdecide2007 and get the videos hot off the Mac as they are completed.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.


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Friday, November 23, 2007

The counts that counts!

I'm off to the Canberra Tally Room tomorrow night to cover the election for Youdecide2007. It is a prize awarded for the best contribution to their website throughout the campaign. I am stoked. Look for the "old man" with the dinky-toy camera.

This one's for the people of Maningrida. And for Heather who'll be holding the fort in Broome.

Please feel free to comment. I'll be back!

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lindsaygate: "we are not crooks just stupid"

Jackie Kelly is certainly loyal. She is defending her husband and mates as just joking with their leaflet. Fake flyer meant as a joke: Lib MP (ABC News, 22 November 2007)

The Liberal Lindsaygate team have been nominated by LaborView for the Dead Parrots Society Hall of Fame today. It has always amused me that one of the links on Jackie Kelly’s website is to church service times in her electorate. Just Christian ones, no synagogues, no mosques or buddhist temples. Long live mono-culturalism which some of us know by another name.

Richard Nixon famously claimed in 1973, "I am not a crook."

Jackie Kelly seems to saying of her husband Gary Clark, "He's just stupid." She just told the Today Show: "He hates the unions with a passion." "It was cooked up by a bunch of bored drunks".

You're right Jackie, life is funnier than fiction.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Vaile's search for a scapegoat

Update: Mark Vaile has been nominated for the Dead Parrots Society Hall of Fame.

Mark Vaile has been the weakest link in the Coalition team this year. Doesn't seem to have recovered from the AWB scandal. This is despite giving up the Trade portfolio so that he could nurse the Nationals at home. Babysitting Barnaby Joyce seems to have been a full time job as we have seen this week with Joyce's support of Labor's proposed IR changes. Too busy to keep any sort of profile as Deputy Prime Minister. I bet a poll of electors would find they think Costello holds that job.

Anyway, he's worked out what the problem is, why they're losing the campaign:

Federal Nationals leader Mark Vaile says he would have liked the business community to have done more to support the Coalition's industrial relations laws during the election campaign. Business didn't back WorkChoices enough: Vaile (ABC News, 21 November 2007)

I'm sure Howard would have liked Mark Vaile to have done more all round. More of the blame game next week if the polls are to be believed.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"The Australian" Editorial 23/11/07

"The Australian" Editorial
Friday 23 November 2007

It's (not just marking) time!

A decisive win on Saturday is essential for the health of Australian politics. The Australian Labor Party may need 52% to gain a majority. The Coalition parties could scrape home with less than 50%, perhaps even less than 49%. Our democracy would be severely damaged by such a result.

The disillusionment amongst younger voters would be profound. Their interest in politics has revived recently with the desire for positive change and the belief that it can be achieved. It is not just changing the government but reinvigorating our whole approach to politics. Climate change and broadband are more than policy issues for the decision-makers of the coming decades. They are iconic. Symbols of new ways of shaping the future.

Many of those who are turning against the Howard government believe that his team are politically and morally bankrupt. Some of the more glaring examples include: Iraq, the AWB bribes scandal, the shoddy treatment of Australian citizens such as Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez Solon, the political manipulation of the Hicks, Habib and Haneef cases, the orgy of taxpayer-funded propaganda, blatant pork barrelling, the expedient about-faces on global warming and reconciliation, and the cynical introduction of Work Choices. The vilification of refugees and the abuse of basic human rights have reached new lows. The first ever joint John Howard/Peter Costello interview smacked of the kind of hypocrisy that young people reject.

The government’s strength has been the economy but Kevin Rudd has presented a convincing case that Labor will be effective economic managers. The debate has become more complex than three years ago. It's not just interest rates or a booming mining sector. Uncontrolled growth, poor productivity and skills shortages have brought financial stress to both the business community and individuals. Mortgage stress and housing affordability are not just catch phrases. Growing personal debt and unfettered balance of trade deficits present challenges that neither side has yet to face. The exchange rate cannot be sustained at such high levels without major ramifications for whole sectors of the economy, especially exporters.

The Liberal party seem to have run out of steam. They are increasingly out of touch and tainted by political expediency and self-preservation. The treasurer has had ample opportunity to present his vision and plans for Australia’s future. He has failed this challenge. He has been a very poor alternative leader of the opposition.

Leadership is about creative ideas and renewal. It is not just marking time. We urge the Australian voters to elect a Rudd Labor government with a clear mandate for the revitalisation that we urgently need.

(Rupert Murdoch's election editorials are always so predictable. I thought I'd write my own. If you have your own or would like to make additions, please use comments below.)


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Monday, November 19, 2007

John Howard: "the world will not end tomorrow"

Great news! Our Prime Minister continues to sit on his hands.

CLIMATE CHANGE is a serious challenge, but the world will not end tomorrow because of it, says John Howard. It's so reassuring. Hope he's read the IPCC report. Perhaps it will make good retirement reading next week.

A sample from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

Table SPM.2. Examples of some projected regional impacts

Australia and New Zealand

• By 2020, significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur in some ecologically rich sites including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics;

• By 2030, water security problems are projected to intensify in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions;

• By 2030, production from agriculture and forestry is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire. However, in New Zealand, initial benefits are projected in some other regions.;

• By 2050, ongoing coastal development and population growth in some areas of Australia and New Zealand are projected to exacerbate risks from sea level rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding.

Summary for Policymakers of the Synthesis Report of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
(16 November 2007)

Please visit the IPCC website for the full details. This is not time for blinkered sceptics like our PM!
Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.


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Sunday, November 18, 2007

One Nation: Two Peoples

Just when it seemed that it had become a presidential campaign in Kalgoorlie, with few personal insights from the two main contenders, One Nation have reminded voters what they stand for. According to the Kal Miner, a regional newspaper owned by the West Australian:

Race relations emerged as an election issue in Kalgoorlie yesterday.
One Nation candidate Derek Major said police failed to target indigenous people in Kalgoorlie-Boulder for fear of being branded racist.

But his claims have been refuted by local indigenous leaders and other candidates.
Racial claims refuted (Kalgoorlie Miner, 17th November 2007)
Barry Haase, current Liberal member, disagreed with One Nation, blaming a lack of police resources. ALP candidate Sharon Thiel pointed to the high incarceration rate of indigenous people in prisons in refuting Major’s claims.
That’s the closest we’ve come to some hard election news lately if you don’t count this bit of info-tisement on the same day:

Centrelink manager Glen Jones was presented with a national award for exemplary service yesterday.

Presenting the award Kalgoorlie MHR Barry Haase said Mr Jones had done a “hell of a good job” with a “hell of a lot of staff”.
Mr Jones acts as a point of contact for Mr Haase for nearly all the Centrelink offices from Broome to Esperance.
Award for Centrelink head (Kalgoorlie Miner, 17th November 2007)
How's that for cutting edge journalism during the last weeks of the campaign!

Meanwhile back in Broome, an inquest is being held into aboriginal deaths at which it was revealed there is a waiting list for public housing of 863. Kimberley housing wait list nearly 900 (The West Australian, 15th November 2007)

The overwhelming majority of those on the list are aboriginal people. I have not seen any comments by the candidates so far.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

John Howard's Dead Parrots Society



While Howard and his cronies wait for something to turn up and they continue their mantra of empty smears, all Labor supporters should carpe diem.

Seize the day, enjoy it to the full. Might as well savour the next week. A week's a long cliche in politics!

If you've missed any of the LaborView videos, spend some time visiting the Broome Voices series opposite for some serious reflections by local people.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Entry Poll: First Votes for Labor


Bardi Dancers at Stonehenge 2006


The Bardi Dancers from Western Australia's Ardyaloon (One Arm Point) community, who performed at Stonehenge last year, were among the first Australians to vote in the Federal election. Mobile polling booths visited there and Lombardina/Djarindjin communities on Tuesday.

My entry poll taken while handing out ALP how-to-vote cards at each place, confirmed overwhelming support for Labor. The One Arm Point polling took place in the open air in high 30's temperatures. Hopefully an omen for more open government in the near future. We have to keep trying!

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

The Poll that counts




While the leaders "launch" their campaigns LaborView will be at the one that counts: remote mobile polling booths. Enjoy the bribes!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Touch Series - Kalgoorlie Campaign Artwork Auction

Touch Series, the True Nature of Woman


Carol Martin is the first Indigenous woman to be elected to Parliament in Australia – currently serving as the Member for the Kimberley in Legislative Assembly of Western Australia. Many of her artworks reflect this other passion in her life, providing commentary on the world of politics from a deep Indigenous spiritual perspective.

Martin had her first exhibition in Broome in 2004, and since then has received
growing acclaim for her multidimensional work.

Carol Martin describes the work:
We are not always what we seem and when the time comes for us to take our place, or protect those what we love, we become something else. What looks safe and comforting, can be harsh, tough and unforgiving. The life of a Woman is complex, from Birth to Death, the journey is one of discovery, strength and fulfilment. The Colours of the Journey are deceptive, pink and white, comforting, yet, not what it seems.
Her works have previously sold for thousands of dollars, so with a reserve of just $500, this could be a bargain addition to someone's collection.

Support the election of a Rudd Labor government.
Bids on ebay till 17 November.

Her "Broome Voices" election interview can be accessed under LABORVIEW Videos Menu, on the right hand side of this blog.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Howard: Go for Broke


Falling interest rates show the government are good economic managers.
Rising interest rates show the government are good economic managers.

Mortgages have gone up more than 25% since the last election.

Do you still believe the Liberal Lies!

Post this image to any doubters!

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Malcolm down with EI?


Thanks to Crikey's blogwatch the Australian Elections blog has alerted us to someone who might be held responsible for the quarantine fiasco known as Equine Influenza. Randwick Racecourse is next to Malcolm Turnbull's Wentworth electorate. Moore Park and nearby areas are supposed to have a high number of racing industry workers. The blog claimed the traditional Liberal vote of 55% around this area has evaporated.

If only it were true! A quick check of the 2004 election results showed that the polling places nearest to Randwick such as Clovelly, Randwick North and Paddington South favoured the ALP with 55% Two Party Preferred. The racecourse itself is in Peter Garrett's Kingford Smith seat. Anyway, Turnbull could still catch flu if there is any significant swing amongst racing industry connections.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

NT Invasion: Unfinished Business



If you missed Tracking the Intervention on Four Corners last night, make sure that you catch tonight’s replay at 11.35 tonight, use the VCR or see it online by clicking the image above. Matthew Carney visited Maningrida and Finke communities for the report. If you still think that the Northern
Territory intervention is about child abuse or empowering aboriginal people, you will be challenged by the evidence.

Whoever wins the election, there is unfinished business to redress what is going on.

The health checks have almost nothing to do with abuse and are duplicating resources such as the Health Clinic in Maningrida. Opportunities and money are being squandered in shameful ways.

The death of CDEP is forcing people off meaningful employment and back on to welfare and destroying programs that offer hope. Outside managers with unprecedented powers but questionable experience are taking over communities. Listen for the embarrassed pause when the new saviour in Maningrida is asked what experience he has in indigenous communities. Four months after the invasion and he can’t answer the simplest questions. Maningrida does not need more outsiders like Counicl CEO’s who think their communities are zoos.

An enormous amount needs to be done with (not to) communities to address the challenges they face. This is not the way to do it.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Equine flu: not responsible... again!


With the possible exception of the West Australian newspaper which wanted a scalp early in the piece, the media took to their stalls over the outbreak of equine influenza. Perhaps it is not too late to hold someone accountable, albeit in the context of an election campaign.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald Minister fobbed off flu alert (SMH 3 November 2007)

BARELY two years before equine influenza paralysed the horse industry and hobbled this year's Melbourne Cup, the Federal Government gave a written assurance that quarantine protocols were so stringent an outbreak of the disease "could not occur".

Warren Truss was the "responsible" minister then. Ian Callinan's inconveniently timed inquiry resumes this week. Current minister Peter McGauran will no doubt cry, "nobody told us anything". Like Howard and Downer they were too busy not listening about the AWB bribes to Saddam Hussein.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

John Howard still responsible...



My campaign video "John Howard: not, not... responsible" has been getting a few visits (close to 1800 on Youtube at last count, an unknown amount on Facebook and even some on Teachertube for those who get blocked by the censor) so I thought it was worth a re-run. Send it to any swinging voters you know - every vote counts! Target is 15,000 by election day.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Kalgoorlie Closer?

Halfway through the campaign, it is disappointing to hear so little of substance from our local Liberal member for Kalgoorlie, Barry Haase. His recent glossy mail-out contained a 7 point so-called plan, barren of any new ideas or concrete action.

We had a retread of his Taxation Zone Rebate proposal that doesn’t yet even have the status of a non-core government promise. It may pop up when they get desperate.

He gave uncritical support for the Maret Islands as the site for the LNG plant, before the company have even finished local consultations.

He has made an open commitment to hosting a nuclear waste dump in the electorate and has remained silent about nuclear reactors in WA. He even claimed John Howard was too busy to share his nuclear power plans. Just as busy as he was before the last election, too busy to tell the voters about his Work Choices plans if he snatched control of the Senate.

Being our representative in Canberra is not just a case of follow the leader. Nor is it enough to see the role of parliamentarian as a mixture of public relations and tourism promotion. The Kalgoorlie electorate and Australia need real leaders, not one who are just marking time.

P.S. A 4 page spread has just appeared in the local Broome Advertiser masquerading as a “Community Newsletter”. Barry claims credit for a number of initiatives but the total funds hardly exceed his taxpayer financed printing and postage expenses which are excessive by any standards. His propaganda usually feeds from the trough of public funding.

P.P.S. The Newspoll summary for the last fortnight shows a 10.2% swing to the ALP in Non-Capital cities in WA whatever that means. A good chunk of Kalgoorlie may fit into that category. The Statewide swing of 4.4% leaves Labor's candidate Sharon Thiel with just 1.9% to make up. If you believe the polls.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.


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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Xenophobia alive and well...

Immigration, refugees and multiculturalism are issues that no-one in the centre left parties likes to talk about during election campaigns. The spectre, not to mention the reality, of Pauline Hanson is ever present not just on All Soul's Day.

Xenophobia seems to be well and truly alive in Australia if you go by some of the comments in response to my article Australia’s multicultural society works! in ONLINE Opinion. It has always disturbed me that the easiest thing to teach our children is hate.

If you missed last night's SBS Insight program catch the repeat on Friday afternoon. It looks at the African immigration issue from the perspective of local Noble Park people.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.


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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Picking Winners #3: 1998 Reflections

1998 saw a national swing of 4.61% to the ALP, giving it 50.98% of the two-party-preferred vote. It only won 67 of the 148 seats or 45.27%. A depressing reflection for Labor voters. With a uniform swing in every electorate, the ALP would have won 17 of the 18 seats which it did capture, plus 11 more.


This graph of seats which changed hands includes Hume which switched from National to Liberal, Curtin and Moore won by the Libs from independents and Kalgoorlie won by the Libs from the former ALP member and then independent. These swings are not towards the ALP.



Most of the large swings against the government were in safe ALP or Coalition seats. A lot of "wasted" votes. With only 0.93% more in 8 marginals Kim Beazley would have saved us 9 years of Mr. Sneaky.

Kevin Rudd will be hoping that this pattern does not repeat itself in 2007 or that the national swing is enough to overcome this.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Picking Winners #2: Seats changing hands


There was quite a spread in 2004 as the national, seat by seat, swings show. An earlier post shows the top 20 of these.



In 2004, 70 seats had a swing less than the 1.79% average towards the government and 79 had a swing greater than the average. Yet so few seats changed hands. Those that did were all over the place. All the Coalition wins were with swings greater than the average except one. Reasons varied. Four weeks before the campaign the impact on Tasmanian seats of forest policy could not have been anticipated quite the way it panned out.

If the swing had only been the average 1.79% in the seats picked up by the government, 6 of the 8 would still have been changed hands. Had the swing been uniform then the ALP would have won 59 seats compared with the 60 they did win.

The spread seemed to even out in the end across the nation. But if you're trying to pick a particular seat to have a punt, good luck!

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Kyoto: Howard hoist on his own...

Howard's rejection of Kyoto has always been symbolic not practical. A tough no nonsense approach, inline with his mate Geroge W.

It worked for a while but the tide has turned and now the government has dropped its standard or being hoisted on its own petard. Malcolm Turnbull cannot enjoy being the standard bearer. (Love mixing metaphors. It's fitting that petard comes from the word for "fart"). Something to do with wind power?

Rudd is certainly on a winner with Al Gore rather than the neo-cons.


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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Picking Winners #1: Top 20 Swings 2004



Picking winners which won't follow the uniform swings used in the plethora of pendulums and meters is a hard job for psephologists. This table shows the 10 seats from the last election with highest swing away from the Howard government and the 10 with the highest swing to them.

The difference between Gilmore (-4.55%) and Canning (9.16%) is a huge 13.71%. If you take into account the 1.79% national swing to the coalition, the swing in Gilmore was 6.34%, to the ALP and 7.37% to the Liberals in Canning. Interestingly, neither seat changed hands. It may all even out in the wash, but it makes the punters' job harder than ever when it comes to picking winners in individual seats. Form is not always a good indicator.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.


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Friday, October 26, 2007

AWAs: Not all plane sailing

We haven’t heard much about Work Choices during the campaign except generalities. However, some things just won’t go away. I reported in August in AWAs up in the air that National Jet pilots in WA were threatening strikes over AWAs. They are the ones who carry the fly-in fly-out miners.

Well it has popped its head up again. They want a collective agreement and may stop work for two days before the election. Pilots’ strike may cripple NW mining (The West Australian, 26 October 2007)

The West Australian also features these two sporting headlines today:

Howard gives $5m for WA cricket (How tragic!)
Howard wishes Cousins well in drug fight (They both need it if they are to play next year. Obviously not part of his tough on drugs talk!)

Won’t bother opening them. Got to draw the line somewhere.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Charles Perkins Oration 2007



Thanks to Will Owen who provided the following link to Marion Scrymgour's speech "Whose national emergency? Caboolture and Kirribili? or Milikapati and Mutijulu?": Labor minister lashes party over intervention (SMH 24 October 2007).

PDF files of the full speech are available in this article.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Two Strong Voices

We have had the very special experience of having two indigenous women as our local members of parliament. Carol Martin, whose video interview for Broome Voices is featured below, was the first aboriginal women elected to any parliament in Australia. She is the State Member for Kimberley in Western Australia.



Marion Scrymgour, who is a Minister in the Northern Territory government, was our local member during the four years we lived in Maningrida. Yesterday she took on Mal Brough and his invasion of NT aboriginal communities. It was time that someone of Marion's authority spoke up so strongly:

Aboriginal Territorians are being herded back to primitivism of assimilation and the days of native welfare. It has been a deliberate, savage attack on the sanctity of Aboriginal family life.
Brough wants NT Minister to resign over intervention criticism (ABC News 24 October 2007)

Download the audio podcast from the ABC news site.

If anyone knows of a complete copy of her speech, please let me know.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Killerspudly strikes again!



Search for a Scapegoat 4 - African edition

For my views see Australia's multicultural society works below and posts in the indigenous topic opposite.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Cape Leveque Sunset



While the spin doctors were arguing on Saturday about whether to have the worm, we were enjoying a classic Kimberley sunset at Cape Leveque. No television, no web, just paradise.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

First bite: worm slays snake

"New skin, same snake, same venom" as an elder described Howard's recent conversion on reconciliation. The collective worm got him just right in the debate tonight. They didn't like his team, they remembered his lies, and they knew that his relationship with George W had not helped the wars on terrorism and global warming.

As a retired chalkie, I was saddened by Howard's last gasp in the debate which he spent on education reform: back to basics, trade schools and history curriculum. The reality has been 11 years without real funding for literacy and numeracy, no strategy for skills shortages and empty rhetoric on national curriculum. He had so little to say it was embarrassing.

PS. Good to hear that he has our military in Iraq negotiating a major policy change for use of our troops. Hardly an appropriate action for a caretaker PM.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

John Howard: not, not... responsible!



Midnight Oil, if I've unintentionally messed with your copyright to "Forgotten Years", please excuse me as it is in a noble cause!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Workers and homebuyers beware!

At his Press Conference with Costello yesterday, John Howard explained why Work Choices will keep interest rates low and contain inflationary pressure:

...one reason why we’re not concerned is that we have an industrial relations system that in fact contains wage pressure.
Coalition announces new tax package (The Australian, Press conference transcript, 15 October 2007)
That can only mean that under Work Choices wages will be lower than under the Rudd alternative. Yet he has been telling us for months that it is delivering real wage increases. He can’t have it both ways.

I’ve been doing a little Maths about interest rates using the 6.5% figure rather than Howard’s slip of 6.25%.

Firstly, before the last 5 rises of 0.25% the rate was 5.25%. That means we have had an increase of nearly 24% in mortgage payments since the last election claim that the government will keep rates at record lows.

Secondly, an increase of 0.25% on a loan of $400,000 is $1,000 per year. The 1.25% increase represents $5,000 per year. Oooops…there go our tax cuts.

No apologies if the figures are wrong. Howard didn't but then he never apologises.

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Australia’s multicultural society works!

Multicultural Australia is another thing John Howard and his cronies just don’t get. We had Howard’s views on our different cultures when he defended Kevin Andrew’s disgraceful justification for the recent changes to refugee intakes. In addition when he explained his ideas on reconciliation, the Prime Minister spoke of integration but seemed to mean assimilation to a unified monoculture. It is a throwback to his white picket fence days of the 80's.

The following reflections are based on my experiences during the 80’s and 90’s teaching in Melbourne secondary schools with high non-English speaking background and English as a Second Language student populations: Preston East, Oakleigh, Westall and Noble Park. Westall’s curriculum offered a choice of nine languages other than English including Greek, Italian, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Khmer, Vietnamese and Arabic. It still offers seven.

A common factor was refugees who had attended English Language Centres such as the one in Noble Park. We had it all: Catholics from Vietnam and East Timor; Muslims from Lebanon, Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan; Cook Islanders; all the groups from the former Yugoslavian republic. Just to mention a few.

It wasn’t utopia. There were gangs and violence, sometimes ethnically based but not always. There was rivalry between groups and lots of problems associated with adjusting to a new country. But these young people embraced Australia without having to lose their roots, language and culture. We were all richer for it.

Some personal stories:

A 21 year old Afghan Year 12 student had come to Australia via Italy and Sweden. he liked Australians most because we were less racist. When applying for Special entry to Monash Science he told me about a mental block sometimes during Physics classes. During a Science class in Afghanistan he watched as his teacher’s brains were blown across the classrooms windows by militia troops. He didn’t need special consideration as he gained entry into Monash without it.

With a great touch of irony the Year 8’s chose to see the film ‘Rambo’ as part of a Human rights Commission funded excursion. We were bonding with students from Dimboola as a cross cultural exchange. On the bus afterwards the Vietnamese students were laughing about the actors who had very heavy American accents when they spoke Vietnamese.

During a class talk a Year 7 student with a history of violent behaviour at school told how his school in Bosnia had lost all its teachers during the war. Untrained elderly people replaced them and anarchy reigned both inside and outside the school.

One of my Year 10 East Timorese students used to tell me that Xanana would save them. I humoured him because at the time it seemed as likely as Nelson Mandela being released had during the 70's and 80's. Our students’ problems were more immediate as the East Timorese were labelled as unwelcome by both Labor and Liberal governments and told to go to Portugal. The school received no funding for them and I was told that refugee advocate groups feared that they would be further victimised if their situation were publicised. They won both fights against the odds. Very un-Australian of them.

A Soccer team coached by a Croatian was made up mostly of students of Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian backgrounds. Their families were refugees from a war where they were bitter enemies and genocide had surfaced as “ethnic cleansing”. The team went on to win the Victorian State Schools competition that year. For a while the teenage machismo was replaced by genuine humility, as the boys didn’t need to boast or role play.

Kevin Andrews says that violence and gangs are not part of our culture. If only it were true! Some of our students once stoned the opposition team’s bus after losing because it contained the umpires. Some of our players went on to play with a well-known AFL club. As teenagers we would hide any St.Kilda football club colours as we left Victoria Park after games against Collingwood. If we lost the locals attacked us. If they lost they would fight amongst themselves as well as attacking opposition supporters. The good old days!

During the mid 60's the most dangerous places on Saturday nights were the stations on the Dandenong line. The gangs in those days were definitely Anglo-Saxon. In 1996 there was a gang fight on Noble Park station. Some of our students were expelled as a consequence of their participation. One of the ringleaders was a Sikh. A good thing Andrews wasn’t Immigration Minister then.

Finally, I was surprised that the other part of the refugee intake changes has gone virtually without comment. Apparently the increase in Middle East refugees, especially Iraqis, will be predominantly of Christian background. It seems that race and religion have re-emerged as factors in our refugee policies. Many refugees such as the Sudanese Africans won’t find a queue to join. Their only hope, if the Howard government is returned to office, is to join the Burmese refugees on Nauru as asylum seekers.


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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Environmentally friendly

Whales near Coral Bay

(Photo: Heather Milton)

LaborView is back. We have just returned from a couple of weeks visiting the North West Cape, known internationally for the Ningaloo Reef and during the Cold War for the controversial U.S. communications base at Exmouth. It’s still spying on our neighbours but Australia is supposed to be in charge.

Ningaloo Reef has been in the news lately and has brought the third comment on environmental issues in as many weeks from the local Liberal MHR Barry Haase. The first was in opposition to a call by Broome wildlife identity Malcolm Douglas to reject a gas plant on the Maret Islands off the far north Kimberley coast. Wildlife stalwart under fire over gas plant comments (ABC 28 September 2007)

The second involved a controversy over why the Federal government has yet to nominate the Ningaloo Reef for world heritage listing. MP rejects claims of Commonwealth inaction on Ningaloo listing (ABC 5 October 2007)

The third was a response to ALP candidate Sharon Thiel’s opposition to nuclear waste dumps or reactors in WA. He’s against waste facilities.

Graeme Campbell, the former member for Kalgoorlie, stirred the pot by reminding voters:
When I was the Federal member, on two occasions I said I was in favour on the long-term storage of nuclear waste and my vote went up.
Federal uranium stoush (Kalgoorlie Miner 11 October 2007)
It will be interesting to see if he is a candidate this time. Perhaps he’ll join Pauline Hanson again. I’m sure he could get some mileage out of Sudanese refugees.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Howard's end?

We are heading south to the North West Cape (a political flash-point once upon a time) for 10 days or so. While we wait for the election, please watch the laborview videos opposite and surf the archives.

It's time again

The original post of 3 July still seems apt:

This blog is about Australian politics and the desperate need for a change of government in the national election later this year. Its bias and its intentions are clear. If you are living in Australia and have not been angered by the opportunist and bullying tactics of John Howard's government in its recent response to problems facing indigenous communities, this forum is probably not for you.

With a strong economy the Liberal/National coalition politicians can't understand why they are behind in the opinion polls. I'm not interested in telling them. However, it is vital that all of us who want a change remind ourselves why they are on the nose with the electors at the moment. and that we voice our views loudly and not just leave it up to the professional politicians and commentators.

The smell of complacency has been strong in recent months. Kevin Rudd seems a victim of his own popularity. If we are going to jettison Howard's cynical crew we must face the uphill battle for Labor this year. So back to basics! Why do we want to see Howard's defeat?

  • The Iraq War! Why doesn't he get it? When he visited Vietnam recently Howard said he hadn't changed his views on the Vietnam war. Not one journalist asked him which part he thought they got right. The same question needs to be asked about Iraq. Is it just cold-blooded stubbornness? Do our troops have to stay there indefinitely because Bush, Blair and Howard made such a mess of the country that they can't organise a retreat or a settlement.
  • Basic rights of Australians have become a joke and our government's treatment of refugees is beneath contempt.
  • Work Choices: more work with less choice.
  • Warming to global climate change: from denial to nuclear power in one easy sleight of hand. Nuclear is not a synonym for alternative or renewable. Like its policies for indigenous communities it is too little, too late.
  • Lies, damned lies and statistics: Howard did not say he would keep interest rates at record lows. He let the ads do it for him and cunningly chose his words so he could worm out of it later. The polls suggest that the worm might have met the skeptical edge of public scrutiny. It is also time we had a real debate about what is happening in the economy.
We have had 11 years of mediocre, backward-looking government. Those of us from old Labor who believed that governments can make a difference to people's lives, think it's time again.


Please click on COMMENTS below to leave a message or read others' opinions.

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

End of Empire

If you don’t watch the Insiders on Sunday mornings you missed a classic this week. John Howard’s strongest media supporter, Andrew Bolt described the current situation for the PM as having an “end of empire” feel to it. This followed an interview with independent MHRs Bob Katter and Tony Windsor who dumped on the coalition mercilessly. Both see Work Choices as a key blunder by the government. Katter believes that mining workers will desert them in droves and Windsor believes that it is a sleeper (where has he been lately). If this is half true then Sharon Thiel has a much better chance of retiring Barry Haase in Kalgoorlie than the 6.3 % margin would indicate.

Asked whom they would support if it was a hung parliament and they held the balance of power, Katter put promoting ethanol as his highest priority, while Windsor nominated opposition to nuclear power amongst his electorate as very important. A new green alliance between the independents!

At times it seems that the Deputy Prime Minister has taken advice after the AWB Iraq scandal to lie low too literally. The invisible man, Mark Vaile, should have stayed missing in action this morning:

Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile has denied that a delay in calling the federal election makes it look like John Howard is afraid to face the voters.
Howard not afraid of electorate: Vaile (ABC, 30 September 2007)
Apparently, football takes precedence. Only the Melbourne Cup is likely to present any equine sporting reason for further delays thanks to fellow National Peter McGauran’s quarantine vigilance. AWB and the flu outbreak show that no care and no responsibility are the order of the day in the coalition.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Campaign casualties

It's hard to find a metaphor that isn't a sports cliche to describe Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard on the Today Show this morning. After months of them eyeing each another (they both can kill with a glance or charm when they choose to) and low key good humour, the gloves were off. Both didn't want to be seen politicising the problems in New South Wales public hospital casualty departments and said they wouldn't. That would be bad politics. It didn't last long.

In a sharp exchange Julia blamed it on the inability of Federal and State governments to work together. Tony blamed State governments. It was Abbott at his best (or worst depending on your bias). He accused Gillard of lying several times and told her to stop her verbal diarrhoea. If this is the phoney war, the Friday morning exchanges between these two will be blood sport.

Meanwhile it looks like it might be No.12 of the 12 possible reasons why John Howard hasn’t called the election yet. The Australian seems to think that the PM is bogged down in Bennelong, while Rudd tours the nation.
For more:Homework for Howard as rival ranges free(28 September 2007)

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Howard: Call an election NOW!



This video speaks for itself. Please see the previous post if you wish to add reasons why he won't call the election now. Thanks to Shirley Bassey! The full performance is on YouTube.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Why are we waiting? Why are we waiting?



Prime Ministerial Spin

12 possible reasons why John Howard hasn’t called the election yet:

1. He’s waiting for better poll results.

2. There will be more budget surplus to squander on election promises.

3. He’s hoping something will turn up.

4. His dirty tricks aren’t ready yet.

5. He has lost his ticker.

6. Cunning judgment.

7. He hasn’t been to his soothsayer yet.

8. The taxpayer funded advertising is still going.

9. The entrails aren’t right.

10. He’s toying with Costello.

11. He regards the voters with utter contempt.

12. He’s too busy electioneering in Bennelong.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Escape from Work Choices

I couldn’t make this one up:

A PRO-WorkChoices television advertisement featuring "union thugs" was pulled off air last night after The Sunday Age revealed that two actors featured in the advertisement were notorious criminals. (23 September 2007)
I hope they are union members. Their AWAs won’t protect them from unfair dismissal over this one. They will probably be charged with consorting given the company they’ve were keeping making this ad - the employers.

Talking of TV ads, last night SBS backed up a government, i.e. taxpayer funded, Work Choices one with an employer effort. Is the PM trying to win by a media version of the water torture – one drip at a time. There is now no escape when The Bill is on the ABC. Hope someone will get a core promise from Howard (or should it be Costello) not to have advertising on the ABC.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

E-lection 2007

Broome Voices No.3

The last in the pre-election video interviews for the youdecide2007 Kalgoorlie electorate. Eddie, who lives and works in Broome, shares his ideas about Work Choices, the Iraq war, the Northern Territory aboriginal communities intervention and water resources.

To view the other interviews, please click the LaborView Videos links on the right.

First-home-buyer baby-bonus

Things are hotting up at youdecide2007 with housing affordability the latest issue. In an interview the member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay, blamed young people for being "financially illiterate' and getting behind with their mortgages by becoming pregnant.

Obviously he's not courting the young female vote. I'm expecting a 'First-home-buyer baby-bonus' election promise to cover this gaff. The story was picked up by the SMH: Labor attacks Liberal housing comments (19 September 2007)

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

American Liberalism #2



GoLeft TV sounds very radical but seems to fit comfortably into the American liberal tradition. This online service has regular news reports and a range of videos channels such as documentaries, the labour movement, consumerism and the environment. Like the Huffington Post, it is worth a visit to see what our American friends think about their President and issues which often get superficial coverage, at best, in our mass media.

Also posted at:




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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Howard Swings



Latest news! Another Howard comeback. In a poll of Federal Cabinet ministers the Prime Minister's approval rating has leapt to 45%. Malcolm Turnbull received one vote for preferred PM.

At a local level it is interesting that the Democrats don't seem to have a candidate for Kalgoorlie yet. Also don't know if former member Graeme Campbell intends standing again. He could be an independent, Australia First (try his website for a scary trip) or join Pauline Hanson. If anyone knows or finds out please leave a comment.

If people are looking for an Aussie female, battler from the bush, to vote for then our ALP candidate Sharon Thiel stands out. To find out more about Kalgoorlie and other marginals visit youdecide2007 by clicking the image on the right.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Turbulence


While we are waiting for the orgy of taxpayer funded advertising to end so that Howard can call the election, this is John Cumbers' latest badge. He is definitely the winner of the comp.

Iraq

Whenever someone writes a memoir in the States these days they dump on George Bush. Alan Greenspan is no exception. He joins Brendan Nelson in admitting that oil was a reason for the Iraq invasion. To quote from Greenspan's book, The Age of Turbulence:

I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.
For more visit the New York Times analysis.

Polls

Latest Newspoll gets us back to reality. The ALP will not get more than 53% in the final two party preferred count and it has always been a close thing. The election will still be won one seat, one candidate at a time. Back to the fight!

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Broome Voices No.2

The extraordinary response by George Bush to the Petraeus report has committed John Howard and presumably his successor, if they win the election, to an indefinite military presence in Iraq. Not a popular position as Jeni Martin indicates in Broome Voices No.2: Jeni Martin



Hope journalists will ask the leadership aspirants, especially Peter Costello, what their positions are concerning an ongoing occupation. Remember Howard's "months, not years". That was only four and a half years ago.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Broome Voices No.1



As promised the first video interview for youdecide2007 Kalgoorlie electorate coverage is now on YouTube: Broome Voices No.1: Neil Gower

For more detail see: A Good News Story

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Couldn't lie straight in bed!

John Howard, being honest with the Australian people:

But I would expect well into my term, and after those things have been implemented and battered down, I would probably, certainly form the view well into my term, that it makes sense for me to retire, and in those circumstances, I would expect, although it would be a matter for the Party to determine if Peter would take over.
(ABC 7.30 Report 12 September 2007)

He has "important" things to accomplish. One of those is beating Menzies record as PM. That would mean another election win after this one. He thinks he's sneaky enough to engineer that. Something will turn up or be manufactured. Only has to destabilise Kevin Rudd and most of his own loyal front bench.

As usual the mass media weren't listening closely or fell for his so-called honesty.

After the last week's low farce, more voters will now have an exit strategy for Howard. I suppose if you were a Costello supporter you'd be hoping for a narrow coalition victory with Howard losing Bennelong. Might be worth a bet - should be good odds of the double. Probably the only way Peter will ever be Prime Minister.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Good News Story


I have spent this week interviewing people in Broome for the YouDecide2007 project. The first was Neil Gower, CEO of Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation. It is an organisation with more than $14 million in assets, providing housing, water and power supplies for community and outstation developments, gardening and landscaping, business facilitation services and bookkeeping and a tourism enterprise. It also coordinates the Night Patrol in Broome.

Its innovative approach includes the provision of solar power systems to aboriginal communities. It is involved in the development of cutting edge, web-based software that will allow organisations to manage and access their administrative data online. It is a good news story at a time when aboriginal people are being marginalised by our politicians yet again. (Outback tracking, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 July 2007)

The video is still a work in progress so watch this space.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

With friends like these

Just watching ABC coverage of the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's address to today's joint sitting of the Federal parliament. Two comments which must have caused John Howard more discomfort:

Firstly he joked about the Canadian Senate where Senators, who are not elected, do not have to retire until 75 but have passed their use by date.

But he drew a laugh when he complained that Canadian senators could remain in their positions until they were 75, with Mr Howard's age being subject to scrutiny since he turned 68 two months ago.

Secondly, he warned that governments have become "complacent" about their economies. His comments are a two-edged sword:
"I believe that one of the great dangers facing both of our countries is complacency about our economy - complacency because many of our citizens have long forgotten or have never experienced economic recession.

"But we cannot take this prosperity for granted."
(Canadian PM warns Aussies on the economy, The Age 11 September 2007)

Sound familiar?!

Without any sense of irony Peter Costello quoted Harper in question time. It isn't the government who are complacent. It 's the voters if they elect Rudd.

Post updated at 6:22 pm Broome time.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

What goes around...

It's so refreshing to read headlines about leadership speculation and know it's not the ALP. The blame game has started early.

It's not just Howard. What about the rest of the front bench? We have:

* harping Alexander Downer with his bitter attacks on Kevin Rudd,
* cringing Tony Abbott who seems intimidated by Julia Gillard,
* missing Philip Ruddock who seems all at sea for a change,
* blunt/blunted Nelson who is hoping for a surge of his own,
* awkward Kevin Andrews who is lying low and letting employers do all the talking
* joker Joe Hockey who thinks he's on 'Thank god you're here' whenever he sees a microphone.

I suppose they makes Peter Costello's smirk look good.

3 predictions:

* Howard will cling to power as long as he can.
* Mark Vaile doesn't have the guts to raise Howard's performance at Cabinet or anywhere else. In fact his is even more dismal.
* Costello will never be PM.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

E-lectioneering


Kevin07's team are certainly ahead of the coalition in the online stakes. If the ALP and Rudd sites are too partisan then try Howard Facts. It is authorised by the ALP National Secretary Tim Gartrell but has few references to the party and has very different branding. One interesting link can be found on the 'Enrol to Vote' page. You will find a website for ALP voters overseas ALP Voters Abroad.

Can't find an equivalent overseas site for the Libs. Perhaps that is in line with their strategy to discourage enrolments. If you know anyone overseas who needs to update their enrolment they can do it online. Just get them to click on the photo above for details.

A new site funded by the Australian Research Council is YouDecide2007. The project partners are SBS, On Line Opinion, the Brisbane Institute and QUT's Creative Industries Faculty. It is using "citizen journalists" to stimulate coverage and debate in marginal electorates. If you're in the Kalgoorlie electorate you can contact me for input, register yourself or use the comment sections on the website.

Labor View is intended as a place for labor supporters to share ideas and opinions. When you visit please leave a COMMENT below.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

How did education get on the agenda?


When education and business get together, inevitably we find IT taking centre stage. Also upfront was President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, who took a different tack at APEC today. She argued that one of the world's biggest challenges is adapting education to the new technologically-savvy generation:

"The educational system that we want must motivate and teach generations of students who, before entering university, have already played 10,000 hours of video games, received and sent 20,000 emails, talked 10,000 hours through mobile phones, and many more..."

For the Emma Alberici's full story see: APEC business summit lessens 'political feel'

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