Saturday, July 31, 2010

Julia Gillard Comes Out Swinging

Julia Gillard at her best in this video news:

Julia Gillard slams Downer over security ABC News 31 July 2010

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Abbott Our Biggest Threat to National Security

Don't mention the wars! The critical question is not who attended National Security Committee meetings over the last decade. It is the nature of the decisions taken there.

Invading Iraq and scaling back our commitment in Afghanistan top the list of disastrous blunders. At a time when we should have been helping to rebuild the country and secure the peace, our focus was on settling a score with Saddam Hussein and the ilusory weapons of mass destruction.

As a Senior minister in the Howard government, Tony Abbott should not be allowed to hide from these appalling mistakes. Nor should the rest of the Coalition team.

As indicated in an earlier post Iraq a Mistake: Ex Australian Defence Forces Chief , former Defence Forces Chief Chris Barrie’s confession that the Iraq war was a mistake in that it had distracted us from fighting the real threat in Afghanistan.

We have a leak obsessed media without any real analysis of policies and issues. Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop have not demonstrated any interest or understanding of the real challenges facing Australia in our foreign relations. If elected in 3 weeks time, the Liberal National Parties Coalition will be one of those challenges.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Iron Ladies Quiz Tony Abbott's Budgie

Thanks to Larvatus Prodeo for alerting us to this election video, Tony Abbott Iron Ladies + Budgie 1:

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Iraq a Mistake: Ex Australian Defence Forces Chief

Was I dreaming last night? I watched the launch of ABC News 24. The beat-up by Chris Uhlmann was predictable. A scoop! Rudd weak on national security! Pity it lacked detail, relied on anonymous sources and the confidentiality of the National Security Committee. The highlight was former Defence Forces Chief Chris Barrie’s confession that the Iraq war was a mistake in that it had distracted us from fighting the real threat in Afghanistan. That should have been headlines today. We were told in the report that John Howard never missed a meeting and that the Deputy PM chaired in his absence.

I can’t find the transcript or video of the rest of Uhlmann’s interview anywhere on the web. If it had been said by a senior British military head, it would lead all today’s bulletins: Failure of Afghan War Liberal Mistake! Howard Dropped Ball on Afghanistan!

If anyone locates it, please let me know.

There is a reckless silence in the mainstream media about the Afghanistan war. I wonder if it will get a mention on the Leaders' debate.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Will the Real Alternative Deputy PM Please Stand Up?

Strange things happen to everyone’s memory at election time. Yesterday I couldn't remember the name of the alternative Deputy Prime Minister, the deputy leader of the opposition Coalition. That’s the one who presumably will have a formal debate with Wayne Swan during the campaign.

It isn't Julie Bishop who is the deputy Liberal leader. She is a serial deputy, having been second-in-charge for Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Brendan Nelson. I’ll avoid the wedding cliché as we’ve had enough sexist political jokes lately.

It isn't the Nationals' Senate leader and failed Finance spokesperson, Barnaby Joyce. Before going on his electioneering 'wombat trail', he treated Fran Kelly to some of the more asinine stand-up-comedy in ages. His metaphors included: a present under Christmas tree; lost teeth at the dentist; boxing every horse in the Melbourne Cup; and the impossibility of getting Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston back together. Guess which one applied to Abbott's confused back-pedalling on Work Choices. Watch out Angelina!

It isn't the other Seinfeld clone, the tubiquitious Christopher Pyne. This overexposed comic seems to use every thesaurus word for scandalous, often in the same sentence. He's giving hyperbole a bad name. His mastery of the catchcry far outweighs his take on the facts. Chris should stick to doing his Alexander Downer impersonations.

Despite his constant nasty forays into local politics, Alexander isn't the deputy either. He did resign from parliament so he's just part of the posse. His paid job is to bring reconciliation to the divided people of Cyprus. Good luck to them! At least Pyne has managed to avoid a "things that batter' moment that helped to destroy Downer's leadership.

It isn't Joe Hockey but he's joined the comedians as well. Humpty should have stuck to his old mantra about not being able to unscramble eggs. Unfortunately for him, it didn't work in 2007. Perhaps he should use it on the Work Choices policy. It's a pity that he gave us such as tasteless attempt at wit with the sexist slur on Wayne Swan and Paris Hilton yesterday. I'm sure neither of them will be offended but I know many voters who were. Paris gave us that memorable satirical moment of the 2008 campaign with her Paris for President video. Joe for court jester?

It took me ten hours to recall the pretender's name even though I knew his job title. Just who is the leader of the National party? And where is he hiding? A wombat hole perhaps.

Click for the answer.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bob Brown Able to Work Well with Tony Abbott

Couldn't believe my ears:

The leader of Australia's minority Greens party, Bob Brown, says he is confident he will be able to work well with Tony Abbott if the opposition Coalition wins the election.
Population a key question for campaigning Australian politicians

I wonder which things they'll work well together on: climate change, gay marriage, refugees, cuts to programs, the mining tax, education, forests?

It's a bit like the Greens preference swap with the ALP. It means whatever you want it to. Please, Bob, stop playing opportunist politics and chasing votes. Look what that kind of opportunism did to the Democrats.

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Joe Hockey's Paris Hilton Sexist Slur

Could Joe Hockey, self appointed small 'l' liberal, possibly have read much less written his disgusting sexist slur against Paris Hilton? It doesn't bare repeating.

Send Joe a message: not nearly good enough, Joe!

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Peter Costello a Two-Bob Snob

Was this man really a contender?

Peter Costello's sneering attack on Julia Gillard's Australian accent yesterday was disgraceful.

Must be what passes for humour at the old boys' club.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tony Abbott: Nope!

Thanks to Nigel Featherstone for the graphic. I comes from his post Game on: Julia vs the Mad Monk that I enjoyed immensely.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Julia v Tony #1

Just been watching Julia's announcement of the election date.

Today's thought:

Gillard - down to earth
Abbott - dumbed down

I'm off to the MCG for the other important contest.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

The Ass Has Bolted

Without comment!

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Laurie Oakes: Please Confirm or Deny

We were returning to the Herald Sun in my taxi. John Gorton’s 1970 half-Senate election campaign launch at Springvale Civic Centre had just finished with a group of anti-war demonstrators being freed from the paddywagons. They had been arrested during the PM’s speech when some Young Liberals attacked them after they had displayed cardboard coffins.

My passenger, a very young Laurie Oakes told me that he had threatened to make the police frontpage news on the Sun newspaper if they didn’t release the protesters. Anyway that’s not the real story. Any journalist can find themselves part of the story even if it’s supposed to be against the code of ethics.

What really stunned me was his next revelation. At the 1969 Federal election Gough Whitlam had soundly outgunned Gorton who just scraped home on DLP preferences. The Prime Minister had seemed tired and jaded. Rumours about his drinking and female philandering had become common. Laurie explained why he thought this was the case.

His inside information was that Gorton had believed that he had a terminal illness and dropped his bundle. The diagnosis had been wrong and he was back on track. As history shows, his political revival didn’t last long. He did mange to live to ninety and was always a colourful character.

I emailed Laurie Oakes a couple of years ago, asking him to confirm or deny this story. I also indicated that I might publish this tale one day if I didn’t hear otherwise. Now I don’t know what a citizen journalist’s code of ethics might allow but I was just a cabdriver in those days.

Perhaps Laurie was just trying to impress his driver with a couple of tall stories. Perhaps one or both is true.

Laurie, please confirm or deny the Gorton revelation.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Abbott's Opposition Under Great, Big Cloud

Our local member, Andrew Robb, excelled himself yesterday. It must be difficult competing with Christopher Pyne and Joe Hockey for the crudest catchphrase or meaningless mantra. Joe has taken to adding "and stop the boats" to the end of his pronouncements no matter what the context. Andrew had the country under a "great big cloud" yesterday on Radio National's Breakfast program. It's times like these when it's a pity to have given up sarcasm.

It is the opposition that is under a cloud, especially when it comes to economic policy. Anyway, you have to love the ockerisms that flow no-stop. It's fair-dinkum, dodgy authenticity.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Australian Election: Enrol to Vote Online

Better hurry if you want to enrol to vote or change your address for the upcoming Australian Federal Election 2010. It can be completed by downloading the form online and emailing a scan to the AEC.

Links here.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gillard's East Timor Solution for Asylum Seekers

After all the dog whistle doom and gloom around Julia Gillard and asylum seeker policy, the last thing you would have expected today was the Refugee Council of Australia praising her on the midday news.

"Refugee Council of Australia president John Gibson says Prime Minister Julia Gillard's plan to process asylum seekers in East Timor is a positive policy change."
Video interview here.

The announcement of a proposed regional processing centre in Timor-Leste left a lot of people flat-footed:

JULIA Gillard has held talks with East Timor's leader to establish a regional processing centre for asylum-seekers on Australia's doorstep.

The Prime Minister revealed today she has also spoken to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and the UNHCR about a regional centre.

Ms Gillard said she would not oversee a return to the Pacific Solution and warned there was no quick fix to the problem of deterring asylum-seekers.
Gillard in talks with E Timor leader to establish processing centre for asylum-seekers

It took the longest headline in memory to catch up with the latest. Strange there were no leaks or scoops.

Not everyone has been as please as the Refugee Council. Bernard Keane at Crikey called it "unedifying". Not the harshest of criticism from a master of invective.

So it appears to be 2-0 Gillard v. Abbott. That would be a winning lead in any of this year's World Cup matches. She said 'game on' and meant.

Steady on! The election hasn't even been called, despite Joe Hockey's wrong call.

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