Well now the mother of all by-elections is all over bar the shouting (and counting, assuming that its not stuffed up again) its good to see the leader of the opposition moving to reform the ALP to better reflect the diminished standing of the union movement in Australian society. The requirement that someone who wants to join the Labor party has to also be a financial member of a union is an anachronism that has surely been putting off a lot of people who might otherwise join the party. Now as much as I dislike the ALP as it is currently constituted and the polices that it pursues I do recognise the need for there to be a viable yin to the LNP’s yang and as the Greens are too loopy to be let anywhere near the levers of government a viable ALP is the best option and for them to be viable they need to be more reflective of the people that they purport to represent. So after Ray has picked himself up after discovering me writing something positive about Electricity Bill Shorten I’m sure that we will be in agreement that making Labor party membership easier and cheaper will be a good for the political landscape of this country.
Off to my brother’s to pick up an engine so I expect to be out for the better part of the day (even missing “The Insiders” and “The Bolt Report” also calling in on brother number two to pick up a set of Honda side draft carburettors which should mean that I will then have all of the ingredients for my Absolutely Retro Minimalist simplification of my sports car. I have lined up a place to weld up my manifold which will be a cut and shut of the Honda and Nissan elements. a Morris distributor with an electronic ignition upgrade will eliminate the computer entirely I have a new low pressure fuel pump to match the carbs and I have even managed to find the much longed for speedo drive gear for my transmission which means that I will no longer have to rely on my Sat Nav for my speed measurement.
Oh yeah I almost forget the count is on in the WA uber By election and guess what, not much has changed !
People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.
Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles. My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly. With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.
Who would have thunk it?
There has been something rather sad and desperate about the way that the luvvies were taking great comfort in the short lived downturn in the polling for the coalition but this poll reversal must come as a very bitter blow to those who have been clinging to the vain hope that the Labor party can come back into contention without the reformation that it so dearly needs if it is ever to be credible enough to return to office.
I also think that their parliamentary tactics are backfiring badly. Simply put they are being obstructionist to the government legislative agenda in a rather shallow attempt to demonstrate that they still have parliamentary teeth. A sensible party would have waved through the repeal of the Carbon and Mining taxes but in an expression of political machismo Electricity Bill Shorten has just succeeded in shooting himself and keeping the very reasons that his party was thrown out front and centre in the minds of the voters.
The utter brilliance of the coalition’s proposed Royal commission into the Unions can not be underestimated every new revelation of thuggery or other nastiness will stain the reputation of the party that is the creature of the union movement and that means that things can only get worse for the ALP under the current leadership and the truly sad thing is that none of the alternatives are likely to do much better. Shorten had a chance to draw a line under the follies of the last government and move on to rebuilding the party’s fortunes but he chose (or was instructed by his union masters) to carry on in the usual Labor style. Frankly If he is still leader by Christmas I will be very surprised indeed.
He is still getting a laugh from the artist formally known as Brother Number One
We are beginning to see the strength of the government’s resolve to end the flow of illegal immigrants coming via Indonesia and I for one can’t help but applaud the effectiveness of the strategy. Naturally the Indonesian government are not happy but frankly they are just going to have to cop it sweet because quite laudably the Abbott Government are not going to be bullied the way that Labor was bullied and just tug our forelocks as we do as they wish.
Australia is under no obligation to accept undocumented economic migrants as these men so clearly are, What amazes me is that these men are all Bangladeshis, who in heavens name are they claiming to be oppressed by? This has to be a case of well done to the Royal Australian Navy, well done to the minister Scott Morrison, and well done to the Abbott government for keeping their promise to turn back the boats when it is safe to do so. Its interesting to read the comments attached to may source piece in the Fairfax press where they seem to me to be running very strongly in support of the government actions. The “open borders” shrills are increasingly pissing into the wind on this issue and the Australian people are quite rightly less than impressed by their blathering anymore.
As for Indonesia well what can they do? Whine and complain? For too long they have tried to shirk the responsibility that they have for the foreign nationals that they allow into their country in transit to illegal entry into our territory and they scream blue murder when we quite rightly jail their nationals for braking our laws. I think that they may well be tightening the visa-less entry for their fellow Muslim Bangladeshis in the near future just as they have for Iranians. What it boils down to is respect, Indonesia has for years failed to respect our right to control our borders and allowed all and sundry to transit their territory to facilitate the people smuggling trade, now they can’t get away with it.
There are times when I wonder about our friends of the Green persuasion because it seems to me that no matter what they miss the big picture in their endless pursuit of protesting about something, anything because no matter what the circumstance or what is going on they constantly miss the point.
Now I’m a life long and unrepentant atheist who thinks that any notion of a supernatural being it just utterly silly, none the less I do think that there is value in some religious rituals even a crotchety old unbeliever like me. I appreciates the sentiments of saying grace before a shared meal. In an uncertain world where so many go hungry what is not to like about being thankful for the food on the table and the fellowship with those who share the good fortune of sustenance? Like wise if you look beyond the content of the Lord’s prayer itself to the greater meaning of the affirmation at the beginning of each sitting of parliament, its to remind members and senators that they are servants of the people and that they should be humble and sincere in their deliberations. Frankly that strikes me as something that the political elite can so easily lose sight of as they play the game of politics. If a prayer to a non existent deity helps them retain their humility and desire to serve the people is that such a bad thing?
You have to hand it to Kevin Rudd, when it comes to ‘rat fucking” his party he is a true champion not only did he lie about serving the electorate of Griffith for the full term but he would not even give its current leader the courtesy of a forewarning of his intention to resign:
While I would expect a certain level of magnanimity from the current prime minister about the man that he so decisively defeated in September I frankly would have respected Electricity Bill just a bit more had he just stood up and said that the party will be better off now that it is fully free from the spectre of Rudd’s pernicious influence. No we did not get such candor from Electricity Bill instead we got the usual empty platitudes even though he was clearly NOT feeling the love at all. Sorry folks but to may mind that is precisely why Electricity Bill will never be PM of this country.
So as Rudd retires on his 155k per year along with a car and security detail we poor long suffering voters will have to take comfort from the fact that thanks to the efforts of our Kevin it may well be longer than a decade before we again see a Labor PM in the Lodge, the sensible among us may well think that I am being too generous the the ALP in this prediction but I prefer to err on the side of caution…