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Labor’s Light Brigade and the coffin makers union

If there is one certainty in this country  it is the simple fact that The Fairfax press will always give any Labor  government the benefit of the doubt for  far longer than it will do for any Coalition administration. Its just what we expect from them because most of their journos are sympathetic to leftist thinking  and ideology. Thus when you have a lead story suggesting that Gillard resign from the Prime Minister position then things must be really crook with the government:

click for source

click for source

Some how though I doubt that Gillard will go with any dignity, that she is capable of making the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of the party. She is just arrogant enough to think that her losing face by resigning would be less preferable than leading the party into the blazing guns of a well disciplined opposition who are not in the mood for showing any mercy to a government as bad and incompetent as her administration.

One can only think that Gillard is imagining  this poem,

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


and imagining that she will be redeemed in a  political afterlife  as one of the glorious dead who went down fighting. We are not however any longer in the age of Alfred, Lord Tennyson where we glory in the noble but stupid and pointless sacrifice. We are in an age of pragmatic politics where we expect that the sacrifice for the greater good should be as bloodless as possible. Of course I agree with Fairfax press insofar s they are suggesting that Gillard has used up all of her electoral good will frankly it no longer matters how she tries to present her self, no matter what sort contortions she tries  hers is a lost cause  and she can only drag the entire party  down further with each extra day she stays in the lodge.

 Ray must be just as despairing as all of the all the other  ALP tragics  at this point in time because even Kevin “I’m here to help” Rudd  will lack the power to  retain office at the election. You see I used to think that Rudd “could save the furniture” but now I’m not so sure,  because the party brand has been so tainted by the Gillard crew that even many of their “true believers” will either vote for Abbott or, as I think more likely, just abstain by making an informal vote on September.

Of course the coffin makers union are delighted at the prospects of such a large surge in business  from the  Labor light brigade  but they are , like so many unions, being short sighted and self focused because for the sake of our democracy we do actually need  two parties who are both relatively competent in government and who will deliver to the people good governance and sound administration and the real tragedy of the Gillard government is that they have demonstrated that the ALP are not only unfit to govern but also that they are also not going to be capable of providing a respectable or credible  opposition for a a very long time  either.

Cheers Comrades

Gillard (seated) and her most trusted advisors

Gillard (seated) and her most trusted advisers


  1. deknarf says:

    Fairfax giving Labor the benefit of the doubt at this time? Surely you’re not serious? The MSM is currently more negative than Phoney Tony and the NO Coalition.
    The Fourth estate is DEAD in this country! Totally manipulated by sectional right wing interests!

  2. Iain Hall says:

    I was not talking about Fairfax giving Labor the benefit of the doubt “at this time” I was speaking about the more general case. they are not doing so at present because it would destroy what little credibility that they do have left to put a case for anything that Gillard does, especially if it is the empty gesture policies that she has been trotting out of late.

  3. Is the Fairfax article meant to be humorous or is the writer just a complete moron? It seems if the article has a veneer of humour then it’s acceptable to write a political opinion piece like it’s a puff piece from Dolly magazine. How can you get away with sentences like this one in a broadsheet? “I love you Julia Gillard, in a platonic ”gee you’re brave, wish I were as smart as you, you’ve done some great things, had a red hot go, our daughters will thank you, we’ll miss you, no one blames you for not being perfect, we’re all flawed and those flaws can take us a long way,” sort of way.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Hi Plato

    I think that its meant to be humorous to some extent but its a very “embarrassed” sort of piece as far as I can tell. If anything I think its a way of saying “your hair is nice, but your outfit is woeful, to sugar-coat a very unpleasant truth.

  5. noncarborundum says:

    Yes Iain, there is no doubt Gillard will exit stage left with dignity. She hasn’t shown a great deal of it until now! As the polls get worse so increases the pressure on the weaker links in labor caucus which will no doubt make most interesting entertainment over the next six months!

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Firstly welcome to The Sandpit 🙂

    The problem for the Labor caucus is that they are damned no matter what they do. They face an ignoble fate if they stay solid with Gillard and the “Rudd alternative” is not likely to give them much more comfort on September 15. Its a terrible dilemma and all that I can see is that party HQ will be making a bulk purchase of Prozac for its MPs and the party faithful.

  7. Cheers Iain
    Agree the Rudd alternative will not get them over the line. If he’s serious about saving Labor he’s better to wait until the downfall and then emerge as a saviour opposition leader, unscathed by union corruption, to wrest control from the faceless and reinvent the party. In a sense Labor in Australia parallels the GOP in US, both in need of a big recharge!

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Yes noncarborundum I’m thinking that is the most likely scenario, although the “All in bet” is still a possibility because Rudd may calculate that anything better than total annihilation would be an endorsement of his “new vision” for the party.

  9. Bad press in this case equals Bad Government.
    Simply when you stuff things up even jounos cannot lie.
    They are telling it as they see it – and ite all bad , very bad!

  10. Craigy says:

    Now that it seems clear the Tony will be the next PM (so long as he can keep his foot out of his mouth) and he plans to remove the ALP’s price on carbon and replace it with one twice as expensive…


    Can any of the wingnuts here tell me how much the LNP’s direct action plan will reduce the temperature by??

    Go on….you support this plan, you must know?

  11. Iain Hall says:

    As I have said several times my endorsement of the alternative “climate change ” policy produced by the opposition is both reluctant and qualified.

    Reluctant because I really think that there is no need to have any policy to “address” the non-problem and that the coalition’s policy will be just as ineffective as the government scheme in affecting the temperature.

    Qualified because I think that the opposition scheme may well provide some other environmental benefits like reforestation or improvements in our agricultural soils. So on that basis I think that it is the lesser of the two evils.

    So in all I don’t have to answer your question because I don’t meet your underlying assumptions 😉

  12. Craigy says:

    So you’re happy to have Tony’s direct action plan that won’t change the temperature and will cost us twice the price of the current carbon price.

    And you are happy to vote for that. Good, but it will cost a lot.

    So we might get some other benefits. Can you explain those please Iain and tell me, is it going to give us value for money?

    You must know if your going to support it surely…..

    How much per hectare of soil or per tree will it cost under Abbott compared to the current government?

  13. Iain Hall says:


    As I keep saying I would prefer NO climate change policy at all. In fact my vote for the coalition is not in anyway predicated on or determined by this policy.

  14. Craigy

    “Can any of the wingnuts here tell me how much the LNP’s direct action plan will reduce the temperature by??”

    The temperature hasn’t gone up for seventeen years and there is no consensus that CO2 might drive temperature rise.

    What’s a wingnut craigy?

  15. Climate change policies worldwide have all fallen in a heap. The EU carbon price is tanking, The Chicago Climate Exchange collapsed last year and hundreds of companies worldwide promoting so called renewables are bankrupt, in receivership or approaching the abyss.

    Who would want one?

  16. Craigy says:

    Sorry for the slow reply….

    So the ALP are a mess for having a workable carbon price scheme Iain, but you will vote for Tony and his unfunded promises and carbon scheme that will cost us much more than the current one….that makes sense….

    noncarborundum, I gather you are voting for Tony Abbott to be the next PM and for his expensive carbon reduction scheme?…..So is Tony and the LNP mob he leads just a bunch of Green loonies for believing in AGW?..

    By the way, Andrew Bolt talking points are usually wrong, as he is with his claim that it isn’t warming. I suggest you do some reading outside of News Ltd rags in future.


  17. Iain Hall says:


    you may not like it but the stark reality is that the whole issue of climate change just does not resonate with the electorate any more and its entirely the fault of the proponents of the theory, fundamentally they have over done the “scare tactics” and then delivered their scheme with condescension on the basis of a broken promise from Gillard. The others who stand guilty on the matter are The Greens and Kevin Rudd, the former because they failed to support the latter when he tried to create his own emission trading scheme, and the latter for lacking the faith in his own rhetoric (the greatest moral challenge of our age!) by refusing to put the matter to the people at as DD election for which he had a trigger.
    After that all but the devotees to the Green religion began to call bullshit on the whole “mitigation” enterprise.
    Now most people just do this: 🙄 when ever the issue is mentioned.

    Face it the issue is over

  18. Craigy says:

    The issue is over but Tony Abbott and the LNP are still going to introduce a scheme that will cost us more than the current one…and you’re going to vote for that scheme…..How do you think they will pay for that Iain? Increase taxes?….Cut funding to schools and hospitals?…..Your side is going to spend heaps on what you think is a non problem….And you still think we should vote for Tony?

  19. Iain Hall says:

    No one, me included, finds any political platform ticks every box that is important to us and the coalition are no different. But on balance I think that they tick all of the important ones, good governance and a steady hand on the tiller come at the top of my list, and of course I would be disappointed to see cuts to health or education and I don’t think that either is likely. Cuts to the climate change edifice are much more likely and they will not be missed except for those with their heads in the AGW trough.

  20. GD says:

    Craigy said:

    The issue is over but Tony Abbott and the LNP are still going to introduce a scheme that will cost us more than the current one

    Craigy, my guess is that the Libs will quietly sideline this whole non-issue closer to the election. By that time, as Iain suggests, the global warming scam will be revealed for what it is. A scam and a cash grab by vested interests.

    The IPCC’s Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the railroad engineer who for some reason chairs the IPCC’s climate “science” panel, has been compelled to admit there has been no global warming for 17 years.

    As for your ‘USA’ example of higher temperatures, please isn’t that cherry-picking of the highest order? Take a look at the rest of the world, much of it is freezing. There is no proof that mankind is responsible for these natural changes, there is no proof that mankind is causing, or indeed capable of causing, global climate change. It is a furphy.

    The planet has always had ice ages, extremely warm periods and other tumultuous events such as volcanic eruptions.

    The misguided belief that government taxes will abate such change is childish in the extreme.

  21. Craigy says:

    good governance and a steady hand on the tiller come at the top of my list

    So workchoices 2 and major cuts to all public services to fund Tony’s climate scheme, parental leave scheme and to give tax breaks to the rich is good governance and a steady hand is it Iain….I remember you posting that it is MUCH harder to defend your side once in power, well that isn’t far away and all we have from Tony is a bunch of promises to do expensive stuff and no way to fund it except cuts, which even Joe is happy to admit is the only plan they have.

    GD, it has warmed in the last 17 years, that it a lie direct from Bolt and the misinformation machine at News ltd… The trend is clear and a few years of up and down prove nothing, as you have pointed out. Why don’t you try posting some evidence like this….


    According to your side, Gillard is a failure because she lied about a carbon tax after not winning the last election outright and needing to do a deal with the Greens…..So if Tony, who is still talking up his expensive ‘direct action plan’ (just last week he was on the radio talking about how good it will be, so was Joe..) doesn’t deliver on his promise after a landslide victory, are we going to hear you scream ‘liar liar pants on fire’?? ….I won’t hold my breath….meanwhile in the real world, all the major governments are moving to reduce CO2 output, while wingnuts live in some parallel universe where it is all just not happening and all this scary future stuff is going to magically disappear before September…LOL… 🙂

    Tony Abbott and the LNP will be terrible for this great country….

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    You know, I fully understand why people want to vote the ALP (under Gillard) out of office. They’re no good …. although according to the latest polls of Sydney seats, they might hold on if Rudd is reappointed …. but then again, what’s the alternative? Under coalition govts we see:

    1. Under the ‘Menzies era’ 1949 to 1972 – absolute conservatism, no investment, no education advancements, a crap health system, low wages, a big underpaid working class, a highly restricted banking system and no real hope given to ordinary working people. Sheer drudgery.

    2. Under Fraser 1975 to 1983 – a return to the nothingness of the Menzies era, stagflation, no investment, higher taxes, high unemployment (a real underclass developed) and ending in a massive recession bought on by none other than the ‘mighty mouse’ Treasurer of the time, John Howard. One of the worst periods in our history.

    3. Under Howard 1996 to 2007 – a booming economy set up for Howard by Keating that Howard and Costello decided to ‘cash in’ on by adding yet another unnecessary tax (GST), no infrastructure spending, sale of assets like Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank, and our gold reserves resulting in a massive surplus. But no money spent on infrastructure, education or health. Great for some, a disaster for the lower end.

    This is what you’ll get (and more, because Abbott is worse than the 3 aforementioned Liberal PMs) if you put them back in. Labor might be OTT when it comes to spending programs but at least they invest on behalf of the great majority, whereas your lot only look after the top end.

  23. Craigy says:

    Hear Hear Ray….I won’t vote for the ALP under Rudd or Gillard or any of the ‘conservative progressives’….They do have some talent though and they need to get back to the grass roots, working mans party that they once were….

  24. Craigy says:

    oh and working women as well…oops!

  25. Brian says:

    Menzies had statesmanship, Fraser had principles and Howard had brains. What has Tony Abbott got, apart from Catholicism and Speedos?

    You lot are fond of claiming that Gillard is the worst prime minister we’ve ever had. I suspect that if Abbott is voted into power, you won’t have to wait long for a challenger to that ‘honour’. The man is an effective politician, much like Gillard used to be, but he is not in the slightest bit prime-ministerial.

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    Abbott is still Labor’s best hope.

  27. Iain Hall says:

    A year ago such a suggestion might have had some legs Ray but now? Well I think that Labor have no hope at all

  28. Richard Ryan says:

    Abbott will never be leader of this country—-you heard it here first. Shalom, Richard Ryan.

  29. GD says:

    So, Brian, Ray and Craigy, the best thing for the nation is to vote the current dysfunctional government back in for another term? Have I got that right?

    You’d rather we trusted this out of control spending, policy failing bunch of imbeciles to continue their wanton destruction of the Australian economy along with their intended social engineering, including limiting free speech and opening our borders to all-comers.

    Yep, that sounds good, and all because you didn’t get ‘infrastructure’ built during Liberal administrations. Perhaps a Liberal administration is occasionally needed to pick up the pieces after an altruistic Labor regime fails once again at getting the balance right between governing and dreaming.

    As for this current government, how much ‘infrastructure’ has been built? School halls don’t count, especially as they incurred a cost way above commercial quotes for the same work, and because, really, who needed them?

    The NBN? Well, that’s not built. It will left to the Libs to continue with it or not. It is once again a pie in the sky Labor pipe dream.

    For all this lack of results, achievements or even jobs well done, do you really suggest the populace votes Labor back in for another term?

    Or are you so scared of a man in speedos who may call a spade a spade and reveal the paucity of your socialist doctrine?

  30. Ray Dixon says:

    the best thing for the nation is to vote the current dysfunctional government back in for another term? Have I got that right?

    No, you’ve got it wrong (again), GD, and you’re twisting what’s been said. In my opinion the “best” outcome would be if the current government, which is only “dysfunctional” in its leadership, fixes that problem by reinstating Rudd. Of course, reinstating Rudd in itself is not a solution or panacea but what it would achieve is to restore confidence from the electorate – opinion polls continually support this – and take the focus off every little nitpicking thing that Gillard does and does wrong (which is plenty). After that it’s then a matter of whether or not Rudd can reform the party sufficiently prior to the election and provide a real alternative to the very unpallatable Tony Abbott and his band of retrograde, yesterday men (and women).

    No one here is saying that the govt with Gillard as PM should be returned. I think we all agree that’s not the “best” outcome. Where we disagree is that putting Abbott in as PM is the “best” outcome too. I’d rather we stayed with the ALP for one more term provided it’s under Rudd mainly because I think he deserves another term to finish what he started before his first term was cut short. In a way though, he may have learnt something from his exile and perhaps will come back as a better leader. Here’s hoping because the alternative is Abbott and that’ll be an even bigger disaster than Gillard.

  31. Craigy says:

    GD, I don’t vote for the ALP as you know but I think Gillard and the government she leads are clearly better than the other option under Tony Abbott. I think the best thing for this country is to return the ALP. I don’t think this because I am an ALP supporter, so if the LNP had any real policies and a plan to fund them I would consider them as a preference option over the ALP. My local ALP member is not very good and given a good LNP candidate I would preference them.

    The current ALP Government, by every measure, except for what you read in conservative newspapers, have done a great job given the result at the last election. I say this with open eyes that can see beyond the spin.

    I disagree with Ray that Rudd is the answer for the ALP. They need to look beyond conservative, populist leaders who are driven by polling. The ALP leadership was seen as just as dysfunctional under Rudd, changing back to him won’t help.

    Silly statements about school halls and pink batts are great Andrew Bolt talking points GD but they are in fact wrong as you show above.

    As someone who works in Media, the NBN is essential. The Murdoch, Pay TV friendly FTN system, that Tony has said he will roll out, will leave us well behind the rest of the world and slow our economic growth.

    GD, you need to read a bit more about the relationship between the LNP and Murdoch when it comes to this, because Abbott is selling out Australia’s future to gain News Ltd support for his election as PM. Murdoch does not want to see an NBN because it will destroy his Pay TV business model, just as IPTV is doing in the US. A good article can be found here:


  32. Ray Dixon says:

    The ALP leadership was seen as just as dysfunctional under Rudd

    No, it wasn’t – it was only made to look that way in hindsight …. by Gillard, Crean, Roxon, Burke, Conroy and even stupid Peter Garrett, when Gillard decided the best way to see off a Rudd return last year was to rewrite history and assassinate the character of the man who led them back into government.

    Basically, what happened under Rudd is something called the Global Financial Crisis, which struck less than one year into his Prime Ministership. As a result he had to swiftly change tact and put all focus on ensuring it did not adversely impact on Australia’s economy too. His actions with the stimulus packages etc were clearly the right move (if anyone doesn’t believe that you need an economics lesson) but, as we know, there were many mistakes, cost blowouts and wastage (as you would expect when things were done so hastily out of necessity), however, the fact is it was THE RIGHT MOVE to inject liquidity into various industries, especially building, which almost underpins our domestic economy.

    But it did faze him. as you would expect, and he did seem to be dropping the ball on other matters like the Copenhagen matter. But the perception among the public was he was still doing a good job, was still preferred as PM and the ALP was likely to win (in its own right) in 2010 if he’d stayed there. Since Rudd’s removal, I reckon we’ve been in a real directionless limbo-land where neither the PM or the Opposition leader are seen as desirable.

    Just who the hell would you suggest the ALP turns to if not to Rudd ….. to Bill Shorten or Combet? Give me a break, those guys are part of the problem and the only way out of the mess is for caucus to finally admit that the ‘coup’ of June 2010 was a bloody big mistake.

  33. Craigy says:

    Ray, you seem to want a different government as you have named half the front bench as no good!

    As I said, Rudd SEEMED as dysfunctional as Gillard now SEEMS. I don’t think the ALP has ever actually been a bad Government, I think they have done a good job of GOVERNING….

    As for their PR mess, well Rudd lost his popular support and got rolled, bad from Rudd and bad from the people who rolled him, but neither group has been able to do well in the PR department when faced with a hostile media and an unethical opposition.

    I agree with your statements about the GFC and changing tack, but it was done badly in PR terms.

    I think it’s time to move on from Rudd Ray. He won’t be back before this vote. It is a shame he didn’t get a fair go though….

  34. Ray Dixon says:

    Rudd lost his popular support and got rolled

    He never lost popular support from the electorate. Still has it. And I disagree that Rudd ever “seemed” dysfunctional when he was PM or was portrayed that way by the media.

    As for Gillard, she is not running a good government, she is kneejerking and making it up as she goes. Look at her latest ‘crackdown on organised crime’ announcement today – that’s what she thinks will win votes in Western Sydney!!!

    I’ve said it before, she just wants to see out her full term and does not give a flying f…. if she loses the election. She only cares about her own place in history … and a bloody big payout and pension for life. She has no moral fibre, no integrity and does not care about you, me or anyone else but Julia Gillard. A hopeless, self-obsessed PM only concerned with her own career and self importance, and that’s the worst kind of leader you could envisage. Well, her and Abbott.

    I won’t give up hope that they’ll finally see some sense and put Rudd back for another crack. After all, he never got the chance to face re-election and to out-campaign Abbott, which he’d surely do. If they don’t do it then it’s no skin off my nose but I reckon that under Gillard you’ll see a massacre at the election and that cannot be good for the nation. I mean, look at what’s happening in Queensland with no opposition to speak of.

  35. Brian says:

    I like Julia Gillard; I think she’s a sincere and honest politician with some integrity. I don’t think she is only concerned about herself and to say that is just guessing. However the fact remains that she’s not leadership material. She doesn’t have an ounce of statesmanship or gravitas. Rudd does have that but seems impossible to work with behind the scenes.

    I would love to see a Rudd vs Turnbull election this year but instead I think we’ll be consigned to choosing between two of the weakest party leaders ever seen at a federal election.

  36. GD says:

    Julia Gillard….doesn’t have an ounce of statesmanship or gravitas. Rudd does have that but seems impossible to work with behind the scenes.

    And there you have it in a nutshell, Brian. While the public perception of Rudd, those with short memories, regard him as a shining knight, it has to be remembered that behind the scenes he was incapable of leading a government, as shown by his premature dismissal.

    I agree with Ray and Craigy that he should have been allowed to serve his full term. Labor stuffed up badly there, or should I say the union factions of Labor stuffed up. Installing Julia was a union driven action. Rudd wasn’t a union man. Current union membership lies at around 18% of workers. Why are we being governed by unionists, ie Gillard, Shorten, Combet and Plibersek when union membership is only slightly ahead of the Greens’ membership?

    Either way Labor has proven to be a dysfunctional government.

    Although Ray reckoned:

    I disagree that Rudd ever “seemed” dysfunctional when he was PM or was portrayed that way by the media.

    Do phrases like ‘detailed programmatic specificity’ ring a bell?

  37. Craigy says:

    Yes GD, I think Ray is being selective in his memory….

    Mind you, this is from the Hun, whose propaganda help create this situation, but this was the picture painted by them and excepted by the public in 2010…

    “The start of Rudd’s downfall can be traced back to December 2009 when an attempt to pass vaunted emissions trading laws ended in embarrassing failure and a new opposition leader, the pugnacious Tony Abbott.

    An immediate drop in the polls was compounded by a botched home insulation scheme which resulted in workers’ deaths and a series of house fires.

    He then announced he had shelved until 2013 plans for the carbon trading scheme aimed at slowing global warming, which he had branded the “greatest moral challenge of our generation”, a move that saw his public support plunge.

    Rudd was further savaged in a very public dust-up with the powerful mining industry over plans for a new tax on resources profits – a levy which ultimately led to his political demise as his poll numbers plummeted.

    – See more at: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/kevin-rudds-spectacular-rise-and-fall-and/story-fn7x8me2-1226278667834#sthash.KaCDTriT.dpuf

    I also agree with Brian. Ray’s hate of Gillard seems irrational and over the top.

  38. Craigy says:

    I guess the question for Ray and GD come September will be ‘is Tony Abbott do any better than Julia Gillard’…

    Or the important question, will a LNP Government do any better in terms of policy than the current ALP/Greens.

    In terms of support from the ‘News’ outlets the answer is a clear yes.

    In terms of the intellectual qualities of Tony, and the policies of the LNP, the answer is a clear no (in my view)…..

    Although with Tony hiding and no real policy funding models on the table, it’s hard to know what the LNP will do, short of the fact that we know they will bring back Workchoices and give us a second rate broadband system to keep Murdoch in the pay TV game.

  39. Craigy says:

    Will Tony Abbott do any better…sorry

  40. Ray Dixon says:

    Using The Chaser to support your arguments does not impress, GD.

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