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I’m damning Labor with faint praise

 ''Tony Abbott did not put Labor in opposition, the Australian people put us here, and unless we change, it is where we will stay,'' Mr Shorten planned to say. He conceded that, for too long, Labor had seen its problems as about image, message and its ability to sell its policies. ''It's more serious than this. We need to change ourselves. We need to change our party,'' he wrote. click for source

”Tony Abbott did not put Labor in opposition, the Australian people put us here, and unless we change, it is where we will stay,” Mr Shorten planned to say.
He conceded that, for too long, Labor had seen its problems as about image, message and its ability to sell its policies.
”It’s more serious than this. We need to change ourselves. We need to change our party,” he wrote.
click for source

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.

Cheers Comrades



  1. Ray Dixon says:

    I agree with you on the point of dropping the requirement to join a union before you can be an ALP member, Iain, and I admit I didn’t even know that was the case. It’s stupid alright.

    But I disagree with you calling the WA Senate election a “by election”. It was not a by-election and to call it that (as Abbott has) is to attempt to excuse the Govt’s poor showing. It was a re-run half Senate election for all vacancies, Iain, and the voters deserted the Coaltion. Okay, Labor had a swing against it too but you can put that down to #1 ticket holder Joe Bullock and his homophobic comments about his running partner. The fact they lost votes to the Greens proves that.

    As for the Govt’s poor showing and the drift of their vote to Palmer, I’d put that down to a number of things, the least not being the slippery, shady and ‘forgetful’ fool Sinodinos. Oh, and Abbott’s ineptness since becoming PM.

  2. GD says:

    and Abbott’s ineptness since becoming PM

    Really, Ray?

    EXPORTERS will add billions of dollars to Australia’s economic growth under a trade deal struck with Japan last night to give the beef, dairy, sugar and other industries far bigger concessions than they expected.


    Tony Abbott has also effectively stopped the boats or is turning them back as promised during the election.

    He would have also dismantled the carbon and mining taxes if not for being stymied by the Greens and Labor, against the wishers of the majority of the electorate.

    Inept? I don’t think so.. If you’re looking for ineptitude just look at the last Labor government or maybe the current Labor opposition’s result in WA.

    While polls don’t tell all, it’s still fun to watch them..

    Here’s the latest Newspoll. I note that you have quoted Newspoll previously.

    Support for Coalition hits six-month high as Bill Shorten sinks further: Newspoll


  3. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh, it’s GD. Any opinion on Sinodinos yet?

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Ray, speaking of opinions the latest news poll ain’t great for team Labor:

    THE Abbott government is in its best electoral position in six months and Bill Shorten has his lowest personal support since becoming Labor leader in October.

    Despite the Coalition facing a swing of more than five percentage points against it in the West Australian Senate re-run election, its primary support nation­ally has risen to its highest since November.

    According to the latest Newspoll survey, taken exclusively for The Australian at the weekend when the WA Senate election was under way, the ­Coalition’s primary vote rose from 40 two weeks earlier to 43 per cent and Labor’s went from 36 to 34 per cent, its lowest since the first week of ­November.

    Although the Greens had a six percentage point swing towards them in the West Australian Senate election on Saturday, the national survey shows primary support dropping from a 12-month high of 13 per cent two weeks ago to 11 per cent at the weekend. Primary vote support for “others’’, including the Palmer United Party, was virtually unchanged on 12 per cent.

    The Coalition is now in front of Labor on a two-party-preferred basis, 51 to 49 per cent.

    Labor had led the government on a two-party-preferred basis since the beginning of December as the Abbott government lost voter support sooner than any newly elected modern government except Julia Gillard’s.

    In the West Australian Senate election the Liberals and Labor had swings against them of 5.49 and 4.83 percentage points, while the Greens were up 6.39 percentage points and PUP was up 7.48 percentage points.

    The latest Newspoll shows Tony Abbott’s personal support as prime minister remained negative but improved slightly and he maintained an eight-point lead over the Opposition Leader as preferred prime minister, 41 per cent to Mr Shorten’s 33 per cent.

    During the two weeks since the previous Newspoll survey both leaders campaigned heavily for the West Australian election and both faced public criticism: Mr Abbott for introducing a system of “knights and dames’’ for eminent Australians and Mr Shorten for distancing himself and the ALP from the control of unions.

    Voter satisfaction with Mr Shorten dropped five percentage points to 31 per cent, a low for him as Opposition Leader, and dissatisfaction was virtually the same on 42 per cent.

    Satisfaction with Mr Shorten has dropped 13 percentage points since his peak of 44 per cent in December and dissatisfaction has risen from 27 per cent to 42 per cent during the same period. His net personal satisfaction rating — the difference between satisfaction and dissatisfaction — is now minus 11.

    Mr Abbott’s voter satisfaction was unchanged on 40 per cent. Dissatisfaction fell from 50 per cent to a two-month low of 47 per cent. Mr Abbott’s net satisfaction rating is minus 7 per cent.

    On the question of who would make the better prime minister, support for Mr Abbott dropped from a six-month high two weeks ago of 43 per cent to 41 per cent and Mr Shorten’s support fell back three points to 33 per cent.

    I’m just waiting for you to suggest that Labor’s soufflé saint might just rise again (for the third time) from the ashes of his own ineptitude to save the party…

  5. Ray Dixon says:

    From the article that you quote, Iain: “The Coalition is now in front of Labor on a two-party-preferred basis, 51 to 49 per cent.” That’s a swing back to Labor from the Sept election result of 53.5 to 46.5. What are you crowing about?

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Its still miles ahead of Labor who remain unelectable and in WA barely able to get above 20% of the primary vote that is almost and extinction level event for your team.

  7. Ray Dixon says:

    No Iain, the combined ALP & Greens primary vote exceeded the Coalition’s in the WA Senate election. Not that I’m claiming the Greens as part of ‘the team’ but the reality is a lot of ALP voters disaffected by Bullock’s remarks voted Greens in protest of the candidate. The 51-49 Newspoll result is national and means it’s now lineball. Hardly “miles ahead” or “extinction”.

  8. Iain Hall says:

    we both know that once people decide to break the habit of a life time and switch their vote they are often very hard to shift back and the fact that those Labor voters seem to have gone over to the Greens does not mean that you can still count them as part of team Labor into the future.

  9. Ray Dixon says:

    Newspoll. National. 51 – 49.

  10. GD says:

    It’s certainly not looking good for Arthur Sinodinos. However, Ray, like a dog with a bone, it seems you can’t let go of this issue, so eager are you to find something on the LNP. If Sinodinos is proven guilty of impropriety , he’ll be charged and convicted. I don’t remember your righteous indignation when Craig Thomson and Michael Williamson were under investigation.



    But back to Tony Abbott being ‘inept’. Here’s a comment by former dancing man and Labor trade minister:

  11. Ray Dixon says:

    Michael who? He wasn’t even a Member of Parliament, GD. As for Thomson, he was a political lightweight and his corruption occured prior to his entering Parliament, when he misused a union credit card to hire prostitutes & porno movies and buy cigarettes. That’s small fry compared to the goings on at AWH under Sinodinos’ watch. You do realise the implications of this issue don’t you, GD? Sinodinos was overseeing a company that was making fraudulent claims on the NSW taxpayers, while at the same time syphoning (govt) money off to Liberal Party cronnies and even to the Liberal Party itself. And then he became Assistant Treasurer?!? It’s potentially the biggest financial scandal any senior Govt member has ever been involved in, yet you seem to think it’s nothing more than petty theft.

    As for the Japan Free Trade deal, yes it has to be a positive for some sectors. But this is just the outcome of work started long ago under Labor. Abbott’s the one who got to sign off on it so he gets the credit, but it would have happened regardless of who was in power.

  12. GD says:

    Ray said:

    As for the Japan Free Trade deal……this is just the outcome of work started long ago under Labor

    Well, no Ray, you wrong about this.

    As Fairfax admits:

    The hard-fought deal concluded negotiations which formally began under John Howard in 2007 but which had followed a feasibility study for two years before that and initial work dating back to 2002.

    A Japanese reporter commented after the announcement that it was amazing because her country had “never given anything away” in past trade negotiations.

    So much for six years’ of Labor’s international trade negotiations. Obviously Labor stymied the whole deal due to their ineptitude and Tony Abbott has not only rescued the deal but signed, sealed and delivered on it.. 🙂

  13. GD says:

    Signed, sealed, delivered..well done Tony Abbott

  14. Ray Dixon says:

    Well GD, if “a Japanese reporter” says it was an “amazing” deal, it must be right. Funny how you cherry pick your sources: As long as they support your version, they’re credible, eh?

  15. GD says:

    Good news today from the Oz.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott is cementing closer defence ties with China.


    and for the Libs a great result in a by-election in NT.


    It’s looking good, especially as the Royal Commissions into the pink batts fiasco and union corruption are now underway.

    As Gerard Henderson says, ‘keep morale high’ 🙂

    Prime Minister Abbott is fulfilling most of our expectations. Let’s hope he has the courage to tackle the exorbitant cost of the left’s ABC.

  16. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, the Coalition’s ‘Joffa’. How’s the corruption in the Liberal Party going? Still getting donations from AWH? Any connections to the Mafia?

  17. GD says:

    Yes, Ray, Sinodinos is not looking good. He’ll no doubt get charged for any offence if he is found guilty.

    So Ray, stop wetting your pants and worrying about Mafia connections, you’ll do yourself an injury.

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    You’re the one who carries on all the time about Labor/Union corruption, GD. And your attempts to paint me as the whinger here are just pathetic.

    Btw, you owe a link on the other thread re your vilification of middle eastern immigrants, remember? Come on, hop to it.

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    Btw, re the Liberal Party and links to the Mafia, a certain winery in Griffith (one of our biggest) run by a notorious Italian family is a major Liberal Party donor. And the Govt is already returning them favours.

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    Breaking news: http://www.theage.com.au/nsw/barry-ofarrell-resigns-after-being-caught-out-over-bottle-of-wine-20140416-36qpg.html

    What were you saying about corruption in the Liberal Party, GD? Now it’s your turn, Arthur Sinodinos. (Congrats to the ICAC inquiry – well done)

  21. Jeff G. says:

    GD, where are you mate? They need someone to get out to the airport to meet Wills and Kate on behalf of NSW. There might be a nice bottle of wine in it for ya.

    Cue another month of the Lib lovers here belly aching about Labor corruption but never wanting to discuss Sinodinos or O’Farrell.

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    O’Farrell has been recalled to ICAC. It ain’t over yet – where’s the bottle, Barry? You didn’t drink it, so I guess you’ve got it in safe keeping somewhere.

  23. GD says:

    GD, you owe a link on the other thread re your vilification of middle eastern immigrants, remember? Come on, hop to it

    Yes, suh! Of course I have the links. I’ll address that later.

    Jeff, Sinodinos hasn’t been charged. Michael Williamson, ex-Labor president and union leader has been jailed. Big difference.

    Now as for the bottle of wine. Barry O’Farrell should have declared it. Why he didn’t is strange, however he has done the right thing and resigned. I’m of the opinion that he has done the NSW Liberal Party a favour. He has never been a conservative, instead siding with Gillard over the Gonski report. Even Malcolm Turnbull would be a better leader of the NSW Liberals, even though he’s verging so far to the left to be laughable.

    Barry O’Farrell – $3,000 bottle of wine not declared

    Craig Thomson stole –

    $24,538 while Health Services Union National Secretary between 2002 and 2008


    Michael Williamson, head of Health Services Union – stole one million dollars of low paid hospital workers’ money


    And all you and Ray can talk about is an undeclared bottle of wine..

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    He’s the freakin’ Premier, for God’s sake, GD, not a back bencher. And the $3,000 bottle was paid for with money fraudulently obtained from the very Govt O’Farrell headed. But that’s not all. That’s not the only ‘gift’ O’Farrell received. To start with there was also a $43,000 donation to his election campaign from the same source (AWH). And what a coincidence that on O’Farrell winning the election and becoming Premier, AWH are awarded a $100 million Govt contract? As for Sinodinos, he’s obviously ‘stolen’ (or “wrongly received”) over $600,000 in salary, charged back to the NSW Govt of course.

    What’s wrong with you, GD? This is your State that these guys have ripped off, yet you seem to think it’s insignificant and that some petty theft from a union is far worse. Wake up or get your head out of the sand – your shifty Liberals have stolen millions.

  25. GD says:


    Labor front benchers Tony Burke and Stephen ‘underpants’ Conroy have now disclosed the pecuniary benefits received when they were guests of Eddie Obeid’s ski lodge. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Will they now resign? I doubt it. That’s the Labor way.

    Yet Ray makes a song and dance about a bottle of wine.


  26. GD says:

    some petty theft from a union is far worse

    A million dollars plus stolen from low income health workers is petty theft? You have strange values, Ray.

  27. GD says:

    the $3,000 bottle was paid for with money fraudulently obtained from the very Govt O’Farrell headed

    and your link is..

    He’s the freakin’ Premier, for God’s sake

    He was.. he’s resigned..if he’s guilty of corruption, he’ll be charged

  28. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, the $3,000 bottle was given to him by the head of AWH, that dud lawyer. Whether it was paid for out of personal money or out of AWH funds is no matter. They’re one in the same, as he was paying himself $1.1 million p.a. in salary charged back to Sydney Water, a NSW Govt authority. I don’t need to provide a link to that because it’s been all over the news. Can’t you read?

    And Thomson was only convicted of stealing about $24,000 not $1 million. If you want to throw union leaders into the mix then I’ll throw in all the corrupt bosses out there.

  29. GD says:

    Thomson was only convicted of stealing about $24,000 not $1 million

    Yes, I agree, Thomson was found guilty of stealing $24,000 from low paid health workers. It was the head of the HSU who stole $1 million: Michael (now jailed) Williamson. And you’re still ranting about a bottle of wine that a former premier of NSW forgot about. Ray, O’Farrell has resigned. Unlike your union and Labor cronies.

  30. Ray Dixon says:

    That is typical obfuscation by you, GD. From this ICAC inquiry it is patently obvious that the NSW Liberals are corrupt and up to no good. The $3,000 bottle of wine is merely the tip of the iceberg – we already know about Sinodinos and there is a lot more to come regarding other AWH ‘donations’ and payments to Liberal Party cronies. This is corruption at the highest level and a total breach of trust. Sure, Thomson and that other union official were crooks too but you don’t get out of it by fingerpointing to those matters. We are talking about abuse of power and Governance here and that goes to the heart of our democratic system. Stop digging a hole for yourself because this is looking very bad for your side of politics.

  31. Iain Hall says:

    you are stretching a bit here, especially as I doubt that the wine would not have come with a valuation certificate when delivered I expect that he could have seen a bottle of plonk and thought nothing much about it. Mistakes were clearly made but to call the current government NSW “corrupt” is an almighty stretch.

  32. Ray Dixon says:

    O’Farrell himself said, “If you were given a bottle of Grange you’d certainly remember it”, or words to that effect. In other words, he knows and knew the wine was valuable. Everyone does. And I think there’s enough evidence at ICAC already to strongly suggest major corruption among the ranks over the AWH matter, Iain. It’s as clear as day.

  33. Iain Hall says:

    You seem to be forgetting that the most corrupt in this matter are all Labor people Ray.
    As for the value of wine well I won’t buy into all of the wine snobbery crap, wine has no intrinsic value beyond its ability to get you sloshed and the cheapest chateau cardboard does it just as well as the overpriced over hyped “good wines”.

  34. Ray Dixon says:

    the most corrupt in this matter are all Labor people

    Huh? Look, Iain, the most corrupt in this matter are in rough order (so far):

    The lawyer and chief shareholder of AWH, whatshisname (the Italian one). He’s a Liberal Party official.
    Sinodinos. He’s a Liberal Senator and Assistant Treasurer.
    O’Farrell – he is/was a State Liberal Premier.

    And there will be more LIBERAL PARTY members/officials named and called.

    The Obeids are involved too but they are not members of the ALP. Not for a while now.

  35. Jeff G. says:

    Why does GD keep bringing up Mike Williamson? He was not and has never been an elected politician.

    It looks like ICAC is doing a good job rooting out all the scum bag pollies on the take. More power to its arm. Get rid of them, regardless of what party they belong to. GD and Iain can just keep their heads in the sand.

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