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A fair go

Find below a piece by Mishka Góra reproduced here under the terms of its creative commons licence  it was originally published here

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Tony Abbott from his Facebook page

Most of you will already be aware that I am not a fan of Tony Abbott. If you raise the topic of Paid Parental Leave with me, for example, you may wish to brace yourself for a diatribe about the “calibre” of the women our Prime Minister privileges above other hard-working women who stay at home without any pay at all for years rather than months. I will probably also make liberal use of the words integrity and backbone in a less than flattering manner.

Nevertheless, I am disgusted by the plethora of groundless attacks on Tony Abbott that have increased in recent days instead of abating. In particular, a photo of Mr Abbott in his fire-fighting gear seems to have drawn a ridiculous amount of ire. I must say, as a photographer, that it’s a great portrait. No matter how his term as Prime Minister turns out, it’s a photo that he and his family should be proud of and treasure. It is no surprise that his official Facebook page has it as his profile picture.

Many, however, have used this photograph as any opportunity to attack Mr Abbott. It seems he can do no right.

If he didn’t fight fires he’d be accused of being out of touch with the ordinary Australians threatened by the bushfires. When he does, he’s accused of using it as a photo opportunity (even though he’s done this for over a decade).

When some photos turn out to be from previous fires he’s attended, thus proving it wasn’t just a photo op’, he draws criticism for allowing old photos to be circulated.

It’s symptomatic of the sort of people – more than 170,000 of them – who’ve liked the defamatory Facebook page Tony Abbott – Worst PM in Australian History.

Not bad for someone who’s only been in office for less than two months.

And there are others, of course, such as Abbott ‘the Maggot’, the content of which is too obscene for me to repeat.

My point is that, whatever his faults, of which I am sure there are many as he’s an imperfect human being like the rest of us, very few people are giving Tony Abbott a fair go.

Even those who consider his volunteer fire fighting “laudable” have criticised him for not getting his priorities right, suggesting he should be in his office on the end of the telephone at a time of a major fire emergency. I beg to differ.

At a time of unparalleled wireless communications, there is no need for our Prime Minister to be sitting in an office on the end of a landline. A good leader knows how to delegate responsibility to those with the expertise and resources to deal with the situation. I’m glad we don’t have a micro-managing control freak in charge of our nation.

Tony Abbott, in the past few days, has demonstrated we have an Aussie battler and hero as Prime Minister. I may not be an expert on bushfires, but I do know what it’s like to hear the pagers of two work colleagues go off simultaneously and see them scamper off with hardly a backward glance… then hear my own go off sixty seconds later summoning me to the ambulance for a trip into the fire-ravaged bush.

I remember all-too-clearly the overwhelming fatigue after hours standing on burnt-out ground in unimaginable heat surrounded by smoke and ashes. Merely donning fire-fighting gear in such conditions is an accomplishment – the actual work that follows is a feat most of us will thankfully never truly comprehend.

And that’s what makes volunteer fire fighters like Tony Abbott heroes. They risk their lives in the worst of conditions to protect us.

They don’t get paid, and they drop everything they’re doing because it’s an emergency. When Tony Abbott answered his callout with his local brigade, he set an example to all of us to buckle down and get on with the job. It’s about time we did the same and gave him a fair go.

“Performance was marred by a lack of caution and political cunning.” or “not fit to rule” take two

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RETIRING senator Bob Carr has attacked Labor’s ill-fated media reforms as “badly wrong-headed”, criticised its approach to carbon pricing and warned it not to lurch to the left on asylum-seeker policy.

As Bob Carr resigns from the Senate I doubt that anyone is really surprised, nor should they be surprised by his criticism of the largely unlamented Labor administration that parachuted him into the cushy Foreign Minister’s job as a result of Rudd’s tilt at the leadership 18 months ago.

Senator Carr, who will submit his resignation to the president of the Senate tomorrow, said he planned to “reinvent” himself as an expert on Asia in posts with Sydney University and the University of New South Wales.

Reflecting on Labor’s past six years in office, he said the party did “many very, very good things”, but its performance was marred by a lack of caution and political cunning.

“Just reflecting my background, growing up with Neville Wran as premier, and trying to learn from him, I’m struck by a lack of canniness in the (former) government,” he said.

“A lack of caution, cunning – canniness is probably the best word.”

Senator Carr said the Wran playbook would have ruled out picking a fight with the media before an election, as Labor did with its proposed media reforms.

Labor should have been “friends with everyone” a year out from the poll, “cooling” controversy, not creating it.

“I thought a certain political direction had been cast out that window at that moment,” Senator Carr said.

“In the end I was just thinking about the viability of Australia’s social democratic party.

“If people in Queensland and NSW get accustomed to voting Labor at a rate of 25 per cent, in a state election and a federal election, how do you recover? That was the thought uppermost in my mind.”

He said the government’s lack of “canniness” was also evident in Labor’s approach to tackling climate change, where it should have proceeded with more caution.

He said Labor should have replicated, in its first years of the government, a scheme he introduced as premier in NSW, which only applied to the power sector. The scheme could have been ramped up down the track, he said.

“It would have been a canny approach,” Senator Carr said.

Labor took the same imprudent approach in dismantling John Howard’s Pacific Solution, “without weighing – carefully, cannily – what effect that might have on people-smuggling”.

He said Labor must retain its support for processing on Manus Island and Nauru, despite internal tensions on the policy.

“It is the right policy and it is a policy the Australian people will accept,” Senator Carr said.

“There may be a temptation from time to time to criticise the Abbott government from what might be described as the Left, on this issue. It is a temptation best resisted.”

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Isn’t it interesting that yet another leading light (but not light weight 😉  ) of the Labor party is now so willing to pour a bucket upon the Gillard and Rudd leaderships .  dare I suggest that, having one person disillusioned with the party may possibly be some problem with them but once you get a chorus of dismay from several then it is indicative of a party in serious political trouble.  Sadly although the party dearly needs thinkers like Bob Carr , men and women who not only have their heads around the policy ideas that the party believes in but also just a touch of street smarts to enable them to calculate the best way of making such things both happen and more importantly be accepted by the people.

So now we have two former cabinet ministers   being brutally honest about Labor’s last stint in government so I can’t help but wonder if  such criticism will continue to be valid under the Shorten leadership and surely if it does then how can the Australian Labor party ever be fit to rule again?

Cheers Comrades

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Update :

the headline piece in today’s Age is worthy of note because it makes me wonder if we got value for the more than four grand a day that Bob Carr cost the  taxpayers during his time as foreign minister:

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So was he really worth more than a grand extra a day over Stephen Smith or Kevin Rudd?

Cheers again Comrades

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Taxi driver and the Golem

r847085_7964883It is said that Cabbies are the political barometers of a society and I’m happy to acknowledge that. driving people around everyday lets you see and hear what is important to them. Occasionally when they drive around  aspirants for high office like Bill Shorten they can also provide insights in to the sort of leader they might  be if and when they attain that which the covet.With that in mind I was rather amused by this anecdote that my brother alerted me to this morning.

Once inside the vehicle, Mr Shorten became “abrasive” while giving directions to the Jones Street entrance of the university, David said.

“Shorten got in the front, I knew he was straight away, he didn’t say hello to me or anything.

“He kept saying ‘we’re going to UTS, it’s in the city’, he was really aggressive, he looked like Golem,” David told The Daily Telegraph. “He was quite loud, looking down his nose at me … He was very intimidating.”

David then told Mr Shorten: “You don’t have to yell at me, I’m just dropping you to where you want to go.”

The cab driver, who also shared his experience with 2GB’s Steve Price last night, also said Mr Shorten appeared to be arranging a planted question with a person on the other end of the mobile phone.

“He got straight on the phone to someone and said ‘Hey big boy, ask me this – Albo will be fine with it … ask us the type of prime minister we would like to be remembered as.”

A very similar question was asked of the two prospective leaders last night, to which Mr Shorten replied: “If I was to be prime minister I’d like to be known as the prime minister for the powerless, the disempowered, the people who don’t have a voice in our society.”

Following the prickly conversation, David said Mr Shorten attempted to apologise.

“He wound the window up. He had fear in his eyes, like he was thinking ‘oh s***, I shouldn’t have done this.”

David said one of the men in the back seat paid the fare of $15.60 when they arrived at the destination.

“The guy paid in cash, $15.60 bang on, no tip, three 20 cent pieces.”

Hmm doesn’t this story suggest a couple of things about our Bill?
Firstly it suggests that despite a career in the union movement Shorten does not treat working people like Dave the Cabbie with much respect, and secondly he and his cronies don’t seem to understand that giving a driver a small gratuity is important when they are only earning a very modest hourly rate. All in all its not a such a good look for Shorten.
I do however love the description of Shorten as Golem  which is an image that I just can’t get out of my head!
Cheers Comrades
The resemblance is uncanny

The resemblance is uncanny

Thursday quadrille

Hard to decide which of these items to write about so I am writing about all of them.  first example I think that we can only draw a gasping breath of surprise as we find that the Fairfax press has actually published a piece full of fulsome praise for Tony Abbott, something that I would not have expected at all a few years a go:

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I may be wrong but to my mind this piece is staking out that much coveted “middle ground” in Australian political reporting and it probably represents the best chance that Fairfax has to remain a viable media player in the game of Politics reporting. The departure of a number of open;y Leftist writers and reporters must bea factor here and it can only improve the standards of the Fairfax Media to follow the clear change of mood in the Australian Polity rather than continuing the braying chorus of the Uber-left that has become so dull and annoying, especially in the light of the Labor’s terminal death spiral under Rudd and Gillard.

With its consistent disdain for the extreme left its no surprise that the Oz should be taking some deligt at the embarrassment of the NSW Greens over their on again of again flirtation with our own infamous Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben.

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Clearly they are less than keen to have this infamous Anti-Semite sharing the public stage with them because it would be proof (as if something so self evident needs proving) that the loopy Greens support for the Palestinians is based upon the clear anti-Semitism of the far left. I can only dream of the shivers of schadenfreude had Toben managed to stand on the deck of that cruise boat. As Maxwell Smart would have said “missed it by that much” You can’t stop a feller dreaming now can you?
I absolutely enjoyed the Guardian’s top story for today about Asylum seekers which gives us just the smallest hint that an Abbott government might actually repudiate or attempt to reform the UN refugee convention.

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The best thing would of course be to repudiate the outdated and no longer appropriate convention with a domestic law that no longer relies upon the entirely subjective “fear of persecution” and replace it with a requirement that mendicants show that they have actually been persecuted and make the way that we deal with the illegal immigrants that come here under the Asylum seeker flag of convenience entirely subject to the decisions of our parliament rather than the cohort of idiotic far left lawyers who populate the  refugee advocacy groups. Thus it would be far easier to deport  failed claimants and far quicker to decide the legitimacy of the thousands of mendicants who have taken advantage of Rudd and Gillard’s  naive idiocy in “fixing” a border regime that was not at all broken.

Finally the news today that Microsoft will heed the wishes of gamers that we should be able to but sell and trade the games we buy for their new Xbox one is most welcome.

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Of course if I was going to buy a next gen console I tend to think that I would stick to Sony and go for the PS4 (the power of brand loyalty at work 🙄    ) however I see this as a very good example of consumers making their voices heard and ensuring that we are not just herded into a system that makes us into corporate milch cows for the hard ware producers. It also suggests to me that those who see Microsoft as an unstoppable juggernaut are, well, exaggerating.

So there you have a diverse range of issues to consider on this (nearly) mid winter’s day. Me? well after breakfast I have to interrogate the daily driver’s ECU, finish hooking up the heater on my sports car, sand and paint a wall repair here at Chez Hall and then there are a million other things on my list…
Cheers Comrades

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The problem with the Muslim mindset and why it is antithetical to a modern secular society

Its this attitude from the Muslim  men in Western Sydney that clearly worries GD and to be frank it worries me as well because when we have these men having first loyalty to Islam rather than Australia it is but a very tiny step from there to overt acts of  violence from the disdain that these men clearly feel towards the secular democracy that is the essence of our society.

Very big sigh Comrades

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Hat tip to Bolta 😉

Dancing shoes Labor leadership style

Click play before reading on 😉

I can’t help but think that this is the absolute end for the Labor party and while it still exits and still holds government that is a a strictly temporary phenomena that is becoming ever more insubstantial. The media is a buzz with speculation that Rudd will make his run and that desperate Labor MPs will swallow their pride and embrace the leader that they loathe. and at present it all hinges on the nerve of Bill Shorten:

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I don’t know, there is a big part of me that thinks that Shorten won’t back Rudd, even if it means that some party seats could be saved because in the longer term if Rudd were able to save any seats that Shorten’s  own personal ambitions could be very seriously stymied as Rudd could then continue as opposition leader for a rather long time.    No I still think that the party should and will stick with Gillard to the very bitter end because they know that changing back to Rudd without both substantive shifts in their more  stupid policies and enough time to make them viable  or even just credible  will not save  enough of the furniture to counteract the humiliation of another leadership change. They will look like and be a desperate rabble fighting for places on the very few life boats that remain. The whole thing reminds me of a game of musical chairs  where the  number of chairs is going from seventy to about 25 in one fell swoop the music may still be playing, the dancers are hoping desperately to make it to the desired chair…

Next stop for Labor is …

Oblivion…

And you what the worst thing is ?

They have done it to themselves with one act of stupidity, arrogance and hubris after  over the last six years  and now they are finished for a generation at least and maybe they will die out entirely, who knows, they certainly have no idea at all about the needs of this country for first and foremost sound governance and a steady hand on the tiller. Grand ideas have to take second place to that no matter who is in power which is something that I  think Tony Abbott  understands and why I have more faith in the conservatives to deliver what this country needs.  Labor  will lose the election badly under either Rudd or Gillard and I really doubt that the difference in seats saved by the second coming of Kevin will be enough to matter.

Cheers Comrades

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The all singing all dancing Kevin Rudd won’t save Labor no matter how flashy his moves are.

You can bet on it, but advertising gambling is bad for us

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Does gambling improve sport?

I’m not a gambling man by any stretch of the imagination, heck I don’t even buy lottery tickets but I am no wowser either I don’t care if other people want to have a flutter on the ponies or any other competition. On top of that I am lightning fast on the channel change button if I find sport on the TV. None the less I do have an opinion about the current issue of advertising by bookies during sports broadcasts. I just think that the infusion of gambling to be utterly pernicious and that makes me in agreement with Julia Gillard (oh the humanity!) but I am inclined to think that a total ban on the broadcast  advertising of  bookmaking would be the most socially beneficial regulation.

Cheers Comrades

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The million hit Blog

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If you are reading this it means that the hit counter for the Sandpit has ticked over the one million hits milestone  which is worthy of note in anyone’s  language, more so in the case of this blog because for most of its existence there has been a sustained campaign to harass and denigrate yours truly and the other authors who post here.

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I started blogging on a whim mainly because I needed to register with Blogger to comment on an Anti Andrew Bolt  blog, I have  changed the name and the platform on which this blog is published several times until I settled upon the current title and I am  very happy to n0w share this blog with three other regular contributors who ad greatly to the diversity of  the posts published here. The heart of blogging is not so much the posts themselves but rather it is the comment threads that those posts inspire and over the years we have had some very lively discussion threads that have given their participants lots of fun.

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You see fun is what this blog is all about. Even when we have covered the most serious issues I like to think that we can do so with enough levity to keep it friendly.

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So in the style of an awards night I have to offer a very sincere thank you, firstly to my fellow authors Ray Dixon (and his alter ego SockPuppet),  GD and to  Leon Bertrand, further I want to thank our readers for coming back on a regular basis to enjoy the musings on this page especially those of you who disagree with what I and the other authors write because without that disagreement we would not have the lively arguments in the comment threads. I also want to thank my wife and family for putting up with this sometimes grumpy blogger on a daily basis and last but not least I want to thank our family dog Bonnie for reminding me on a regular basis that I am only human and that nothing is more important than “walkies “

Cheers to all of our Comrades

Walkies!!!!

Walkies!!!!

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