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A beautiful morning and a contemplation of just how a fish rots when that fish is the Gillard government.

Ah, its a beautiful l morning up here in my part of the world. There is just the slightest hint of coolness in the dawn air and my coffee is hot and full of the flavour that you have dreamt about in those moments between sleeping and waking. Now as I sit here I just can’t help but be unsurprised that the Labor government is staying in power because Craig Thompson is doing a merry  dance with lawyers and judges and other minions of the legal process.

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Its kinda apt that a very bad Government is ably to stay in power only because someone who was allegedly a rather bad secretary for his union who allegedly misused a motza of his unions funds for his own gratification.This is especially so when you consider the sort of misuse of government funds that is about to happen via the so called “clean energy fund” to be administered by the looniest of the loony Christine Milne and he fellow Green religious zealots. Ok, I’m just doing a bit of free association thinking here but I can’t help thinking that in this celebration of the crucifixion of Jesus that the one thing that we can be certain of is that there will be no cure for the canker of Craig Thompson and resurrection for Labor from the pustular death that his membership of the caucus is bringing ever closer.

Craig Thompson discussing his political future on the bus to Parliament house.

Of course the raw numbers in the house is the only reason that Thompson is even still a member of the Gillard governemnt and that he has not done the honourable thing and resigned his seat…

Maybe Ray’s claim that “a fish rots from the head down” is not that true when it comes to this current government because if you think about it having a rotten cloaca like Craig Thompson is certainly not doing anything but rotting the fish from the arse hole up.

Cheers Comrades

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Gillard discovers that those warm and fuzzy slippers are not as comfy as she thought they would be …

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Julia now has to consider that the Speakers bat may in fact be used upon her instead of just being wielded at her enemies , click for what she has discovered about the speaker's powers yesterday

Its pretty common to think that peter Slipper is something of a pretentious wanker what with his fancy dress and revival of the procession before each sitting day of the house but I can’t help thinking that Julia Gillard must be thinking that the price that she has paid for making him speaker may end up hurting her just as much and possibly more personally than the deal that she repudiated with Andrew Wilkie on the Pokies, after all that was only about money where as Peter Slipper seems intent to ensure that the boot is on the other foot for Gillard:

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The Speaker, Peter Slipper, has the quaint view that questions should be answered.

Resplendent in black robe, white bow tie and barrister’s tabs, fresh from his latest ceremonial procession to the House, Mr Slipper decided to enforce his edict at the first opportunity yesterday.

His mood was possibly sharpened by the appearance of the fellow he replaced as Speaker, Harry Jenkins, sporting his own silvery bow tie. The view around Parliament was that Mr Jenkins was gently taking the mickey.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott opened combat with his favourite subject: reminding Ms Gillard that she had promised during the last election campaign that there would be no carbon tax. Now she was introducing just such a tax and had admitted she had made mistakes she regretted, would she ”rescind her deception” and put aside the tax until she took it to the next election?

Mr Slipper ordered Mr Abbott to withdraw the word ”deception”. But when Ms Gillard launched into her answer the full might of the Speaker was exerted.

”Putting a price on carbon was the right thing to do and I stand by it,” Ms Gillard began, her eyes turning flinty in the style she has assumed following the Great Unpleasantness of the past week.

And then, in her well-practised manner, Ms Gillard turned the question on its head and got stuck into the opposition, declaring that Coalition MPs might like to explain why they had promised to introduce a price on carbon during the 2007 election campaign. As she reached full throttle, Mr Slipper called for her to be ”directly relevant” to the question.

Ms Gillard sailed on, and the Speaker hollered again for her to get back to the subject at hand.

The Prime Minister, who appeared to have been studying Meryl Streep’s Oscar-winning depiction of Maggie Thatcher in The Iron Lady, wasn’t for turning. It was a battle of wills.

Mr Slipper triumphed. He simply turned off the Prime Minister’s microphone, told her she would no longer be heard and sat her down.

Ms Gillard appeared thunderstruck.

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Now isn’t that just lovely?
The thought of that Liberal Dog now biting the hand that gave it the job guarding the house  is just utterly delightful. of course if we take a moment to think about it there is a beautiful and obvious logic to Slipper taking the role of being an independent speaker  very seriously, and insisting that all, including Gillard follow the rules of the house properly. By acting as he has and how he clearly intends to continue Slipper must feel that he has a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the public generally  and specifically  those in his electorate who now feel that they won’t vote for him again because they could  just think that Slipper is not such an onanist after all.
Laughing loudly about this Comrades

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Peter Slipper bewigged and malodorous

Just a quickie this morning as I very soon have to get my number one child up and ready for school. I find this story rather sadly amusing:

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The man knows that he has no reputation and that he is loathed so much in his own seat that he will be turfed out at the next election and clearly he is not seeking any sort of redemption in the eyes of the public with nonsense like this.
So much for the Gillard‘s government being “progressive” if they are willing to countenance nonsense like this.

Cheers Comrades
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Frog Soup

While we deal with too much water per se up here in Queensland down Canberra way the political water which surrounds the embattled Prime minister just continues to get warmer with former supporter and all round  nut job Andrew Wilkie now saying that he will support an, as yet unmooted by the opposition, motion of no confidence in the government.

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Of course all it needs now is just one of the members  that Gillard currently counts upon to cross the floor and Gillard and her motley crew would be gone. Sadly I don’t see it happening, mainly because we have a slowly boiling frog situation here in this parliament and I can’t see any of the government  MPs leaping out of the pot  no matter how uncomfortable the water temperature is getting.  What it boils down to is that Labor members have two choices: stay in the pot with Gillard or leap into the fire of voter anger over her incompetence. Which is something like Hobbson’s choice  if you ask me.

Frankly I expect that what we will see, over the near future, is just some slowly simmering frog soup flavoured by the bitter disappointment of Labor’s true believers (like our Ray 😉  ) who know the taste is unpalatable and the stench unbearable yet they have no choice but to declare that the soup is, like the curate’s egg, “good in parts”.

Cheers Comrades

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A Trifecta of gambling misery

Gambling has never been my thing, and I am cynical enough to realise that anything other than a friendly wager for a token bet is just a bit of a (dare I say it after the last couple of posts? Well why not, I must be on a roll 😉 ) pissing contest. Thus I can visit licensed clubs where there are rows of poker machines and be totally indifferent to their charms. There are clearly lesser mortals who are prone to put their entire life savings into the money sucking electronic parasites as if that is the entire reason for them drawing breath. Now various do-gooders are keen to put the brakes upon these pernicious machines and I can understand that desire but as long as the governments are on the revenue stream teat of the pokies they will be doing their darnedest to keep the cash flow going. there is a clear contradiction here and as our less than beloved PM tries to maintain support on the floor of the house she is faced with having to break her promise To Andrew Wilkie that she would legislate for his mandatory pre commitment scheme.
Strangely enough I am less than convinced that he would bring down the government over the issue even though he has suggested that he would do just that.

The scheme has been dogged by a fierce campaign from clubs in Labor-held seats, and faces possible defeat on the floor of Parliament with the chances of a Coalition MP controversially crossing the floor remote.

Such a defeat would deeply embarrass the PM.

Ms Gillard is believed to be considering $1 betting limits on gaming machines instead of pre-commitment cards – or a hybrid scheme – which is more widely supported by politicians.

Senator Nick Xenophon, one of the greatest supporters of Mr Wilkie’s scheme, has urged his colleague to walk away from the deal with Ms Gillard, saying she is going to “dud” him.

Despite striking the deal with Mr Wilkie to garner his support to form minority Government, Ms Gillard is now less in need of his backing because Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper‘s defection from the LNP last year gave Labor an extra vote.
Courier Mail

As for Wilkie, I’m glad to see that sanctimonious lefty brought down a peg or two by political reality even if that reality is based upon the improved parliamentary position courtesy of the self serving “Rat” from Nambour.

The thing is if governments want the revenue then the social consequences of some fools putting their entire lives through the slot is the unavoidable downside as is the tendency for some of the more extreme gambling addicts to steal to feed their habits . Maybe instead of all of this sledgehammer stuff a better approach would be to legislate so that money that is stolen and gambled away can be recovered from the machine operators. This when Jane Doe embezzles a shit load of cash from her employer to feed the pokies the machine owners won’t profit from the crime as they do now. I suspect that in such circumstances that the clubs would be rather more keen to encourage “responsible gambling” because they must notice when an individual is spending far beyond their means…

Maybe Tim Friedman is right that we should just “blow up the pokies” because I can’t see a way that they can ever be common and not cause a great deal of social misery but we all know how tough it is to try to come between an addict and their drug of choice and the worst addicts are the state governments who are addicted to the revenue, followed by the clubs who are addicted to the profits and at the bottom of this trifecta of misery are the poor saps who are addicted to the flashing  lights and empty promise of the big payout. Its a most unedifying example of the worst aspects of our society and one that we should get rid of entirely.

Cheers Comrades.

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Aren't we all losers from comercialised gambling?

 

Pokies – a sensible solution

(This post is reproduced from my home blog Alpine Opinion)

Pretty, ain't they? How can anyone be so stupid as to tip their money (and life) into these things? Beats me.

Just limit the size of bets!

I’ve never liked Andrew Wilkie’s gun-to-the-head approach over gambling reforms. Not that I’m a fan of gambling (I think those who can’t resist the temptation are fools and we all know about ‘a fool and his money’), it’s just that I don’t think this dweeb from Hobart – who only received 20% of the 90,000 first preference votes in his own electorate – had any kind of mandate to insist on such wide national reforms in the first place. But he did and, as we all know, he made his support for Julia Gillard’s minority government totally dependent on her passing these reforms by 2012. I reckon Gillard should have played it tougher, refused to be blackmailed and dared him to go with Abbott. He wouldn’t have. She should have handled the Greens that way over the Carbon Tax too.

Anyway, it’s good to see that at least one independent MP ain’t buying Wilkie’s draconian mandatory ‘pre-commitment’ scheme and wants him to water it down to simply having a maximum bet of $1 per spin. Common sense at last:

Independent MP Tony Windsor says he is currently opposed to the mandatory pre-commitment, but is interested in the idea of a one dollar bet cap.

“I’ll wait and see what I’m not voting for or what I am voting for or what some compromise may or may not be,” he said.

“I think we should have a serious look at what the one dollar bet means in terms of being able to achieve an outcome without the capital cost of mandatory pre-commitment.”

What do you think? I reckon the pre-commitment idea was going to destroy the clubs because, let’s face it, why the hell should you have to be registered to gamble? That’s like saying we also need a license to: drink, smoke and even eat. Think about it – those things are just as potentially harmful and addictive as gambling. Alcohol, tobacco and fatty foods are killing people and destroying lives too – probably more so (much more so) than gambling.

I also believe that doing something about the easy access to gaming online and the placing of pokies in hotels would be a better solution. These things are a blight on our society and aren’t there enough of them in the clubs to keep us happy? At least the clubs use them for the benefit of their members and the wider community. If the only pokies were at services clubs at least that would confine the problem to venues that don’t have such wide appeal – like pubs and the Internet.

Oh, and gambling on the footy (especially AFL) really sucks and should be dropped like a hot potato, if not banned outright in my opinion. Gambling on horse racing? Well, that’s been around for ages and how are you going to intervene there? Like I said, a fool and his money ….

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The Queenmaker and Saturday Schadenfreude

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shamelessly nicked from Andrew Bolt 🙂

For those readers who are inclined to appreciate a bit of Saturday morning Schadenfreude  I post this clip from Auntie and I invite you all to take note of both the form of words chosen by the member for Dobell and his delivery and demeanour. Now it may just be my bullshit detector going off here but I get the very distinct impression that he is delivering a scripted (by party advisers) response rather than anything that is sincere and honest.

On the other hand we also have Andrew Wilkie from Tasmania circling like a malignant crow ever ready to exploit the situation and take joy from the role of queen maker; what more could you want on a lovely spring day?

 Update I recommend Laurie Oakes’ piece in the Herald Sun as a lovely way to enhance that delicious Saturday morning Schadenfreude 😉

Cheers Comrades

Swings are clearly stronger than roundabouts for the government in the latest polling

There are certainly times when you get something and it turns out to be rather more toxic than you thought it would be as I am sure the Labor MPs have been discovering of late.

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This morning they will be beginning a new week with the knowledge that they are even more on the nose with the electorate than they were before. They may try to take comfort from the continuing popularity of Malcolm Turnbull but that is very small beer indeed compared to the disarray that Labor finds itself in at present. With the Carbon tax top of the list of things people hate about Labor a sensible PM would just admit that it ain’t going to fly with the people and drop the bloody thing calling the bluff of the independents and the loopy Greens because it just has to be better for brand Labor to demonstrate that it still has its balls rather than continue dancing to their tune just to stay in the lodge.

Lets face it The Greens and Andrew Wilkie have to realise that if they bring down Gillard that their influence of government will be over and they will not get any opportunity  to influence government for a very long time indeed, they will have killed the Labor party stone dead by insisting that they introduce a Carbon tax. Speaking of which has anybody noticed that Poor old Greg Combet is looking rather haggard of late? He has been given the task of selling the detested Carbon Tax and his funereal demeanour says it all, he is like a bacon seller in a mosque, and he knows it.

The one bright spot for the  government is that the idea of limiting the amount of money that gamblers can throw down the ever hungry maw of poker machines is overwhelmingly popular, heck even I think that the Pokies are evil and I am proud to say that I have never wasted a single cent playing those vile machines, That said I wonder if the Wilkie scheme will actually achieve its aim and think that there is merit in the suggestion that there be some real world testing (as suggested on the Insiders ) in a few towns to see if the technology works and it has any impact on the way that people use the machines. Sadly the truly problem gamblers, like any addict, will find a way to gamble no matter what barriers are put in place to discourage them. Personally I think a far better solution to problem gamblers is to create disincentives for  the owners of the machines who so love the poor deluded gambling  fools. Things like making the recovery of money stolen and gambled away easier (or even just possible ) would be a very good start. How many times have we read about people who steal to sustain a gambling habit?  Just why gambling venues can not be made to return stolen money has always perplexed me. After-all any other sort of stolen property can be recovered and its recipients charged with receiving stolen goods so why can’t that be the case when a gambler steals to gamble? The result would have to be club  owners being more vigilant for those who are obviously betting beyond their means  and creating a sort of self regulation. Wilkie may be acting from the best intentions here but I just don’t think that his solution will do that much about what is a terrible problem.

Cheers Comrades

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