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Call and Response

Kevin Rudd (labor@australianlaborparty.emailnb.com)
5:44 AM
To: Iain Hall

Iain,

I just finished officially launching Labor’s election campaign in Brisbane. You might have watched on TV or followed along online. I hope you are proud of our strong campaign so far and ready for the days to come.

You supported our campaign, and I thank you for that. But this campaign is far from over, and I need to ask for something specific now.

Can you donate one more time?

This election is there to be won if we work hard until the end.

There are two election campaigns happening. One is being reported by the pundits and on the frontpage of the tabloids. That the campaign is already over, and Tony Abbott is already as good as in The Lodge. But there’s another campaign – the real campaign, where we have had thousands of donations, just like the one you gave, and where thousands of volunteers are making calls and knocking on doors. If we keep focussed on fighting that campaign, there’ll be an upset on Saturday.

As voters think about the brutal cuts to the bone that Tony Abbott has planned, they are thinking again about their vote. We’re seeing it across the country. We have a strong argument for the closing week: Labor builds up education, health, our nation’s infrastructure; the Liberals cut, they tear down. It’s a good message because it is true.

In my launch speech, I talked about the work we all need to do this week That work will cost money. It will be strongest if we can club together. Please make a donation of $5, or whatever you can afford.

I am proud of the campaign we are running this country together, and I am grateful for your work.

Kevin

 

to which I Replied

  • RE: What we’re focussed on:‏

Iain Hall
7:04 AM
To: Kevin Rudd

Dear Kevin
Thank you for your email however I feel that in the light of the record of  the Labor Government over the last six years that either donating to the party would be a foolish thing to do. you see I have been profoundly disappointed by both you personally and the whole ideology of the party in general.

Worse yet  you seem to be following precisely the same path as the one trod by Anna Bligh in the last days of her government and frankly if you want  to do a truly good service to the Australian Labor Party  you will try to conduct your self with good grace as you make your way towards the defeat that you have so richly earned,
Maybe the ALP will be fit to govern again in the future but I fear that iot may well be something that I will only see in my dotage.

Sincerely
Iain Hall

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Peter Beattie and that telling grin

Yesterday I was a man on a mission off to the wilds to pick up an engine and a gearbox for my Morris project, these are not the parts that I will actually use in the car, rather they are just parts that I have borrowed from my long suffering brother to work out  the mountings and other details of the installation in my car. Anyway it was that away mission that found me missing out on the Peter Beattie chapter of the sad and sorry saga  of the Federal Labor party yesterday .  Unlike my other regular commentators I know Beattie pretty well, in fact when I was a student  he used to be a regular at the Mexican restaurant that I worked at in Milton. So I can honestly say that I have known of him well before he even rose to star status up here in Queensland. and to be honest I have always thought that he is a “good bloke”. So when I heard on the radio that he was going to stand in Forde for the ALP my initial reaction was to think that he could be a good man to have in the parliament.

Then I gave the matter some thought and I was a little less sure. You see I began  to remember that this good bloke had made a few rather big calls that were less than wonderful. Things like privatising electricity distribution which promised a new era of lower energy prices (my current bill in next to me on the desk ere and its twice what it was this time last year ) I remember too that while he was a competent Premier he steeped down so that Anna Bligh could become premier and she was a bloody disaster creating the financial mess that Campbell Newman is working so hard to fix even though it is at the cost of his popularity.   Then there is his famous “water grid” a net work of pipelines pumping stations and water recycling systems that was built during the last big  decade long drought that we endured.  The idea may yet prove to be of value should we have another long dry spell but now that the weather has swung back to its more normal rain fall levels its hard to see the whole thing as anything other than a global warming hysteria white elephant, which, like the mega expensive desalination plant at Tugan  on the Gold Coast just sits idle.

 Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie, with his wife, Heather, announces his Labor candidacy for a Brisbane seat yesterday. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: TheAustralian

Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie, with his wife, Heather, announces his Labor candidacy for a Brisbane seat yesterday. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: TheAustralian

Beattie is without doubt a consummate media performer he is an utter and unashamed “media tart” who can play the “chooks” with the sort of talent that most political candidates enviously aspire to. He even leaves the would be Labor Messiah  Kevin Rudd for  dead in his ability to play the media to his political advantage, however he does have one very obvious “tell” when what he is doing is a bit  less than sincere and that is his tendency to crack the biggest toothy and undimable smile when he is playing the media game. Its like some part of him is self-conscious of t he stunt  and he then over compensates in trying to sell the contrived message. That  “tell” was very much in evidence yesterday at the media  appearances that he put in with Rudd. He was trying just a bit too hard to prove how much he endorsed the new again Dear Leader even though it was only a matter of a couple of months ago that he was dressing Rudd down for destabilising Gillard.

What it boils down to for me is that while at an emotional level  I like the man, and I even respect him for his time as premier I just don’t think that he is as sincere about his enthusiasm for federal politics. You know how I see politics as a game? Well deep down I think that Peter Beattie does as well and he is playing this move for all that its worth. He may even win the seat but if he doesn’t then I think that he will still  enjoy the journey , if he does win Forde then The ALP may benefit from having a “good bloke” in its parliamentary ranks but I can’t see the faux friendship with Rudd lasting long  into either Government or opposition after September 7.

Cheers Comrades

stir

No one gives a Gonski about anything Gillard says

When you are impotent its rather difficult to convince your paramours that you can give them a scorching seeing to if they don’t do as you wish. thus I find that Gillard’s threats to the states about their majority  disinterest in he “Gonski ” education plan rather pathetic and just a little bit sad.

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click for source

Lets be honest here, NO ONE expects that Labor will be in office in six months time let alone the next six years which means that all of the threats about future funding are ridiculous and it demeans the office of Prime minister for Gillard to keep up the pretence that Labor stands a snowflake’s chance in hell of making good on anything it promises between now and September 14. Even if we were not in an Ersatz election campaign and Labor was not facing defeat beyond that which it received in Queensland there is the not so small matter of Gillard’s form when it comes to truthfulness which the voters are reminded of every time they pay their energy bills which always invoke a memory of the foundational lie of the Gillard incumbency ” There will be no carbon tax under a government that I lead ” still echoes for me when ever Gillard says anything at all and I’m very sure I’m not the only one who can’t forget or forgive her for such dishonesty.  If there is a song that epitomises Labor’s stench to the voters it has to be this:

While the alternative is not perfect it does not need to be to be better than the disaster that is the Labor party that is disintegrating more every new day. the only bright spot for Labor true believers has to be the fact that the  loopy Greens are likewise in substantial  decline and now struggle to get into double digits.

Cheers Comrades

no-to-j-gillard

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!!!!

Making them pay

I think I must have been about 17 and still living at home when it happened.  We had opened our home to a young man who was what the bleeding hearts would call “troubled” he was about my age, utterly illiterate and eventually we had to ask him to leave for stealing from us, but not in a nice  way and we were rather surprised to find him coming in the back door the next night. I was even more surprised to see my father shouting at him to “Get out of my house NOW!”  even though this young thug was fit, strong and armed with a large  knife, Thug boy retreated the way that he had come in and at that moment I was amazed at the bravery of my father because he has faced down thug boy empty handed and succeeded in keeping his family safe.

As adults we know that if we do the wrong thing that being brought before the beak will have real consequences to our lives but just imagine if we faced nothing of consequence even if we were to, say, rob an elderly couple at knife point do you think that we would have anything but contempt for the police and the courts? Well that is the situation for juvenile offenders here in Queensland, heck even if a Juvenile offender breaches the conditions of their correction orders there are no consequences, it is not even an offence under the current legal system to ignore the directions of the courts.  Thankfully there are moves afoot to reform the way that young scrotes offenders are “punished” by the courts and most importantly to get rid of the ridiculous  idea that locking up young offenders should be a “last resort” as the act currently requires. Of course this change won’t mean that first offenders will automatically do the monopoly “Go to jail, do not pass go , do not collect $200” thing but in the age of the internet we can no longer pretend that clued up young crims don’t know the score and don’t know that even if they are caught that they will essentially get off Scott free. that breaching corrections orders is not even a chargeable offence.

Thankfully the Newman government is currently working on reforming the Juvenile justice system to fix these shortcomings in the system as a community we need the law to have meaningful sanctions for those who break it no matter how young they may be because its clear to the wider community that the status-quo is just not working. The intentions of the compassionate and naive to give young offenders the chance to be redeemed is noble but when such chances are endless the sanctions of the courts become utterly impotent. As a society we need the courts to be effective and its very clear that the juvenile justice system here is utterly broken and I really hope that the current review fixes it and if it means that the current generation of young thugs actually do some real porridge then that will be a very good outcome.

Now if they could just bring back hanging then we could really make a dent in the numbers of criminals in our midst  😉

Cheers Comrades

hangman noose on own

Without dignity all is lost for Labor

I have been greatly bemused by the instance from the Gillard cheer squad that Gillard’s misfortunes are all down to the hostile media in the thrall of both Rupert Murdoch and Gina Reinhardt they insist that even the ABC   has become an instrument of the evil right wing conspiracy to oust their heroin(e) from the lodge. Gillard’s low standing is , they insist all because nothing she does is reported clearly and honestly without the efforts of the evil media overlords. Its desperate ranting the most of it and full to the brim with denial of the simple fact that we are being governed by the worst administration on living memory.  It is a party that has lost every shred of its dignity  and I just can’t help but think that Gillard is working from precisely the same script as the one   that was so  diligently used  by the unlamented Anna Bligh.

Like Bligh we have had the economic incompetence (who can forget Labor’s billion dollar stuff up of the Nurses pay system? )  and the undignified attempts to smear an ascendant opposition leader. None of which  resulted  any rise in the standing of the incumbent, if anything media stunts like Gillard’s “misogyny speech” only spoke positively to the most devoted of her acolytes  the rest of the nation just went “ho-hum” and wrote it  off as more undignified whining. The very final act of desperation form Bligh, in interlay begging the voters not to give Campbell Newman too much power  worked so well for Labor that in opposition they have been reduced to a mere eight seas  in the Queensland parliament and total irrelevance to the political process here.

Federally that is the prospect that Labor faces as well, to be frank I thought until recently that federal Labor might just fare better that Bligh at the next election but now I think otherwise. They seem likely to loose most of not all of their seats up here in Queensland, Rudd may be the exception because he has done a rather effective job of self promotion, Swan on the other hand is widely derided for his incompetence and I don’t think that he can survive the swing to ride the roundabout of opposition, why would eh want to anyway? If he were to hold his seat I don’t think it would be long before he found an excuse to retire from politics even though the seat would likely  be lost in a subsequent by election.

Then we have the joys of western Sydney that Gillard has been partaking of during the last week, boy what a great success that has been for Labor Julia Gillard and her minders   have managed to get just about every thing  arse about as Mungo MacCallum points out:

It is hard to believe with hindsight, but Julia Gillard’s safari to the western suburbs of Sydney was not really such a bad idea.

After all, this is – or at least has been since time immemorial – Labor territory, and in the present circumstances it needs a bit of tender loving care. It may be too late; the patient may be beyond recovery. But Gillard had to make the effort.

And if it was always going to look more like campaigning than governing, to quote her own rather artificial distinction, well, so what? Given that Tony Abbott has done nothing but campaign for the past 40 months, she can hardly be blamed for playing a bit of catch-up.

The mistake was to confuse campaigning with slapstick. Almost the only good thing that came out of last week’s fiasco was that it made the perfect scenario for a textbook on how to lose friends and influence people – to vote against you. It must have taken real dedication to cram so many errors, gaffes and downright embarrassments into a single expedition.

Even the normally sympathetic Fairfax press this morning ran a piece by Alan Stokes that can only be described as the cold hard light of reality reminding the Age faithful  that Life under an Abbott government will not be the sum of all of the Latte sippers fears as  the left’s denailists  have repeatedly insisted:

Amid all the scaremongering, it’s easy to forget this: Labor and the Liberals tussle mostly over the middle ground. Most government decisions emerge from consensus or compromise between two fairly similar world views. Cynics might even say modern politics is all about power and not world views anyway.

Still, the measure of a caring nation is how it treats its most vulnerable. So we cannot ignore the dangers of changing to Abbott. But we can be realistic. The awkward reality for middle Australia is usually that what’s lost on the political roundabout is gained on the swing.

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I was actually rather surprised to read this piece in the Age this morning because up until recently such realism was almost unheard of from  the Fairfax press I can truly commend the piece to our readers  as an example of political sobriety in a sea of drunken denialism. I can almost hear the chorus saying that this too is an example of the conspiracy to lay low the  good Gillard government. Its also certain that they will be championing Conroy’s attempt to shift the political debate to his half baked, yet over cooked scheme to muzzle the media    as James Paterson points out in the Australian  its a rather extreme reaction to a critical press:

Australia now also effectively will have a press licensing system. Any media outlet not signed up to a government-endorsed media regulator will lose journalistic privileges such as exemptions from privacy laws.

This will force media groups that are not presently members of bodies such as the press council to join, and is a powerful threat to existing members that they must not leave. It will be virtually impossible to run a media outlet in Australia without being under the supervision of government-appointed bureaucrats.

The last time that media outlets were subject to press licensing in the English-speaking world was 1693. What was too tyrannical for the English in the time of William and Mary is apparently acceptable in 21st-century Australia.

I can’t for the life of me imagine that Conroy’s scheme will be anything other than a distraction rather in the mould to the Gay marriage push of recent memory. In one sense its clever politics to push this issue because its bound to raise the passions of the devoted to Gillard crew and help cement that siege/victim mentality about the “MSM” however for the general public it will be even more evidence of a government a drift in a sea of its self made  troubles. The requirement for the endorsement of the Greens and Independents means that Labor can float this grand scheme, have it shot down by Oakshott, Wilkie  or Windsor and still claim that they have “tried their best” to the faithful while not having to deliver on what is a rather  bad idea.   For those of us who are fans of the game  its a totally transparent play and even if by some confluence of  political(bad) luck Labor does mange to get this up it has no chance of surviving a change of government. So its futility is very clear indeed.

None of this will add to the dignity of  the Labor party and without some dignity no amount of stunts and political manoeuvring will save the Federal Labor Party from a rout of Queensland or West Australian proportions.  Will Gillard realise the futility of her position and seek the good grace that she has squandered with the likes of her misogyny speech, or will we see an ever changing parade of more desperate nonsense like Conroy’s announcement yesterday? Going on the Labor record I expect the latter.

Cheers Comrades

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3000

"You will read The Sandpit everyday and you will enjoy it no matter what tosh I publish....."

“You will read The Sandpit everyday and you will enjoy it no matter what sort of  tosh I publish…..”

This is my 3000th post here at the Sandpit, isn’t it amazing just how quickly this milestone has come around?

I like to think that this  blog functions at many different levels and its contents is as varied as life itself .

Its primary purpose has always been to keep me entertained and to give purpose to my morning cruise through the daily news reports and blog updates , to that end I like to write about the issue de jour that has taken my fancy as I sip on my first brew for the day.  Of course I have also shared some of the events that happen in my own life when I have thought them notable enough  and I have tried to do that with a little bit of wit and my rather wry sense of humour.

So for the next three thousand  posts I hope to continue to provoke and stimulate thought and words from you,  my dear readers, even if those thoughts and words are entirely focused on telling me that I have got it wrong in the most fundamental ways! Sometimes I even get feedback affirming that what I have said is correct, frankly either response pleases me though naturally the later has a somewhat sweeter effect on the palette.

Cheers   Comrades

stir

 

Richard III, Gillard, Campbell Newman, and Slo-Mo train wrecks

I have an eclectic sort of mind so I sometimes  see connections in the most unlikely news items. As such I can’t go past today’s announcement that they have definitely identified the remains of Richard III from an archaeological dig  beneath a  Leicester car park and the new speculation that Rudd may be getting close to the numbers for on final last tilt to wrestle the leadership back from Gillard.

Like the mythology of Richard III, Rudd faces a rather desperate and grim battle not only with in the ranks of his own party , but also against an ascendant opposition that is 12 points ahead in the opinion polls. While my dear friend Ray holds out some hope that Rudd may be able to swing an unlikely win at the election I tend to think that the best that Rudd could hope for may well be a slightly less chastening defeat, now if only he could possibly get someone to give him that horse…

The other news item that has had my imagination in gear has been Campbell Newman’s call for a rethink about the way that we rebuild after natural disasters . To may mind it beggars belief that we have for years rebuilt infrastructure destroyed by flood events in precisely the same place and to the same standard as that which was washed away.  The sensible and logical thing to do would be to change the sorts of things that we build and allow in the riverine flood plains upon which so many of our cities and towns are built. This speaking of good sense from Newman resonates with me and I have no doubt that it will resonate with most of my fellow Queenslanders.  It helps that we have had two flood events in rather rapid succession and that the latest one has washed away a substantial amount of the repaired infrastructure that has only recently been completed.  If only we could more easily follow the example set in Grantham where, under the otherwise woeful Bligh government the whole town was essentially moved to higher ground we might just avoid repeated flood “disasters”. Of course in a rural circumstance it is easier to do when there is both the undeveloped land and fewer people to relocate than is the case in a bigger city or town  but isn’t it more sensible to try than to put it into the “too Hard” basket and just hope that the heavens will be kind for a while? The other thing about this disaster and the central role being played by Newman in the coordination of the rebuilding efforts is that it has already banished the negative image of the Queensland premier from our news media. “Newman is governing and doing the job with drive and purpose” has replaced “Newman the sacker” in the minds of the voting public which is bound to blunt any of the so called “Newman factor” that has been been giving hope to the Labor party federally.  Which brings us back to the dire situation that vex  Labor true believers like Ray. Just what can they do in the face of the impending electoral doom? You could go into total denial like the more rabid left who are so fearful of an Abbott government that they trot out any old tat that convinces them (which is a a low bar to clear) while denying any fault or shortcoming in the Labor government. Its amusing to watch and I even had a bit of fun  pointing out the flaws in their arguments but they can’t handle  the truth   there is a sort of watching a train wreck in Slo-mo quality to the federal government at present and I am at the same time both revolted and delighted by the sound a fury of it all…

Cheers Comrades

Kevin is not a really useful engine because he spends to much time playing with troublesome trucks

Kevin is not a really useful engine because he spends to much time playing with troublesome trucks

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