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The current crisis, courtesy of The Guardian newspaper and its source Edward Snowden, has brought out of the woodwork all sorts of advice to the new federal government. One of the more bizarre ideas came from former foreign minister Bob Carr. He suggested Julie Bishop should fly to Jakarta and apologise to the Indonesians. I hope she doesn’t. That’s an absurd suggestion. It would undermine once and for all the age-old policy of neither confirm nor deny. And if The Guardian publishes another allegation, does she apologise again? Or if the allegation is serious, but false, how does she start explaining why she won’t apologise? You see the point. The Carr formula is a formula that could unravel our intelligence capabilities. As Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten should dissociate himself from this nonsense. Instead, he seemed yesterday to endorse it.
What is more, neither Bishop nor Tony Abbott was in government at the time of the alleged phone interception. The prime minister was then Kevin Rudd and the foreign and defence ministers were Stephen Smith and John Faulkner, respectively. So if there was any apologising to do, they should do it. For the reasons I’ve mentioned they shouldn’t apologise. They should do nothing.
The Snowden affair is arguably the most serious breach of security in history. It’s certainly a sad indictment of America’s capacity to hang on to its own secrets as well as those of its allies. All this comes so soon after the huge WikiLeaks embarrassment. But it says something about the ideological disposition of the left-wing Guardian that it has shamelessly dribbled out this material to maximise the pain and embarrassment to the Western alliance. That may suit The Guardian but the cost to the national interests of Western countries will be very high. As John Sawers, the head of MI6, told a parliamentary committee last week: “Our adversaries are rubbing their hands with glee, al-Qa’ida is lapping it up.” Perhaps Snowden could now tell us about the intelligence capabilities of his hosts, the Russians.
The anguished cries form the usual suspects insisting that Tony Abbott should “apologise” are about as sensible as they are sincere. Clearly its not really about our relationship with Indonesia as much as its about seeking vindication for their claims that Tony Abbott is not up to the top job of being our PM. Once again the current government is being saddled with a mess created on Labor’s watch and the chutzpah of leftist minions chiding Tony Abbott for sticking to the long standing convention about neither confirming or denying anything about intelligence gathering is breathtaking in its opportunistic hypocrisy. Frankly if minions of the left are so keen on an apology to Indonesia then they should be seeking one from Kevin Rudd and or the relevant former ministers from the class of 2009 when the phone tapping is alleged to have occurred.
- Abbott’s defiant stand threatens ties (theage.com.au)
- Indon-Aust diplomatic tensions set to grow (news.theage.com.au)
- Indonesia Phone Taps: Bob Carr and Labor Should Say Sorry First (papundits.wordpress.com)
- Aust can’t be expected tp apologise-PM (news.theage.com.au)
- War of words: PM ignores pleas (smh.com.au)
- Abbott maintains silence on spy claims (skynews.com.au)
This is good news indeed and shows how shallow and very hollow are the confected outrage over the non-rorts being cited by the desperate minions of the left. The Abbott government are travelling just as I have expected with little effort expended to be media darlings and it is paying off in respect form the people who clearly prefer prefer quiet competence and a focus on the business of good governance rather than the daily cycle of inane press release politics.
I heard today on the ABC radio that Labor are now more likely to concede the point on the carbon tax repeal, something that I have long predicted. this is of course the only sensible thing that they can do but my guess is that they will continue to act without the “cannyness ” that Bob Carr was chiding them for lacking. for the the sake of the country one can only hope that the Labor party continues on in its current style so they remain unelectable for a very long time.
Cheers Comrade Yale
- Abbott’s popularity grows: Newspoll (sbs.com.au)
- Tony Abbott Builds On Election Landslide: Newspoll – 28 October 2013 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- “Performance was marred by a lack of caution and political cunning.” or “not fit to rule” take two (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- In the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Coalition extends lead over Labor (heraldsun.com.au)
- Australia’s new gov’t vows to scrap carbon tax (bigstory.ap.org)
- PM to release carbon tax repeal law (skynews.com.au)
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.”
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?
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:
So was he really worth more than a grand extra a day over Stephen Smith or Kevin Rudd?
Cheers again Comrades
- Bob Carr to quit Senate (smh.com.au)
- Bob Carr to announce his resignation (theage.com.au)
- Carr assesses Rudd-Gillard Labor era (news.theage.com.au)
- Profile: Bob Carr (abc.net.au)
- Chariot ride over, Carr bids farewell (theage.com.au)
- Carr resigns from the Senate (adelaidenow.com.au)
- Bob Carr’s reputation up in smoke (smh.com.au)
- Bob Carr’s $4200-a-day habit (smh.com.au)
poem ditty by GD
Kevvie in his kevlar suit
laughing ‘cos it’s all a hoot
Simon Crean gets the boot,
another day in Labor
Stephen Conroy’s face is red
his underpants are on his head
the censorship is all shot dead,
another Labor failure
the deficit is on the loose
Swan is looking like a goose
spending all with no excuse,
another a drunken sailor
the rusted-ons believe in Rudd
to save them from this bath in mud
but really he’s another dud,
not a Labor saviour
the voters wait with bated breath
to hear about a Labor death
but Joolia is such a pest,
it’s six months more hard Labor!
Interesting developments in the death throes of the Gillard regime,as the Fairfax press report that key backers are apparently reconsidering their support for the embattled Ranga. Of great amusement to me is that the . With her bait and switch attempt thanks to Comrade Conroy descended in to utter farce and humiliation as both the idea of this new “oversight” mechanism and the ineptitude of the way that Conroy has tried to ram it through the Parliament backfires badly with all but the out of tune lead singers of the Gillard is running a story denying that there , one of the key players in this end game is wavering in his support for GillardGlee Club realising that this is a doomed project and its going to take Labor with it. We see Labor spin in ever decreasing circles around its own plug hole .
Clearly the impending Gillard implosion may suit the barrackers for the Rundestration push but I personally don’t see how a credible government can be made from the clump of soggy pubic hair that will be dragged out of the drain after the Gillard gurgle has grunted its last graceless gasp. Would even the most dedicated Labor voter have any joy or confidence in the party when faced with that pencil stub and the ballot paper? Oh I know that many dyed in the wool true believers will still vote Labor at the next election they won’t be able to do with their hand that which their heads tell them is necessary but it will be with a bleak resignation rather than any joy or devotion to the party, and that dear friends is the tragedy here that a party formed under a bent gum tree at Barcaldine which and has held the faith of ordinary working people for a century has been slowly committing suicide since 2010. There have been too many errors of judgement, from both Rudd and Gillard and too many times that they have taken the people for granted and even when Gillard’s Coup and the subsequent reduction of Rudd’s sizeable majority into a a whimpering minority government beholden to both the loopy Greens and even loopier “independents” and now as the endgame unfolds all we see is farce played out with a deadly earnestness that demonstrates just how unfit to rule Labor has become.
Will Abbott be better? The Gillard Glee Club have been hyperventilating about every possible scare that they can invoke, from dawn to dusk they have been insisting that the sky will fall and that we will be plunged into a “new dark age” of repressive 1950’s proportions, women will be chained to sinks, and forbidden to either close their legs or wear shoes according unreconstructed Glee club . The Warminista faithful are certain that an Abbott government will condemn us to being fried by Gaia‘s wrath while they sip their Lattes by the beach. The vested interests tremble in fear that their Rolls Royce dreams of the NBN will not be delivered as promised by Gillard ( like, who but the Glee Club believed it anyway?) but people like my neighbour just dream about getting ADSL rather than the wonky satellite broadband they have to put up with because our exchange has only limited ports. Every where you look in the political landscape there is disappointment caused by the grandiose promises mouthed by Labor and the lack of subsequent delivery and its that disappointment that will ensure that the Abbott government which makes much more modest promises endures for far longer than Labor has since 2007. There are certainly things that Abbott is likely to do that I think will not be of benefit to the country, their climate change policy is one of them and I think it could at this point be quietly dropped in its entirety but it won’t be. In the some category is the submarine program and the Joint strike fighter purchase In the age of the drone and the attack helicopter I cant for the life of me see what we need either.
I don’t see Abbott falling for the short-sightedness of rushing to placate the sectional interests of his own party either because its clear to me that he is playing a long game here and that game recognises that rashness and “crash through” thinking creates more problems than it solves. The desire for administrative longevity should see a rather more dull political landscape in the opinion of this humble scribe and after the last five years of “Labor excitement” I think that I am going to be very good with a few years of dull and predictable.
- Gillard is definitely not drunk… or Conroy’s zombie hordes shuffle in time to the beat of his drum (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Cabinet ministers desert Gillard (theage.com.au)
- Gillard can beat Abbott – Shorten (bigpondnews.com)
- Loss of confidence in Gillard (smh.com.au)
- Gillard an ineffectual campaigner (smh.com.au)
- Labor troubles now entrenched (smh.com.au)
- PM facing landslide loss in new poll (bigpondnews.com)
Did you all miss me while I spent the last few days in the wet no man’s land disconnected from the world with no power Phone or internet? well I missed youse all!
Anyway Today’s little snippet is the story of the retirement of Robert McClelland from a safe seat no less :
Naturally I can’t help thinking that this will be the first of many “retirement” announcements from labor’s ranks as those members who have known the, err, “pleasures” of life in her majesty’s loyal opposition dread returning to that role after the coming election, Robert McClelland was a Rudd man and that must have had something to do with it as well now that our dear Brother Number One will never attain the primacy again, unless it is in the despair of a devastated post election ALP. Dare I suggest that like all smart rats Robert McClelland knows when the ship is taking on water?
The election dance begins
- Robert McClelland tipped to retire (news.smh.com.au)
- McClelland set to bail out of election (dailytelegraph.com.au)
- Robert McClelland confirms retirement (news.com.au)
- Robert McClelland confirms retirement (news.theage.com.au)
- Libs keen to contest Barton: Abbott (news.theage.com.au)
- McClelland to quit politics at next election (abc.net.au)
Hmm Well its nice to have the wife along on trips occasionally but all of the time while on the taxpayer’s dollar? Maybe Bob has gone too far on this one. Maybe we should call or roving foreign minister Bob “two seats” Carr, one very expensive seat on the Security Council and one expensive seat in the plane for his wife…
Ah the United Nations is such a noble idea, you know the concept is that all of the nations of the planet should have an overarching origination where they can voice their concerns and address their concerns in ways other than war and violence. While my friends on the left let their pious hopes for world peace see the UN as a very worthwhile entity. I personally can’t see it as anything other than a toothless and empty piece of window dressing that talks the talk and doesn’t even shuffle the walk. Yet here we are with Julia Gillard doing a big sales pitch for this humble country to have a temporary seat on the security council.
Why on earth should the opposition support and endorse this exercise in self aggrandisement by the Labor party? I personally can’t fault the opposition for being realistically negative about the place of the UN in global politics But I’m interested to hear from readers about what they think about this bid and what the value to both Australia and the world would be if we were to win that seat.