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How Julia Gillard is going to be a sure-fire winner*

scrum

The more traditional game for the politically involved is Chess but as a cipher for modern democratic politics it is not really the best fit, the game is after all analogous to conflicting monarchies. Democracies have a very different dynamic. All of this is a rambling way of getting around to my view of politics as a game. Now I can just imagine that the howls of objection will begin and suggest that to see politics as a game is to not take it seriously, however as any committed sports fan will tell you there is nothing more serious than sport.

On one side of the field we have team Gillard who should have the home ground advantage except that they have done a really good job of upsetting their own fans and of course they have had to make up for the lack of a full team by bringing in some blow-ins who have their own ideas about how the team should play and its those blow-ins who have been the beginning  of Team Gillard’s   woes and led to them beginning their first quarter with a  very spectacular own goal that has haunted them ever since. Now even if you believe in climate change this betrayal of a  undertaking made just prior to the 2010 poll was very bad politics and evidence of a contempt for the voters.  It was bad politics because it destroyed what little good will Gillard had left after Knifing Rudd to become team Capitan. It was also bad politics because it showed just how desperate Gillard was to get a team together.  A better negotiator  would have walked away when the asking price was too high. That Gillard did not do so speaks volumes about her deal making ability and none of it is good.

Impulsiveness is often cited as one of Tony Abbott‘s failings  there is many a critic from the left who will insist that he is prone to “brain-farts” but there can be no better examples of flatulent thinking than the coniptions that has passed for the Gillard’s ever changing pattern of denial about the folly of changing the asylum seeker regime after winning the 2007 election. Really I don’t know if we should  classify this as one own Goal or many.  In the first instance there was an unbelievable denial that there was even a problem, the fans did not buy it for a minute,  then there was the Timor solution that not even the Timorese knew about even though it had been announced by Gillard, then came the “Malaysian solution” which failed at the first legal  hurdle, finally after some furious instance that she would not have overseas processing  that is what she has created. By my count that has to be about half a dozen own goals on that issue alone.

In the more recent period of play we have seen even more own goals. The spirited defence of Craig Thompson has not been her finest hour and had she not been in such a precarious position on the numbers in the parliament  Thompson would have long since been forced to resign form the house and the Government would have been truly distanced  from the stench of corruption. However if Thompson is the “try” then appointing appointing Peter Slipper as Speaker of the house would have to qualify as a “conversion”  because the whole point was to shore up her numbers on the field and it has turned out to be a disaster from start  to finish. Firstly to make a place for Slipper in the speaker’s chair she had to give the well respected incumbent, Harry Jenkins the old heave ho and then Slipper invited derision and disdain for that high office with his instance upon reviving old out dated and pretentious ceremonial processions. Add to that the simple fact that he was dodgy on his attitude to his expense accounts and the sexual harassment claims against him and the whole business easily earns Gillard six demerit points.

But Gillard is not the only member of her team who is prone to making “Own goalsWayne Swan has scored more than his fair share it starts with the simple fact that not one of his five budgets have ever  turned out even close  to his predictions , well I suspect that has been the case for many treasurers but few have been made to look as much a fool as Wayne Swan has over his instance that the promised surplus would be delivered even though this claim was widely denounced by our most knowledgeable financial commentators. When it could not be denied any longer Swan did finally admit the obvious but by this time he was well over his own goal line and the touchdown was just a formality.

Of course there is no better example of Swan’s ability to score against Labor than the MRRT which has been so unreasonably celebrated  since its inception as away of clawing back a bigger  return to the Australian people for the mineral riches that fuels our economy. Quite a laudable aim in many ways but the own goal lays in the design of the tax and the way that it has been spent many times over before even one cent was collected. The revelations in Fairfax press about how Swan “negotiated” the deal should stand forever as an example of the way not to get the best outcome fro the Australian people .

Its not just been the front row of team Labor who have   been scoring goals for the other team the NBN has been a political disaster for Labor as well. Now as much as we all want a bigger brighter broadband network  the fact that the business case for such a grand scheme can possibly be excused in the name of nation building but the cost blow-outs and endless delays are far less forgivable,  likewise the minister Stephen Conroy has been less than scintillating in convincing the Australian people that the project will be worth the billions this is costing us to build it. Maybe not a own goal touchdown but it does move the ball very much into the scoring contention against their own interests .

But the biggest own goal score maker has to be the ever present Kevin  Rudd, this ghost of Christmas past has been haunting Team Labor since he was so ingloriously dispatched in the 2010 Coup. He is definitely not a team Gillard player even though he wears the team jersey. He clearly wants the Captaincy again but but like Marley’s Ghost he is burdened by the chains of his past sins and they may well be to heavy a burden for him to rise cream like to the top of the Labor pail. Then again if Labor is in losing big time they may just try to use him as a final all in bet.

On the other side of the field  Team Abbott have played a far more disciplined game , managing to largely stay on message and focused on the prize of ultimate victory when the final whistle blows . There have been a few stumbles but overall they have managed to maintain the momentum of play in their favour. Of course many of those who are dyed in the wool Labor Fans have been trying to get the game commentary onto the topic of next season’s  plays but Abbott is faced with a team who keep scoring goals for him rather than against him  so he does not have to work very hard to get that winning score. Sports fans  get easily bored by a  game which is too one sided  and they start to drift off to the beer tent well before the final whistle. They are drifting ale-wards  now and unless something truly extraordinary happens between now and September 14 we can expect Team Abbott to be crowned as champions on September 15.

Cheers Comrades

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*for team Abbott 😉

Where is Craig Thomson when you need him?

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Now if only Craig Thomson and his credit card had visited Brisbane more often this business may just have survived ….

Cheers Comrades

And the condemned man drank lots of water.

Like a lot of politics junkies I watched Craig Thompson’s address to the parliament and I must say that I found his rambling speech anything but convincing and his consumption of water was to say the least extraordinary and clearly a significant tell of just how fearful and nervous he clearly was about delivering his explanation to the house.

  Anyway what did everyone else think of this piece of tragic political theatre ?

Cheers Comrades

 

Julia Gillard and the problem left too long to cure

I tend to think that the age union movement has made itself largely redundant and it has certainly earned the disdain and distrust that most people express at the mention of  its exemplars Like Craig Thompson. Its redundancy stems from the changes in the workplace that has seen so much work becoming casualised or based upon fixed term contracts. Employers too have long realised that its expensive to select and train its workers so they are awake to the advantage of paying valued workers above the going rate to retain them. All of these factors have led to a very marked decline in union membership during the course of my lifetime and now the unions are in a decline that is likely to be terminal.

Sadly for those who still believe in unionism there must be great disappointment in the news that the ACTU is to finally move to stop the endemic corruption and and a very cavalier attitude to the funds gathered from union members that is so evident from the FWA investigation of the HSU (east).

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“The claims of misconduct, including kickbacks and rorting, had tarnished the entire union movement,”

Well Yes Prime minister  that is true but I tend to think that no amount of stating the obvious  is going to make any difference now and coming from a woman who has such a flexible view of telling the truth such claims have well, just about no credibility. Its rather sad for those who value the notion of a workers collective organisation that it has taken until now when the whole union concept is in serious decline for them to realise that integrity and good governance is important because the disease of corruption is probably too far advanced now  for meaningful redemption.

Cheers Comrades

If a Labor rout is the best that they can hope for should they get it over with ?

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In the game of politics there comes a point when no amount of “cleverness” is going to save a governemnt and its not at all surprising that The Gillard government continues its slide into political oblivion. If Labor was ever going to get a bounce from the showering of government largess upon the public it should have been evident by now. Sure some of the ALP faithful will be insisting that its the day that the money hits people’s pockets that will bring some bounce for this beleaguered regime but I don’t think that it will because in the age of EFT magically making money appear in your account even large deposits can easily go unnoticed.

The way that Labor’s fortunes are going they had better go to the polls soon while the swing is  only 8% because the longer that they wait the worse things seem to get.

Here is a left field idea just imagine that Craig Thompson decides that he has had enough of being the most hated man in parliament and he finally does the right thing and resigns his seat bringing down the whole rotten edifice of this very bad government. Gillard and Labor would be spared the whole  shallow pretence that they could win the election and they try instead to save face by fighting a clean campaign free from the “Abbott Abbott Abbott”  scaremongering……

OK some of that scenario is unrealistic but the way things are going it may just happen

Cheers Comrades

Tony Abbott doing what Labor should have done in the firstplace

There is much to praise in this announcement from Tony Abbott…

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott addresses the Institute of Public Affairs at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne. Picture: Stuart Mcevoy Source: The Australian

Citing the adverse findings made by Fair Work Australia against the HSU’s Victorian branch, Mr Abbott says if the offences had occurred in a company with directors, the offenders would have been exposed to criminal penalties including personal fines of up to $200,000 and up to five years’ imprisonment.

Under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009, individuals face lesser civil penalties of up to $2200.

In an address to the Victorian Liberal state council, Mr Abbott will assert his plan is about greater transparency, accountability and “protecting the interests of low-paid union members”.

“Australian workers who join trade unions deserve to know that their membership fees are being used for proper purposes,” he will tell Liberal Party delegates.

“The worst aspect of the HSU scandal is that 70,000 low-paid workers have had their hard-earned money misspent by union officials on political campaigns and escort services. Why shouldn’t the low-paid members of unions be afforded the same protections as shareholders?”

Under the Coalition proposal, the penalties i8n the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 would be the same as those in the Corporations Act 2001.

The Coalition intends to change the guidelines on financial disclosure and reporting so “they align more closely with those applicable to companies and that required by the ASX corporate governance rules”.

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Sadly there is also good reason to be sad that it takes the coalition to do what the Labor party should have done to protect the interests of workers when it comes to the misuse of union funds as exemplified by the allegations against Craig Thompson

Cheers Comrades

Richo,the gangrenous limb and members of the the rub and tug profession.

The Craig Thompson affair must go down in history as one of the lowest of the many low points for Labor under the Gillard regime and it may yet prove to be the gangrenous limb that kills that governemnt, In today’s Oz Richo does very good job of explaining why the necrotic tissue is giving of a very foul stench and why it is so toxic to the body of the Labor party and the Union movement  :

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When will this scandal ever end? Its so obvious that every man and his dog have been given the “Go slow” order on this and I have no doubt that we will be still talking about the scandal next April as the governemnt holds power entirely because of Thompson’s vote. But I can’t help wondering if one of the tarts who were paid with a HSU credit card might just come forward and tell the nation just who it was she serviced in those incriminating transactions on Thompson’s HSU credit card…
Now wouldn’t that be a feeding frenzy for the tabloid TV and newspapers? I don’t usually support chequebook journalism but for this scandal I think I could make an exception after all after admitting being with Thompson what working girl could expect to be well paid in the the rub and tug profession?
Cheers Comrades

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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