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In the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more

They say that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels and I can’t help thinking that political “conventions” about how you talk about your predecessors in overseas media and  forums are one of the great hiding places for ineptitude that the labor party and its facilitators  are trying their darnedest to invoke in a rather shabby  attempt to ignore their own repeated and egregious policy failures both domestically and internationally.  Take the criticism of  Tony Abbott for his robust characterisations of the previous Labor administrations as  “whacko”:

During your campaign you called for a repeal of the carbon tax imposed by the Labor Party. Why are you against this tax?

The carbon tax is bad for the economy and it doesn’t do any good for the environment. Despite a carbon tax of $37 a ton by 2020, Australia’s domestic emissions were going up, not down. The carbon tax was basically socialism masquerading as environmentalism, and that’s why it’s going to get abolished.

It will be abolished this year?

As soon as possible. If the Labor Party wants to give the people of Australia a Christmas present, they will vote to abolish the carbon tax. It was damaging the economy without helping the environment. It was a stupid tax. A misconceived tax.

You said in your victory speech that Australia is once again open for business. Does that mean you believe that the previous government was unfriendly to businesses?

I said Australia is under new management and is once again open for business. The previous government would often say the right thing but it would invariably do the wrong thing when it came to business. There was an explosion in red tape and green tape. There was a whole thicket of new restrictions in the labor market. There were big new taxes. It was a government which thought that there was no problem that more public servants, higher taxes and further regulation couldn’t fix.

So you’re reversing that?

We will do our damnedest to shrink the public service and have a bonfire of red tape and unnecessary taxes.

{…}

Labor wanted a national broadband network?

It’s a government-owned telecommunications infrastructure monopoly, which was proceeding at a scandalous rate without producing any commensurate outcomes. We are changing the objective from fiber to every premise in the country to fiber to distribution points, and then we will use the existing infrastructure to take the broadband to individual premises.

Is that cheaper and more efficient?

Vastly.

But Labor wanted to extend fiber to every household?

Welcome to the wonderful, wacko world of the former government.

So you believe the former government was doing a lot of things that were bad for the country?

I thought it was the most incompetent and untrustworthy government in modern Australian history.

Be more specific.

They made a whole lot of commitments, which they scandalously failed to honor. They did a lot of things that were scandalously wasteful and the actual conduct of government was a circus. They were untrustworthy in terms of the carbon tax. They were incompetent in terms of the national broadband network. They were a scandal when it came to their own internal disunity. They made a whole lot of grubby deals in order to try and perpetuate themselves in power.  It was an embarrassing spectacle, and I think Australians are relieved they are gone.

Source

Of course according to the Age this constitutes a terrible affront to the conventions of international diplomacy and their headline suggests that this interview is a terrible assault on the standing of our country but I can’t help but think that the Luvvies just have no ability to appreciate the importance of frankness and honesty when it comes to the way that our nation will be appreciated on the international stage, further we live in the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more. No discreet little places where the news and politics of a country can be hidden away from global scrutiny and while I can appreciate the desire not to see our dirty laundry aired in public its not as if we can (or should) hide the simple fact that the previous government was utterly incompetent in most areas of its remit. So there really is no reason or excuse for a lack of frankness when it comes to any international media interviews by the current government ministers or by our Prime minister. The ability for anyone anywhere on the planet to find out just what has been said domestically  by our political players means the more important consideration should be that they produce a message that is consistent both domestically and globally.  Tony Abbott has done precisely that in this interview. and I for one think that he should be celebrated for his candour rather than being admonished for it by the Luvvies at the Age who are hoping that Labor’s incompetence can be swiftly forgotten. Sadly for them I think that it will be remembered for a very long time and will keep the Labor party where they so deserve to be, in the in the dry and desert like  political wilderness, after-all, sinners need to become accustomed to the environment where their souls will reside for (nearly) eternity…

Cheers Comrades

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“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.”

Source

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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Rudd tries to use “poofter power” to save labor’s bacon

Imagine my surprise when my mate Kevin sent me this email overnight.

To: Iain Hall

Iain —

If I am re-elected Prime Minister, I will support marriage equality legislation in the first 100 days of Parliament.

At this evening’s debate, I made that commitment to the Australian people.

If you think it’s time for marriage equality, I’d like you to stand with me and show the country that we think it’s time:

It's Time for Marriage Equality

I’ve been thinking about the meaning of marriage for a long time – and I won’t hide the fact that this has been a journey for me. It is a difficult discussion, and I won’t force this on anyone. It will be a free vote for members of the Labor Party.

But here is what I know: we are at our best when we give all Australians the same dignity, the same opportunity for happiness.

I believe that no matter who we love, we all should be able to make that same promise I was able to make to Therese over 30 years ago. That all of us should be allowed to marry the one we love.

I am the first Prime Minister of this country going into an election promising to support marriage equality. So if you support equal marriage, I will need your support.

This is an issue that is very personal to people. What moves us to take a stand on this issue can move others too. If you think it’s time for marriage equality, share your story telling the country why.

http://www.itstimeformarriageequality.org/

It’s time.

Kevin

What it says to me is that there is no fringe issue that the New Again Dear Leader won’t try to exploit in his quest for re election. However if we give this brain fart even the most cursory inspection it will become obvious that it won’t save Rudd’s bacon because most of those who are hot to trot for gay marriage are Greens supporters or other minions of the left who would not vote for the coalition anyway. So the best that this could do is make a few votes that now only come to Labor as second preferences go directly to Labor which in real terms makes it a zero sum game, that is only if we can assume that those same progressives can get over their disgust for Labor’s PNG solution. Nah this whole grab for poofter power to save Rudd from political oblivion is bound to be as fecund as the gay couples that Rudd is seeking to exploit here. It may well come to pass that  as a society we decide to broaden the definition of marriage to include same sex pairings but  at present its invocations buy Rudd is just another example of the old bait and switch which Rudd hopes will shift the debate into the esoteric world of interpersonal domestic issues rather than the focus being upon Labor’s woeful record of mismanagement , overreach and wacky ideas that don’t work like the carbon tax.

Cheers Comrades

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Labor dumped by voters in the wake of the failed coup

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Labor’s dumping won’t be as pretty as this young woman

The News-poll this morning is  even worse for Labor than even I expected:

 

click for source (PDF)

click for source (PDF)

JULIA Gillard’s personal standing has crashed to a 19-month low and Tony Abbott is clearly back in front as the nation’s preferred prime minister after Labor’s “appalling” two weeks of political and policy failure.

According to the latest Newspoll survey, Labor’s primary vote has slumped five points to a disastrous 30 per cent after a fortnight that ended with the aborted leadership spill and mass cabinet resignations, with one in two voters now siding with the Coalition.

The collapse in the Labor vote has completely wiped out the party’s recovery in the second half of last year and has entrenched the prospect of a landslide vote against the government in the election scheduled for September 14.

After taking into account preference flows, federal Labor’s support is eight percentage points below its level at the 2010 election, at 42 per cent – a swing that if replicated in September would remove about 30 Labor MPs, including at least five ministers.

Source

This  can only be described as a electoral Tsunami and Ray’s 25% primary vote seems possible now . just imagine what it will be in September.

Cheers Comrade

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So will today be the Gillardageddon?

According to some pundits in the press today is likely to be the high noon moment for the Gillard Regime and the resurrection of Brother  Number One well personally I don’t know its certainly possible but I can’t help thinking that the internal animosities within the party might just prove to be irreconcilable. The Daily Telegraph  reports on a piece of information control that kept the news of  Rudd favourable polling away from the caucus just before the knives were pulled on Brother Number One.

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click for source

Its a story that would have made Machiavelli proud and one can imagine about way the Gillard coup plotters sought to control this crucial bit of information and just how relieved that they were to know that their efforts were successful. Then again its quite amazing that none of the caucus thought to ask just why a whole swag of party polling was suddenly cancelled at just the point in time when it was Rudd’s fall from grace with the voters that was the claimed reason for the sharpening of knives.

Labor have even further blotted their copy book with the rather heartless move against those single mums and even a committee that they head is saying so:

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click for source

Even the most heartless conservative can not fail to recognise the political madness of this so called “cost saving” measure. You can bet with great certainty that every one of those single parents will not be voting for Labor this time around and once people switch their vote it takes a great deal more incentive for them to return to the fold than it took to lose them in the first place. Its a whole lot of political injury for the party to save a few bucks. Worse still it makes a mockery of Labor’s claim to be “for” the disadvantaged in our community. If they wanted to save money that is well and truly wasted they should have abolished all of the “Clean Energy Future ” nonsense instead. That would save many billions more that the “savings” of this measure and on top of that it would have played better with the middle ground voters who have been crossing the political street to vote for Tony Abbott in droves.
As I see it the tragedy of the modern Labor party is that they have tried, without any benefit, to court the loopy left constituency which is far smaller and of course they can’t go too far in that direction without alienating the centre from which they are bleeding an ever increasing number of voters straight to the coalition. Their problem though is that those who slip into the loving embrace of the Greens tend to preference Labor but those who go to the Coalition will not return the same secondary benefit to the ALP. Am I the only one who can see the inherent problem in this  strategy here for Labor?

The new ALP HQ for the next decade or so

The new ALP HQ for the next decade or so

So will today be the Gillardageddon? I don’t know for sure but its shaping up that way and if it is I suspect that we will be going to the polls well before Sept 14. As a resurgent Rudd will seek to capitalise on any honeymoon period to maximise his chances of making a good showing in the final result. It will all be too little too late for the ALP who have utterly trashed their own reputation with such skill and acuity that a conspiracy theorist would be insisting that the party must have been infiltrated by agents of the Coalition. Back in the real world though  we can see that what has killed the Labor party has been two things firstly they have failed to keep pace with the changes to the demographics  of our society. No longer is there a vast cohort of low and semi skilled labourers who are amenable to the message of socialism and “worker solidarity” we have moved on form that to being a country were more workers are highly skilled and many are contractors or sell their Labor via their own small businesses. To these men and women  the union dominated Labor party are like a lumbering sauropod , a lumbering dinosaur that is out of its time and place in the current environment. Secondly they have lost sight of just how corrosive their own archaic internal processes are to their public image. I think that it will be a near fatal combination at the next election and that it will be the reason that The ALP will take up residence in the wilderness for a very long time.

Cheers Comrades

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Pulled from both the left and the right the beast is sure to fall.

Gillard and Labor suffer another education policy collapse

Usually it takes me a while to find a story to  write about but this morning it was right there as the lead news item in the Age (my first port of call in the morning) :

Click for source

Click for source

Well who is surprised that Labor’s scheme is falling in a heap now? when this wild idea was first mooted I had my doubts and It is now clear that I was right to be cynical that Labor was incapable of both delivering on their promise and that promise being properly maintained. of course this will come as something of a body blow to Gillard’s very long campaign. However I just can’t help thinking that  at this rate of revelations and bad news  Labor will be out of puff entirely by about a week after next Tuesday. As the annoying demtel ads would ask “how low can they go?” frankly I can’t believe that any government could be so stupid/incompetent  to devise a program that leaves parents in the lurch and obliged to buy or lease the laptops that Labor was insisting would be “free” to every high-school student  way back in 2007.

As is often the case technology has moved on as well and now the device that would be more  useful to high-school students would be a tablet computer that has all of the heavy and cumbersome  text books available in the form of Ebooks  these devices have no moving parts to fail (and need for maintenance )  and a more intuitive user  interface  heck they are even cheaper than laptops…

So what are we as parents and voters to take from this very expensive policy failure? Probably that it is folly for a government to make ostentatious promises when it comes to technological devices used in education because you can bet that the hardware will cost more than expected do less than the geeks claim and become obsolete in  a political heart beat. For the Labor true believer it is just another reason to despair as there is no doubt that  the opposition will make much of this failure in the long campaign we face between now and September 14.

Cheers Comrades

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Chris Evans and Nicola Roxon jump ship

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You have got to love it when something you write is so quickly proven to be correct. When I wrote my post the other day suggesting that Robert McClelland  was the first rat to notice that the SS Labor was taking on water,  little did I know that two big names would  so soon follow him into the life boats eager to escape being entangled in the Sargasso sea of endless opposition. The question is just how many will jump ship before Sept 14? Quite a few would be my call.

Cheers Comrades

Chris Evans and , Nicola Roxon

Chris Evans and  Nicola Roxon

The Labor shuffle….

Hmm so much for a caring sharing Labor Party eh?

Who is surprised?

Cheers Comrades

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