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Brother Number One, the Gillard experiment, and the then the second coming of the former Dear Leader

brother number one1

MALCOLM FARR makes an interesting observation about the plethora of books being written by Labor  has beans

That will bring to nine — by one calculation — the number of books from her and former colleagues on roughly the same subject.

Plus, there are books by former cross bench MPs Tony Windsor (House of Windsor) and Rob Oakeshott (The Independent Member for Lyne).

None will have the weight or influence of journalist Paul Kelly’s epic-sized Triumph and Demise which no doubt will become the definitive account of the period.

And there is one player missing from the potential complete set of Labor records, the big K-for-Kevin kahuna.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has given no indication he wants to write a book but so many people are commenting on him — and often critically — he might understandably feel he should write his own side of the story.

But that might be some time off. Like former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans who this week — 15 years after he left Parliament – will launch his diary from the Hawke/Keating days, Mr Rudd might wait a while longer.

Others, however, seem to have started dictating their first chapters on Sunday September 8, 2013 … hours after the election.

The nine books by Labor figures, from 2012 to the present are:

• My Story, by Julia Gillard;

• The Good Fight, Wayne Swan;

• Power with Purpose, Lindsay Tanner (2012);

• Hearts and Minds, Chris Bowen;

• Diary of a Foreign Minister, Bob Carr;

• The Fights of My Life, Greg Combet;

• A Letter to Generation Next, Kim Carr;

• Tales from the Political Trenches, Maxine McKew (updated 2013);

• Glory Daze, Jim Chalmers (former Swan adviser now an MP)


I can’t help but think that at this rate there will be as many books about this ill-fated period of Labor government as the number of bills that Gillard apologists claimed were passed during her time in the big chair. I can tell you one thing though and it is that even when they are to be found on the bookshop remainder table there will be none of them coming home with me to Chez Hall after all as someone who followed the sad and sorry tale Brother Number One, the Gillard experiment, and the then the second coming of the former Dear Leader in real time as it unfolded I don’t fell at all inclined to waste my limited reading time pouring over the entrails of a government that promised so much but ended up delivering so little of value and consequence.
Cheers Comrades


Thee true market for all of these books on the Labor years

Labor The Next Generation

Every commentator on Australian politics just loves a party in turmoil, especially when the underlying leadership tensions are in play. We have that at present with the ALP they are failing on so many issues at present, we have daily boat arrivals,Their Carbon tax has not become more loved since its introduction, even their blatant attempts at distraction like the so called Gay marriage debate has blown its load early as even its staunchest advocates realise that it is never going to get the numbers in the house to become law, At  a state level Labor has all but collapsed into obscurity. Lets face it the Labor party is only marginally more popular than a bacon sandwich in a mosque (well it is Ramadan  😉 ). Add to that misery the disproportionate power of the so called independents Windsor and Oakeshott      who are providing a great example of just how the tail wags this Labor dog.

This is the perfect example of just how bad minority government is for the country when two political cowboys can hold a party to ransom and demand that the party have a leader of their liking or its straight to the polls. This threat is clearly meant to steel the backbones of wavering Gillard supporters but I can’t help thinking that there might just be a few backbenchers who know that they are gone no matter what and they just jump to Rudd because of the threat, In the words of one of the government’s ministers:

“Its better to die on your feet than to live in your knees”

Thus our soap opera is working up to a spectacular season finale, we have the main characters plotting and scheming and the political  romance between Gillard and the intendants is clearly in desperate trouble. However for the true romantics out there let me suggest that it was always co-dependency rather than love between Labor and those so called independents, Labor under Gillard was just so desperate to form government that they gave enormous largess to them and let these two men dictate the direction of the government (carbon tax anyone?) and of course Gillard got to shack up in the Lodge with Tim.

OK I’m not going to give any spoilers to the season Finale but I will say that cancellation of this show is a very distinct possibility given its consistently poor ratings over the last season, it has run some very tired story arcs that have just not resonated with the viewing public. There  is still an ever decreasing fan base for this particular show but I don’t think that we will see the same dedicated public response as the producers of Star Trek found after the cancellation of the original serries.  But who knows we may yet see ” Labor the Next Generation”  go into production. Sadly for the faithful fans it may take a generation for that to happen as there is no one with the talent of Patrick Stewart to “make it so” within the Labor party.

Cheers Comrades

“We’ll risk death – but not if door is closed’, asylum-seekers say” well I say close the door then.

The opening line of this piece from the OZ strikes me as the best evidence yet that changing the way that we treat those who arrive by sea in those infamous leaky boats is the key to the solution.

We’ll risk death – but not if door is closed’, asylum-seekers say
click for source

The answer is clear. We must close the door and if we want to make a better life for these would be immigrants then lets divert some of the  the money that we save when the numbers in detention decline to helping to create economic opportunities for those in places like Cisarua.

makes sense to me Comrades

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.


Aren't we all losers from comercialised gambling?


Oakeshott wants to be a Queen

For someone who has been in the parliament for more than one term you would expect that Laughing boy (Oakeshott) would have a better idea of just how the system works and not try to change it so that he can have the job of speaker and take part in the debates  of the day.

Mr Oakeshott says he would take the job of Speaker if it were offered to him. Mr Pyne insisted yesterday Mr Oakeshott could not both serve as Speaker and be paired with another MP when parliament voted on legislation.

Mr Oakeshott argues the agreement would allow him to convey his own position on legislation by being paired with an MP who held the opposite view to him. Then neither he nor the MP he was paired with would vote.

Mr Pyne rejected Mr Oakeshott’s analysis of the pairing arrangement. “By definition, the Speaker cannot be paired because he or she does not have a vote,” the Coalition frontbencher said. “It’s a completely different interpretation. The technical situation is that the Speaker . . . has a casting vote, not a deliberative vote.”

A deliberative vote would give the Speaker the power to vote normally with other MPs.

Mr Abbott said the existing Speaker, Labor MP Harry Jenkins, was his choice to serve as a new kind of Speaker who served at the pleasure of the parliament with no party-political role.

Constitutional law expert George Williams said there was nothing in the Constitution expressly against the pairing plan.

“It’s not casting a vote; it is merely getting value through a pairing arrangement by declining to vote,” Professor Williams said.

He warned that while it was possible for Mr Oakeshott to become Speaker, it was not realistic for him to regularly engage in the business of parliament.

Lets be realistic here if Laughing Boy were to become speaker the Labor Party would still have a one vote majority(assuming the that the Whip can get them all to vote) However the down side to this chap getting the speakership is likely to be a very turgid parliament where the speaker takes forever to bring down any decision  (think of his 17 minute speech on his decision to back Gillard) The man is a verbose fool who has, by the numerical accident of the last poll gained more power and influence than he deserves so I am right be hind Christopher Pyne in resisting his attempt to change the role of speaker in the house.

This Parliament will be like a finely balanced chess game and there is no reason at all for the government to expect that the opposition should allow them to have an extra Queen on the board even before the first pawn has been advanced by a single square.

Beware the Knights  Comrades !

Tick-tock, tick-tock, bring on two three o’clock

The nation waits for Rob, Bob & Tone - aka The 3 Amigos - to hand down their decision.

According to The Age  the 3 independents are about to put us out of our misery by giving either Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott the keys to The Lodge. 

Or will they?:

The trio has scheduled a press conference for 2pm, but this morning two of them said they still hadn’t made up their minds. And when they do, Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott may not be told in advance.

This is like waiting for the results of your blood tests knowing full well that they’ll confirm one of two things:

  1. You’ve got Aids, or
  2. You’ve got prostate cancer

Or both.

Get it over with and f*ck off back to your hick towns guys.

“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees”

Drink this poison to take the lodge???

There is a clear difference , right out there on display, between Julia Gillard  and Tony Abbott when it comes to the terms demanded  by the three amigos with regard to getting the keys to the lodge The former seems willing to perform any supplication to these men where as the latter has a bit more dignity and less desperation for power.

I am now tending towards the opinion that Tony Abbott would actually be better off staying in opposition rather than getting into any kind of arrangement with these three nutters. Up here in Queensland we have had a couple of instances where the balance of power has been held by independents and and on each occasion they have acted in the best interests of the state rather than trying to over reach themselves by making outrageous demands upon the government.

I agree with Dennis Shanahan in today’s Oz

Using spurious logic, obscure language and blackmail, three MPs accidentally thrust into the balance of power are claiming a “new paradigm” in politics where none exists as justification for unprecedented treatment and control. More than 90 per cent of Australians voted for Labor, the Coalition or the Greens — the old-paradigm parties.

This isn’t just horse-trading over amendments on a piece of legislation; this is demanding an erratic ransom for government and an ongoing part in that government.

The three incumbent independents are seeking the same treatment as new prime ministers in demanding briefings from Treasury, Finance and Defence and half a dozen other key portfolios — ahead of the final count and before the incoming prime minister and opposition leader themselves receive such a briefing. They are also demanding both sides guarantee a full three-year term, keeping them as the centre of attention and balance of power in the House of Representatives while using their own threat of an immediate election to extract such a guarantee.

Abbott’s refusal last night to pander to the demand of the three independents to break the caretaker convention is right but will be used against him by an increasingly desperate government.

The prospect looms of a minority Labor-Greens coalition government facing just as much obstruction and difficulty in parliament as a Liberal-Nationals Coalition government.

Indeed, a Labor government in formal partnership with the Greens in the House of Representatives facing a Greens-controlled Senate and the most successful opposition leader in Australia’s history would be forced to face votes on troops in Afghanistan, another mining tax and a carbon price.

The demands and claims from the cross benches — the sitting MPs Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Bob Katter, as well as the incoming Green Adam Bandt and the truly non-aligned Andrew Wilkie — are becoming more obscure and contradictory with every day spent in the limelight. The independents declared for days that their core aim was stable, long-term government but it now appears one of the real options of the three amigos is simply to refuse to support Labor or the Coalition and force another election. So much for stability.

I think we need to go back to the polls to get a more decisive outcome.

How quickly could  such a poll be held I wonder?

The office of prime minister, and the government of this country   is far too important to see Julia Gillard demeaning it by such grovelling behaviour  Perhaps she needs to think for just a minute or two about the lyric of the song that says :

“It is better to  die on your feet than to live on your knees”

Well I for one am sure that the best person to occupy the lodge is Tony  Abbott  but if the price for residence there is his dignity and the dignity of the office, then let Julia have it. Oh I know that Labor will totally fuck the economy and destroy  the standing of our democracy but  they will also so trash their own political brand so much  that they will be out of power for two generations  if not forever.

Cheers Comrades

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