Among The True Believers…

Note: Breaking news at the end, for those who can’t wait.

If Barry O’Farrell really DID bung on green lights for Julia Gillard all the way from Kirribilli to Parramatta, they turned red at the University Of Western Sydney, and stayed that way.

The Lady got caught in the traffic jam, just like the rest of the plebs. Had to wait her turn to swing left onto Victoria Road, same as we all did.

I wonder what the drivers on the main road thought as they saw the number plate “C*1″ on the white limo suddenly in front of them? This wasn’t like the Daily Telegraph said it would be.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The traffic jam was at the end of the evening. There was plenty before that to whet the appetite.

The day itself?

It was a celebration.

No protestors.

No Ray Hadley whingers.

Just…

True Believers.

A thousand of them: happy, cheering, positive to a fault. And all of, them pissed off at the treatment The Lady has been copping. No exceptions. It was good to be finally among friends.

They were all there: Asians, aborigines, Afros, Muslims, old fogeys, young fogeys, party hacks, ministers of the crown, St. Pat’s old boys.

After some afternoon dramas at Hornsby Railway station, where I nearly missed picking up C@tmomma (thanks Fiona for trying to hook us up), we headed down the Pennant Hills Road in the old Subaru jalopy towards what the journos would floridly call “Julia’s Western Sydney Destiny.”

Also with us (and the provider of my ticket) was Vote1Julia. We PUBketeers sat together like a gaggle of schoolkids. Excited. Feeling the power.

While the crowd was milling and filling, Vote1Julia and I decided to meet and greet some VIPs, and so went up and introduced ourselves first to Tony Burke and then Emmo, styling ourselves as “The St. Pat’s Contingent”. We were greeted with cries of “Rick, rack, rickety-rack…” (the old St. Pat’s war cry) from Emmo who was pleased to meet “You’re Bushfire!” at last, and Tony Burke was just as “thrilled” to see us (I’m sure), except he had to break the news he was 17 and 14 years behind myself and V1-Julia respectively. Oh well, “Age shall not weary them…” His hair’s greyer than mine anyway.

Garrett was there, looking craggy and lined. As were Albo (at his Billy Bunter best), Bob Carr, and Hollywood Jason Clare (C@tmomma swooned). All the Western Sydney MHRs were there too. It became clear to me that, despite what the pundits and the millionaire shock jocks say, Western Sydney is Labor’s patch… ours to lose and to win.

These weren’t people on TV, flickering images on a flatscreen or objects of mockery by Alan Jones. This was the government of Australia, charged with heavy responsibility, dealing in the big issues and doing a demonstrably damn good job of it too. The gravitas and the majesty oozed. This was what being in charge looked like. You could feel the weight of it.

After a stirring, challenging and heartfelt indigenous Welcome To Country, Sam Distyari came on stage to get things going.

And get things going he did.

In his boyish voice the stirred more than a few hearts and souls. No cynical, scheming Labor Right apparatchik was Sam – at least tonight. His speech was full of brimstone and fire and by the time he was finished, he had us cheering.

A young school girl from Western Sydney sang the National Anthem, unaccompanied. Her voice was so powerful, so thrilling, I expected light bulbs to shatter. A wonderful rendition, soaring to the heavens, inspirational… and joined in by all. This young lady will go far if she wants to.

Come to think of it… that was Julia’s message to come:

“Be as good as you want to be.”

Next in front of the warm-up microphone was Jason Clare who showed why some think he’s

(a) drop dead gorgeous and

(b) a future Prime Minister.

This guy has Got It (“With dimples, too,” purred C@tmomma).

He went through the Australian “Greats” that Western Sydney has produced – the Waugh brothers, Michael Clarke, Ray Hadley (nah, just kidding about Ray Hadley) – reminded us that Western Sydney has the third largest economy in the country and after a few more Rah-Rahs, introduced “the Prime Minister Of Australia, Julia Gillard.”

What can I say except “Rock Star Reception”?

She’s small, almost tiny, but the by the ranga hair you could see her progress. And by the cheers and screams, too, of course.

Feds with bulges under their armpits and coiled wires coming out of their ears looked steadfast and very professionally refused to be distracted, even by an irresistable Bushfire comedy quip (didn’t even get a grunt out of him). One, when C@tmomma identified him as “Hey Look! That’s the guy who rescued Julia!”, mouthed “It wasn’t me” but that’s the most reaction we got out of the Protection Detail. They’re committed to their job, their eyes always wandering and looking.

As for the speech… it was workmanlike and well-rehearsed. Perhaps TOO well-rehearsed. There were hand movements and variations of nuance. I think PMJG was nervous. There were revelations about protecting Western Sydney from guns and bikie gangs, the NDIS starting in July (cheers), the NBN (cheers) and about education. The fact that UWS was started by Neville Wran got hysterical applause.

But a speech is a speech is a speech. It’s the person that counts and Julia was magnetic.

Afterwards, when The Lady had exited the hall, was when the real meat in the sandwich turned up.

V1-Julia and I decided to take on the media hacks. Why not?

They were all there: Rimington, Uhlmann, Melissa Clarke, Jacqui Uhm Maley, Tony Wright, a delightful Andrew Meares (Fairfax Chief Photographer, of Talking Pictures fame), Mark Simkins, and a few others whose faces I recognized, but whose names escaped me. Interestingly, none of the News Ltd. heavies could be seen. Maybe they were there, but I never spotted Dennis Shanahan, or Syd Maher (we could guess what they’d write anyway, can’t we?).

But the journos were on our turf now and we weren’t taking shit from them. This was Parramatta.

Our gal, Julie Owens, is the local member, and a feisty one at that.

The innings started out with a great conversation with Hugh Rimington. I’ve always admired Rimington, and he didn’t disappoint. He tried to be cynical at first, but warmed to the chat. He told us that News was out to get Gillard, plain and simple. We asked if he was concerned by that and he sort-of shrugged. “That’s life in the fast lane” was his attitude. It was a friendly and not at all patronizing performance from Rimington. Nice bloke. Been around. Will play fair, I think.

It’s a wonderful country we have here. I hope the shock jocks don’t wreck it for us.

I tried to buttonhole Melissa Clarke, but she was too busy doing her hair for a piece to camera to pay attention to this old codger doing the Harlem Shake behind her, trying to get her to look his way. I have to say, she was rather luscious in person.

Uhlmann was being well-served by another Old Labor Codger, who was giving it to him with both barrels (and loudly, too). Codger’s anger was palpable. Uhlmann effected studied indifference. He’s smaller than I thought he would be. In every way.

Next, V1-Julia and I shepherded Tony Wright to a standstill. Wright is recognizable by his bio-pic in The Age, but otherwise was nothing like what I expected. He looks like a chook (don’t worry, I like chooks). Very slim and gangly is Mr. Wright. He’s a dead ringer his caricature. Something out of Dad And Dave.

We started out by complimenting him (genuinely) on his recent “Refugee” piece, but then swung into action by asking him why he was so sniggering when it came to Julia. His answer – essentially – was “It’s the way group think works”. It was unsatisfactory, only to be tempered slightly by his assurance that, “Don’t worry, it’s going to get worse for Abbott. I get around to fucking ripping them all up in the end.”

I hope he lives up to his promise. But he ought to give up the ciggies. Especially smoking in the rain.

Mark Simkin was the next victim. Very smooth, well-coiffed and self-assured is Mark. Disclaimer: I don’t like his to-camera pieces. I think they’re too cynical-sounding. But I have to say, he engaged with us unflinchingly.

We baled him up, half-in, half-out of a side doorway. A couple of times I was sure he’d walk away, but he stayed and gave as good as he got. I asked him straight out whether Rudd leaked to him, and he said, “I can’t say that.” It was enough to confirm it in my mind. Let’s face it… if Rudd hadn’t leaked, Simkin would have said, “No.”

I accused him of treating politics like politicians were children in a sandpit. He retorted that if they acted that way, that was the way he was going to cover it. We replied that if he treated them this way, what choice did they have? Around and around it went. We complained about all the time wasted n Ruddstoration He countered by saying that he was in receipt of calls. What could he do? Ignore them, we said. They’re bullshit anyway.

Simkin eventually confirmed that News (and lately Fairfax) are out to get Gillard and claimed that the ABC is going much easier on her than the other media organizations.

I wondered how they could work to destroy what she and the government have built up, simply because of lazy groupthink… especially when Abbott is the alternative.

Are they mad?

No, just full of indolence and nihilism. Nothing matters to them. “Nation” is a dirty word in their lexicon.

I have to admire the guy for his grit, though. He was ready and willing to engage with a couple of complete strangers. And to argue his case. I was impressed with him as a person. An intelligent person who’s not afraid to put a point in his own defence. He didn’t convince me, though.

In the middle of all this someone had to pass between us through the doorway. It was Bob Carr. Only in Australia could the Foreign Minister of the nation casually excuse himself and his wife and pass between a couple of shifty-looking Labor types and a journo with ease, grace, and an “Excuse me”, in perfect safety. Albo did the same a minute later.

It’s a wonderful country we have here. I hope the shock jocks and the cynics don’t wreck it for us.

Last, out in the rain, was Andrew Meares, the Fairfax Chief photographer. What a hugely nice person!

We talked techo about photography (I’d noticed him transmitting pix live from his tablet inside the hall) and about the ethics of Photoshop fakery (something I could discuss all day). For the record: he takes and transmits his photos straight, no fiddling. I asked him how many megapixels in his new Canon SLR. He said, “Don’t know for sure… a lot!”.

He informed us he’d only had a couple of years with film and then it was all digital after that, and that work processes – getting the image onto the front page – were better today than he’d ever experienced. That’s his pic at the top (with attribution).

He told us stories about being in a Cessna with Gillard, squeezed up next to her, and she was putting on her makeup. To him it was slightly embarrassing… “Gillard versus The Enemy”, shoulder to shoulder. To her, not a problem at all. Meares likes her as a person. He’s not so sure about her as a politician. “They’re on their own out there” (meaning the media jungle) he said, when it comes to politics.

He also doesn’t believe Abbott uses Botox. C@tmomma asked him upfront about it. He said that for the Press Club luncheon Abbott was overly made up, pancaked with TV plaster. He thought “maybe some of the cracks had been filled in”, but no Botox. It all a TV show, in reality (or not). His job is just to get the pictures. A lovely, engaging man.

Then The Lady came out of her hidey hole, which was a cottage next to the main auditorium. There had been a false alarm as another ranga exited. Jokes about “Julia’s body double!” resounded through the dampened throng. “There she is over there!” cried one wag, pointing at someone about three hundred yards away.

But when the real article appeared, the gaggle outside, about 100 strong, waiting in the (by now) dark and pouring rain, started cheering. TV lights were switched on. I suppose she answered some questions. All that kerfuffle must have been for something. Rousing cheers from the Faithful, stern unblinking looks from the Protective Detail. I asked one “How close can I get to the car?” No answer from The Professional. He’d have let me know when I was too close, I’m sure.

And so now we come to the end of the evening.

Julia, in “C*1″, saying thanks and gidday to all the cheering throng, got caught in one of Barry O’Farrells’ traffic jams, just like the rest of us did. Lined up behind a couple of dozen cars, she had to wait her turn too.

As I said, what a country!

*************************

Post Script: Yes, there is some breaking news… Tony Abbott has lunch at News Ltd HQ every week. Incredulous I asked the person to repeat it.

“EVERY week, in private,” to discuss the latest “Get Gillard” strategies. No wonder there’s such a seamless segue between what News writes and what Abbott parrots. He’s dealing with the enemy. They’re writing the script for him.

It’s not a fuck-up. It’s a fucking conspiracy.

But, sources must remain confidential. I’m not going to tell youse just WHO told us that bit of news.

I have it on the very highest authority, however, given without hesitation… in fact, volunteered by someone with no ostensible axe to grind, but should should know it to be true. It’s this person’s job to know Abbott’s movements, in detail.

Remember:

When they really ARE out to get you, it’s NOT paranoia.

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1,781 thoughts on “Among The True Believers…

  1. Hate to promote conspiricy theory, friends….but let’s take a moment to consider the situation.
    In the light of a couple of evolving news stories..: Vic’ Liberal politics, Vic’ police dealings, Tabbott moving around the nation like a sweeping virus, the complete OM. lockdown on contrary news, Memsa recruiting staff for a new govt’ and finally, the ADF. deliberate lack of action on a directive to clean up abuse in its’ ranks.

    There is absolute scorn and derision for this elected govt’ in ALL the corridors of Big Business, Big Church, Big Media, Big Police and Big Politics.
    There is every reason to believe that a cabal of self-interest has formed and is being managed from a central point (I’d say ; Newslimited) to, incase of a fail at the ballot box, physically overthrow the govt’
    Crazy?….sounds like it..but consider the lay of the land at this moment.

    The Right-Wing Politic has no respect for the legitimacy of this govt’ and have already done a “coup d’etat” (to Whitlam)..once and THAT was a “wet” Liberal leadership!

    The Media are going flat out demonising and abusing both the PM. personally and the Govt’ collectively AND “lefties” socially..to frame a “reason to depose” a wasteful, incompetant, illegitament govt'”

    Both the Federal and state police seem to be blocking, losing or delaying any investigation into activities detrimental to the right-wing cabal.

    The ADF. , with the breaking news has shown little or no regard toward civil govt’ orders to commit to actions it obviously sees as contrary to it’s promoted philosophical attitude….The ADF. would rather be seen (I imagine) as a He-Man alpha-male aggro coalition, who is not against a little minority-bashing for-the-good-of-troop-morale, rather than a “feel-good” organisation…..

    Whose side are the above institutions on in the case of a choice?
    Even with the best odds available from a generous bookie…I know where my money would go!

  2. victoria:

    I thought Faine did well with the odious Ryan. There’s something about Ryan that I’ve always sensed as sinister.

  3. confessions

    I dont see Ryan as sinister. He was not blessed with a sympathetic face. As c@tmomma said. It is all about having law enforcement in the pocket of the tories.

  4. confessions,
    I heard Emperor Barnett on the radio touting the fact that he had run Surplus Budgets over his first term but having to admit that he had increased WA State Debt. He seemed to think Debt was OK, as long as it was funding Public Infrastructure, such as the building of Hospitals, etc.

    Which would be a good soundbite for the ALP to keep for the upcoming federal election.

    However, what troubled me about his words was the fact, and correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t Hospitals in WA which were once Public, being Privatised?

    So is it not therefore the case that Barnett is using Taxpayers’ $ to fund what will eventually be Private Infrastructure? And I’m sure he’s selling at a very good price to Howard mates in the Health Industry, such as Paul Ramsay.

    The whole thing would be worth investigating by the WA Labor Party.

  5. Journalist Nick Ross reminded that his work must be “in keeping with ABC policies”
    BY:JAMES MADDEN
    From: The Australian March 08, 2013 12:00AM

    AN ABC journalist has been disciplined by the broadcaster’s management over concerns that his online posts about the National Broadband Network failed to meet its “standards of objective journalism”.

    Nick Ross, who edits a forum on the ABC website that focuses on technology and games issues, has written a series of favourable articles about the NBN recently.

    When an issue is declared to be political, there are no facts, only opinions.

    And in matters of opinion, both sides claim the right to equal weight.

    God help us if Murdoch ever wakes up one morning and decides the Earth is flat.

  6. ping @margokingston1 RT @ABCtech: The Australian has a piece on me on page 3 today saying that I’ve been disciplined by the ABC. I haven’t.

  7. C@t:

    Most of WA’s hospitals are public hospitals – certainly in the regions. The Peel Health Campus which is private has been in the news of late because of allegations of mismanagement and the person who blew the whistle on the hospital facing fraud allegations herself.

  8. victoria,

    At this stage – I have no inside knowledge, yet – I think Labor should continue to keep hammering away at the failures of the Government. This approach seems to be working.

    Also, broaden the attack by using the better-performing Shadow Ministers. Present as a team.

    Talk-back caller to Jon Faine, re Ryan interview, WTTE: Ryan should resign now … this Government will go nowhere with him there … arrogant …

    It was good, strong stuff.

  9. Painful to the eyes. Abbott’s presser with M. Cash, K, O’Dwyer and S. Mirabella. Tony loves and gets women don’t you know.

  10. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/9916636/Farage-suggests-Conservative-pact-at-secret-dinner-with-Murdoch.html

    Farage suggests Conservative pact at secret dinner with Murdoch

    Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, held a private dinner with Rupert Murdoch earlier this week in which he suggested he would form an electoral pact with the Conservatives if the Prime Minister stepped down.

    By Robert Winnett, Political Editor
    10:00PM GMT 07 Mar 2013

  11. Ah yes ….the old Tony “gets” women. . Imagine if the PM went around saying “. Don’t worry….I get men “. Or if she sons in their twenties and she towed them round by the hand through press conferences etc. yuk !

  12. Costello firm fails Qld push
    PUBLISHED: 07 MAR 2013 16:21:00 | UPDATED: 07 MAR 2013 20:20:30
    SHARE LINKS:email print-font+fontReprints & permissions
    Peter Costello’s advisory firm Epstein Costello Gazard tried to establish an office in Queensland last year while the former treasurer was conducting the $2.2 million commission of audit for the Newman government but it closed after nine months, the company has admitted.

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/costello_firm_fails_qld_push_vLq1U981dZCPmry3XpgKNN

  13. I’ve been thinking about the Queensland electoral system for a while now, in wondering how it can be improved.

    A weakness I’ve noticed there is that it has a distinct lack of “safe seats” which other states have, which makes single member electorates less viable in that they can deliver very lopsided results, like 1974, 2001, 2012, etc.

    So this weekend I might experiment with how the election might have gone in a sort of mixed system of proportional representation and single member electorates. Since introducing the upper house is unattractive, maybe a system could exist where, for example, there’s 45 single member electorates, with the state divided into 9 regions containing 5 of these electorates that return 5 MP’s each.

    I’m having a bit of a break from working on Wikipedia now that uni’s back.

  14. Jaycee at 8.29am

    That is a seriously scary proposition. If I knew how to tweet this I would do it.

  15. Voluntary paid maternity leave, yes. Compulsory paid maternity leave, over this government’s dead body, frankly. It just won’t happen.

    Source: Tony Abbott while serving as Workplace Relations Minister – 2002

  16. Hadley commented on the Nick Ross story briefly this morning saying “Why doesn’t this surprise me?” re. the “biased” ABC “running the Gillard line” on the NBN.

    Said there had been “some indecipherable noise” on twitter about Ross denying it, but “Who would you believe? – a newspaper that’s been around for 40 years staffed by experienced senior journalists, or this ‘pup’, Ross, still wet behind the ears?”

  17. One’s bad enough, but TWO of him is far too much to contemplate…

    Notice how the rest of the face moves, but the forehead stays stonily still, Easter Island-like.

  18. Tweet from Tony Windsor

    We should consider @The_AiGroup call to move straight to an internationally-linked Emissions Trading Scheme

  19. Abbott is back in Melboune today? Why are we paying fior this bloke’s travel?

    Let’s look at just this week.
    Sunday – Sydney
    Monday – Western Suburbs of Sydney in the morning, then Canberra.
    Tuesday – Melbourne
    Wednesday – Adelaide
    Thursday – back to the western suburbs of Sydney, at Mulgoa
    Friday – Melbourne

    We pay for all this pointless faffing about, we pay for Bridgie to go everywhere with him. All ‘official business’ of course. Officially doing what?

    So where will periaptetic Tony be tomorrow? Launceston? Darwin?

  20. I see Abbott is still rabbiting on about immigration and the 457 visas.
    Since when has the ALP and the Gillard Govt stopped Immigration?

  21. leonetwo,

    Trouble is very few people realise how much this pretender to the throne is costing taxpayers. Maybe someone who twitters could add up his travel expenses each month and put them out in the twittersphere.

  22. Notice how the rest of the face moves, but the forehead stays stonily still, Easter Island-like.

    Abbott’s heart isn’t warm enough to be an Easter Island statue.

  23. janice
    The problem is we don’t have any idea of his expenses until the six monthly statements get released, and for the January – June 2013 one that won’t be until after the election. Even then it’s only Abbott’s travel expenses, air fares, car use etc that is revealed. No-one knows what we pay for his staff to travel with him.

    We need a mole in Parliament House to leak the current figures.

  24. leonetwo,

    Bummer. Where do we find the mole? Time we started yelling for costs of MPs travel, accommodation, etc. etc. and wasteful perks to be released to the taxpayers each month.

  25. leonetwo

    [We need a mole in Parliament House to leak the current figures.]

    Actually it’s DOFA that would be able to add up the current travel numbers.

  26. True, Janice, but true to current form, the OM would only bitch about Labor MP’s costs and ignore that of the Liberals.

    For example, my local Fairfax owned paper regularly splashes Catherine King’s spending figures over the headlines while ignoring Michael Ronaldson’s, even though Ronaldson’s are much more excessive.

  27. janice..All travel expences go to Newslimedited and are claimed on tax as corporate expences!….betcha!

  28. Morriscum exhudes that smarmy fascist arrogance…..they’re getting way too cocky……wonder why?

  29. Vic’….Interesting that “The Scum” was a “soft-christer” before he joined the “Pent-up-costals”….I have a close rellie was a mick before he joined that crew and went “french-kiss-talking” on us!…..something in the water?….Kool-aid acid tripping?…”I see Geeeezus maaan!…..he’s not a semite at all!..he’s like the guy who couldn’t believe it’s not butter….but with a goatee!….faaaaarrrr rout maan!”

  30. The cockier the Coalition becomes, the better, as far as I’m concerned. They’re measuring up the windows for the new curtains, jostling each other for position in the gravy train queue.

    I’ve always said (probably because it’s obvious) that it’ll be their hubris that brings them down. Someone will get too confident and blurt something out that reveals their inner arrogance.

    The polls are due for an uptick in the next few weeks, a slow climb back to parity or better over the next couple of months.

    There’s popcorn going free in Victoria and soon in the NT. What happens in WA is anyone’s guess, and you don’t need to be Nostradamus to see that Queensland will end in tears eventually.

    The thing we forget is that the media are just as desperate for a result their way as they accuse the government of being. The ersatz confidence, indeed over-confidence they show is their way of asserting that the Old Days are gone, that they can still predetermine the result of elections if they just put in the propaganda effort.

    But their industry, at least in its old form, is dying. The pie is getting smaller and the audience is drifting away.

    If you’d said to me six months ago that Fairfax could go under soon, I’d have laughed, but now I’m not so sure. I think it’s on the cards that they will fail before the election. Perhaps they won’t go broke, but another round of sackings and retrenchments will be the signal that the death spiral has been entered.

    I know it’s anecdotal, but the sight of Tony Wright, supposedly one of the stars” they are banking on to save them, standing there alone in the middle of the UWS crowd with his little wheely-bag behind him, his face looking forlorn, and the reality of the insulting, pathetic 277 words that he produced out of that wonderful evening leave me in little doubt that his organization is plumbing the pits of despair.

    As for Murdoch’s crew, they are just as economically challenged, but unfortunately are also heavily subsidized from News Corp’s overseas operations. There seems to be more esprit de corps there, possibly because they know that the “best and brightest” (I use the term advisedly) will be given tickets in the international News lifeboat and may escape with only a flutter of the fear that their colleagues at Fairfax must feel in their guts every time they go to work.

    The TV stations are in a mess. There’s clearly not enough work to go around the four commercial networks (I include SBS here too, as they take ads, and hence ad revenue away from the full-strength commercials).

    TEN is a basket case, the most obvious lacklustre performer. With failed communications entrepreneur and second generation dunderheads such as Lachlan Murdoch and Big Dirt heiress, Gina, calling the boardroom shots, as well as Rupert’s clever, but utterly unsavvy gofer, Hamish McLennan, as CEO, death by Whiz Kid looms as a distinct possibility. These people are NOT possessed of their fathers’ (or godfather’s) genius for turning nothing into something. TEN’s basic problem is that that have shitty shows that no-one wants to watch. Putting Andrew Bolt in the hot seat ain’t gonna change that one iota.

    Between Seven and Nine, there is less of a crack looming, but Nine’s debt – a result of another bunch of non-media bizoid types getting their hands on a surefire “winner” for a couple of years – has only been camouflaged. You don’t magically turn billions of dollars of wasted moolah into gold Krugerrands just by declaring it to be so. Somewhere, somehow that money has to be paid back. What’s been pissed up against a wall stays pissed up against a wall.

    Seven’s big hope is Mark Riley, the man who asked Gillard what he could do, and she told him “Stop writing crap.” I wouldn’t want to bank a television network on Riley not unhinging over the next few days, much less remaining stable and presenting a reasonable facsimile of sanity over the next six months.

    It’s a case of the desperate taking aim at the desperate, with the arrogant barracking at the sidelines hoping to take over the show in the midst of the carnage. Abbott’s old “In confusion is profit” attitude seems like it is his best chance, but it only seems that way. Sometimes confusion is just confusion.

    OK, I hear you think, Bushfire’s drawing a long bow, and perhaps I am looking for worst-case scenarios, but hey, that seems to be the fashion nowadays. How else could a nation that’s outperforming just about every other civilized country in the world be reduced to the “basket case” that the media insists it is? And with such thin evidence? I might as well join in the head-kicking. It’s fun.

    My Dad, who would have been 99 yesterday, consoled himself in his last year or so that three specialists who’d confidently and finger-waggingly predicted he’d be dead by 60, themselves died before THEY were sixty, and from heart attacks, as he did… at a workmanlike 75.

    Labor and the media are both in the same embrace as Dad and his doctors, but there’s not enough time for both of them. One has to go first.

    With the way Julia Gillard has been surviving predictions of her imminent demise, one would have to say that the numbers are trending in her direction, or soon will be. While the bodies pile up on the other side – Rudd, Grattan, Carney, Matt Franklin (anyone heard from Matt lately?), the entire TEN Network, the Victorian and soon the NT government, she just won’t lay down and join them in their eternal slumber.

    This week’s Western Sydney foray started out bad, in fact it was written off before it started, but it got better for the PM as the ridiculous media bootstrap got tied up in its own knots.

    Victory was declared this morning with a reptilian piece by Steve Lewis on the Libs own Jobs Expo, a call for the Tory diaspora to reunite, lined up with snouts ready for the trough.

    I’m sorry to have to say this, but a Lewis puff piece full of triumphalist braggodocio about honey pots and rivers of gold for ex-hangers on, and the remonstrations of the paid Hecklerette with the tatts (a wonderful look for the anti-Gillard side, the Bogan’s Bogan wasn’t) lead’s me to counter with the age-old caution given to all those who think leading at the half-time hooter means inevitable victory: “Don’t give up your day jobs”, just yet, anyway, because in the sea of words that has been devoted to the current political campaign it’s perfectly apparent to me, certainly at this early stage that in politics…. “Nothing is written.”

    And if you think I’m wrong, how come the scribblers still seem so frantic to do the job on Gillard?

  31. BB – Unfortunately here our conservatives have not yet understood that Rupert needs to be stopped.

    In the UK a lot of arse covering is going on but meanwhile both the Conservative and Labour politicians have had enough.

  32. Heard that breakfast interview the other day w/Turnbullshitting all all the way about his “to the node of cabinet (wc. cabinet?)” crap and Fran going..”sure,sure,sure” like a parrot….I mean, if you live on a road that is a km. or so long…and there are plenty of them, is there going to be one of these “nodes or cabinets” every 400 mtrs?…what price THAT?….That DICK’ead is so full of a)himself, b)bullshit, he must become confused sometimes as to which is the foremost performer!……Christ!!…line up the entire shadow cabinet and have a butchers at the full-frontal and then go vomit..and THIS is the “alternative govt’ “…….pass the “laxettes”, PLEASE and let’s get it out of the system!

  33. Given our current circumstances re the probable setups to get both Speaker Slipper and Craig Thomson, the unrelenting attack by J Bishop on the PM re the HSU. The all out. now undisguised media bias, the behavior of our Police plus Abbott I was reminded of a brilliant BBC Channel4 drama series from 1999 called A Very British Coup.

    The story is set in the 1990s, when the Conservatives are ousted from power by Labour, and the new Prime Minister, Harry Perkins (Played superbly by Ray McInally) is one of the common folk, a steelworker and union organizer. One of the common folk, but no dummy. He plain-speaking, down to earth, and his heartfelt speeches and ambitions for the country are met with a large mandate from the public. The Conservatives, of course, are miserable. Harry for one thing isn’t part of the good old boy network, and his socialist policies are viewed as disturbing. The other side, the Establishment, goes to work with the help of MI5, the CIA, and the tabloids (Murdoch), to bring him to his knees.
    While its fiction it is very close to home here and our current situation

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094576/reviews

    It is available on DVD and there are torrents around as well

    It was like a damn good book, I was glued to it. A very under rated BBC Drama

  34. I have just been watching the incident here in the Brisbane Mall with the gun man.

    Appears to be all over which is good.

    As it unfolded I began to reflect on the timing of it.

    Combine this with the prospect of a bikie war starting up in Victoria and Sydney only one sneeze away from some more drive by gun violence and it makes the three lib state governments look pretty lame claiming they do not need Federal help and knocking back any action from the PM just three days ago.

    Interesting times ahead I would think.

    I thought the libs and OM would have backed off the 457 issue by this time but they really do seem fixed on it atm.

    Makes one think perhaps it is biting out there and people are looking at it in a not too dismissive light.

  35. David

    Sounds like it is worth a look. Perhaps that is where the coalition derived their inspiration from

  36. Scringler,

    Sorry to be so late – have only just walked in after work / physio / shopping.

    Here’s your order:

    and

    Enjoy!

  37. Yes, it seems strange that the Coalition are supporting big bosses and their workers imported from overseas over home-grown Aussie Workers, and Bikie Gangs and other assorted criminal syndicates over a Law and Order crackdown. Strange.

    All I can say about the former is that it must be one hell of an Industrial Relations policy they are hiding under their raincoats ready to flash at the country and leave us in shock, after the election, if they are going in to bat for the 457 Visas atm.

    Hello, and bye bye again! Taking #2 Son to Doctors, then on to local Mega Mall and cinema to be with his friends for a few hours.

    Then I’ll be back for the raffle. Which I will be winning tonight. :D

  38. fiona…DUCK EGGS!!!…..too much yolk!…..fiona, there are three “foods” that I enjoy very much but do not like to spend any length of time contemplating their source….: Eggs, milk and honey!….the first from the shit hole, the second from the drip hole and the third from the spit hole!

  39. https://theconversation.edu.au/tasmania-to-amend-law-to-decriminalise-abortion-12721

    8 March 2013, 2.50pm AEST
    Tasmania to amend law to decriminalise abortion

    Tasmanian Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne has moved to amend the state’s abortion law to ensure women will no longer face the threat of criminal charges for having a pregnancy terminated.

    The proposed changes would bring Tasmania into line with Victoria and the ACT where health laws, not criminal laws, regulate access to the procedure.

  40. That gun incident in Brisbane will make the front pages tonight…..opportune really , what with Spewman and other Libs knocking back the organised crime operation of Labor’s….they’ll be eating humble pie.

  41. Jeeeeesssus!!…it’s pharrrkin hot!…..when’s the fri’ night bar open…..gimmie a Darwin Stubbie….!

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