261 thoughts on “The 17/11/2013 Starter Post

  1. The galling thing about it is that the Coalition front bench will, right now, be far more concerned about what they’re going to say in QT tomorrow than in how they’re going to get themselves out of this mess. Their concerns are always short-term. If they can survive the next interview or the next day in Canberra, they consider themselves to be doing well. They’re holding onto most of their pre-election statements (I hardly think they can be dignified with the word ‘policies’) not because they believe any of them will work, but because it’s all they have to beat the ALP over the head with. Start admitting that any ALP policies might be superior and the whole edifice falls apart.

    You can see them wanting to gloat in QT, and every now and then they have a go at it. But it never lasts all that long because they’re already having to deflect criticism and shield themselves from scrutiny. They’re throwing distractions at us the way they did in opposition, but nobody’s taking any notice of them. And they would love love love us all to be talking about the repeal of carbon pricing. We’re not going to, though.

    I mentioned a while ago that they were running at a major gaffe per week under Abbott in opposition. They’re keeping that pace up with ease in government. The gaffes are hurting a lot more now.

  2. Triumphalism here from Philip Dorling in The Age…

    The news that Australia’s electronic spy agency, the Defence Signals Directorate, has targeted Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s mobile phone won’t come as a surprise to the many hundreds, indeed thousands, of Australian intelligence officers, diplomats, bureaucrats and politicians who are well aware of the extent of our espionage against our neighbours.

    Why do we do it? Behind all the declarations of friendship and good neighbourliness by successive Australian governments, Canberra just doesn’t trust Jakarta.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/canberra-doesnt-trust-jakarta-20131118-2xr3i.html#ixzz2l02M8WF9

    As the Indonesians probably see the Australian media (yes, even Fairfax) as the other side of Abbott’s mouth (the one he talks out of when he’s not declaring they’re his bestest friends evah), a prediction of how he intends to continue spying on them – whether they know we’ve been doing it for years or not – is like a red rag to a bull.

    The more we tell the Indonesians we’ll do what we damn-well want to, and sucks to them if they don’t like it, the more they will continue with their public and (now) official pissoffedness.

    Australia is yet to learn the fine art of eating humble pie.

    Tony Abbott, pugilist by nature, liar and double-dealer by profession, heading a government that tells the world they won an election so their mandate applies everywhere, is precisely the wrong person to attend classes in this delicate subject.

  3. I wonder how long before Abbott is rolled? If he messes up the relationship with Indonesia and this affects the profits of his backers, he will be dumped, quicker than a smelly pork chop.

  4. [ Now that Brandis has been promoted by the taxpayer, he needs his bookshelves moved to his new Attorney-General digs.

    Technical and heritage advice was sought for the moving of the shelves.

    “The heritage advice was, ‘Don’t do it’, is that right?” asked Faulkner.

    “The heritage advice was that they were not part of the original design of those offices,” said Ms Mills artfully.

    And the technical advice?

    “[The shelves] could not be broken down and relocated. It would be difficult to do that, the way it had been built.”

    And so cruel fate, and bureaucracy, interferes with the reunion of Brandis and his books. ]

    Blimey, anybody that thinks something as simple as this would be a problem for the likes of Brandis is missing the point.

    You can bet your life that within the limited time that it takes to fabricate a brand new book case in his new Ministerial digs, he can’t get a brand new set of book cased installed, knows nothing regarding the ingenuity of the LNP. Especially the likes of Brandis!

  5. Rowe dresses BishJ in a wonderful tiger top and Tone’s phone appears to be a piece of string.

  6. Bon jour, Monsieur Duck & BK.

    Tone’s phone appears to be a piece of string

    Surely string and a couple of tin cans (sans worms …) are all we need for modern telephony?

  7. Section 2 . . .

    This says so, so much about the ills of US society.
    Elizabeth Warren continues to impress. Here she really serves it up to the destructive Repugs. She makes me think of how pathetic our Mesma is.
    Mike Papantonio – Right wing hate will not go away.

  8. I love this thought –

    Vacant PM house could provide emergency accom. for Canberra homeless youth.— FatherBob (@FatherBob) November 18, 2013

    Can you imagine? The posh, leafy world of Arthur Circle, Forrest, invaded by a bunch of homeless youth – wonderful. Bring it on! The house has four bedrooms and a guest suite, you should be able to fit a dozen homeless youths in there.

    Here are some photos of the house. The garage has a whole wall dedicated to storing bikes, Abbott should have leapt at that.

  9. Abbott government’s rethink on jobs to blow budget

    The Abbott government is set to blow a hole in its budget plans by rethinking an election promise to axe 12,000 federal public servants.

    The decision was made after the new government was informed that funding and program cuts implemented by the previous Labor government, which it adopted, will lead to the loss of almost 14,500 public sector jobs over the next four years.

    While “still inclined” to axe another 12,000 positions, the government will put the plan on hold and ask its ­Commission of Audit chairman Tony Shepherd to “review the timing and approach” of the policy.

    Sources said this meant the plan could be slowed down, scaled back or otherwise readjusted to ensure departments are adequately staffed to deliver the Coalition’s policy priorities.


  10. I dunno what is with tories when they get elected to the highest office in the land. First up, we had Howard who chose to remain in Sydney and take up permanent residence in Kirribill House. Now we have the abbott who turns his nose up at Kirribilli House as well as the temporary leased residence in Canberra.

    Australians ought to insist that PMs of any persuasion do not have the choice to please themselves as to where they reside. As it is with the abbott, he’s shaping up to be the most expensive PM in our history (he’s already got the gong for being the most expensive LOTO) and it is time the taxpayer laid down some rules.

  11. The garage has a whole wall dedicated to storing bikes, Abbott should have leapt at that.

    Since the house was arranged prior to the election to house either PM, Abbott must have rejected it – probably because with 4BR, there’s no reason (excuse) why Marg and the kids couldn’t live there…

    Stop the waste?

  12. Why would two adult daughters, going to university in Sydney, want to live in Canberra with daddy?

    One would assume they are capable of living in the family home without the parents.

    One daughter has already flew the coop, to live with her partner.

    Abbott ABC 24. Not saying anything. Does not sound so clever this morning.
    Truth is we have a very good relationship with Indonesia……………..

    Do we?

    Fancy him stopping for door stop. Has to be the first in 64 days or more.

    Shorten ABC 24. Relationship important. I expect our PM to do everything he can to keep relationship strong.

  13. Abbott’s daughters are not ‘kids’, they are adults in their early twenties, supposedly still students. If their alleged studies mean they have to stay in Sydney then they can do what thousands of country students do every year. Leave home and find student accommodation in the city.

    Margie Abbott should do one job properly instead of making a half-arsed botch of two jobs. She can either stay in Sydney and be a full-time childcare centre manager and forget about all the perks and travel and public appearances that go with beng the wife of a prime minister, or she can ditch the job and concentrate on her official duties.

    Someone needs to sit this pair of spoilt brats down and have a serious talk with them – and I’m not talking about the daughters. They need to decide where they want to live – Canberra or Kirribilli – now, and they need to sort out Margie’s role. If the real reason for all the indecision is the state of their marriage then it’s time they were honest, admitted it’s over and moved on to live ther own lives.

  14. I think Bruce Haigh was on the money when he said there is no-one in the current government with the intellectual capability in FA to handle this problem. Asked about the bishop, Haigh declared she was unimpressive. He also said the abbott treated the matter with smug comments and Morriscum is the biggest problem the government has because he can’t help but be abrasive.

    Haigh also set out the steps that would be taken by Indonesia which have come to pass so far. He also said that in the end, because the Indonesians are so much more sophisticated, the ‘fix’ will come from them. I would add though, that the temperature of relations with Indonesia will be very cool from now on and they will make Australia dance to their tune.

  15. Leone,
    Spot on. If you ask me, the abbotts have been sponging off the public purse for long enough. He conned his way into the PMship and now it is time he and she put the taxpayers and the country before themselves.

  16. Rhys Muldoon ‏@rhysam 21m

    I find it shocking that countries feign shock that their neighbours spy on them.

    This point is not worth making. Countries do spy on other countries, I think we all know that. But when one country starts to complain about another country spying on them, what you have is a diplomatic breakdown. Indonesia is basically intimating that if Australia don’t stop buggerising around with them over the AS issue, they’re going to expose a lot of what Australia is doing. And that’s coming from a position of relative strength by Indonesia, so there’s very little the current government can do except buckle under.

    It’s no longer a topic for domestic consumption. If Abbott continues to play to his domestic audience, he’s going to make things a lot worse very quickly. Unfortunately, that’s his instinct. So we’re in a bit of merde here.

  17. Nothing wrong with daughters staying where they are. I am sure my kids would have grabbed such a opportunity when young.

    Good duel among Cormann, Bernadi and Wong. Senate hearings.

  18. Woop bloody woop! NBN Co says LAB trials of VDSL with vectoring works: http://www.zdnet.com/nbn-vdsl-trials-a-success-nbn-co-cto-7000023290/

    BIG fucking deal! (Turncoat will pretend it is in QT today, you bet!)

    First—it is a lab test so perfect copper, short length of line, etc. (We knew this would perform to specs.)

    Secondly—trying this over a length of actual Telstra copper result will be not so good to say the least and this is what we really need to know!

    Thirdly—VDSL as part of FTTN is only any use to an incumbent telco sweating the last use out of copper and NBN Co does not own the copper!

    Fourthly—VDSL/FTTN is obsolete, would need to be replaced within three years (i.e. one year after starting the rollout. Long term we need FTTH!

  19. Abbott will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to apologize to Indonesia.

    Credin believes that this hard line position will play well at home and any breakdown with Indon is just short term collaterial damage.

    She is the one directing Abbott on this atm and it is poor advice.

    Credin is not a international relations expert. She ( and those in government ) will now have to realize that the experts work in the PS and the advice that they will be giving to Abbott will be 180 degrees away from what she is whispering to him.

    Will Abbott wake up to the fact that he is playing this all wrong or will his macho brain set make him more determined to play the hard man ?

    He needs to get up and apologize. Sometimes we just need to eat a shit sandwich in life and today is the day for PM Abbott.

    If this drags on for much longer expect to see some selective leaking against some within the government in coming days .

  20. I can’t help thinking that the row with Indonesia would never have gone beyond a chat over a cup of tea in Marty Natalegawa’s office if Labor had still been in government.

    This mess is all Abbott’s doing. If he had not been so offensive to Indonesia, had not lied about his bloody boats policy and above all, had not told those ‘everything is better than ever’ lies yesterday in parliament, which seem to have been the last staw, the whole spying mess could have been quickly resolved with an apology and handshake.

  21. ‘Copper does not decompose’. Maybe not, but it does corrode and my copper/kikuyu landline connnection proved that. After a lot of rain the phone and my broadband access stopped working. When the technician opened the piece of junk housing the wires he found – and showed me – a corroded green mass that fell apart when he touched it. It had once been copper wiring.

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