Shorten Playing a Blinder


Well, I think the jury’s in.

Bill Shorten has played a blinder. He’s written the text book, or at least Volume I of it, on how to counter Abbott’s maniacal mis-government.

Shorten is way ahead in the polls now, leaving Abbott behind. Abbott’s shot off just about the last bullet in the bandolier – anti-Red hysteria – along with all the usual suspects – Debt & Deficit, Royal Commissions, Evil Millennial Apocalyptic Death Cult Jihadis (and massive police raids to match, which netted one suspect and a plastic sword), Shirtfronting, Team Australia (heard that used lately?), anti-Obamaism (who ever told him that would work? Australians love Obama!), Dole Bludgers, Entitlement Mentalities, Knighthoods, a poncy “bizoid” comb-over, Blue Ties and has repealed the dreaded Carbon Tax (as well as Stopping the Boats…ho hum).

If 55-45 to Labor is the result of this, Abbott had better hope that asteroid the Euro spacecraft is on changes course and heads for planet Earth. Because salvation from the heavens themselves is about all that’ll help him now.

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He has no ideas, and no idea that he has no ideas. He’s got a dud in a Treasurer, a Nazi as Immigration Minister, a half passable Trade and Foreign Affairs combo, and dunderheads for the rest of the ministry. Unemployment is up, the economy is in the doldrums (and sinking lower), the dollar is down but there are far fewer exporters to take advantage of it, our telecommunications network is ratshit, R&D is gutted, growth industries are in hibernation and may not ever wake up, and those old 3-word slogans just don’t have the elan they used to have.

None of the above will create one nett job or put dinner on the table for the unemployed. None of the above will revive a defunct manufacturing industry. Digging holes and milking cows certainly won’t, either.

Frankly, except for Big Dairy (now substantially owned by another usual suspect, Gina Rinehart), who gives a shit about the Dairy Industry being the big winner from an FTA with China? I mean, who really cares? It’s embarrassing. Other countries do FTAs and hi-tech is the big winner, or aeronautical manufacturing or some other sophisticated secondary industry.

What do we get?

Contented cows.

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Good on ‘em for trying, and good luck to our tenacious milkos, but it’s hardly the thing that’s going to lead the recovery we need. The Budget is blocked, locked and stonewalled in the Senate with a maddie running around vowing she’ll never pass another government bill until they give the ADF a proper pay-rise (I forgot… so much for our brave troops).

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Meanwhile the Quiet Australian, Bill Shorten, has scored big in the polls without hardly lifting a finger in dispute. He has stuck to Abbott like a limpet, but he’s only stuck to him in things that can easily become unstuck once Labor wins back government. Troops in Iraq? Pull them out. Jihadi Laws? Repeal them. Same for the journo laws. On the latter, once he does that, or even hints at it, will Billy be the darling of the media or what?

OK, OK, I know that the fearless Fourth Estate is only whingeing about something they’ll never do, and wouldn’t recognize if they trod in it – investigative journalism – but you never know, promising to repeal an anti-media law can’t possibly be a negative, can it? Would even The Australian write an editorial denouncing a freeing-up of reporting on security matters by thundering that what we need now is MORE censorship? Yeah, well, maybe they would, but I don’t think it’d stand the laugh test. And that’s if they have any readers left.

Where we are now is that the government is coming up to Christmas and a rumoured ministerial reshuffle. Even Bolt has chimed in on that, telling Abbott to clean out the deadwood, with Joe Hockey first up the 13 steps to the gibbet,whimpering “Why me?”

Why not you, Joe. You’ve done eff-all and wasted our precious time doing it.

You can’t cancel Christmas – or in journo parlance… “The Killing Zone” – and Abbott can’t squib the hard yards for much longer. One is reminded of deck chairs and the Titanic, for all the choice he’s got.


Sailor” and shuffleboard competitions, rather than actually doing anything. Promotion has triumphed over perspiration. And there’s an iceberg ahead.

This farce cannot go on for much longer. Australia is essentially un-governed. While the Captain is in his stateroom preening himself, hair-spraying that cowlick back off his forehead and adjusting his Windsor knot, working out which side makes him look more statesmanlike, the ship of state drifts rudderless. As does its cargo… the Economy… and its passengers… us.

Cleaning out the deadwood will be like those guys with a screwdriver and a bleak look on their faces that you get out of the Yellow Pages to come and inspect your floor joists for termites. “Geez mate, it just goes deeper and deeper.” It’s why those other bringers of bad news, dentists, commit suicide so much more than the rest of us: the more they drill, the more rot they find. What’s the point of capping teeth and putting in implants if your paying customers hate your guts and fear you like nothing else?

“This won’t hurt a bit,” say Tony and Joe.

“Yeah, sure,” say the voters. “We’ve heard that story before.”

Elected to govern, Abbott’s mob are not governing. It can’t be put simpler than that. They have a few ideas, but nobody likes them, because most of the ideas they have are either broken promises, or promises they were too gutless to make in the first place.

The crew have deserted their posts, more interested in running “Best Dressed


Captain Smith went down with his ship, but you can bet Abbott will be looking for a lifeboat. Unfortunately there are none left. It’s time for Tony to put up, or piss off.

He wanted the job, and now he’s got to do it. But we know he can’t.

Exeunt, stage right, Tony Abbott.

Hello Little Bill Shorten, the man who everyone said was a boring wimp, but who has slain the mighty dragon by essentially doing nothing except staying right behind him, in his blind spot. You have to take your hat off to Shorten. He has shown remarkable cleverness is NOT doing the bleedin’ obvious and is now reaping a just reward for it.

323 thoughts on “Shorten Playing a Blinder

  1. Hi Update No. #126…

    Three more staff members resigned today. They’re treading on each other to get to the door now that the rot has set in.

  2. He could play dress-ups in a bio-hazard suit in East Africa…

    *West Africa.

    Maybe a photo op with Mugabe? If he’s quick:

    MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said Zanu PF was in the middle of a political storm with President Robert Mugabe’s imminent exit now unavoidable as the ruling party had been hijacked by “nonentities and opportunists”.

    (I’ll let you join the dots.)

  3. BB

    There can’t be many left now.

    Oh, there are plenty left, numerically. It’s a department of about 180 people. It’s just that the respected and competent middle managers are resigning, leaving the place to be run by senior management who belive that sending an email threatening someone is best practice, compared to talking with them and trying to sort problems out before they occur.

    In a reverse of the usual complaint, it’s a case of too many Indians, and not enough chiefs.


    By way of comparison, see last galaxy Vic Poll

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Laura Tingle has plenty to say in this excellent article.
    Think about it!
    Katharine Murphy – The government is drowning us in nonsense.
    Mesma takes a poke at Obama re the GBR.
    Now the UK Tories slam Abbott over climate change.
    Abbott is being increasingly dogged by the “No cuts to the ABC or SBS” comment. And so he should be!
    Mark Scott faced four hours at Estimates last night. And we got to see another “nice” Liberal lady – Anne Rushton – in the chair.
    Grovelling to the Royal Commission on Kathy Jackson’s behalf.
    Ben Eltham says that the ABC budget cuts aren’t a budget tidy up. Rather they are simply revenge.
    David Donovan on the ABC cuts and Leigh Sales’ failure to nail Turnbull.,7111

  6. Section 2 . . .

    She might not be everyone’s cup of tea but Lambie is not in George Christensen’s league. For George’s information I get most pissed off when I see Sanitarium food products on supermarket shelves seeing that company which is owned by the Seventh Day Adventists is tax exempt. And the photo of Jabba George says plenty in itself.
    And speaking of bloody idiots!
    The government is copping it from all sides by people that know about building submarines.
    Or Race Discrimination Commissioner talks about bigotry.
    Adele Ferguson – Cormann’s new headache. It’s game on!
    The Editor of The Monthly is really down on Morrison’s “immoral” responses to allegations from Manus Island.
    Let’s not overcomplicate the euthanasia debate say an ethicist and a QC.
    The three worst things the Liberals did yesterday (from yesterday).
    View from the Street. The Libs give a master class in political semantics.
    Cathy Wilcox and Turnbull’s “Mission Impossible”.
    David Pope presents the new balance of power.
    Ron Tandberg does it again!
    David Rowe tellingly brings it home to the Coalition.
    What a good ‘un from Mark Knight!

  7. What we are seeing with this ABC “broken promise” kerfuffle is “balance” in full swing.

    It’s an obvious lie, and a broken promise. But, because the Liberals will not admit it was a lie, the media treads very softy indeed, particularly the ABC.

    It’s the ABC’s job – according to Turnbull – to report the news straight, without color or interpretation. So, when the “news” is that Abbott’s statement was not a lie, backed up by some fatuous, waffly nonsense about how the public should have parsed Abbott’s comments in relation to Hockey’s and Turnbull’s earlier comments at other outlets, the ABC has to pretend to take it seriously.

    To do otherwise would be breaching their charter of reporting the news impartially.

    Sure, they can report a lie, but when the liar says it’s not a lie, then the ABC has to report that too, with equal weight, even though it’s absurd to do so.

    This is especially relevant when the ABC is under the threat of funding cuts. Hell, they can’t even report on their own funding cuts in any partisan way. In fact it seems they’re required (via a memo from Mark Scott) to treat the subject – their own imminent gutting – the same as any other story.

    Cloud-cuckoo Land.

  8. I suppose I don’t have much of a sense of humour. That Julia Gillard cartoon. Has there ever been a non-pejorative toon of her? The cartoonists themselves always try to look for “balance”. To compare Abbott’s multiple lies with one that wasn’t even a lie …

  9. Janet is after Mark Scott’s scalp. The knives are out. Murdoch gives Abbott his orders, Abbott passes them on to Janet. What abomination does Abbott have in mind to take his place?

    Former ABC board member Janet Albrechtsen yesterday said Mr Scott had failed in his role as editor-in-chief of the organisation.

    Ms Albrechtsen said Mr Turnbull had delivered a “strong rebuke” to Mr Scott’s leadership when handing down the budget cut.

    “Mark Scott came to the ABC as managing director, purporting to be a strong editor-in-chief. I think he has failed in that role,” she said

    Don’t forget – Janet is one of a four member panel that gets to choose new ABC board members. She is one of two Abbott appointments. Next year the other two members will retire and Abbott will appoint new members. He will have a stacked panel.

    Mark Scott is a member of the ABC board. He gets the boot, Abbott appoints one of his Liberal mates to his spot, the ABC gets a new, ultra-right-wing managing director and the rot continues.

    Some more reading

  10. Hilariously deluded stuff from the Daily Tory. Tones part of this “new world order” 😆 Good to see Peta being pissed but somehow I don’t think the US give a fcuk.

    The rise of the new world order

    EARS are still ringing in the US embassy in Canberra after one unlucky State Department official received a terse phone call last weekend.

    It would be an understatement to say Tony Abbott’s office was less than impressed with US President Barack Obama’s performance last Saturday in Brisbane.

    The caller demanded to know why the Prime Minister’s office had not been given a “heads up” about Obama’s G20 climate change stunt…………The caller, obviously, was a senior staffer from the Tony Abbott’s office

  11. It’s amusing, in a “wheels within wheels” sort of way, to see how the ABC pussyfoots around Abbott’s lie about… the ABC.

    On the one hand he clearly just made it up about no cuts to the ABC, SBS, pensions, education etc. (the breadth of his magnanimity was indeed generous), shootin’ the breeze, arrogantly confident he could promise anything, on any subject, and get away with it.

    Abbott knew he intended to gut the ABC and all the rest, he just thought he could lie about it without consequence, as he had been lying about pretty well everything for the past three years… without consequence. This was just another lie. It’s Friday, so it’s the ABC’s turn to be lied about. And hey, who watches SBS News anyway?

    Abbott was right.

    Faced with this monstrous, outright, devastatingly unparsable porkie, the Libs simply lied again. Abbott got someone else to do his lying – Malcolm Turnbull, for whom Abbott reserves extra special tortures – but it was a lie again.

    Faced with the two lies – and constant reminders of their charter not to commentate upon the news, just report it – and the imminent sacking of hundreds of employees, the ABC had a choice: which lie to believe?

    Did they believe the lie about no cuts, or did they believe the lie about the cuts not being cuts? They had a clear duty to believe both, and this is what they did.

    So we had the spectacle of ABC interviewers asking the obvious question about the original lie, and then having to sit back and nod respectfully when the second was delivered. Mark Scott’s memo had already told them to be sanguine about the coming fiscal evisceration and loss of hundreds of jobs. That kinda set the tone.

    It was just another story that had to be treated in a “balanced” way. Thus the Balance Monster completed full circle, coiled itself around 360 degrees, disappeared up its own arse and proceeded to eat itself alive, from the inside out.

    It has been made clear to Scott over the past few days he is to regard ABC Budget Cuts as not designed to threaten program material, the Adelaide TV studios, or regional broadcasting.

    Another lie, of course, but because the ABC has a “Balance” charter they have to treat it as if it isn’t mendacity, and even smile as they participate in their own execution.

    For some reason I am reminded of the famous line by Groucho Marx. He was about to be hanged. Stepping up onto the gallows, with the rope around his neck he was asked if he had any last words. He replied, referring to the ricketty structure upon which he stood, “Yeah… This thing doesn’t look too safe.”

    In being asked to report on its own demise but not to commentate upon it, while juggling the many lies uttered about it as if they can be rationally explained, we finally see the absurdity of the ABC’s position and its ultimate fate under a Coalition government: to politely say that its situation doesn’t look too safe, but then to respectfully reach over and pull the trapdoor lever.

    Apart from keeping up services to the bush, and to Adelaide, they can cut wherever they want to.

    They’re independent, after all.

    I used to think the ABC was worth saving, but if this institutionalized wimpery is the best they can offer, they may as well close down most of their operations and just broadcast re-runs of QI, with the Test Pattern for filler.

  12. From The Blog Of Bolt…

    Nick Cater in The Australian complains that journalists really ARE inner-city, leftie, latte-sippers.

    … one in seven journalists in the country live in just three inner-city Sydney seats according to the 2011 census. Next on the list? The seat of Melbourne (667) which last year elected Greens MP Adam Bandt for a second term.

    Let’s put to one side that Wentworth is one of the safest Liberal seats in the country, Bolt’s sheepish comment is priceless:

    (Disclosure: I live in urban Melbourne. That said, I’ve lived for 17 years in bits of Australia outside our major cities.)

    Bolt’s an inner city latte-sipper too! But somehow (because of a few years in his childhood spent in regional areas) he’s really a Bushie at heart.

    So that’s alright, then.

  13. BB

    It was perfectly okay for the abc to denigrate and use over the top language against Labor, but they aren’t allowed to do that for Libs. I’m of the opinion that abc is vital, but I don’t like it much any more. I don’t watch their tv news or political shows unless there is someone from Labor that I like.


    I had the same reaction as you with that cartoon.

  14. Lies a former LOTO once told.

    “I know it’s customary to be cynical about politicians, but politicians should not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards. I know that from time to time force majeure intervenes, but it is a terrible blow to trust in our polity when politicians break solemn commitments of this nature.” – Tony Abbott, November 8, 2011.

    “[The next election is] a referendum on political parties that break their promises and prime ministers who say one thing to win votes and then do another thing — the opposite thing — to hold on to their job.” — Tony Abbott, November 8, 2011.

    “The ABC will flourish under the Coalition. Certainly, the ABC will continue to be a trusted and respected iconic national institution under the Coalition in the future as it has been in the past.” — Tony Abbott, August 20, 2013.

    “We will be a no-surprises, no-excuses government … You could trust us in opposition, and you will be able to trust us in government … This election is all about trust.” — Tony Abbott, August 25, 2013.

    “No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no changes to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.” — Tony Abbott, September 6, 2013

  15. I know a lot of Pubsters have their TVs and radios welded to the ABC, but I don’t. I rarely go near it, except for some of their drama shows. I would not miss it if it died. Abbott can give the whole show to Murdoch gift-wrapped for Christmas for all I care. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Leigh Sales, Tony Jones, Fran Kelly, Chris Toolman and the rest of the Abbott fan club joining a dole queue somewhere.

    If I want to see news on TV I go to Sky. Odd, but it is less biased than Their ABC and can be relied on to be first with breaking news. I rarely go there now either, I prefer online sources.

  16. Leone,
    If they cut ABC4Kids there will be hell to pay. And don’t think the RWNJ wouldn’t have their eyes on it: remember Piers Akerman’s bizarre claim that Peppa Pig is a hard-left feminist?

    Plus, I like being able to put the Hadley-free ABC on in the car during the NRL season. I know you don’t like sport, but trust me, the commercial options are abysmal.

  17. Nothing would make me happier than seeing Leigh Sales, Tony Jones, Fran Kelly, Chris Toolman and the rest of the Abbott fan club joining a dole queue somewhere.

    You’re not the only one. I have felt deprived in the past few years. And it’s not right that we should be deprived of what we pay for. But all those mediocre people of low integrity hunted us away.

  18. President Barack Obama will tonight unveil measures that will protect about five million illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation, allowing them to live and work freely in the US.
    In a televised prime-time address tonight at 8pm US time (1am Irish time), Mr Obama will announce his decision to bypass Republicans in Congress by making presidential orders that will benefit about two in every five “undocumented” immigrants in the US.

    I just wish we had a kinder policy here.

  19. Jesus Christ, Ned Kelly and that bloody Gough Whitlam !

    Now here’s the rub…all the above were radicals in their own way, but only one was spared the executioners cold touch..
    Sure, most of you are only too familiar with the story of Ned and Gough..; Jesus?..well, for myself, I don’t believe he even existed as a living person, more as a metaphor..but taking him as a historical “fact’ we can go down that road,

    You will know the story of the incident of Jesus throwing the money-changers out of the temple on a Sundee arvo. It seems harmless enough..a kind of : “Alright..out with you..I’ve told you before..enough is off you go!”….hey! if?…The reality would’ve been more like tables tipping up, coins and chits flying everywhere..a cry of ‘JESUS KEERIST!’ and knowing the crowds that gather around money changers in those days, a grasping, scrambling riot would have ensured…along with trampling, crushing, bludgeoning and perhaps an opportune or two of ‘payback’ and “cancelling of debt” ! Whatever the event, it was certain that lives were lost..such are the consequences of extreme radical actions….It may have been this moment that sealed the good Jesus’ fate…those old testament Jews were pretty hard-headed about money…But to give some credit to Pontius Pilate, he did try to give Jesus an “out”..which being refused, washed his hands and…well you know the rest..

    Ned Kelly went down a similar road in regards to upsetting the local authority…his bold “money changing” habit was the icing on the cake…His “Jerilderee Letter“ , like “The Sermon On The Mount” was a direct challenge to the local authority…there is not much of a sense of humour in authority. At the executions of both, a sympathetic public had little power but to watch and weep. Again, lives were lost..but as is too often repeated : “What is one more lost soul in the great spawning?”

    Gough..: one could say he was more “a lover , not a fighter”…a bringing together sort of chap, not a polarizer..but it did him no better, for he too suffered the ”coup d’etat”.. that finished his career…foolish of the Liberals to do that, for by Gough’s policy of free education, he did the conservative elements in Australia an enormous service.; he “tamed the radical extreme” and brought many working class rat-bags “into the tent”, into higher education and into taking up books and not arms.

    There is a precedent for this in ancient history that I am certain Gough would have known..In around 300 bc. the Celts invaded Asia Minor and conquered Athens…in the course of sacking the city, they were going to burn the texts of learning…the Celtic leader, being a wisely sort of character, held them back from such action saying(wtte)…”leave them their books, for in taking up their texts, they will not take up arms against us”…sage advice..which leads me to the basis of this article.

    The radical policy of using education to “soothe the savage beast” of revolution , rather than the age-old method of civil unrest was a moment of civilizing genius…an act the Liberal Party ought to hold as dear to their breast as their Menzie’s portraits !…for it was a close run thing…a few more years of being suffocated by the “pillow of social sophistry” and the entire younger generation would have gone on a wild, murderous rampage!..there was only so much “Walt Disney Show” and “I Love Lucy” one could take! But in retrospect, was this education thing such a good thing-o?

    Coming from a solid working-class background (though certainly not radical…the “Hail Mary” figured any amount more than “The Marseilles “), one of my most admired characters in my formative years was Alan Sillitoe’s anti-hero in “The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner”…I could not only sympathise, I could admire the calculated resistance…the considered plan…the false collusion and then the beautiful..the cruel payback!..awesome!….for , you see, I know the false fawning of certain people of the middle-class over a worker’s skill of craftsmanship, how one is sort of “adopted” as a kind of “pet worker”…the “loyal worker”, “the good worker”..and if one’s prices are “keen” enough…one moves from “favourite worker” to “maaate!”…of course it is a confection..a sweet to lure and soften the worker’s palate against bitter resentment…It doesn’t always work..let me assure you; it doesn’t always work!

    For there is one certainty in any tradesman’s craft…be them a chef, a milliner or a knows from both experience and the sense of one’s ears, eyes and nostrils that when a job is done, if it is well-managed, it is a job well-done!…When I drive in a nail, I can hear, see and sense that nail, with every ‘ringing’ blow of the hammer, going in soundly, solidly and securely..I can step back and say with absolute confidence..; ‘Now a fix!”…I know it, I don’t need to be told by any-fuckin’-one about it!…I need not seek either kudos, approval or flattery about the work…I KNOW if it is a good job…and I wish to bloody hell , those who seek to claim the higher ground of intellectual advisers or interpretive translators of doctrine or policy would allow or ; give ground to allow more working-class literature to both explain policy position and to seek reparation by more practical means….I am sick to the back teeth of hearing journos’ or commentators wheedling around or sniveling up to bullshit-spruiker-politicans…..

    For instance…:

    In that Turnbull interview on RN. the other day, where Malcolm was waffling the most convoluted BULLSHIT!! about the ABC. cuts that I have ever heard, I would have worshiped at the feet of the radio host if they had stopped Turnbull mid-sentence and said ; “ Jeesus,’re talking the most ridiculous crap I have ever heard…now fuck off out of the studio!..I don’t care if it costs me my job, but I can’t listen to your bullshit one second longer piss off out of here !”..and then physically throw him out!! And leave the sound on so WE can hear him throw Turnbull out!!!…I would have liked to have heard that..because, I have heard a worker say that to a boss…I have heard several workers say similar things to a boss…I…have said such to a wanker boss..on several occasions!…perhaps THAT is what the ABC. needs to do to get it’s credibility back! ..tell the govt’ and the Murdoshians to piss off , mind their own business, get their own house in order and let those who know how to do the job get on with their work!…sure, it may not save their jobs..they look to lose them anyway..but by jeezus! would lift their credibility rating to hit that bell and make it ring loud and clear…and would get them more than a few free beers in regained respect down at the local!

    But then, sadly…there’s that milk-sop ; Mark Scott in charge…and he’s “one of the old school tie boys”.

  20. Did you see how Alberici treated Palmer on Lateline? So much provocation – a disgrace!

    CLIVE PALMER: (Waves goodbye and removes ear piece) Well, I’m sorry, goodnight. We’ll see you. Goodbye. I don’t want to talk to you anymore. (Laughs) See you later. (Gets out of chair and leaves set)

    EMMA ALBERICI: And if I had’ve had the opportunity, I was trying to make out – make the point that in these court documents it does say that Mr Palmer has attempted to pay back the money on three occasions.

  21. Gough..: one could say he was more “a lover , not a fighter”…a bringing together sort of chap, not a polarizer..but it did him no better, for he too suffered the ”coup d’etat”.. that finished his career…foolish of the Liberals to do that, for by Gough’s policy of free education, he did the conservative elements in Australia an enormous service.; he “tamed the radical extreme” and brought many working class rat-bags “into the tent”, into higher education and into taking up books and not arms.

    Excellent, jaycee!

    True, Gough suffered an undeserved coup. I suppose many leaders who had suffer coups deserved them. And of course many who deserved them didn’t have to suffer them. Hitler, for instance.

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