The Anzac Myth

Today’s Guest Poster is John Menadue, redoubtable private secretary to Gough Whitlam, diplomat, senior Commonwealth public servant, and successful businessman. Mr Menadue (along with many other luminaries) is active at Pearls and Irritations, where the following post, republished here with permission (for which our thanks), first appeared.

Mr Menadue’s observation

But conservatives were frightened of the future. They wanted to drag us back to the heart break of the past. And they succeeded . . .

resonates eerily, but not surprisingly, with another comment from another very recent post to Pearls and Irritations. This, from retired Associate Professor Douglas Newton, is a fine introduction (though cheekily inserted by me) to The Anzac Myth:

Do we have a right to invoke ‘the Anzac Spirit’ in contemporary Australia? If we tolerate widening inequality, monstrous private wealth amid public squalor, intensifying social stratification, and weakening social mobility, dare we speak of ‘Their Spirit’? If we pursue a neo-liberal agenda, that preaches an acquisitive individualism, hollows out the public sector, privileges the private provider, relentlessly privatises our pooled resources, and lauds lower taxes as the one true household god – is ‘the Anzac spirit’ alive?

Gallipoli and the Anzacs

The four-year and well-funded carnival celebrating Anzac and WWI is now rolling. The carnival will depict WWI as the starting point of our nation, as our coming of age!

It was nothing of the sort. It was a sign of our international immaturity and dependence on others. What was glorious about involving ourselves in the hatreds and rivalry of European powers that had wrought such carnage in Europe over centuries? Many of our forebears came to Australia to get away from this. But conservatives, our war historians and colonel blimps chose deliberately to draw us back to the stupidities and hatreds of Europe. Conservatives and militarists want us to cling to a disastrous imperial war. They encourage us to focus on how our soldiers fought in order to avoid the central issue of why we fought.

It seems that the greater the political and military stupidity of wars that we have been involved in, the more we are encouraged to hide behind the valour of our service people at Gallipoli, the Western Front and elsewhere.. The ‘leadership’ of Winston Churchill and General Ian Hamilton were catastrophic both for the British and for us. Australian and New Zealand forces at Gallipoli were commanded by a British General. No hiding behind the sacrifice of troops can avoid the facts. We should not have been there and it was a disaster.

Unfortunately the more we ignore the political and military mistakes of the past, the more likely we are to make similar mistakes in the future. And we keep doing it. If we had a sense of our calamitous involvement in wars in the past like WW1 we would be less likely to make foolish decisions to involve ourselves in wars like Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our history is littered with tragic military adventures, being led by the nose by either the UK or the US. And it goes on through the Boer War, the Sudan War and more recently, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. In all these cases, and just like WWI, we have desperately tried to hide behind the valour of our service people.

The most important and justified war in which we have fought as a nation was WWII, in defence of our own people and land. But WWII is rated by the Australian War Memorial and so many others as of much less significance. WW1 Is the Holy Grail.

On April 25 each year we are told by tongue-tied people that the great sacrifice of WWI was in defence of freedom and the right. But I don’t think that they even believe it themselves. It just does not ring true. Tony Abbott says it was a ‘just war’. But he is yet to explain what was ‘just’ about it. It is claimed that it united this country, but it divided us in a way that we had never been divided before or since with Billy Hughes exploiting the anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment in the country. Only 30% of eligible men chose to enlist. WWI was a great divider. It was not a unifier despite the platitudes of Anzac Day.

Some claim that WWI was to bring peace to Europe. But the war and its aftermath laid the ground for even greater death and destruction in WWII.

In relation to our population, our greatest loss of lives was in the Frontier Wars where over 30,000 indigenous people died in defence of their own land. But we ignore it in favour of the myths of Anzac. Best we forget the Frontier Wars.

Yet it was the Frontier Wars -the forcible occupation of a vast continent- and not the wars of Gallipoli or the Somne that made Australia.

The first time Australians and New Zealanders fought together was against the Maoris in New Zealand in the 1850s and 1860s. The ANZAC connection was not forged at Gallipoli but half a century before in the Maori Wars. It’s best that we forget that too. It doesn’t do our self-respect much good to recall that we fought together with New Zealanders in a race war to quell the Maori people.

The early and remarkable achievements of this young country at the turn of the century and early in the 19th Century are blotted out by the blood and blather of WWI, ANZAC and Gallipoli. We talk endlessly about the Gallipoli landings. A more honest description would be the invasion of Turkey.

Federation in 1900 was a remarkable achievement, pulling together our six colonies into a nation. We led the world in universal suffrage, the rights of women, industrial democracy and the minimum wage. The ‘Australian ballot’ or secret ballot was progressively adopted in the Australian states in the latter half of the nineteenth century. We were a world leader. Our ballot was adopted in New Zealand, Canada, UK and US

In 1904 we had not only Australia’s first Labor Government. It was the first in the world. The rights of working people as expressed in the Harvester Judgement of 1907 put Australia as a leader on the world stage. We were an advanced social laboratory. Before WWI there were two decades of remarkable nationhood and advancement for ordinary people.

But conservatives were frightened of the future. They wanted to drag us back to the heart break of the past. And they succeeded with the help of Billy Hughes and other Labor renegades

In the process we broke our own heart – or as Marilyn Lake has expressed in a blog on April 23 this year ‘WWI fractured the nation’s soul’.

It is time we were honest with ourselves and discounted the myths of WWI, ANZAC and Gallipoli.

Instead we should celebrate the two remarkable decades of progress before the catastrophe of WWI. And never forget the Frontier Wars.

AAP: Dean Lewins

633 thoughts on “The Anzac Myth

  1. And on this day I once again say ‘ FARK U’ John Howard for your enthusiastic contribution to the perversion of ANZAC Day .

  2. Note the passing mention of Peter Slipper

    Christian Democrats: Staff claims of ‘toxic tension’ within Fred Nile’s party
    April 25, 2016 12:00am
    EXCLUSIVE Alicia Wood Political Reporter The Daily Telegraph

    INFIGHTING in Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats has led to one staffer for the powerful crossbencher allocated a separate parliamentary office.

    Sources within NSW Parliament have told The Daily Telegraph a messy dispute between two staff members for the party has led to one leaving and moving to Queensland, and another transferred to a satellite office away from the Reverend Nile’s office as part of a workplace agreement.

    Sources said Parliament was involved in a mediation with the two staff members.

    As part of an agreement reached with Parliament, the staff member has to work in a separate office, which is located next to the Shooters and Fishers Party, while the remainder of CDP staffers work out of Rev Nile’s office.

    A Parliament source said tensions between staff for the Christian Democrats was “toxic” and the staff member still employed out of Parliament was accused of creating a “dirt file” accusing a colleague of having close links with the former federal Speaker Peter Slipper.

    The dispute comes months after Reverend Nile was rolled by his party and blocked from getting wife Silvana ­­­Nero-Nile selected as lead Senate candidate for the federal ­election.

    At the time members of the CDP expressed concerns it would be a “conflict of interest” for Rev Nile to vote in the Senate preselection, given that it involved his wife.

    However, at the time of the Senate preselection Rev Nile denied he had any conflict of interest in supporting his wife to run.

    A spokeswoman for NSW Parliament claimed the extra office was provided due to “renovations” taking place in Rev Nile’s office.

    “All members of Parliament are allocated one office space within the tower block, to assist them in the performance of their parliamentary duties. Some office holders are allocated a second office, in accordance with their additional duties,” the spokeswoman said.

    “Members’ offices in the tower block are over 30 years old and are currently undergoing a series of modest ­refurbishments to progressively replace workstations, ­fittings and furnishings that do not meet today’s WHS ­requirements.

    “During this process, all members and staff have been provided with the option to use temporary office spaces that have been set up to enable them to continue their work uninterrupted.

    “The Hon. Fred Nile MLC is currently making use of these temporary arrangements while his office undergoes refurbishment. There has been no reallocation of offices.”

    Rev Nile and CDP upper house member Paul Green did not respond to requests for comment yesterday. The CDP leader holds a powerful spot in the NSW upper house and the Baird government relies on him and his colleague Mr Green to pass legislation.

  3. Further to Aguirre’s comment that his associates think Turnbull is on the skids…

    It makes sense. A close election result will only mean MORE angst and guerilla warfare from the Troglodytes of the Liberal Right, not less.

    To those who might reply that Gillard was in the same bind… she wasn’t. While there was a perception that Rudd was against her, there was a simultaneous perception that the entire rest of the Party was for her. Rudd’s comprehensive defeat when he was tipped out – without even a vote – made that a sure thing.

    But Turnbull only just squeaked in. His enemies have gone public on many occasions, ranging over many subjects, including who was a better Prime Minister. The Shock Jocks are up in arms, as are their listeners (I dont know where Hartcher got the idea that talkback radio was on Turnbull’s side). It’s been the stuff of endless commentary how the anti-Turnbull forces in the party are undermining him to the point that he continually gives in to them to keep them off his back.

    So, if he is returned with a reduced majority, the logical perception wouldn’t be that he finally will have the “authority” and the electoral “gravitas” (Kenny’s fantasy) that he needs to push off the trogs, but rather that his position is even worse than before. Couple this with the observation that his enemies have mostly safe seats – almost by definition, because it’s mostly only the marginal seat holders who were worried and turned to Malcolm… about losing them – and it might get around that Turnbull could be tossed by his own party, fairly soonish too, after winning a close election.

    The Trogs distinguish themselves by their regressive, “anti-all-government” policies. They’re a mini-Tea Party, Aussie-style. Those policies are distrusted at best, and hated at worst by the voters. the thought that they might get back into power via a party room coup would be anathema to sensible voters, sick and tired of broken promises and service cutbacks as a raison d’etre for being in politics.

    It might do Shorten well to start putting this about. As soon as Abbott or one of his pals starts out whingeing about something Turnbull’s doing (and it WILL happen), that would be the time start dropping hints about the after-party, post-election win for Turnbull.

    It would be more a blood-bath than a party, I reckon. And the voters might not take too kindly to the prospect of that.

    The commentators, in their zeal to help Turnbull, are calling for a decisive result. They mean a decisive Turnbull win, of course.

    But I think they should be careful what they wish for. They might just get it, but in the Chinese sense of the word, not the Aussie one.

  4. Told youse Terrorism! would be a big part of the government’s election campaign.

    Here’s the first –

    Boy, 16, charged with terrorism offences linked to Anzac Day ceremony

    This allowed Scipione and a noddy to stand in front of cameras looking all serious and concerned. Funny though, only the Daily Smelly seemed to have this breathtaking news early this morning. Everyone else is just catching up now. You can draw your own conclusions, but I smell a large rat and a deliberate scare campaign.

    So far it’s all allegations and ‘we dunno how serious this would have been’. It’s all a crock.


    Election 2016: Turnbull’s office had scouted Abbott staffers, they said no thanks
    April 25, 2016 12:00am
    EXCLUSIVE Simon Benson National Political Reporter The Daily Telegraph

    PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office had informally scouted out three senior former Abbott logistic staffers over concerns that its team lacked experience in running an election campaign.

    However, is understood that the three “advance” team specialists, who lost their jobs in the office purge when Malcolm Turnbull rolled Tony Abbott last September, all snubbed the offer.

    The Daily Telegraph has confirmed that the trio, who had worked on Mr Abbott’s 2010 and 2013 election campaigns, had been recently and informally approached by the Prime Minister’s office.

    It is understood that the PM’s office was seeking to recruit one more experienced person for the team. There are two former Abbott staff currently in the advance team but neither has run a federal election campaign before.

    The three staff recently canvassed had been previously responsible for crucial campaign logistics operations under Mr Abbott including transport, hotels and daily media events.

    They had been approached about potentially coming back to work in the new Prime Minister’s office for nine weeks.

    However, the approach to former Abbott staff added to disquiet among some senior government operatives that the current PM’s travelling party lacked campaign logistics experience.

    The logistic operation of a running an election campaign is regarded as one of the most important factors in a successful campaign.

    Advance teams are critical for even the most basic things such as ensuring hotels are booked, rooms are secured, events are locked in, ensuring cars are at airports to collect the PM and his travelling party and making sure luggage doesn’t get lost — as well as looking after the travelling media contingency.

    It is widely recognised that Kevin Rudd’s failed 2013 ­election campaign ran off the rails due to a lack of co-ordination between the campaign office and the Prime Minister’s travelling party.

    “Everyone takes this stuff for granted, but it takes experience and a really sharp political antenna,” a senior government source said.

    “In a campaign, this stuff will kill them.”

    There are generally three advancers that look after hotels, transport and daily events.

    The advance team is responsible for setting up a mobile office ahead of the PM’s arrival on the campaign trail including transport logistics, confirming and paying for hotels, securing press conference space and checking in media.

    The PM’s office said it wasn’t aware of any approaches to former Abbott staff and said the advance team for the campaign was now in place for Mr Turnbull’s office.

  6. Palestine is latest GOP offensive in climate change wars

    Senate Republicans think they’ve found a powerful way to hobble President Obama’s participation in international climate diplomacy through the decades old Israel-Palestine conflict.

    More than two dozen GOP senators told the Obama administration this week it has to cut off the hundreds of millions in contributions to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund.

    They are also demanding that the administration cut off its $10 million annual contribution to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

    Their argument is that 1994 law prohibits any United States money from going to a UN agency that recognizes as a member a country that isn’t recognized as a sovereign state.

    The law targeted the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian territories that are not recognized as a country by the United States.

    Palestine is now a member of the UNFCCC, which Republicans argue should result it an end to U.S. funding to the group.

    “The administration needs to obey the law, and we’re going to do everything we can to enforce it,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who led 27 lawmakers in the letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. “If the administration wants to continue to act in a lawless way, we’ll do everything we can to make sure they actually follow the law.”

    For Republicans, the new climate offensive has at least two goals.

    It allows them to portray Obama as weak on Israel, and as wasteful of taxpayer dollars.

  7. What if people refused to touch you because of your ancestry? India’s outlawed caste system is alive and well in Australia, say those once considered ‘untouchable’. Denied entry to homes, refused service by priests, they’re calling for Australia to take action.

    “They don’t like higher caste people mixing with lower caste people. Your house has to be ‘pure’. As soon as a lower caste person goes through your gate, your house is impurified… So they may not have shunned me personally, but I find it difficult now to face up to people who perceive that I have been shunned and looked down upon.”

  8. I don’t have all that much time for David Feeney, but I agree with him on this:

    Mr Robert’s post has been slammed by shadow veterans’ affairs spokesman David Feeney, who described the tweet as “disgraceful”.

    In a statement to the ABC, Mr Feeney called on the Prime Minister to act.

    “This is distasteful on a day all Australians are honouring the sacrifice of so many,” he said.

    “Mr Turnbull has been quick to condemn people in the past who haven’t acted in the Anzac spirit — he should do the same to his own MPs. This is a time to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our ADF personnel, not use them to play politics.

    “Today isn’t about politics, it is about honouring our servicemen and women.


    • And very clever. Turnbull had SBS journalist Scott MacIntyre sacked because of tweets he posted on Anzac Day last year, so he now has to discipline Robert or look like the hypocrite he really is.

      What a shame there’s no QT tomorrow.

  9. Guess who just had an angry phone call from the boss –

    • Well, somebody had been monitoring his timeline – I got blocked almost immediately after replying to that negative gearing tweet. As did a few others from what I’ve seen.

  10. Oh good grief!

    Barnaby gets to be deputy PM and then someone realises he isn’t up to the job and need training. And this comes after he was allowed to be acting PM?

    ‘The political version of training wheels’: New support unit set up to help Barnaby Joyce with government-wide issues

    Former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan said he did not have the help of a policy support unit during his time as deputy to Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and that Mr Joyce should not need one.
    “He needs this because he is clueless about government policy,” Mr Swan said

  11. I’m just looking ahead toward the next one hundred years of the ANZAC tradition when wars will be fought with robots…There will be the : Drone Nerd brigade marching alongside their machines it the service metals welded on the machine…then the 31st AIF. Mechanical “GI. Joe” Geek Battalion followed by a big dumper with all the busted and crippled machines with squirts of oil and hydraulic fluid weeping from them and people lining the streets tossing ball bearings at them as a tribute to their endurance etc. etc..

    All accompanied by a motorised robot Ghetto Blaster pumping out jingoist tunes for the mob to swoon to…you can fill in the rest..I’m going for afternoon char!

  12. I usually march in the Adelaide Anzac Day March, for Arthur, but I was not up to it today. I got to watch it on TV for the first time in five years.

    It was a good day for it too. I concentrate on the Commemoration, which I must say is the focus of all the marches i have been to and in. I love seeing the old guys and gals getting applause and seeing them and their families mix and greet each other at the refreshment tents afterwards, I have sat next to and spoken to some interesting people over the years.

    It is the day I miss Arthur the most, as I was the one who got his medals out of their box and got him marching. He found a new set of friends and I saw what the day did for him. He also cried over his lost friends. killed in action. Do not underestimate the worth of ANZC Day for service people and their descendants. Ignore all the political stuff, the hangers-on and the arskeholes.

    I do not mean unquestioning, and I agree with the header post.

    Lest We Forget used to mean do not forget that our men and women were sent to WW1, a war useless and reprehensible, and our troops were used as colonial cannon fodder, one of my ancestor’s rellie is in a France war grave to prove it. My grandfather had to shoot his beloved horse before he shipped home from Palestine.

    I defend ANZAC Day for Commemoration not as a politicians/ plaything. For that, the bastards can and should be damned. That most certainly includes John Howard, Prime Minister and War Criminal, who idealised ANZAC Day and then sent our Defence Forces to a lie of a war.

    Lest We Forget.

  13. This term ; “Negative Gearing” has to have been coined by a bloke…p’raps two..One lamenting some gearbox trouble he’s having with the ‘Roller’ , the other losing money on a block of flats he’s built….They’re having a drink in the bar and the one in cross conversation with the other..

    “’s all one big negative with this spec’ building”..

    “ then the bloody gearbox gets stuck in reverse!…an’ I’m wrenching the gear-stick this way and that trying to find negative…”

    “What negative!!?”

    “Gearing…Negative gear is what I’m talking about!..What are you talking about?”

    There is a silence then they high-five….and buy another round of drinks to celebrate an addition to the English language and the Oxford Shorter..

  14. Aguirre

    I got confused because I had read your comment here and then saw it on twitter a bit later. I then realised what had happen. It was well worth a repeat.

  15. PuffyTMD

    Lest We Forget used to mean do not forget that our men and women were sent to WW1, a war useless and reprehensible,

    ‘Twas how I was bought up in In Zud. One reason I loathed Howard.

    • It was how we were brought up too, and my kids were. Howard was the bastard who tried to turn it into a hoopla affair. But at the grassroots level, I believe he failed.

      I am not very impressed with the AFL either, abusing the day for promotional purposes. That is an uholy alliance of the Defence Force, the RSL and the AFL to gear the day to their own recruitment advantages. It is bugger all to do with Commemoration. It is about remuneration

    • This afternoon I watched video of the local march. It was a wet and miserable day, but that didn’t stop the crowd turning out for the march, the main service and the earlier dawn service. I think the crowds might have been bigger than last year’s record breaking turn-out. Maybe having the Governor of NSW and his lady here to do the ceremonial parts was the drawcard, maybe not. We are a long way from the big city hype, I think the country town commemorations are still the real deal.

      The march was very moving – first those too frail to march, smiling and waving in their procession of veteran cars, then the returned service men and women. An old bloke tottering along, determined to do the short march down the main street to the cenotaph without any help, and his mate sticking close, just in case. Another old bloke, walking stick in one hand, furled brolly in the other, limping along. A grandfather leaning on the shoulder of his teenage grandson for support. Little kids holding hands with grandparents. Cadets, the crew of HMAS Rushcutter, in town for the day, police, scouts, and more, all marching in the wet. And finally a a few hundred kids from all the local schools, plus their teachers. It brought a few tears to my eyes, and I’m not one to be easily moved to tears.

      A big cheer for His Excellency General The Honorable David Hurley’s (AC DSC Ret’d). The Governor has decided to abandon the big city commemorations for the next four years (at least) and instead he will visit a different regional centre each year. Good on him.

  16. Further to my comments on negative gearing, I think that I have found the article.

    Mr Eslake found that in August 2005 Mr Turnbull co-authored a paper where he wrote: “Australia’s rules on negative gearing are very generous compared to many other countries”.

    Then, in a speech to a conference co-sponsored by The Australian newspaper and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research in September 2005, he described negative gearing as a form of ‘tax avoidance’.

    Good luck Mal explaining that away. I bet the ALP have got that speech nicely tucked away.I am going to look for his speech. I love hypocrites.

    • Don’t underestimate the contribution of the plebs. Do not assume because you found it, the very busy ALP team has also done so.

      Email it to them, you may be duplicating something they already know, but if not, they will be grateful for the help. Even if they have it, they will like your interest.

  17. puffyTMD

    It was how we were brought up too, and my kids were. Howard was the bastard who tried to turn it into a hoopla affair

    Forever stuck in my memory are 3 Howie abominations when it comes to ANZAC Day.

    Back in the day when I still purchased The Australian every day there was an article about ANZAC day. It was Howie’s first ANZAC day as PM. The journo was some old school chap and recounted his observations of PMs reviewing troops on ANZAC day over many decades. He noted , with derision, how all the PMs had walked, ambles, slouched along but Howard “puffed himself like a bantam rooster” and strutted. He thought it was most UnAustralian for an Australian PM to behave so.

    Then there was the Australian’s fantastic special feature interviewing the last 12 original Gallipoli chaps. One in particular struck me. Most especially because of the social history aspect and showing how shit it was in the “good old days”. He described how at aged 9 he was “sold” by his parents to a rabbittoh in Sydney. After telling the story he emphasised how he did not want to be called a hero and what a waste is was . A few weeks later he died and @@#$%%%^ !!! Howard did EXACTLY what the guy specifically asked not to be done. Disrespect to the max .

    Third was in Gallipoli. EVERY time the Kiwi and Australian PMs are in Gallipoli at the same time they attend each other’s service. Until EFFING Howard. Could not be bothered and still spouted the maaateship between NZ and Aus at the Australian service.

  18. Christ, the MSM ae so unimaginative.

    First we were going to have an election on the CFMEU. Then it was bracket creep. Then the Banks. And now its negative gearing. All of them single issues: the MSM in search of a narrative that’s easy to write scare campaigns about.

    They’re wrong.

    The next election will be about whether Malcolm Turnbull can convince the electorate that he can control an even smaller Liberal Party, with an even higher concentration of nasty Right Wingers, than the one he can’t control now.

    If he can’t swing it, it’ll be a landslide to Labor.

    Labor will onto Turnbull like cockroaches, crawling all over him, biting him where it hurts. There won’t be a single issue election. There never is.

  19. The bleeding obvious on negative gearing –

    Scrott and Waffles keep telling us the majority of negative gearers are people who have taxable incomes less than $80,000, teachers, nurses and police, he says, as if that was an indication that ‘ordinary mums and dads’ are the main users of negative gearing. The MSM are more than happy to keep repeating this rubbish.

    Of course negative gearers have low taxable income. That does not mean their real incomes are low, quite the opposite. That’s TAXABLE income, after they have deducted their negatively geared expenses and all the other lurks used to reduce a hefty taxable income to practically nothing.

    Just how dumb do they think we are?

    At least someone woke up to this nonsense. Not that it got much attention.
    Fact check: Do most negative gearers earn a modest income?

    Since Mr Morrison’s speech to the Press Club, he has erroneously claimed in Parliament that “some two-thirds of those who have a taxable income of $80,000 and less invest in negative gearing”.

    This fact check demonstrates that 8 per cent of those who have a taxable income of $80,000 or less invest in negative gearing

    Have any of these over-paid Press Gallery hacks ever commented on the sad fact that we pay our teachers, nurses and police peanuts because they are expected to do their outstanding work out of love and a sense of duty? No they have not.

  20. That the Liberals have gone back to negative gearing, barely a month after it failed them the first time around, indicates the kind of desperate straits they’re in. Some bright spark up there suggested they have another go at it, but with a doorstop and a new slogan – “Labor’s Housing Tax” (which doesn’t make any sense at all when you think about it) – and that’s about it.

    That they could even consider, for a moment, that cost of living pressures for all Australians could in any way be linked to ownership of multiple properties, indicates the kind of mollycoddled, privileged existence they and their PR team have been leading all their lives.

    Still, when it tanks in a couple of days they’ll move on – to union bashing, or ‘terrorism’ or the ‘carbon tax’ or something else which has already had its usefulness exhausted.

    They’re just rolodexing their talking points now, flicking through them one by one in the vain hope that something will stick. And the MSM are obediently following suit – “Ooh, this’ll be the one that sinks Labor, surely….”

  21. Where is the liar Robb “I suffer from depression when it suits me, champion of free trade deals now”?
    Gutless used depression issue for his own good and now is silent

  22. The Guardian has gone to water, as has its comments..The Article by Mark “attack piece ” on Murdoch’s rags…What a complete crock!..The chinless bastard rolled over and bared his and the ABC’s throat anytime there was the slightest squeak from Murdoch’s traitors or the Abbott govt’ (incl’ Turnbull) against ABC. criticism.

    He abandoned any number of serious journos for those light-weight flibbertigibbets with a scone recipe or silly skits that were meant to be comedy! Good riddance to the chinless, gutless, useless prick-faced, arsehole bastard !…He’s led the National Broadcaster into a fetid swamp that is fully intended to be it’s demise if the filth get back in!

    Piss off ; you little prick…back to Johnny’s bum-hole!

  23. Robb had his greatest moment back in the last term. Can’t recall which year it was now, but it was one of the Budget replies, must have been Hockey’s first. Abbott wasn’t up to it, spoke in generalities for the entire thing and handed it off to Hockey at the NPC the next day. Hockey spoke in even vaguer terms for an hour, eventually handed the press corps copies of a single A4 sheet printed on both sides, and palmed the whole thing off to Robb. So all the journos had to shuffle off to hear Robb try to explain away the lack of even a halfway decent Budget reply. Robb was left to handle all their outraged questions, for which he was provided no answers. It was padding of the highest order, as Robb attempted to convince them that black was white, that nothing was something, that laziness and ignorance were dynamic and smart. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen him working.

  24. On Facebook Sam Dastyari said “It’s not even a good scare campaign. This Government can’t even scare well.”

    Note the prominence given to that nonsense about taxable incomes less than $80,000 I bet Waffles’ taxable income is a lot less than $80,000.

  25. long and worth bookmarking the video story will be on Lateline tonight as already linked above, I’ve tweeted it and drawn it to some peoples’ attention, including within the ALP national team, just in case they didn’t know. this is perhaps a bit niche and very left, but worth a look as an explainer of all those terms like “privilege” you see waved around in cultural/political discussion, and how they differ from the classic lefty terms like “solidarity.”

    • You see that “windmill” behind that pic there above…Well, I’m pretty sure that is one of my grandfather’s mills.

  26. For some reason I thought Robb did quite well as director of the National Farmers’ Federation back in the 1980s.

    Maybe he peaked then.

  27. I think the only thing left for the Libs is the budget. Do they try to bribe their way out of it? Even this has risks with a cynical electorate.
    On the other side, given the clinical way Labor has been releasing policies and out thinking Turdbull, I wouldn’t be surprised if Labor has a carefully planned total package to take to the voters that meshes everything that’s already been put out there plus some new announcements

  28. Wasn’t scumbag Robb one of the leading lights amongst the even scummier ‘Minchinites’ that did Truffles in as LOTO over climate change ?

  29. Kaffeeklatscher,

    To be honest, I don’t remember enough about the last three months of 2009 to be sure why Robb announced his depression when he did (mid-September, from a quick check).

    I also think the depression was and remains genuine.

    However, I do remember enough about tny bbutt’s “accession” to LotO to recall that Robb made it to the party room meeting even though still on sick leave – albeit nearly at the end of the three months he’d taken.

    • I also think it is genuine. However my vague memories of the time was that the timing of his “revelation” was a little too politically convenient. Great way to take “the heat” off.

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