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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Sunday, 4 November 2007
Sunday political talkies: Which 'double talking, axe wielder' Johnny come lately carpetbagger* do you prefer?
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: In flight free magazine Sydney to Avalon 30th Oct 07. PM Howard is on Insiders beating up the notion that Garrett (who was always a bolt on to the 100 year old ALP party), is somehow now the engine and steering wheel. Only dupes or the incredulous could be fooled by such self interested rhetoric. Sure Garrett (like all pollies, let alone ex rock star front man) is egotistical but the real test of his postures is whether he could deliver a radical change to the conservative, vandalistic ALP policy platform. And the resounding answer is NO, just as Bob Brown has cautioned the ALP will change PG, not vice versa. Unlike Howard who as leader does indeed deliver eg deception of the voters in 2004 by introducing unprecedented disruption to IR. Deception of voters again in 1996 to bring in the GST. Conclusion: Howard is projecting his own abuse of power onto Garrett. No wonder Howard is beating as much as he can.

 * Carpetbagger


Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):



This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.



Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208



“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”





Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.



For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.




Media backgrounder


- We were on the bicycle/aeroplane/hike/train and back for three days and missed the micro detail [or maybe we didn't really] but even in South West Victoria (pictured below) we learned that Peter Garrett made a 'gaffe' as per the headline above, echoing a front pager Sydney Morning Herald leader on Saturday referring to "Labor's double talk/ We'll wield the axe". It's a story actually about Kevin Swan swearing to hang tough on financial management, but in close proximity and aimed at neutralising another front pager about said Peter Garrett including picture in his "sorry" suit on the Olympic stage.




- Another howler in the so called Garrett-gate affair. But not by PG in fact. Rather John Howard as quoted in today's Sunday press:


"You don't joke about what your intentions are in government three weeks out from the election."


Nod head sagely, oh yes such serious matters for serious men.


Unless of course you are Peter Costello and joking about your own leadership profile and 'in govt' intentions four weeks out from an election as running mate for same John Howard?! Was it the Treasurers debate in the Q&A session where Costello was asked why should the Liberal Party hand over leadership to Costello in 18 months if he agrees with everything John Howard does? To which of course Costello smirked and parried with a joke about wondering the same about Rudd being the same as Howard and so why vote for the ALP leader?


Here is the ABC transcript of the jokey exchange:


News Limited's Sue Dunlevy raised the leadership question that hangs ever-present around the Coalition: "In two years time, if the Prime Minister honours his promise to stand aside and allow a leadership change in the Liberal Party, you could be the Prime Minister of this country.

"Could you please tell voters, who are going to the polls in just over three weeks, what the three main differences will be between a Costello government and a Howard government, and if there are no differences, is there any point in a leadership change?"

Mr Costello answered: "Well, it's a question I often think when I listen to Kevin Rudd tell us how there'd be no changes between him and John Howard.

"Sometimes I wonder why Kevin wants to be elected when he wants to be so like John Howard."

But no, he did not answer the question.


But it got a good laugh while cutely avoidingCostello's 'intentions when in the govt/leadership succession'. So is Howard condemning Costello as well as Garrett now for flippant lack of gravitas or even maturity or indeed honesty? I don't think so. More's the pity.


- Warrnambool Standard tries to wake up dozy voters if not candidates in the otherwise safe seat of Wannon held by David Hawker (The Speaker) and also this Sydney based writer's home district.



One voter is in such despair she tries to drive off the Hopkins River boat ramp, and then the breakwater 6 weeks later (last Thursday). She is rescued both times, 2nd time unconscious floating face up frothing from her mouth with local fishers watching on agape. They go back to fishing. 


10 Meet the Press 


Press roundup Pakistan dictatorship with Purves Musharif. McKew looking strong in Bennelong ahead of Howard still.  


Wombat otherwise known as Mark Vaile blathering on as guest with compere Paul Bongiorno. Claims credit for $10 billion road package. 

Sleaze about climate change no big problem (hiding his big mining donation interests for the Nats). First adbreak is Get Up spoof on Govt advertising. Well worn but still effective. 

Out take with Nicholson animation is strong re ‘double talk’ theme with Howard backflips constantly on climate, reconciliation, other? 

Panel is looker Cath Hart from The Australian, and Steven Spencer of 2GB. CH goes for interest rates asap. Spencer on climate with pandering question (?). 

2nd guest is Galaxy pollster sees Howard replaced by same younger Rudd as long as he gets there without looking risky. Notices big contrast general to marginals, says Lindsay and mortgage belt seats gone, but rural regionals different again (which way?).  

Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress  

Myspace web address: www.myspace.com/meetthepeople  


7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary 


-  Very amusing parallel of Howard and Forest Gump. Great soundtrack. One of the best satires this year?  All a bit silly and ragged. Good focus on Abbott stuff ups with sorry music everywhere and ouch comparison with macho Mark Latham ie doesn’t play well at all. Pugilist Abbott pretty much revealed for what he is – a slugger.  





Insiders 2


Howard interview. Gets in a lather about Garrett and some so called boasting by Garrett about changing their platform post election. It’s a path that Howard has ploughed all too well on GST, IR etc but he was leader, not a bolt on like Garrett whose main qualification is singing someone else’s lyrics.


Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/


Sunday 9    

Round up as above of the week of politics.


Feature on senate minor parties including proto fascist party Liberty and Democry Party (eg gun ownership) and Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party supporting Barnaby Joyce.


Important interview with Kevin Rudd and Laurie Oakes, addresses Garrett postures/double talk/joke as he is driving the ALP and delivering the platform eg the pulp mill.


Q&A with Laurie, Howard looking like "Captain Cranky", Rudd looking more relaxed.


Laurie looking fitter than ever. Well done Old Man.


Garrett destined to junior ministry thinks LO.


Reserve Bank business - interest rates likely to go up.


Feature with Naomi Wolf, about USA down the path of totalitarianism, and subvert early 2009 election. Ten steps dictators always take. Tipping point.






Posted by editor at 5:19 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007 3:14 PM EADT
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Bogus Bob Carr's revisionist history on 50% forest destruction on his watch
Mood:  sharp
Topic: nsw govt

Saffron Howden of the Daily Telegraph yesterday, with the help of the dizzy folks at The Wilderness Society, and the Fairfax Sydney Magazine give Bob Carr (always the thespian) some great PR profile recently.

Picture: At left Bob Carr whose govt during his watch waved through the James Hardie legal trickery to offshore their assets to avoid asbestos liabilities of $4B or more, next to Nick Griener who is now a company director for Big Tobacco, also in the legalised business of killing people.

But the truth is oh so different from the Great Spinner trying to rehabilitate his public reputation after being forced out as premier after a respectable 10 years anniversary. (This is also the Bob Carr who also said the internet was irrelevant to electioneering in one of those typical hubristic interviews alongside Gore Vidal, which gives you the clue to the skinny mans patchy credibility as opposed to manipulative acting skills.)

Carr created 350 national parks some of them big, some of them postage stamps but he also condemned the other 50% to destruction with 20 year logging resource security when climate change was bearing down on us. Here are some of our eye witness field trips sometimes at personal risk:



We were careful to keep a web record of Carr's real legacy:

Carr alp dodges 1999-2003

Carr dodges 95-99

and in particular this big logging list in over 100 precious forests on his watch 1995-2005:

1. Click here for 'Final update on NSW public forests logged 1996-2003 pre 2003 election' posted on www.sydney.indymedia.org.au on 19th March 2003.

Ex Premier Bob Carr's breach of an election promise to end woodchipping of native forest by 2000 in NSW - not just any promise that actually got him over the line in marginals like Coogee in 1995 - had drastic consequences over the border in Victoria's once grand East Gippsland forests in places like Goolengook which were firebombed after devastating clearfells sent to the Eden chipper Carr promised to close.

Indeed there was such alarm at Carr's failure here is the very same The Wilderness Society election leaflet 2003 condemning the guy they just went on a bushwalk with as reported in the Daily Telegraph above ...



Posted by editor at 11:00 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007 11:45 AM NZT
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Kyoto, like Montreal Protocol, will show if West is serious or not. Next step bans on GHG intense Chinese/Indian imports?
Mood:  on fire
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: NASA image of warming globe

'India and China aren't required to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Kyoto Protocol' says PM Howard and Foreign Minister Downer in the big media this last 48 hours. Meanwhile senior minister Mark Vaile panders to climate change deniers altogether.

But this is narrow 'rodent' half truth rhetoric from the Coalition. The Opposition leader Rudd and Garrett have got it right on Kyoto as a framework for leveraging China and India irrespective of unilateral initial targets by the West. For instance consider the other crucial tool not mentioned much in the discussion of treaties - the ability in the local jurisdiction to shut out unwanted products (eg GHG intense Chinese/Indian imports) from lucrative domestic western markets. This is the sovereign power of every Western country just like the ban on kids toys with lead paint, or toxic food, import of endangered animals, or CFCs (see below). Similarly the terms of Kyoto are only the tip of the diplomatic iceberg when it comes geo politik of enforcement of such global environmental reform. Most of the power is not in the treaty, it's in the black list 'here' leveraging our buying power if our Govt is serious about action.

An excellent precedent case of this geo politik dynamic is the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) (see more background here) which covered China and India as developing countries, but only after many years, dragged kicking and screaming to binding ODS targets on products with chemicals like CFCs and HCFCs. The effect of an import barrier on Chinese and Indian ODS intense products into Europe/USA markets focused the thinking of China and India: The West was serious in fixing the ozone hole to save our future. And it worked.

Thus it is the West's overt willingness to go for economic sanctions, or not, that is crucial to China and India accepting binding targets that can also make the Kyoto Protocol work - not  binding targets up front per se.

This is why unity of purpose amongst the rich Western markets is critical more so than between rich and poor countries. The latter will follow in due course, as the Howard and Bush cynics well know: The music stops for China and India on GHG intense production when the USA and Europe decides that from a certain time it will not buy. No doubt it does take commitment and courage for the West to pull the developing countries into Kyoto (or similar) Protocol because it causes pain for both the West/USA and China/India

- in economic restructure (we like those cheap goods, they like making them),

in diplomacy (China and India will be pissed at the upheaval and extra work to make the changes, the West are going to have to subsidise the cost),

-  in security (any cheating will cause serious frictions, and enforcement within and across national boundaries of targets won't be fun either) and

- confusion generally (how to regulate let alone educate globally).

In this sense Kyoto to be next considered in Bali, Super Kyoto, or Post Kyoto, are just labels for when in a timing sense the unified West rich markets are really, finally, ready to put real economic pressure on the developing countries: For instance declining all those cheap products in K-mart mostly made in China which may be produced in unacceptable ways.  Howard is deceptive to stereoptype the foreign developing countries as holding us back. Rather, go looking for developing country GHG emitters and likely you will find they include us - indirectly as buyers.

The great irony is that the Chinese govt already knows Kyoto or similar must happen, just as the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on ODS was a global training run. The Chinese want the Planet and the human species to survive as much as anyone. The logic of the combined effort on the ozone hole and common sense tells us so. Thus China is developing renewable energy in huge measure - to be ready for the big shift.

All the USA/Australia sabotage of Western unity in the Kyoto Protocol amounts to is pure cynicism  - yes make us 'Kyoto energy reform' virtuous, but not yet.Yet the longer we wait the worse it gets like a bad tooth leading to blood poisoning and even death.

Very significantly China and India said it was impossible to reform ODS under the Montreal Protocol in the 1990ies yet they retooled in 5 years after they realised their market was really at risk. It's true GHG is a much much bigger (though partly related reform) compared with phase out of the aggravating ODS but it is even more unavoidable. Cie la vie.

Howard and Downer are playing with words and for time. In fact with Australia such a huge exporter of coal and with Howard's value system about revenue above all else, our PM is talking like he is actually in the shoes of China and India who want as much dirty energy development as possible before the world takes the cure. Howard talks more like a Chinese dictator when it comes to saving the environment, than a western leader. Which is a worrying omen given the very poor environmental situation in China. That's not leadership by Howard, that's intellectual and moral cowardice in the face of scientific reality.

But then Australia under Howard is just proxy for the Bush regime in the USA saying we aren't ready for Kyoto yet. The Bush-Howard regimes are literally playing chicken with science and the future of the Planet and the survival of all species including humanity.

Our Catholic upbringing tells us this dangerous climate change and dithering over solutions is a modern form of Evil that Satan would approve.God's creation deserves better, the fundamental question underpinning this report in the Good Weekend Oct 13 cover story



Posted by editor at 8:57 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007 10:55 AM NZT
Monday, 29 October 2007
Green Party 'national leader' provides wise counsel on the ecology front
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: election Oz 2007


Senator Bob Brown

  Will the Green Party under the official leadership nationally of the veteran Senator Bob Brown close the pragmatic preferences deal with the hard nosed pragmatic federal ALP, in defiance of ridicule by such as Senator Fielding of the Assembly of God aka 'Family First' right wing party?

Well time will tell. But the veteran Brown is looking like a Melbourne Cup bolter this last 24 hours. A spring in his step, the rumble of the ocean in his voice, a strong tonic of relevance syndrome like a ring in to a Fantastic 4 movie script on tv last night.

Picture: Images lifted from Fantastic 4 chortler, with Bob Brown in the Ioan Gruffudd role attempting to pursuade a pneumatic potential green voter, hanging in there electorally and very worried about Mr Hot, his friend or fatal super nova?

There he is, not for nothing, on Meet the Press, Insiders couch where Matt Price should be (and is not forgotten Matt in his darkest hours), and ABC tv prime time evening news correctly noting that "for the first time as national leader".

In this way the acutely diplomatic Brown, that this writer has much less time or interest in pursuing as the world crashes around us, is well placed to rein in the ideological left wing in the NSW division, and keep a subliminal ecological theme running strongly. The real green in Green. And thank God (!) for that.

And the ALP are getting it. The green in Greens are not for turning, getting a .5% increment every year on average, and the whole song and dance has to move stage forward to our position because we have the moral trumps on preserving creation and survival of our species including, God's creation as you please. There is no bargaining on such an issue.

Truly dangerous climate change is in fact Satan. 


This morning in Sydney 800 km south of Lismore (in the aftermath of a tornado - let me say that again, a tornado) the temperature at 6 am pre daylight saving, 7 am post daylight correction - was 25 degrees ("inside the truck" says the dead cow delivery guy outside a local butcher next to the local newsagent).

That folks is a subtropical climate shift bearing down on Sydney. A cyclone 800 km away last weekend but actually in Sydney in our lifetime. That's right - a cyclone in Sydney in our lifetime.

Climate Change is Satan. Are you reading this George Pell?

Posted by editor at 9:31 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007 11:15 AM NZT
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Sunday political talkies: Consensus that Rudd aka ALP will win but will Australia?
Mood:  not sure
Topic: election Oz 2007

Picture: notable clips from today's Sunday press in Sydney from top

1&2. Glenn Milne runs beat up on Mal Turnbull which may or may not involve a leak from Big Mal, e.g. post election rival Costello, or Downer (given Christian Kerr ran a similar story in Crikey 10 days ago)

3. personal economy pressure on consumers angle being pushed hard by the ALP based on serious data that lower cost of luxury goods is averaging out higher cost of basics hurting the working poor

4. Conservatives traditional fear and loathing angle around bushfire hazard as summer bites looks like being shut down via the sound PR around the new NSW Rural Bushfire Commissioner whose dad paid the ultimate price, and though young has been in the game 23 years. Secondly it's probably climate change related lack of rainfall which the Coalition are exposed on. No banana for Howard there.



Author’s general introductory note (skip this if you know this regular weekly column):



This is not a well packaged story. It’s a contemporaneous traverse of the Sunday television free to air political talkies indicating the agenda of Establishment interests: Better to know ones rivals and allies  in Big Politics and Big Media.



Indeed it’s the tv version monitoring task similar to what Nelson Mandela refers to here in his book Long Walk to Freedom (1994, Abacus) written in Robben Island prison (where he was meant to die like other African resister chiefs of history in the 19C), at page 208



“..newspapers are only a shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses the biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it.”



Just substitute ‘Sunday tv political talkie shows’ for "newspapers" in the quote above.



For actual transcripts go to web sites quoted below except with Riley Diary on 7. And note transcripts don’t really give you the image content value.






Media backgrounder


Picture: October 7, 2005.

- Overall observation: Coalition aggressively pushing 'the unions are behind Rudd' aspect very hard all week including tv adverts, just as ALP push 'Costello behind any vote for Howard'. Thus the two major parties are in a narrow tit for tat rhetorical dynamic arguably at the cost of much more important issues like lack of State Govt funded services, hopelessly unsustainable society.  

- Joe McDonald a unionist is ejected from the ALP for using fruity language and forgetting to tug his forelock to big business mates of the Labor Party, while Michael OConnor remains on the ALP national executive while effectively supporting this violence to conservationsists:



and this



all raising the question

 'Rudd has been to the funeral of a brave Australian solider complete with national media coverage, but has he ever been to the funeral of a building worker killed on the job?' [we bet Joe McDonald has many times]

- cover story by Paul Kelly  (contrary to take out of jaundiced Piers Akerman on Insiders) is flattering, insightful, blesses Rudd effectively but also notes he is "a work in progress" and we interpret this in the Bob Dylan sense 'always growing, evolving and arguably improving'. In this sense yes Rudd is dynamic, and a sensitive instrument. A thrill for those who believe in upskilling and a life of learning. How many Australians feel like Paul Kelly or this writer remains to be seen but the signs are encouraging too. 

- Michael Chaney banker and outgoing chair of the Business Council of Australia, now chair of Woodside is pro Kyoto. Mal Turnbull is. Costello is.


- 60 Minutes promo for tonight "proof" the planet is warming.


- Colonial First State Sustainability Fund advert on 9 re implicit climate change.


- "Labor to announce Greens tie-up", preference deal shuts out Family First in the Senate, firms up ALP in most House of Rep seats. p7 27 Oct The Australian [but note too not till Saturday 6 days away that the preferences are final, says Barry Cassidy on Insiders today]. SMH carries same story re frothing Senator Fielding


- grotesque greenwashing? Alcoa tree planting adverts p11 The Oz this weekend. And lets not forget the Alcoa sponsorship of Frog Watch. Where do we start? Investing in dams of mountain rivers for cheap electricity? Massive GHG emissions in the manufacture of aluminium? It's fraught.


 - Big media commentariat becoming the story, take 2: Mike Carlton pays out on his rivals scrambling to get a conceptual honourable footing as the power tectonic shifts. Doogue also notes Sheridan big retreat in Howard's grand failure article.


- Crabb  the dreadlocked one re focus groups and PM use of same, correctly notes rodent nature of John Howard making his false denial, [with untrustworthy nature also the theme of Laurie Oakes today in his long interview on 9 with the PM, as below, and now Rudd this arvo]. Less whimsy or satire by Crabb rather elbow to solar plexis of govt.


- Scientists say energy supply humanity's biggest threat, p11 resources todays The Australian


- the (sydney) magazine cover pictures legalised drugs (nicotine) dealer Nick Greiner ex politician now company director, next to ex pollie Bob Carr who blessed the offshore coporate trickery of James Hardie asbestos makers via the Supreme Court, when Carr was Premier of NSW. These two folks never looked so glossy or dignified on a unity ticket in the mass fatality business. Killers in suits?


- Story by Glenn Milne p 1 Sunday Telegraph above about Turnbull 'betrayal of Cabinet' [Adelaide sister paper version] implies unauthorised leak by MT. But just as likely Howard or Costello authorised it to control the message? Christian Kerr of Crikey broke the story 10 days ago, not AFR yesterday but no doubt more detail.


- The controversial worm flagged by Amanda Meade 2nd item her gossip column Oct 18th 2007 (ie 3 days ahead of debate)  "Nine, which is insisting on dragging out the worm graphic to sex up its coverage ..." No ambushes there.


- Imre Salusinzky fails to credit in an otherwise worthy full page feature the pioneering Green Party via Andrew Wilkie in Bennelong, and similarly in the seat of Wentworth by a conga line of activists, now both marginal and possibly falling to the ALP - "They dared to hope" p24 27 Oct 2007. But the other twist in the tail is the idea that McKew if she wins:


"McKew could easily leapfrog deputy leader Julia Gillard in influence and become the most powerful woman in a Rudd government".


Well aging hack crushes aside, Imre, that's taking it a bit far, but what odds Jenny Macklin on the backbench?


- NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner is the PR antidote to the Coalition mega fire strategy against ALP states as summer approaches. His father died fighting bushfires. Understudy to Minister Phil Koperberg. 23 years in the game, head of operations for 10 years. Sun Herald p51 28/10 [offline by the looks, picture above]


- curious grouching by News ltd press about missing the advertising dollars in an airbus wrap around, tries to push unpatriotic button re dead solider, hence p3 personal pics of fallen hero in Sun Herald today as rebuttal from Fairfax [offline?]


- This devastating line in an article about one of our dead soliders in Afghanistan "But after the Prime Minister, John Howard, withdrew Australian special forces late last year to assist with preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit, the Taliban returned" Under the authorship of Tom Allard, Ash Sweeting. The implication is that Oz soldiers put in harms way by ultra secure APEC Sydney indulgence - should have been in Canberra. (p1 Oct 27 SMH "Soldier respected foe who killed him"


- Milne has follow up story tipping Stephen Long's great World Today interview about differential regressive CPI increase masked by averaging of lower cost luxury goods. Long is right, Milne is right, Swan is on a winner too. Echoes Meglogenis "It's the personal economy" p22 Oct 13 2007.


- Higher Education The Oz p26 17/10 "Wedge fear will stop ALP fixing Lib failure" refers to "tweedledum and tweedledee" which I believe was a phrase first used in 1993 by The Wilderness Society to describe both ALP and Coalition policies on 'resource security' open slather logging. Possibly adapted by Peter Warrington or Karenne Jurd, hence the personal attacks later by Paul Keating of KJ and TWS.


- Big thread of FoI reform stories here and here and here and here  involving serious academics but also serious players like Chris Merritt as here, Rudd, Hartigan and Garrett especially re $12K bill in follow up to Good Weekend cover story on dying Great Barrier Reef Oct 13 2007 from climate change.


- John Durie Oct 10 p44 The Australian - "Big Gunns gamble needs brave board/ The decision on a mill is literally a bet-the-company proposition". In short the economics don't add up. Similarly strong summary of tricks of redefinition of "old growth" by Matthew Denholm in "Chip off the old blockade" but TWS campaigner gets definition confused too for our money  - any tree with hollows is old growth p22 Oct 27 2007 The Australian.


- Ructions in Big Business with Paul Anthony as CEO of AGL getting 'shafted' (along with spinner Sue Cato) was prominent on promoting climate change policies. The coverage is suggestive of a bit of an operational stuff up [possibly offline called "Cold snap stretches the gas pipeline to breaking point" p24 Tues Oct 23 2007 The Australian] which might have caused a mini capital strike against AGL by its customers? Michael Chaney similarly supports CC policy reform and is now chair of Woodside as Shell director Russell Caplan bails out. Woodside was perch of Gary Gray now an ALP candidate in Kim Beazley's old seat.


- Malcolm Maiden correctly identified the 'indispensibility/ in denial/ we'll all be rooned' syndrome with Peter Costello predicting global financial meltdown, as a projection of his own political meltdown. p45 27 Oct 07 smh.


- [to be continued]



10 Meet the Press


Press roundup, Leads with Turnbull pro Kyoto (tick Christian Kerr)

Paul Bongiorno as compere with Greens Senator Bob Brown.


BB says we are economic conservatives – don’t make $34B tax cuts put into ‘nation building stuff’ (my term).


On Turnbull pro Kyoto but 10M tonnes pa ghg from pulp mill. Preference ALP in Wentworth but not Tasmania.


Addresses Family First smears and poison. Drug policy "very similar harm minimisation to John Howard $200M policy"


Myspace question re leaders debate – BB says left out environment and no real address of CC.


Keating sledge footage with Costello balancer.



3rd advert first break, IR pro union position, real people real stories. Your rights at work advert.



Senate unity ticket Lundy ALP, BB Greens, Allison for Aust Democrats. Very good simple clear advert.


Panel Mal Far, Daily Telegraph – people want to vote ALP but Coalition in Senate as offset. BB reality is cross bench should get power back. [clear back lash advert against pro Howard Family First ratbags].


Patricia Karvelas The Aust – Family First attack on Green Party desperate and extreme panic says BB. Refer report in The Australian article in media backgrounder earlier in the week.


MF – Melb Sydney Grayndler best chance. Greens just an inner city party? Strongest vote for senate in the ACT says BB. But lower house? Young intelligent classy candidates in the House of Reps.


Big Ipsos poll big tax packages cancel themselves out for ALP and Coalition.


Dorothy Dixer my space question, vote process. Double value  Nicholson animation of Howard enemies under the bed.



Get Up spoof advert on climate change policies of the Howard Govt.



2nd guest:  Afghan ambassador


PK -  re targeting of our soldiers? [refer killer line in SMH report on Saturday re APEC impact on fight with Taliban, reference in due course, damning indulgence]


Didn’t hear answer.


MF – Iraq distraction from fight in Afghan? Waffle answer but the question is the answer.


[moderate English didn’t really work as a tv exercise, sadly]


Transcript in due course www.ten.com.au/meetthepress ,



Myspace web address: www.myspace.com/meetthepeople








7 Weekend Sunrise, 8.35-40 am Riley Diary  -


Lead story news roundup Turnbull pro Kyoto.


Good roundup. Aggressive Liberal voters [balance out visuals of union ‘thugs’ and actually reflect very well on Rudd diplomacy – vote winner].


Ear wax embarrassment video gets a run. Shows desperation of Coalition to attack personal hygiene? Rudd wins week says MR, other side “implodes”.


“empty blatherings” good line re pollies. “When it comes to” counter.










Insiders 2


News wrap is Mal Turnbull pro Kyoto 1st story. Lismore tornado.


Panel on senate with Lyn Allison, Fielding Assembly of God party, Bob Brown Green Party.


Greens will preference ALP in Reps, ALP in the Senate says Barry Cassidy. Fielding spreads poison on Greens, says “crazy”


BB says as doctor hates drug addiction, supports full force of the law on drug sellers.


Back to panel Karen Middleton sbs, Toohey Fairfax, Akerman Sydney Telegraph.





Home page is http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/



Sunday 9


News wrap caught the end of it with Rudd on climate, Howard “lost in the past”. Lismore tornado spooky footage. Mega fire in California more climate bad news. It all part of the drum beat on climate change.


Laurie Oakes with PM Howard. Soft deadly tone of questioning. Howard quoted ‘7 Oct 2004 or 2005’ that he claimed 30 year low interest rates. So was actually out of his own mouth.


Howard refuses to condemn Turnbull or any leak of Cabinet.


Long interview. No knock out punch by LO. Howard dogmatic no regrets re Iraq slaughter.


Q & A with LO - themes about trust of Howard - "once bitten twice shy". Said in a soft deadly tone.


Feature on seat of Latrobe in Victoria. Kroger prominent.  




Posted by editor at 9:40 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 29 October 2007 10:04 AM NZT
Saturday, 27 October 2007
Whopper plane flies out over Marrickville ..... softly, quietly
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: local news




Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 9:08 PM

Subject: The super jumbo leaves over Marrickville - quietly!

Sitting on an outdoor work bench at 6 pm munching an apple, enjoying the puddles, musing over the recent lightning, a young woman's smile etc - as you do - when a leviathan heaves into view barely 200 metres above Marrickville headed north west. They usually get a two finger salute that low.  "Singapore Airlines". Hang on a sec. It's the monster spawn that was wrapped around my breakfast copy of the Sydney Morning Herald but is now plunging through the cloud mist like a white whale. The noise pummeled inner west will definitely approve. It challenges the senses to see such a whopper with friendly decibel level deep in the airport corridor. The next Boeing only 2/3 the size was double the racket. The one after looked even smaller being higher yet 3 times the thunder (!?). A helicopter hovers nearby as a I write and it's way more noisy too. Hang on, its very close. It's a got a spotlight making slow laps tracking someone. Just another day in the gritty burb.

Posted by editor at 8:27 AM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007 8:32 AM NZT
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Games up for humans without a big change in programming on nature extinction
Mood:  lazy
Topic: ecology

Scientist Allen Greer is a candle in the dark in the Education supplement in The Australian today in a long full page feature explaining the "anxiety" and "despair" in the dismal science of biology (speaking as a trained ecologist once):

Conservation has to be our nature | The Australian

We have read Allen Greer's public stuff for years and think he deserves a medal, or a hemp brocade perhaps.

He provides real courage in a public discourse that is scared of its moral shadow. But it's not just tragic professional science fearful of ecology as an intrinsic value.

Even the impertinent (snot nose?) Green Party - exemplified by this ambitious candidate in the local press (staffer for cfmeu trained [pdf] Senator Kerry Nettle) - are quick to sneer at "lentil eating hippies" presumably such as Greer above (?), or this 43 year old writer with a commercial law and zoology degree (?):

Don't forget your 'green' origins and betters indeed. Of course when we helped pioneer the NSW Green Party in 1994 we were just twiddling our thumbs when this candidate was .... a happy go lucky 10 year old. And when we lapsed our membership in 2000 it was because the ALP and cfmeu were so green and there was nothing for the Green Party left to do on the environmental side of things ....

Committed environmentalism of 'real greens' is thus a fairly marginal philosophy amongst the IR, minority (gay) rights, refugee, pensioner, health budget, war protest, teacher's union, public ownership, agenda in the official Green Party particularly in NSW, not to mention their fair share of spivs and grifters. We hasten to add these are all worthy concerns per se, yet we can't help thinking perhaps a 5 metre sea rise might resolve all these via the biggest human rights issue ever?

Yes there is the pulp mill in Tas that Senator Nettle has been picketing the Howard Govt over at the Phillip St Sydney CBD offices (when woodchipping of forest has been a taboo in NSW and not just in the Sydney Morning Herald), but it's mostly rival economics and Tamar amenity, with critters and trees an after thought, temporary election populism with a longevity of .... oh say till Nov 24? George Newhouse the ALP Candidate in Wentworth accepts the pulp mill and the seemingly unconditional confused (?) local Green Party preferences a full 2 months out from the vote. If Danielle Ecuyer's independent anti pulp mill candidacy didn't exist it would have been necessary to invent her.

Funny too how the ALP friendly ACF has no problem working with the ALP aligned Climate Institute but have to be at arms length from Ecuyer's political candidacy ...which could just split the ALP vote in Wentworth.

The Australian is instructive and worth extracting for the record here, (oh Don, we do like you but you are so nailed):

No politics, please

THE Australian Conservation Foundation has cut its links with the Women for Change Alliance because of Danielle Ecuyer's dalliance with federal politics. Ecuyer has decided to stand as an independent against her former partner and Labor candidate George Newhouse in Wentworth, the Sydney seat held by Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Ecuyer founded WCA last year. On Monday Strewth reported that the ACF and WCA were to co-host a $60 a head party with organic wines and nibbles next Wednesday to celebrate "stylish and sustainable living". Yesterday, ACF executive director Don Henry said his organisation was a non-partisan charity that was not involved in fundraising activities for any candidate or political party. "Late last week, ACF made the decision to conduct these events without the participation of WCA, as it became clear Ms Ecuyer may stand for election in the seat of Wentworth," Henry said. He said the events were only intended to raise awareness of environmental issues among the citizens of Woollahra.

At least the Greens are colour coded and thus hand cuffed to the environment one way or the other as per Nettle's return to the Green Party's roots outside Howard's offic, chained to it by their name and one of 4 principles in their original mission . All the other parties are grey, and in truth Godless vandals who wouldn't know the beauty of Creation from an Assembly of God/Hillsong Convention including 'earnest offensive Great Leader' aka Halo Kid aka farmer boy.


In an eerie coincidence see this parallel story in the Sydney Morning Herald just the latest tombstone in The Cheap Talk Cemetry on the road to ecological destruction (?):

Population pressure takes Earth to its limits - Environment - smh ...

Which reminds us of that great 'champion' of the environment for the local ALP Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese:


ALP local groupie MLC and Marrickville Cr Penny Sharp is in the other local press (The Glebe Letters 25/10/07) referring to the "hypocrisy and ruthlessness" of the Greens in a cute form of projection from MP Sharp by name, sharp by rhetoric.

This is head shaking 'takes one to know one' stuff: The ALP want to build a $5B mega tunnel with smog stacks similar to the M5 East stack nearby to service an expanded Port Botany, and exponentially grow diesel train traffic 24 hours a day, each worth 6,000 trucks in emission pollution .... in Marrickville.

And guess who is the shadow minister for "Infrastructure" with the job of soft selling this cancer promoting intensification scandal in his own Inner West for the ALP in order to ascend further up his tax payer funded greasy pole? Even as he fans with deadly accuracy the fear of nuclear reactors across Australia?

That 'champion' of the environment ... Anthony Albanese.


Just keep voting Green Party for any real hope of change not "me tooism" but remember they are all politicians. Truly biology is the dismal science and for those who know it's a recipe for clinical depression, bouts of alcoholic anaesthesia or in our case the therapy of blogging.

Posted by editor at 10:01 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007 8:20 AM NZT
Conservative commentariat become the story as power tectonics shift to Rudd's ALP?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: election Oz 2007
Second chance ... David Hicks's children, 14-year-old Bonnie and 12-year-old Terry, with their mother, Jodie Sparrow.

Picture, lifted from SMH via Ch9 dated May 28 2007, captioned as "Second chance ... David Hicks's children, 14-year-old Bonnie and 12-year-old Terry, with their mother, Jodie Sparrow. Photo: Channel Nine"

Yesterday we wrote of the re-inflation of the Hicks 5 year 'incarceration without trial' scandal coincidentally timed just after a gruesome mass murder in Pakistan (and refer gripping SBS Mark Davis report on Dateline last night) well known for Taliban nasty sympathies.

(Perhaps of greatest worry for such as Benazir Bhutto's credentials as a political leader is that she could imagine a 15 hour ride through 2 million supporters over about 20km could in any way be a secure journey. How irresponsible is that? But Bhutto is not the only irresponsible or reckless pollie playing with lives for careers.)

There is a fascinating internal big/new media power game underlying this Hicks echo of the Pakistan atrocity story. Imre Salusinzsky hints at one aspect in his column yesterday in The Australian - Print warriors turning on themselves | The Australian

Imre is a very bright and whimsical fellow. His piece refers to prominent commentators Andrew Bolt, Gerard Henderson, Janet Albrechtsen, Piers Akerman, Dennis Shanahan, Michelle Grattan:

"What appears to be upsetting the commentators is that the polls have not followed their past course over the last nine months before the election by shifting in the Coalition's favour. Uncertain, they have become more polarised about how the Coalition should mount a rescue operation.

This schism has had a definite geographical flavour too as Sydneysiders such as Henderson and Akerman have stuck with Howard, the hometown Prime Minister, while Bolt and Grattan have backed Melbourne-based Costello.

Henderson added to the geographical divide on Lateline when he attacked Melbourne's The Age for being openly hostile to Howard. "

Ho hum, the professional media obsessing about themselves again? Well maybe but there is another more malevolent front in this jostling of  guppies swimming into the gills of whichever Big Politician they think will win. There is the issue of proper news work.

For instance yesterday Imre's own newspaper made a grotesque and clearly defamatory attack on Channel 9's Ray Martin who presented and defends the worm device during the recent Leaders Debate as here:







The editorial is even more sincere in its personal attack on that nice Ray Martin:

"In May, journalist Ray Martin said he was outraged that "unlike Tony Blair and the Brits, we didn't insist that our terrorist suspects - (Mamdouh) Habib and Hicks - be brought home and released". Now, Getup executive director Brett Solomon is complaining about political interference and demanding a judicial inquiry. .... It is time for Hicks's cheer squad to face up to his ugly crimes and recognise that enough public money has been spent on delivering justice to a man who was dedicated to violently overthrowing our system of justice."

It's one thing to jostle and sledge eachother in private but publish defamation against professional rivals in a national newspaper? That suggests willful malice. So what's the underlying motive for this spite? Is it just the normal jockeying for the sinecures of reflected power well described as "the drip" whereby favoured journos get a good story feed from the winners, or something more?

Here is our sad theory:

News Ltd ie The Australian are dead scared having barracked for the Iraq War for many years of being responsible for a suicide bomber retaliation here in Australia, as well as the worst foreign affairs blunder in our history. When the ALP's short lived leader Simon Crean stood against the Iraq War in 2002 and stood fast in its criticism of our US ally, The Australian condemned the ALP and Crean in many ways crueled his own career while the Bush and Howard regimes were ascendant. But now they are on the nose. 

In this sense The Australian is severely burdened now both with dogmatic support for a failed war in terms of guilt and shame but also fear of retribution on Australians here somehow as per the atrocity in Pakistan .

Seemingly to displace that shame and fear they run a beat up about David Hicks the stereotyped trainee terrorist on page 1 no less yesterday .....

Report: Cheney 'struck Hicks deal' with PM

PM denies striking Hicks deal THE Prime Minister today denied striking any deal with the US over the release of former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks. 

The focus of the story is fairly weird: The govt trenchantly denies subversion of an already joke 'US legal process' bitterly alleged by a military prosecutor who has resigned in disgust. The Australian runs an editorial attacking Brett Solomon of Get Up for repeating a call for a judicial inquiry into 'the whole' Hicks affair. Solomon no doubt was instrumental in lobbying for Hicks return to Australia:                         


Amid fresh allegations today of direct political interference in the plea deal that saw David Hicks home and jailed until just after the federal election, GetUp has reissued its call for a proper judicial inquiry into the Government’s handling of the David Hicks case.

Date: October 23rd 2007
Author: The GetUp team

Kevin Rudd similarly is reported seeking clarification. The Greens too are worried about an oppressive control order after 5 years:


Tuesday, October 23 2007

Ruddock should leave Hicks alone: Greens

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock should rule out allowing the Australian
Federal Police to apply for a control order against soon to be released
David Hicks, Greens Senate candidate Sarah Hanson-Young said today.

"Phillip Ruddock should do the right thing by calling off the Australian
Federal Police," Mrs Hanson-Young said.

"Now that the Government is in caretaker mode, it has a responsibility
to consult the ALP about this key human rights decision. I hope the ALP
would not consent to this control order going ahead.

"Phillip Ruddock's indifference to David Hicks' imprisonment in
Guantanamo Bay for five years was a disgrace.

"During this time the South Australian community campaigned for David
Hicks to have a fair trial. This didn't happen.

"Now he's done his time -- so let's leave him alone.

"David Hicks simply wants to get on with his life and continue his
studies. The Greens believe he should be left alone by security
officials and supported in his rehabilitation," said Mrs Hanson-Young.

Contact: Communications Officer Gemma Clark on 0431 134 781*/


Who really doubts the Howard govt cynically adjusted his position on Hicks as the real politik breeze changed from against the Gitmo detainee 2003-2005, then for his return 2006-2007. As Get Up implies the US 'legal process' was always pretty dodgy. The Australian seems to be arguing in its editorial in the shadow of the Pakistan atrocity 'don't you dare demand a legal review of process or we will re run a smear on David Hicks (again), and we might just smear him again anyway'.

We understand PM John Howard was curiously very late to the cause unlike the pro war UK's Prime Minister Tony Blair, in many ways the common law country that sets the standard on such things as habeas corpus

But a page 1 story? And an editorial on 24th Oct 2007? We detect a paranoid bluster by The Australian against it's new and big media rivals, in particular Get Up, and 9.

9 famously gave comfort to Hicks family on his return to Australia as per the picture above of May 2007, and lately embarrassed pro Iraq War Howard with their worm device last Sunday at the Leaders Debate. In short 9 is becoming a very big pain in the *rse for the Govt and the 'Govt Gazette'.

The Oz editorial with link above brushes over the merits of a judicial inquiry of an unconstitutional 'military commission' rejected by the US Supreme Court yet supported by Howard for a long time. The Pakistan atrocity seems to be the latest politik figleaf for this very strange legal process in the Hicks case over 5 years.

Even the media analysis jarrs: Henderson sledges Ray Martin and 9 -  happily echoed in The Australian in Cut & Paste yesterday - claiming a weak news effort by 9. This was arguably true 6 months back but Laurie Oakes is looking fitter than in years, and fiesty. He is cutting swathes through the pomposity of the Press Council over the worm controversy. And catching a Howard gaffe "1916" not 2016 yesterday in the election round up on their tv prime time news, 1st story.

Similarly Ray Martin at 9 got the tv ratings last Sunday night as a presenter of the Leaders Debate and the general consensus of the public is the worm was useful. Their Sunday morning flagship Sunday political talky show is doing well (we notice this corroboration after posting here) in The Oz's own Media section, as is 60 Minutes with its usual tabloid fodder.

The Australian looks to be lashing out now, as the similarly pro Iraq War Coalition Govt meets its fate this election. It looks like Get Up have hit a very raw nerve with both the shrinking Howard/Downer Govt and with The Australian. The Australian is attacking as a form of defence just as they squeal and protest too much when Media Watch correctly embarrass them.

So as a lawyer we say, sure why not, bring on the judicial inquiry into the political backflip by the Howard Govt to get Hicks out of a long soul destroying 5 years in Gitmo after being quite comfortable to see him rot, contrary to the rule of law. But it likely must be after this election to avoid smears as pro terrorist as the The Australian implies in an ugly way.

Like many things such a judicial inquiry no doubt will follow the event of the election.

[ Or maybe not, with more detail here in the following days press sort of clarifying whether the Hicks or Haneef scandals will or won't be picked over when or if a new incoming ALP Govt takes office

- Haneef inquiry not a sure bet as Labor backs off on scrutiny - smh ...

while Richard Ackland as editor of Justinian legal magazine has no doubt the Hicks matter was dodgy: If it looks and smells like a corrupted legal process … - Opinion]

Posted by editor at 7:26 AM NZT
Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007 3:14 PM NZT
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
The 'Govt Gazette' re inflates Hicks national security bogey, looking to get square with 9?
Mood:  irritated
Topic: election Oz 2007

Everywhere we look we see cartoonists with bombs in their graphics. Warren in the Sydney Daily Telegraph today main cartoon.


Nicholson top page 1 of The Australian. All about unrelated matters yet somehow echoing in a subliminal way the suicide bombing last Friday in Pakistan with horrific visuals on our tv screens.

People across Australia could not help be affected by the evil violence surely: 'That's exactly what we don't want for our country' might have been the collective reaction. Certainly it was this writer's.

So if you do a little thought experiment - as we like to do - you get to thinking: If I were a pro Iraq war, national security hard line pollie [or even big media outlet?] getting desperately behind in the polls during this election phase, how might I best .... choose your word ....inform/leverage/spin/exploit this grim mass murder to best advantage with voters, and indeed folks in focus groups?

Well I would be cooking up law and order concerns about potential terrorists that my side were most 'experienced' and 'pro active' in dealing with distinct from those bleeding heart ALP or Green mob. Indeed the admirable ABC political analyst Chris Uhlmann in the recent Leaders Debate asked exactly this related question to John Howard, words to the effect of:

'Is Australia safer today from terrorism than when we invaded Iraq 5 years ago?'

Howard fudged an answer about Bali bombed in 2002 some 6 months before the Iraq invasion in March 2003. Fudged we say because Howard had already effectively decided to go all the way with the USA much earlier in 2002 so it was a limited view of history. We wonder further if the bombers in Bali were doing their brainless ugly best to warn Australia off (?) in the only way they believed in, fully understanding Howard was in lock step with Bush regardless. Or maybe it was always a target as Howard says.

Having travelled through Bali in early July 2002 and a potential victim we did alot of reflecting about this.

The explanations by Howard always assume that terrorists don't play real politik, but every thinking observer knows they do only with no civilised rules, which means they react to Howard's policies on access to oil, soveriegnty and the rest. 

Sure enough in the wake of the chilling outrage in Pakistan last week we suddenly hear more about David Hicks a stereotypical ostensible trainee terrorist:

THE Prime Minister today denied striking any deal with the US over the release of former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks.

Look carefully at the sourcing of the story. A prosecutor in the USA says he fears political interference in the release of David Hicks back to a gaol in Australia as published in Harpers. Well derr. That's exactly what the political activists in Australia were seeking. Then the Coalition are reported as outraged at being criticised for making political overtures outside the US legal process.

Wait a minute - no one is complaining about the Howard/Downer political lobbying anyway. Are the Govt arguing with themselves? Is Howard PM arguing with a prosecutor in the USA in the middle of an election? Why bother? Why is Downer complaining about criticism that doesn't exist here, excepting from some angsty prosecutor pursuing an off again, on again Military Commssion quasi star chamber in the W Bush regime? Is it another stupid Rovian frolic?

It smells very much like either The Oz or Downer/Howard et al want to raise Hicks back up into the public's mind after the broad visual coverage of the Pakistan outrage tragetting that nice Benazir Bhutto, and manufacture confected outrage at the Left for their 'support' for 'highly suspect' Hicks.

Very cynical timing that, just as Trioli quite accurately pointed out on abc radio earlier today - the Howard Govt were all on a callously brutal script up until about mid 2006 ie  that Hicks could rot in Gitmo forever for all they cared. But the tide was turning. At sometime late 2006/early 2007 Howard's rhetoric turned on a 20c piece. Suddenly the Coalition Ministers, not least PM Howard, were concerned about "the delay".

Was it the Abu Grahib scandal? Was it Rudd increased polling? Was it the AWB scandal? Was it the demonstrable failures in Iraq of endless duration and cost in blood and money? Was it the demonstrable falsity of WMD. Was it focus groups getting the sh*ts with Hicks' five year sojourn in chokey without trial? Was it 'unAustralian'? All of the above?

Whatever it was, the political shift was stark after endless support for getting a USA military commission process up and running (with Supreme Court challenges and restarts taking years). Then suddenly the tune reversed in the govt here. Howard wanted Hicks back. Hicks was an embarrassment in Gitmo. Perhaps in the wake of the Pakistan bombing we are seeing that the feds, who were careful to keep some legal hooks in Hicks,  and/or The Australian who always condemned Hicks,  can now see him as useful in the national security scaremongering stakes again? If Hicks didn't exist it would be necessary to invent him for a Coalition national security scare monger grandstanding PR strategy.

And a control order on hapless Hicks is probably just the ticket with Commissioner Mick Keelty playing coy, neither confirming or denying.

How cynical it would be to use the miserable slaughter in Pakistan and indeed in Iraq for opportunistic domestic political adavantage. Also to use the miserable and fairly pitiful David Hicks in another PR choreography. As if tackling terrorism was some silly shallow media game. Au contraire it's a deadly serious matter of carefully calibratred foreign and domestic policy based on real evidence and factual intelligence, not ham fisted ideology. In short national security should not be the plaything of desperate politicians losing in the polls. But is it just the flailing pollies?


We detect yet another angle on the reprise of the great 'Give Hicks a public kicking' story. It was network 9 that broke from the fairly unified  discipline of the conservative media in condemning Hicks by giving the Hicks family his media oxygen on 60 Minutes earlier this year. Yet again it was 9 via Laurie Oakes this week who embarrassed Glenn Milne of The Oz and their Press Council who had the most to lose over the embarrassing Leaders Debate worm affair with Oakes referring to "log rollers and real estate agents" suppressing media freedom. Those are cutting words. Are we seeing a bit of referred Big Media internal biffo going on here at the expense of Hicks, soon after the battle of the worm, in an emerging power struggle between News Ltd and PBL, respective owners of the Oz and channel 9? Mmmm. That's interesting. My money is on Oakes over Milne but it could get very rough indeed.

Elections are dangerous affairs often and not just for the pollie careers.

Posted by editor at 2:24 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 24 October 2007 7:14 PM NZT
Coalition on a hiding but still pitching hard
Mood:  energetic
Topic: election Oz 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007.

 Picture: Moir cartoon SMH today, a sign of major crisis with both Turnbull and 'scientist' Ziggy seeking to hose down any idea of Australia going nuclear reactor if the Coalition wins and on the front page of the press here too. This is as dishonest a denial as John Howard in 1996 that there won't be any uranium mine in Kakadu National Park - then Jabiluka protests dominated the environmental movement from 1997-1999 including this writer doing legal work in Darwin and Jabiru not least 400 case histories. I suppose that was all a figment?


Our election observations this Wednesday morning:

- We must agree with Michelle Grattan yesterday on Fran Kelly Radio National, that since Newspoll with 18 point gap early Tuesday 23rd Oct both Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Peter Costello seem to be in denial at the reality of the electorate's repudiation of their last term of office. In particular Abbott on the abc news show was sounding like the boyfriend who's getting dumped by a diplomatic and bored girlfriend: 'we aren't feeling a rejection out in the electorate' says Abbott. That's diplomacy Tony, not love.  Their colleague Andrew Robb seems more accepting but seeks to mitigate the huge gap in the polls as a natural tendency for people to consider an alternative after a long relationship with the Coalition under Howard. He even may have used the term "stale" on the AM show.

 - Costello on 7.30 last night Tues 23rd and all this week has been chorusing a demonstrably fake line with such as Piers Akerman: It's a "funny" kind of tv worm device to give a bad reading before a person has even spoken ie to approve of Rudd and reject Howard and more so when Costello is named, as per the recent debate. Well it is called teleVISION for a reason: Just like a toddler smiles at the vision of a loving mother with not a word spoken, the worm reflects non verbal messages and that's a fact that smart Costello is disingenuous to ignore. Apparently John Laws, the golden tonsils says Rudd always looks like he's just emerged from a bath - meaning squeaky clean. It's true enough, he's blessed with a milky bar kid visage, which lends to the halo gibes too.

Costello in The Debate audience then next night on 7.30 actually referred to "two worms debating" which seemed to us quite Freudian - in effect calling both Howard and Rudd economic worms for squandering his budget hard work on tax cuts to win an election, which should have gone into national investments. On reflection Costello was probably referring to the worm graphic on the front pages of the press high for Rudd, low for Howard.

- Sol Lebovic is still touting how close or soft the ALP vote is despite flat lining big gap of 10 to 12 points. Is he drumming up business for his old mates in Newspoll, including his subtle niggle that polls are "not predictive". Yeah Sol, but a trend sure is. There is scepticism from other pollsters we notice. Even Robb agrees there is a fair dinkum big gap.

- The trend as per the Brent/Mumble thesis is a rusted on 1996 change of govt to try out the alternative under Rudd. The massive tax cuts package did make a bounce but then straight back in a highly elastic democratic correction, as soon as the ALP matched with a plausible tax package of their own.

- Laurie Oakes hilarious reference to "log rollers" and "real estate agents" in the 'Press Council' folding to dictatorial pressure of the Howard Govt to reject the editorial worm device in the debate, and the controversy afterwards, feeds into the notion Howard is indeed a 'Right' PM, and indeed far too Right wing, with a broad perception now of being mates with the extreme Exclusive Brethren, and sanitising of the grotesque Iraq war miserable slaughter ('the surge is going well'), and ideological IR policies. Such a zealot can't be trusted is the subliminal message.

- Peter Costello was on Alan Jones 2GB kicking off a great PR exertion yesterday and even this pro Coalition conservative radio jock sounded unconvinced: Costello argued 'we won't be there for the ALP to copy our tax policies if we are voted out'. Trouble with this line is, Swan prodded the flat tax change policy back in 2005 apparently, from Opposition, proving that a Coalition Opposition doing its job next time will have just as many opportunities to influence debate and be 'copied' as Swan says Costello took 'two thirds of his ideas'.

- We notice via abc Howard like his spasm in the debate is starting to crack with mangled grammar every so often. In itself a misdemeanour of performance but in Howard a shocking change in usually faultless articulation from a man who has spent 50 years living on his voice.

- Another slightly weird development is top barrister Tom Hughes and a former Coalition Attorney General apparently sledging Kevin Rudd in yesterday's Daily Telegraph without mentioning he is the father of Malcolm Turnbull's wife in a tough contest.

- Indy Dannielle Ecuyer in seat of Wentworth as here, and full page story in Sydney Daily Telegraph today 


Ex-lover turns against Labor star THE Wentworth soap opera has taken a new, dramatic twist, with attractive banker Danielle Ecuyer announcing she will run against her ex, Labor's George Newhouse.

is looking (being the operative word) and sounding like a competent and solid thinker and talker in diverse media, front of Wentworth Courier we are told, SMH, abc radio, tv etc with real ideals on climate change and 'solid' capitalist banking background. Though she almost certainly won't have the machine to get the vote in, she does look the material for a suitable independent MP. It's very unrealistic but we appreciate her commitment by running and we will be very surprised if she doesn't get her deposit back in the seat of Wentworth, and she may indeed decide the winner with her preferences.

- And speaking of climate change the spiv John Connor for the ALP aligned Climate Change Institute surprised by correctly marking the ALP as in the 40% range on climate policy, with the Coalition a woeful 20% range. That suggests some real integrity in analysis not just apologia for pro coal ALP.

- Having said all this the Coalition are working the system for all they are worth still - a $4B package on pensioner care apparently, and a $500 utility bonus for pensioners - all in all pitch to 3 million Australians, or something like that. You can't say this Govt have lost their nerve or have imploded. The polling is a bone crunching bruising blow to their credibility but they are keeping their slim chance of victory alive if an unusual circumstance arises. And as Rudd wisely notes polls go up and down, and 4 weeks to go is a long time in world affairs. Just ask the relatives of those 140 murderered Pakistanis on the return to the election fray of Benazir Bhutto to that country. When we saw that on the news we asked ourselves the chilling question, how long before it happens here? And therein is the real politik opportunity for a hard right government to grandstand their law and order agenda.

- Sure enough in the desperation of the polling the Coalition have reverted to some old standbys being the $4Billion 'grey card' but here in NSW also the law and order tub thump which they flogged to no avail in the NSW March state election. The front page of the Sydney Daily Telegraph and the Warren Cartoon sum it up:


And now someone, presumably Ruddock as Federal AG appears via media probing of AFP Commissioner Keelty to have started to leverage this major gruesome exposure of mass murder by raising the David Hicks ostensible terrorist bogey again as possibly subject to a control order on his release. Will the Left/Green mob wedge themselves by throwing themselves headlong into thrashing outrage at more cruel legal meddling on the Hicks case to be seen as mates with an alleged terror trainee? That's just what Ruddock and Downer are counting on. The trap is set.

- In this respect of managing new circumstances, and emerging in the news cycle on a far less melodramatic but still very electorally sensitive note, is the widespread fear of an interest rate hike which does seem quite possible according to various economic boffins. Costello is positioning that no rate rise is justified as if to heavy the independent Reserve Bank. But he's a politician and he would say that because he needs those marginal seats like a drunk needs his next drink after splurging $34 BILLION on tax cuts.

Posted by editor at 8:24 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007 7:21 AM NZT

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