Home > Regular Features > Weekend reflections

Weekend reflections

December 5th, 2009

It’s time again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language please.

Categories: Regular Features Tags:
  1. Paul Williams
    December 5th, 2009 at 18:14 | #1

    I hope this is not deemed to breach a dicussion policy. No flames, snarks or coarse language. Depends how JQ defines a troll. But these are all issues relating to climate change which have been in the news this week, along with my own “humourous” comments 🙂

    Met Office to re-examine 160 years of temperature data. (Veterinarians have been called in, as apparently a dog ate the raw data. Fortunately the cooked data is still available, although past it’s use by date.)

    The UK government is trying to stop the re-examination, as the science is settled, according to Al Gore, who is paying for renovations at the House of Commons.

    Phil Jones stands aside as director of CRU pending an inquiry into the leaked (sorry, stolen) emails and computer code.

    Saudi Arabia thinks “there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change”. (Well they would say that, wouldn’t they).

    India pledges to reduce their carbon emission intensity. (See, that’s got India, carbon, emission and reduce in the same sentence. Satisfied now, delusionists?).

  2. Alice
    December 5th, 2009 at 18:19 | #2

    @Paul Williams
    Paul Williams – get out of the way.

  3. Chris O’Neill
    December 5th, 2009 at 18:49 | #3

    Paul Williams:

    Met Office to re-examine 160 years of temperature data.

    This is to make the people still in the *first stage of denial happy.

    *first stage of denial = there is no global warming

  4. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 18:54 | #4

    Phil Jones has stepped aside which is appropriate given the circumstances. He has shown a deficit of leadership by fostering and encouraging a culture of obstruction and secrecy.

    The inquiry will aparently be chaired by Sir Muir Russell.


  5. gerard
    December 5th, 2009 at 18:55 | #5

    Met Office to re-examine 160 years of temperature data. (Veterinarians have been called in, as apparently a dog ate the raw data. Fortunately the cooked data is still available, although past it’s use by date.)

    A troll by any definition. A dog ate the raw data?

    Since the stolen e-mails were published, the chief executive of the Met Office has written to national meteorological offices in 188 countries asking their permission to release the raw data that they collected from their weather stations.

    The “raw data” is the property of these national meteorological offices, which is why CRU and Met have no power to release it. That the “cooked” data shows exactly the same information as the raw data will now be reconfirmed, although it won’t convince slobbering trolls and nothing else will either, which it why the UK government considers this a waste of time.

    The mainstream media coverage of this scandal is the height of “he said-she said” laziness. The vacuity of the “scandal” is obvious to anyone interested in the facts. The whole thing is just an obvious premeditated fraud and a last desperate attempt at intimidation.

  6. gerard
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:02 | #6

    Phil Jones has stepped aside which is appropriate given the circumstances. He has shown a deficit of leadership by fostering and encouraging a culture of obstruction and secrecy.

    What culture of obstruction and secrecy? What other scientists have ever been subjected to such a concerted campaign of pure, deliberate harassment? Terje you think you can straddle the fence but instead you’ve just completely discredited yourself.

  7. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:04 | #7

    Gerard – RealClimate, which you link to as a source of “the facts”, is hardly independent in this scandal. Gavin is a player.

  8. Alice
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:07 | #8

    Terje – give up. Its the organised paid for hack delusionists and hackers who discredit real science. You can argue until you are blue in the face but you are discredited as Gerard says (and outnumbered in here badly).

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You bat well for the wrong (lying) team Terje. You definitely dont bat for the truth.

  9. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:23 | #9

    Alice – I always bat for the truth.

  10. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:30 | #10

    Virtual tally is now available for Higgins and Bradfield.


    Counting is not complete but it seems like a big swing against the ALP.

    -32% in Higgins.
    -27% in Bradfield.

    Given the swing against the ALP and the vastly smaller swing against the Liberals one wonders why the Greens have not done better. Perhaps they stink.

    Non the less this does mean that the Greens will get a cash payout as a result. No doubt this is probably a gift to the Greens from the ALP (paid for by the taxpayer) as pay back for some earlier preference deal.

  11. iain
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:41 | #11

    Terje – swings are meaningless since ALP didn’t run.

    The swing to the greens in Higgins is in the order of 44%. How much bigger were you anticipating?

  12. gerard
    December 5th, 2009 at 19:50 | #12

    Terje that is simple ad hominem – address the rebuttals on their merits if you are anything more than a sad hack.

  13. Charles
    December 5th, 2009 at 20:07 | #13

    The problem is too much heat energy is not getting radiated to space. It’s melting ice instead. While the ice is melting temperature rises are going to be limited. It’s how ans esky works. The latent energy needed to melt the ice keeps things cool. Surly it’s un-Australian not to have a basic understanding of how an esky works.

  14. sdfc
    December 5th, 2009 at 20:18 | #14

    What happens to the ice and the temperature inside the esky after you leave it in the sun for a few days?

  15. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 20:18 | #15

    Gerard – make a rebuttal and I will address it.

  16. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 20:20 | #16

    Terje – swings are meaningless since ALP didn’t run.

    They have nobody to blame but themselves then.

  17. jquiggin
    December 5th, 2009 at 20:40 | #17

    Terje, you’ve lined up 100 per cent with the delusionists and against scientific research, demonstrating that this is a matter of tribal loyalty for you, as for 99 per cent of self-described libertarians. Fine, but don’t expect any sane person to take libertarianism seriously as a political movement any time this century.

  18. gerard
    December 5th, 2009 at 20:54 | #18

    maybe you can point out what explanations from the scientists at real climate you have found unsatisfactory.

  19. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 20:57 | #19

    John – We were discussing the conduct of Phil Jones. If you want to address that point then fine.

  20. Graeme Bird
    December 5th, 2009 at 20:57 | #20

    The neoclassical ideology that consumer price inflation ought to be zero, or one or two per cent is one of the most bizarre ideas around. Since it means that the economy is thrown either side of a fractional reserve collapse. Or to put it another way, it places the economy near the exact point wherein you would expect, what the Keynesians would call a liquidity trap. I don’t like the terminology. But to have the economy veering either side of a “liquidity trap” is bizare.

    If we can get debts down way low the best situation to be in is where prices are always falling yet total sales revenue, including sales of intermediate goods, are always growing. Its this sweet point that you want to be in and you never want to leave. We are prevented from getting there not by downward stickiness in wages but by debt levels. Well actually by both. But it is the debt levels that are not considered. The neoclassicals loving debt like nothing else, and also having a fetish about lower wages or so it would seem.

    The time period between world war II and the 1970’s gave us the impression that real wages could be pushed up by powerful unions and laws that favoured the bargaining position of wage earners. But in the wider sweep of history real wages increase in the context of falling prices and virtually never under any other conditions. Getting to that point is not nearly as easy as neoclassical models would assume. They think its all about accepting lower nominal incomes. But the spectre of debt is where it is at.

    The best person to read to understand this is David Hackett Fischer with his book “The Great Wave”. I was able to cross reference his material with fractional reserve expansions and collapses.

    The best time periods were after there had been these “money famines” which could last twenty years. No union movement back then. No minimum wage legislation. The two good time periods when real wages were always rising, and prices were always falling were

    1. The “Equilibrium” of the Renaissance 1400-1470

    2.The “Equilibrium” of the Enlightenment 1660-1730

    His phrase “equilibrium” is misleading since these were times of falling prices. Its not to be thought that the neoclassical prescription of low consumer price inflation would work itself out unto the good times after 20 years. A hundred years later that prescription would still be dysfunctional. It would still leave us in boom bust conditions with sales volumes soaring and then crashing all the time. Why people can be so pigheaded about this I don’t know. But as terrible as currency debasement is we see the situation wherein Australia had an easier time of things being a bit more flexible than the New Zealanders in monetary policy. And the New Zealanders no doubt just a bit too close to that monetary crunch vortex.

    The inflationary times which lead to falling real wages, international war and domestic violence were pretty much as close to the neoclassical prescription as you can get.

    1. The medieval price revolution 1180-1350
    average inflation about .5%

    2. The Price Revolution of the Sixteenth Century. And the crisis of the 17th. About 1470-1660

    3. The Price Revolution of the 18th century: About 1720-1820

    The latter two ghastly periods only had average consumer price inflation of maybe 1% or so. These were time periods of the expansion of fractional reserve although Fischer doesn’t realise it.

    So neoclassical orthodoxy is just not equipped to get us to a happy place where real wages are rising all the time and resources are allocated to wealth creation. They don’t know what they are doing. And they are not inclined to learn.

  21. gerard
    December 5th, 2009 at 21:05 | #21

    The deranged Right has latched onto this climategate scandal like another one, equally genuine.

    Sarah Palin interviewed a couple of days ago:

    Would you make [Obama’s] birth certificate an issue if you ran?

    I think the public, rightfully, is still making it an issue. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t know if I would have to bother to make it an issue ’cause I think there are enough members of the electorate who still want answers.

    Do you think it’s a fair question to be looking at?

    I think it’s a fair question, just like I think past associations and past voting record — all of that is fair game.

    GOP front-runner for 2012.

  22. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 21:30 | #22

    Gerard – the article you linked to does not address the issue of Phil Jones fostering and encouraging a culture of obstruction and secrecy which is what I made reference to.

    It does however attempt to explain this phrase:-

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    This comment is from a 1999 email sent by Phil Jones to several people including Michael Mann (ie Mike).

    The expaination Gavin (or whoever wrote the RealClimate article you cite) offers is very disappointing. It seeks to explain the issue in terms of peoples understanding of the word trick. In so far as it goes I have no real problem with the notion that people could use the word trick in quite positive ways. And it is fair enough to point this out because many media outlets did latch onto the word “trick”. However Gavin seems to deliberately miss the real point.

    The issue isn’t with Phil Jones choice of words but in the nature of the actual trick. It entails an analysis of tree ring data that throws away the tree ring data post 1960 (where it shows a temperature decline) and replaces it with thermometer data (which shows a temperature increase). A number of people have criticised this splicing approach in the past. For instance Michael Mann said in 2004 on RealClimate:-

    No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum. Most proxy reconstructions end somewhere around 1980, for the reasons discussed above.

    The fact that Phil Jones uses a data manipulation technique he learnt from Michael Mann, which Michael Mann says publicly that nobody ever uses is a travesty. Especially given the criticism this technique has come in for when exposed previously.

  23. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 21:46 | #23

    Just to labour this point. The shallow media response to “hide the decline” has been to create the impression that the temperature since 1960 has actually cooled. This is clearly rubbish. We know the temperature has risen because that is what the termometer data tells us (as well as satellite data later on). Phil Jones was clearly not hiding a decline in actual temperature. However what he was doing with his fudge was publishing a temperature reconstruction supposedly based on proxy data which shows a high correlation with recent temperature trends. In short the doctored reconstruction will look more credible. And this means we will trust what it has to say about past temperature.

    “Hide the decline” is a travesty but not for the reason the talking heads imply.

  24. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 5th, 2009 at 21:51 | #24

    Gerard – In case you were wondering I am not going to defend what Sarah Palin has to say about anything. She should stick to shooting moose.

  25. Glenn Tamblyn
    December 5th, 2009 at 22:13 | #25

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    “The fact that Phil Jones uses a data manipulation technique he learnt from Michael Mann”

    So you were there in these tutorials when Michael Mann was ‘instructing Phil Jones on data manipulation techniques’. From across the Atlantic?

    Terje, Get real man. Some of the white hats turned out to be human under the onslaught from the forces of darkness and took defensive measures against the philistines.

    What say we take your views about nuclear power and subject you to the sort of intense pressure these guys were under from the black hats. For years! Would you be so lilly white. Hell no! You would be ducking and diving, trying to avoid the plague of mosquitos that is the denialosphere. And trying to do what you could to deny these vampires oxygen. Or blood. So Phil Jones may have bent some procedural rules, maybe. So What. All’s Fair in Love & War. And this ain’t Love.

  26. gerard
    December 5th, 2009 at 22:28 | #26

    Richelieu said “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him”. this “hanging offense”, the grand conspiratorial needle that you’ve turfed up in the haystack of hacked personal correspondence between working scientists, basically involves replacing incorrect data with correct data in the construction of a model. There’s no “scandal”, unless you’re saying that information was deliberately falsified, and there’s no significance for scientific consensus on the balance of evidence for AGW. however there is always room for improvement in science and we anxiously await more rigourous computational modeling coming from the holier-than-thou R and MATLAB experts of Wingnut Blogosphere University.

  27. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 5th, 2009 at 22:29 | #27

    As usual the YouTube user potholer54 has done a great job on the sage of the e-mails stolen from the climate research unit, here.

  28. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 5th, 2009 at 22:33 | #28

    That should have been saga.

  29. December 5th, 2009 at 22:48 | #29

    JQ said;

    “but don’t expect any sane person to take libertarianism seriously as a political movement any time this century.”

    Put the above statement down as an endorsement for libertarianism, considering JQ’s record on predicting ‘future outcomes’ is not one of his strong points.

    Consensus and collusion by emails is a “matter of tribal loyalty” for those whose dodgy theories can’t successfully predict future outcomes. Thankfully the senate can tell the difference between consensus and science, unlike the bloggers around here.

  30. Peter T
    December 5th, 2009 at 22:50 | #30

    Constructing proxies to match up partial but overlapping series – each with different biases – is part of the climatological art. I myself have used the word trick in the sense of a neat piece of art. Phil Jones did this with one small data series, independently of other reconsructions, and sent his workings to others. It was not published, but used to support other reasoning (which was published, and fully explained). So where’s the problem?

    From my own experience with FOI I do not see any impropriety in e-mail exchanges. Nor in anything else (although a few comments would have been phrased differently if intended for wider publication – but who has not privately made robust remarks about idiocy?). The MSM are lazy, and most of the comment likewise a lazy version of “no smoke without fire” – something a moment’s reflection would show to be untrue.

    Just the usual pack of witless hysterics, abetted by journos seeking thrills. Is there some reasonable way to quarantine these people from a discussion on the future of the human race?

  31. December 5th, 2009 at 22:51 | #31

    Sorry, I meant tribe of bloggers around here.

  32. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 5th, 2009 at 23:20 | #32

    Actually that video is not to dissimilar to what Terje has said, but it definitely highlights the knee-jerk reaction that some people have had. And has been pointed out before, science is a fluid field of study. The anomaly in the tree ring data just shows us how little we know.

  33. Paul Williams
    December 5th, 2009 at 23:45 | #33

    @Peter T

    “Is there some reasonable way to quarantine these people from a discussion on the future of the human race?”

    Possibly you are forgetting that Phil Jones is employed by the British and American taxpayers. His colleagues also. The papers produced, the body of work, is underpinning government policy, with profound implications for the economic well-being of those same taxpayers. Policy is being formulated by other taxpayer employees, the politicians.

    Employers have every right to check the work of their employees, and dismiss them if they aren’t performing satisfactorily.


    “Sarah Palin …GOP front-runner for 2012.”

    Here’s hoping. With the Mad Monk as PM and the Moose Hunter as President, the meltdown on blogs like this one would be enough to raise global temperatures off the scale.

  34. Charles
    December 6th, 2009 at 05:45 | #34

    December 5th, 2009 at 20:18 | #14
    Reply | Quote

    What happens to the ice and the temperature inside the esky after you leave it in the sun for a few days?

    Esky warming!

    And that is my point; every one is going on about the temperature while the ice is melting; the real fun starts when it is all melted.

  35. Paul Williams
    December 6th, 2009 at 06:50 | #35

    Libs facing line-ball contest in Higgins by-election.

    Libs easily win Bradfield and Higgins.

    Surely Rudd will call a double dissolution while the Libs are in such disarray?

  36. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 07:29 | #36

    @Paul Williams
    Well thats interesting news Paul Walter. In two long standing bluer than blue liberal seats (Higgins was Costello’s and Bradfield was Brendan Nelsons) with no ALP candidate that ran there was a 24.6% swing to the greens in Higgins and a 14% swing to the greens in Bradfield and you hard right fruit loops think climate change policies dont matter.??

    Perhaps Malcolm should consider freeing the sane in the party from the clutches of the insane.

  37. Socrates
    December 6th, 2009 at 07:30 | #37

    Like it or not I don’t think the Higgins or Bradfield results can be categorised as bad for the Liberals – they held both seats with small swings. Clearly, many Labor voters were not prepared to vote Greens. IMO that is a bad result for the ETS.

    If this result was a referendum on climate change, 60% of voters in Higgins and Bradfield don’t care about it. Hopenhagen will be CopenOut on these numbers.

    There is clearly a need for the government to communicate with the electorate that:
    – a bunch of stolen emails are not a counter-argument; there is a climate problem
    – increased CO2 is the only plausible explanation for that problem
    – we may not be the biggest contributor but we are one of the worst; the people we trade with will not do anything if people like us don’t
    – we will need to invest in replacement technologies (not the clean coal lie) and that will cost money. It will also create jobs so there is not a big unemployment or debt problem
    – we need more than just a tech fix; people need to think about their lifestyles
    – unless government can prove carbon offsets will not just be cooked up in third world tax havens then sold to keep brown coal power plants running, we may be better of with a straight carbon tax to fund repalcement technologies.

    I have become skeptical of the ETS as a solution to climate change. (I am not a climate change skeptic). It may work well in theory but in practice seems unable to be implemented. Like Hansen, I think its time for plan B.

  38. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 07:41 | #38

    Paul Walter above should read Paul Williams. Shocking mistake.

  39. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 07:49 | #39


    Socrates says

    “Clearly, many Labor voters were not prepared to vote Greens. IMO that is a bad result for the ETS.”

    I dont know how you could possibly get that picture Socrates. In a deep blue seat (Higgins)
    “Greens contender Dr Clive Hamilton had 35.3 per cent of the primary vote, a swing of about 24.6 per cent, owing mostly to the absence of a Labor candidate.” Labour quite often doesnt run a candidate in these seats. For the greens to collect 35.3% of the primary vote is a vote for climate change policies in my opinion. Or its a vote of disgust with recent Federal liberal antics.

  40. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 07:58 | #40

    You say “Like it or not I don’t think the Higgins or Bradfield results can be categorised as bad for the Liberals – they held both seats with small swings”
    You neglected to mention the swings were against. Not much in Higgins but still against the LP 3% against in Bradfield. If they were marginal seats 3% would be a substantial swing against.
    But the Libs can choose to ignore what the electorate is saying. They do it regularly these days. Fed lib acts like NSW labor. Both now unpopular and hijacked by the hard right.

  41. paul walter
    December 6th, 2009 at 08:26 | #41

    re #39,
    A bit like the conversation alleged overheard at staff headquarters, Berlin, 1945, re Russian Front:
    “Anymore of these “victories” the Fuhrer keeps talks of, and they’ll be marching down Potsdamer Platz before we can blink” .
    Whoops, no history prior to nineteen fifty, or I’m Godwinned…sorry!

  42. paul walter
    December 6th, 2009 at 08:31 | #42

    Alice, re #37 am humbled that you should identity me with less a personage than Paul Williams.

  43. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 08:44 | #43

    @paul walter
    Thats why it was such a shocking mistake Paul……!!!!! LOL. No I dont identify you with Paul Williams except by inversion…. I just hadnt had my coffee yet.

  44. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 08:51 | #44

    @paul walter
    LOL Paul (thats Walter…!)I say we name the Higgins and Bradfield results the “Potzdamer” victories in honour of the denialists and their new Fuhrer!. Potty?…indeed.

  45. paul walter
    December 6th, 2009 at 08:59 | #45

    Ha, ha, good one Alice.
    Just watching them trying to spin the byelections on Insider and some unbeleivable pfaff from Joyce.
    Annabel Crabb was having a good laugh relating Abbott’s holidays back in his younger days, as to the tiresome inevitable wowser question about whether he’d ever smoked pot.
    Wisely not trying to obscure it, he related that he’d tried a reefer in the US, but spluttered it all out.
    But he reckoned in India somewhere, they gave him the house specialty, hash yoghurt.
    He says he was “off with the fairies” for the next twelve hours, which indicates he must have had a good dollop, not that I’d know about these things.

  46. December 6th, 2009 at 10:06 | #46

    I see a result in the Bradfield by-election that shows how relevant the pro-nuclear power views of TerjeP are. Goronwy Price (Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy) has 609 votes (about 1 per cent of the total) with 69.2 per cent counted. This is far fewer than Marianne Leishman (Australia Sex Party) with 2087 votes (3.4 per cent). Even Bill Koutalianos, an Independent but who is the candidate for the yet to be registered Climate Sceptics Party has polled 1122 (1.8 per cent). Thus the combined support for climate sceptics and nuclear power advocate candidates in Bradfield could not match the Australia Sex Party.

  47. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 10:10 | #47

    @paul walter
    Paul…..ahhh that explains it…I can only imagine what they would do to hash yoghurt eating tourists in India. “Reefer” indeed. Abbott would know it hasnt been called a reefer since before Cheech and Chong.

  48. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 10:14 | #48

    Thats it for me with Terje and his pro nuke arguments. Ive been talking to a minor!

  49. Fran Barlow
    December 6th, 2009 at 10:49 | #49

    Oddly, at Pymble PS, Koutoulianos’s leaflets were being distributed by a self-professed member of the ACT Greens, who justified it on the basis that he was her brother-in-law.

  50. Donald Oats
    December 6th, 2009 at 11:22 | #50


    In Cheech and Chong they didn’t do Abbott in India size reefers; the comparable film for Abbott’s effort is Withnail and I in which he makes a monster spliff called the “Camberwell Carrot”. Now that’s more like it!

    Remember kids, don’t try this at home ;-Q

  51. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 11:23 | #51

    @Fran Barlow
    Plant Fran. Noxious weed like plant. Green handing out for a skeptic?. Expulsion.

  52. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 11:27 | #52

    @Donald Oats
    LOL Don – even Cheech and Chong called them “joints”. Abbot is just trying to pretend he doesnt know anything about it calling it a “reefer” (circa 1936) as in the below link… but Abbott really doesnt need the reefer!

  53. December 6th, 2009 at 11:32 | #53

    Economic Democracy in Spain – an analysis by Race Mathews…

    Dear friends,

    This week’s post at the Left Focus blog is unusual as it is an expansive essay (approx 5000 words) – treating the development of the Mondragon co-operative in Spain in great detail. While there’s a lot of reading here, Mathews demonstrates that a different kind of world is possible – with Mondragon as a case in point. We won’t be publishing as expansive material as this often – but for those interested in economic democracy this makes compelling reading… At the blog your comments are welcome!




    nb: If you enjoy this article pls also join our Facebook group – to link up with other readers, and to receive regular updates on new material.

    see: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=58243419565


    Tristan Ewins

  54. paul walter
    December 6th, 2009 at 11:44 | #54

    Well, all I can say is that all this has got very confusing.
    If Abbott is told to “eat the roach”, is this bad news for Julie Bishop?

  55. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 12:16 | #55

    ha ha big LOL…that is a good one Paul!

  56. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 12:18 | #56

    The roach survives all Paul…we know that. She will survive climate change and nuclear accidents and even survive the LP!

  57. December 6th, 2009 at 12:47 | #57

    “Sensible suburbia is not taken up with the ETS madness and we’re quite happy if Mr Rudd wants to go down the path of an election over the ETS,” he said.

    “.”We will be saying, it’s a massive new tax and if you want one in your life, vote for Kevin

    Bring it on.

  58. paul walter
    December 6th, 2009 at 12:50 | #58

    Not sure if Abbott used the term “reefer” himself, that was just me, being helpful. Got to “be with it, trendsetters”, y’know.
    Watching Virgin Queen Julie, onto her third leader in two years, am put in mind however, of the courtships of various and sundry during the Elizabethan “Gloriana” era.
    But who will play Essex, as this period soapie unfolds?

  59. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 13:15 | #59

    @paul walter
    ha ha Paul…I can see him using the term “reefer” even if he didnt! Next Tony will deny it and say he really “spluttered water at long reefer”.
    Oh dear – we have woken up one of zombie skeptic living deads.

  60. Donald Oats
    December 6th, 2009 at 13:34 | #60

    Coughed on a hookah with “special” tobacco, maybe?

  61. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 15:57 | #61

    @Donald Oats
    What kinda hookah you talking about Don? He is supposed to be catholic. No sex outside of marriage!

  62. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 17:17 | #62

    @Donald Oats
    Don – I dont believe Abbott is quite as innocent as he makes out. He did apparently expose himself to a female in the opposing debating team and indulge in appropriate behaviour at a students debate way back when at Kuringgai Campus Lindfield….when he was, of course, speaking for the right…
    However, I can forgive the indiscretions, experiments and odd biases of youth…but when they extend into middle age that is when we really need to worry..

  63. sdfc
    December 6th, 2009 at 18:24 | #63

    Charles says @ 33

    “Esky warming!

    And that is my point; every one is going on about the temperature while the ice is melting; the real fun starts when it is all melted.”

    I know that was your point Charles, I thought that as someone who constantly leaves the esky unemptied for days after we have people over I was in the perfect position to complete your little parable.

  64. paul walter
    December 6th, 2009 at 18:52 | #64

    Sdfc, exactly the point made on SBS news tonight, with a spectacular story complete with photo timeline, concerning the disappearance of of a High Andes glacier that used to service Caracas, the teeming capital of Bolivia.
    And not just the one glacier is disappearing, either.

  65. Alice
    December 6th, 2009 at 18:58 | #65

    @paul walter
    No Paul – even the snows of Kilimanjaro are disappearing. Now thats sad – a great Hemingway novel with no snow on Kilimanjaro. The story of a man facaing death who regrets mamy of the choices he made in life…how apt for those who currently act for us, making choices on our behalf. Will they live to regret also?

  66. Glenn Tamblyn
    December 6th, 2009 at 20:48 | #66

    @paul walter
    Small point Paul

    The capital of Bolivia is La Paz. Caracas is the capital of Venezuala

    But yes, with melting glaciers, including what was once the highest sky run in the world on the Chacaltaya Glacier at over 5000 m high and dry since Chacaltaya vanished, Bolivia, particularly La Paz,is in deep sh!t as far as water supply goes.

  67. paul walter
    December 6th, 2009 at 21:04 | #67

    hmmm…good point Glenn!
    Caracas for oil and barrios, La Paz for water, or the lack of it.
    Now, back to “Mills and Boon” story on ABC.

  68. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 7th, 2009 at 05:01 | #68

    For the greens to collect 35.3% of the primary vote is a vote for climate change policies in my opinion. Or its a vote of disgust with recent Federal liberal antics.

    Alice – Given that in Higgins there was a small swing towards the Liberal party I don’t see either of your conclusions as having much support.


  69. Alice
    December 7th, 2009 at 06:58 | #69

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    A swing to only after preferences were distributed Terje? And only after no labor candidate runs? Thats a laugh.
    Id say thats really swing away wouldnt you? You arent really fooling anyone on this. In Lib terms it was a bad result given the huge 23% swing to the Greens.

    I dont really want to burst your “Potzdamer” victory balloon on Higgins but someone has to do it.

    Oh and Terje – ABC this morning – preferred prime minister Abbot 23% – Rudd 60% according to most recent poll. Id say thats a poll result for climate change policies or a poll result for disgust at fed liberal antics. Wouldnt you. Didnt Rees even poll better than that?

  70. Alice
    December 7th, 2009 at 07:14 | #70

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Terje – Ive just had a really good look at your link. In fact Higgins is a massive vote for decent climate change policies.
    Its a massive vote for the Greens from a bluer than blue seat Terje. Greens score 20,000 odd votes to 32,000 odd liberal votes.
    This is a kick to the posterior from your traditional liberal voters Terje….is the party listening or is it still dancing in delusion fairyland???

  71. rog
    December 7th, 2009 at 07:18 | #71

    The recent by-elections confirm that the Libs had to work hard in their safest seats just to maintain their 2007 vote.

    Hardly a victory

    The latest Newspoll suggests that the coalition vote has fallen by since 2007 whilst the ALP have improved by a corresponding amount over the same period.

    Using Antony Green’s on line calculator an election held now would have resulted in another 3 seats falling to the ALP.

    Even blind freddy can see that the ALP is currently the national party of choice.

  72. Alice
    December 7th, 2009 at 07:18 | #72

    Ignore comment at 18 – these were first preferences (you link). Two party preferred candidate Hamilton only 6000 behind the lib!. That in Higgins?? Costellos old haunt?
    Its a green swing Terje – a massive green swing in lib heartland.

  73. Paul Williams
    December 7th, 2009 at 08:05 | #73


    Two candidate preferred currently O’Dwyer 36,194, Hamilton 24,565.

    (That’s nearly 12,000 Alice)

  74. Alice
    December 7th, 2009 at 09:20 | #74

    @Paul Williams
    Paul (Williams) – its a virtual tally room. It changes with updates. Or didnt you notice that?

    you cant ignore the fact that the greens polled 24,565 as you said above, and the nearest competitor to the libs is the Australian Sex Party with approx 1950 votes. With a massive 22.4% swing to the Greens and a mere 0.34% swing to liberals and given Labor didnt run a candidate its easy to see who got the votes. The Greens got them.

    We are talking thousands of green votes in a traditionally blue long standing liberal seat.

    Make of what you will Paul. The electorate voted and they voted clearly. Even you cant ignore those results with a massive 40% swing to the greens.

  75. Donald Oats
    December 7th, 2009 at 09:33 | #75


    Ahhh, that’s referred to as “Clayton’s Sex”, you know, the old Clayton’s advert with Jack Thompson in it: “It’s the drink sex I have when I’m not having a drink sex.”

    It’s the type of sex that lands a certain opposition leader in the position of not even knowing that he might have a son outside of marriage or not. I believe it is called the withdrawal method, and by some Catholics as the “confessional method”, meaning a few “Hail Maries” are said immediately afterwards, and again at confession. The Catholic comedian Dave Allen used to do a good job sending this sort of thing up.

  76. Alice
    December 7th, 2009 at 10:01 | #76

    @Donald Oats
    In ancient script (catholic) Don, it was called quaintly called “buying a ticket to the city but getting off at redfern.” Never mind…all sins are vanquished in the confession box, but whether you say two or three or six hail marys depends, to be sure, to be sure… on whether the priest has a hangover or not.

  77. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 7th, 2009 at 11:13 | #77

    Alice – the Higgins election comes after a few dreadful weeks of negative publicity. And in spite of your false claims the proportion of the primary vote increased for the Liberals. Higgins was a good result for Abbott.

    Next election I’m still tipping an ALP win.

  78. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 7th, 2009 at 11:20 | #78

    Oh and the polls suggest that women have no particular problem with Abbott. So your insights on that matter were not particularily useful.

  79. Alice
    December 7th, 2009 at 12:02 | #79

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Well then, we have agreement Terje (on the tip) and disagreement on the rest. Status per normal!

  80. Alice
    December 7th, 2009 at 12:07 | #80

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Higgins was shocking result for the libs given no ALP candidate Terje. Abbott wont poll well – he isnt now. The negative publicity you refer to was weeks of the fruit loops getting up and letting rip with their delusionist ideas here, there and everywhere – which then made the papers. It may be negative publicity but they clearly have those ideas (Minchin, Joyce, Abbott). How does that make it negative publicity if its a fact thats what they think? Id call it the truth. Thats the trouble with the hard right. They have hard right views that are now unnaceptable to the majority of people.

  81. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 7th, 2009 at 12:32 | #81

    In the Werriwa by election in 2005 the Liberals did not stand a candidate. The net swing to the ALP was 2.9%. The absence of a major party opponent does not guarantee much in the way of extra votes. So the fact that there was no ALP opponent in the Higgins election does not mean that the Liberals should in normal circumstances have expected much of a swing in their favour. The fact that there was a slight swing in spite of recent negative publicity means that Higgins was a good result for Abbott.


  82. Paul Williams
    December 7th, 2009 at 12:51 | #82

    Glen Milne reports significant swings to the libs in booths that they lost in 2007.

  83. nanks
    December 7th, 2009 at 12:51 | #83

    I’d be agreeing vaguely with terjeP – the by-elections show little movement from libs to Greens and a preference for labs to vote Green in the absence of their own candidate. On the upside labor voters did choose Greens over Libs, with little or no leakage.
    Not too surprising – I would think that in a country like Australia, where the mass media more or less speak with one voice, the delusionist campaign has been successful in neutralising the impact of global warming as an election decider. Maybe… the real electoral battle will be in the Senate as usual and hopefully enough people will throw off their history of same old same old to vote for the Greens – the only actual alternative.

  84. Paul Williams
    December 7th, 2009 at 23:06 | #84

    O”Dwyer now 38,320, Hamilton 25,446 with 75.32% of vote counted.

    If I am reading the table correctly, the swing against Labor is 31.08%, but the swing to the Greens is only 21.76%. Looks like a third of labor voters don’t want an ETS either.

    Bring on that double dissolution!

  85. Alice
    December 8th, 2009 at 05:43 | #85

    @Paul Williams
    Hardly – the swing to the SEX party was about five times bigger than the swing to the libs Paul. The Greens still picked up 40% of the votes in a blue seat – you cant ignore that. Yes bring on the DD if this is the best you can do in liberal heartland.

  86. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 8th, 2009 at 06:06 | #86

    Nanks – I suspect that a lot of Liberals that might have traditionally voted for the Australian Democrats in the senate in order to “keep the bastards honest” or because of socially liberals views won’t so readily vote for the Greens as a proxy alternative. These voters abandoned the Democrats due to a drift too far to the left. I suspect they will mostly shift back to backing the Liberals in the senate, especially given that Labor is in government. The Greens mostly draw their support from ALP voters which must have the ALP quite worried at times.

  87. paul walter
    December 8th, 2009 at 06:25 | #87

    Terje, they are still going to lose city seats. The ALP picks up a couple of doctor’s wives seats as consolation should the Greens pick off a lower house seat inner city seat or two.
    This is how the Conservative/Liberal split will play out and a good thing too, since they seem to need time, really, to start to think SERIOUSLY about certain of the issues in play in contemporary life.
    Maybe a better attempt in 2113, when they’ve trimmed the dead wood, or finished the seasonal moult, or whatever.
    Because, at the moment they are one ragged looking budgie.

    Musing, it does seem to be shaping up a little like that election inWA awhile back, when Geoff Gallop won government.

  88. rog
    December 8th, 2009 at 06:52 | #88

    Looking at the line up of the shadow cabinet – Minchin, Joyce, Bronwyn Bishop, Kevin Andrews to name some – one could conclude that Abbott has abandoned the non rural seats.

  89. paul walter
    December 8th, 2009 at 07:01 | #89

    Sort of reminds me of when I was a kid on holidays, sitting down to watch “Abbott and Costello(singularity) meet Frankenstein”.
    Some good laughs and a few spooks.

Comments are closed.