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Monday Message Board

July 27th, 2015

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Kevin
    July 27th, 2015 at 18:15 | #1

    John, do you think Labor’s 50% RET target by 2030 is achievable? What would it costs?

    With the cost of solar dropping like a rock, it doesn’t seem too unrealistic to me.

  2. Ivor
    July 27th, 2015 at 18:40 | #2

    Krugman getting it all wrong yet again….

    Austerity is largely to blame for Greece’s current depression ….

    So what causes austerity?

    although he does point to the bleeding obvious;

    I believe strongly that the policies being imposed will not work, that they will result in depression without end, unacceptable levels of unemployment and ever growing inequality.

    and thinks that the only solution is;

    inclusive capitalism

    … the only way to create shared and sustainable prosperity.

    See the whole piece at: New York Times .

    A very, very slow learner indeed.

  3. July 27th, 2015 at 19:44 | #3

    Kevin, John wrote a post on the 50% Renewable Energy Target yesterday: http://johnquiggin.com/2015/07/26/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-ret/

    I quote him, “…it’s clear that the economic impact will be minuscule. Owners of coal-fired power stations (if they are not compensated, as they should not be) will bear most of the costs. Electricity prices may rise a little compared to the current RET, but will probably be no higher than if we had stayed with a coal-based system.”

  4. Ikonoclast
    July 27th, 2015 at 19:58 | #4


    Well, the piece you have linked to is by Joseph Stiglitz not by (Paul) Krugman. So either you got the link wrong or the author’s name wrong.

    The piece is reasonable and makes overall sense to me, albeit within the current political economy paradigm. It is possible to have really bad capitalism (for workers) and various levels of not-so-bad capitalism. Within the democratic-capitalist paradigm Stiglitz is not getting anything wrong and he is advocating not-so-bad capitalism. I would guess that “inclusive capitalism” means a system where capitalists and workers are both accommodated. This has occurred in the past in the Keynesian and welfare era. This has broken down now under 40 odd years of neoliberalism. The bourgeois economists, even the good ones (technically and morally) like Stiglitz, think the clock can be turned back and capitalism reformed again. I guess nothing is impossible but I don’t like their chances.

    In the end, capitalism is the base problem. But you can’t expect bourgeois economists to entertain that idea. It’s a mental bridge too far for them. In this context “bourgeois economists” just means “capitalist economists”. They are those who take the capitalist system as given, best and even “natural”.

  5. J-D
    July 27th, 2015 at 20:15 | #5


    When you write ‘capitalism is the base problem’, I don’t understand what you mean by ‘the base problem’, whether you mean ‘the problem that underlies all other problems’ or something else.

  6. Ivor
    July 27th, 2015 at 20:43 | #6

    Krugman -> Stiglitz

  7. Ivor
    July 27th, 2015 at 22:15 | #7

    Isn’t it nice that we can all afford cheap cat food now.

    You wouldn’t want nasty tariffs would you – just think of all the jobs that would be lost, like these.


  8. Brett
    July 28th, 2015 at 01:15 | #8


    I think the problem with Stiglitz’s piece is that he doesn’t really grasp the credibility issue. As he says, Greece needs reforms – but how to ensure that Greece is credible about reforming, and not simply hoping for conditions to improve so they can go back to borrowing and spending again like in the pre-2008 days? It wouldn’t be the first time a country backed off from commitments after getting the money.

  9. David Allen
    July 28th, 2015 at 09:53 | #9

    Ivor :
    Krugman getting it all wrong yet again….

    So you got the name wrong but there’s your backhand swipe at Krugman still sitting there. From my reading he’s been right on most things over the years. Much better than most others.

  10. Ivor
    July 28th, 2015 at 10:58 | #10

    @David Allen

    Krugman is not the topic here. The arguments of the piece are – irrespective of the person.

    You obviously did not read my correction or deliberately choose to ignore it.

  11. Ikonoclast
    July 28th, 2015 at 12:03 | #11


    Yes, I do mean that. I mean “the problem that underlies all other problems” in the political economy sphere. I mean it in both the political economy and ideological senses. To expand, I mean our system of ownership of production is wrong and this leads to a small, powerful, rich elite (the oligarchs) making most of the economic decisions, development decisions and allocation decisions for our society. This is outside what is left of the now ever-shrinking government sector and welfare sector. The system of (capitalist) ownership is underpinned by our current institutions, laws and prevailing justificatory ideology so clearly these need to change too.

    I use the term “political economy” in two senses. I mean the “national economy” and the complex of national economies making up the international economic system. I also mean to convey that politics and economics are always inextricably linked and that there are no pure political decisions and no pure economic decisions. All decisions in this arena are hybrid political-economic decisions.

  12. Collin Street
    July 28th, 2015 at 12:19 | #12

    > Krugman is not the topic here.

    Who made you the topic police? People can talk about things you’re not interested in, and there’s not much you can do about it except pout.

  13. Ivor
    July 28th, 2015 at 13:29 | #13

    @Collin Street

    By all means make Krugman the topic if you want. Why assume I am not interested in Krugman.

    An intelligent reader would have realised that the topic I referred to was the author of the NYT piece.

  14. Ivor
    July 28th, 2015 at 23:06 | #14

    Some reaction to recent ALP conference – ACTU and GetUp….

    It was a weekend of highs and lows at the Labor Party National Conference. This week the dust is settling on Labor’s new policy positions, but with so many of the campaigns championed by GetUp members involved in the weekend’s debates and votes, we wanted to give you the wrap on what those decisions mean for our movement. Some of them were great victories, while others were decisions that made it clear we have more work to do – and we’re already diving straight into it. Here’s what happened:

    Clean energy

    One of the biggest wins out of Conference? The ALP committed to sourcing 50% of Australia’s electricity from clean, renewable energy by 2030 – a promise they’ll take to the next election.

    That’s a huge win for thousands of clean energy workers and for our country, made possible by the power and passion of the thousands of people like you, pushing the major parties to unshackle us from the big polluters and their dirty energy. In the months leading up to this decision, GetUp members flooded Labor MPs’ offices with calls from constituents and funded strategic ads whenever clean energy policy was up for debate. And as the decision went down this weekend, GetUp members were there rallying in our hundreds alongside clean energy workers and community leaders to show Labor that Australians are ready for vision and leadership on a clean energy future.

    This is great news, but it’s not over yet. Labor hasn’t yet committed to cutting any more pollution than Prime Minister Tony Abbott and without strong cuts we can’t transition to a cleaner, safer economy. Mr Abbott has already stepped up his attack on clean energy, making this a key battleground ahead of the election. Your power will be crucial in keeping up the pressure in this campaign – not just in making sure Labor follows through, but in pushing all parties to do better, especially the Coalition who remain hell-bent on destroying our chance at a clean, safer economy.

    Refugees & asylum seekers

    On Saturday, Labor delegates voted to support a refugee policy that includes increased humanitarian intake and a commitment to get kids out of detention quickly. The media is reporting they also voted to turn back boats carrying asylum seekers, but that’s not quite right – what they did do is vote down an amendment that would have prohibited turning asylum seekers around at sea,[1] leaving the Labor platform without any mention of the policy.[2] While details are still coming in, it’s clear from comments from Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles that a Labor government would keep the option open to turn back refugees fleeing persecution.[3]

    The Conference has voted, but that doesn’t mean the debate is over. The decisions from Conference mean Labor’s platform is effectively silent on many of the core problems facing Australia’s asylum seeker policy. And we can work with silence. We can fill silence with our demands – and we will.

    Manus and Nauru detention centres are expensive, harmful and heartless experiments – and yet they remain open and supported by our major parties. Kids have been systematically abused in our offshore detention centres and yet they remain imprisoned. Turning back asylum seekers on the open sea risks endangering the lives of entire families – and neither major party will stand against it.

    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

    Trade Minister Andrew Robb is headed to Hawaii this week for talks that could decide the fate of the controversial TPP deal.

    We know from previous remarks that Minister Robb is all aboard the TPP train and will likely sign Australia on to the deal – but rest assured, that’s not the end of the line. The Labor Party will still have a critical vote to determine the future of this dirty deal when the enabling legislation is debated in the Senate.

    That’s why over the weekend more than 220 GetUp members from marginal Labor electorates hit the streets distributing door hangers in their neighbourhood, putting the facts about this secretive deal straight into the hands of key voters. This was happening at the same time the Labor Party was debating their national policy on trade deals. We heard some strong words from Conference delegates against the nastiest part of the TPP deal – the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, which will allow multinational corporations to sue Australian governments.[4]

    The Buffett Rule

    Another win! On Friday, the Labor Party adopted the Buffett Rule as part of the tax policy they’ll be taking to the next Federal Election.

    Over the past several months, 63,000 Australians have been calling for an Aussie Buffett Rule that would close loopholes for the wealthiest 1%. Last week alone, over 7000 members of the GetUp community got the facts into the hands of their Labor MPs and senators, and hundreds more chipped in to fund a giant mobile billboard promoting the Buffett Rule to Labor National Conference delegates. And we won their support!

    The Buffett Rule was part of a groundbreaking report by The Australia Institute, funded by GetUp members, that found that closing tax loopholes for those who earn over $300K could generate $2.5 billion a year in revenue.

    Just this morning, Treasurer Joe Hockey told ABC radio that he’s happy to look at the policy as part of the government’s tax white paper. That’s why GetUp members are again leaping to action to get the Buffett Rule into the Treasurer’s office.

    Negative Gearing

    For this year’s budget, GetUp members tried something game changing, pitching in to fund eight fairer budget policy alternatives backed by rigorous modelling and analysis from some of the best policy brains in the business. And it’s having a massive impact: not only did the ALP endorse the Buffett Rule at National Conference, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen also put negative gearing reform and changes to the capital gains tax discount into the mix, recognising the impact of these tax breaks on housing affordability.

    Our revenue ideas have helped shift the conversation about reform in Australia. This demonstrates the importance of getting on the front foot to propose positive alternatives to the Abbott Government’s austerity cuts.

    China Free Trade

    Together, we’ve just scored a great win.

    Over the weekend, the Labor Party agreed to oppose the parts of the China trade deal that shut out locals from jobs. If Abbott doesn’t go back to the negotiating table, then Labor will block the legislation needed to make this deal happen.

    For everyone who has taken action against this deal, you are making a difference. Help us stay on the front foot. We still need more parliamentarians to listen, and we need to hold Labor to its promise.

    [1] ‘ALP conference: left loses vote on motion to prohibit boat turnbacks – politics live’, Guardian Australia, 25 July 2015
    [2] ‘Draft National Platform’, Australian Labor Party, July 2015
    [3] ‘Richard Marles on ALP’s boat turnback policy’, ABC Radio National, 27 July 2015
    [4] ISDS: The devil in the trade deal, ABC’s Background Briefing, 26 July 2015

  15. J-D
    July 28th, 2015 at 23:28 | #15


    I don’t understand whether it’s the first sentence of your comment that expresses your position or all the rest of it. It can’t be both.

  16. Megan
    July 28th, 2015 at 23:49 | #16

    It’s interesting how two people can observe the same event and one will think it a wondrous thing, while the other will perceive it to be an enormous scam perpetrated on a gullible bunch of fools.

    I don’t remember where in the previous ALP policy platform it mentioned opening offshore indefinite detention concentration camps with no chance whatsoever for “genuine” refugees to be given asylum in Australia – and yet, Bingo! here we are with exactly that policy introduced by the ALP.

  17. Julie Thomas
    July 29th, 2015 at 06:59 | #17


    Assumptions; the difference in the two people could be the way they assumptions they make and the way they interpret the intentions behind the events and the potential for these intentions to become reality.

    If one person assumes that the people who are involved in the current process are all bad people and unable to see and interpret the zeitgist or the vibe, then one would be disappointed and distrustful.

    It is possible to assume on the basis of the way the current process was carried out and the response in the public – for example my redneck neighbours – that the people involved have learned a lot about conflict resolution and are involved in a long term process of persuading the population to trust politicians again.

    It is a shame that you see the Australian population as a gullible bunch of fools. I don’t. I see them as people who have not had a chance to use their intelligence to make a choice about our way of life because of the Murdoch propaganda machine.

    Ameliorating the effects of this propaganda on our thinking has to be a process that involves persuasion not forcing ‘them’ to accept a reality that they don’t understand.

  18. July 29th, 2015 at 07:20 | #18

    for you, Megan, from “the piping shrike” this week, another observer of the same event:-

    In reality over the last twenty years, there is only one election that Labor has arguably not toughened up on its asylum seeker policy going into it, the 2007 election, and that being also the only election it has won in that twenty years.
    There may not be a direct relation between softening up on asylum seekers and Labor winning an election, but there sure as hell isn’t one the opposite way.

    of course, there’s more, much more at:- http://www.pipingshrike.com/2015/07/unity-is-death.html

  19. Ikonoclast
    July 29th, 2015 at 07:51 | #19


    Sorry J-D, if that doesn’t clarify it I can’t help you.

  20. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 08:43 | #20


    So how did you “observe” the ALP conference? or are you just spreading vomit on the work of others?

    The different views are based on qualityt. Some use skill and balance with understanding of the complexities of life and involve all stakeholders to obtain a negotiated outcome. Others are useless sectarian looney-leftists who attack the efforts and gains of others either to satisfy their own psychological urges or to ameliorate deep-seated jealousies.

    Currently they are focusing on refugees but the same sectarian vomit is also launched at trade unions, aboriginal activists, feminists, Greens, and peace activists and worse of all – parliamentary routes for change.

    More often than not they grow up when they try to operate away from their campuses, but some get stuck for life. And they call the rest of the world “a gullible bunch of fools”.

    This is just a Freudian slip as in fact their labels attach to themselves.

  21. J-D
    July 29th, 2015 at 08:46 | #21


    A group of ordinary members of the ALP may realistically consider themselves to have some chance of having some influence over the wording of the official ALP platform even though they have no chance of influencing the behaviour of a Labor government. I think there’s a natural tendency for people to attach increased importance to something when they feel they have some influence over it; hence it’s natural enough for ordinary ALP members to feel that the wording of the official ALP platform is important.

    It’s also not surprising for this tendency to be more salient when the ALP is in opposition, so that the question of influencing the actions of an ALP government does not arise directly. Even the party leader is probably more involved in contesting the wording of the platform when the party is in opposition.

  22. Julie Thomas
    July 29th, 2015 at 08:54 | #22

    @alfred venison

    Labor may have won the 2007 election but they very quickly lost the plot and the disappointment and feelings of being ripped off that emerged among a lot of people in response to the behaviour that followed this ‘victory’ which meant they lost the next election – or was it a war.

    People who did vote for the ideals that Rudd promised, were disappointed and shamed really in front of their Liberal friends when nothing came from all that idealism. Attitudes change and what people vote for has changed since 2007, and is still changing. I think.

  23. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 09:56 | #23

    @Julie Thomas

    I do not think that Labor won the 2007 election. This is Rudd-think. The fact is that the ACTU ran a huge effective “Right to work” campaign to defeat the Howard regime. The ALP was the obvious alternative and benefited from this groundswell.

    We all remember the orange “right to work” posters and stickers spread across Australia – and even today you can still see faded examples.

    Rudd then misunderstood his “victory” and operated as a Napoleon and got shafted as a result.

    The ALP was elected – but they did not win the election.

  24. Megan
    July 29th, 2015 at 10:02 | #24


    No, I don’t “see the Australian population as a gullible bunch of fools”, and


    No, I do not “call the rest of the world ‘a gullible bunch of fools'”.

    I see and call a core of very keen ALP supporters a “gullible bunch of fools”, and to some extent I see them as victims of the faceless operators of the ALP.

    Those people may well be very earnest, and it would seem likely that they are, but they are being played for fools in return for their unconditional support for the ALP.

    The vote that the ALP ends up with ebbs and flows but, like “base load” power, there is an essential lump of “rusted on” or “true believers” who can be counted on to advocate for the ALP regardless of all other factors or expressed concerns – hence we get the “Abbott would be worse”, “ALP is always least worst” and the “number every box but put LNP last” phenomena.

    It is thanks to that core that this country has steadily lurched further to the “right” over the last 20 years or more, and as a non-partisan citizen of this country I am critical of that situation and the machinery that enables it.

    Recent history demonstrates that the ALP can do whatever it likes and this core’s support will be unshaken – even if it needs to undertake moral contortions to justify the constant shifting away from professed values and principles.

    That is sad, not just for those people but for my country and the victims of the resulting policies.

  25. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 10:48 | #25


    you may not see population as a gullible bunch of fools. But based on your behaviour I think you are lying.

    So what is your alternative explanation for the population voting in their millions for the ALP, Liberals, Greens, Democrats, Nationals etc. etc.

    Do you think they are voting correctly of misguided by guile?

    The phrase gullible fools was Julie Thomas’s and is an reasonable interpretation of your antics. However it seems rather a too polite form of conduct to actually have been authored by you. You see people as fascists, stooges and so on including ‘fools’.

    If you actually saw people as gullible fools, this would be an improvement, but you want to stay in your gutter.

    Your slander about faceless operators just means you are a noxious provocateur. There are no faceless operators except you.

    So why would the core of this country so profoundly reject you if you agree they are not gullible?

    I call it tried and true wisdom.

  26. Ikonoclast
    July 29th, 2015 at 10:58 | #26


    I notice that you continue to abuse Megan with personal invective. Megan has not and does not abuse you personally, if I recall all the exchanges correctly. Megan criticises the ALP and the group-think that runs its worst policies like refugee policy. In doing this she uses robust language, strong rhetorical terms and has no respect for official figures and official parties when they are morally in the wrong and/or when are they are pretentious, deceitful and bullying. This is very much in the Australian “larrikin tradition”. Official and organised authority is not conferred any respect unless it fully earns it. The ALP is earning NO respect now. You are also earning no respect by the way you are carrying on.

    This benign, non-violent ridicule and rejection of official and organised authority when it does not fully earn the people’s respect is the BEST trait of the Australian people in my opinion. Long may it last and long may we verbally ridicule and reject hypocrites, fools and liars like the current ALP leadership and its rusted on unthinking supporters. Criticising the ALP from a left perspective is not being left sectarian since the modern ALP is simply not a left party at all any more.

  27. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 11:48 | #27


    I only point to its own mouth.

    It was given free reign until it started vomiting.

    Everyone needs to reject hypocrites, fools and liars and I am happy to assist in this.

    You obviously do not know what you are talking about – there is a very strong left inside the ALP with membership, networks and contact many times greater and with far more relevance than the looney-leftist sectarians parading their megaphones and banners from the sidelines.

    If these elements were able to build an alternative party of relevance to Australia, they would have done so.

  28. Julie Thomas
    July 29th, 2015 at 12:05 | #28


    Yeah I think Ivor needs to get over his outrage at Megan just being Megan, and give us an example of how Labor supporters are not like the stereotypes we hear about the hard faceless men and true believers.

    Ivor, Megan did first use the term “gullible fools’, not me, see! you are too cranky to think straight, and she has explained how she used the term.

    I have to say that characterising Australian voters as gullible fools is not a way of thinking that I have never entertained and I don’t think it is particularly objectionable; rednecks and sad old people do seem like that until you get to know them.

    These views that they have are more to do with the Murdoch misinformation campaign than what Labor actually did, but one real worry they have is that Labor and the hard left, are determined to change our way of life, and force political correctness on us.

    This view wasn’t freely chosen, I think there is a growing realisation of what the media did and some understanding that we all have been manipulated. People seem ready to listen to other points of view, but people also need to save face and justify why this time they can trust Labor again, so I think it was a good thing that Labor did to do something different this time around.

    I’m willing to give Labor a chance because of the way they did this; I’m not so worried about the product because the process seems to have had integrity.

  29. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 12:22 | #29

    @Julie Thomas

    Can you point out where it used “gullible fools”. I missed it and I want to add it to the list.

    The hard left is not a meaningful term, and there are many many people who need to change our way of life and they are not trying to force so-called political correctness on anyone.

    But this sort of false accusation was probably used against Sylvia Pankhurst by defenders of the old ways.

    It is certainly used by those opposed to equal marriage rights.

  30. Ikonoclast
    July 29th, 2015 at 12:25 | #30


    As an outsider, I can only judge the ALP by its extant, exterior performance, not by all its internal workings and membership. In any case, only its real, objective political performance matters. Going on this extant performance it is no longer a real or effective party of the left in any substantial sense. It has not been so for some time. I exercise my free speech rights to criticise it and my voting right to not vote for its candidates. The mandatory federal preferential voting system gives me problems as I assume my preferences leak through to Labor as an alternative still not as bad the LNP. I wish I could avoid this.

    You are wrong in stating that the preferential system leads to proportional representation. Indeed, it does no such thing. You need to research the various systems (e.g Hare-Clark system) so that you understand the clear differences.

  31. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 12:35 | #31


    Yes the ALP is not an effective left party, however efforts championed by the Australian newspaper to remove the Socialist Objective (with 23 explanatory qualifications) were rebuffed essentially by the strong stance of ACTU delegates.

    Only a preferential-voting system can ever create proportional representation. There is no alternative.

  32. Julie Thomas
    July 29th, 2015 at 13:10 | #32


    “The hard left is not a meaningful term, and there are many many people who need to change our way of life and they are not trying to force so-called political correctness on anyone.”

    I know this; you misunderstood or didn’t actually read what I wrote. If you’d like to take part in a conversation rather than continue your tantrum, I wrote that there are people who believe these things to be true.

    But I win, you really are too emotional to have a proper conversation about this.

    And why? WTF? You should be happy that things are looking good for re-election rather than doing whatever it is that you are doing. Pfffft.

  33. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 13:23 | #33

    @Julie Thomas


    I assumed you knew it.

    I was agreeing with you.

    What are you talking about?

  34. Ikonoclast
    July 29th, 2015 at 13:26 | #34


    “Only a preferential-voting system can ever create proportional representation.” – Ivor.

    This is incorrect. Preferential voting on its own does not create a proportional system. It is in fact possible to have proportional representation without preferential voting.

    There are systems which combine both as in the Hare-Clark system.

    “The single transferable vote (STV) is a voting system designed to achieve proportional representation through ranked voting in multi-seat constituencies (voting districts).[1] Under STV, an elector (voter) has a single vote that is initially allocated to their most preferred candidate and, as the count proceeds and candidates are either elected or eliminated, is transferred to other candidates according to the voter’s stated preferences, in proportion to any surplus or discarded votes. The exact method of reapportioning votes can vary (see Counting methods).

    The system provides approximately proportional representation, enables votes to be cast for individual candidates rather than for parties, and minimizes “wasted” votes by transferring votes to other candidates that would otherwise be wasted on sure losers or sure winners.

    Hare–Clark is the name given to STV in lower house elections in two Australian states and territories, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. The name is derived from Thomas Hare, who initially developed the system, and the Tasmanian Attorney General, Andrew Inglis Clark, who modified the counting method on introducing it to Tasmania. Hare–Clark has been subsequently changed to use rotating ballot papers (the Robson Rotation). The upper houses of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, as well as the upper house of the Parliament of Australia, use a variant of STV allowing “group voting”.[2]

    STV is the system of choice of groups such as the Proportional Representation Society of Australia (which calls it quota-preferential proportional representation), the Electoral Reform Society in the United Kingdom and FairVote in the USA (which calls it choice voting).[3][4][5] Its critics contend that some voters find the mechanisms behind STV difficult to understand, but this does not make it more difficult for voters to “rank the list of candidates in order of preference” on an STV ballot paper (see Voting).[6]” – Wikipedia.

  35. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 13:39 | #35


    I cannot see the point.

    STV (and variants) is a proportional voting system that produces proportional representation.

    Preferential voting can be designed in such a way as to not produce real proportional representation but this is completely different issue to my statement.

  36. Tim Macknay
    July 29th, 2015 at 13:49 | #36

    Breaking up is hard, but keeping dark is hateful
    I had so many dreams, I had so many breakthroughs
    But you my love were kind, shining through this darkness
    And all I had to give, was guilt for dreaming…

  37. Julie Thomas
    July 29th, 2015 at 14:35 | #37

    Very nice Tim 🙂

    Not sure I get it but I know the song. I’d have chosen these lines

    “The sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain
    Incestuous and vain, and many other last names
    I look at my watch it say 9:25 and I think “Oh God I’m still alive”

    Anyway one does not live by song along which is a shame, but here’s another idea.

    Some people should listen to this woman, Michaela Cash, squawking nonsense at Eleanor Hall who it seems to me can barely stop laughing at the argument Cash is making that the ‘woman’ problem in the LNP is not a problem at all.


    The transcript will be up later.

    Some people should appreciate lefty women of all kinds.

  38. Julie Thomas
    July 29th, 2015 at 15:52 | #38

    Megan you might enjoy this article.


    The sub-title goes…

    “The collapse of the GOP gives the Democrats an opportunity to abandon “lesser evilism” — but they probably won’t”

  39. Megan
    July 29th, 2015 at 16:56 | #39

    Thanks, good article by Matt Taibbi.

    I agree with his conclusion:

    …if politicians don’t have to work for your vote, they won’t.

    That is the unconditional (ALP) support I am so critical of. If they can do anything no matter how heinous and still bank on your vote, they will.

  40. J-D
    July 29th, 2015 at 19:21 | #40


    If Scenario A is the situation where politicians are not working for our votes, and Scenario B is the situation where politicians are working for our votes, is there anything you can do, or that I can do, or that Matt Taibbi can do, that might help to move us more in the direction of Scenario B? Or is there something you’re actually doing already that might help to move us more in that direction?

    Because I’m guessing that as things are you don’t find that politicians are working for your vote.

  41. J-D
    July 29th, 2015 at 19:33 | #41


    I sympathise.

  42. Ivor
    July 29th, 2015 at 23:43 | #42


    More of the same slander …


  43. Megan
    July 30th, 2015 at 00:30 | #43

    Ivor must either be the archetypal ALP supporter or a Poe – not just any Poe, but the exemplar of the genre, never missing a beat and always played straight 10/10.


    “Media Lens” has just put up a post about the impending atrocity of the UK Labour leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn’s possible success (he is doing very well in the opinion polls, apparently).

    The whole thing is too long to reproduce here and has too many good points to summarize in a quick grab, but I liked this quote from Frankie Boyle (the context is the entire political and establishment media class piling on to scream about how even thinking of electing this Corbyn communist is a horror):

    ‘in the press, public opinion is often used interchangeably with media opinion, as if the public was somehow much the same as a group of radically rightwing billionaire sociopaths’

    And they conclude – after pointing out that the vast majority of the electorate wants the things Corbyn is talking about (e.g. NHS, Public Transport, Govt owned Postal Service, anti-Trident, anti-war/s, nationalizing energy etc…):

    Like Blair and the rest of the establishment, the Guardian and other corporate media claim their motivation is to preserve Labour’s electability, rather than to attack any and all politics that stray off the ‘centrist’, ‘modernising’ path. In reality, it could hardly be more obvious that this collection of profit-seeking, corporate enterprises – grandly and laughably proclaiming themselves ‘the free press’ – is opposing a threat to their private and class interests.

    We are plagued by fascist neo-liberal stooges and their puppets (at all levels of the political and media establishment).

  44. Megan
    July 30th, 2015 at 01:03 | #44


    To save you the trouble of looking it up – you can put “calls die-hard zombie, unconditional, ‘whatever it takes’, morally flexible ALP supporters Poe’s” on your list as well.

  45. Megan
    July 30th, 2015 at 01:15 | #45

    I see that #IvorConvincedMeToSupportTheALP isn’t trending on Twitter right now.

  46. Ikonoclast
    July 30th, 2015 at 07:17 | #46

    The ALP are corporate stooges. They are bought lock, stock and barrel by corporate and oligarchic capital. The only difference between LNP and ALP is that the LNP are loud and proud about being corporate stooges. The ALP pretend they are not and some few with a conscience in the ALP might even be ashamed that they are corporate stooges.

  47. July 30th, 2015 at 08:29 | #47

    i’m still partial to the old “running dog lackeys of wall street imperialism”. btw, election coming up in canadia, announcement soon:- http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-election-2015-stephen-harper-to-launch-campaign-as-early-as-sunday-1.3172602

  48. J-D
    July 30th, 2015 at 08:39 | #48


    The Liberals and Nationals are loud and proud about being corporate stooges only in your imagination. As a statement about the world that really exists outside your own head, ‘the LNP are loud and proud about being corporate stooges’ is a flagrant defiance of the facts, a demonstrable and outrageous falsehood.

  49. J-D
    July 30th, 2015 at 08:47 | #49

    @alfred venison

    The opinion polls have been all over the place since the last election, and with polling day scheduled for October there’s plenty of time for more changes. At this stage I’d say no result would surprise me.

  50. Ikonoclast
    July 30th, 2015 at 09:11 | #50


    LOL. Keep up the comedy. You might be able to quit your day job.

  51. J-D
    July 30th, 2015 at 09:14 | #51


    I’m thinking about a phenomenon which may perhaps fall outside the scope of your experience so far.

    I apologise if what follows is already familiar to you, but I suspect it isn’t.

    There are some people — some of them Marxists, and perhaps some of them not — who consider themselves committed to what they consider to be the cause of the working class and who at the same time consider that the ALP does not adequately represent that cause.

    However, some of those same people — although not all of them — acknowledge the fact that at the moment the majority of the working class supports the ALP (people define ‘working class’ in different ways, but this is true no matter which definition you use) and feel, therefore, that there is a short-term need for partial cooperation with the ALP (combined, at the same time, with criticism of the ALP) even though there is also a long-term need for the ALP either to be drastically transformed or to be replaced by a better representative of the working class.

    I’m not giving my personal endorsement to this specific analysis, but I’m familiar with its existence and I’m wondering whether you, perhaps, are not.

    The reason I mention this is that although you may perhaps feel that the people I’m describing are guilty of the crassest of follies, and you may also perhaps feel that it’s important to urge them to abandon any cooperation with the ALP as utterly futile, it’s not fair to depict such people as slavishly uncritical adherents of the ALP, as you sometimes seem inclined to do.

  52. J-D
    July 30th, 2015 at 09:15 | #52


    LOL. Keep up the comedy. You might be able to quit your day job.

  53. Ikonoclast
    July 30th, 2015 at 09:39 | #53


    I have given up my day job. Though I have another job now, unpaid house drudge. 😉

  54. Ikonoclast
    July 30th, 2015 at 09:40 | #54

    Oops, talking to myself now, first sign of madness. 😉

  55. Ivor
    July 30th, 2015 at 10:16 | #55

    Ikonoclast :The ALP are corporate stooges. They are bought lock, stock and barrel by corporate and oligarchic capital. The only difference between LNP and ALP is that the LNP are loud and proud about being corporate stooges. The ALP pretend they are not and some few with a conscience in the ALP might even be ashamed that they are corporate stooges.

    Life is far more complicated than that.

    If you start spreading gutter analysis you will end up playing stooge for the looney’s yourself.

  56. Tim Macknay
    July 30th, 2015 at 11:05 | #56

    @Julie Thomas

    Not sure I get it but I know the song.

    I put it up there in a spirit of reconciliation, given the somewhat acrimonious tone of the thread. Doesn’t seem to have made much difference, though. I agree that your choice of lyrics would have been equally appropriate. 🙂

  57. Tim Macknay
    July 30th, 2015 at 11:06 | #57


    Oops, talking to myself now, first sign of madness.

    We’ve already crossed that threshold, you and me both., 😉

  58. Julie Thomas
    July 30th, 2015 at 12:40 | #58

    @Tim Macknay

    Oh I don’t know about it not making a difference. Seems to me that we might have turned the corner from acrimony into a performance art piece.

    I talk to myself too but I’ve stopped listening lately.

  59. July 31st, 2015 at 00:20 | #59

    Obviously there is nothing much wrong with Australia going by the wall-to-wall coverage of the Adam Goodes boo-in-a-tea cup. In a sane world the fact that an irritating footballer gets booed is a dog bites man story.

    Yet here we have Francis Leach indulging in a two-minute hate worthy of a possible resurgence of the Third Reich:

    The gutless drongos who boo Adam Goodes should have the courage to admit they’re a bunch of ugly racists.

    Of course the professional witch racist hunters claim to find a racist under-tone in the barracking. But this cannot be true there are many indigenous players on the field yet Goodes is the only indigenous player getting consistently booed. Fair dinkum racists do not exempt colored footballers from abuse merely because they are apolitical.

    The fact that a witch hunt is in full swing reassures us that there are no witches flying by night. Witches, if they do exist, tend to posess dangerous powers and can easily harm you. And the fact that there is a racist hunt on means that there are no racists brandishing pitch forks or fashioning nooses. Actual racists tend to be people like Goering or Klansmen who tend to be hunters rather than hunted.

    But logic is not the strong suit of sports writers who tend to take the conventional liberal pieties at face value. And Australian sports writers are about the dumbest sports writers in the English speaking world. They are clueless about human nature, which, when you think about it, is pretty odd since professional sports tends to select for people with natural gifts. As Steve Sailer observed:

    The basic cause of such intense crimestop among run of the mill lumpen sportswriters is that the reigning ideology is all about equality; but sports are all about inequality.

    This creates a powerful source of cognitive dissonance which can only be dampened by ritual denunciations of crime-think. This is all about a white-on-white status contest with sports writers trying to up the ante in the more-anti-racist-than-thou stakes.

  60. Julie Thomas
    July 31st, 2015 at 07:28 | #60

    @Jack Strocchi

    “Of course the professional witch racist hunters claim to find a racist under-tone in the barracking. But this cannot be true there are many indigenous players on the field yet Goodes is the only indigenous player getting consistently booed. Fair dinkum racists do not exempt colored footballers from abuse merely because they are apolitical.”

    Poor you Jack. We are all having a real sad for your discomfort as these very attractive black men show you and your kind of white men what nasty little wimps you are.

    And seriously, so what that Adam Goodes is only one of the many black players who gets booed, the overt tone is clearly racist and the booing and all your outraged does is show us clearly that some Australians are happy to tolerate black people as ‘winners’ as long as they don’t show that they are smarter than you, and can do more than win at sportball.

    It’s clear you are really scared of the uppity black men 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I empathise very much with Adam and the real pain he is feeling, but I’m lovin’ this kerfuffle and the way you racists can’t help but show yourselves to be such nasty irrational people; it’s working as well as the Bronnie thing to change attitudes against all the right wing stories in my neck of the woods.

    This “I’m not a racist; they are racists” story is a real hoot. You carry on Jack.

  61. rog
    July 31st, 2015 at 07:38 | #61

    Jacks legion of straw men now include flyby witches.

  62. J-D
    July 31st, 2015 at 08:39 | #62

    @Jack Strocchi

    In a sane world nobody would try to justify the rudeness of spectators at a sporting match booing one of the players just because they don’t like him or find him ‘irritating’. Racist or not racist, there’s still no excuse for it.

  63. Ikonoclast
    July 31st, 2015 at 09:13 | #63

    Like Jack Strocchi (I guess) I am white and I have not been subjected to racial abuse, verbal or otherwise. The thing is, when you have not been subjected to racial abuse, it takes an effort of imagination and empathy to understand what it would really feel like to be subjected to it. I guess Jack is not big on imagination and empathy. There is a tendency by some whites to minimise the issue of verbal racial abuse; to believe it’s not happening or if it is happening it doesn’t really matter.

    Verbal abuse is actually a classic psychological precursor to real violence; not in all cases but in a significant proportion of cases. The verbaliser is rehearsing in words for the deeds that could follow. In addition, in gang or mob situations, the verablisations cross coordinate the views and feelings of the pre-violent group and can work to escalate the situation or a latter less public situation to group physical violence. Permitting public displays of mass verbal abuse sends signals to certain sadly susceptible people in our community that violence to minorities is okay. It is not OK and its precursor, verbal abuse is not okay either.

    But then Jack has consistently expressed white (or more precisely anglo-saxon) supremacist and exclusionist views on this blog. His latest post is of a piece with this.

  64. Julie Thomas
    July 31st, 2015 at 09:46 | #64

    The racists have been encouraged by Brandis telling us we have a right to be bigots. I think it was better in the olden days when our racists kept their nastiness to themselves and publicly behaved like ‘gentlemen’ or like a ‘white man’ should and refrained from this sort of public bullying.

    Now-a-days, Jack feels free to show his regrettable lack of class through support for bogans and a 13 year old girl that he would cross to the other side of the street to avoid in reality.

    In what sane world is she a heroine and someone to be protected from the consequences of that display of unconscious bigotry? Who takes responsibility for her ignorance and bad behaviour?

    Icon, clearly Jack has never experienced discrimination and I do think that some people have to actually experience the casual and deliberate racism that is always there, to understand how truly wrong it is, how it does hurt all the people involved and makes us all poorer.

    Jack always chooses to look to the people he judges to be lesser beings and find blame in them while making excuses for the people he judges to be like him.

    It is called the ‘attribution bias’.

  65. Ivor
    July 31st, 2015 at 09:53 | #65

    The adults on this blog may like to refer to this piece on socialism @ ALP.

    This is more important for Australia’s future than any vomit from the Trots.


  66. Ivor
    July 31st, 2015 at 09:56 | #66

    The adults on this blog may like to refer to this piece on socialism @ ALP.

    This is more important for Australia’s future than any vomit from the Trots.

    ALP Socialism

  67. Ikonoclast
    July 31st, 2015 at 10:23 | #67

    It’s interesting that the Fabians put Chris Bowen’s weasel words first. What are the Australian Fabian’s aims? What is their program or manifesto? I can find nothing significant on their site which addresses this fundamental issue.

    I found only their purpose in “Section 2 – Purpose” of their constitution. This is rather vague and would need to be fleshed out in a program statement or manifesto.

  68. Ivor
    July 31st, 2015 at 17:27 | #68

    Ikonoclast :
    It’s interesting that the Fabians put Chris Bowen’s weasel words first.

    Yes I noticed that.

    I suppose the aim was to fight-off anti-socialism wave being floated and represented by Bowen.

    The program (such as it is) is in the 23 qualifying points that accompanies the Socialist Objective.

  69. Ikonoclast
    July 31st, 2015 at 17:51 | #69

    @Julie Thomas

    I think the AFL could always look at a “Crowd Penalty” rule. There could be a provision to penalise the home team if the home crowd engages in “Unruly, riotous or racist behaviour as determined by game the officials”.

  70. Ivor
    July 31st, 2015 at 19:59 | #70

    Typical looney left …

    The Campaign for a General Strike to Stop Tony Abbott(Liberal Australian Prime Minister) is developing, but needs to go a lot further and a lot faster. Each day that goes by without an organised working class response is a day that Liberals harm working class people and democratic rights in Australia further, a day to destroy the environment, torture refugees, wage imperialist war in West Asia, stoke reactionary social forces and stack public offices with Right wing zealots. To wait till the next election is to concede Tony Abbott the right to commit any crime, no matter how appalling.

  71. August 2nd, 2015 at 07:54 | #71

    J-D @ #62 said:

    In a sane world nobody would try to justify the rudeness of spectators at a sporting match booing one of the players just because they don’t like him or find him ‘irritating’. Racist or not racist, there’s still no excuse for it.

    I did not try to “justify the rudeness of spectators booing one of the players…just because they find him irritating”. I merely said that the crowd “booing an irritating player…was..a dog bites man story” which did not justify “wall-to-wall coverage” and the triggering of a nationwide witch hunt for “racists” (an epithet which has now, like “fascist”, cognitively useless) lurking in the outer.

    FWIW I don’t like crowds picking on any player, black white or brindle, week after week. In general I don’t care for lynch-mob mentality whether bullying irritating players or spewing out two-minute hates denouncing alleged “racists”. I personally find Goodes on- and off-field antics kind of irritating. He dobbed in a 13 year old who didn’t know what she was doing, he games the umpires and he peddles a shop-worn and discredited version of pre-Intervention “blacktivism”. But irritating behaviour does not justify mass bullying. So, FTR I exhort the nation to not boo Goodes, unless he kicks a goal against Collingwood.

    What is passingly strange is the liberal media-academia complex going into an ideological full court press about the temporary mental distress of a 194 cm, Sydney-residing multi-millionaire pro athlete. I lost count of the number of Fairfax op-eds in favour of Goodes (10 +?), outraged Social Justice Warriors going viral on social media and the usual suspects celebrities and billionaires presenting as conspicuously compassionate. For a cringe-inducing example of digital holier-than-thouness you can’t do better than #IstandwithAdam

    Talk about protesth too much. This is displacement activity on a monumental scale.

    Its pretty obvious that the Culutral Left’s “model” of Reconciliation is not working out as its supposed to. To take one example the A&TS incarceration rate, already on a high base, has shot skyward in the midst of a long boom (focused in rural and regional AUS) during a period of massive public support for A&TS causes:

    From 2000-2013, the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults increased 57 per cent while the non-Indigenous rate remained fairly stable.

    Rather than re-examining underlying assumptions and changing course the Cultural Left prefers to renew the hunt for “wreckers” and indulge in its favourite in-door pursuit of racist-hunting. This has the added bonnus of allowing them to pose in front of the moral vanity mirror whilst punching-down on the sections of the white middle-class and working-class who might be inclined to blow rasberries from the side-lines.

    This is bad enough in itself – Pharasaic behaviour was condemned by Jesus. But it is unforgiveable given that the Left appears to have squandered its post-GFC opportunity to take down the oligarchs who should be the real focus of hate. This is how political movements fail.

  72. Ikonoclast
    August 2nd, 2015 at 08:35 | #72

    @Jack Strocchi

    “He dobbed in a 13 year old who didn’t know what she was doing.”

    It’s 3 year olds who don’t know what they are doing. Thirteen year olds, who are reasonably well brought up and supervised, know what they are doing or very soon have it pointed out to them. In context, Adam Goodes was pointing out to nearby white adults and elders that one of their group, a young adolescent, was behaving badly and it was their responsibility to act. He wouldn’t have needed to point that out if the surrounding adults had been responsible people. Who was the supervising adult of the adolescent in question? That person should have acted much sooner.

    Minimising racist behaviour is dog-whistling. It’s snickering behind the hand, agreeing with the racist epithets and snidely calling on like-minded racists to agree.

    I too happen to believe that elite professional athletes are overpaid. But that is a separate issue. On the issue of being big and tough physically, that counts for little to nothing when vilification, ostracisation and shunning are involved. Anyone with a modicum of understanding of psychology would know that.

  73. Julie Thomas
    August 2nd, 2015 at 08:53 | #73

    @Jack Strocchi

    The cultural left have actually spent the past few decades examining the underlying assumptions of the racism and other right wing inclinations that have blighted our culture and we have the best narrative now. Can you not see that?

    There is no way this political movement will fail because we the cultural left are taking all the peeps with us on our journey to truth justice and the Australian way, while you old culture warriors can only howl at the moon.

    The cultural left have found the wreckers and the wreckers are like you Jack; it is racism that wrecks things. It is really not good for any one to live with a racist person, especially when this racist person is their own self.

    As a country I am pretty sure that we are on the way to moving into the ethical light and coming out from the conservative darkness in which you like to dwell and nurture your sick fantasies of superiority.

    I see that the Bolter has done it again and is telling lies about the stolen generation. Ben Eltham is making a complaint to the Press Council about this despicable lying.

    A link to the Bolter article and a link to the form for making a complaint to the Press Council is available at Dorothy Parkers Loonpond site.

  74. Julie Thomas
    August 2nd, 2015 at 08:55 | #74

    This is what Goodes said about the 13 year old after he pointed her out.

    “I just hope that people give the 13-year-old girl the same sort of support because she needs it, her family needs it, and the people around them need it,” he said. “It’s not a witch-hunt, I don’t want people to go after this young girl. We’ve just got to help educate society better so it doesn’t happen again. It’s not her fault, she’s 13, she’s still so innocent, I don’t put any blame on her.”

    Meanwhile, her mother affirmed this week she has been entirely unaffected by the episode.”


    Bandana man sometimes tells it well.

  75. Ivor
    August 2nd, 2015 at 09:18 | #75

    @Jack Strocchi

    Yes, obviously booing is entirely acceptable in the right context. I don’t know why some looneys claim otherwise.

    Similarly, displaying the Australian flag is entirely acceptable in the right context.

    However Australian hoons and their right wing cultural warriors (eg Bolt and Jones) are venting pure unadulterated racism – an entirely different and noxious context.

    Booing Goodes, because of his display of Aboriginality, must be rejected by a counter cultural offensive in the nature of “#IstandwithAdam” and etc.

    The 13 year old is not the key issue – she was only following the mob around her.

    Fascism and racism go hand in hand – that’s the problem.

  76. August 2nd, 2015 at 09:29 | #76

    this morning on “playpen” barwy cassidy said in conversation with mr palmer that the transpacific trade agreement is over. the toronto globe & mail (evening edn) is saying this:- http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tpp-talks-go-into-overtime-as-early-election-call-looms/article25807591/ the australian media seem silent on it. does anyone here know if the tpp has really failed? -a.v.

  77. Megan
    August 2nd, 2015 at 09:59 | #77

    @alfred venison

    No, it hasn’t failed. I think all of that is just posturing.

    Hope I’m wrong, but “officially” it’s just going into overtime as everyone drives a hard bargain (or at least gives that appearance before rolling over and giving the 1% everything they’ve always wanted).

  78. August 2nd, 2015 at 10:36 | #78

    i’m not so sure, Megan. did you read the g&m article? the south americans & mexico are bucking up at biological patents, the japanese at something about autos and the canadians are as far away as ever from satisfaction over access to american markets for their cheese.

    additionally, the canadian gov’t goes into caretaker mode this weekend for the 2nd longest election campaign in their history. they will be in caretaker mode for something like 2 months. unless harper wants to buck over a century of parliamentary convention (not saying he wouldn’t) he must not negotiate anything binding on a future government. so a country with a major sticking point will be unable to negotiate it until christmas or later. on playpen they concerned themselves with talk about the effect of this news on the perception of obama as a lame duck. even the guardian has missed this point. as i know from long observation if it doesn’t directly affect australia, old dart or the imperial master its not news in australia.


  79. Ivor
    August 2nd, 2015 at 10:36 | #79

    Just to make it very clear….

    The booing of Goodes was not sporting-booing but

    Booing Goodes “because he’s black” is not this.

    Here is a clear example – Video

    How on earth would a young girl come to associate the word ‘ape’ with Goodes if it was not racism???? She did not yell out “tiger” or “lion” or “eagle” or “bulldog” or “shark”.

    Bolt, McGuire, Jones and etc should hang their heads in shame. They are exploiting her, making her a victim, to facilitate such booing.

  80. Ikonoclast
    August 2nd, 2015 at 10:37 | #80

    I think the TPP will come in, in some form, and that this form will be very good for corporations and capitalist oligarchs and very bad for everyone else. IMO, our economic system is headed for a catastrophic disaster because it ignores the needs of the natural world, it ignores our dependence on the natural world and it ignores (more and more now) the needs of the great majority of ordinary people. This is a recipe for a catastrophic implosion of the economic system.

  81. Megan
    August 2nd, 2015 at 10:44 | #81

    @alfred venison

    I didn’t know about the “caretaker” angle for Canada. That could be interesting, but as you point out Harper could easily ignore convention.

    I was only going on the “official” version (which could be wishful thinking of course):

    Joint Statement by TPP Ministers

    Lahaina, HI – We, the trade ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam announce that, after more than a week of productive meetings, we have made significant progress and will continue work on resolving a limited number of remaining issues, paving the way for the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

    Ministers and negotiators leave Hawaii committed to build on the momentum of this meeting by staying in close contact as negotiators continue their intensive engagement to find common ground. Negotiators will also continue to work to formalize the achievements that have been made this week.

    In this last stage of negotiations, we are more confident than ever that TPP is within reach and will support jobs and economic growth.

    The progress made this week reflects our longstanding commitment to deliver an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard TPP agreement that will support jobs and economic growth across the Asia Pacific region.

  82. Megan
    August 2nd, 2015 at 11:36 | #82

    PS: If the Canadian NDP is anything like Australia’s ALP, the TPP is essentially a done deal from a local bipartisan viewpoint. The TPP negotiations haven’t missed a beat as national elections have gone on here. The baton was passed very smoothly from Emerson to Robb at the 2013 federal election.

  83. J-D
    August 2nd, 2015 at 12:12 | #83

    @Jack Strocchi

    You appear to be suggesting that you don’t think it’s worth discussing so much, which appears to be inconsistent with the fact that you’re discussing it so much. Vehement insistence that something does not matter much is an indicator of how much it does matter, at least to the people doing the insisting.

  84. J-D
    August 2nd, 2015 at 12:27 | #84


    The Canadian NDP resemble the ALP in some ways and is different from it in some ways. However, more importantly, your reference to ‘a local bipartisan viewpoint’ would only make sense if Canadian politics had only two sides, in the sense of plausible contenders to win an election and form government. That is not the case (although it was the case for much of Canadian history). In Canada currently there are three different parties each of which can plausibly be seen as a potential winner of the forthcoming election: that is, each of them has been in first place in the opinion polls at some point within the last six months.

    Historically, Canada has alternated between Liberal and Conservative governments; at the 2011 election, for the first time ever, the NDP received more votes and won more seats than the Liberals and became the official Opposition; in early 2012 the Conservatives and the NDP were on similar levels in the opinion polls, but after that the polls started to show the NDP falling and the Liberals rising, and through much of 2013 and 2014 the Liberals were in front. Then the Liberals started trending down again and the NDP up again, and, as I mentioned, all three parties have held first place in the opinion polls at some point in the last six months.

    The point is that any speculation about what might happen as a result of the Canadian election has to consider not just two possibilities, but three: what a Conservative government might do, what a Liberal government might do, and what an NDP government might do. Anybody who’s only looking at two of those is missing something.

    I don’t know what position any of them might end up taking on the TPP, but I do know the difference between ‘is there bipartisan support?’ and ‘is there tripartisan support?’ .

  85. August 2nd, 2015 at 12:27 | #85

    well, we all know about official versions, eh. i’m reading they’re set to resume in novemeber. i say it will be anything but easy for harper to defend any concessions he argues are needed to achieve this treaty during a two month election campaign. he is not just up against the trudeau & the liberals who are neo-liberal economic clones, but he is also up against the ndp whose leader mulcair is popular & who are not neo-liberal clones, but a party with unashamedly strong historic trade union ties, the party that invented universal medical care which is still hugely popular in a canada, and a party that speaks fluent national economic protection without an accent.

    if harper is perceived at any time in the next two months to be willing to sell canadian exporters short while the ndp are not, he will be utterly creamed in ontario & quebec which produce a lot of dairy for export & where for demographic reasons canadian elections are usually decided. whether he would get creamed in beef exporting alberta (his heartland) too, is an open question. alberta beef exporters have been very adversely affected by unfair american trade practices for over 10 years & harbour a lot of resentment about it. remember also the last alberta election is when jim prentice, harper’s handpicked lieutenant & former federal cabinet colleague, parachuted in with a couple of crack conservative campaign managers & pollsters, lost his own seat & led the provincial conservatives to minor party status in an unprecedented total wipe out by rachel notely’s provincial ndp. crowning 43 years of uninterrupted conservative rule with the achievement of minor party status for the conservatives, a whopping ndp majority and the rump of the decimated libertarians they toyed with & double crossed entrenched in official opposition.

    and whoever thinks the canadian polls have been all over the place should look at this site. btw, i think the graphics are very impressive & instructive. as is the candor about survey technique and statistical extrapolation is exemplary & could well be emulated by australian media who seem to me chronically unable to be simply the reporters of polls:- http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/poll-tracker/2015/index.html

  86. Megan
    August 2nd, 2015 at 12:46 | #86

    @alfred venison

    Thanks for that information and ‘local’ insight.

    All power to you (Canadians) and the NDP at these elections.

    PS: I really hope I’m wrong about the TPP. I see that the G&M article has the conservative guy saying something like “we’d love to fight this election on trade if that’s what NDP wants, bring it on” – which sounds like badly misplaced bravado from what you say.

  87. August 2nd, 2015 at 13:33 | #87

    J-D said @ #83:

    You appear to be suggesting that you don’t think it’s worth discussing so much, which appears to be inconsistent with the fact that you’re discussing it so much. Vehement insistence that something does not matter much is an indicator of how much it does matter, at least to the people doing the insisting.

    No, again you appear to be deliberately mis-comprehending, again.

    I am saying the original incident, the whole Adam Goodes “vilifying”-dobbing-booing saga is a storm-in-a-tea-cup, hardly worth either expelling the 13 year old girl or crowd bullying Goodes.

    But the massive over-reaction of the liberal media-academia complex is definitely worth commenting on. Their “vehement insistence” over this affair is a form of them ” doth protesteth too much”.

    Not because of the gravity of the original probelm, a tremendous trifle if ever there was one. But because it is diagnostic of Left-liberal underlying uneasiness about both the validity of their (some-what discredited) world-model and its concommitant decline in public popularity.

    Thus the need for liberal MSM to carefully engineer Soviet-style “spontaneous demonstrations” of public support for Goodes, and by implication its cultural world-model. As Dalrymple observes, the purpose of such expressions is not to information but a subtle for of subjugation whereby the perpetrator implicates the victim in their own web of deceit:

    Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.

  88. Ikonoclast
    August 2nd, 2015 at 13:57 | #88

    Get Back Jack!

  89. August 2nd, 2015 at 14:07 | #89

    well, conservatives are such tools. its the old canard that ndp are raving union corrupted socialists who will stifle trade & business & ruin the canadian way of life with their soviet style five year plans, &c.. &c., &c. well may he rue his hubris, they – conservatives – sure do in alberta.
    on the one hand, the old alberta conservative gov’t had a “plan”: lobby hard with public money for keystone & the export of alberta crude to 100,000 jobs in texas; business as usual the conservative way.

    on the other hand, the new alberta ndp “plan” is: cancel public funds for keystone lobbying and lobby instead for an west-east pipeline to export alberta crude to entrepreneurial people who want to reactivate mothballed refineries in ontario & quebec to sell canadian workers’ value-added product to markets in the atlantic states using existing pipeline networks. now that sounds like a “plan”: a national energy & employment & industry bloody plan.

    thank goodness for tommy douglas and the ndp, i say, it is at least interesting times in the old royal people’s republic of canadia. though my late mother was rusted on liberal and my late father was rusted on social credit, my once arch conservative brother, a staunch newt gingrich man in the ’90s, now votes & door-knocks for ndp and can’t wait to get their signs on his front lawn again. albertans have had a fatalistic streak: i.e., nothing ever changes in alberta, sigh, might as well stick with the conservatives at least they have the ear of big oil. turns out, after premier stelmach’s dismissal over daring to review the royalty payments (circa the time of rudd’s dismissal over coal royalties), it was clear they didn’t even have that and the voters finally had enough and threw them out for the ndp. i think it is by no means an easy run for harper & the adjournment of this trade negotiation at this time over, among other things, issues of great interest to many canadians complicates things for him. and that is a good thing; i am beside myself with overjoy. -a.v.

  90. J-D
    August 2nd, 2015 at 14:12 | #90

    @Jack Strocchi

    If I am mis-comprehending you then either

    A. you would like to reduce my mis-comprehension


    B. you don’t care.

    If it’s A, and you’d like to reduce my mis-comprehension, you are making poor choices about how to achieve that result.

  91. J-D
    August 2nd, 2015 at 14:17 | #91

    @alfred venison

    and whoever thinks the canadian polls have been all over the place should look at this site. btw, i think the graphics are very impressive & instructive.

    It confirms what I wrote: that at different times within the last six months each of the three parties (Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP) has been first in the polls.

    For whatever reasons, elections with huge changes in the party distribution of seats won are much more common in Canada than in Australia; the examples you mention illustrate this more general point. This may be another reason for greater caution in guessing/estimating Canadian election results.

  92. Donald Oats
    August 3rd, 2015 at 16:27 | #92

    Given that PM Tony Abbott explained how catching a helicopter was within entitlements, how it wasn’t the person but the system that was broken, I am patiently waiting for his apology to Peter Slipper for mistakenly assuming Slipper’s travel expenses were outside of entitlements and were a fault of Slipper and not the system itself.

    Meanwhile, in reality-based world, the Dept of Finance staff who oversee the administration of travel expenses are caught in a bind: it is patently obvious that they should refer the Bishop expenses to the AFP for their consideration, based on the data already publicly available, and let the AFP come to an opinion on the legality or otherwise of those expense claims; if they do this though, the LNP will put the blowtorch to the bellies of those public servants, because that is what the LNP does. If they don’t see a problem with helicopter jaunts as a travel expense entitlement, then why has the speaker apologised, repaid the money plus penalty, and resigned as speaker? Why was Slipper’s offer to repay the money refused? Why didn’t the AFP refer the matter straight back to the Dept of Finance, just as they recently did in the case of the speaker Bronwyn Bishop?

  93. Ikonoclast
    August 3rd, 2015 at 16:48 | #93

    @Donald Oats

    Good points. The administration of federal justice is highly politicised by the LNP.

  94. August 3rd, 2015 at 22:38 | #94


    Trump could well follow Berlusconi and Putin as another billionaire crony capitalist President who channels the national masculine Id to the highest office of executive power. That is, Silvio appealed to Italian playboy fantasies, Vladimir appeals to Russian He-man fantasies and The Donald appeals to American businessman fantasies. Sad, but true.

    Donald Trump continues to power towards the REP nomination, just receiving a Palin turbocharge. HR Clinton appears to believe that the DEM nomination is simply a matter of her turning up to her own dynastic successor coronation, So it looks like the 2016 Presidential election could be a bizarre contest between an ageing Right-wing blowhard and an ageing Left-wing diehard.

    My Five P (Pecuniary, Periodicity, Policy, Personality.Party) theory of the Supply side of politics predicts the REPs as slight favourites. The Pecuniary economy is only so-so, it’s the third Period of a DEM presidency, the candidates Personality is hard to love, the DEM party is fractious, the DEM establishment has not set the world alight with Policy proposals.

    Of course the Supply side is only one side of the equation, the Demand side of politics is driven by slow changes in demography. These are tending to favour the DEMs over the long run, so long as the Rainbow Coalition of minorities can hang together to form an effective majority – no small ask given its fractious nature.

    By contrast Trump can rely on white majority ethnic solidarity to get out his Base. He is very cleverly making a strong Right-wing populist appeal to the White majority, exactly the kind of strategy that won Nixon two elections. He makes Jeb Bush the other dynastic successor look kind of milquetoast by comparison.

    Of course Trump is quite unpopular outside the REP base. But the REP base is potentially Very Big and Solid.

    It’s too early for me to make a firm prediction. Trump represents a good value bet at 20/1 odd, firming up from 40/1 odds a month or so ago. Also Bernie Sanders, a Left-wing nationalist populist, is worth thinking about at 14/1.

    The political Establishment, represented by the dynastic duo of Clinton and Bush, is looking very uninspiring at the moment. So we should be grateful to The Donald and Bernie for putting some old cats amongst the pigeons. Let the fun and games begin!

  95. Donald Oats
    August 7th, 2015 at 00:42 | #95

    Got to love the art of doublespeak^fn1—the ABC board press release on the shift of Q&A into the News Division:

    In a statement the board pointed to factors in its decision making including an update on the independent review being undertaken by Shaun Brown and Ray Martin and a briefing “separately by management on the editorial processes surrounding the program”.

    It said: “Based on the information provided, the board considers both the program and the wider ABC would benefit by an orderly shift of Q&A into the ABC news division. Q&A is a significant feature in Australia’s news and current affairs cycle.”

    “Such relocation should provide the program with greater operational and cultural alignment.”

    (My use of bold in the quote.)

    Cultural alignment? That is straight out of the Totalitarian’s Handbook.

    Footnote 1: Doublespeak is a contraction of doublethink and newspeak, the latter two words occur in “1984”, George Orwell (1948). I don’t recall doublespeak actually appearing in the novel.

  96. Ikonoclast
    August 7th, 2015 at 07:18 | #96

    @Jack Strocchi

    Just exactly how the poor and ordinary people think that a billionaire will represent their interests is beyond me.

    I think that to become a politician you should need to take a vow of (relative) poverty so that you can understand the needs of the people. Politicians always claim to want to “serve the people”. Let us see them put their money where their mouth is. It should be a constitutional requirement that to become a serving politician you;

    (a) accept the minimum basic wage;
    (b) divest yourself of all business assets and investments;
    (c) donate the proceeds to the poor; and
    (d) accept no job offers for up to 10 years after parliamentary service which pay more than the minimum wage.

  97. Julie Thomas
    August 7th, 2015 at 08:04 | #97


    “how the poor and ordinary people think that a billionaire will represent their interests is beyond me.”

    I ask people about this; I ask why do you think Rupert Murdoch is on your side? Why do you think that his interests are the same as yours?

    The old angries I ask are like Jack and can only snort and snarl irrationally, they are not able to articulate the thought processes that have brought them to hold those beliefs. But it seems to me to be the case that they identify themselves with successful men like Murdoch and Trump and see these men as the alpha males that they could and would have been if only there were not so many stupid people in the world who brought them down. They take vicarious pleasure when these men they identify with win.

    We know that those on the right like hierarchies and so they are programmed by this belief to be rank hero worshippers of all sorts of stupidity if it means they feel like they are on top of something, anything….. they gotta be the boss of somebody or else they feel like they are nobody.

    Have you read this by Corey Robin?


    “In “The Reactionary Mind,” I argued that this view of the political divide is incorrect, at least as it pertains to the right. Beginning with Burke, conservatives have been less committed to tradition or the past than to a hierarchical vision of society.

    “In Burke’s case, it was aristocrats over commoners; in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it would be masters over slaves, employers over employees, husbands and men over women and wives. And so it remains: the most consistent feature of contemporary American conservatism is the GOP’s war on reproductive freedom and worker rights.”

  98. Julie Thomas
    August 7th, 2015 at 08:06 | #98


    previous comment in moderation cos I linked to your comment.

    “how the poor and ordinary people think that a billionaire will represent their interests is beyond me.”

    I ask people about this; I ask why do you think Rupert Murdoch is on your side? Why do you think that his interests are the same as yours?

    The old angries I ask are like Jack and can only snort and snarl irrationally, they are not able to articulate the thought processes that have brought them to hold those beliefs. But it seems to me to be the case that they identify themselves with successful men like Murdoch and Trump and see these men as the alpha males that they could and would have been if only there were not so many stupid people in the world who brought them down.

    They take vicarious pleasure when these men they identify with win.

    We know that those on the right like hierarchies and so they are programmed by this belief to be rank hero worshippers of all sorts of stupidity if it means they feel like they are on top of something, anything….. they gotta be the boss of somebody or else they feel like they are nobody.

    Have you read this by Corey Robin?


    “In “The Reactionary Mind,” I argued that this view of the political divide is incorrect, at least as it pertains to the right. Beginning with Burke, conservatives have been less committed to tradition or the past than to a hierarchical vision of society.

    “In Burke’s case, it was aristocrats over commoners; in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it would be masters over slaves, employers over employees, husbands and men over women and wives. And so it remains: the most consistent feature of contemporary American conservatism is the GOP’s war on reproductive freedom and worker rights.”

  99. August 7th, 2015 at 08:31 | #99

    @alfred venison
    Thanks for the information about the Canadian election, Alfred – very interesting. The site you linked to has great graphics. The Poll Bludger site here has very clear and transparent information also, but does not have those engaging graphics.

  100. Collin Street
    August 7th, 2015 at 08:40 | #100

    how the poor and ordinary people think that a billionaire will represent their interests is beyond me.

    It’s hardly mysterious: there’s two effects.

    1. A billionaire will be able to cut through any tangle of “checks and balances” that act to entrench a self-perpetuating oligarchy and respond to

    2. The billionaire takes some aspect of membership in an identity group that feels marginalised, and members of that identity group feel that having “one of them” in power will lead to some increased consideration of their interests.

    Both of these actually work, exactly as they’re supposed to. They aren’t big effects and there’s big — huge — downsides, but if your situation is bad enough then a “strong leader” can/does actually improve it. Better still is systemic improvement, dismantling the checks-and-balances that exclude consideration of the interests of people outside the oligarchy…

    … but you can’t get there from here; if the tangle of checks-and-balances is bad enough then the people in power are entirely dependent on it and there’s no in-system way of getting them to fix the social problems.

    [and of course a lot of people feel “marginalised” when it’s actually just the government paying attention to some other previously-marginalised group; counterrevolutionaries aren’t the most reflective people, by-and-large.]

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