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63 responses to “Time is not on their side”

  1. thewetmale

    FTR, Trioli just clarified her point on Twitter

    “No, I said the tide of public opinion ON OUR SHOW is turning… much viewer criticism of 
    the independents not much support.”

    As long as she understands the difference between viewers of ABC 24’s breakfast news and the other 99% of the population that’s not an issue.

  2. Charlie

    I heard Ms Trioli’s comment, but thought could I even be bothered sending an email at that time of the morning. No, I couldn’t.

    Just been having a look at the informal vote tallies in seats like Greenway, Lindsay etc. Ranging between 8-10%. Interesting. Certainly, when compared to some other seats (mine was around 3%).

  3. thewetmale

    That’s quite right Kim. Not to mention that, even if “public” opinion was turning against the independents, all they care about are their constituents.

    And yeah, just what we need is the media to get the “momentum is building” troupe going – especially when you can’t just call another election at the drop of a hat. Antony Green on The Drum (TV) last night made the very valuable point that another election within a year is exceedingly unlikely, and certainly impossible until parliament has sat.

  4. Diogenes

    How fortunate we don’t have massive oil reserves. The US would be in the midst of planning an invastion to create a stable democracy.

  5. Mr Denmore

    Perhaps it’s a good time for the media to declare their interest in another election – like $30 million in advertising revenues?

  6. Bernice

    Its been a curious evolution to watch as journos, the foot soldiers of the Fourth Estate, have become over the last couple of decades much more enmeshed in the political process. Bias in reporting is not new; editorial preaching is not new – but the construction of narrative and the very news itself with the media as both player and director is.

    I watched Chris Uhlmann chairing the Press Club event with Katter, Oakeshott, Windsor and Brandt – it seemed much more about some contest, a struggle within the assembled media for control of the narrative than about the 4 MPs on show.

    Wonder too if News Corp’s slide toward Foxdom isn’t also partly a response to the rise of the ABC as a print media environment as well as TV + radio. (not to mention tertiary training of our new journos is basically Marketing 101 > Marketing 202 > Marketing 303)

  7. meika

    #newsltd #crumblingempire

    Narratives are the new narrative.

  8. Alister

    Sinclair Davidson’s piece was especially weak (even for the always-low standards of the IPA). Conflating royalties (which is the purchase price) with taxation appears on the face of it to be obviously wrong. A focus on the leak to claim a partisan Treasury is risible (Godwin Grech, anyone?).

    An honest participant in the debate would note that no leak would be of any value, as the costings would come out anyway. Andrew Robb’s claim that a Labor-siding Treasury would mislead on Coalition costings should be ridiculed up hill and down dale by any fair-minded commenter.

    Davidson’s arguments are feeble – Bolt-esque, if there is such a thing. That he doesn’t appear to realise this is a little frightening (or perhaps a little funny, depending on your outlook).

  9. Sam

    Wilkie is demanding money for the Tasmanian logging industry. what a good cause, not. By the time Katter, Windsor and Oakeshott get paid out, the government (whoever is in power) will be so broke, they’ll be calling in the IMF.

    I haven’t seen Bandt’s demands yet. Presumably he’ll be wanting subsidised soy for the Brunswick latte set.

    Maybe we should have another election.

  10. Pavlov's Cat

    tertiary training of our new journos is basically Marketing 101 > Marketing 202 > Marketing 303

    Oh dear, is it really? That would explain the apparently total lack of skills demonstrated in recent weeks.

    How fortunate we don’t have massive oil reserves. The US would be in the midst of planning an invasion to create a stable democracy.

    Heh heh heh

    the weird descriptions of Mr Rabbit as “brave” for refusing to answer questions on his costings


  11. Brian

    Charlie @ 4, Possum has an excellent post on interpreting the informal vote. It’s really quite a complex exercise.

  12. Michael

    Mr Rabbit as “brave” for refusing to answer questions on his costings, and refusing to undergo any scrutiny on his policies.

    Brave in the ‘Yes, Minister’ sense?

  13. tigtog

    Perhaps even “courageous” in the Yes, Minister sense, Michael. #pleasepleaseplease

  14. adrian

    But we do have massive gas reserves, Diogenes. Fortunately we don’t have many people with dark skins and most of us seem to speak English and we don’t have many Muslims, so we should be OK.

  15. Sam

    Brave in the ‘Yes, Minister’ sense?

    I don’t want to be pedantic but the expression is ‘courageous in the Yes, Minister sense’.

  16. akn

    Sam: any links for that sugestion that Wilkie wants money for the logging industry in Tassie?

  17. tigtog

    That’s what I too was alluding to, Sam. Canonically, as per Sir Humphrey –

    Sir Humphrey: There are four words you have to work into a proposal if you want a Minister to accept it.
    Sir Frank: Quick, simple, popular, cheap. And equally there are four words to be included in a proposal if you want it thrown out.
    Sir Humphrey: Complicated, lengthy, expensive, controversial. And if you want to be really sure that the Minister doesn’t accept it you must say the decision is courageous.
    Bernard: And that’s worse than controversial?
    Sir Humphrey: (laughs) Controversial only means this will lose you votes, courageous means this will lose you the election.
    – The Right to Know

  18. Sam
  19. Geoff Robinson

    Will Abbott fluff it the way Rudd did?

  20. Tyro Rex

    I love how Richard Green describes News Ltd as having a “Maoist fervour” against elites with expertise like scientists and economists. Delicious. As an aside, a good proportion of that right wing opinionated rabble were once actual Maoists or Trotskites weren’t they?

  21. Josh

    The MSM appear unable to cope with a few things:

    1. The independents don’t give a rat’s about the media and won’t be pressured into anything by it
    2. The independents’ timetable is weeks, which is like a century in the twitter-speed world of the press gallery.
    3. The independents are interested in things like good process and accountability, which is boring for the media.

  22. simon

    Be careful what you wish for. Gillard is so desperate for power she is looking like Faust to me. Coalition with the Thrindependents would be a massive mistake for Labor as their voters will just move towards the Greens in even larger numbers. You cannot just walk away from what you stand for in order to achieve power at any price. The public are not stupid.

  23. Mark Bahnisch

    Elsewhere: [by Mark] A fabulous round up of media hysteria by Bernice at Hoyden and Tim Dunlop at B Sides:

    The media: By and large, they are living up to my worst expectations. The full conservative meltdown might not have occurred yet, but it is only being held in abeyance by the lack of a final outcome. If Labor get to form a minority government, the hounds will be released. In the meantime, the “narrative” is being shaped to minimise the chances of a stable Labor minority government. With the prospect of Labor returned and a bunch of independents in power who do not care at all about the media’s opinion of them, The Australian in particular is staring into the abyss of their own irrelevance. They will not go quietly.

  24. sg

    That SMH article about Wilkie contains an amusing grain of truth:

    With investments of around $2 million each in specialised logging machinery, the contractors have been caught by a decline in native forest woodchip exports as Japanese customers move to certified sustainable sources.

    Now, is this not something the Greens have been warning about for years?

    Is this not a risk that the Greens’ industry restructuring plans were meant to ameliorate?

    And didn’t the ALP and the CFMEU oppose those plans for years?

    Wilkie must know this if he was a Greens member… this reinforces my suspicion that he’s unreliable.

  25. adrian

    “You cannot just walk away from what you stand for in order to achieve power at any price.”

    Yes, but what exactly is it that they stand for?

    It’s true that Gillard probably has more to lose if she doesn’t get over the line, like her political career.
    The Liberals are delusional enough to believe that Abbott is the closest thing to Menzies, (apart from Howard of course) ever. So he can afford to play a longer term game, even if it means, in his mind, a short term Labor government.
    With the jackals of the Murdoch press and their followers hounding it, a minority Labor government would be even more scared of its own shadow than it was when it had a 17 seat majority. Even if they managed to run a full term, Abbott would be poised to win an election whenever it was held.

    Of course the reverse applies, but could Gillard afford to become opposition leader, when the knives would surely be out for her?

  26. Dave McRae

    Top post. And more on a lazy fear-peddling media

  27. PaulW

    “The narrative”?? You sound utterly paranoid.

  28. simon

    Adrian you may well be right that Gillard cannot afford to risk any remaining political capital that she has personally by genuflecting to the Greens and Independents. Abbott is playing the long game knowing full well that if the Independents go with Gillard there will be an election before the new senators arrive in Canberra. Fielding and I suspect Xenophon will be happy to oblige by blocking all or most government legislation. The three Independents will be wiped out in the ensuing election particularly Oakeshott in a massacre. Wilkie will increase his majority and will be in parliament for at least a decade if he sits on the cross benches and stays a true independent. The liberals will preference Labor in Melbourne and wipe out Brandt. Labor will not hold the Lindsay’s, Corangamites and Robertsons as the public will tire of the instability.
    Abbotts not trying to become PM very hard right now as is blatantly obvious he just waiting to come home “off the rails” when the timing is right.
    The left has consistently underestimated Abbott and his strategy throughout his spell as Lib leader the guy is not as dumb as most of the reader’s believe. Whoever is running Labor’s strategy nowdays has barely put a step right for many many months.
    A Hawke/Keating style Labor would have run rings around Abbott those guys are the real Labor not the current rabble. I suspect Shorten/Combet might get things back on track before too much longer given that Gillard is completely damaged at this point. Shorten/ Combet would stop the bleeding to the Greens in five minutes flat.

  29. Peta

    Rupert is concerned about the outcome of the review of the anti-siphoning scheme. Abbott is more likely to give Murdoch (and his Pay-TV interests) what he wants. Hence Murdoch is giving Abbott what he wants.

  30. Don Wigan

    Coalition with the Thrindependents would be a massive mistake for Labor as their voters will just move towards the Greens in even larger numbers.

    I’m pretty sure that coalition is not an option for either Gillard or the independents. It is more about a minority government having qualified support to pass supply and comfidence motions. Nothing else. On the Victorian experience it worked very well and the independents were not damaged by their stance.

  31. Melbournehammer

    I don’t know whether it has been noted on the page (too tired to read every post) but Laura tingle in today’s AFR actually notes from a MSM perspective where News ltd are.

    She states

    “armed with the support of News ltd which did everything in its power to get the Coalition into power this time around and which is now already campaigning for a fresh election…”

    I just about fell over when i read such an unambiguous statement about where News lined up.

  32. Agnes

    >I haven’t seen Bandt’s demands yet. Presumably he’ll be wanting subsidised soy for the Brunswick latte set

    It’s about time! Some vendors have an up to 70c surcharge! Outrageous!

  33. Tyro Rex
  34. Bernice

    And in an interesting change of tactics, it appears Julia Gillard is now announcing Coalition policy….

    “Today Ms Gillard said she wanted to change caretaker conventions so that senior public servants can give the independent MPs the advice.

    She says Mr Abbott has agreed that the three independents should get a briefing and that he will agree to submit his policies for costing. “


    Strange – can’t imagine why Abbott or Robb haven’t called a presser yet…

  35. Thomas Paine

    ‘Gillard is so desperate for power she is looking like Faust to me.’

    Recent history tells us she will do anything and deal with anybody to get power. Her devil(s) are the faceless ones.

  36. Bernice

    Exellent piece from Antony Green:


    Whoever can cobble together an agreement governs – News Corp can warble all they like – we aint goin’ back to the polls – to do so would be breaching the Australian Constitution.

    Blessings upon our musty dusty founding parliamentary forebears…

  37. Gummo Trotsky

    Paul Kelly is going to be seriously pissed off – the independents should have demanded the establishment of a Parliamentary Budget Office first and then got the costings through that.

  38. Thomas Paine

    Yes, what Simon said.

    ‘I suspect Shorten/Combet might get things back on track before too much longer given that Gillard is completely damaged at this point. Shorten/ Combet would stop the bleeding to the Greens in five minutes flat.’

    Shorten was one of the self important fools that sent them off track. Gillard is damaged goods now as far as a popular leader goes. Zero honeymoon, in fact a negative honeymoon. A new poll for her would be worse for Labor.

    Tough call for the ex Nat independents if they go with Labor. The problems and controversies of Labor get reflected onto them via the MSM for sure. And if Labor gets a bit on the nose, the independents will get just a little worried about the effect on their electorates. You would have the prospect of an independent abandoning Labor to protect themselves.

    It might be cosy and calm on the home front at the moment, but guaranteed it wont stay that way. Their electorates are conservative so there will be an inherent risk in betraying them over the longer term.

    These independents maybe looking for some good convincing reasons to support Labor to minimise any damage on the home front. However if the Coalition get 73 it will be a hard sell.

  39. paul walter

    It is very important that Gillard should last the twelve or so months, to the next senate, when the Tories lose control of it, after that there is again a handbrake mechanism to hold an Abbott to partial account.
    Until then, Abbott has a window of opportunity, during which time the Murdoch hard right Libs seek to sell us the pup of him running this country, without even a house of review worthy of the name.
    Even the mortgage belt can’t be unaware of what this means, from Howard’s times, or have they forgotten why they threw Howard out in 2007.

  40. Diogenes

    That blooming flower of mediocrity, Tony Abbott, is wilting. He has just agreed to give access of the Coalition’s policy costings to Rob Oakeshott, Bob Katter and Tony Windsor. Now that he has sold part of his integrity what’s next in the Coalition garage sale.

  41. Josh

    @33 – wow. Good on Tingle for calling it like it is.

  42. Gummo Trotsky

    Shorten/ Combet would stop the bleeding to the Greens in five minutes flat.

    Ya reckon?

    PROMINENT federal MP Bill Shorten secured his spot in Parliament with the support of Victoria’s most notorious Labor branch stackers, a former party insider alleges.

    And, for the first time, the branch-stacking claims by the insider and whistleblower, Costas Socratous, have been confirmed by the party members he used to bolster the power base of politicians such as Mr Shorten, the parliamentary secretary for disabilities and children’s services.

    Mr Socratous has alleged what many Labor insiders have long believed – that Mr Shorten’s 2006 preselection for Maribyrnong was secured with the support of members branch-stacked by him, retiring state MP George Seitz and former electoral officer Hakki Suleyman.

  43. paul walter

    As for Treasury as “front for the labor party”, I say bring in the Dulles brothers, after all, this is 1953, isn’t it?
    Besides, everyone knows that treasury have secret valve- wirelesses under their beds or in closets, to get direct instructions from Moscow.
    Soon the secret armored divisions located a couple of miles west on Benambra will swoop down on the innocent penpusher denizens of Canberra. The Press gallery is put to panicky flight, for fear of summary execution squads under the *haruspices* of convened committees of comrades.
    What silly fantasies and what sustained night terrors do these creeps engender on the useful idiots of mortgage belt Australia.

  44. paul walter

    He’s only giving costings to the indies?
    And reluctantly.
    Wait a minute, newsflash!
    It’s a convention that political parties give policy platform and costings before an election; not after!
    Talk about Snoopy and his dream world..

  45. Mark Bahnisch

    A lot of this discussion is off topic.

    I know people have formed the habit of commenting on the most recent post from the election campaign, but it’s one we’d like to discourage – conversations end up being held in a disconnected fashion over several threads, and the topic of the thread itself goes missing in action.

    The appropriate venue for discussing recent developments in the argument over costings or election counting or whatever would be the most recent hung parliament roundtable:


    (if there’s not a topical post)

    Please keep discussion on this thread to the issues Kim actually raised.


  46. paul walter

    To cap it all off.
    The wisdom of Soctratous, even as he’s forced to drink from a chalice of hemlock before his anonymous inquisitors of the Labor right faction.
    Btw, thanks SG, 26, am sure many others here are also fed up with being told how hard labor fights for old growth forests and catchment and science based ecology in general.

  47. Ann of Brisbane

    Courtesy of ABC Local radio here in Brisbane: apparently Antony Green has tweeted that the seat of Brisbane will go to the LNP. Damn.

  48. Mark

    Again these comments are off topic.

    Future comments extraneous to the post will be deleted.

  49. Graham

    Their electorates are conservative so there will be an inherent risk in betraying them over the longer term.

    I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. The Independents do come from conservative electorates, but the most conservative part of those electorates does not vote for them, it votes NP.

    So they have less to lose in supporting Labor than you might think.

  50. tigtog

    Further to Mark’s moderator note: please remember that if you have something to say that isn’t quite on topic for the post you are reading, you can always find the most recent roundtable posts by clicking the link in the sidebar under the Not sure where to comment? heading.

  51. Josh

    Back on topic, I am astonished and a little worried that the MSM is reporting the Coalition’s incredible attack on Treasury with neturality, let alone agreement.

    So much for stability in government (if the Libs get in).

  52. Nickws

    I think it’s blindingly obvious that right now the two majors have only one strategy each—Labor’s strategy is to hold onto office, the Coalition’s is to get to an early election.

    You’d think the Libs/Nats would have a lot of room to manoeuvre here, as the early election they want can theoretically be forced regardless of whether they’re in power or remain in Opposition, and it can be done now or in a year’s time, one supposes.

    But it’s a crap objective. It just doesn’t take account of the politics of 21st century Australia. This isn’t the mid seventies; the RARA Independents are painfully aware it’s not the mid seventies, as that’s when there actually existed a Country party tendency to service their political needs; and I plain reckon these jokers (Abbott et al) have retreated into a fantasy world where “worse than Whitlam” is suppose to mean something in electoral terms, instead of it being the empty, self-congratulatory spin it really is.

    Labor is profoundly realistic in accepting the Big Three’s demands there be a full length parliament. The Coalition is profoundly out of touch if they think they can screw over these guy’s wishes (and general Aussie antipathy to snap elections) from either minority govt. or Opposition.

  53. Fran Barlow

    [email protected] said:

    Coalition with the Thrindependents would be a massive mistake for Labor as their voters will just move towards the Greens in even larger numbers.

    as if this would be a bad thing

  54. adrian

    The three independents are not going to side with Labor.
    Like any half good negotiators they are extracting maximum concessions from the coalition by pretending that they could choose either side.

  55. Jack Strocchi

    Is “media” PP code for newspapers in the “News Ltd” stable?

  56. Paul Burns

    Don’t know why News Lts is worried.
    Windsor is reported as having said privately that he would never vote for a minority Labor government. Oakeshott has admitted he prefers the Liberals. Katter is the only one whose position among the “Hayseed Amigos” we’re unsure of, and even he has said he’s more or less unimpressed with Gillard.
    So, unless Wilkie supports Labor, hullo Tony Abbott.
    Don’t know how to assess the WA Nat, except that he’s agin the mining tax. So, maybe, even thogh he’s presently counted with the Coalition, he might vote with Wilkie, Bandt? Until he gets aq phone call from Rupert to remind him which side his bread is buttered on.

  57. Don Wigan

    I keep relating this impasse to Victoria 1999, perhaps because I am familiar with it. Two of the independents were breakaway Nationals and the other was former Labor.

    They had no trouble at all working out an agreement with Bracks and it never damaged them politically. Despite what you might have heard, Paul, I can’t see a lot of difference after allowing for federal vs state. In fact, I couldn’t imagine that Abbott would be much more amenable than Kennett was.

    Basically they want the best deal they can manage for their electorate first, and for the country in general. If Labor are offering that and can be believed likely to deliver that, then they’ll get their support.

    It’s fairly simple and the support only covers confidence and supply. Plus Labor is gone if they fail to deliver.It won’t be in coalition with anyone – just cross-bench support.

    I’d suggest the 3 amigos and Wilkie can live with such an arrangement.

  58. Andrew E

    The rupture in the political fabric comes from the difference between what is reported versus what the underlying assumptions are. The idea of two parties which have exhausted their campaign budgets positioning for another election calls to mind Borges’ comment about two bald men fighting over a comb.

    It would be easier to dump on Treasury if the economy was buggered, or if there had been such a scare campaign around the Henry Tax Review that the review, Henry, and the Treasury were national punchlines. This hasn’t happened, so it just looks like Abbott is trying to scuttle a game he can’t win.

    [email protected]: damn right, it’s why the far right are toxic to the Liberals. It’s one thing for old-school conservatives like Peter Coleman to embrace the odd prodigal Trotskyite, but having whole phalanxes of them drinking all the whisky and getting quasi-homoerotic about Abbott positions them as a fifth column, and shows just how hollowed-out conservatism is these days.

    [email protected]:

    Even if they managed to run a full term, Abbott would be poised to win an election whenever it was held.

    No, the so-close-but-yet-so-far thing would mess with the Liberals and they’d dump Abbott in late ’12, just like Crean was dumped in late ’03, Beazley was in late ’06, and as Turnbull was in ’09.

  59. Paul Burns

    I think this assumption that Abbott would win the next election if it was called tomorrow or whatever, might be based on false premises.
    I suspect the election if called soon would favour Labor. Because:
    1. Julia has been punished in the recent election for knifing Kevin.
    2. People, it seems, are suspiscious and wary of Abbott, even more so given his current carryings on.

  60. Ken Lovell

    It’s all highly speculative Paul @ 61 isn’t it, given there cannot be an election for a couple of months at least. But I suggest a lot of people would also be very cranky at having to endure the whole charade a second time and may well blame Labor for the imposition.

  61. Paul Burns

    Labor’s doing well in the negotiations. Perhaps Abbot’s not doing not as well as Julia. If forced back to the polls after Parliament pass a no confidence motion, the electorate might blame the Independents, especially if the hayseeds have a plan not to have a Labor minority govt they’re not telling us about and are revealed as just going through the motions.