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77 responses to “Liars, clunkheads or both”

  1. Lefty E

    Laura, you ARE the 4th estate.

  2. Diogenes

    One article by Laura is worth more than all the claptrap written by Dennis Shanahan, Janet Albrechtsen and their ilk in one year.

  3. joe2

    There is George Megalogenis more to the plus side of all this, as well.

    JULIA Gillard has a reason to be prime minister that voters should have known about: the Coalition’s policies didn’t add up.

    There is no sugar coating the Treasury verdict on Tony Abbott’s election promises.

    Sloppy errors were made in the Coalition’s documents. They claimed a saving that was already in the budget. They made a false assumption about the public debt interest bill. The had spending cuts up their sleeve which they didn’t announce during the campaign.

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/meganomics/index.php/theaustralian/comments/sorry_tonys_not_ready_to_be_prime_minister/

  4. Bilko

    If only the abc had had the guts to look behind the coalition bullshit this and many other sorts of information could have been placed before the punters well in advance of 21/8 the election result would been different. The sad thing is they can now feed on the entrails for months without any investigative journalism being required on their part, whilst confidence within the country hits new lows.

  5. Diogenes

    Joe2, I agree re George Megalogenis. I was referring to those articulated lorries who carry excessive loads of ultra-conservative waste: Dennis Shanahan, Piers Ackerman, Andrew Bolt, Janet Albrechtsen, Miranda Devine et al. If Julia Gillard, during the election campaign, walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, at least one of these fogies would write an article with the heading “Gillard can’t swim”.

  6. dave

    I’m with Bilko although I don’t think courage or the lack thereof is behind Aunty’s appalling recent track record vis-a-vis so-called investigative reporting.

    Tingle is good but she also shows up how sloppy and uninspiring her peers have become as they suck on the tit of corporate largesse.

  7. Nickws

    The creation of a well-funded parliamentary budget office is in order. Sure, it wouldn’t have solved the Coalition’s problems if they are liars, but if it’s the other option Tingle gives us—dumbshits—then it’s only fair the Opposition have the ability to find the flaws in their own costings (yes, even an Opposition lead by a mad culture warrior who deosn’t give a sod about economic policy). That’s the way things will have to go from now on in our brave new democracy, where every election could see the non-governing party in limbo. I’m surprised the travails of state minority govt politics haven’t forced this on our system yet.

    An Australian ‘CBO’ should be open for business with state and federal Oppositions and crossbenchers. It could be run as a joint venture by the various parliaments and the Australian Loan Council—that appears to be the closest to a truly federalist public service entity we have, and it’s where the money comes from for deficit spending, the thing that’s at the heart of the Libs blackhole woes.

    (I don’t see how Tingle doesn’t eventually get kicked upstairs, away from straight headline journalism and towards more op-ed pieces. That’s basically what Colebatch and Megalogenis do at the other heavy papers.)

  8. Steve D

    But really folks, are we all that surprised?

  9. Katz

    Neither the ABC nor any other news source was in a position to expose the depths of dodginess of the Libs’ costings in advance of the election.

    Indeed, if Abbott had won a clear-cut victory on 21/8 no outsiders would be any the wiser. Only the extraordinary circumstances of a hung parliament and the effective leverage of the independents has compelled revelation of Abbott’s cynical, lying, unpatriotic deviousness.

    Indeed, right now it would be in the interests of the ALP to do all they can to engineer a speedy election which they would win easily on the all-encompassing issue of probity.

  10. joe2

    About 2 days before the election Wayne Swann was out and about warning of a 12 Billion dollar black hole. One billion out and pretty accurate. No one was listening and another example of the Labor message being drowned out by the media background noise.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Coalition-costs-have-12b-hole-Labor-8GK6S?opendocument&src=rss

  11. joe2

    And I should have said that the above link is the only one I could find from that pre-election date because hardly anybody bothered to report what he was saying.

  12. Tyro Rex

    If the independents somehow pick Abbott on Monday, we need to work immediately on creating a massive echo chamber effect accusing the Liberals of the truth behind this matter; they lied, their economic policy credentials are shredded, they are already incompetent at governing. We need to be entirely unsubtle about this, no time for niceties, “Abbott’s $11b black hole” needs to be repeated again and again and again and then repeated again for good effect. This is how the right-wing echo chamber works, we need the same sort of simple message to sell.

    Come to think of it, even if Gillard forms the government, it needs to be created. People ought to be circumspect about ever letting the Liberals try to claim the mantle of “better economic managers”.

    Everything Abbott says ought to be filtered straight through two primary lenses; 1) “is this the gospel truth?” and 2) “how much bigger does it make your budget blow out?”

    Eventually, they might learn their lesson and stop lying about basic economics.

  13. Fran Barlow

    Tyro

    This summary in Crikey isn’t a bad reference point for the alleged competence of the Liberals either:
    The myth of governmental competence

    Aparently there is follow up on Monday

  14. Cuppa

    So which media organisation SHOULD have been expected to do the hard work on exposing this trickery BEFORE the election? The organisation we pay out of public money to investigate fairly on our behalf, without fear or favour. The broadcaster of which we have the Chartered right to expect quality, substantial reporting.

    The ABC failed in its core duty to deliver a quality, balanced, reliable product. And it failed to do so at the most critical time of the political cycle – during a federal election campaign. The ABC was bound up with trivia, attempted ‘gotchas’, diversions, reporting on what OTHER media organisations reported.

    The whole election coverage exercise a shocking waste of time and money, in my opinion.

    Their editorial reporting of political stories during the past couple of years has been even more egregious in its scale and penetration. Story upon story, at least one in every hourly radio bulletin, that led-in with the phrase:

    “The Federal Opposition says …”

    … and then no follow-up, no challenging or questioning the “the Federal Opposition“‘s assertions. Just an unctuous presentation of spin as “fact” and “news” … and most crucially, allowing the resources, and the credibility and esteem within the community enjoyed by the national broadcaster, to promulgate what amounts to nothing more than partisan spin and often straight-out deception across the width and breadth of this country, in hourly bulletin upon hourly bulletin, around the clock, day upon day upon day.

    Appalling. Shameful. Unforgivable.

  15. snorky

    Yes Brian, I too heard Dutton invoking the dreaded Whitlam bogy. Ironic really, that a featherweight like Dutton should speak ill of a true Australian hero. Ironic too that the remark was made in the context of the Labor-Greens agreement which, according to Opposition talking points, is tantamount to a coalition. The point being that, if you accept that it’s a coalition, and you add the Labor and Greens primary, it well exceeds that of the Liberal-National-LNP Queensland-CLP Coalition, which kind of blows out of the water the Coalition line that they deserve to govern because they won more votes than Labor.

  16. Cuppa

    Someone should remind the conservatives that “coalition” is another word for union.

  17. Huggybunny

    I keep thinking (perhaps in a rather wishful way) that this would be a really good excuse for the creation of a Liberal “rat”.
    That would be the total icing on the cake if one or more Libxxxxxxs joined the Labo(u)r side They would use the transparent dishonesty of the Monk and co to excuse themselves, patriotic duty and all that.

    The environment in the Libxxxxxxs must be totally toxic by now and even more toxic if the amigos rat over to the “ultra socialist commie vermin, who should be exterminated immediately in concentration camps with high CO2 content poisonous gas”.

    The ABC
    There are elements in the ABC who are mad keen to see it sold off because they stand to make a fortune by virtue of their position/s. Not sayin mind, but the fix is in with the Libxxxxxxs I understand.

    Huggy
    [mod note – ableist language redacted]

  18. Marks

    Brian @ 12. Only two clowns on the other side?

    They’ve got enough for the next Melbourne Comedy Festival.

  19. Kim

    I wonder if Mr Rabbit has compounded his fiscal sins by shoveling money at the Indies – if he was prepared to offer Wilkie a billion for the Hobart hospital, what promises has he made to Katter, Oakeshott and Windsor?

    I think that’s right, Brian – Mr Rabbit is stuck in the Howard era – if in doubt of a vote, throw money.

  20. Tyro Rex

    Fran @ 15

    yeah I read that yesterday. I have always maintained that the Howard Liberal government was a disaster for the economy; sure they had a big surplus, but then any dunderhead could have managed that, I suspect, given how favorable their timing was in the cycle in the last two terms of office – their two most inactive and wasteful terms.

    Likewise their assumed competence at “defence” matters. Their border protection policy tore the navy apart especially when it became apparent they’d leave their senior commanders hang out to dry in front of a senate committee if it was politically convenient to do so (i.e. insinuations that the officers were lying coming from Ministers). Not only that, but the stuff ups like the Seasprites. Its all very well to accuse Beazley of stuffing up the Collins Class submarine but that was a new and complex weapons platform – the first one is nearly always a ‘prototype’. On the other hand the Seasprite-equivalent could have just been bought off-the-shelf, instead of trying to jam brand-new ultra-modern weapon systems into a 1950s design, the damn things are just junk.

    There’s plenty of myth about the competence of the Howard government; but its truly unbelievable that people swallowed the lightweight, fluffy and complete hooey from Abbott and Hockey over their economic credentials.

    The two men who brought you the 11 billion budget black hole, remember – they still might be Prime Minister and Treasurer come Tuesday.

    Did I mention the Tony Abbott 11 billion dollar budget black hole? Detected in orbit around the minor planetoid Hockey in a galaxy far, far away*. Naked to the visible eye even in daylight since August 22, apparently.

    * in the Liberal Alternative Universe, black holes orbit minor planets, not vice-versa. Just like their costings.

  21. Fran Barlow

    Katz said:

    Indeed, right now it would be in the interests of the ALP to do all they can to engineer a speedy election which they would win easily on the all-encompassing issue of probity.

    I disagree. Before the ALP’s can establish its political rampart as probity it must first acquire standing as legitimate. They have to be able to claim that they, unlike the opposition, have absorbed the lessons of the election –the key one of which is that people are tied of spin and lies and opportunistic grabbing for power. Here’s what they could say:

    It seems clear to us they must say, that not a few of the people who voted for us, and many who voted informal, or for the opposition, did so because they saw the government and politics about little more than spin and manoeuvring. People lost faith not just in us but in the whole way government business was transacted. This result of this last election was a demand for more accountable government, and for government that would take decisions not on the basis of the news cycle or marginal seat polling, but on the basis of what was in the long term interests of the country as a whole. It is not for us to disagree with with this judgement, but rather to make an honest and persistent attempt to make the parliament that the Australian people have crafted live up to these ideals. As leaders from both sides often say, the electorate generally gets these things pretty right, and we see no reason to consider this an exception.

    Thgis has been shown amply this week. The Opposition, who refused to present its costings to Treasury, has been exposed as having grossly misprepresented its capacity to balance the bduget. We would not have discovered this in good time, but for the hung parliament and the insistent demand of the Independents. And on the very next day, we saw that a desperate Mr Abbott was prepared to offer a further billion dollars out of money they didn’t have to porkbarrell another seat in the house from Tasmania. Fortunately, the MP chosen by the people was not to be bought and instead did the right thing by the national interest, looking after both his constituents and the national interest. This election result has allowed the mists to clear, correcting those of us who needed correction and allowing people and parties to reveal themselves for who they really are.

    We mean to make this new more accountable parliament work, and will do so with anyone willing to put the national interest before partisan advantage. We know that on the other side of politics, there are good and honest people, and we invite them, in the national interest, to disassociate themselves from the dishonesty we have seen from the Opposition this week and to declare unequivocally, their determination to ensure that the next parliament lives up to the expectations of the people and will run its full term.

    In short, the ALP positions itself early as the party of stability and probity, locating this in the mandate of the election and invites the Opposition to say the voters got it wrong because they ought to be able to lie and porkbarrell. Mr Authentic is not going to be able to re-run his old campaign, and at the very least, there would be a lot of Liberals worrying that his inability to do this might tell against them. Suddenly, there would be a new narrative — one not at all favourable to the Libs.

  22. Tyro Rex

    I agree with Fran. It’s better for the ALP if we can make the parliamentary system work, and be seen to make it work.

    Also mentioning the Tony Abbott 11 billion dollar budget black hole recently detected by a team of crack Treasury astronomers. And then, by contrast, showing that the ALP does not have a such an 11 billion dollar black hole sucking in the finances of the nation and turning it into lifeless sub-quantum soup.

    And not only that, but we can also play nice. Seeing as we don’t have to spends all our time building a gigantic rocket on our front lawn in order to lift us out of the massive gravity well that is the Tony Abbott 11 billion dollar budget black hole.

  23. snorky

    Well said Fran. Pity that Karl Bitar doesn’t read LP.

  24. Macondo

    ABC’s PM last night had a spray of Libs trying to scare the bojangles out of the indybillies with ‘The most left-leaning government ever’ crud. This included Howard. But for me the absolute highlight was one of them – missed the name, but it sounded like the whine of Pyne – who said it would be ‘the most centre-left‘ government ever!!! The most centre-left. I choked on my kit-kat while waiting for the 57 tram to the footy. It actually sounded like a good thing, centre-left, but might have been coming from the farthest to the right position ever held by an Australian politician.

  25. Abe Frellman

    Hopefully this will mean the death of ‘jam jar’ public financial management once and for all! The idea that government expenditure gets a free kick as far as the Budget is concerned if the expenditure is funded out of a previously squirreled-away hypothecation fund (jam jar) really is “bullshit”.

  26. Macondo

    I see Incurious and Unread had mentioned this too in another thread – it was Hockey, not Pyne, who condemned it as the ‘most centre-left’-leaning government in history!

  27. Cuppa

    ABC’s PM last night had a spray of Libs

    The ABC is the Libs’ partner in propaganda.

  28. joe2

    On ABC Melbourne Hockey spoke of a Gillard government as being the most left wing “since Curtin”. He has since given up on this most silly line.

  29. Mr Denmore

    The ABC could never have exposed the Coalition’s costings because they have never cultivated economic journalists. To them, economics is a rip and read racecall market summary at the end of the bulletin.

    That they continue to rely on Alan Kohler, with all his various external hats, to provide a market summary each night on their television news speaks volumes.

    So, Yes, Mr Scott, you need to get away from he-said-she-said political journalism. But the only way you will achieve that is by investing in people with expertise. In the meantime, your journalists are relegated to being mere typists (“The Opposition said today…”) or in the case of Annabel Crabb (the “chief online political correspondent”), a glorified sketch and colour writer.

    Laura Tingle is a real, old-fashioned solid economic and political journalist, who runs her own race, understands her subject and is prepared to give both sides both barrels when necessary. Having said that, it’s very rare for her to be so outspoken. So that she has been so brutal in her assessment in this case tells you something about how shoddy the Coalition has been.

    What makes me most livid, having been an economic journalist myself, is that the Labor Party would NEVER have got away with refusing to release its policy for Treasury costing during an election campaign. And had they done what these clowns did AFTER the campaign and been exposed in this way, News Ltd and the ABC echo chamber would have hung them out to dry.

    It just beggars belief that the greater public don’t see the double standards at work here. And Labor’s inability to exploit its clear economic superiority during the campaign speaks volumes for its incompetence in communication. Hopefully, this episode will finally drive a stake through the heart of the hoary myth of the Tories’ superiority in economic ‘management’.

  30. Zorronsky

    Agree Mr Denmore, I have heard the above Lib nonsense all morning from the ABC too. But you hit on it when you point out that there are different standards at work. It is always thus, so I firmly believe that a very loud condemnation is required now, for the foreseeable future, and including all those lying for and with Abbott and his appalling cronies.

  31. Fine

    The Liberal rhetoric indicates they believe they’ll be the Opposition and they’ve now started an active scare campaign in preparation for the next election.

  32. joe2

    “And Labor’s inability to exploit its clear economic superiority during the campaign speaks volumes for its incompetence in communication”

    This really is nonsense Mr Denmore. See my example @11&13.
    You have no way of getting any message across if it not even reported or constantly distorted. They tried and it must have been so frustrating.

  33. John D

    The ABC just in news is generally factual information that doesn’t mix in commentary. However, by the time it reaches the evening TV news fact and commentary are mixed together. Somebody changing their mind becomes a “backflip”. The BER automatically becomes “failed BER scheme” or similar. It is done to both sides and distorts our understanding of what is going on.

    Papers like the OZ specialize in misleading headlines that contradict the facts hidden somewhere in the bulk of the article. Anyone who thinks they can skim a paper to find out what is going on is likely to be mislead.

    What I really want from the ABC and others is at least a clear separation of fact and comment and more commentators like Laura, George and Possum who think actual facts are more important than emotional twaddle.

  34. Mr Denmore

    Joe2, I see what you’re saying, but my point is Labor was incompetent in communication even after making allowance for the entrenched spin in the News Ltd/ABC TV news coverage.

    Even the most rusted-on ALP appartachik will tell you that they mangled their communication strategy through that campaign, while Abbott stuck monotonously to his inane and dishonest (though effective) talking points.

    I had been saying since the beginning of the year that they needed to stick to their economic record, but they allowed themselves to be spooked by the News Ltd-led exagerrations over the insulation and BER stories.

    Their spin doctors were just too clever by half – young blokes who tend to over-think things and are always trying to imagine what the mythical semi-educated western Sydney “punter” will make of it all.

    Sometimes you just have to put the facts in front of people, a strategy Labor latched onto only days from that election when they started hammering home the jobs that had been saved – the businesses that had been spared – by their decisive action on the stimulus.

    They had great quotes to work with from the IMF, the former World Bank chief economist and Nobel prize winner Joe Stiglitz, The Economist and others all talking up their economic performance.

    Instead, they chose to fight on the Coalition’s chosen territory of fear-driven tabloid talking points such as boats, debt and deficits.

    Had Keating still been around, he would have made mincemeat of the economic lightweights on the Opposition frontbenches. But Labor chose to curl up into a ball.

  35. Don Wigan

    I keep thinking (perhaps in a rather wishful way) that this would be a really good excuse for the creation of a Liberal “rat”.
    That would be the total icing on the cake if one or more Libxxxxxxs joined the Labo(u)r side They would use the transparent dishonesty of the Monk and co to excuse themselves, patriotic duty and all that.

    A nice dream, Huggy, and in my thoughts. I was hoping that someone like Broadbent would maybe make the plunge to Speaker because he might well hold his seat as an independent anyway. But I believe he’s already made a public statement rejecting that idea.

    The next most likely option might be Slipper who is nearing the end of his career anyway. Not as principled as Broadbent or Moylan but could probably make the right noises.

    All this assumes the Indies do the right thing and back a Gillard minority government. On the strength of the liars/clunkheads revelations, that seems likely.

  36. paulie71

    What I find amazing in all of this sudden realisation that Abbott’s figures were rubbery to say the least is that:

    a) Wayne Swan (as many in this forum have pointed out) was pretty close on the money when he called the costings out by $12bn and no one listened.
    b) The firm that did the costings for ther Coalition (WHK Horwaths), was reported to have been asked to explain potential breaches of standards in the Fin Review a few days out from the polls and it was buried in the body of the paper and no other mainstream media network ran with it.

    What scares me is that people have such short memories. The people running the Coalitions Campaign brought Australia:
    1) the GST (never ever)
    2) guards and rottweilers on the docks
    3) Tampa
    4) Siev X
    5) WorkChoices
    6) middle class welfare
    7) no infrastructure investment

    a sad day for Australia if we have Abbott and his crew regain office.

  37. John C

    I rarely listen to ABC news anymore. At times it is barely comprehensible. The other day I heard a four word sound bite from Marcia Langton — headlines in search of meaning.

  38. hannah's dad

    Can we dismiss this exculpatory claim that the COALition’s ‘black hole’ was a due to a ‘mistake’ and lack of access to Treasury etc.?
    A combination of accidental errors, bit of bad luck and so on.

    It was not a ‘mistake’ and to suggest such is media spin that attempts to minimise the enormity of the lie that 3 senior COALition members tried to deliberately foist on the Australian public during an election campaign.

    That it was a deliberate premeditated lie should have been obvious to the media for some time before election day and been subjected to criticism as such.
    That it was not is inexcusable.

    Lets look at context via a timeline.

    Firstly the habit of Abbott and cronies to criticise the govt about debt but ignore their own contradictions was obvious when the COALition screamed ‘grape fig newt tacks’ and then calmly announced such of their own with reference to paid parental leave.

    This blatant contradiction was allowed to lie dormant, virtually unmentioned by the complicit media.
    Only when it was pointed out by O’Brien on the 7.30 Report, well down the track, did this become an issue.

    Then we had the alleged ‘Treasury’ leak that exposed a mini black hole in COALition costings.
    Despite the experience of the Grech affair the media ran with the COALition spin line for days, that it was Treasury that was to blame and that the COALition would not submit its costings to the scrutiny their own policy made when govt stipulated.
    Check out the media headlines for that week, they are virtually all repeating Hockey/Abbott et al’s line that the ‘leak’ should be investigated and that this was the excuse for not submitting costings.

    The COALition said they were looking, note the tense of the
    statements at that time, for an accountancy firm to provide objective analysis.

    No mention that they had already hired such a firm for that very purpose weeks before the excuse to do so conveniently occurred.
    The firm was hired a month or so prior to the alleged need to do so.

    By now alarm bells should been screaming to the media.

    The COALition don’t want their costings costed.
    Why?
    Then the firm made it clear that they were not making judgments on the assumptions behind the numbers.
    More bells, much louder.
    Ignored.

    The ALP via Swan raise the issue for a second time, as a writer here has noted, but that receives only minimal attention from the media and becomes just part of the normal party bickering of an election.

    Somewhere in that timeline we fit the notorious Press Club speech by Hockey in which the usual slogans are repeated but no credible numbers mentioned and only available after the speech.
    The reporters get their knickers in a knot, not about the severe doubt that this casts on the credibility of the numners, but about the inconvenience to them and the snub implied.

    Then near the end, as late as possible in the campaign, we get the COALition promising to give its numbers at a press conference.
    But they turn up nearly 2 hours late and their costings are, yet again, one liners without detail.
    Insulting in its contempt and clearly a deliberate ploy to avoid scrutiny that if Labor were to attempt such would have been the subject of screaming headlines for the remaining time and killed their election hopes.

    So we have an election.
    And the COALition are home unscathed on this issue.
    If they lose it doesn’t matter and if they win they can cover it up when in government.

    But the Independents demand, as item #1 on their list [a fact I find significant] after a hung election eventuates, that the COALition gets its promises costed by the only group qualified to do so leads to the exposure of the Great Big Costing Lies.

    And even then the COALition delays, spins, prevaricates until forced to comply.
    Such prevarication would not have happened if they genuinely thought their costings were credible.
    Their continured attempts to evade scrutiny were because they knew they were going to be exposed.
    No mistakes involved, they knew what they had tried to foist on the public.

    They are a total disgrace and the media, instead of bending over backwards to present the COALition excuses should be baying for blood.

  39. fehowarth

    asking about the 43 billion already know this. It just sounds good.
    The three blind monkeys, Abbott, Hockey and Robb could be telling the truth. As I understand it, the Treasury release two sets of figures for the Opposition. One for the information supplied. The other ignoring the so-called cuts to, The Opposition has a problem in announcing over three billions of cuts. The voter may not appreciate how they intend to balance the books. The Labor figures show that they can get to same place without unnecessary suffering. Mr. Abbott is using the so-called debt as a cover to put his ideology in place. Mr. Abbott made a statement during the campaign that he would be moving us from the welfare state. I cannot remember where he was moving us to, but small government looms brightly in the picture. Mr. Hockey nearly let the cat out of the bag yesterday morning on the ABC when he said: He is nothing but a t…” I would say if he finished the statement, he meant the independent was a troublemaker. The question we must all ask when one of the blind monkeys promise something is “What are you going to cut?”

  40. Diogenes

    In todays The Australian, Paul Kelly, writes under the heading “Gillard on the move for power”:

    The dominoes are falling Julia Gillard’s way. This week she used incumbency brilliantly to create momentum to form government and discredit Tony Abbott over his alleged $11 billion “black hole” deception.

    He equally could have written:

    Abbott is destined to fail in his power grab.

    The dominoes are not falling Tony Abbott’s way. This week he botched-up big time with his incredulous reasons over the Coalition’s featherbrained $11 billion howler.

    But then, The Australian is not showing favouritism. It’s just consistent with the viewpoints it has.

  41. Mr Denmore

    Don’t you love Kelly’s use of the word “alleged” in relation to the black hole. As if this is somehow in contention. You can always rely on News Ltd to try and muddy the waters for the Tories. Once upon a time, he had some respect as a journalist. Now’s he’s just another Murdoch propagandist.

  42. Katz

    I disagree.

    The straw you spilt is vanishingly thin.

  43. p.a.travers

    If all these clowns in both major parties just endlessly talk Left and or Right or monies,then where is,say, Permaculture Design on a overseas coperate own landscape and waterbody!?Or Banks deciding some of the buildings they own do not need private or public owners, but useful for low income people renovating them as means to pay rent and secure buildings for the Banks!?Don’t tell me that is improbable or impossible,after all they may be as sick and tired of the housing problem as anyone who cannot get appropriate housing.

  44. p.a.travers

    Corporate I am sure!?

  45. Pavlov's Cat

    Don’t you love Kelly’s use of the word “alleged” in relation to the black hole.

    Well, quite. What does he want, a stat dec? The use of the word ‘alleged’ there indicates that he suspects Treasury of either incompetence or dishonesty, possibly both.

    And Christopher Pyne was on ABC radio this morning similarly trying to argue that arithmetic is a matter of opinion. Scary.

  46. Bernice

    In C.Pyne’s universe, it may well be. Amongst the Libs, truthfulness certainly is – and better yet, for sale to the highest bidder.

    I wonder what Malcolm Turnbull is doing at the moment….

  47. jane

    One article by Laura is worth more than all the claptrap written by Dennis Shanahan, Janet Albrechtsen and their ilk in one year.

    Make that lifetime, Diogenes @2.

    He has a clear edge in competence and honesty over the two clowns on the other side.

    Brian @12, even Al Capone looks like a paragon of virtue compared to the Rabbott Corp.

    Eventually, they might learn their lesson and stop lying about basic economics.

    I just spotted some pigs flying gracefully overhead, Tyro @14. The chance of these creatures altering their grubby tactics will never happen until the MSM actually scrutinises their thought bubbles and holds them to account.

    Bugger all hope of that when you read Shamaham’s groveling puff piece in today’s OO. I could barely read the headline, without feeling waves of nausea sweeping over me.

    That dolt Christopher Pearson has also weighed in with a load of old brown nosing rubbish.

    With this sort of unquestioning hero worship by the RWDB OO commentators, there is absolutely no chance of ever getting an honest assessment, or any decent scrutiny of the Smuggles Set or their heirs.

    Fran @24, if only. Do you think there is anyone stateswo/man enough to make that statement? Having asked the question, I think Kevin Rudd could rise to the occasion.

    I hope Gillard can, but I have absolutely no confidence that there is anyone at all in the Smuggles Set capable of even understanding what you have written, let alone delivering it with any semblance of sincerity or honesty.

    Snorky @26, he wouldn’t understand Fran’s words any more than the Smuggles Set and their cheerleaders would.

    Annabel Crabb of the “truth parrot” squawking on Smuggles’ shoulder! God in heaven! Is this silly vapid woman Smuggles’ Meg Lees?

    hd @41, they never intended to have their apologies for policies costed by Treasury or anyone half competent. That was self evident from their admission that they’d already submitted them to Dodgy Brothers Accountants several months before.

    They thought they would canter into power and never be caught out. And if Labour had won government, their policies still wouldn’t have been costed and they would have continued to undermine Treasury, much as they are doing at the moment.

    In the light of what has transpired post-election, a hung parliament has been the best outcome, imo. It has exposed this toxic, hazardous, dishonest and unpatriotic claque for what they are.

    I call them unpatriotic, not in the slimy, mendacious John Howard sense of maudlin flag-waving, but in its truest sense. They’re prepared to sell this country down the river to satisfy their lust for power! They sicken me to my stomach!

    And their sycophants in the media are every bit as culpable. They have abandoned all credibility in the last 3 years.

    Media ownership in this country desperately needs to be overhauled so that creatures like Murdoch can never again exert a stranglehold on the dissemination of information. It should be added to the to do list, along with a clean sweep of the Rodent’s hacks from the ABC.

  48. Don Wigan

    Excellent post by Hannah’s Dad and those following.

    It raises a very interesting point. Has anyone in mainstream media, apart from Laura Tingle (who is writing to a specialist audience), actually called it for falsehoods and incompetence?

    George Mega pretty well did in The Oz (of all places) but I haven’t been aware of others.

    As HD says, this is a very serious deceit, not just a bunch of dills who promise anything and can’t add up. Surely we have some journalists with integrity somewhere.

    Some of the legends have been badly tarnished during this campaign. Kelly has been rightly busted above.

    During the campaign, one of Grattan’s pieces referred to Abbott’s efforts at his Launch as ‘Prime Ministerial’. I’m partisan of course, but what I saw of the launch all Abbott did was bag Labor’s record. There was next to nothing on what his government would do. Prime Ministerial??? Michelle, I think retirement beckons.

    Where’s Laurie? OK, he got the scoops on the leaks which derailed Labor, and then he did get Abbott on TV (‘weather vane’)pretty much as mercilessly as Kezza got him on broadband. But I didn’t see much in print apart from a piece whingeing about neither leader standing much for anything. Surely there should have been room for a post or two about these porkies.

    Whoa! I forgot. Much more important to deal with the sideshows like Latham.

    Oh Laurie, Laurie. The scoops here could have been bigger than the leaks.

  49. Tyro Rex

    I like the cut of Jane @ 50’s jib!

  50. Diogenes

    [email protected]

    I call them unpatriotic, not in the slimy, mendacious John Howard sense of maudlin flag-waving, but in its truest sense. They’re prepared to sell this country down the river to satisfy their lust for power! They sicken me to my stomach!

    And their sycophants in the media are every bit as culpable. They have abandoned all credibility in the last 3 years.

    Media ownership in this country desperately needs to be overhauled so that creatures like Murdoch can never again exert a stranglehold on the dissemination of information. It should be added to the to do list, along with a clean sweep of the Rodent’s hacks from the ABC.

    Good one, it reminds me of the outburst by Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) in the movie Network

    You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell : ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’

  51. jane

    Diogenes @53, as we speak I would be shouting from the windows or even the roof top if my vertigo would let me, but there’s a 50 knot gale thundering round the house. We’re cranking it up to send to the Vics.

    Like most here I am as mad as hell at the way the political process in this country has been hijacked by the talentless, corrupt heirs of the detestable Howard and their appalling barrackers in the MSM and the public.

    I’ve always loathed Howard; he has been the most malevolent force on the conservative side of politics ever, imo. I have never been able to understand how so many people were fooled by him.

    In fact, it would be easy to believe Michael Dobbs modeled the ghastly Francis and Elizabeth Urquart on the Howards, obviously with a very large injection of the charisma so lacking in the Australian model.

    Mind you the Labour party is not blameless. They squandered the goodwill they had and allowed the beast to raise its hideous head again. Can we crush its skull and bury it in the bowels of the earth? I bloody hope so.

  52. Mr Denmore

    Jane, you’re right. Rudd failed to drive a stake through the Howardism, running away from his own incumbency. That seemed clear from the start.

    He left the lid of the coffin open and, zombie like, Abbot and his gang returned from the dead. That they are now within a breath of returning to power seems like a bad dream. I keep thinking ‘how did we get back to this place?’

    My sense is Howard changed the country so much in his 11 years that much in the media is still living in his spell. Labor fed this by acting like an Opposition for most of its first term. And Murdoch’s hacks, with the help of the ABC, treated Labor’s time in office as a break in the natural order. That’s why the Coalition was allowed to get away with so much – the assumption was always that Labor had no real legitimacy, that the country had changed for good and that aside from the mistep over Work Choices and Costello’s cowardice, the Tories would still be there.

    In the meantime, huge challenges face Australia externally and internally and we need a competent government with a social conscience to deal with them. Hopefully the Green alliance will steer Labor back from its pointless drift to the right and return it to the centre of Australian politics. The coalition, meanwhile, must be left in Opposition to tear itself apart and allow Turnbull to rid the party once and for of the last vestiges of Howardism.

  53. Russell

    Here’s something from the middle of an article at the bottom of page 17 of today’s West Australian:

    “But for now it is Mr Barnett who has the job of marshalling the State’s finances and even Mr Buswell might have been surprised to hear him say that he has no plan to repay state debt, forecast this year at $15.4 billion.

    ‘In reality you don’t have to pay back the debt, what you have to do is make sure the debt is under control and as a guide I’m intending keeping our total level of net debt below $20 billion’ Mr Barnett said”

    I think Barnett is right (he generally is) and that’s about how a newspaper should report such an interview. But can you imagine where that comment wold be if it had been a Labor premier who had said it. Probably page 1 , big headlines, commented on by the Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Opposition Leader et al., then picked up by the ABC …..

  54. Tyro Rex

    Yes Russell, lesson number one of modern Australian media: Labor debt bad, Liberal debt good.

  55. Diogenes

    And we must not forget that interest rates under a Coalition government will always be lower than under Labor. Oh, yeah! Who said that? It was the man who never lies – John Howard. Now let’s see the truth:

    During the last election campaign, on August 30, 2004, Mr Howard was interviewed by Steve Liebmann on Channel Nine’s Today show and said, “Everybody knows that if the interest rates that prevailed when Paul Keating was prime minister prevailed now the average Australian would be paying hundreds of dollars more a month on their mortgage bill. Now that is not a scare tactic, it is a fact. They went up under Whitlam, they went up under Keating, they went up under Hawke.”

    Anybody who cares to look at the Reserve Bank’s records of government interest rates from the past few decades would find very different results. What John Howard did not want to admit then, and still continues to hide, is that when he was the treasurer in the Fraser government the interest rate was as high as 21.4 per cent – in April 1982. To use Mr Howard’s own words “that is not a scare tactic, it is a fact”.
    The highest interest rates from 1982 were: Fraser government (when Mr Howard was treasurer), 21.4 per cent in April 1982; Hawke government, 19 per cent in December 1985 and Keating government, 7.9 per cent in December 1994.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/letters/the-inconvenient-truth-about-interest-rates-and-john-howard/2007/10/04/1191091271442.html

  56. Peter Kemp

    In fact, it would be easy to believe Michael Dobbs modeled the ghastly Francis and Elizabeth Urquart on the Howards, obviously with a very large injection of the charisma so lacking in the Australian model.

    Hear hear Jane. I must say though that I wasn’t so despondent at Urquart’s demolition of “Prince Charles.” 🙂

    What gets me is the utter laziness of an opposition not bothering to even try to be fiscally responsible.

    (I s’pose that’s why the term fistal rectitude was invented.)

    And could I add to Jane’s analogy that of the OO’s “Elliot Carver” classically “inventing” the news.

  57. jane

    Hear! Hear! Mr Denmore @55. I certainly hope that a much chastened Labour does slide into government with support from the Independents and Bandt.

    Perhaps they will have learned that it’s OK to inform the electorate about what they have achieved and are about to tackle without the thumbs in the braces bragging of the Tories.

    Very telling that the report was buried where only the most determined would read it, Russell @56.

  58. emma

    The clever guy over at http://www.forecastfortomorrow.com forecasted gillard would get back in months ago, and has forecast many other elections correct in the past also. Looks like he got this one right also. Amazing!!

  59. Russell

    Jane – perhaps what is telling is that if you are a Liberal politician you can have the confidence to tell the truth and see it reasonably reported. If you’re Labor you have to pretend to support some mad neoliberal ideology and hope you can get away with it.

  60. zoot

    Russell, when, in the last few weeks, did any Liberal politician tell the truth? The last incident I remember is Mr Rabbit telling us how he lies and we can tell because he won’t have it written down.

  61. zoot

    Whoops! Upon further reading I presume you were referring to Colin Barnett. My apologies to Russell.

  62. jane

    Russell @61, perhaps, but the West Australian still buried it at the bottom of p17, which leads me to think that although Barnett was reported correctly, the paper itself didn’t want the public getting the message that a Liberal Premier thinks there’s nothing wrong with government debt.

    Did Barnett spruik the Snuggles Set’s mantra about debt during the election campaign, I wonder? It would be embarrassing for voters to learn that he too was flim flamming the electorate about debt.

    OTOH, maybe I’m overly suspicious of Colin Barnett and the West Australian; perhaps it’s just the federal Liberal party that is incapable of being either truthful or honest.

  63. asdusty

    While none of us (except the three wise men) can say for sure what the future holds for the government of Australia, one thing is certain. If the ALP get the gong, expect some serious payback. Rudd made a mistake in not purging the public service of LNP stooges (Godwin Grech anyone?) and Gillard, the Ruthless Ranga, will not make the same mistake. The ABC likewise was not denuded of their Liberal plants and will be similarly eviscerated. And did anyone see the press conference conducted by the PM after Wilkie had announced his intentions? The Ruthless Ranga cut Shanahan off at the knees. It was a joy to behold and an indication of what is to come. Limited News ran hard against the ALP because Dear Leader Rupert knows that a NBN will not only destroy his newspaper empire, but also Foxtel as well. Whos gonna pony up for cable if you can stream whatever you want through the internet? Mark Scott and the ABC have invested vast sums (of our money mind) into new channels here and overseas that will also be rendered redundant by the NBN (of course, the ALP should of stopped them doing it in the first place but that would of been ‘political interference’ on the ‘independent’ ABC). This is a case of media outlets doing their best to influence democracy simply out of self interest and the maintenance of corporate profits. It has been a shameful exercise and if the ALP do get the nod, Limited News and the ABC deserve everything they get.

  64. Don Wigan

    Russell, when, in the last few weeks, did any Liberal politician tell the truth?

    Well, Zoot, I suppose you could count when Abbott has occasionally got loose from his minders. I especially liked it when the Liberals were refusing to come clean with the Independents demands that their programs go to Treasury for scrutiny.

    One of Abbott’s revelatory excuses was that the Treasury ‘blue book’ (on opposition program costs) was strictly for incoming governments, was confidential, and it was unprecedented to allow anyone else (eg independents or the government) a look at it. The implications of that did not get taken up by the MSM.

    My inference was that one of the perks of coming to office was to have an “aha” moment: the government had hidden the truth from us; things were much worse than even we believed; no alternative now but tough corrective measures; all non-core promises off; sorry folks -have to be cruel to be kind.

  65. joe2

    “Joe2, I see what you’re saying, but my point is Labor was incompetent in communication even after making allowance for the entrenched spin in the News Ltd/ABC TV news coverage.”

    Mr Denmore, granted, labor ran around with some half baked messages. It had been in a state of confusion as to how to get it’s side of the story across, since it first took office, precisely because of constant media spin.

    Probably wishing all the while it had never committed to cut federal government program advertising, even if it just happened to be the correct thing to do.

    It could never have expected such a virulent, false and sustained attack being broadcast not only from Newscorp but the ABC merging that bullshit vendetta in even it’s day to day, so called, “news” gathering.

    You really seem intent on giving your old profession an “out”, in the most blatant of attempts to bring down a government, when most of their rubbish deserves, at the very least, a boycott/public inquiry.

    They are making a joke of democracy and something really needs to be done about it. Pointing the finger somewhere else does not help matters.

  66. bmitw

    [email protected]

    “Ruthless Ranga”. I love it!!

    If there is one clear advantage in having Julia now running the ALP show it is, I believe, her steeliness which has been on display of late together with her negotiating skills.

    Never send a man to do a woman’s job lol.

  67. joe2

    But my pet hate is this. Very soon we will have a statement above saying all comments to this blog have ceased.
    Why? Why can’t it continue on till the comments start to naturally thin out?
    Are the ABC frightened we the people might have something to say?
    Then there is their suggested continuation of comments at another place. Where?
    That is a lie to start with.

    So says Anna, in comments, after the piece in The Drum by Mark Scott, that Brian links to above, in which he is subject to an almost a complete bucketing by angry viewers/watchers for the state of the A.B.C.

    Needless to say The Drum now advises…

    “Comments for this story are closed, but you can still have your say.” Yer, right Mark S., thanks a bunch.

  68. Diogenes

    “Comments for this story are closed, but you can still have your say.” Yer, right Mark S., thanks a bunch.

    Mark Scott just had enough on being told he will not be brightest bulb on the ABC’s Xmas tree this Christmas

  69. Helen

    Great thread, great comments. Jane, Hannah’s Dad, Mr Denmore, TRex and others, special mention.

  70. Ginja

    What separates Laura Tingle from the rest of the Canberra press gallery is that she’s actually interested in facts. The media constantly goes on about spin, but for most of them that’s all they report – he said this, she said that, little attempt to actually get at the truth (that would require work).

  71. terangeree

    @ 66:

    The press conference is here.

  72. Nick

    “Mark Scott and the ABC have invested vast sums (of our money mind) into new channels here and overseas that will also be rendered redundant by the NBN”

    This is just not true. None of the new channels are broadcast overseas, and all the NBN can ever affect is the delivery mechanism – which they can choose to duplicate or replace with, or anything in between, via the NBN. Much like they’ve begun to do already.

    None of the money invested into new channels, or their current content production/acquisition, or their current transmission is wasted, and none of those channels will be rendered redundant.

    It’s just silliness (or worse) to casually suggest the ABC or Mark Scott are in any way anti-NBN. That “The ABC in the Digital Age – Towards 2020” is out of date now (most of its aims have largely been accomplished or superseded already) should tell you something about their commitment to increasingly providing content over broadband. AFAIK, the ABC is currently downgrading its forecasts to the ACMA for future broadcast spectrum licensing requirements – mainly because of the NBN.

    I have no problem with the ABC investing my taxes into new, freely available to the public, channels.

    What I have a problem with is the ABC’s current practice of contracting commercial Australian news organisations *with my taxes* to supply them with domestic content to present.

  73. Nick

    I should probably flesh out more why I think is a serious matter…

    The ABC cannot *accept money* to show advertising, or to publish press released cheque book news content.

    However, the ABC can (and on a daily basis does) *pay money* to a commercial third party for its news content.

    That commercial third party very much can *accept money* to publish/license press released cheque book news content.

    It’s a loophole, very plainly and simply. It potentially allows press released cheque book news content to be broadcast on the ABC.

    By routing through a commercial news provider, the actual source of the news, and any money that changed hands, is obscured, not declared.

  74. Nick

    potentially