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218 responses to “Revolting: the Nihilism of Tony Abbott”

  1. Mal

    Gillard is revolting. She will do whatever she thinks might keep her into power till tomorrow. She would never run it to an election. Too scared, no heart. Abbott may carry on like a goose but he holds no power in this government, yet. Nihilism is a strange way to describe his reply to the introduction to the tax. It might have been poor but not nihilistic

    Bob Brown is running the show. Be very scared.

  2. James T

    She would never run it to an election.

    She would never take to an election the scheme that previously devastated her party’s electoral health by its sudden absence?

  3. Pavlov's Cat

    “We will fight this tax every second of every minute of every day of every of very month.”

    Because there’s nothing more important to do, presumably. There’s nothing sadder than someone who wants to sound Churchillian but doesn’t have the wherewithal.

    I wonder how much internal damage it does a person to indulge in this sort of utterly cynical appeal to the smallest, narrowest, meanest and most selfish impulses in the people he wants to vote for him.

  4. Lefty E

    The scheme will be put through the parliament a year before an election, and a year no later almost no one will care.

    That’s how it goes with reform in Australia: many are against it – till it happens.

  5. Dr_Tad

    The Coalition – ALP/Greens debate is a smokescreen. Neither side has a serious, workable solution for the enormity of the problem we face. Plus both sides accept the idea that any policies must protect Australian big business from the costs of any economic transition.

    Most people on the Left will line up on the ALP/Greens side despite this. Until they break from the fake polarisation in Canberra, the problem of climate change will continue apace. But that requires a politics independent of the pro-capitalist consensus.

  6. joe2

    “Gillard is revolting.”

    How utterly predictable. The ugly little man’s own divisive and threatening language used immediately, as spin, by his traveling clown show to damn his opponent.

  7. Nickws

    I’m honestly impressed they were able to get the ball rolling on this, I was convinced this couldn’t happen until after 2013.

    Abbott. Abbott is not influenced by any German school of political theory. He didn’t go to Oxford to become a proponent of CDU social market doctrine or whatever.

    Though I agree about there being a nihilistic element to his politics, yet I think it’s essentially only about a series of tactics to “stand athwart history and yell stop!”

    There is no long game for Abbott where capitalism and society reaches its natural equilibrium. Deep down, anti-modernists like him don’t give capitalism much credence for being a standalone system of human behaviour.

    Of course it [teh market] makes an excellent bludgeon for use on Leftwing strawmen, so he tends to wield it a lot when he goes out in public.

    @ 1: She would never run it to an election. Too scared, no heart.

    You honestly think there is now any kind of viable way for the govt to give up on this process, therefore getting an easy ride from the Coalition for ‘doing the right thing’?

    If so then I have a bridge over the Tamar river near PM Bob Brown’s home I’d like to sell you.


  8. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Petrol went up by an amazing 8c a litre in Queensland when Bligh lifted the petrol subsidy in 2009. People were far, far more upset about her broken privatisation proposals.

    I think Abbott’s on a loser.

  9. colmac

    Give me the “Nihilism of Tony Abbot” over the total failure of any the Rudd/Gillard Labor initiatives any day. Should we list them, Grocery Watch, Petrol Watch, Aboriginal housing, Pink batts, BER, super profits tax, Timor Solution,,etc, etc, etc. the list goes on, and on, and on. It is just too depressing to list them all, How much of our money has this bunch of amateurs pissed up againt the wall? How could any sensible person think that anything that this government does will be of any benefit to working class Australians? All this Government has done for me, is install an depressing sense of futility. If you can’t beat them, join them. Where is that dole queue, or that application to join the public service? Here is a joke to finish on, Wayne Swan is the deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia. (I did not say it would be funny)

  10. Mal

    Hey [email protected] – read the headline and your own comment you hypocrite.

  11. Helen

    Pav @3: Actually, the Oz got it wrong. He put more in there: “We will fight this every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month…” (Not *very* month!)

    Just how old are you, Tony?

    Notice he said it’d never get up because there would be a People’s Revolt, but *before* the Every Minute Every Day stuff, he refused to answer a question about whether he’d repeal it if he got into power.

    As sneaky as a… as a nine year old.

  12. Fascinated

    Friend and I watched QT
    as the censure motion shrilled.
    Her Liberal DNA scattered in dismay.

    “I voted for That?” she cried.

  13. adamite

    A notable aspect of the Liberal double truth formula you mention is the ‘born to rule’ mentality. Its what seems to underlie a lot of Abbot’s intemperate language and his apparent incapacity to accept the outcome of the election. Unlike Frazer and, to a lesser extent, Turnbull, he doesnt possess the ‘patrician’ qualities which that mentality traditionally assumes so he just comes across as impatient, impulsive and boorish. – ‘born to bully’ if you like.

  14. paul of albury

    Helen, I think his ‘I can stay up all night, isn’t that amazing’ stunt showed how old he thinks.

    And I tend to agree with Dr Tad, wish I didn’t. The whole point of carbon prices is to make it producing CO2 more expensive. Maybe thanks to Scott Morrison Labor are starting to develop some courage. Trouble is most of them have no conviction on the environment, it’s all about the economy which for Australia means digging stuff up.

  15. Anita

    Yes, Abbbott is a nihilist. It is governing that he seeks to prevent. Gillard to justify putting a price on carbon said simply that ‘carbon change is real’, but for Abbott this was simply irrelevant. Nor was he bothered by the lack of detail that concerned others.

    He clumsily tried to posit Gillard today as Lady Macbeth, but Abbott showed himself up as the idiot whose words of sound and fury signify nothing.

  16. Paul Burns

    Fortunately I didn’t watch TV tonight so I missed all this. It would have put me in a bad mood all night. I don’t know if Abbott’s a nihilist. But he’s certainly predictable. I actually think between now and the Federal election he’ll have bored the electorate to death. I hope he keeps it up because its going nowhere.

  17. wbb

    Great post, dk.

  18. Cuppa

    Partners in Abbott’s nihilism: The ‘Abbott Broadcasting Corporation’ …


  19. John D

    Abbott is sounding more and more like a leader who knows he isn’t going to last much longer. His performance tonight simply reinforced this perception.

  20. Helen

    [email protected], absolutely. I went to the RN PM web page to get the full quote from Rabbit and that of course involved listening to the audio of that segment. There were opinions from a great many different stakeholders and the carbon price committee but the item was headed “Opposition says carbon tax plan is a great betrayal”.

    (It just hit me that this is the year of the Rabbit, isn’t it? Oh dear.)

  21. TerjeP

    Howard said he would not introduce a GST. He changed his mind and took the initiative to the people in a general election which he won. For the next decade the ALP etc went on about how he was too tricky and had broken a promise. Gillard breaks trust in a far worse way. She basically lied, tricked her way into power and now seeks to roll out a huge tax without taking the proposal to the people in an election. And you expect the Liberals to kindly let her off the hook?


    What Gillard is doing is dictatorial and monstrous. She has no mandate for this. She promised she wouldn’t. She is a shallow power hungry manipulator. The sooner she is gone the better.

  22. Katz

    Abbott’s rhetoric is quite inflammatory. Like the Magician’s Apprentice, he is conjuring up forces that would spin beyond his control, were those forces actually present in the Australian cultural and political scene.

    As a parliamentarian, Abbott owes his position of leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition to constitutional processes. “Revolt” is a repudiation of the constitution.

    I don’t believe that those extra-constitutional forces actually exist, however. This issue will be resolved constitutionally, despite Abbott’s crazy rhetoric.

    And Abbott will confirm more certainly that he is a goose.

  23. tigtog

    I don’t expect the Liberals to let Gillard off the hook for this policy, TerjeP. I fully expect them to object. It would be a pleasantly edifying change if they could manage to stick to the salient points rather than carrying on like pork chops.

    Of course this policy will end up being the big issue for the next election, and it wouldn’t surprise at all if, partly as a result of this policy shift, that the next election happens before the proposed rollout date of July 2012. If it does, I reckon this policy is a huge vote-winner.

  24. Mercurius

    Whoah there, TerjeP. Your hyberbole is getting ahead of your facts. Your account of how Howard brought in the GST is factual. He did put the GST to an election, made it the centrepiece of the campaign, everybody knew it, and he won the requisite seats in the lower house while losing the popular vote. And the ALP mythmakers tried for years to portray it all as some huge breach of trust. That is factual.

    But your description of Gillard’s actions as “dictatorial and monstrous”, is hyberbolic tomfoolery.

    She leads a Minority. Government. She has to get this legislation through both houses. A couple of Indies get the shits with her, and it’s all over. This proposal is only on the table because she’s managed to negotiate successfully with Greens and a bunch of Independents…what “dictator”, anywhere in history, fits that description, hmmm?

    And as for “roll out a huge tax” — how do you know the tax will be “huge”? There’s no details. On whom will it be “rolled out” — you don’t know, there’s no details. It appears that the sectors in for some ‘tough love’ are the big miners, smelters and manufacturers. As usual, Australia’s reflexive agrarian socialism ensures that agriculture will be spared. Still, I can understand why you’re upset — I mean, won’t somebody please think of the multibillion dollar corporations?

    And as for “without taking the proposal to the people in an election”…what government doesn’t introduce taxes and levies without taking them to an election — far faster, and with far less notice and consultation, than this one? (Remember the East Timor Levy? Fuel Levy? Lots and lots of levies there around the turn of the milliennium, to preserve the surplus fetishists’ equanimity, as I recall…)

    We don’t have direct democracy here, TerjeP. If you have a problem with the fact that governments introduce legislation without calling an election every time a new bill hits the floor of the house, go and get the Constitution changed to a direct democratic model. Good luck with that.

    And this comment…”Gillard breaks trust in a far worse way” presupposes the existence of “trust” for Gillard among the electorate at large — and yourself in particular. Do you really think that is an honest starting premise?

    How many voters, precisely, do you reckon were inspired to vote for Gillard as a result of her promise to keep carbon pollution cost-free? I’m sure you put the ALP candidate at 1 on your ballot on the strength of that assurance alone…

    This decision won’t cost the ALP a single vote. The people it pisses off the most wouldn’t vote ALP in a pink screaming fit. It shows us the “real Julia” alright — shrewd, cunning, seizing an opportunity — remember, that’s how she got where she is.

    Sorry for the OT rant. Tony Abbott’s ‘nihilism’ is…nothing…worth talking about, IMHO.

  25. Wantok

    The average punter, and I include myself in that definition, doesn’t really have much of a grip on carbon pricing and whether it is good for Australia or not but we have to assume that putting a price on carbon is not just a Labor/Green fantasy and that ultimately our international carbon imprint and the public benefit have to be the motivation for Labor to pursue this course of action (it would be much easier for them politically to just mouth platitudes and do nothing). So really, the ball is now very much in Abbott’s court to provide evidence that this course of action is not in Australia’s interests; we have heard nothing to date and personally I would much prefer hearing from Turnbull.

  26. tssk

    All Abbott has to do is spook the Independents enough and the Prime Ministership is his.

    Given their success in tipping Rudd out he’s in with a chance.

  27. joe2

    Further to what Katz says @22.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has branded plans for a carbon price “a historic betrayal” which looks like a “conspiracy of the Parliament against the people.”

    If there was a decent interviewer around they would pick him up on such obnoxious language.


  28. Incurious and Unread

    Guess who wrote the following:

    “artificially created [carbon] markets could be especially open to manipulation….many now think that a carbon charge scheme directed at the least environmentally efficient producers would be simpler and fairer than an emissions trading scheme.”

    Not to say that this nihilist likes carbon pricing at all, but plainly he prefers a carbon tax (of some sort) to an ETS. He should be congratulating Gillard on her change of heart.

  29. paul of albury

    There’s a broader nihilism with modern right wing parties in general. Their philosophies used to have a place for government. Now government action is evil and government decision making is more incompetent than the private sector. When they get government they have a duty to demonstrate this 🙁
    All that remains for them is keeping the left out, compensatory pork barrelling for the affluent, and maybe war. Oh and Social Engineering – it seems being big brotherly on religion, (race) and ‘the moral fabric’ is still ok
    So we get incompetent financial and economic policies and culture wars. Tony is a shoe in!

  30. James T


    What Gillard is doing is dictatorial and flib flab flob.

    But Terge, I must know — what part of our collective body is her boot standing on?!

  31. Paul Burns

    One- Note Tony. (I been watching too many Mafia movies.)
    And what Mercurius said.

  32. Mindy

    @ tssk – Abbott has to do a lot more than spook the Independents. He has to convince them that he is fit to govern and I don’t think he can. They did choose Julia Gillard over him after all and I don’t think anything has happened to make them change their minds. If Tony gets rolled the Libs might be in with a chance.

  33. Katz

    What Gillard is doing is dictatorial and monstrous. She has no mandate for this. She promised she wouldn’t. She is a shallow power hungry manipulator. The sooner she is gone the better.

    Stop being an Abbottesque goose, TerjeP. You don’t even have Abbott’s excuse of vying for cheap political points.

    1. As Merc said, what Gillard is doing is the opposite of dictatorial under the most unfavorable of political circumsatnces. I’d call it “courageous” in the Sir Humphrey meaning of that term.

    2. “Mandates”, their presence or absence, are the most tedious non-issues in Australian political rhetoric. They have no legal standing at all. Talk of them soes nothing but inflate hot air balloons.

    3. Yes, Gillard has broken a promise. She has endangered her government by doing this. We elect leaders to lead, not to follow. Finally, Gillard has acted on conviction. You may not like that conviction. That is your right. I image that you did not vote for the ALP last election, so from a political point of view, you can go swivel. Many ALP supporters may desert the party over this issue.

    Sometimes, all too infrequently*, doing the right thing trumps doing the popular thing. This doesn’t happen very often in Australian politics. Enjoy the novelty.
    *I credit Howard with acting on conviction over GST and WorkChoices. WorkChoices is a very good analogue for the Carbon Tax. WorkChoices destroyed the Howard government, but at least he went down fighting for something he believed in.

  34. Fine

    Gillard said that there wouldn’t be a price on carbon. I have no problem with saying she has now broken that promise. And thank goddess for that. I put it down to the most stupid, must depressing, most braindead election campaign I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness. I remember well the ‘citizens’ assembly” and “cash for clunkers”.

    Thankfully, Gillard seems to have woken up from that nightmare of stupidity and is actually doing stuff, even though there’ll be some very nervous nellies in her party.

    I don’t have a problem with some people being pissed off with her breaking this promise. But, I think people using risible rhetoric such as a monstrous dictatorship were never going to vote Labor anyway. Eventually, after much sturm and drang and some very heavy duty negotiating, we’ll have a carbon price and an ETS. After a while, people will wonder what all the fuss was about. The other thing that will happen is that there’ll be people on the Left who won’t be happy because the outcome won’t be good enough, or tough enough. But, compromise always trumps purity in politics and I think there’s sufficient smart, savvy people, working in good faith in the mix to come up with a scheme that works.

  35. adrian

    Good point paul of [email protected]

    Maybe the only way to get any sort of meaningful reform achieved in Australia is to just go ahead and do it. All the seemingly endless rounds of consultation and committees so favoured by Kevin Rudd achieved little other than allow opposition groups and vested interests to become ever more vocal.
    Time for a new strategy.

  36. Incurious and Unread


    Gillard said that there wouldn’t be a price on carbon.

    No she didn’t. She said there would be no carbon tax. She specifically ruled in the possibility of an ETS (ie the “CPRS”) which would (of course) have put a price on carbon.

    I am like a dog with a bone on this one. It is doing my head in. I heard Fran Kelly say the same thing on Radio National this morning. Please don’t help to perpetuate this myth.

  37. Mr Denmore

    Gillard is at her best when she gets on and governs. Abbott, slowly being whiteanted by the moderates, is in over-reach territory and he knows it.

    People instinctively sense that Abbott is nothing more than a wrecker and a flat-track bully and wouldn’t trust in leading the government.

    So what Gillard “broke” a promise. These promises are extracted by a media obsessed with securing gotchas. Gillard will earn points for making a start on an issue that even John Howard had a policy for.

    And what is it with the Liberal Party opposing market-based solutions to climate change? What would they suggest instead? Oh yes, a taxpayer-funded direct subsidy to coal-fired power stations.

    Just exactly who are the statists here? I’m confused.

  38. wilful

    Sociologists and/or political commentators should never ever use the word delicious. It should be reserved for cookery writers and restaurant reviewers. Transgressive I’m not so hot on either.

  39. TerjeP

    Katz – workchoices was not something Howard had promised not to do. And he had submitted a large number of bills trying to do a fair bit of it in earlier terms. So whilst it cost him a large number of votes he wasn’t deceptive about it. A better example of something he sprang on us was his gun laws.

    I did not call Gillard a dictator. I said she was dictatorial.

    If people who voted Labor don’t care about this lie then why did Gillard feel the need to tell this lie.

  40. Mr Denmore

    If people who voted Labor don’t care about this lie then why did Gillard feel the need to tell this lie

    Because the media would not leave it alone if she “refused to rule it out”. Politicians are damned either way.

  41. adrian

    Yes wilful, and kitchen equipment or any other inanimate object should never be described as ‘sexy’.

  42. Katz

    I did not call Gillard a dictator. I said she was dictatorial.

    And the distinction is … ?

  43. James T

    @41: There goes every Iphone article! Thank god.

  44. TerjeP

    Mr Denmore – are you seriously absolving all politicians of responsibility for the promises they make? That is a big call.

  45. BilB

    TerjeP @39

    Gillard did not tell a lie. She change her mind under pressure from the Greens on an issue that was covered in the election as being something that needed doing. For there to be a blantant lie there needs to be premediation. That is not the case here. However this is something that Abbott does every other day by my observations.

    The real lie is the claim that Gillard told a lie. She did not.

  46. TerjeP

    Katz – the difference is that she has not done anything illegal or unconstitutional. However willfully manipulating voters with a lie is undemocratic. It treats citizens as a mere obstacle to be overcome raver than sovereign. Gillard is being dictatorial.

  47. TerjeP

    BilB – she said no carbon tax would be introduced by any government she leads. She leads this government. To suggest that she did not lie is pure sophistry.

  48. Katz

    Even Abraham Lincoln — “Honest Abe” — lied to the American people.

    Show me an Australian PM who has not lied to the Australian people at some time or another.

    I think you will agree that you have described a universal characteristic of Australian Prime Ministers.

    Did you identify this universal attribute in other PMs, especially Liberal Party PMs?

    If not, why not?

  49. Eric Sykes

    John D @ 19…yes I agree. I think Tone knows he’s on a hide to nothing with his own party now. The funeral and the noddy head and the comments from his own benches showed that. This is merely an attempt to claw back some favour, it’s pathetic in itself, and I don’t think it’ll work. I think he’s already gone and it’s just a matter of timing.

  50. Paul Burns

    Nice to see a conservative finally admitting by implication that the Howard Government was undemocratic, TerjeP. Never thought I’d see the day. As others have pointed out, Gillard only promised no carbon tax. When JWH, or for that matter Snuggles, go on TV the only thing that never came out of their mouth was/is the truth.

  51. Pavlov's Cat

    A better example of something he sprang on us was his gun laws.

    Yes, and that was the best thing he ever did. QED.

  52. Incurious and Unread


    It is not a lie, it is a broken promise. It was a statement of intent, not a statement of fact.

  53. Incurious and Unread

    As to how misleading it was, just look at the first bullet point in the relevant article in the Australian

    PM prepared to legislate a carbon tax

    I think the Australian tied itself in knots because it followed the Abbott line that the CPRS is a tax (which it is really). So, by ruling in the CPRS, she was promising a carbon tax at the same time that she was ruling out a “carbon tax”.

  54. Mr Denmore

    TerjeP, show me a politician that doesn’t lie. It’s an occupational hazard. They can’t afford to tell the truth, because the media would hang them out to dry.

    You have a choice on action on carbon. We either do something about it now, or we sit on our hands and do something much more dramatic when we are forced to do so.

    Most of us want the government to get on with it. And we’re tired of wreckers like Abbott trying to pretend there is an easy way that doesn’t involve pain.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Abbott is a prize c**t who is fighting internal battles against more sensible people within his own party.

  55. Incurious and Unread

    Sorry, wrong link. Here is the article I was referring to above. It was the news.com.au website, not the Australian.

  56. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Let the Australian people decide on the severity of breaking a promise.

    Let’s compare Bligh and Gillard. (I’ve already done it once this thread.)

    In her last election campaign, one of Bligh’s key campaign promises was that she wasn’t going to privatise Queensland assets. Immediately after the election, she and Fraser broke her promise. The result was increasingly dire poll results for the Labor government. Queenslanders were disgusted. It was until the floods this year that there was any substantial recovery in the polls.

    Was Gillard’s “no carbon tax” a promise of the magnitude of “no privatisation”? Well, how many people remember Gillard actually making that promise? Very few. Her campaign was distinguished by very little apart from running away from the successful policies of the Rudd government. In effect, she ran on not being Tony Abbott. This cause widespread boredom and disengagement.

    People are less likely to blame people for breaking a promise if they can’t remember the promise in the first place.

  57. murph the surf.

    I thought the word cat has only one ‘a’ Mr Denmore?
    Or are you suggesting he is a horse drawn vehicle?
    On LP I wouldn’t mind monderators removing the word used in all circumstances.
    The point about the intent of this new plan is well made though – even if it doesn’t get up the Liberals may inflict severe wounds on themselves trying to work out how to respond.

  58. Fine

    [email protected] I can see the difference. For me, it’s all a bit of a red herring. Gillard is actually doing some essential policy work. That’s what matters to me.

  59. Fine
  60. Lefty E

    Meh – name a recent PM (aside from perhaps Rudd) who HASNT broken a promise on tax.

    As I said on the other thread, I agree it was a stupid thing for JG to promise. Because it was promise that ultimately neither side of politics can keep.

    So, in a way, she’s actually being more honest than Tones. This has to happen.

  61. TerjeP

    I’m not here to defend the record of Howard or Abbott neither of whom represent my values in any general sense. I resent any inference that I am a conservative. Call me libertarian or right wing but not conservative.

    Gillard clearly broke a promise. I accept that she wasn’t necessarily lying but I suspect she was.

    In terms of a policy response to AGW I would accomodate a carbon tax only on narrow terms as follows:-

    1. Put to the people
    2. Revenue neutral
    3. Modest in size (ie < $40 per ton)
    4. Not an ETS Trojan
    5. MRET gets scrapped
    6. Nuclear permitted

  62. adrian

    Here we go again. Sucked into a discussion with the opposition and their media cheer squad on their terms, rather than on the merits of the policy itself.
    These idiots are best ignored and consigned to the irrelevancy they so richly deserve.

  63. TerjeP

    Lefty E – it is an easy promise to keep. Just don’t introduce a carbon tax and the promise is met.

  64. Incurious and Unread

    Fine @ 59,

    OMG, Grog doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a carbon price and a carbon tax, either! I can see this is a battle I will not win. Gillard understands; so does Abbott. Witness this exchange in Question Time (copied from GG’s post)

    Abbott:”One hundred and forty-nine members of this House, including every coalition member and every Labor member, was elected ruling out a tax

    Gillard:”Well, heavens above! The member for Wentworth was elected ruling out a carbon price, was he? I do not think so.”

    Cue much confusion for those who do not understand the difference; much dismay for those who do.

  65. joe2

    “So, in a way, she’s actually being more honest than Tones.”

    With no disrespect to Julia Gillard meant, that is not a very high hurdle to jump. He of the ‘you can’t believe me unless it is written down’.

  66. Martin B

    I’m not in favour of dishonesty but the merits of a price on carbon emissions vastly outway the benefits of a strict adherence to prime ministerial promise-keeping.

  67. Incurious and Unread


    “Gillard clearly broke a promise. I accept that she wasn’t necessarily lying but I suspect she was.”

    I guess from that you mean that the promise was made in bad faith, that she never intended to keep it. (Still not quite a lie, but I will let that pass.)

    I’m not so sure. Remember that at the time, the CPRS was Labor policy, with an ETS. There was not much support for “Carbon Tax” option, except from the Greens, who were proposing a “hybrid” approach.

    So, I would infer that Gillard thought that it was pretty safe to promise no carbon tax, as Labour was unlikely to want to implement this option. I imagine the underlying reason for making the promise was to mislead, because for the many people who do not understand the difference (here I go again) she might be appearing to rule out a carbon price.

    Misleading? Yes. “Lying”? I doubt it.

  68. Fine

    I&U – you have your work cut out.

  69. FFranklin

    Here’s a task for us all. Whenever the ABC shows footage of TAbbott declaring that this is the “mother of all taxes” etc. lets all count the number of times they remind viewers that TAbbott was a senior member of the government that if it had won the 2007 federal election had indicated they would have implemented a similar tax. Don’t worry you will still be able to keep to at least one hand free!!

  70. tssk

    Alan Jones is on message.

    “Do you understand, Julia, that you are the issue today, because there are people now saying your name is not Julia but Ju-liar and they are saying that we’ve got a liar running the country,” he said on his 2GB radio show.

    2GB’s new TV spot is pretty good too. It took me three viewings until I realised it wasn’t a Liberal attack ad on the lead up to the state election.

    Can we get a topic warmed up on what new policies Prime Minister Abbott will procede with come March?

  71. TerjeP

    A carbon tax is vastly better than an ETS. But this tax is a Trojan for an ETS so it doesn’t even have that going for it. A dud policy by a dud government.

  72. Fine

    Don’t be such a troll, tssk.

  73. tssk

    I’m not being trollish Fine. I am worried that we’re going to lose another ALP PM due to a media campaign of no substance.

    I never expected the Oz media to go all Fox News but trying to bait her by calling her Ju-liar seems to be gaining traction when it should be gaining contempt.

  74. adrian

    So I imagine that that the libertarian solution is to do SFA. TerjeP?
    Maybe abolishing all taxes will solve the problem of climate change?

    It’s so easy to repeat mantras like ‘dud government’ and carp from the sidelines of the sidelines.

  75. Helen

    In terms of a policy response to AGW I would accomodate a carbon tax only on narrow terms as follows:-

    1. Put to the people
    2. Revenue neutral
    3. Modest in size (ie < $40 per ton)
    4. Not an ETS Trojan
    5. MRET gets scrapped
    6. Nuclear permitted

    You would accommodate? and who made you the boss, Terje?

  76. Martin B

    The current dynamics if anything only reinforce W&O support for the ALP government. If for whatever reason Abbott became PM he would be facing a hostile Senate (from July) and would go to the polls as soon as he could. Everyone knows that and W&O have no interest in giving up their power. Quite apart from that they are both closer to the ALPs position on this than they are to Abbott’s, and much closer on the NBN.

    Any suggestion that W&O will cave in to a campaign by Jones, Bolt, the Oz or whoever is just a little bit stupid.

  77. Fine

    So, don’t be part of the problem, tssk. You’re always forecasting doom and gloom.

  78. Fine

    “Any suggestion that W&O will cave in to a campaign by Jones, Bolt, the Oz or whoever is just a little bit stupid.”

    It certainly is.

  79. Paging TerjeP...

    This dictatorial monstrous government is manipulating my Trojans and lying its boots all over the gizzards of my turkey!

    And they removed Rudd, so I can’t even rhyme them with ‘dud’ anymore!

    The people are revolting!

  80. TerjeP

    Adrian – the libertarian thing to do would be to remove the dumb ass ban on nuclear power.

  81. adrian

    Hey, if nuclear power’s the answer you’re asking the wrong question.

  82. wizofaus

    Terje, while I agree the ban is, as you say, “dumb-ass”, do you seriously believe that even if there were no regulations over who or how nuclear power stations were built in Australia a single private operator would take up the opportunity to build one without government assistance?

  83. Fine

    But, fortunately libertarianism doesn’t have much of a following in Oz, so it doesn’t really matter what libertarians think in terms of how these politics will play out.

  84. Gordicans

    No doubt about it, Tony is an unusual character but I don’t think he is a nihilist simply because of his religiosity, and it is this religiosity that defines him more than anything else. His religiosity is not of the token ‘mass at Xmas’ affair, it is of the full blown variety. My money is on Gillard to win this one resulting in the eventual demise of Abbott’s leadership, but it will be a long drawn out affair with no shortage of potential pitfalls for the Government.

  85. Pavlov's Cat

    Arse, dammit, dumb-arse.

  86. BilB

    tssk @ 70,

    Here is Baraholka’s investigation result of the “liar” claim.

    “95. Baraholka says:
    February 25, 2011 at 10:21 am
    Brian @90

    Fair enough.

    The Committee On Climate Change was a precondition of Greens support for the minority govt.

    That Committee had an explicit brief to consider a price on Carbon.

    I agree that the minority govt. agreement changes the putative conditions under which Gillard promised ‘No Carbon Tax’, which was an ALP House Of Reps. majority.

    Gillard did not lie.
    Sorry for saying otherwise Julia.

    But crikey, Gillard could have been a lot clearer in explaining how the minority government agreement affected her undertakings to the electorate. Just saying as she did that things are different because its a minority government made her sound highly opportunistic in the worst John Winston Howard sense.”

    Those who are claiming Gillard lied had better start pulling their heads in.

    The lie is to say that Gillard lied.

  87. tssk

    Thanks Bilb. I totally agree with that but I’m worried about how the ‘narrative will be framed.’

    Hopefully the Australian people are done being fooled with and will dismiss Tonies toadies.

  88. Lefty E

    Phoney appears to have pushing a Carbon Tax back in 2006.

    Terje – the problem is this: not introducing a CO2 price is a bloody stupid idea. It prices an externality which hitherto has been free to dump on the public commons, and is causing huge damage.

    Go read your Adam Smith, so-called ‘Libertarian’ – youll be sutrprised what you find there. Yu’re at complete odds with the granddaddy of your own movement.

    Im sorry dudes, but in capitalism, businesses are supposed to pay their own production costs – not sponge off the public purse like a bunch of taxeaters.

    In any case – as others have noted, this is a minority government. No one can suggest JG wouldnt have stuck to that pledge in majority – I for one (to my disaappointment) very much suspect she would have kept to it.

  89. Lefty E

    Phoney appears to have been pushing a Carbon Tax back in 2006: http://www.theage.com.au/environment/garnaut-to-revise-report-on-climate-20101013-16k0w.html

  90. wilful

    There’s still plenty of opportunity for people in Australia to be asses, however. As well as arses.

  91. Anita

    ‘Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has refused to say if he would repeal the Government’s carbon tax legislation if it was implemented before the next election.’

    Abbott is an ass, and an arse to boot. Lame I know, but Abbott’s refusal to be interested in the national inerest brings out the worst in me.


  92. tssk

    Can’t fault Julia on her bravery with this. After seeing what Kev copped with the mining tax she knows she’ll be walking into the wind and rain on this one.

  93. TerjeP

    Wizofaus – absolutely. The barrier to private nuclear power plants is cost. The cost is only excessive because of:-

    – excessive safety regulation
    – political interference in the construction phase
    – biased government requirements in terms of liability insurance

    Private nuclear power plants (and public plants) have an excellent safety record and are as such well regarded by insurance brokers. However no industry can get insurance for unlimited liability and some governments are keen to put nuclear out of business and so have silly liability requirements. If the government insisted that solar farms must have unlimited liability insurance then none would exist.

    Nuclear is proven to be vastly safer than coal plants. Safer than hydro. Only one nuclear plant has ever caused fatalities and even that was at a rate lower than for an average fossil fuel plant of similar power rating.

    I doubt any government is ever going to allow nuclear power plants with no safety regulations at all but if they made safety regulations on par with the comparable risks posed by non nuclear industrial fascilities then nuclear could become very competitive even without any carbon tax.

    The only barrier to cheap, safe, low emission nuclear power is political. Ironically these barriers are typically erected or maintained by the same groups that are in such a panic about AGW.

  94. Keithy

    …yeh, but now the Miners have been seen for the ripp-off artists they are.

    Bob Brown told the nation that democracy can be bought and we all listened.

    He is now very powerful.

    The game has changed and Julia is very brave to take advantage of it!

    The courage shown by Rudd and now Gillard will go down in the history books and be compared to John Howard!

    This is why the NBN is so hated!

    Australia is moving forward, and the history books will note this and to whom it can be attributed… pity the unadulterated mining boom made houses unaffordable to so many!

  95. TerjeP

    dk.au – the article you link in which Turnbull savages Abbott is from 2009. How is this an “update”?

  96. adrian

    TerjeP you really are a joker. Good luck convincing the Australian population that we have ‘excessive’ safety regulations in relation to nuclear power plants.

    See, even the current regulations are inadequate to guarantee the safety of the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor which only last month was found to have broken federal laws involving safety breaches and ‘failed to investigate allegations of workplace bullying and harassment arising from the breaches.’

    I would have thought that as a person advocating reduced safety regulations, you would be aware of the issues that the report into Lucas Heights raises in regard to the inadequacy of existing regulations.

  97. Nickws

    Yeah, dk, you’ve screwed up on the Turnbull quote, I’m afraid.

    Though I was just thinking today that if when this bill passes shadow Cabinet members like Hunt and MacFarlane will probaly argue for a future Liberal govt to keep it, to not promise a rollback.

    Of course they won’t get their way, nor is it very likely that any Coalition spokesmen will resign and go to the backbench in protest at the inevitable rollback strategy (though who knows).

    But it’s something the media should pick up on via leaks. It’ll help inflict the death-by-a-thousand-cuts on Abbott.

  98. Joe

    On a really basic level, we all pay for the service of having our rubbish collected and disposed — and rubbish is a waste by-product of consumer goods.

    Now there was a time when we thought disposing of sewerage meant just pumping it into the ocean, but it became apparent that this wasn’t as harmless a solution as we thought.

    Polluting the atmosphere is just an extension of this process. New information becomes available and we need to respond to it in some way. Why should polluters of the atmosphere not have to pay for it in some way? The pollution is after all a production by-product and is the responsibility of the producer. Disposing of waste is the responsibility of the person who creates it.

  99. TerjeP

    Adrian – the issues at Lucas Heights are a storm in a tea cup.

  100. jane

    tssk @26, I’m sure Abbott spooks the Independents, but I think it will guarantee they’ll run as fast as they can in the direction of Gillard.

    TerjeP, I doubt that any of the people who voted for the ALP did so based soley on that promise. In fact, I’d say they voted ALP despite that stupid promise. I for one, am very pleased she’s chosen to break it and I’d say there are a lot more who feel as I do than not.

    It’s a non-issue.

  101. TerjeP

    Jane – they made the promise for a reason. What do you think that reason is if not to influence voters?

  102. Mercurius

    @104 – TerjeP, well I think the reason they made that promise is because at that point in time they were running scared of their own shadows, gutless, good sense in the party was at a low ebb, they had just (politically) decapitated the most popular leader of the modern opinion-polling era, the NSW Right had convinced the campaign that Lindsay and Greenway were the only electorates in the entire country worth listening to, and what’s one more irrational decision added to that pile of poop?

    Your assumption that the ALP campaign was acting rationally and coolly by that point in the election cycle is too generous, by a mile.

    Look, this is just a counter-factual, but I reckon if Gillard had NOT ruled out a ‘carbon tax’ in this term, they would’ve bled far fewer votes to the Green, the ALP would probably now have a 1-2 seat majority in the Lower House, and Julia would go ahead and break the promise in the other direction (ie…do nothing…)…and I reckon you wouldn’t be outraged one bit about that broken promise.

    Politically, the only reason this carbon tax-price-levy-whatever is happening is because Gillard leads a minority government and needs to win back votes from the Greens if the ALP is ever to govern in its own right again…

  103. Katz

    Jane – they made the promise for a reason. What do you think that reason is if not to influence voters?

    Did it influence you TerjeP?

    If not, what makes you think that you are less gullible than other voters?

    If so, doesn’t that suggest that you are more gullible than other voters?

  104. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Katz – I must admit that I did believed that she was kicking it down the road to 2013. Clearly I was naive.

  105. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    A new website has been set up to oppose this carbon tax. Check it out and spread the word.


    [Moderator note: Terje P stood as a candidate for the LDP in the 2010 Federal election]

  106. joe2

    Great, TerjeP, does the donation money go directly through to Liberal HQ?

  107. BilB

    I take it, TergeP, that you do not believe that climate change is a threat to your standard of living.

  108. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    BilB – I don’t think the AGW threat is as substantial as some commentators such as the ALP left and the Greens imply. And even if it is there are numereous solutions better than a carbon tax. Better in both economic and environmental terms. You could even craft a sensible carbon tax. However the current carbon tax on the table is neither sensible nor was it presented honestly.

    Joe2 – I vote LDP. I know the administrators of the site and I trust their integrity on this.

  109. Hal9000


    the current carbon tax on the table…

    TerjeP, there isn’t a ‘current carbon tax on the table’. The announcement is devoid of detail, precisely because that’s what the political horse trading will address. Abbott has dealt the Opposition out of that horse trading, significantly weakening the influence of his side’s fossil fuel industry supporters. The people with the trump cards now are the Greens, Wilkie and any one of the three lower house independents. Abbott has shown himself to lack capacity to think strategically and has let his side down badly, as they will realise over the course of the next 12 months. Turnbull saw this, but was swept away by the Taliban wing of his party. He will likely emerge as another coalition Lazarus.

  110. joe2

    “Joe2 – I vote LDP. I know the administrators of the site and I trust their integrity on this.”

    Then, Terje P, it would have been the ethical thing to do to provide a disclaimer that you have an interest in the site you are spruiking and for those on it to disclose clearly that it is an LDP front. It’s a kind of lie.

  111. BilB

    The question was Terge do you believe that Global Warming and climate change are a threat to your standard of living?

    You accept that there is a threat which you choose to guage by the politicians assessments. Do you not believe the scientists assessments? Are politicians now more credible evaluators of the natural world than scientists, in your opinion?

  112. Katz

    Like TerjeP, I must say that I was mildly surprised by the Gillard Cabinet’s determination to push through immediately with determined action on carbon emission.

    It is simple to be wise after the event, but here is my post facto analysis: The Gillard cabinet recognises that the Gillard government is so close to political death that the merest perturbation could seal its demise. Therefore, being so close to crashing, there is little to lose by attempting to crash through.

    Moreover, I believe the Gillard cabinet argue, global warming is a generational issue , as is evidenced by the rise of the Greens. Moreover, it is clear the the Libs are divided on this issue. There is opportunity for wedging and therefore for ultimate political success.

    Thus, both political exigency and a desire to do the right thing have come into alignment.

    Hence immediate action on carbon emissions.

  113. Incurious and Unread


    You are trying to defend the indefensible. The carbon tax promise was intended to win votes for Labor. Whether it actually did or did not is irrelevant.

    It was a stupid promise in a stupid campaign. But, it would be even more stupid to now stick to the promise at the expense of having a carbon price.

    Nobody opposing the carbon tax really cares about broken promises, they are just using it as a stick to beat the carbon pricing policy with.

    Let’s move on.

  114. tigtog

    Terje P, joe2 has a point. You don’t just vote LDP, you stood as a candidate for them in the last election.

    In future, when you are linking to your party’s political efforts, a disclaimer from you is expected.

  115. TerjeP

    Joe2 – It has nothing to do with the LDP other than the fact that both appeal to people who think we are over taxed.

    TigTog – If you think my party affiliation is an issue somehow then you are free to say so but it is not my duty to tell you my life story. I have not asked you to announce who you vote for before every comment you make.

  116. Paul Burns

    Well, I’m happy its happening under a Labor Government and not the Libs. Of course, that doesn’t absolutely guarantee there will be adequate compensation for pensioners and the low-waged for the horrendous increase in electricity bills, but there is a slightly better chance that the compensation won’t all go to the middle class.

  117. tigtog

    TerjeP, you are being obtuse in conflating “voting for” with “standing [as a candidate] for”. One is a private matter, the other is just about as public as it is possible to be.

    You have multiple public profiles on the web that let people know this basic fact about you. Why not link to one of them in the URL field when leaving your comments?

  118. TerjeP

    You accept that there is a threat which you choose to guage by the politicians assessments. Do you not believe the scientists assessments? Are politicians now more credible evaluators of the natural world than scientists, in your opinion?

    Science is a process not a job title. Having said that I am reasonably comfortable with the science of AGW. The public policy response suggested by politicians such as the Greens and the ALP are terrible. AGW represents a cost that must be carried or mitigated. I do not believe that this carbon tax is a good public policy response. Doing nothing would be a superior policy position.

  119. TerjeP

    TigTog – my affiliation with the LDP is not a secret. It is a matter of public record. Julia Gillard does not announce before every interview that she is affiliated with the ALP. Nor should we expect her to.

    This issue only came up because somebody assumed I was promoting a site affiliated with the Liberal party. The site is not affiliated with the Liberal party and neither am I. The fact that you have confirmed that hardly implies some wrong doing on my part.

  120. TerjeP

    And another thing. I don’t comment here or anywhere as a representative of the LDP. Nor do I speak for my employer, my swimming club, my soccer team, family or anybody else. I comment in a private capacity. If I was speaking for the LDP then I would say so.

  121. tigtog

    TerjeP, your affiliation with the LDP is not a secret to anybody who has been reading oz poliblogs for the last several years, granted. Not every person commenting on LP is in that position. joe2, for one, was obviously unaware [eta: seeing as your political career has not had anything like the publicity adhering to that of Julia Gillard].

    When Andrew Bartlett posts comments here, he includes a link to his website where his history of political candidacy is laid out openly.
    When Andrew Leigh posts comments here (not that he has done so since taking his seat, AFAIK), likewise.

    This seems to me a very reasonable ethical standard, on a poliblog, for those commentors among us who have stood for political office.

  122. joe2

    As a follow up question to Terje P and his answer to my inquiry about Liberal donations @111, where he vouched for the integrity of the administrators of the site in question, could he please explain then the sponsorship of stopgillardscarbontax by Menzies House?

    (That connection can be seen on the bottom of the front page.)

  123. BilB

    What you said, Terje, was

    “I don’t think the AGW threat is as substantial as some commentators such as the ALP left and the Greens imply”

    which is that you think that the ALP hold extremist views on the AGW threat. That is the first time anyone has called the Labour party policy extreme on Global Warming Abatement.

    The general view is that the Labour party took the lowest projection put forward by science, divided it by ten, then used that figure as the high point to start watering down to find a point at which they could put forward for people, people like you, to quibble over the extreme nature of.

    And lo and behold, here you calling their position extreme. The figure that the Labour party started with was five years ago, and Science has declared every year since then that the problem is far worse then they originally calculated.

    But it is still too extreme for you.

    And then there is the whole issue of depleting fossil fuels.

    There is a huge credibility gap here.

  124. joe2

    I think Terje just fell through it.

  125. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    That’s a pretty useless petition site, TerjeP. Postal addresses are optional, and it doesn’t verify the existence of the email addresses submitted. The resulting “petition” would be rejected if ever submitted to Parliament.

    Why are you promoting such an obviously useless tool?

  126. jane

    TerjeP, it certainly didn’t influence me to vote for the ALP, nor did it have a positive influence as far as voting intentions for anyone I know who votes for the ALP; in fact it had the opposite effect.

    And looking at the fall in the ALP vote overall, I don’t think you can honestly argue that it was an effective hook to secure votes.

    Given the hideous alternative (voting for any of the Coalition parties) in my electorate, I ignored it and voted ALP. I probably should have voted informal on account of the carbon tax, but there you are.

    And wot Mercurius said @105.

  127. David Irving (no relation)

    Down and Out @ 128, there’s a most excellent joke about useless tools lurking in your comment.

  128. Mercurius


    You are trying to defend the indefensible.

    Not to defend — but to describe.

    What’s been repeatedly asserted, without any evidence, on this thread by TerjeP is that the ‘promise’ of No Great Big New Carbon Tax was a calculated ploy to win votes from… … … ??

    The null hypothesis, brought to you by the “shit happens” school of political science, is that the promise was a piece of ass-hattery in the dying days of a gormless, feet-of-clay election campaign, which nobody won.

    The null hypothesis has yet to be disproved and no evidence whatsoever has been submitted in support of the assertion. TerjeP would never vote ALP and nor would anybody who is worried about a Great Big New Carbon Tax. So what votes would the promise (now broken) have won??


    A broken promise is a broken promise, but since the promise was a piece of ass-hattery aimed at selling the future viability of our economy down the river to China, I’m only shedding tiny, tiny, tears about the promise being broken.

    I voted Green, but if Gillard puts flesh on the bones of this proposal and actually implements it, I would be far more likely to consider the ALP in a future election. One less green vote, one more red vote. If Turnbull were leading the Coalition in supporting implementation of the policy, it could even end up a blue vote.

    Which, I&U, is the long way agreeing with you that it’s time to move on.

  129. Lefty E

    That’s right I suspect – the NSW right is finally on the nose internally and someone with a brain is now running Federal ALP strategy, and has finally worked out that pitching 100% of policy at people who will never vote for them wasnt such a great plan.

    Despite being a member of the Greens, not just a voter, I invite the ALP to make further inroads into our vote base. I couldnt be happier. I got my eyes on the prize here – a future for my grandkids.

    By contrast, If the Greens have to annihilate Labor’s left (see latest Tas poll for how the ALP is currently travelling in a proportional system that actually offers one vote one value) – then thats what we must do.

  130. jane

    @132, I hope you’re right, Lefty E. Certainly Gillard seems more confident, evident in her interview with that arch-troll Alan Jones, and the Smuggles Set more of a rabble as they try ever more desperate stunts.

  131. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Clive Hamilton in 2006 on who listens to Alan Jones:

    The evidence presented in this paper indicates that perceptions of Jones’ influence and political sway are disproportionate to the size and nature of his audience. His listeners are much more conservative and authoritarian in their views than other Australians. His audience is small – about the same as a low-rating television program – and highly concentration among older listeners with well-established and inflexible political allegiances. This suggests that his influence is based more on networking and
    fear of on-air criticism than a real ability to shift votes.

    I guess Gillard felt she had to try.

  132. TerjeP

    Mercurious – You are right. Whilst I can vote LDP I am unlikely to vote ALP. I was a Hawke voter however.

    Jane – you should get out more.

    Joe2 – Menzies House is no more a Liberal site than this here is a Labor site. They have published stuff from several prominent LDP members including me. You know it is possible for people to be involved with more than one organization without those organizations being affiliated.

  133. TerjeP

    This seems to me a very reasonable ethical standard, on a poliblog, for those commentors among us who have stood for political office.

    Tigtog – I understand your point but I don’t agree at all. I don’t think it is even remotely unethical to provide an opinion in a blog comment without first declaring I have previously been a political candidate. I don’t even think it is mildly rude or any such thing. I think you are being ridiculous.

  134. Paul Burns

    I endorse the ‘shit happens’ school of political science.
    Terje P,
    You’ve been round politics long enough it seems to realise that the practice of politics is a day-to-day experience and that politicians whatever their party, while at times guided by principle, are affected in their decision making reactively to what goes on around them, and I don’t just mean the media cycle, but by what happens between them with their colleagues, their allies, their opponents and the various pressure groups, which in this case would, I imagine, be the Greens, business, public servants,environmentalists, scientists, economists. all putting their oars in. Politicians, and this includes Gillard, do not make decisions in isolation. I’m sure both the making of the election promise (Karl Butar anyone?) and the making of the present decision all had exterrnal factors applying to them, not just Julia’s inclination. She ain’t out there on her own on this, you know.

  135. Paul Burns

    Ooops! delete first ‘in isolation’ in comment 137.

    [Done! ~ moderator]

  136. tigtog

    Terje, it’s up to you, of course. Your choice to not opt for transparency on this leads me to think a great deal less of your ethical standards than I did previously. This may not matter to you one whit.

  137. joe2

    “Menzies House is no more a Liberal site than this here is a Labor site.”

    The site was set up by a serving Liberal Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader of the Opposition, Cory Barnardi, and its editor, until very recently, was one of his staffers. Spare us the bullshit Terje.

    “Former editor-in-chief Chris Browne, who is also a long-serving staffer to Liberal senator Cory Bernardi,….”

    “Senator Bernardi, who provided funding to establish the website,….”


  138. David Irving (no relation)

    That explains a fair bit, joe2. After all, Bernardi is one of the Minshevics.

  139. Hal9000

    I love the allusion, DI(NR), but these people are in fact the Bolsheviks of the Libs. Not only have they got the numbers, but their political tactics are much more aligned with Lenin than Martov. It’s something to do with ends and means.

  140. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    joe2 – by your logic Larvatus Prodeo speaks for “The University of Queensland” because that is where Mark Bahnisch has his day job.

    Lets back this up. You asked if donations to “Stop Gillards Carbon Tax” flow to the Liberal Party. All the indicators suggests it doesn’t. If you wish to assert otherwise then go right ahead.

  141. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Your choice to not opt for transparency on this leads me to think a great deal less of your ethical standards than I did previously.

    Firstly your suggestion that I am not being transparent is rubbish. Secondly I was not previously linking to the LDP in my comments so it seems a bit odd that you previously had a higher view of my ethical standard but now you don’t. My standards have not changed.

  142. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Tigtog – whilst on the topic of transparency perhaps you can tell us who you really are?

  143. Hal9000

    TerjeP, I think Mark B is at QUT, although he was a student at UQ. However, academic freedom even while under attack is still enough to make nonsense of your analogy. Try again.

  144. David Irving (no relation)

    Sorry, Hal9000, I misspelt Minchevics – a reference to South Australia’s spittle-flecked retiring Senator.

  145. silkworm

    Solar thermal (Rankine cycle) is the CSIRO-adopted gold standard for power production; not wind; not any form of nuclear. The price on carbon must be set at that level which puts solar thermal on the same competitive level as coal-fired power.

    Does anyone know what that carbon price is, and can they direct me to a site which makes these calculations?

  146. joe2

    Yes, let’s back it up [email protected] You piously preached against trickiness and political deception for quite some time then, bang on @108, you spruiked a website.

    A new website has been set up to oppose this carbon tax. Check it out and spread the word.

    It is clearly a nasty little piece of astroturfing from right wing activists largely sponsored by extreme Liberals and their conservative kin, when it is properly investigated.

    So, yes, I will happily assert donations accrue to Liberals and you are being sneaky and deceptive in denying it; just like you were in recommending the site, in the first place; that you knew all the time was a set up by your colleagues and friends.

    Most unethical, in my opinion, and in the context of your earlier comments on this thread quite hypocritical.

  147. Fiona

    Back on topic, I am in furious agreement with comment #23 by the magnificently-monikered Alistair Baillieu-McEwan on Grog’s excellent post.

    The thought of having to live under Mr Abbott’s (cough) benign omniscience and omnipotence is enough to scare me into going transsexual very fast.

    Or into migrating to some more hospitable country. Like Afghanistan…

  148. Incurious and Unread

    Mercurius @ 131

    The null hypothesis…is that the promise was a piece of ass-hattery in the dying days of a gormless, feet-of-clay election campaign, which nobody won.

    Talk about nihilism!

  149. Mercurius

    TerjeP, aren’t you a bit too busy to be commenting so vociferously on this blog?

    I mean, you have your hands full with a Great Big New Carbon Tax to stop, signing the Great Big New Petition against the Great Big New Carbon Tax, a People’s Revolt to join, a Dictatorial and Monstrous PM to campaign against, and all while the dud government has its boot on your throat!

    You must be a good multi-tasker.

  150. Incurious and Unread

    I am sure that TerjeP is devoting every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every month to the cause.

  151. silkworm

    The most honest effective way to achieve a carbon price capable of driving our economy and our society to the clean world of the future is “Carbon Tax with 100% Dividend” … This tax, and the knowledge that it would continue to increase in the future, would spur innovations in energy efficiency and carbon-free energy sources. The dividend would put money in the hands of the public, allowing them to purchase vehicles and other products that reduce their carbon footprint and thus their taxes. The person doing better than average would obtain more from the dividend than paid in the tax. The tax would affect building designs and serve as an effective enforcer of energy efficient building codes that are now widely ignored. The need to replace inefficient infrastructure would spur the economy. Tax and 100% dividend can drive innovation and economic growth with a snowballing effect. Carbon emissions will plummet far faster than alternative top-down regulations. Our infrastructure will be modernized for the clean energy future. There will be no need to go the most extreme environments on Earth for the last drop of fossil fuel, to squeeze oil from tar shale, or develop other unconventional fossil fuels. A tax on coal, oil and gas is simple. It can be collected easily and reliably at the first point of sale, at the mine or oil well, or at the port of entry. This approach also implies the fastest most effective way to international agreements … The abject failure of Cap & Trade was illuminated for all to see by the Kyoto Protocol, the granddaddy of all Cap & Trade schemes. Even countries that accepted the toughest emission reduction targets, such as Japan, saw their emissions actually increase. The problem is the inevitable loopholes in such complex approaches, which take years to negotiate and implement. The Congressional Budget Office provides a comparison of carbon taxes to cap-and-trade. That report concludes that a given emission reduction could be achieved at a fraction of the cost via a carbon tax, as opposed to cap-and-trade. Another useful comparison is also available. The worst thing about cap-and-trade [ETS], from a climate standpoint, is that it will surely be inadequate to achieve the sharp reduction of emissions that is needed. Thus cap-and-trade would practically guarantee disastrous climate change for our children and grandchildren. The only solution to the climate problem is to leave much of the fossil fuels in the ground. That requires a high enough carbon price that we move on to our energy future beyond fossil fuels. Summary. The honest approach, the effective approach, for solving the global warming problem would be a tax with 100% dividend.

    – James Hansen, top US climate scientist, Feb 2009

  152. TerjeP

    TerjeP, aren’t you a bit too busy to be commenting so vociferously on this blog?

    Good point. It is a waste of time here.

  153. BilB

    Moving to another blog will not make you any more correct than you were here, though, Terje.

  154. Hal9000

    now that TerjeP’s gone, it’s worthwhile examining his statement that

    I don’t think the AGW threat is as substantial as some commentators such as the ALP left and the Greens imply

    So, according to the departed TerjeP, we should judge reality according to political preference. A very sad view of the world.

  155. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    It is clearly a nasty little piece of astroturfing from right wing activists largely sponsored by extreme Liberals and their conservative kin, when it is properly investigated.

    Nasty, joe2? That’s a bit of an overstatement. Incompetent would be closer to the truth. It’s easy to add fake entries, and the result would be useless for tabling in Parliament. Worse than useless. Using publicly available data, someone could submit Julia Gillard’s details to the form – name, street address, email. What happens when the petition shows her as a “signatory”?

    TerjeP: at this point, you may feel like you’re being piled on from all directions, with me just another body on top. I’m sorry, but I have to ask my [email protected] again: Why are you promoting such an obviously useless tool? With another question thrown in: “What are you going to do about fixing the flaws”?

  156. Mercurius

    It’s easy to add fake entries,

    Duly noted.

    Signatories include:

    Maia Zisore
    Barry D. Live
    Neil B. Foarme
    Howie Bowdit
    Lee Nonmie

  157. tigtog

    @Terje P,

    Tigtog – whilst on the topic of transparency perhaps you can tell us who you really are?

    Can’t be bothered to look at the About pages here, or the About pages at my own blog, in order to find my real name?


  158. joe2

    Yer “nasty” on a number of grounds Down and [email protected] Here’s two. (That they would not care about fake entries on there ‘great big new petition’ does not surprise me in the least.)

    1) It’s backers are quite deceptive.

    “Menzies House is not affiliated with any political party, and is funded entirely by donations from concerned individuals.”

    2) It’s claims are completely fabricated as no details of the carbon tax have yet been released.

    “This is a tax that will hurt every single Australian: electricity bills alone for the average family will go up by over $300 a year.”

    And terjeP may be promoting such an obviously “useless tool” because he is much more involved in it than he has been letting on.

    Better for him to take leave, here, with “It is a waste of time” because the smell of rat is worse than what I have been copping in my backyard this arvo. Fortunately that more local prob is now packed away in the wheely bin for disposal.

  159. Andrew E

    All Abbott has to do is spook the Independents enough and the Prime Ministership is his.

    [email protected], why this fantasy that Independent MPs are able to be “spooked”, and that Abbott has the calm and deft timing to do the spooking? A gang of Coalition MPs might be more numerous than the independents, but they are not necessarily braver.

    For example: when it comes to Andrew Wilkie, I’d suggest there’s one Liberal MP who has the right to remain silent, anything he does say etc.

  160. Andrew E

    Oh, and Terje: if Gillard was so dictatorial, why aren’t Liberals in prison, or lying dead in the streets? Only journalists hold politicians to absolutely all promises they ever made. By 2013 we’ll be paying carbox taxes directly or indirectly, and we’ll vote on it then. My prediction is Tony Abbott won’t be Opposition Leader by then. A long shot? I see no evidence for your assertion that a tax is superior to a market mechanism.

    Nuclear power requires massive state subsidy. There is no libertarian argument for nuclear power.

  161. paul of albury

    Down and Out, assuming your question isn’t rhetorical the obvious reason Terje’s promoting this useless tool is that while it will achieve nothing real, it could make a lot of noise, much like the leader of the opposition.
    Besides if they can identify 2 or 3 real people the opposition are probably shameless enough to table it, and the media no doubt happy to build a narrative on it while eliding the concerns over authenticity.
    And Terje if the LDP are involved with Menzies House I think it hurts your credibility, I always thought your philosophy unrealistic and naive but not bats**t crazy like MH

  162. John D

    I don’t know what the rest of you are doing but a $40/tonne CO2 tax would push up my power bill by $175/yr. What is the basis of the much higher figures the great big tax man is bandering around. The figure would be a fraction of this if the clean-up of the power industry were being driven by or contracts for the supply of cleaner electricity, the MRET or some other system that did not depend on a carbon price.

  163. wbb

    $175 per year is nothing for a safe planet. And for those who cannot afford it there will be compensation anyway.

  164. Helen

    A good way to overcome the impact of utitility price rises for the most vulnerable would be to use Carbon tax money to increase all transfer payments, pensions & such to compensate. Has that been suggested already? (Not as much on top of the discussions as I’d like to be)

  165. joe2
  166. Mystified

    Excellent post DK.au, not sure if its quite got the level of discussion it deserves- too busy to read all posts.These threads are easily diverted. It lends itself to paranoia, but interesting to note that there are software programmes which are sometimes deployed to simulate ‘public mood’- internet astro-turfing its called apparently.
    Anyway enough of the paranoia. On the political front I hope Gillard Media advisors encourage her to hone in on the Mad Monks previously characterised personality flaw: hysteria. That is the constituency Abbott represents. Repeatedly provoking that response from him and highlighting it at strategic moments has got to be a winner in the long run. But careful of the knock out punch, labour need him-Abbott may immolate and talcum is an altogether more slippery customer.

  167. BilB


    Abbott is just a babbling fool. Petrol has gone up 20cents a litre in the last week, and could well go up another 20 cents if the oil price stays high for several months. The whole point of Carbon Pricing is to remove petrol altogether from our budgets and replace it with solar energy which will ultimately make motoring a third of the current price.

    Abbott has no ability to look into the future. He can’t even think clearly, how could he with the sound of his own yapping voice ringing constantly in his ears.

    The most disgraceful thing in Australian politics is Tony Abbott attempting to claim the high ground in honest, and Austalian jounalism supporting him, completely forgetting the endless procession of lies and backflips that he has performed in just 12 months. Pathetic

  168. Lefty E

    Its not just Abbott: there was some douche from the Business Council of Australia on Radio National talking about competitiveness of our exports being harmed by a CO2 price.

    When the journo had the poor taste to point out that nearly all our competitors – and even China – had an effective CO2 price these days, and therefore that his key argument might need some work, he just dismissed it as if facts are no longer relevant in these stoushes.

    You just make up any old crap and say it a stern tone.

  169. dk.au

    Thanks everyone for the comments on the post itself and those trying to bring the discussion back on topic. I guess the policies of the LDP are somewhat on topic(?)

    I think it’s interesting that Bob Carr, nominally very level headed about climate change, calls for all out war on the policy stakes

    “To prevaricate again over climate is unthinkable… Labor can win this debate… The government needs a council of war, advisers to help it get the arguments right and win the propaganda. On the agenda for the first meeting should be 1) the long list of calls from business for carbon price certainty 2) the economic arguments that uncertainty caused by the absence of a scheme is lifting the price of power and 3) the list of Howard quotes in support of pricing carbon. They are the government’s killer facts. You only win debates with killer facts.


  170. PeterTB

    BilB “The lie is to say that Gillard lied.”

    You mean a bit like the WMD lie lie?

  171. PeterTB

    Or the never ever GST lie lie.

    Any poster here who maintains that Gillard didn’t lie had better not have ever accused Howard of lying.

  172. Lefty E

    This is how demented political debate in the half-arsed country has become: nobody will remember the 40% electricity price rises caused by uncertainty over a CO2 price, poor investment climate, arbitrary hikes by privatised electricity distributors, and run down infrastructure – it’ll all be about the $3.10 extra pw, which is full compensated for low income earners anyway.

    Do you ever feel like you’ve been had, Australia?

  173. Brian

    LE, I listened to talkback radio the morning after the announcement on local ABC here. Makes you pretty cynical about the level of intelligence of the voting public, their inability to listen to anything and their capacity to delude themselves with all sorts of shite in their heads.

  174. Brian

    PeterTB my dictionary says a lie is “an intentionally false statement”. Gillard didn’t lie. Howard, who’s to know, but I tend to think not, about the GST anyway.

  175. Joe

    There’s been research into the decision making processes of the world’s best chess players and we’ve all heard the story about the chess master who can think 6 moves ahead:

    Well, it’s actually a myth. Not surprising, really? So how do chess master’s make decisions? The secret to their success is actually maximising the number of decisions possible? In other words, chess masters don’t know exactly what the game is going to be like 6 moves ahead. It’s not possible for this to enter their decision making process for any particular move. Instead their optimum move is that move which least reduces their ability to make moves in the future.

    It’s kind of simple, really, don’t you think?

    Why people are interested in politicians making long term strategic decisions about policy issues is ridiculous. That’s what laws are for. That’s what the parliament’s job is. It’s in fact lazy (and IMO vandalistic) journalism to ask a politician to commit to policy decision, with the threat that if the decision has not yet been made, that it will be presented in the press in such a way that it will appear that the politician is behaving in a sneaky and dishonest way.

    If only they could answer with, “I do not recall…”

    We need to demand better from out journalists.

    Other than that- Go Julia Gillard! Thank you the independents! Let’s bring this one home for the good of the country!

  176. Shingle

    I used to be a Howard Hater… think I’m becoming an Abbot Abhorrer.

  177. Ootz

    Close Shingle! Abbot is a tool granted, the real horror are those people whose nihilism he represents in our Parliament.

  178. Lefty E

    Brian its like the old Nobel Prize in Economics winning principle that “… people underweigh outcomes that are merely probable in comparison with outcomes that are obtained with certainty”.

    I dont care that not having a CO2 price has probably raised my electricity bill by 30% – but Im livid that a CO2 price will definitely raise it 3%.

  179. BilB

    [email protected],

    Oh Howard lied alright, and fully intentionally as Abbott addmitted on ABC national radio 3 months after the election in which Howard declared that he would match Latham’s Gold Card for Seniors, an important plank in his election platform. Howard left it for Abbott to explain why the seniors would never see their free health care, claiming that there were unforseen cost blowouts. In the interview on ABC radio, three sentences after saying that cost blowouts were unforseen, Abbott then said “well we did know about the cost blowouts but they were not going to honour the election promise anyway”.

    If that is not a blatant intentional lie then I don’t know what is, and the victims of the lie were the most elderly members of the community. And the 1.7 billion dollar promise renig was in a year that saw a 5 billion dollar tax surplus, or was it 10, I’m not sure.

    And having won that disgraceful election what were we treated too in that term? For memory we saw drought stricken communities offered relief funds with so many strings attached that almost no-one took up the offer, typical Howard. We saw the Murray Darling fiasco start to unfold. We sufferred through the Switkowski “report”. We saw Howard dragged kicking and screaming to finally offer $500 million dollars for climate research…over TEN YEARS, also typical Howard. After that STOLEN election Howard and Abbott were so on the nose that Howard lost his seat outright. Dump.

    Howard’s main form of lying was to announce a huge dollar value for a programme…but over a hundred year time frame.

    Is that enough for you PeterTB? I’d like to go on, but it people glaze over after a while.

  180. Hal9000

    I reckon it’s extraordinary that there can be passion in a debate about a tax that will raise petrol prices by as much as six cents a litre when prices vary by 20 or 30 cents whenever there’s a hiccup in supply or even a suggestion there might be a hiccup in supply. As much as 15 cents difference can be evident in the weekly pricing cycle, depending on the day of the week the purchase is made. And yet we see that people happily buy fuel on the expensive days, and choose to buy fuel from outlets that don’t offer one of the supermarket chains’ discounts.

    On electricity prices, the trouble probably is that under state stewardship, it was politically expedient to keep prices under inflation and to downgrade maintenance and allowances for replacement of generating plant. With a three year electoral cycle, there are no prizes for delaying the immediate gratification of money in the pocket. And then suddenly the decrepit state of infrastructure becomes a political issue. Nine stitches are given top priority when one a few years before would have avoided the problem ever happening.

    In Queensland, for example, the government-caused poor maintenance and past use-by date equipment morass suddenly became an electoral issue in the second (majority) Beattie government when pretty ordinary seasonal storms caused prolonged outages across Queensland suburbia. Beattie appeared on the tv news wearing sackcloth and ashes, vowing to make everything right as though this was the first time he’d ever heard of the problem. Social programs were cut and general expenditure frozen in order to divert resources into the power grid. It looked like they’d gotten away with it.

    The trouble is, when crisis management consists of diverting resources into the crisis, the first things to be cut in the robbed non-crisis areas are operations and maintenance. So the bureaucracy is instructed to find savings and finds them through rewarding box-ticking over service standards. The Bundaberg Hospital fiasco is a foreseeable result.

    Anna Bligh’s popularity has gone through the roof because during the succession of natural disasters she simply communicated the truth. She read out the bulletins generated by the disaster management bureaucrats, and had been well briefed enough to answer the inane questions posed by the media pack directly and without spin.

    This is getting too long, but where I’m leading with this is that Gillard can choose to level with the Australian people and tell them what the scientists are saying are the foreseeable costs of BAU, or she can engage with Abbott in a childish argument about details. This is not a ‘beer up, cigs up’ taxation measure, it’s the start of a fight back to prevent catastrophe.

  181. Hal9000

    Oops. After ‘result’ at the end of the fourth par, there should be another sentence reading: In the end, taxes have to rise to pay for the services the public expects, and everyone is alarmed at the suddenness of it all.

  182. PeterTB

    BilB: “Is that enough for you PeterTB”

    Nothing to rival this latest from Gillard then?

  183. Katz

    And who can forget John Howard’s ‘Saddam’s “Dreaded Human Shredding Machine”‘ lie?

    As it turns out, no Australian intelligence service told Howard anything of the sort. He made it up to trick Australia into a disastrous war.

    Lying a country into a war is the most serious lie of all.

  184. PeterTB

    BilB: “well we did know about the cost blowouts “

    Can’t find that exact quote BilB, but I preume that is a paraphrase of the Laurie Oakes – Tony Abbott exchange here.

    Interesting read. Shame Laurie doesn’t subject the current PM to the same level of inquisition. Tony was admittedly “dropped in it” by his cabinet colleagues, but he had the guts to actually front strong questioning on the issue, and in any event, the sin was not as blatant as that of our current PM.

  185. PeterTB

    Katz: And who can forget John Howard’s ‘Saddam’s “Dreaded Human Shredding Machine”‘ lie?

    You give the Honourable JWH too much credit, I think. Wikipedia credits Britian’s James Mahon as the originator.

  186. Ootz

    HAL above ” …that Gillard can choose to level with the Australian people…..”

    heh, including those which are on a daily diet of supersize cornucopian bulshit with the compliments of your friendly advertiser? Those which are daily screwed by the system and think politics is just another football code? Those in the small group of people that own the majority of wealth of the nation? Those armchair generals empowered by a solid retirement fund and time to spend on the internet honing the lefty/warmenistas and spam your email account with RWDB shit?

  187. Katz

    You’re right PeterTB.

    Howard was incapable of making up his own lies. Leech-like he guiltily sucked sustenance out of the lies of others.

  188. Hal9000

    Ootz, one thing the disasters have shown those who think politics is a football code is that in the end, they have to rely on the state. I think quite a few are now paying attention. Whether they’ll be lulled back into la-la land by Abbott’s song, I’m not sure.

  189. Ootz

    HAL to level with the Australian people in todays time you have to be a comedian to do that successfully and JG aint that. Where’s I would give it to The Abbot. I see him as the pied piper that leads those nihilists to their desired end in the reality of unsustainable BAU.

  190. Hal9000

    Katz, Gerard Henderson and others continue to maintain that the lies Howard and his colleagues insisted on being told exculpate them. I’ve been listening lately to Roman history podcasts; the Romans never launched a war of aggression either.

  191. adrian

    The things that people choose to get worked up about!
    That was only a war somewhere a long way away. Doesn’t affect me like a 6c rise in petrol prices does, so why should I care if that straight shooter John Howard told a little porky about it? Get a sense of proportion please.

  192. PeterTB

    adrian. Please be a bit sensitive. mercurius is pursing lips and clenching butocks – and all because you left off the “/sarc” tag!

  193. Steve at the Pub

    Peter TB: #188

    It sounds like an abattoir digester, rather than a “machine for shredding plastic”. Verbal description of one to a layman would leave that layman clutching for a reference point, “shredding machine” would come close.

    I’m nervous just going near the things.
    Not to suggest that one was used, but use of one is perhaps more plausible than armchair wallahs believe.

  194. Ootz

    SATP. Maybe we should have asked for a cost-benefit analysis from Howard too, before we did put a layby on that shredder.

  195. Hal9000

    SATP, the machines that produce blood and bone have been in operation for over a century and have been standard gangster fare for most of that time. John Howard’s fevered imagination surely required a special, Evil-r-us brand, machine. With blinking lights, lightning rods and hunchback machine operators, no doubt.

  196. Ootz

    yeah, hal evil-r-us and queue jumpers were required to sustain the relaxed and comfortable. Now all it takes is ‘no great new tax’ to rally the nihilists up the cliff like lemmings.

  197. Steve at the Pub

    Hmm, clearly I don’t mix with enough gangsters, even though I have frequented the meatworks aplenty.

    A distinction should be drawn between:
    Widely disseminated & credible-but-not-concrete intelligence provided to a Prime Minister, and;
    A Prime Minister just making stuff up.

    Keep your heads people. For your own sakes, please make that distinction.

  198. BilB

    Thanks for finding that,PeterTB.

    I don’t agree at all that this was a less of an issue to the current one. If anything Gillards oscillations cost the Labour Party votes.

  199. Joe

    Honestly, we can’t keep governing the country like it’s Australian Idol. The US is the example of what happens when your political system is failing. We’re going to be ‘alright’ as long as we’ve got the natural resources to maintain our standard of living, but by the time they run out or some other crisis is thrust upon us, our political culture is going to be so thoroughly pathetic that we won’t be able to rely on the government to make good decisions in difficult circumstances.

    An opinion is not the same as a fact and it’s no good going all meta about the distinction. If you can’t follow the advice of experts than you can’t be a leader.

    Many of the politicians that we have, like many of the leaders in private that we have are the result of a beauty contest.

  200. Ootz

    SATP Funny you should mention that “Widely disseminated & credible-but-not-concrete intelligence provided to a Prime Minister, …”
    The same upright citizen is again poking holes into the hollow scare campaign that ushers the lemmings for the cliff.

  201. PeterTB

    Excellent Andrew Wilkie quotes in your linked article Ootz:

    “Its [Iraq’s] weapons of mass destruction program is very disjointed ”

    “Iraq as rogue state should worry us as a potential source of weapons to terrorists”

    “I mean, it may well be that we have to go to war against Iraq eventually”

    ” A war is what is most likely to force him [Saddam] to act recklessly, to possibly use weapons of mass destruction himself ”

  202. Ootz

    Yeah, no surprise there PeterTB, nihilist do have problems with moral and integrity, which includes quoting in context and in full, even if it does not suit their baseless thoughts.

  203. Katz

    PeterTB put Andrew Wilkie’s remarks through the Truth Shredding Machine.


  204. FDB

    PeterTB – is there anything about Wilkie’s comments (from the link you have followed and read) about Iraq and the case for war in 2003 that you don’t agree with?

    Because it reads to me like a very accurate and well informed account, and I hope you haven’t lost the plot entirely.

  205. Steve at the Pub

    Andrew Wilkie, The Bulletin, March 2003
    (my bold)

    Yes, it might be a short and successful war. It might be. But it might not be as well.
    My main concern is that Saddam could engineer a humanitarian disaster for any of a number of reasons. We all know of his program to co-locate his sensitive assets in civilian areas, next to schools and so on. He’s also got a number of options up his sleeve. Three main ones come to mind:
    He creates a humanitarian disaster to overwhelm coalition forces. Just totally overwhelm them, with thousands of casualties, hundreds of thousands of refugees, internally displaced people, trying to move through their lines. That would play all sorts of havoc for the coalition military.
    He might create a humanitarian disaster to cause such outrage in the international community as to force the US to stop.
    He could create a humanitarian disaster as part of a scorched-earth policy once he realises the game is up. He’s on the record as saying during the Iran-Iraq war when it looked like Iraq could lose that he would leave nothing of value for the invading army. That, I think, is an awfully important insight into the way this evil man thinks.
    He could do it with weapons of mass destruction. He’s already used chemical weapons against the Kurds, and he could do the same again.

  206. Lefty E

    I for one enjoyed Wilkie’s complete excoriation of the Liberal party under Abbott. Good intel work.

    Abbott’s really doing well with the indies ain’t he? Windsor thinks he’s a plonker, who constantly vindicates the choice not to make him PM; Oakeshott has practically taken public slander action against the Libs; and Wilkie thinks several of them are actual Klansmen.

  207. Anita

    “When I use a word,” Phony Tony said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    “The word I choose to mean carbon pricing is tax. And yes, I do so too believe in climate change, because I said so just before. But climate change has nothing to do with carbon pricing or with tax.”
    Thus spake Phony Tony, who is master, or at least will be when everyone revolts against the tyrannical tax, “because carbon pricing is a tax based on a lie. And therefore it is nothing to do with climate change which is, as I said just before, true.
    “I will chose the meaning of climate change, too. I believe in it, and as master it is for me to say what it means.”

  208. Joe

    Anita has totally captured the horrible truth.

  209. Mercurius

    Many of the politicians that we have, like many of the leaders in private that we have are the result of a beauty contest.

    Wow! I’d hate to see the runners-up!!

    Quoting SATP:

    “…I…mix with…gangsters…aplenty.”

    Quoting PeterTB:

    “Can’t…read. [A]dmittedly…dropped…guts.”
    “Please…lips and…buttocks”

    Am I doing it right?

  210. BilB

    That is very funny, Mercurius.

    A real life example of the SATP technique comes from Christchurch when I was living there. On Avonside Drive there was a work at home tradey who did art glasswork and had a tradtitional trade sign at his front gate which advertised “Lead lights and stained glasses made and repaired”. Some mischievious person decided to rearrange this guys career, so one morning as I drove to work through the early morning mist what appeared in my truck’s headlights was the same sign modified and masked off with toilet paper to then read “tight and stained asses made and repaired”.

    It is a good technique.

  211. Ootz

    Another independent picked up the nihilistic trait in the ‘anger’ management of Abbotts lemmings.

    “This is about eradicating the current Government, using the carbon pricing issue as the catalyst to attempt to get some sort of people’s revolt, US-style revolt to overthrow the government,”

    “I think if they keep running that line they may well have a self-fulfilling prophecy and incite people to do things they would never normally do.”

  212. Ootz
  213. Incurious and Unread

    dk.au @214,

    Peter Dutton used the same line on Craig Emerson, so I reckon it has come from Liberal HQ.

    Then again, maybe it is just a case of “small minds think alike”.

  214. Joe


    Mercurius, the runner-ers up are all yous battlers out there. Driving to work every day. Children screaming. Watchin the footee.

    This country is the best little country, Mercurius. The best. We’ve been punching above our weight since 1996 and godammit the World Cup in 2044 is going to be so beautiful…