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140 responses to “Overflow Thread”

  1. Ambigulous

    Clancy? Clancy??

    Cllaaaaaannnccyyyy !!!

  2. Terangeree

    He’s gorne to Queensland droving,

    An’ we dunno where he are.

  3. Katz

    The picture for this thread depicts a scene from the poem “The Man from Snowy River”. While Clancy of the Overflow has a cameo role in this poem, the eponymous Man gets all the kudos.

    Is this picture a fair or sensitive teaser for an Overflow thread?

  4. tigtog

    Take it up with d’Arcy W. Doyle, Katz. He’s the one who painted it and called his painting Clancy of the Overflow.

  5. zorronsky

    Too young to join in as far as Harrison was concerned. Clancy talked him around and the boy proved to be the only one with the gonads to get the job done. However the pony did the hard yards. A good team that pair.

  6. Ambigulous

    The picture chosen is much livelier than “Still Life with Tar Pot”, long-forgotten masterpiece of the Eaglemont School.

  7. Katz

    You can’t blame Clancy for the tar pot incident. He had long since removed to Queensland.

    Indeed, the real Clancy provided an adventure-packed account of his own life.

    http://www.wallisandmatilda.com.au/clancys-reply.shtml

    As you can see, he never once mentioned events connected with any alleged colt from Old Regret. Oversight? I think not.

    PS. I am unacquainted with “Still Life with Tar Pot”. Is it, perchance, painted on black velvet?

  8. paul burns

    Watched The Fades on ABC2. More than a bit scary for me, but much more entertaining than Q&A.

  9. paul burns

    And for those of you who haven’t caught up yet:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2013/mar/25/game-of-thrones-beginners-guide
    Have DVDs of seasons 1 and 2. Don’t have pay TV (of course), so will have to wait for season 3 to come out on DVD presumably next year. Meanwhile, I can keep myself entertained by reading the Guardian‘s exceedingly light touch on the series.
    Mercifully at least it will take my mind off the real Game of Thrones going on in Canberra and elsewhere.
    (Be careful its addictive.)
    I haven’t read the books yet. Probably never will.

  10. paul burns

    ps . [email protected]
    If you haven’t seen seasons 1 and 2 link has spoilers in it.

  11. paul burns

    The Libs in NSW, it seems, are not immune.
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4594110.html

  12. Paul Norton

    NSW Labor started to lose it when they started doing business in Chinese restaurants with grubs.

  13. paul burns
  14. paul burns

    If you’re a Game of Thrones fan…. life in Canberra.
    http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=35710

  15. zorronsky

    I agree with Bernard Keane on this, the biggest failure and mightiest let- down of all. ” Nor were those governments above stumbles, errors and policy disasters. When Keating lost in cabinet to Kim Beazley over telecommunications policy, Australia was handed a monolithic Telstra that held back communications infrastructure and strangled competition in Australia for a generation.”
    Irak was criminally bloody minded and insane, no mistake, but for sheer ineptitude and stupidity on through the Howard years, the above takes the cake.

  16. faustusnotes

    continuing my convo with akn re: the Australian feminist pope, I have to ask… akn, after all your postruing about working class theory, you reveal to me Gramsci and the “relationship to the means of production”? Have you really updated any theory since Marx?

    I don’t think that Gillard’s putative pieceworker would be particularly happy to be in a meeting with a lawyer who judges her worthiness on the basis of her relationship to the means of production …

    also, I’d like to know the position of Australian labour on the Afghan war, and on war in general. Also, on refugees. Thanx!

  17. Golly Gosh

    My take on Donglegate after having read the various blog posts; Pycon Code of Conduct; Pycon’s Donglegate blog response; SendGrid’s reason for terminating Richards’ employment; Richards’ tweets and blog post re her complaint; Playhaven’s re terminating and employee; and Playhaven’s employee’s statement re termination.

    (a) The persons who have engaged in malicious behavior towards Richards’ and her former employer are dirtbags. Hopefully some of them will be tracked down and prosecuted.

    (b) One Playhaven employee involved in Donglegate was fired, the other wasn’t. This suggests the former already had issues with his employer and this was the last straw. If that is the case there may be an argument that termination of his employment was reasonable, irrespective of the apparently trivial nature of the incident.

    (c) Richards had her complaint dealt with by Pycon staff under the Code of Conduct and she expressed satisfaction with how it was dealt with. What Richards did beyond that, in escalating that matter and taking it to a wider public audience via her well read blog, was grossly disproportionate. Richards:

    – took three unauthorised photos and put one on twitter and a blog post.
    – made no effort to block the images of, as SendGrid notes, innocent bystanders
    – engaged in a public blame and shame exercise that was vindictive and unnecessary in light of the matter being attended to under the Code of Conduct.

    Also note that Richards has a previous history of not dealing with things she doesn’t like in a professional manner (stick-figuregate, for example)

    As such, I believe SendGrid was justified in firing Richards. No employer of a small company carry an employee deliberately who goes looking for trouble.

  18. faustusnotes

    On Wednesday my student published a paper on mortality in nursing home residents evacuated from Fukushima. It showed that elderly people evacuated from a town near the nuclear plant showed a large increase in mortality, though the increase was not consistent across facilities (some showed no increase). Mortality appears to have been associated with the initial evacuation, rather than the distance. The study has many flaws (no control group, limited health information, inability to accurately assess cause of death, three facilties did not participate) but it has been getting a fair bit of coverage in Japan and it does add to knowledge about evacuation risks, not just in the nuclear disaster context (see e.g. Katrina).

    We couldn’t conclude that the evacuation itself, rather than the specific processes used to evacuate, were the cause of mortality, so we can’t say for sure that the evacuation decision needs to be changed in future disasters, but we were able to draw a wide range of implications about evacuation planning for facilities located near such a plant. Also note that the area suffered significant tsunami-related damage and it may be that evacuation would have been necessary even if the plant hadn’t gone to hell.

    We have previously shown low levels of radiation exposure in residents living in the same town, and in combination with Wednesday’s paper, this does raise the possibility that even in the case of a Level 7 nuclear disaster, evacuation may not always be the wisest choice for all residents of the affected area. If so, then the obvious first and most immediate implication is that govt and power companies need to be much more open and transparent about what is happening during a disaster, since the “wisest choice” demands information about exposure risk. This is especially true in communities where a lot of elderly are not being cared for in facilities, so individuals have to make risk decisions.

    I thought I’d mention the article here because I know the LP Hivemind loves a good nuclear stoush. The purpose of the paper was to explore evacuation-related factors, but I think it will be used as rhetorical ammunition by both sides of the nuclear debate. Those LP-ers who remember our last stoushes on this will maybe recall I am vaguely pro-nuclear power, and my take on the research I’ve been doing so far is that nuclear power is not particularly dangerous – which would be irrelevant if it weren’t for the increasing damage being done in developing nations by coal, and the obvious importance of adapting to global warming.

    Anyway, I’m interested in the opinions of anyone here …

  19. desipis

    faustusnotes, that’s some interesting research. I’m curious how you’d propose to manage the public perception of leaving the vulnerable people behind when you evacuate, if the evidence leads to the suggest that it’s better for those people to stay behind. It’s also difficult to separate the needs of the elderly and the needs of the workers they depend on when assessing the merits of an evacuation.

  20. faustusnotes

    Thanks desipis. It’s hard to imagine that the public perception would be manageable in such a situation, unless a general change in views of radiation risk could occur – and even then you’d have the uncertainty of the radiation release, which means that a decision not to go might have to change rapidly – and this depends on good quality and reliable information from the plant operators and the government. And obviously sheltering-in-place doesn’t work if staff won’t assist. But regardless of this, a risk of doubling or tripling mortality rates needs to be seriously considered and mitigated, and if the mitigation is impossible then a realistic judgment about the risks of staying needs to be made.

    The research also suggests that some facilities managed to avoid mortality increases. So there are lessons to be learnt, and it is possible that even the frail elderly can be safely evacuated – which is useful information in a lot of different circumstances.

  21. Chris

    Golly Gosh @ 17 – are you sure that both employees were from Playhaven? I thought only one was.

    There was a lot of external pressure on SendGrid – DoS attacks, attacks on clients and a promise from someone claiming they were from Anonymous saying that the attacks would continue unless Richards was sacked. And they’re a small company which could easily go under if more clients left. So the decision was unlikely to be have made in isolation of just an evaluation of Richards behavior. Though given the work she did as an evangalist there were obviously going to be difficulties with her being able to continue her job.

    FWIW PyCon have updated their Code of Conduct to to explictly say that public shaming of people is not permitted (they claim it was implicit before). From what I’ve read the PyCon people handled the situation as best they could. Sometimes things just run completely out of control once they get on social media though – even Richards has said she did not intend for anyone to get fired.

  22. Golly Gosh

    Chris, the employer statement reads:

    There are a number of inaccuracies being reported and I would like to take this opportunity to provide some clarity.

    PlayHaven had an employee who was identified as making inappropriate comments at PyCon, and as a company that is dedicated to gender equality and values honorable behavior, we conducted a thorough investigation. The result of this investigation led to the unfortunate outcome of having to let this employee go. We value and protect the privacy of our employees, both past and present, and we will not comment on all the factors that contributed to our parting ways.

    This employee was not Alex Reid, who is still with the company and a valued employee.

    Pycon’s Jesse Noller released a statement saying the code of conduct is being reviewed. A possible amendment re public shaming was added then quickly removed from the Pycon code of conduct.

    What’s interested me most about this event is how both the pro and anti-feminist camps have fictionalised the narrative to suit their own agendas.

  23. Chris

    Pycon’s Jesse Noller released a statement saying the code of conduct is being reviewed. A possible amendment re public shaming was added then quickly removed from the Pycon code of conduct.

    Ah, I must have seen one of the earlier versions then. the CoC has been added to github so you can now see all the changes that are made to it (though of course it has to be approved).

    What’s interested me most about this event is how both the pro and anti-feminist camps have fictionalised the narrative to suit their own agendas.

    That is hardly surprising though is it? Eg. the controversial cancellation of VioletBlue’s talk earlier this year resulted in quite divergent narratives about what actually happened.

  24. akn

    Faustnotes: Jayzuz! Bureaucrats like you make it easy to understand how the Shoa happened.

  25. Helen

    GODWIN

  26. akn

    YOU THINK?

  27. faustusnotes

    can you explain why, akn?

  28. FDB

    FN – Anthony is explaining to you that your tentative advocacy of nuclear power makes you Hitler.

  29. jumpy

    That terribly unpopular Premier of QLD is down to devastatingly low 62 2pp compared to ALP 38.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2013/03/30/newspoll-62-38-to-lnp-in-queensland/
    The cross-bench now has more MPs (8) than ALP (7).
    Can they somehow claim more right to opposition?

  30. jules

    Jumpy, just out of curiosity how do you feel about Stephen Conroy’s media regulation bill?

  31. jumpy

    @30
    Having not read the entire bill ( I doubt many have ) my position is ideally less concentration of media ownership but the Net is doing a great job of providing a diversity of outlets.
    On ” The Overseer ” we already have avenues to peruse wrongdoing.
    All in all the Bill was Red Underpants Mans failed attempt to flex some sort of muscle, a waste of time, when he should be rescuing what’s left of NBN cos credibility.
    I don’t put much into the ” diversion to leadership debacle ” but that could have been a small part of it, a failure if it was.

  32. Peter Murphy

    jumpy: I find those results unbelievable – as in “not to be believed”, rather than “astounding”. A 2PP that’s in the same ballpark as the election in 2012?

    I’m going to wait for the Megapoll.

  33. leinad

    Can confirm state of war exists between myself and North Korea. All necessary sarcastic quips will be deployed to vanquish this evil totalitarian regime.

  34. Golly Gosh

    Here is is a classic example of a bad faith pro-Richards blog post that has been doing the rounds. It is written by a philosophy professor, Janet D. Stemwedel, and is ludicrously tagged ethics 101.

    Let’s deconstruct Stemwedel’s argument:

    (1)

    “Subsequently, one of them [one of the two accused] was fired by his employer, although it’s in no way clear that he was fired on account of this incident (or even if this incident had anything to do with the firing)”

    This is incorrect. Playhaven CEO Andy Yang released a statement two days prior to Stremwedel’s post that said:

    PlayHaven had an employee who was identified as making inappropriate comments at PyCon, and as a company that is dedicated to gender equality and values honorable behavior, we conducted a thorough investigation. The result of this investigation led to the unfortunate outcome of having to let this employee go.

    (2)

    A person claiming to be the joker who was subsequently fired seems to be ambivalent himself about the appropriateness of the joking he was doing.

    This is a misrepresentation of what the fired employee actually said: “I really do regret the comment and how it made Adria feel. She had every right to report me to staff, and I defend her position. ” Nothing ambivalent about that.

    (3)

    Richards took a picture of the men telling the sexualized jokes …

    Not exactly. Richards took 3 photos. Each photo contains the faces of innocent bystanders as well as the accused.

    (4)

    PyCon had a Code of Conduct for the conference that encompassed this kind of issue [sexualised jokes].

    True but it also forbids using photography to harass fellow attendees. Arguably, taking 3 unauthorised photos, putting them on twitter and then on a blog constitutes harassment, especially given the fact that (1) innocent bystanders are in the photos (2) we cannot ascertain from Richards’ blog or tweet which of the men constitute innocent bystanders and (3) Richards expressly stated to Pycon staff that she was happy with the way matters were handled.

    Stemwedel disingenuously suggests Pycon staff (if fair and trustworthy) would have found Richards in breach of the Code of Conduct if they thought the photography inappropriate, but this claim ignores the fact that the accused (to our knowledge) didn’t complain about the use of the photography and certainly could not have known that Richards would later use one of the photos on her blog.

    (5)

    In discussing the ethics of Richards’ conduct, Stemwedel completely ignores the issue of proportionality. That is to say, the punishment should fit the crime. Richards reported the issue to Pycon and she expressed satisfaction with how Pycon handled the matter. Pycon subsequently put an incident report on its blog as is its custom regarding code violations. This should have been the end of the matter, yet Richards saw fit to escalate the situation in a way that saw #Donglegate go viral. Given Richards public profile and large blog following, this was not an unforeseeable result.

  35. Chris

    Given Richards public profile and large blog following, this was not an unforeseeable result.

    Not unforseeable, but I rather doubt she did anticipate what happened – I tend to believe her when she says she didn’t want the guy fired. My guess would be that she didn’t really intend for it to be a widespread public name and shame either. It’s pretty common for people on social media to have a bit of a vent about something intending the audience to be restricted to only sympathetic friends (eg complaining about their job/boss etc). Much like they’d do at the pub to a few friends.

    But even those with high follower counts forget that even if all their followers are sympathetic once they start retweeting it can go viral and if that happens chances are no matter what you’ve done a large chunk of the Internet audience will love what you did and a large chunk will hate it and not be shy about expressing their opinion. And people wishing you dead is unfortunately par for the course even for things as minor as someone not liking something in a piece of software they are neither forced to use or contributed any time or money for.

  36. Golly Gosh

    I don’t think Richards intended this result but I have the feeling that she is a clever a self-promoter. I think she’ll land on her feet.

  37. Chris

    GG – clever self promoter is probably the personality type you want from a developer evangelist 🙂 I think you’re right – after the furore dies down – and that doesn’t take long for internet scandals – it’s like she’ll find another job as there’s a fair number of people out there sympathetic to her situation. Probably the same for the guy who was sacked.

  38. akn

    Just for you , faustnotes (pdf)

  39. paul burns

    Somewhere yesterday I read that Barnaby Joyce had said Tony Windsor wouldn’t be able to get anything from a Coalition Government because he was part of the Lb/greens/Independent claque.
    This blow-in from Queensland obviously knows nothing about the voters here in New England if he’s so stupid as to mouth off like that. One of the reasons Windsor got in as member for New England years ago was because the then member, who had succeeded Ian Sinclair who was a very good local member who would help constituents regardless of their political affiliations, was alleged to only help constituents who voted National, (and he was a hopeless local member.)
    This behaviour really got the locals’ backs up and they turfed him out.
    If Joyce has come down here to throw his weight around the way he thought he could in Newman’s Queensland (which, apologies to Queensland LP-ers, is beginning to look like Jo-land all over again after what? six months?) he might get a very nasty surprise. I hope so.

  40. akn

    Yes, Paul Burns, I read a comment that the election for New England will be an IQ test for the electorate!

  41. paul burns

    akn,
    We do have a university. But then again, that doesn’t necessarily prove intelligence, does it?
    And anyway, total number of votes in Armidale are never for the Nats.

  42. akn

    Ah yeah, and a pretty suss chancellor at that too!

    I’m not so far away from Armidale and which has been a frequent port o’ call over the years especially the national parks. Many years ago I belonged to a group who … err… aided the spontaneous combustion of road signs, you remember (?), those one storey high monstrosities in paddocks along the length of the New England Highway.

    Cheers.

  43. Lefty E

    The Oz claiming a ‘majority’ of Labor MPs now oppose putting single parents on dole.

    Lets hope that’s true.

  44. paul burns

    akn,
    I daren’t exchange war stories. 🙂
    Besides, I hardly ever leave town. One long trip I did go on many years ago to a lonely beach near Nambucca I nearly drowned.

  45. Helen

    In response to AKN’s cheap jibe at Cristy / parenthood blogs on the other thread: Given that we have more privilege and more leisure and access to the web than the people you describe (And that is NOT AN ENDORSEMENT of the fact that they haven’t) it is a good thing that Cristy and others use their leisure and access to technology to question their social mores and advance the cause of gender equality.

    Many of these things, like parliaments and advanced medicine and things, are tested out and researched in richer societies. Doesn’t mean they are worthless in the end.

    Blogging is, you will remember, a leisure activity. It doesn’t replace getting the Nobel Peace Prize or finding a cure for Special Economic Zones. It replaces watching SVU or gardening or a million other things which are not crucial to saving the world.

    You on the other hand are out there setting fire to street signs and we bow to your superior awesomeness and know that the future will be safe in your hands.

  46. Ronson Dalby

    In today’s SMH letters:

    “I have always been a farmer of relatively modest means; however, over a long period, I have accumulated in excess of $2 million in my super fund. I suspect that 30 or so of my friends and neighbours are in a similar position.

    The government’s calculation that only 16,000 of us are affected by the proposed super changes would seem wildly inaccurate. I think 10 or even 20 times that number more likely. How were the numbers arrived at, I wonder.

    Ross Flanery Galong”

    Is this guy serious?

  47. mindy

    Ronson yes I think so. The Flanery family own a fair bit of property around Galong and I think he may be the head of the family. Whether other farmers are in this position I have my doubts though.

  48. paul burns

    Is he in the National Party? If so … well, the conclusion is obvious, eh?

  49. Fran Barlow

    Apparently Thatcher has finally snuffed it …

  50. alfred venison

    sic gloria transit

  51. mindy

    @Paul Burns, don’t know what his political affiliation is. Sorry.

  52. Chris

    Ronson @ 46 – heh, I wonder if drought/flood relief for farmers is subject to a means test or not. I’m amazed that someone could put “modest means” and $2 million in just super savings (let alone other assets) in the same sentence!

  53. David Irving (no relation)

    Fran, if I had the spare money, I’d travel to England and piss on her grave. I realise that sounds vindictive, but it’s what she deserves.

  54. paul burns

    Thatcher is dead. 🙂
    Tough shit. I feel sorry for England – for the years she was their Prime minister.

  55. David

    I wasn’t even alive when Thatcher left office and my family don’t really owe her anything but it seems strange that I seemingly hold her less vitriol than some teenagers an ocean away.

    For better or worse, being a figure of hate amongst people who weren’t even alive when she left office is a a sign that, fundamentally, she won.

  56. Liz

    Elvis Costello wrote an excellent song about dancing on her grave.

  57. Katz

    Thatcher nibbled at the edges of Clement Attlee’s Britain and was finally offed by the Tory Wets.

    Iron Lady? Pfft.

  58. Guy

    I am amazed how unbalanced much of the commentary being offered by prominent figures and the media is on Thatcher. Apparently you have to either hate her guts and be thankful for today’s developments or she deserves to be mentioned in the same breadth as Winston Churchill and is beyond reproach.

    I think this shows a lack of respect for democracy by both sides. Thatcher, after all, was a creation of the people. The British people made her what she was.

    From a left point of view, it should be possible to critical whilst retaining some dignity.

  59. akn

    Thtcher/Reagan ‘Gone With the Wind’ poster. Scary days.

  60. Paul Norton
  61. Paul Norton
  62. zorronsky

    So the lies begin as 24news trots out coalition leaning talking heads re their broadband plan telling viewers that ‘to the node’ is located at every corner. Regional copper-line users will be very surprised when they eventually get the choice of wireless or huge dollars. It’s years now since my neighbours were informed that ADSL cannot be provided from the node without a hardware upgrade with significant cost. The huge improvement in wireless meanwhile has the same users trying to cope with speeds rivaling dial-up and at times so slow as to be nonexistent now that page loading times cut out with low speeds. That’s without the influx of visitors overloading the system altogether. The next wave of ‘heads’ on 24 even inferred a 200meter maximum distance to the nearest node. One small gift for the Governments NBN version is the impact of wireless shortcomings on the visitors.

  63. Fran Barlow

    Guy:

    From a left point of view, it should be possible to critical {of Thatcher} whilst retaining some dignity.

    That’s amusing, since you haven’t bothered to make the case that those on the left who are evaluating her legacy have cast dignity aside.

    Speaking as an atheist and opponent of plebeian metaphysics, I have no feelings at all about her death. Death claims everyone, sooner or later, whether they are worthy or repulsive, insightful or banal, nuanced or utterly one-dimensional or anything in between.

    Thatcher was an implacable enemy of working humanity. There was no human usage, no accomplishment of community no worthy human impulse that she would not be happy to see fall under the hooves of a police horse or see bundled into a paddy wagon in pursuit of the interests of the class she served. There was neither warmth, nor pity nor even acknowledgement that those who stood in her path deserved any consideration at all. This was someone who before she even came to power, was dubbed “Thatcher, milk snatcher” for removing the subsidy for milk in state schools. There’s little doubt in my mind that when J K Rowling created the “Dolores Umbridge” character in the Harry Potter series of books, she had Thatcher in mind.

    What is telling in her death is the tendency for people not merely on the official right, but even amongst others who imply some cultural distance from the official right, to engage in maudlin reminiscence about her legacy. It’s hard to say whether this is Stockholm Syndrome or reflexively submissive behaviour or quais-religious taboo. It does strike me though that the rush to laud her amongst capitalist politicians such as Julia Gillard does give the lie to impressionistic liberals and hard nosed reactionaries who imply that such folk are in some way ‘left-of-centre’. What these more timorous folk admire in Thatcher was her unambiguous service to the boss class and her willingness to take on openly the working population and do what was necessary to defeat it and entrench privilege.

    Dead or alive Thatcher will get no paean of praise from me. She has spent the last few years as an empty husk, an expended resource. The boss class moved on and installed first Major and then Blair. Both of them are now also squeezed lemons. That’s just how it goes.

  64. paul burns

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-09/neighbourhoods-throw-parties-over-thatchers-death/4617348
    Which all goes to prove the world has become a much better place since last night.

  65. Ronson Dalby

    Guy at #58

    “I think this shows a lack of respect for democracy”

    Not too democratic when Thatcher got in with only 42% of the vote.

  66. Ronson Dalby
  67. Paul Norton

    She was not without her admirers.

  68. Lefty E

    Bollocks. Thatcher is alive and well, and living in Brussels.

  69. Gummo Trotsky

    Australia’s most civilised columnist is having apoplexy over Brooke Magnanti’s response to the news of Thatcher’s death on Q & A last night.

  70. Mark Bahnisch
  71. mindy

    @Ronson and Chris – he could have also been talking about the $$ invested in the farm which would become his super when he sold the property on retiring.

  72. Brett

    Ronson Dalby:

    Not too democratic when Thatcher got in with only 42% of the vote.

    What proportion of the vote is democratic? Is it 43%? 44%? 50% + 1 vote? 100%? The UK has a first-past-the-post system (which they voted in 2011 to keep in preference to something similar to our system) so since the Conservatives under Thatcher got more votes than any other party that’s democratic in UK terms. Even Attlee’s Labour in 1945 got less than 50% (49.7%).

  73. Fran Barlow

    Brett:

    What proportion of the vote is democratic?

    Not less than 50%, surely? Personally, I regard the system environment around voting as at least as important as the structure of voting itself. Your average autocrat like Mubarak was getting 90% of the vote for President of Egypt.

    The system in the UK is configured to support one-party rule (or at worst rule shared between a dominant party and a junior). What this means is a parliament not based on consensus but on who edged in front at voting time. It’s an excellent fit for the influence of the powerful elites since fairly minor changes in support can lead to the ouster of a regime — and this in turn hands almost all the transactional value to the privileged elite. People don’t get a deliberative vote in this system but a boolean, this party or the even worse alternative.

  74. paul burns
  75. Brett

    Fran:

    Not less than 50%, surely?

    On that basis no Australian federal government has been democratically elected since Fraser’s in 1975. Obviously it’s not that simple. More important than a simple majority of the popular vote is the basis of the franchise and the extent of the franchise, who can vote and what they are voting for. In both the UK and Australia, there is universal adult suffrage and votes ultimately count towards the choice of government. That seems fairly democratic to me.

    People don’t get a deliberative vote in this system but a boolean, this party or the even worse alternative.

    Sure. It’s a flawed system. But as I said, in 2011 the British people voted in a referendum on whether to keep first-past-the-post or replace it with alternative vote. They voted to keep it, 68% to 32%. That’s democratic too.

    [Fixed ~ Mod]

  76. BilB

    Thanks PB for that update. I don’t know whether this is getting coverage on ABC national as I find I have to mute the audio most of the day to avoid the idiot journalist comment, and now spend much of the time with the foreign news on SBS,… where I learn so much more. But I doubt that Torbay is raising even the slightest mention and is certainly not a leading news item in the way that the alleged misdemeanours of the speaker of the federal house was for months. Am I suggesting an intensely biased news media?

  77. BilB

    Great find, akn. I’ll be chukling all day over that one.

  78. paul burns

    He was second or third item on 5.30 TV news yesterday. (I think.)

  79. paul burns

    ABC TV News, of course.

  80. paul burns

    Latest news on Torbay etc.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/revealed-obeids-grand-plan-for-torbay-as-premier-20130411-2hojs.html

    Whichever way it goes, it really does look like this will end up at lawyers at ten paces, which I more or less predicted when I first started commenting on it. There are some very litigious people involved in this saga.

  81. Tim Macknay

    There’s a bit of excitement in WA today as oil company Woodside announces the cancellation of its proposed LNG development at James Price Point.

  82. Russell

    Tim – interesting that the article doesn’t present a point of view from the Aboriginal people who were looking forward to their share of the proceeds ….

    But the last part of the article is also interesting: “Federal Resources Minister Gary Gray says he is confident Woodside will pursue other ways of developing the resource. “This is a commercial decision. I remain confident, I always have been confident that the Browse gas fields will be developed,” he said. “I believe that will be the case and this is just another step down the road to ensure we will see a development of the browse oil and gas fields.” Prime Minister Julia Gillard says it is a decision for Woodside.”

    The terms of any development will have to be negotiated with government (the resource belongs to us), and Gillards and Gray’s comments don’t sound like they want to get us the best deal.

  83. BilB

    Wow, PB.

    The absolute arrogant greed of these people is truly staggering. Please keep putting these articles up if you can. Thanks.

  84. paul burns

    BilB,
    Will do. I generally keep an eye on the local news from time to time anyway.
    For safety’s sake, both mine and LPs, I’ll be making very few comments to the links I provide. This whole saga is going to be a lawyer’s picnic between Fairfax and the aggrieved parties at its conclusion, I suspect.

  85. Tim Macknay

    Russell – evidently you weren’t with the environmentalists on that one. The Browse gas field will be developed either through a pipeline to LNG facilities in the Pilbara, or through Floating LNG technology (probably the latter).

    As for Gillard’s and Gray’s comments – they were merely stating the bleeding obvious. Whether or not the “the best deal” necessarily includes an onshore facility at James Price Point is, rather obviously, a debatable point.

    It’s worth remembering that the James Price Point site was chosen unilaterally by Colin Barnett, essentially through an “eenie meenie miney moe” process.

  86. Russell

    Tim – whether or not I agreed with the environmentalists is beside the point that the ABC article is a bit one-sided. (Why can’t they cut those dinosaur prints out and sell them as garden ornaments in Bunnings – I have a spot in the yard for one, and who is ever going to see them up there?)

    The JPP advantage was jobs (construction and ongoing), perhaps the foundation for a petrochemical industry, gas reserved for WA use, royalties for the state etc. There seems a lot less advantage for us if the gas is processed on some off-shore platform and sold off from there. Gray and Gillard speak as if any development will be on terms that maximise the developers’ profits, perhaps they should be talking as if they will be involved to get what we would like to get out of this resource.

    The process to find a site for JPP went on, expensively for tax-payers, for years without any resolution. This government looked at all the environmental work that had been done and finally selected JPP as the best spot.

  87. Fran Barlow

    Brett:

    On that basis no Australian federal government has been democratically elected since Fraser’s in 1975.

    Well I’d say that democracy is yet to come to Australia, but I have a narrower view of what democracy entails than most.

    Putting my objections aside though, the IRV system does ensure that most of the time, the 2PP winner does win. Beazley missed out in 1998 and Hawke triumphed when he shouldn’t have in 1990, and going back further there was 1969, 1961 and 1954 … each of them seeing the ALP miss out. So for most people, our system is more mnominally democratic than in the UK.

    in 2011 the British people voted in a referendum on whether to keep first-past-the-post or replace it with alternative vote. They voted to keep it, 68% to 32%. That’s democratic too.

    Well technically, yes, though I’m not sure anything like a proper debate of the matters was held. The vote was seen very much through the framework to the Con-Dem coalition, and since people didn’t like that — and they were divided on it — they fancied that “alternative vote” might reproduce more of it.

  88. Tim Macknay

    The JPP advantage was jobs (construction and ongoing), perhaps the foundation for a petrochemical industry, gas reserved for WA use, royalties for the state etc.

    Russell, the only one of these which would have been real was the (temporary) construction jobs. The rest are in your imagination.

    The ongoing jobs will still be there if (as is highly likely) the Browse resources are developed by other means.

    The WA’s government’s ability to exact royalties is dependent on where the gas reserves are located, not on where a processing facility is built. It cannot exact royalties for gas located in Commonwealth waters.

    As for the gas reservation policy, given that reservation requirements are subject to “commercial viability” clauses, and oil companies cannot be compelled to bring gas to shore if they have alternatives available, it’s debatable whether the policy is anything more than political theatre. The current situation simply shows that, as an energy security policy, it has serious flaws.

    The idea of a Kimberley petrochemical industry is a fantasy from the same planet that Kimberley water canals live on.

    The process to find a site for JPP went on, expensively for tax-payers, for years without any resolution. This government looked at all the environmental work that had been done and finally selected JPP as the best spot.

    You have a fertile imagination. A strategic environmental assessment, looking at several possible sites, was in progress when the Barnett government came to power. The Premier personally decided to “speed up” the process by arbitrarily choosing one of the sites under assessment. The “environmental work” was a long way from being done when this decision was made. Of course, legally the assessment could not be cut short, so it continued well after the Premier chose the site, despite being compromised by his decision.

    Furthermore, under pressure to deliver a speedy environmental approval for the site, the State EPA engaged in some dubious decision-making , the result of which is that the EPA’s approval (which is a legal requirement for the development) is the subject of a court challenge. Informed observers think the approval has a serious chance of being overturned.

    That, together with the WA Government’s embarrassing legal stuff-ups in its compulsory acquisition of the land (which was done to try to force the Traditional Owners to come to an agreement more quickly), can be slated back to the Premier’s apparent belief that he could force the project to happen by taking as many shortcuts as possible. Every shortcut has caused delays and increased uncertainty. The Government’s handling of it has been a mess, to put it mildly.

  89. Russell

    Tim, well may you say a petrochemical industry is a fantasy, but to others it’s a ‘vision’.

    The ongoing jobs at JPP would hopefully be of use to the local Aboriginal people. Piping the gas further away won’t help them.

    True WA gets royalties from the gas in our areas, but the gas reserves are spread over a huge area. I was kind of thinking that if they were piping to the mainland they would first exploit the reserves nearest the coast (i.e. ours), whereas if they use floating platforms they might put them just outside our areas and just deal with those pushovers Gray & Gillard.

    “You have a fertile imagination” – you say that as if it were a bad thing. Yes, the environmental assessment was ‘in progress’ when Barnett came to power, but not how long it had already taken. Was it something like 2 years? I vaguely remember that the previous government had given more than a million $ to the local communities to facilitate their decision making, but their hadn’t been any decisions. I can understand Barnett’s frustration with a process that seemed to be going nowhere.

    Agree that the government’s various stuff-ups are an embarrassment for them.

  90. Tim Macknay

    “You have a fertile imagination” – you say that as if it were a bad thing.

    Point taken, in some respects it’s a compliment.

    I don’t agree, though, that the assessment process was taking an unreasonably long time, given its scale, and the fact that it was aiming to facilitate a rational environmental planning process for development in a largely pristine area about which there was limited data. it wasn’t really “going nowhere” – Colin just got impatient. 🙂

  91. Russell

    Tim – have you seen the lastest response from that LP favourite Paul Howes:

    “In other words: no local content, no local jobs and local supply of gas,” he said. “Just what would be the benefit to the Australian community from this type of project?” Finally, he suggested that the Greens party and Woodside had made strange bedfellows during the JPP process.
    “The Greens party, through their longstanding campaign against the James Price Point facility, have given the oil multinationals the perfect cover for moving offshore,” Howes said.
    “I wouldn’t be surprised if Christine Milne is heading straight to Perth to share a glass of champagne with Woodside executives to toast their multi-billion dollar heist at the expense of the Australian public.”

  92. Russell

    latest response, although let’s hope it is the lastest.

  93. Tim Macknay

    Russell – well he would say that, wouldn’t he?

    Someone should tell him that there are actually technological methods to enable Australian workers to get jobs at offshore facilities. Helicopters, for example. 😉

  94. Russell

    Helicopters! As cautious Colin has pointed out, there are cyclones up there. No, we like tried and true pipes and factories, roads and trucks, all where we can keep an eye on them, here in W.A.

  95. zorronsky

    It’s the estimated production figures make it unfeasible.

  96. Russell

    “It’s the estimated production figures make it unfeasible.”

    Production figures of what? Because there’s an article on The Drum where someone suggests that’s it the new cheap gas coming from shale/coal seam production that is making the offshore resource look less attractive.

  97. Jumpy

    Craig Emerson cuts $2.3 billion from universities.

    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=863236

  98. Jumpy

    Although Emerson must be give political credit for realising this will not cost ALP/Greens any votes. Not in that area.

  99. Peter Murphy

    Jumpy: some of these changes can be judged as progressive. It’s like superannuation.

    A 10 per cent discount on the upfront payments of HECS loans will be dumped at a value of $230 million and Student Start Up Scholarships would need to be re-payed once the student begins working…

    …”At present, those students or parents who pay their university fees up-front enjoy a 10 per cent discount compared with those who make them into a loan which is repayable out of income subsequently earned from their university education.”

    In the nineties, I remember being a little annoyed that my mother was well enough to pay her HECS debts off in one lump sum, saving her money – while I still owed the government in that area. I paid mine off in 2000 or so, in case you’re wondering.

  100. Jumpy

    [email protected]
    So people aren’t going to pay up front and instead pay it off over years.
    Taking inflation into account, how much of a saving will that be?
    Another smart budget balancing idea from the ALP.

  101. Brian

    Peter Murphy, the efficiency dividend approach (salami slice) is demoralising and destructive. This is not good news.

  102. Russell

    Wasn’t the justification for the discount for paying up-front that people who paid that way saved the government money, because the HECS thing is like a subsidised loan?

  103. Peter Murphy

    To be honest, Brian: I find the whole thing confusing, and others find it dismaying. Was there some attempt by Emerson to put the whole thing into context, or were the press releases dumped behind like rubbish on the last train to Robina? Episode #382 of why ALP “messaging” really needs some work.

    I hoped there’s some rhyme and reason behind it, because one could so easily summarize it as robbing Unis to pay Gonski. I’ve focused on the $230 million, but the “efficiency dividend” – the other 900 million – doesn’t sound good.

  104. Chris

    Jumpy @ 100 – the student debt is inflation adjusted. So I guess it comes down to the difference between them CPI rate and the rate at which the government can borrow money (probably very low for the Australian government at the moment)

  105. Lefty E

    Yeah, Just what people who care about quality education want: a pea and thimble stunt.

    Worst political judgement I’ve ever seen at any level of Australian politics in 30 years.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-13/gonski/4627278

  106. Brian

    Peter M @ 103, yes it was the efficiency dividend I was concerned about. My impression is that universities are running on empty already. When I went to Adelaide in 1964 the practice was never to have more than 6 students in a tutorial.

    Lefty E when this came on the news tonight my spirit sagged. I thought they’ve blown their brains out for sure. Of course the other lot will do the same and more, but that’s no excuse.

  107. Roger Jones

    Brian @106

    less than empty. That’s it – I won’t even preference the fuckers now.

  108. Paul Norton

    “Efficiency dividend” – code for making university courses increasingly indistinguishable from MOOCs.

  109. Paul Norton

    The political calculation is that academics and VCs don’t count for anything electorally and the students will be kept quiet or diverted into electorally harmless channels by the Labor kiddies that run NUS.

  110. alfred venison

    i wish all those people who accused rudd backers of being sexist in their support of him would step forward now & explain why gillard was such a good choice for leader. -a.v.

  111. Helen

    Alfred, maybe this is an ALP thing rather than just the Gillard thing. And maybe the sexism thing is a slightly different matter. Easy to ignore and dismiss when you’re one of the dominant group.

  112. Casey

    i wish all those people who accused rudd backers of being sexist in their support of him would step forward now & explain why gillard was such a good choice for leader. -a.v.

    Leaving aside the claim that Rudd supporters were accused of being sexist in supporting Rudd, Gillard was a good choice because Rudd, the great coward that he was at the end of the day, did not stand. Therefore: Gillard was a good choice because she was the only choice. This is what irritates me about all this, Rudd supporters should be asking themselves why Rudd destabilised the govt for as long as he did, when at the end – he didn’t have the courage of his convictions. Please. Don’t tell me “he was a man of his word”. That’s just ridiculous.

  113. Helen

    According to Twitter, the ALP line is “well it’ll be better than Abbott.” That’s certainly inspiring, Light on the Hill stuff.

  114. Brian

    While Gillard needs to take the final responsibility, there are 20 in Cabinet and 8 in the Expenditure Review Committee (not sure who replaces Crean, it may be Emerson). I’m particularly disappointed in Swan and Wong in this as with what they did on superannuation and putting single mothers onto Newstart.

    Other countries hit hard by the GFC are still prioritising building their intellectual capital.

  115. Peter Murphy

    Alfred: I think it’s an ALP institutional thing, and things would be little better or little worse under Rudd.

    Has anyone in the party got around to telling the Greens about “Gonski or Uni” just to see if they’re on board? I bet they haven’t. What if they say no?

  116. alfred venison

    a labor party thing, not a gillard thing. o my god. she’s the leader, isn’t she? the buck stops with the leader. its her responsibility that it went ahead. if she thought it was a bad idea she should have stopped it. she didn’t stop it so she must have thought it was a good idea and let it through, she’s leader.

    i don’t think rudd would have gutted universities to pay for gonski. are you comfortable defending this?

    just when they were looking like being able to put some distance between them and the liberals over the nbn they have chosen political suicide instead. every tired liberal attack line to wit labor can’t govern/can’t balance the books/economic incompetence &c. are all no longer tired, these lines of attack have all been given new life (indeed credibility) because of this staggeringly massive stupidity. deathwish? -a.v.

  117. BilB

    Roger @107,

    Whereas the angry reaction is understandable, in your case to vote for the Coalition would mean voting your self out of work entirely as Abbott has avowed to eliminate any concern over Climate Change altogether. If he takes Canada’s path as reported by Alfred Venison he will eliminate all of the research facilities as well.

    The is not a lot, scratch that, there is NO thought going into what an Abbott win actually would mean. Extract the intent from the Coalition’s NBN plan and project that across the whole economy and what do you get?

    One word covers it……RECESSION.

    The ALP may do some dumb things but the are far dumber things available to do and the Coalition has declared that they will do them all.

    The pols at this stage suggest creation off a new breed of political beast….Labour Lemmings…., but I think that the assumption is premature.

  118. adrian

    Leaving aside the claim that Rudd supporters were accused of being sexist in supporting Rudd, Gillard was a good choice because Rudd, the great coward that he was at the end of the day, did not stand.

    With the greatest of respect, probably the biggest load of crap that I have ever read on this subject. Have you ever considered why Rudd did not stand, apart from the fact that he is a ‘great coward’?

    And I couldn’t give a FF if he was a ‘coward’. At least he wasn’t the most politically inept, most non-Labor, Labor PM we’ve ever had the misfortune to endure.

    Just when the gross ineptitude of the joke of an opposition is highlighted by their BillnBen NBN routine, the government decides it’s a great idea to trump them in the ineptitude stakes by taking money out of an already strained tertiary sector to fund Gonski.

    You’d think an ALP government would find the money from say, private school funding, defence, or the fuel rebates, but no, the brave Gillard govt chooses tertiary education.
    The focus groups must have told them tertiary education is not a high priority, unlike stopping the boats and paying for the little darlings’ private education.

    What a friggin joke this government as become!

  119. Brian

    Peter M there was talk this morning that the LNP might let it through, saying that it’s not their job to save a bad government from itself.

    Also the fuckers know that they would probably have been doing the same thing when they try to balance a budget while giving a tax cut and cancelling the mining and carbon taxes. It works beautifully for them as they can let Labor take the pain.

  120. Peter Murphy

    Are you comfortable defending this?

    No one here is defending the $900 million cuts. Nobody.

  121. Casey

    This is a disastrous decision. The Labor Government is driving the electorate where they would rather not go – straight into the arms of Tony Abbott for a number of terms. What is happening now is that the Govt is giving him the potential for such a mandate that his own party will not be able to touch him. Or perhaps not. Perhaps what happened to Rudd (which I did not agree with) sets a precedent now? I wonder.

  122. Helen

    don’t think rudd would have gutted universities to pay for gonski. are you comfortable defending this?

    Look, I’m very sick of people conflating talking about the treatment/discussion of JG *as a female PM* and support for her policies. You’re better than that. So are some others here. It’s simply disingenuous, and we can see through it – you’re not arguing with Bolt commenters here.

  123. BilB

    People, People,

    You’ve got to be able to juggle more than one ball at a time here.

    Since Labour came to office, just before the GFC, the Australian dollar has changed from 75 cents US to 106 on average. That is a massive loss in competitiveness which plays heavily on the governments fiscal position. And here you are all winging about the government making necessary adjustments to steadily changing position. Even Quiggin suggests that this is a time for “fiscal consolidation”. You’ve got to earn the money to be able to spend it.

    My suggestion to you all.

    Go out and create something real, produce some product or service that does not leach off the government coffers. Learn what the real world is all about.

    Develop some substance. Have some guts, and learn what the real world and survival is all about. Buy Australian…..

    And stop winging.

  124. SpongeBob SquarePants

    I watched a rerun of an old Fast Forward show a couple of nights ago. Howard was caricatured as a dwarf with a funny voice and no charisma. Is anyone else here old enough to remember the intense and sustained ridicule of Howard by left wing comedians and cartoonists?

    I’m sure the same clowns who now complain about sexism aimed at poor Jules would’ve found Max Gillies circa 1990 a right old hoot.

  125. Roger Jones

    BilB @117,

    I knew someone would be silly enough to make that conclusion from what I wrote. Don’t.

    I am now fully and implacably opposed to this government. Full stop.

    Doesn’t say anything about who I support.

    Working for a university is a privilege, but to cover for lack of funds and people who are completely mercenary I have just worked over Christmas and New Year, Easter, weekends and now I hear more money is getting sucked out of the system, just making it sicker?

  126. Roger Jones

    And that gives me the bloody right to whinge.

  127. Brian

    I’m not particularly interested in what Rudd might have done. He wasn’t making uniformly good decisions during the first part of 2010 and Abbott seemed to have him a bit spooked. How he would have performed from there is pure speculation and now irrelevant.

  128. alfred venison

    “At least he wasn’t the most politically inept, most non-Labor, Labor PM we’ve ever had the misfortune to endure.”

    and at least he stood up to the transnational mining corporations for money that would have paid for gonski & the nbn and more. a promises treasure chest for labor for years to come. oh, where did that go? -a.v.

  129. Chris

    Alfred, maybe this is an ALP thing rather than just the Gillard thing. And maybe the sexism thing is a slightly different matter. Easy to ignore and dismiss when you’re one of the dominant group.

    So when there is analysis of bad policies with Rudd as leader the conclusion is its Rudd’s fault. When bad policies come out under Gillard its the ALP’s fault?

    What I don’t understand is why they are doing this now. They’ve admitted they are not going to get a surplus. Why do the Coalition’s work now and take the blame for the cuts for them?

    I don’t think the impact of the $2000 cap on self education expenses (for everyone) has been fully considered either. That’s going to be end up being a significant discincentive for people to keep up their skills. So savings for the government in the short term at the cost of long term skill levels in the country.

  130. BilB

    Welcome to the real world, fella.

    I worked every day over Christmas building electronic product in my sociopathic (now ex) business partner’s premesis in Nth Sydney only to have him in Jan stonewall the product and attempt to shut down the business, and send my primary business in receivership. Apart from having a very austere year funding the new product I’ve now lost the better part of $200,000 and my family has been on survival rations for three months. The classic Chinese style business coup. Fortunately it did not work and I am now in a rapid recovery phase.

    That is how the other half live.

    Of all public expenditure your research is vital to the survival of everything that we take for granted. Perhaps your funding should come from a reduction in the economics field which does not seem to yielded anything useful at all. I don’t begrudge any of this expenditure. But reality is reality, there are far fewer dollars to go around. If it were my money Gonsky could wait, as I suspect that the education “crisis” has been misunderstood.

    I come from a long line of public servants. I’m hard pressed to think of more than a few in my extended family who are privately or self employed, and I carry guilt about that.

    So when I here incessantly “my fiscal teet has run dry, its time to change to another beast”, I think try maturing, growing up, and start eating grass.

  131. Brian

    av @ 128, I suppose you are aware that under Rudd’s mining tax we would have been playing the mining companies billions of dollars this year.

    Let’s leave those assessments of the fork in the road we took in 2010 to serious historians.

  132. BilB

    Alfred Venison,

    That is very naive of you. Rudd and Gillard both misunderstood the capacity for business to restructure to avoid, what they see as excessive, taxation. The standard technique at this level is to ship the product from the country at cost to an intermediary country/company (say Hong Kong where taxation is 5%) and on sell from that location taking the profit away from the high taxation regime. This is what NZ’s aluminium smelting consortium do so NZ gets to provide the electricity, some labour and acquires the accumulating waste, but never gets any real value from the exercise.

  133. paul burns

    It seems the ALP is returning to its anti-intellectual roots. No, Rudd would not have done this to unis. Only some-one as politically inept as Gillard would do it.
    It is absolutely no consolation to say yeah, but Abbott will be worse. For far too long now Labor governments have done the spadework for the Libs, so they can be really mean and nasty when they get in because oh, before we won the ALP did something similar.
    Hawke and Keating did, and made life a breeze for Ratty.
    Gillard is doing in higher education, welfare, Aborigines and God knows where else. That horrible little man, Tony Abbott, is going to have a lot to thank her for. He can be a real bastard, and then say – oh, but Julia did it too.
    This country is going to be stuffed for years because of both of them.

  134. Roger Jones

    BilB,

    sorry to hear about your circumstances (sound very much like mine) but don’t need your condescension.

  135. BilB

    I’m not giving you any condescensions, RJ.

    The most vital science on the planet today is climate science, you just happen to be part of that. But where you may have lost your Christmas under Gillard, you WILL lose your job and your house under Abbott. You don’t score any IQ points for not seeing that.

    My circumstance was dire for a short time, but I took on the partner…and accept the consequence. I structured to protect my business ahead of time.

    You should think long and hard about the (funding) partner you suggest you are taking on, and structure appropriately.

  136. Peter Murphy

    I think we need a dedicated post on Gonski.

  137. alfred venison

    i’ve read reputable sources who say, even with the sweeteners, the rudd tax would have netted more for australia by now than gillard’s tax has to date. and the billion dollar give-aways must be why the miners pulled their anti-tax attack ads the same night as “the removal”.

    i’m not waiting for someone else to analyse the fork not taken – i’m here now as i was here then. i am serious & i am a historian by training. i studied history for 7 years at sydney uni. i tutored modern history for three years there. marked exams, led seminars.

    my best friend & thesis (incomplete) supervisor, though, is a serious historian (retired) and on this he & i are in furious agreement. i’ll keep it short. what a couple of historians today note about 2010 is this:-

    two popularly elected political leaders, in resource-rich first world polities, openly intent to pursue reform of their respective royalty regimes, were removed in their first terms – between elections – by their party machines after sustained pressure from transnational corporations.

    this is serious, this is how a coup d’etat happens in post modern conditions. in my old country & in my new country, governments intent on effecting royalty reform, were comprehensively rolled by the very corporations that were the subject of the reforms, shaken down, our politics perverted & money rightfully ours to use as we wish in the development of our country was stolen.

    that’s all, i’ll get out of your hair now. -a.v.

  138. jules

    av @ 137, I agree that Rudd was removed in response to a pressure campaign from mining companies. Tho that pressure was possibly a convenient excuse, and maybe anything would have done the job. Mining industries are powerful brutal things.

    And Australia is just a mining colony.

  139. task master

    Don’t know that I’d agree with your summation of Aus as merely a mining colony. Maybe we had a few decades of digging up various goods but these days we’re heading towards a more innovative future if the populace would dedicate a little less brain power to lapping up the rabblerousing crap continually dished out by the media and pollies.

  140. paul burns

    The Boston Marathon Bombing.
    Is this Gillard’s 9/11? If its outside terrorism, and it may be because apparently one injured Saudi had been detained, though that may mean nothing, betcha she’s going to be offering guns, ships, planes and bodies at an alarming rate. Hoping for an election win she would never otherwise have.
    If its domestic terrorism, she’ll get nothing from it, I suppose.
    Reading this over, I do fear I’m over cynical, but I’ll let it stand. remember, you saw it here first. (Tho I suppose someone’s already thought of it on Twitter or FB.)