« profile & posts archive

This author has written 139 posts for Larvatus Prodeo.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

67 responses to “44/28 Watch: still 3+ weeks until parliament resumes”

  1. Ronson Dalby

    Looks like Greg Hunt doesn’t spend his allowance on books:

    “Greg Hunt uses Wikipedia research to dismiss links between climate change and bushfires”


  2. David Irving (no relation)

    Well, that was a depressing read, Ronson. Although Hunt comes across as a mendacious fool, he’s certainly adept at blurring the distinction between “don’t attribute a particular fire to AGW” and “AGW will cause increased frequency and severity of fires.”

  3. Andrew Reynolds

    At the rate the count is going in Fairfax we will be lucky to know the actual composition of the House in three weeks.

  4. zorronsky

    It’s time to get back to the real problem. Global warming, the effects of which are wide and varied. Climate change is now generally agreed to be a major effect. Hunt’s weasel words are intentional obfuscation, assisted by the climate’s seasons and latitudes. Global warming is extremely difficult to weasel without denial. Go for the heart of the problem and watch them squirm.

  5. Chris

    At the rate the count is going in Fairfax we will be lucky to know the actual composition of the House in three weeks.

    Can the parliament sit if just one of the seats is still not decided? From news reports it sounded like Palmer is a doing a denial of service attack on the electoral commission by appealing all the ballot decision he can.

  6. Katz

    Hunt commits the fallacy of composition.

    It goes this way: no one knows which cigarette caused the lung cancer. None of the thousands of cigarettes smoked by the victim can be blamed. Therefore smoking cigarettes cannot be blamed fom the victim’s lung cancer.

    Problem solved!

    Liberal voters put this idiot into his portfolio.

  7. Malcolm

    Greg Hunt is essentially the Philip Ruddock of the Abbott government -a one-time moderate who was sensible and rational who turned into a right wing fool spouting intellectually dishonest and easily discredited nonsense as soon as he cast his lot in with the right-wing, reactionary leader of the day.

    What a disappointment -but not a surprise

  8. Fran Barlow


    It goes this way: no one knows which cigarette caused the lung cancer. None of the thousands of cigarettes smoked by the victim can be blamed. Therefore smoking cigarettes cannot be blamed fom the victim’s lung cancer.

    Adopting the Hunt method …

    Look, I’ve checked out Wikipedia and people are always dying of respiratory and circulatory disease, as well as lung cancer. I accept the science on tobacco, but I’m cautious of saying any one death was caused by cigarettes. Nobody should be making political mileage out of this.

    Objector: So is this what anyone said. Wasn’t the point that if you smoke, you’re more likely to die prematurely from one of those things?

    Hunt: I’m very cautious and the NHMRC refuses to blame any specifc cigarette …

  9. Paul

    Why do coalition governments always want to sell assets to bring down the debt of fund government policies. It makes me want to scream when I read things like this.

    Coalition moves on Medibank sale

    Then this

    Senator Cormann said that proceeds from Medibank’s sale would ”allow the government to fund other policy priorities or pay off debt”.


  10. billie

    I am still shocked that the House of Representatives will only sit for 4 days in November. I eagerly await the Question Time vision of the Prime Minister’s new hearing aid. (Oh that’s a prompter like TV announcers use.

    Disappointed that the government is keeping all its election promises that hurt the most vulnerable in our community like
    delay NDIS – until eternity
    delay 12% super contribution
    lower tax free threshhold to $6000

    plus force workers out of industry based funds into lower performing retail funds

    So disgusted at the rorts

  11. Patrickb

    I think the most dangerous move (for the ordinary citizen) is the composition of the audit commission. The chair is a Transfield boss, a company that has benefited mightily from government contracts and the secretary (or something) is another Transfield numpty. There aren’t any representatives from the community or unions. I think this is the materialisation of the IPA/CIS agenda that many in the LNP support. The only saving grace is that the LNP are too gutless to actually implement the inevitable recommendations affecting the middle class (that’s me). Of course they will happy stamp on the face of the poor and trash democratic process, in the interests of ‘opening Australia for business’ you understand.

  12. Katz

    Hunt claimed that Abbott was quoted out of context in a private conversation. Here is the context. Quite plainly it wasn’t a private conversation.

    Keep digging Hunt.

    There were about 130 people in the room, from Beaufort, surrounding towns and farms in between. Senator Julian McGauran was there, along with state MPs David Koch and John Vogels.

    There was also Craig Wilson, editor of the Pyrenees Advocate, standing at the back of the room. Wilson was bored.

    Abbott spoke for about 20 minutes, plugged his book Battlelines, outlined the difficulties confronting the party and then opened the floor to questions. After several questions on the ETS, including the impact on farmers and whether it was wise to commit to a policy before Copenhagen, Abbott called for a show of hands on whether the Coalition should support the ETS. Only a handful voted yes.

    Abbott, until that point Turnbull’s main defender on the ETS, became increasingly blunt. According to many in the room, he left no doubt that he was a climate change sceptic. He ruminated there had been many changes of climate over the millennia not caused by man. Finally, he said the science behind climate change was “crap”, at which stage Wilson snapped awake.

    “I think I was nodding off down at the back of the room when all of a sudden he came out with the comment that the science around climate change was `absolute crap’ and I kind of jumped back awake and wrote down his quote,” Wilson says.

    In the fourth paragraph of Wilson’s article, he quoted Abbott as saying, “The argument is absolute crap. However, the politics of this are tough for us. Eighty per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”


  13. zoot

    I manage to keep my blood pressure down by seeing as little “news” as possible, particularly the output of News Corpse. So this may be a dumb question, but have there been any Newspolls since the election?
    I’m quite interested to find out who the preferred PM is these days (I’ll be amazed if it is Abbott T.)

  14. Brian

    Katz @ 6:

    Liberal voters put this idiot into his portfolio.

    I think Greg Hunt has been put there to talk pretty but do as little as possible to upset the denialist block within the LNP.

  15. Graham Bell

    Ronson Dalby @ 1 and all:
    Give him his due, Hunt did say something about looking up Wikipaedia to see what the average punters were reading about climate change there.

    Still, I do wonder why on earth a clever bloke like Hunt got himself mixed up with a bunch of boofheads who clearly do not want to understand science or economics or international trade or diplomacy or military affairs or industrial relations …. hope he has got a day job to go back to when this Potemkin village blows over in a stiff wind.

    Zoot @ 13:
    News Corpse? I like that. 🙂

  16. paul burns
  17. Jess

    Zoot @ 13: the Poll Bludger bludges polls, so you don’t have to: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

    Essential has LNP at 53 to ALP 47 but that seems anomalous – most polls are running at essentially 50-50 at the moment.

  18. zoot

    Thank you Jess. I was wrong about preferred PM, but it appears Phony Tony isn’t having much of a honeymoon. I can take comfort from that.

  19. Fran Barlow

    With whom would Abbott like to spend an evening at Kiribilli House, according to his brain, Peta Credlin?


  20. Doug

    Psephologist Kevin Bonham does a two party trend figure on national voting trends http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au – currently 51.4% for the coalition.

  21. paul burns

    Re 19.
    I shall refrain from drawing allusions with people like Goebbels etc, even though I know Andrew Bolt won’t have people he disagrees with on Bolt, and Barry Cassidy sometimes gives Piers Ackerman a hard time on Insiders and thus has become unemployable by the Abbott Government.
    This’ll teach the ABC to get on the wrong side of the RWDBs, surely.

  22. Nick

    #19… so much for Abbott’s intellectual curiosity.

    “Guests were asked to keep details of the evening strictly confidential”

    No worries, send us the tab.

  23. Katz

    I guess a propensity to exhibit stigmata was an important criterion.

    Possibly, Bolt and Jones were invited as credible witnesses of the phenomenon.

  24. paul burns
  25. Ambigulous

    It’s improper to discuss the effects of global warming during a bushfire but it’s proper to reduce compensation for some of the affected people.

  26. zoot

    Doug @20: Many thanks for that.

  27. Graham Bell

    Paul Burns @ 24 and Ambigulous @ 25:
    But look on the bright side …. it is our taxes they are saving by not squandering public money on bushfire victims. (For a scholarly interpretation of this policy decision, please view the “Yes, Minister” episode about a new hospital)

  28. Terry2

    The pressure placed on Barrie Cassidy to stand aside from an Honorary position as Chair of the Old Parliament House Committee is despicable and shows just how petty and vindictive this LNP rabble are.

    Abbott, when questioned said that : ‘the Labor government rushed to appoint its friends to all sorts of positions in its dying days’.

    Was he referring to the appointment of Steve Bracks as Australian Consul General in New York back in May 2013, were there any other appointments or was Mr Abbott playing with the truth ? He seems to forget the magnanimity extended to Brendan Nelson by Kevin Rudd when the former lost the leadership of the Liberal party.

    It shows a character deficiency – perhaps insecurity – in our new Prime Minister, which I noticed particularly when the Governor General offered her resignation because of a perceived conflict, as her daughter is married to the new Labor leader; his first reaction was to say that he declined her offer as ‘he had a significant majority in the (lower) house and apart from which her term expired in March 2014’.

  29. Katz

    Look at Abbott’s Kirribilli guest list.

    It’s clear that Abbott hates journalists.

  30. paul burns

    Is it my suspicious mind or are they actually planning to privatise Australia Post and the Snowy Mountains Hydro=Electric Scheme?

  31. Fran Barlow


    It’s improper to discuss the effects of global warming during a bushfire but it’s proper to reduce compensation for some of the affected people.

    Just as long as you don’t talk about it because now is not the time

  32. paul burns

    Apparently Tony Abbott let loose on the Rudd-Gillard government in the Washington Post in such a crude and undiplomatic way its believed he may have damaged the Abbott Government’s relations with the Obama administration.
    And Joe Hockey has a cuckoo plan to transfer Centrelink service delivery functions to Australia Post.

  33. paul burns
  34. David Irving (no relation)

    paul @ 33, more proof (as if we needed it) that Abbott shouldn’t be let out of the country (or, indeed, the house) without adult supervision.

  35. Katz

    I will watch with pleasure Abbott’s government crash and burn.

    The bastard spawn of Ayn Rand and Opus Dei are monstrous mutants condemned by nature to grisly extinction.

  36. zorronsky

    Cripes Katz, I was seeing Planet of the Apes led by a particularly big-eared chimp.

  37. Katz

    Zorronsky, having imagined that, it may be entertaining to contemplate some of the noteworthy details of the acts of procreation under discussion.

  38. Fran Barlow

    Corinne Grant writes a fun letter to the Liberals


    It begins:

    Hi. It’s us, the Australian public. It’s been almost two months since we started going out with you again and we just wanted to say we’re worried about where our relationship is heading.

    To put it bluntly, whenever we bring up all the stuff you promised us during the election campaign, you get really upset and start banging on about how much you hate our ex, the ALP. It’s not healthy. …

    A good laugh …

  39. Patrickb

    Looks the ALP is setting itself to SUPPORT the LNP on repeal of the carbon pricing scheme. This is apparently to clear the decks so they can scrutinise Direct Action (DA). The ALP must be the only body on earth that actually thinks that DA is a policy and that the LNP will attempt to implement it. DA and PPL are ghost policies, they’re unfeasible and only designed as a decoy to draw the enemy in a certain direction.
    If cooperation with the LNP is seen by the ALP brains-trust as somehow giving them an advantage then I think it’s time to recognise that that trust has been betrayed. Blocking the repeal would force Abbott into a plan B, something he’s no good at. He’d end up trying to deal with a lunatic Senate, a rich source of material for an opposition looking to undermine a PM.
    The Abbott hubris post this back-down will be excruciating, only making what has been a very bad year even worse.

  40. Chris

    Patrickb – and if reducing CO2 emissions was the goal its still a stupid thing for the to support removing the carbon tax and then oppose direct action. Direct action may be more expensive and work less well than an ETS, but its still going to be better than nothing. This is looking like something that has come out of pure political strategy rather that representing what they believe in.

    Very disappointing – if this is the sort of thing they’re going to do I might as well preference the LNP after the Greens instead of the ALP for the greater probability of income tax cuts.

  41. Patrickb

    Supporting a less effective and more expensive option because it’s better than nothing tells the tale of Australian politics today. If it were me I’d oppose DA and let the PUP numpties decide what happens and let Abbott where the consequences. The sooner we have a major climate related disaster the better as it appears that Australians have become so short sighted that only a clip around the ear will pull us into gear. And don’t talk to me about the fires, no loss of life and disruption limited to not the major urban centres ain’t going to cut it. We need some sharp economic pain.

  42. Chris

    Patrickb @ 41 – except that I don’t think Abbott will end up wearing any consequences politically. They’re able to spin away any disasters because you simply can’t attribute any specific event to climate change.

  43. paul burns

    I wouldn’t expect the ALP under Shorten to do anything else. What amazes me is that people seem surprised.

  44. Patrickb

    Yes, it’s not easy given the anti-intellectual (ahem) climate. However there are opportunities to start a discourse around Australia as the dumb man of the developed world (think Turkey, sick man of Europe), that we (i.e. Abbott) are out of touch, stuck in the past, dare I say it medieval in our thinking. It’s case of being negative in the right way, Abbott’s a fool and it needs to be said plainly not via some pathetic lawyerly construction.
    The surprise comes from releasing how crappy the ALP are planning to be in opposition having just been on the receiving end of unblinking negativity for over 3 years. Can’t they find a way of taking that strategy and owning it?

  45. Terry2

    Phew ! that was close : the NSA have admitted that they tapped Abbott’s phone in an effort to gain intelligence but have now acknowledged that the attempt was futile.

  46. Chris

    Terry2 – maybe they should try tapping his suppository of wisdom 🙂

  47. David Irving (no relation)

    Paul and Patrick, it looks like Shorten will live down to my expectations after all. Weak prick!

  48. Patrickb

    Nice one! Interesting that the Chinese telco that I can’t spell has been declared persona non grata as a bidder on contracts for ‘security reasons’ when the only major power that has been unequivocally shown to have spied on friends and enemies alike is the US. The wonders of cognitive dissonance.

  49. Fran Barlow


    OTT but I think the day may have come when you can drop the “NR”. I haven’t heard him reported in a very long time. Perhaps you’re now attached to it, and it seemed important a few years back, and may well become so again, but you may have weathered it all … 😉

  50. Ronson Dalby

    I know we’re sick of polls but:


    I can’t see how Shorten is going to shorten the odds for the ALP – he is one of the most ‘un-charismatic’ front bench MPs in parliament. The only ALP MP that seems to be getting a lot policy time on MSM at the moment is Senator Doug Cameron.

  51. Chris

    Patrickb @ 48 – well maybe not proven unequivocally, but the Chinese are believed to have stolen the plans for the new ASIO HQ

    The interesting part about the decision about the company you can’t name is that they have high profile Libs on their Australian board.

  52. Patrickb

    Not sure that “the Chinese” are the same ones who are running the telco. It’s possible, there are a lot of them and they are remarkably similar in appearance.

  53. Chris

    Patrickb @ 52 – well its pretty likely that the Chinese government do have influence over the unnamed company

    MICHAEL DANBY: An appearance by the way, they weren’t subpoenaed or forced or arm-twisted. They volunteered and they confirmed the two major allegations in the Economist – one, that in order to position itself strategically as a company they received soft loans from Chinese state banks, which puts them in a position to undercut competitors. Mr Admiral Lord, who was their chairman, confirmed that.

    And the second thing is that a communist party cell is giving instructions to the leadership of what otherwise is apparently a commercial organisation.

    The separation between private and government organisation is not as clear in China as it is here.

  54. David Irving (no relation)

    Fran, the (nr) bit was always a joke.

  55. Fran Barlow

    Fair enough. The most common “David Irving” I get when I google it on google news is the “Iowa Defensive linesman/tackle” of that name.

  56. David Irving (no relation)

    Heh. The last time I ggogled myself it took me three mouseclicks to get to Stormfront’s website.

  57. paul burns

    Today at the very least Shorten should have been loudly and repeatedly condemning the plan to privatise the HECS debt, the plan to process Centrelink payments at Australia Post, and the stinginess in disaster payments to Blue Mountains bushfire victims. Chris Bowen or Anthony Albanese would have been right on all these things. Against a brute like Abbott, its just not good enough, ALP!
    OTOH, because he was with Shorten I suppose we were spared the vision of Abbott throwing around tractor tyres with the troops in Afghanistan.

  58. Patrickb

    I fired off a grumpy email to the Alannah the local member re: “Carbon Pricing Back-flip” and she tells me that she has just spoken to the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and the ALP’s position is firm. She then says that she agrees that the ALP can only agree to the repeal if it is to be replaced by an alternative pricing mechanism.
    The two statements don’t confirm that the ALP isn’t about to roll over but at least indicates that there is some controversy in the party over what to do.

  59. zorronsky

    Abbott refused to go to Afghanistan with Julia Gillard when given the chance to demonstrate a non-partisan belief in the value of Australian participation in the conflict.
    In my opinion Abbott’s offer to Shorten was an attempt to put powder in the magazine should he take the, no doubt, tempting choice to emulate Abbott’s behavior.
    Shorten’s decision to go was not only the right one but also amplifies Abbott’s complete lack of morality and inability to be other than negative.

  60. Brian

    Nerwspoll 56-44 to the LNP.

  61. paul burns

    I had the impression those areas where NBN were supposed to be rolled out pre-election would get fibre to the home.
    Abbott and Turnbull have been lying, no?

  62. Helen

    Here’s a list of the places which had been scheduled for the nbn but which have been mothballed. It includes our suburb, which is in a safe Labor seat – what a surprise.


  63. paul burns

    This is Abbott’s “democracy”.

    What are he and Scott Morrison afraid of?

  64. paul burns

    Silly of me to expect humanity. The politicisation of the public service is well under way.


  65. Graham Bell

    Thanks for the link to that list, Helen @62. First impression is that the Queensland approvals are a mixture of wealthy areas and strugglers’ suburbs. We miss out here in The Bush but that’s nothing new; we have an LNP local member so there are no votes in letting us get NBN.

  66. Ronson Dalby
  67. Katz

    Thanks Ronson.

    If Clive Palmer is Boss Hog, then Campbell Newman is Barney Fife.