Oz Election Thread #4 - Gillard's Labor

Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2011 12:11 am
Did you see Harto's resignation letter?

@BigHarto's resignation letter: I implore you to honour my legacy

Dear Colleague,

When Rupert handed me my letter of resignation to sign yesterday, he said that my decision came as no surprise to him. For a long time, he informed me, I had been hankering for more time on the golf course, and perhaps also some time giving a slightly more serious nudge to my frankly astounding Hunter Valley wine cellar.

Like many other media organisations, ours is in transition, and he said I was right to recognise that it was time for new blood at the executive level. No need for new blood in the chairman’s role, apparently, but there’s no point whingeing. As recent events in the UK have shown, criticisms of the Murdoch family’s judgment continue to rebutted with a forcefully extended middle digit.

I have spent 40 years at this company, and in that time I have witnessed some remarkable changes in the media landscape. When I began, printing presses and the gruff alcoholics who ran them were revered as supernatural beings in journalists’ primitive belief systems. Now, we rely on morbidly obese men wearing fedoras and bumbags to keep our so-called "servers" running.

Back then, p-rnography was trying to discern the outline of a ni-ple beneath the cossies of swimsuit models in the Australasian Post. Now, any child can summon up "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Buk-ake Party" with the touch of a Google button. I used to watch films from the front seat of my Monaro using a clip-on speaker. Soon, the boffins at Fox studio say we will be able to torrent Avatar 3D in 7.1 Surround directly into our cerebral cortexes. Back then, the big story was that we were bogged down in a futile, American-led Asian land war. And now …

But I digress. Your new CEO, whom you may have heard me refer to affectionately in the past as "that c-nt Williams", "the baldy shitbird" or "Sir Squeak-a-lot" is the perfect choice to succeed me. As Foxtel CEO, Kim has spent a decade persuading people to pay actual money for lowest-common-denominator eye-crack that any civilised person should recoil from in abject disgust. This is precisely the skillset we need to transition our mastheads to a subscription model.

At this point it is customary to say that I wish him well in this task. In the desk drawer of the corner office that he will soon defile, as well as a week-old bag of prawn shells, I have left a handover document consisting of an enemies list, some pictures of iPads I have clipped from JB Hi-Fi catalogues, and menu options for the Christmas do at the Aurora. He can f-cking work the rest out for himself.

To the rest of you, I implore you to honour my legacy. Whether you are downloading Stephanie Rice’s Facebook photos, harassing a damaged teenager in an airport, or using your press gallery pass to carry out one of our several corporate vendettas, remember to hold your heads high.
Because after a fashion, in a certain light, you are, after all journalists. I in turn will remember you all most fondly as my golden parachute conveys me downwards, ever downwards, to my eternal reward.

Go F-ck Yourselves,


Maybe I should have posted this in 'Is this end for News Ltd' because all this seems symptomatic of some weird **** happening internally in that organisation.
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2011 12:29 am

Who wrote that? Very funny.

Maybe I should have posted this in 'Is this end for News Ltd' because all this seems symptomatic of some weird **** happening internally in that organisation.

Yes, but why is Rupert suddenly take an interest in Oz again as the News Corps weird **** happens?
A bit of a worry, you've gotta admit.
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2011 03:32 am
Someone's been fake John Hartigan on Twitter for ages


I think it's someone at Crikey.
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2011 05:48 pm
Certainly sounds like it.
I guess this sort of thing happens when you seriously focus on political shenanigans for a long time. Smile

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Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2011 06:06 pm
Reply Thu 10 Nov, 2011 06:09 pm
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Reply Sat 12 Nov, 2011 01:20 am

Gillard won’t confirm US troop reports

November 12, 2011 - 1:08PM/the AGE

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is refusing to confirm whether she and US President Barack Obama will announce a boost in America’s military presence in Australia when he visits next week.

Mr Obama will travel to Canberra and Darwin during his first presidential visit on November 16 and 17.

The leaders are reportedly set to announce an increased US military presence in northern Australia.

Responding to the reports for the first time, Ms Gillard would not say whether they were true.

‘‘We will have a wide set of discussions when President Obama comes to Australia,’’ she told reporters in Hawaii, which she is visiting for the upcoming APEC leaders’ summit.

‘‘On any specifics of what I may announce with President Obama when he’s in Australia, we’ll leave that to when we’re in Australia.’’

Asked how the Chinese might react to such an announcement, Ms Gillard said, ‘‘We’ve been an ally of the US for 60 years. We’ve been friends for a lot longer.

‘‘It’s not going to surprise anybody in China that Australia is an ally of the United States.’’ ....<cont>

Reply Sat 12 Nov, 2011 01:25 am

Brown wants debate on rumoured US expansion

Posted November 12, 2011 16:18:55/ABC News

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown wants the Federal Parliament to debate the prospect of the United States expanding its military presence in Australia.

The White House has refused to confirm reports a deal has been made increasing American access to Australian army bases.

There is speculation an announcement may be made when the US president Barack Obama visits Darwin next week.

The reports say Australia and the US have been working on plans for increased cooperation, including bringing in more US troops to strategic areas including Darwin, as well as increasing the number of joint exercises and training.

Senator Brown says the Australian Parliament has an obligation to debate the pros and cons.

"We are putting a clear point of view that Parliament should debate new foreign troop placements in Australia, whether they be in Darwin or Western Australia or anywhere else and that of course is responsible democracy," he said.

But the Prime Minister Julia Gillard has refused to be drawn on the reports. ...<cont>

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Reply Sun 13 Nov, 2011 04:03 pm
Some Labor gains at last. But still still a long way to go.
You've got to hand it to Julia Gillard. Pretty gutsy effort!:

PM surges in poll, but Labor still trails badly
Michelle Grattan
November 14, 2011/the AGE

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's approval rating has jumped by six points and Labor has narrowed the Coalition's two-party lead in the Age/Nielsen poll.

Ms Gillard has also drawn level with Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister for the first time since June, continuing the recent better trend for the government and providing heart to its MPs

But Labor's primary vote remains on an abysmal 30 per cent, and the Coalition would easily win an election held now.

Julia Gillard speaks at the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday.
Photo: AAP

The opposition leads 55 per cent on the two-party vote, down 2 points since October, to Labor's 45 per cent (up 2). This continues a steady improvement by Labor from its lowest point of 39-61 in July. The Coalition's primary vote is down 3 points to 45 per cent. After the carbon tax legislation was passed in Parliament last week, the Greens' vote has risen 2 points to 14 per cent.

The poll of 1400 people taken between Thursday and Saturday has also brought the government good news on its proposed mining tax, with 53 per cent saying they support it and only 38 per cent opposing it. Mr Abbott has vowed to repeal the tax.

But, in a more surprising result, 46 per cent disapproved of how Ms Gillard handled the Qantas dispute, while only 40 per cent approved.

Ms Gillard's return to the industrial debate has generally been seen as a political plus. People were critical of Qantas (60 per cent disapproved of the airline's grounding) and 49 per cent of people disapproved of the unions' industrial action.

Approval of the way Ms Gillard is doing her job is up 6 points to 39 per cent, and her disapproval rating is down 5 to 57 per cent. Her net approval (approval minus disapproval) is at minus 18 per cent - an 11-point improvement in a month.

Mr Abbott's approval rating is steady on 41 per cent; his disapproval is 54 per cent, also steady, as is his net approval of minus 13 per cent. That equals his lowest net approval and highest disapproval since he became leader.

Mr Abbott, who was out of the country last week and has come under increasing criticism recently, is down 3 points as preferred PM to 45 per cent. Ms Gillard is up 1 point to equal him. This follows several months when Ms Gillard trailed as preferred PM - they were tied on 46 per cent in June.

In Victoria, Labor's two-party vote - 47-53 per cent - is better than the national average but the primary vote (29 per cent) is marginally worse. The Greens are on 16 per cent in Victoria.

On the mining tax, seven in 10 Labor voters and 76 per cent of Green voters were in favour of the 30 per cent profits-based tax on large iron ore and coal mining companies. But only 35 per cent of Coalition voters favoured it and 57 per cent opposed.

When people were asked in May last year whether they supported a tax on the ''super profits'' of mining companies, 44 per cent were in favour and 47 per cent were opposed.

The current proposed tax is least popular in the mining state of Western Australia, where 42 per cent back it and 49 per cent oppose. In all other states, support outweighs opposition.

The poll results come as Ms Gillard prepares to welcome US President Barack Obama for a two-day visit this week, and after Asia Pacific leaders paved the way for a nine-nation free trade zone, including Australia, that would well outmuscle the economies of the European Union.

The leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum hailed the free trade agenda of the world's fastest growing region at their weekend summit in Honolulu.

Ms Gillard said she was delighted with progress on the nine-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Reply Sun 13 Nov, 2011 04:35 pm
George Megalogenis on Insiders was very interesting yesterday (as always).

He hates poll-driven commentary - a pointless exercise in the first 18 months after an election to his way of thinking. He restricted his comments to the body language of the two front benches - and - the (very) slow realisation that Abbott is promising to roll back taxes, but not expenditures and that fiscal hole is getting enormous - and when you have on the record former liberal colleagues say Tony is a financial numbskull, well it's starting to bite.

On the post Carbon Tax rhetoric of Judases and promises written in blood. I can see Tony seeking a mandate to roll back the carbon tax and making it a core promise. How many low income earners will be happy for the tax free threshold to drop from 18k to 6k? Even a percentage of Jones' listeners would baulk at that. Not to forget there's a lot of students in that income bracket as well. I think it would be electoral poison - and even if it wasn't and he did get in - he won't roll it back - can't wait to see Jones lead a Tonliar campaign. Not holding my breath on that one.
Reply Sun 13 Nov, 2011 06:16 pm
....when you have on the record former liberal colleagues say Tony is a financial numbskull, well it's starting to bite.

Seems to be an ongoing problem within the "coalition" Hinge....

Too many chiefs, etc..

Must be tough having to buddy up with a party or colleague who hold dissimilar views and policies.
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Reply Sun 13 Nov, 2011 06:23 pm
George Megalogenis on Insiders was very interesting yesterday (as always).

He hates poll-driven commentary - a pointless exercise in the first 18 months after an election to his way of thinking

Yes, usually I'd agree with him. A mid-term poll is hardly any sort of accurate indicator of the eventual election outcome.

But Gillard has copped such a ferocious shellacking from most political commentators for months now, heavily reinforced by all the polls suggesting that Abbott's negative tactics are working .. winning over hearts & minds in droves.... Even many "liberal" commentators had virtually written her & Labor off, focusing instead on the Gillard vs Rudd "leadership contest". The net impact of all this has been to totally undermine Labor's credibility in government, to set it up as the inevitable loser at the next election.

If the commentators can no longer refer to continuous negative Labor poll results (leading to an inevitable Liberal victory) then they might just have to lift their game & cover the real political issues instead (like how can Abbott to pay for all his promises without a mining tax) with more integrity.

It has been really refreshing to (finally!) read recent articles questioning Abbott's negative & ugly tactics, questioning his suitability as a possible PM, say nothing of some actual scrutiny of his policy alternatives. I sense a bit of a shift in the media coverage of late. The Laurie Oakes article in the Hun, Ray Martin's comments on Q & A, the Fairfax business articles, etc ..... not exactly a groundswell, I know, but some real alternatives to what we've been fed through the media for ages now.

Julia has had a few wins recently (I count dropping the Australia Network tendering process in the tally) & she's had the best poll result in ages. The possible leadership challenge is now looking considerably less likely, so that story might disappear soon. And suddenly the commentators are scrutinizing Abbott's policies for the first time & finding quite a few holes. I sense a slowly growing, almost grudging respect in the media for Gillard's sheer determination & hard work . Is it too much to hope that we might get some fairer & more balanced political reporting coming up?
Reply Sun 13 Nov, 2011 06:44 pm
Agree with what you've said Olgs. And it also seems like the electorate is coming to its senses - and realising how much harder other countries are doing it and we really should be counting our blessings and investing in our future.

The govt insider gossip was that the 'leaks' were manufactured to taint the process so the govt could kill the process - which only started because K Rudd want to cozy up to News Ltd while in power.

When the Australian starts writing editorials about Tony's fiscal black hole, maybe then I'll believe we're near fair and balanced coverage. Thank FSM that we have the web and the papers are no longer our main source of opinion.
Reply Sun 13 Nov, 2011 07:04 pm
The govt insider gossip was that the 'leaks' were manufactured to taint the process so the govt could kill the process - which only started because K Rudd want to cozy up to News Ltd while in power.

Yes, that's exactly how I saw it.
Conroy/Gillard grasping at anything to kill off Rudd's tendering process. There was absolutely no good reason that the service was up for tender in the first place.
Normally I'd complain about a really stuffed up government process, but in this case I was 100% behind Conroy's "tampering".
(For heaven's sake, Rupert already controls 70% of the country's print media ... and he wants to control our external communications too! And he's not even an Australian citizen! What a nerve!)
My hero, Stephen Conroy! Razz

Rudd is not having a good run in the media lately, is he?
I wonder how come? Wink

When the Australian starts writing editorials about Tony's fiscal black hole, maybe then I'll believe we're near fair and balanced coverage.

Well they have a new CEO. Maybe they'll turn over a new leaf?
Ha. Don't hold your breath.
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Reply Sun 13 Nov, 2011 11:20 pm
There seems to be a dire shortage of women around the Pacific Rim. Wink


APEC leaders agree to slash green tariffs:

What is APEC?:
Reply Mon 14 Nov, 2011 12:57 am
How much can a Julia Bear?


Reply Mon 14 Nov, 2011 01:04 am

Quite a bit, obviously! Wink
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2011 03:16 am
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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2011 03:36 am
Here we go!
Looks like this one will cause a bunfight at the ALP conference ... though I suspect the PM will get her way.

The argument seems to be: everyone else it selling it to them so why shouldn't we, too?

If we'll be selling it to them for "peaceful purposes" why won't India sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

A long report from the ABC with video reports from politicians with different attitudes towards the issue:.


PM changes mind on uranium sales to India

Updated November 15, 2011 13:33:41/ABC news

Julia Gillard and Manmohan Singh Photo: Strengthening ties: Julia Gillard with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh (AFP: M. Asokan)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has set the stage for a showdown with her party's Left at Labor's national conference by back-flipping on the ALP's opposition to selling uranium to India.

In an opinion piece published in Fairfax newspapers this morning, Ms Gillard argues the move would strengthen Australia's relations with India, which possesses nuclear weapons but is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

She says selling uranium to India for peaceful purposes will broaden Australian markets and increase jobs.

"We must, of course, expect of India the same standards we do of all countries for uranium export - strict adherence to International Atomic Energy Agency arrangements and strong bilateral and transparency measures which will provide assurances our uranium will be used only for peaceful purposes," she wrote.

"[We] must be prepared to confront difficult questions about maximising prosperity and the strength of our relationships in our region of the world."

Labor policy prohibits selling uranium to any country that is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the move will face opposition from the ALP's Left faction.

But pressure has been mounting to change the policy, with Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd both in support of selling uranium to India.

India refuses to sign the treaty because it wants to retain the nuclear option to defend itself against nuclear-armed neighbours, Pakistan and China.

Mr Ferguson says India is not a rogue nuclear nation.

"The international approach to India has changed dramatically with the Nuclear Suppliers Group decision of 2007, led by the United States, to actually sell uranium to India," he said this morning.
Audio: Martin Ferguson speaks to AM (AM)

"We can sell uranium as a nation to countries such as China and Russia, but under our existing policy, which is outdated, it actually is a hangover from the 1970s ... we can't currently sell uranium to India, the biggest democracy in the world, 1.109 billion people, which I might say, 400 million live below the poverty line."

He says the move is about "normalising" Australia's relationship with India.

"India could purchase uranium from a range of countries, but they are desirous, at some point, of being able to purchase uranium from Australia," he said. ...<cont>

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Reply Tue 15 Nov, 2011 06:50 pm
Obama arrives in Canberra this afternoon & it's sounding like the capital is experiencing something of a security shutdown.

My heart sank when I saw this ABC headline. (Not that I'm too surprised!)
Surely we are already up to our eyeballs in the US's military adventures?
What now?, I ask, wringing my hands anxiously.
The usual deal is that Washington says "jump" & Canberra asks "how high?"
Downright depressing to contemplate what we could be implicated in next.
Deep sigh.

This is a lengthy ABC report including video & audio commentary:

Obama visit to focus on military ties
Updated November 16, 2011 09:28:17/ABC news

US president Barack Obama will arrive in Canberra this afternoon for his first official visit to Australia.

Mr Obama has been forced to cancel planned visits on two other occasions - once because of the political turmoil in Washington and the other because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The two-day visit will be marked by high security in Canberra, particularly around Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial.

The agenda is expected to be dominated throughout by talks on strengthening military ties between Australia and the US.

But the war in Afghanistan, China's role in Asia, trade, and nuclear troubles in Iran and North Korea are also expected to be discussed.

This afternoon the president will hold talks with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and tomorrow he will use a speech in Federal Parliament to make it clear that America is turning its focus towards the Asia Pacific.

He will then fly to Darwin with Ms Gillard, where they are expected to announce a boost to the US military presence in Australia's north.

Security will be tight for the president's arrival today, with airspace above Canberra restricted and F/A-18 Hornets patrolling overhead.

Hundreds of secret service agents have arrived in Canberra to help with the stringent security arrangements and to organise dress rehearsals of planned movements.

Sniffer dogs and foot patrols will do regular sweeps, while access to roads around the Canberra airport, Parliament House and the War Memorial will be restricted.

Mr Obama's visit will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS security alliance.

He is set to explain plans to increase joint training exercises at facilities in the Northern Territory, such as the remote Bradshaw field training area and the Delamere air weapons range already used for live-bombing practice by the US air force. ....<cont>


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