Labor throws another boring, self-destructive tantrum about the Greens

So the ALP is throwing a tantrum about the Greens. Again. Joining with News Ltd in calling them “extremists” and expressing outrage that they dare consistently stand for the principled policy positions they have told their voters they’ll represent in parliament. (The ALP calls this doing-what-you-said-you’d-do practice “ideological purity”.)

They clearly hope it will help them win a few centre-right votes from people who do think the Greens’ insistence on policies consistent with expert opinion on issues like climate change (ie, actually tackling it) and asylum seekers (ie, processing them BEFORE they get on boats, like experts actually recommend) are “unrealistic”, and that they should just be the same as the big old parties. But it certainly won’t help them in their long-term competition with the Greens.

Why not?

Because it underlines that the ALP doesn’t understand at all why lefties have left it, and continue to leave it, for the Greens. The answer is very simple – we know that if we vote for the ALP, it will use our votes to do right-wing things. That’s what it does, because it wants to be a “broad church” party and get votes from left and right simultaneously, and then abandon half its voters every time it makes a decision. And usually it’s the left that gets ignored, because the ALP thinks it can count on lefties always putting it above the COalition, it’s us or the Liberals SO WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO EH?

Well, what we’re gonna do is vote for a party that consistently advocates for progressive policies in parliament. They negotiate, but unlike the ALP their aim is to move the status quo in a progressive direction. They will vote for legislation that moves us forward, not legislation that moves us backwards. The ALP will wander inconsistently between policy positions depending on what it thinks certain marginal electorates want it to do.

Fortunately for the ALP, Australia has a single-member electorate system for the lower house. The upshot of that is that 1.5 million Australians can vote Green (which should be 17 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives) and be lucky to get a single Greens representative elected, because unlike the Nationals, those 1.5 million votes are spread around the country. Our votes get distributed (usually to the ALP) before they can combine to the level required to win a seat. Yeah, “democracy”.

Still, in the Senate the Greens’ vote can’t be ignored, and their increasing vote is leading to increasing numbers of them being elected. And even in the single-member lower house seats there is a critical mass that can be reached where previously-ALP seats start tipping over to the Greens. Where the ALP candidate is knocked out first and then they will have to make a choice as to whether they want to be a right-wing party that preferences the Liberals or a progressive party that preferences the Greens. Obviously some in the Victorian ALP want the party to be known as a right-wing party, which is why they’re preferencing the far-right Fundies First party. But the more the ALP does that, the more its left-wing supporters will realise that it isn’t the force for progressive change they had hoped it still was, and will leave it for the Greens.

Declaring war on the Greens is the quickest way for the ALP to lose progressive voters. Does it really want to be a right-wing party stuck competing with the Liberals for conservative voters? Because that’s where this choice will ultimately take it.

If you want progressives to vote for you, ALP, you do need to actually implement and advocate progressive policies. You need to be to the left of centre, not the right. And if you don’t want to do that, then don’t whinge when we vote for a party that is.

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84 responses to “Labor throws another boring, self-destructive tantrum about the Greens

  1. they dare consistently stand for the principled policy positions they have told their voters they’ll represent in parliament. (The ALP calls this doing-what-you-said-you’d-do practice “ideological purity”.)

    Putting aside the clear stupidity of Labor in standing for absolutely nothing, you raise a really interesting question here Lefty. Would a Greens voter who, say, supports on-shore processing for refugees actually applaud the Greens for refusing to budge on this issue? More to the point – should they applaud them?

    On the face of it the answer seems obvious – yes they should because the Greens are standing up for their policy preference. However the reality is not so straightforward: by refusing to compromise have the Greens lost their ability to influence refugee policy? If the polls are accurate and the Libs are headed for a thumping great win at the next election, then the Greens have a rapidly closing window in which to act. And when it shuts . . . well, Australia will end up adopting Liberal Party policy.

    This is surely true in a much broader political context: isn’t the job of an effective politician to get as close to the preferred policy position of their voters as possible, rather than to take an all or nothing approach? Standing on principles is all well and good, but when the practical outcome of doing so is that you achieve 0% of what you wanted then you have obviously failed your voters.

    Surely it’s better to get 20% than it is to get nothing at all?

  2. However the reality is not so straightforward: by refusing to compromise have the Greens lost their ability to influence refugee policy?

    Uh, the Greens aren’t refusing to compromise, but they’re not compromising on the fundamental principle of opposing the cruel and flawed policy of offshore processing.

    And neither of the big old parties is willing to compromise on onshore processing either, for that matter. (Or even the Greens’ actual policy of offshore-before-they-get-on-the-boat processing.)

    And when it shuts . . . well, Australia will end up adopting Liberal Party policy.

    I don’t agree that sending refugees to Malaysia is any improvement on it.

    This is surely true in a much broader political context: isn’t the job of an effective politician to get as close to the preferred policy position of their voters as possible, rather than to take an all or nothing approach?

    Sure, and that’s why the Greens compromised on the carbon price. The problem with the asylum seeker issue is that both big parties are obsessed with offshore processing, that makes the problem worse. (And if you don’t agree, at least concede that a majority of Greens voters certainly do.) Consequently, any acceptance of that policy would be a step backwards, and Greens voters would prefer the status quo to making it worse.

    In short: the Greens have compromised and will compromise on plenty of matters. As long as the result is a step forward, they’ll vote for it. The things they’ve voted against (the Lib/Lab ETS, the Lib/Lab offshore processing schemes) would all have made things worse. Certainly in the opinion of progressive Greens voters, which is what we want the party for which we vote to represent.

  3. Mondo
    When Leigh Sales interviewed Scott Morrison on 7:30 a fortnight ago, she asked Morrison four times whether he would support the Government if they offered to implement Liberal policy “in it’s entirety”.
    He refused to answer thrice and finally admitted that he wouldn’t.

    And you’re having a go at The Greens for not compromising??
    Give me a break. The only reason that people will continue to die on leaky boats is because the Libs want Labor to cry ‘uncle’.
    Thanks to that interview, we now find that even if Labor did cry ‘uncle’, the Libs would still refuse to cooperate.
    Contemptible bastards, the lot of them.

    Cheers

  4. Consequently, any acceptance of that policy would be a step backwards, and Greens voters would prefer the status quo to making it worse.

    But that’s my point Lefty – they won’t achieve the status quo because the Libs will take power next year and implement policies that the Greens voters hate. If they sat down at the negotiating table today with the Libs (or Labor) then they might be able to mitigate the worst aspects of the coming policy changes and at least achieve something for their voters.

    Marek – I’m not having a go at anyone (well, I had a bit of a dig at Labor). I don’t want to drag this discussion off into a refugee debate – I’m only using that issue as an example of where the Greens, by not compromising, may end up getting a worse result for their voters than they otherwise could.

  5. But that’s my point Lefty – they won’t achieve the status quo because the Libs will take power next year and implement policies that the Greens voters hate.

    But Labor wanted to do the same thing. All-powerful though Adam Bandt might be, if Labor and the Coalition are bent on post-arrival offshore processing, and will not budge, then he can’t outvote them.

    If they sat down at the negotiating table today with the Libs (or Labor) then they might be able to mitigate the worst aspects of the coming policy changes and at least achieve something for their voters.

    There’s nothing that can be done with post-arrival offshore processing that isn’t worse than the status quo.

  6. Splatterbottom

    The Greens think that the ALP has lost any sense of direction, lost its values and is now interested in power for its own sake whereas Labor thinks the Greens are extremists. They are both right.

    “Progressive” is just a euphemism for the charred remains of the communist movement trying to reinvent themselves. Labor should ignore them. Labor has traditionally represented mainstream voters who wanted a little more social justice than is offered by the conservatives. It should leave the progressives to gather under the Green flag and instead offer a sane alternative.

    Most people don’t want to face the dystopian world offered by the nihilistic Greens. There is plenty of room for a sane centre-left party and that is the alternative the ALP should offer to voters.

  7. if Labor and the Coalition are bent on post-arrival offshore processing, and will not budge, then he can’t outvote them.

    Indeed. At this point I think all reasonable observers are aware that offshore processing is coming back and there’s nothing the Greens can do to stop it.

    However by playing ball with one of the major parties today (while they hold the balance of power) the Greens might be able to wangle some concessions to offset some of the pain. They could obtain an increase inthe refugee quota, they might be able to avoid TPVs as policy and/or could persuade Abbott not to push boats back out to sea.

    You say that nothing is worse than the status quo but the reality you seem unwilling to face is that the status quo will only last for another 6-12 months. Post the next election one the Liberals will be able to dicate any policy they want.

    The Greens choice is not between the status quo and Liberal party policy, it’s between Liberal party policy and a slightly watered down version of Liberal party policy.

    That’s the reality they face, and by refusing to negotiate today they are foreiting their ability to obtain any concessions at all in the future.

  8. You say that nothing is worse than the status quo but the reality you seem unwilling to face is that the status quo will only last for another 6-12 months. Post the next election one the Liberals will be able to dicate any policy they want.

    They’ll be able to do that regardless of what happens now, won’t they?

  9. the Greens are extremists.

    Can you point to any Greens policy that you find extreme?

    Cheers.

  10. “isn’t the job of an effective politician to get as close to the preferred policy position of their voters as possible……”?.

    No.

    Effective politicians believe in things and stick to them. Effective politicians lead not follow. And they let the voters know what they believe so that voters, as near as damn it, know who and what they are actually voting for.

    And no effective, lasting, sound policy has ever, in history, emerged from political compromise anyway. Effective policies always have to be fought for, voters have to be brought to them, often, kicking and screaming at first.

    Thus job of an effective politician is present the facts as they see them, arguing towards an evidence based policy. The voters then decide if they want policy based on evidence or policy based on fantasy, like say, the current so called “border protection” fairy tales coming out of the libs and labs and many on this blog

    These days Australians, broadly, prefer fantasy.

    That’s just IMHO mind you.

  11. Splatterbottom

    Fellow Earthian Marek, extremist Greens include old commos like Bandt and Rhiannon, Clive “suspend democracy” Hamilton and the very charming Greens candidate Michael Quall, who wrote “Andrew Bolt is a vile dog who should be put down … I openly condone hunting him down and beating him within an inch of his life”. But of course Quall could not possibly be a Green because it is only evil right-wingers who introduce violence into political discourse, isn’t it?

    Their proposal to eliminate coal mining is pretty extreme and their plan to have the government censor the press (mainly because that paranoid old fool Bob Brown hates being contradicted) is a frontal assault on democracy.

  12. alfred venison

    i’d say rupert murdoch is the real full frontal assault on democracy – disguised of a newspaper/tv network.
    a.v.

  13. What about their actual policies, though?

  14. Effective politicians believe in things and stick to them. Effective politicians lead not follow. And they let the voters know what they believe so that voters, as near as damn it, know who and what they are actually voting for.

    And no effective, lasting, sound policy has ever, in history, emerged from political compromise anyway. Effective policies always have to be fought for, voters have to be brought to them, often, kicking and screaming at first.

    THIS.

    Fellow Earthian Marek, extremist Greens include old commos like Bandt and Rhiannon, Clive “suspend democracy” Hamilton and the very charming Greens candidate Michael Quall, who wrote “Andrew Bolt is a vile dog who should be put down … I openly condone hunting him down and beating him within an inch of his life”. But of course Quall could not possibly be a Green because it is only evil right-wingers who introduce violence into political discourse, isn’t it?

    NOT THAT.

    What utter shit, SB. You were asked about an “extreme” Green policy. Smearing people like Bandt and calling them “commos” is hardly persuasive. I haven’t seen anything from Bandt that would suggest he’s any further left than me, and I’m not a bloody “commo”.

  15. The Greens choice is not between the status quo and Liberal party policy, it’s between Liberal party policy and a slightly watered down version of Liberal party policy.

    As Buns points out, the Greens could cave completely and the Liberals would still introduce the nastiest version of offshore processing they could think of.

    It may be that both big parties are determined to cause more loss of life and be even more cruel to refugees than we are at present – but the Greens don’t have to be part of that. And I will take great comfort in being able to vote for a party that has stuck to its guns on this one.

  16. “being able to vote for a party that has stuck to its guns on this one…”. As usual, on matters that matter, it is only the Greens that ever talk sense, the same was true of Iraq for example.

    I have been a (begrudging) ALP voter for many elections. Never, ever again, it is the recent stoush that has convinced me once and for all. I am now, unashamedly Green, for with the ALP there is but sand, blowing in the wind from the farts of their latest focus group and the fetid belching of their 12 year old PR advisors.

  17. And no effective, lasting, sound policy has ever, in history, emerged from political compromise anyway.

    Absolutist tosh, the thinking of the fanatic. Australia’s prosperity since the 80′s has been built on a big-picture political compromise between the two major parities, starting with the pro-market reforms of Hawke and Keating.

    Politics is compromise. Without compromise you cease to have functioning politics.

    I can understand the frustration of the ALP here. The Greens entered into a formal alliance with the ALP and received a pretty big swag of concessions given they only represent 10% of the electorate; the ALP compromised. However, when it came to the one of the major issues that was hurting its alliance partner, The Greens didn’t budge an inch and left them hanging.

    The lesson here is don’t get involved with fanatics.

  18. On the issue the ALP’s malaise in general.

    The Labor party needs to return back to its base: the blue collar, socially conservative suburban sons of toil for whom it was originally created. Since the coming of Gough it has taken on the socially progressive white collar inner city types, creating the rift that it is now grappling with.

    It needs to allow this relatively smaller electoral sub-group go to The Greens and start looking to regain the much larger amount of socially conservative blue-collarish votes that have been lost to the Coalition.

    The few wealthy inner-city seats that The Greens poll well in is not where the working class live. It’s where wealthier professionals live. The ALP should abandon this small amount of wealthy seats and the well-off, fashionably progressive types who inhabit them and focus on not losing any more suburban seats to the Coalition.

    To draw upon the wisdom of 90′s alternative rock band, TISM, for the ALP it’s a choice between yobs and wankers.

  19. Splatterbottom

    “What about their actual policies, though?”

    That is just Marek trying to be cute. I didn’t limit my original comment to the Greens’ policies. Marek thought he would cunningly try to limit my answer but I’m not having any of that.

    As to Rhiannon, I am utterly disgusted that she is my Senator. As far as I’m concerned she is about as low as you can get politically speaking. She had a lengthy association with a particularly odious pro-Soviet form of communism which she has tried to play down, but has not repudiated in any sincere way.

    It comes as no surprise then that the Greens want government power to silence dissenting voices in the press.

  20. Yawn. So your big problem with Rhiannon is that you think 30 years ago she was involved with a different party to the one she’s in now.

    Pathetic.

    And you’re still running the lie that the media inquiry is about giving the government the power to “silence” voices who “dissent” in the press.

    Even more pathetic.

    Howard – the Greens promised not to block supply. They got some concessions out of the ALP in the form of the carbon pricing scheme, but they also compromised with the ALP on that. What are the others in this “pretty big swag of concessions” by the ALP? The line that the Greens never compromise is false. They do compromise, but they don’t agree to a position that’s worse than the status quo.

  21. Howie, I’m glad you changed your monicjer cos the other day I looked at it and I swear it said “Blowhard 81″. Bong addled brain or minor dyslexia – you decide. Glad you’ve been turned on to TISM tho.

  22. Jeremy

    What are the others in this “pretty big swag of concessions” by the ALP?

    That 10 billion dollar slush fund to prop up the renewable energy industry is is one that comes to mind.

    They do compromise…

    I suppose you’re right, Jeremy. They did, after all, agree to Gillard’s lesser carbon pricing scheme after turning down Rudd’s far more extensive CPRS.

    Usually though, the idea of compromise is not to end up with less than what was originally offered to you.

  23. Monicker… argghhhhh.

    Anyway i don’t think social conservatism is the correct term Howie. I think you’re trying to talk about something else cos the major motivation of social conservatism is a puritanical authoritarian worldview based on middle eastern desert religions. While the majority of working class people may form “traditional families” they don’t adhere to the values that once were associated with them.

    They don’t support tea-totaling wowserism or sexual puritanicality, which are fundamental to social conservatives. The Australian labour movement is one of the most “historically progressive” things in … well in history, at least recent political history. You should read Chifley’s light on the hill speech. It might give you a better view of what you’re wrong about.

    What you are talking about is the fact that labour doesn’t appear to stand for the traditional working class, but since the 80s the traditional working class hasn’t been the same anyway. Charlie Sheen’s character in Wall Street was from a traditional working class family. for example.

    The real problem here is we are talking about the 21st century using mid 20th century categories and world views. they no longer apply. This situation scares plenty of people who would otherwise vote ALP. The situation facing humanity today is one of upheaval and complex rapid change. Abbott and Howard (J) appeal to this fear by saying “trust me and I’ll lead you back to a place we can never go” and people believe it. That is why they are popular.

    the ALp doesn’t really know what its doing, and progressive’s appear to have forgotten that the fear that goes with a family. fear of instability and safety, and a secure future for your children, is really high these days. Because old certainties are breaking down. Anyway this might be a bit too meta for this discussion but there you have it.

  24. Nice try, Howie, but we all know the Lib/Lab ETS Rudd refused to discuss with the Greens was worse than the status quo.

  25. Marek

    Can you point to any Greens policy that you find extreme?

    Let me select a few personal favourites from The Greens’ website, Marek.

    end the ANZUS treaty…..self determination for the people of West Papua….. we condemn the plundering of Tibet’s natural resources and destruction of Tibetan cultures by the Chinese Government

    Blowing-off our greatest strategic ally, whilst aggravating both our rather large northern neighbours is extreme. Extremely stupid.

    ban the exportation of animals to jurisdictions where levels of legislative protection are below those of Australia.

    Destroying an entire Australian industry due to the nature of developing nations as compared to the comfortably developed such as ourselves is extreme.

    provide a commitment by Australia to support the work of the UN, to abide by its charter and resolutions, and to meet financial obligations to the institution.

    Unqualified acquiescence to a body made up largely of the representatives of dictatorships seems highly extreme.

    end the exploration for, and the mining and export of, uranium.

    Given that a sizeable chunk of the world relies on nuclear power to keep the lights on, and that the only current base-load alternative is fossil fuels, it would seem extreme to stop supplying uranium without qualification.

    an immigration program that is predominantly based on family reunions and other special humanitarian criteria…

    Abandoning a selective immigration programme based on the nation’s current economic needs seems extremely naive.

    I could continue, though, don’t get me wrong, I could also give examples of some Greens’ policies with which I concur.

  26. Splatterbottom

    “So your big problem with Rhiannon is that you think 30 years ago she was involved with a different party to the one she’s in now.”

    Her association appears to have been much more substantial than that. And the parties are not as different as you imply. The difference is the change of name and the fact that a few more fellow-travellers and useful idiots have formally joined.

    The new Ministry of Truth is being established precisely because not all of the media would kowtow to the Greens way of thinking. This, more than anything else, shows the thin-skinned fascism that is at the heart of the Greens way of thinking.

    The government has no right to tell the press, much less blogs, how to report and comment on the news. A free press is a necessary condition for a democratic society. It is clear that the Greens utterly fail this test.

    So it is no surprise at all to find violent motor-mouth mongrels like Quall, hideous old commos like Rhiannon and proto-fascists like Hamilton in prominent positions in the Greens.

  27. As Buns points out, the Greens could cave completely and the Liberals would still introduce the nastiest version of offshore processing they could think of.

    That’s a possibility, but it’s far from a guarantee.

    Don’t forget that Abbott offered to increase the refugee quota to 20,000 per annum (that’s just under a 50% increase) in the recent refugee debate and the Greens knocked him back. Had they taken up the offer then we would be heading towards a big increase in our refugee intake (a good outcome from a Green voters perspective), but because they rejected it the offer is no longer on the table.

    Who knows – the Libs might stick with it anyway, but I think the chances of that are slim. Next year, when the Liberal Party is calling the shots, they have no need to offer concessions to anyone.

    Surely you can recognise this as a missed opportunity? In 18 months time when we’ve re-opened Nauru, re-introduced TPVs, and are still at our current 14,000p.a. intake limit perhaps it will occur to you that 6,000 refugees have been left behind to rot in a refugee camp because of the Green’s inability to play politics.

  28. Nice one Howie.

    If supporting “self determination for the people of West Papua” viewed as extremist, then how do you view supporting self determination for the people of East Timor?
    Equally, when China does it to Tibet, we turn a blind eye, but when Iran and Iraq did it to the Kurds, we ran in with guns blazing.
    ANZUS? Since WW2 the Americans have done fuck all for Australia.
    However, Australia has happily wasted money and blood in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan at their behest.
    ANZUS is costly and useless. Tear it up.
    That’s not extreme, that’s common sense.

    To “ban the exportation of animals to jurisdictions where levels of legislative protection are below those of Australia” is not the quote that you think it is.
    That policy goes hand in hand with the previous one which calls for the banning of the trade in animals for zoos (except for breeding programs).
    The idea is that we shouldn’t send koalas and wombats to countries that will treat them poorly.
    I think you meant to quote item 10 which calls to “end the export of live animals for consumption”.
    I agree, Why should we put animals in serious distress just to satisfy the religious demands of our trading partners, when we could valued add to the industry and set up our own abattoirs? Help we can even hire one of their Imams to make sure it is certified Halal.

    Your objection to us adhering to the terms and conditions of our membership to the U.N. is just weird, and dare I say extreme, in a Tom Bolton kind of way.

    Calling to “end the exploration for, and the mining and export of, uranium” is not extreme. It’s just stupid.
    Essentially, I agree with you on that point.

    You infer that supporting “an immigration program that is predominantly based on family reunions and other special humanitarian criteria” is a de-facto abandonment of selective immigration.
    I disagree. The key word in their policy is “predominately”, not ‘exclusively’ or ‘solely’. I believe you’ve just verballed The Greens.
    This country already has the 457 visa programme which allows business to select immigrants of special skill sets.
    To ask that our immigration intake be skewed towards compassion can hardly be called extreme.
    Don’t you agree?

    Cheers.

    BTW, I’m surprised you didn’t bring up death duties. C’mon old son, you’re slipping!

  29. Marek

    I’m surprised you didn’t bring up death duties.

    The Greens appeared to have abandoned their policy of death duties over the weekend, Marek.

    Disappointing for the likes of Jeremy, no doubt, but progress of a kind for all others.

    Why should we put animals in serious distress just to satisfy the religious demands of our trading partners, when we could valued add to the industry and set up our own abattoirs?

    The practical issue is, Marek, that developing nations such as Indonesia don’t have an extensive refrigerated transport and storage capacity. In large parts of such countries, meat must generally be slaughtered close to the point of sale.

    If supporting “self determination for the people of West Papua” viewed as extremist, then how do you view supporting self determination for the people of East Timor?

    It’s all about what return one gets in return for the expenditure of one’s political capital, Marek.

    The issue of East Timor had a head of steam behind it in the UN and it’s secession was looking likely. Given this, Australia supporting it cost us little whilst actually resulting in an independent East Timor.

    Indonesia is never going to let go of mineral rich West Papua, there is little international support in the places that matter for the independence movement, and as we speak ethnic Indonesians are flooding the place to ensure it remains thus.

    Australia supporting West Papuan independence would be to burn political capital for zero return. Best save that political capital to raise human rights issue in the province.

    The same with Tibet. Never is China’s ownership of Tibet going to be loosened. Putting China offside over an issue that is never going to change is idealistic foolishness. Best save that influence to push for the improvement of human rights within such places.

    To waste political capital on things that we cannot change is extremely imprudent.

    ANZUS is costly and useless. Tear it up.

    I genuinely hope you’re correct, Marek, and we will never need to call upon it. However, I’d have thought it only prudent to keep an agreement that compels the world’s only superpower to come to your defence in the bank.

    A blase disregard for prudence is extremely worrying.

    Your objection to us adhering to the terms and conditions of our membership to the U.N. is just weird…

    It was the unqualified adherence to all resolutions that was what I was getting at.

    Unqualified subservience to an external political body of dubious membership in the pursuit of some utopian one-world government is extreme.

    I disagree. The key word in their policy is “predominately”, not ‘exclusively’ or ‘solely’…To ask that our immigration intake be skewed towards compassion can hardly be called extreme.
    Don’t you agree?

    This would still indicate that selective criteria are being done away with. I would suggest that should we wish to maintain Australia as a nation strong enough to offer a humanitarian capacity, we should put economic considerations first.

    After all, Marek, the poor cannot help the poor.

  30. The government has no right to tell the press, much less blogs, how to report and comment on the news. A free press is a necessary condition for a democratic society. It is clear that the Greens utterly fail this test.

    Except if it’s the ABC. Then the government should be able to tie ongoing funding to favourable reporting, as I understand your position as expressed here previously.

  31. The news about no inheritance tax on estates over $5m is indeed very sad – of all transactions to tax in order to raise revenue for health and education, the completely undeserved receipt of a windfall by lucky heirs is surely one of the most appropriate. Even if The Australian insists on calling it the sinister-sounding “death duties”. I don’t know whose votes the Greens think they’ll win by abandoning it. Too much of this sort of thing and I’ll be looking for a new progressive party to support.

    As for an extra 6,000 refugees unless Tony becomes PM… Nowhere near enough to justify abandoning our obligations to asylum seekers. And Tony doesn’t have the numbers to pass such a scheme with the Greens anyway, even if it wasn’t crap.

  32. To waste political capital on things that we cannot change is extremely imprudent.

    But not a sign of extremism, even if your assessment is correct..

    A blase disregard for prudence is extremely worrying.

    Your worry, your extremism, and I would argue that you have nothing to worry about.

    Unqualified subservience to an external political body of dubious membership in the pursuit of some utopian one-world government is extreme.

    Ok, you don’t like the UN and you’re scared of bringing democracy to as many people on the planet as possible. Fair enough. Weird and extreme, but your right to be such.
    From the Greens website;
    Principles;

    the leading role of the United Nations (UN) in the maintenance of international peace and security must be recognised and respected by all countries.

    Goals;

    extensive structural reform to democratise the UN (and)
    a stronger UN capable of dealing with threats to international peace and security.

    Measures;

    provide a commitment by Australia to support the work of the UN, to abide by its charter and resolutions, and to meet financial obligations to the institution.

    The only extremism I see here is your extreme prejudice against the UN and your extreme use of hyperbole when describing how The Greens think we approach same.

    I would suggest that should we wish to maintain Australia as a nation strong enough to offer a humanitarian capacity, we should put economic considerations first.

    That’s your view and it’s a valid one. I suspect that it can be discussed in detail without ever having to refer to it as extreme.
    Do you think you’re able to hear the counter-argument without sneering and talking of extremism?

    All in all, I think we’ve done rather well today.
    I reckon with a few more of these counselling sessions, we can make some serious progress towards curing you of your ideological chauvinism. ;-)

    Cheers.

  33. France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Norway, The UK, The USA, Holland, Finland, Switzerland, Ireland, Bermuda and the Czech Republic.

    They all have Death Duties (!!). Are they run by extremist commies?
    Have people stopped trying to be rich in those countries?
    Are you scared to go there?

    Cheers.

  34. Yaaaawn… These lame arguments were old more than ten years ago when hoWARd and his lackies tried, with Packer and Murdoch’s assistance, to demonise The Greens.
    Lets’ remember where these attacks started last week, and by whom.
    C’mon fellas, You can do much better than this!

    Let’s analyse WHY the timing of this attack and who is directing it: just before ALP annual conference in Sydney, instead of scrutiny over same-sex marriage motions and votes, instead of demolishing these useless right wing hacks that have now lost QLD, NSW and Vic by historical margins by lying to their own supporters like immigrants, workers affected by privatisation, the ALP policies on income-management totally against Indigenous self-determination, etc.

    Always ask, who benefits from the propaganda and who is paying for it… Always follow the money!

  35. Marek

    But not a sign of extremism, even if your assessment is correct.

    I would’ve thought that the myopic pursuit of specific causes at the expense of the greater and wider considerations of global Realpolitik and economic realities could be considered extremist. An extremist being someone who pursues their cause at the expense of all other considerations, that is.

    Though, if one wishes to limit the term ‘extremist’ to those who engage in violence and illegality in pursuit of their aims, you may have a point. Then again, The Greens’ approval, tacit and public, of the many acts of trespass and vandalism carried out by environmental activists would have them edging toward even this definition.

    On second thought, perhaps The Greens aren’t extreme given none of their MPs appear to exhibit an interest in base-jumping or freestyle motor-cross. Xtreme Greens?

    Ok, you don’t like the UN and you’re scared of bringing democracy to as many people on the planet as possible.

    Nonsense. I have a great deal of enthusiasm for the UN in the role for which it was originally created. That being a diplomatic forum in which world powers may seek to avoid another world war.

    I simply have no truck with the idea of a world governing body upon which the representatives of the world’s most odious and autocratic regimes are given equal billing with legitimate governments. As has been quipped before: if you mix ice-cream with dog faeces, the resulting mixture is more likely to taste of the latter, not the former.

    Your apparent belief that the UN is all about bestowing democracy around the world would surely be met with a few cynical smiles from many nations’ UN ambassadors. Two of them are permanent security council members.

    I reckon with a few more of these counselling sessions, we can make some serious progress towards curing you of your ideological chauvinism.

    Well, let’s hope your rates are reasonable, Marek, or at least competitive with that other would-be healer of right-wing pathologies, Fran Barlow.

  36. You know whats extreme. The lack of convictions over the GFC or anything since. That, and the wealth of neofascists.

    Something else thats extreme is the gap between the richest and poorest people on the planet.

    Another extreme thing – the number of children who died from preventable diseases or poverty while I typed this comment.

    The dysfunction of the 4th estate.

    The rate of increase in temperature due to excess anthropogenic co2 and other GHGs in the atmosphere.

    The wetness of Tuvalu.

    The ice melt at the poles.

    The rate of extinctions on the planet right now.

    The awesomeness of the mighty Kangas.

    The increase in catastrophic weather events over the last 20 years.

    The willful blindness of people who refuse to recognise those things. Or these:

    The rate of ocean acidification.

    The rate of fish stock depletion.

    The amount of crap in the oceans. (see the Pacific, Indian and N Atlantic gyres.)

    The governments reaction to anti mining campaigners.

    Salinity in Australia.

    Human Stupidity.

    The levels of radiation in Tuna these days.

    All those things are extreme, but its easier to point at the Greens and screech like Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

  37. Jules wins the debate. Next topic.

    Howard B fails as usual.

  38. As for an extra 6,000 refugees unless Tony becomes PM… Nowhere near enough to justify abandoning our obligations to asylum seekers.

    Huh? Your position is seriously that a 50% increase in our refugee intake quota would be an abandonment of our obligation to asylum seekers?

    Um . . . OK.

    I have to tell you Lefty that I think you’ve gone a bit loopy in relation to the refugee debate. I genuinely can’t understand your unavering commitment to the preservation of an on-shore processing system that is killing hundreds of people when an alternative exists that will reduce those deaths to near zero while still preserving our overall intake quota. It seems like such a simple decision to me.

    But regardless – you’re still missing the point I’ve repeatedly made: the Liberal policy proposals may be an “abandoment of our obligations” or they may not be (depending on your persepctive) but those policies are coming whether you like them or not.

    The Greens have an opportunity to mitigate those changes right now – an opportunity to blunt some of the more extreme changes and/or extract favourable concessions to offset some of the perceived pain. They could do this by negotiating with Labor or the Liberals, but by abjectly refusing to compromise they are mising their opportunity. They are so focused on preserving a short term win that they are abandoning the opportunity to mitigate a catastrophic medium to long term loss.

    And in doing so they are failing their voters – including you.

  39. B!atch Please.
    Let’s leave to The Greens voters to say what they want from The Greens.
    It’s like all the many “good intentioned” anti-terrorist measures we are supposed to support because they are so much better than the alternative.
    As with Indigenous issues and the ALP supported hoWARd Intervention, it’s all because to do nothing is supposed to be sooo much worse: “Let’s think of the children!” Nobody believes any of this BS anymore.

    It’s not even a barely effective straw man, it’s n more than BS the ALP lawyers and refugee advocates now will not withstand a High Court challenge. Of course The Greens don’t want to be blamed for that crap. While the ALP left don’t want it either, they’re just so used to being b!tched-slapped by the Right’s bullies…

  40. Sorry for the typos, here it is again:
    It’s not even a barely effective straw man, it’s no more than BS the ALP lawyers and refugee advocates know will not withstand a High Court challenge. Of course The Greens don’t want to be blamed for that crap. While the ALP left don’t want it either, they’re just so used to being b!tched-slapped by the Right’s bullies…

  41. One of the reasons the ALPs so right to attack the Greens (and why Howie is actually correct about the way they have failed their traditional base, tho not for “socially conservative” reasons) is that their utter failure to support the workers striking for a fair go a Toll this week has really left them without a leg to stand on.

    They actually have nothing else really. Anyone else remember what jeremy posted when Rudd got elected.

    His picture and the words “Don’t fuck it up.”

    (I think it was a while ago.)

  42. “I think – it was a while ago.”

  43. Huh? Your position is seriously that a 50% increase in our refugee intake quota would be an abandonment of our obligation to asylum seekers?

    No, abandoning our obligation to provide refugee to genuine refugees who apply for it here would be abandoning our obligations.

    Also – 50% increase? Oh, I suppose 50% of 14,000 is 7,000 so going from 14,000 to 20,000 is almost 50% of 14,000 higher. But you know that wording it the way you did makes it sound like doubling, which it isn’t.

    I have to tell you Lefty that I think you’ve gone a bit loopy in relation to the refugee debate. I genuinely can’t understand your unavering commitment to the preservation of an on-shore processing system that is killing hundreds of people when an alternative exists that will reduce those deaths to near zero while still preserving our overall intake quota. It seems like such a simple decision to me.

    And I think you’re being somewhat disingenuous. You know perfectly well I don’t accept your premise that on-shore processing “is killing hundreds of people”. Nor do I accept your premise that either offshore processing regime will “reduce those deaths to near zero”. Nor do I accept your premise that “preserving our overall intake quota” is a good thing.

    1. The problems with the present system are that (a) we are not processing people in Indonesia in reasonable numbers before they get on a boat, and (b) we’ve done everything in our power to make the boat trip more dangerous. That’s why people are drowning. Schemes like Tony’s, to drag boats back and encourage their passengers to scuttle them, or like Julia’s, of sending refugees to countries that aren’t even signatories to the appropriate conventions, just make the problem worse.

    2. Either the refugees are to be treated worse than in the camps (which Labor claims they won’t be) or there will still be an incentive to get on boats and come. So neither offshore processing scheme will stop people coming on boats at all.

    3. The overall intake quota is too low and should be increased.

    but those policies are coming whether you like them or not.

    You might like to concede defeat and give up. I don’t intend to.

    The Greens have an opportunity to mitigate those changes right now – an opportunity to blunt some of the more extreme changes and/or extract favourable concessions to offset some of the perceived pain.

    But only by agreeing to offshore processing that will make the problem worse. If both big parties are determined to be stupid, that’s no reason the Greens have to jump in with them. And their voters, relieved at having a non-stupid choice, will support them for it.

  44. But only by agreeing to offshore processing that will make the problem worse.

    Let’s put aside the fact that moving to offshore processing (combined with TPVs and other measures) worked to drastically reduce the number of boat arrivals (and drownings) the last time we did it. Let’s assume that you’re right and doing the same thing this time would somehow cause more deaths and exacerbate the plight of refugees.

    How does that in any way undermine the need for the Greens to mitigate the worst aspects of that impending policy while they still have the chance? How does the Greens current approach of refusing to negotiate or compromise with any other parties on this issue actually lead to a better future outcome for refugees and/or their progressive supporters?

    Help me understand here Lefty because I honestly can’t see how what they’re doing will be at all effective or beneficial for refugees and/or progressive voters once the Libs take power at the next election.

    (Also I can’t believe you would imply that that my use of “50% increase” was an attempt to mislead. I’m not going to dumb down my commentary to account for readers who don’t understand how percentages work!)

  45. Howie

    Well, let’s hope your rates are reasonable, Marek, or at least competitive with that other would-be healer of right-wing pathologies, Fran Barlow.

    Oh, yuck!! Please don’t compare me with her.
    She is a self-appointed guardian of the orthodoxy (just ask Mondo) and hater of all things not issuing directly from her own genius.
    I, on the other hand, am a simple servant of truth and fairness whose greatest joy is to be found in the humble act of nudging my fellow travelers in the direction of enlightenment.
    Also, I work for gratis.

    Cheers.

  46. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Except if it’s the ABC. Then the government should be able to tie ongoing funding to favourable reporting, as I understand your position as expressed here previously.”

    The government should not be in the news business at all.

  47. Do you really believe that the ABC is a government mouthpiece SB?

  48. narcoticmusing

    The government should not be in the news business at all.
    Because of course, news product where profit is the only motive, is clearly a better mechanism that will get you honest results not at all tainted by their primary motive

    Face it, everyone has an agenda. The ABC has far more capacity to be independent, much like many other government funded (vis run) media outlets.

    Might= right and profit = right are not sound mechanisms for the only source of media. Profit is one mechanism that has value in determining media, but in isolation it is dangerous. Which is why a mixture is required.

  49. narcoticmusing

    I also disagree with that statement on the most fundamental grounds. If we had a functional 4th estate we may not require government in the news business at all. But we do not. News product is what we have, not news. While we have massive interests purchasing opinions, often through misleading and deceptive advertising campaigns, the Australian public deserve and require, in order to have informed choice, adequate information on government policy. This necessitates government funded information dissemination. It is not appropriate that the people be informed of only one side of a debate by those with the deepest pockets.

  50. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Do you really believe that the ABC is a government mouthpiece SB?”

    It’s not quite that direct, Mondo. More a case of leftist group-think. But why should that be publicly funded?

    But when Milne raised questions about Gillard’s past, questions that have never been answered other than by a blanket denial and a qualifier that, as a 34 year old partner of a national law firm, she was young and naive, Milne was sacked from Insiders.

    The only real interest the ABC has for me is that it allows me to listen to the leftist view of politics in its full stupidity. But I can already get that in Fairfax or Green Left Weekly or Crikey. Why should the government take my money to feed me leftist propaganda? Why should I subsidise “The Drum”? I don’t want to pay for the promulgation of the rank stupidity of the leftist opinionistas that contribute the vast majority of its content.

    To their credit some of the ABC presenters are at least talented in what they do. Listening to Philip Adams billing and cooing with Noam Chomsky was at least entertaining bias. But bias it was. “Red Kerry” O’Brien is very good at what he does – the question is whether the public should pay for the dissemination of his views.

    I don’t watch Media Watch any more. It always was leftist in its smirking bias and was getting worse when I gave up on it.

    Narcotic: “It is not appropriate that the people be informed of only one side of a debate by those with the deepest pockets.”

    I know what you mean, Narcotic. We only ever get one view whether it is from Crikey or New Matilda or The Conversation or Fairfax or the Green Left Weekly. Thank God for the ABC – it’s so refreshingly different to them.

    Come to think of it – if the ABC’s job is to give the other side, is that the other side to that of the evil Murdoch empire or the other side of Fairfax?

    The fact is that the government has no business whatsoever sponsoring any “side”.

    When the government wants to tell us about government policy it usually does so by advertising it. And of course that advertising is completely neutral in its assessment of the policy, isn’t it? The ABC would only get worse if it regarded its role as glorifying government policy. Imagine it trying to sell Workchoices under a Coalition government.

  51. It’s not quite that direct, Mondo. More a case of leftist group-think.

    I don’t dispute that the ABC has an overwhleming Left-wing bias SB so let’s treat that as a given.

    Nonetheless Narc’s comments are fundamentally valid – i.e. a system where all media is provided by commercial operators has such obvious flaws that the need for a genuinely independent, impartial and fully funded news service is clear.

    Perhaps you are right and the ABC is no longer fulfilling that role, although for the record I think you’re quite wrong if you think the ABC has, or could ever be, co-opted as the Government’s media arm. But even assuming you are then answer is not to abandon our goal of an independently funded media source – it is to work harder to ensure it is available.

  52. narcoticmusing

    Apologies SB if I confused you – my second comment was referring to Govt advertising (and that it is necessary in this day and age) and not at all suggesting that that was the ABCs role. I tried to keep the two matters separate by using separate comments. Hope this clarifies.

    We only ever get one view whether it is from Crikey or New Matilda or The Conversation or Fairfax or the Green Left Weekly. Thank God for the ABC – it’s so refreshingly different to them.
    Interesting that only one of those forms of media is widely distributed and read (Fairfax). They are all either limited distribution or web/blog based. They are not something your average Joe can go and pick up at the supermarket or newsagent. Interesting that you don’t mention the significant control of the news by News Corp in many jurisdictions and regions of Australia, where they have no real access to any other source. Ergo, the problem is that in many places we ONLY have news corp. I wouldn’t mind the profit based model with both sides having an agenda if both sides got a voice.

    The complete and utter ignorance of people, imposed upon them by the collapse of the 4th estate, of the reality of many situations is terrifying. People making decisions as important as voting, purely based on one media mogul’s political bias, is NOT informed choice. I don’t care that News Corp is biased, I care if it is the only news source. Which for many, in Australia, it is.

  53. narcoticmusing

    I also dispute the left wing bias of ABC. It certainly was. It certainly is not now.

    I think it is a confusion of reporting the results of scientific studies; and other academic reports as being “Left” where if they do no regurgitate the ‘gut-instinct opinion’ of the right as truth, they are labelled (libeled perhaps) as left wing. So what we get is some right wing guy with an opinion being reported verbatim as if every word was truth as if this balances with a scientific report. Suddenly, Science and facts = left wing bias.

    I don’t dispute there are left wing pundits on the ABC, just as there are biased players in all our media. I dispute that the entire ABC is left wing on the face of their parroting of right opinion as truth, the constant attacks on left wing governments, and the absolute lack of any criticism or analysis of right wing governments.

    If the ABC was left wing, we might occasionally get some analysis or critique of the many liberal state governments. What’s that? Tumble weed? Left wing bias would generate multitudes of criticism of these backwards liberal state governments that don’t care about people’s liberties one iota and take the media bias in their favour for granted such that they openly help out their buddies knowing that all the corruption in the world won’t make a single journalist open their mouth against them.

  54. narcoticmusing

    The fact is that the government has no business whatsoever sponsoring any “side”.

    Again, this comment may have been because you mistook my 2nd comment as referring to the ABC. To clarify:

    The Government has a critical role in explaining policy, particularly where there is a significant change. It is essentially a form of change management. This isn’t the role of the ABC, but the Government. If there is well financed interests opposed to the government policy, the government should make it clear what it is doing and why. So, this is the ‘side’ the government should take. Being in government isn’t the same as being in opposition (which is why the new liberal states are so clueless atm – they think the sloganeering of opposition will work while in government, it doesn’t.) Government has a duty to be open and accountable, which includes explaining policy decisions to those impacted.

    The role of the ABC is the same as any other media outlets role, albeit that the ABC does not need to focus on trash to ‘sell’ the news, it can actually report things that are happening. Which somehow gets translated into ‘left wing bias’ because there was no boob, butts or explosions in the story.

  55. The fact is that the government has no business whatsoever sponsoring any “side”.

    Lucky it doesn’t do that then.

    I think what’s important is that everyone appreciate the futility of debating whether or not the ABC has a left-wing bias. Because as long as the ABC exists, there will be right-wingers crying about the supposed left-wing bias. And there is nothing the ABC or anyone else can do about that. So it makes sense to simply ignore people who whinge endlessly about it. Mostly the complaint comes from people at the far right and there’s no way to satisfy them. I mean, Fox News apologists purporting to have a handle on bias in the media? What a joke.

  56. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “a system where all media is provided by commercial operators has such obvious flaws that the need for a genuinely independent, impartial and fully funded news service is clear.”

    There is no evidence whatsoever that government is capable of providing such a thing.

    More importantly, there has never been a time in history when people have had ready access to such a diversity of news and views. Once newspapers and pamphlets were the sole source of news and comment. Then came radio, then TV, then cable and now the internet, blogs and twitter.

    There is no such a thing as a “genuinely independent, impartial” news and opinion service. Every attempt by governments and public interest groups to set up such a service has failed. They are all biased, mainly to the left.

    Narcotic: “Interesting that only one of those forms of media is widely distributed and read (Fairfax). They are all either limited distribution or web/blog based. They are not something your average Joe can go and pick up at the supermarket or newsagent.”

    The vast majority of people in this country have access to radio, TV, cable and the internet. They are swamped for choice. The reason people don’t read leftist news sources is that they are not interested in crap. Also, you overstate Fairfax’s readership – it is declining rapidly as it continues in its leftist trajectory. The Age and the SMH are merely vanity organs for the inner city wankersphere.

    I grew up in a country town and we had 4 city newspapers delivered there every day. If this is not happening now, it is because the market for Fairfax bias is diminishing, and other sources of news and information are available. The market place is there – Crikey could decide to release a print version of its latrine leftism all over Australia. They reason they don’t is that the market for that sort of biased wankery is limited to the intellectual elite – those people hopelessly in love with their own sophistication. There is not a lot of those types in rural Australia.

    Your reference to “Average Joe” (who obviously desperately needs your protection since his views differ to yours) is nothing more than typical leftist condescension. It assumes that people are too stupid to factor in the inherent bias in their sources, and that they will not, if they are minded to do so, seek out other readily available sources.

    People don’t hate the intellectual elite because they are too stupid to understand them. They hate them because they understand all to well that they are pretentious wankers, unlikely ever to be grounded in reality.

    There is absolutely no reason at all that the government should be involved in disseminating leftist news and opinion around the country.

  57. Splatterbottom

    Buns, you are right – few leftists complain about bias at the ABC. There is a good and obvious reason for that.

  58. Yes: they’re not crybabies. It’s only the right that has the persecution complex. Look in the mirror for exhibit A.

  59. Splatterbottom

    Wrong again, Buns. Have another go at it.

  60. Nah, that’s the reason.

  61. buns3000

    Yes: they’re not crybabies. It’s only the right that has the persecution complex.

    There has long been an expressed feeling among some on the farer Left that the ABC is in fact tilting to the right, the author of this very blog, our Jeremy, included.

    Perhaps you missed the petition doing the rounds in GetUp! circles suggesting the ABC was now a right-wing mouth piece in breach of its charter. Maybe you’ve yet to avail yourself with the insightful analysis to be found on the #theirABC twitter hashtag, on which embitterants from either side of the spectrum vent their spleens whenever they feel their ‘side’ is not enjoying enough favourable coverage on the taxpayer’s dime.

    As long as there is public broadcasting there will always be plaintive wails from all political quaters convinced that others are enjoying a free-ride, our moral and intellectual superiors of the new Left included.

  62. Splatterbottom

    Truly you have the gift of invincible ignorance Buns.

  63. As long as there is public broadcasting there will always be plaintive wails from all political quaters convinced that others are enjoying a free-ride, our moral and intellectual superiors of the new Left included.

    Which, when you think about it, is perhaps evidencethat the ABC is not the hotbed of Leftist activism that SB is making it out to be . . .

    Perhaps it is better at providing an impartial news service than the biased among us actually believe.

  64. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Perhaps it is better at providing an impartial news service than the biased among us actually believe.”

    There are definitely some (almost) straight shooters there. Glen Bartholemew on News Radio is fairly straight and very witty, as is Barrie Cassidy. Trouble is Insiders is always two or three lefty panelists and one or no normal people. Q&A is similarly weighted, but most people who appear on that seem more interested in stroking their own egos so it has become unwatchable.

    Funnily enough the show I enjoy is probably the most biased – LNL.

    Put it this way – what do you think the chances are that the ABC would ever hire Andrew Bolt to host a chat show?

  65. Truly you have the gift of invincible ignorance Buns.

    In that people who disgaree with you are ignorant, you mean? I’m sorry you can’t accept that I don’t agree with you on this.

    Put it this way – what do you think the chances are that the ABC would ever hire Andrew Bolt to host a chat show?

    Of all the reasons for the ABC not to employ Andrew Bolt to host a chat show, leftist bias would be lucky to make it into the top 5.

  66. Splatterbottom

    That’s what I thought – not a Snowball’s chance in hell of Bolt or any conservative hosting 7.30 or Lateline or Insiders or Media Watch. Won’t. Ever. Happen.

  67. narcoticmusing

    In that people who disgaree with you are ignorant, you mean? I’m sorry you can’t accept that I don’t agree with you on this.

    Notice that people that disagree with him are also not normal… Trouble is Insiders is always two or three lefty panelists and one or no normal people

    SB, aren’t you usually telling us how the left are constantly wrapped up in their own pretentious hubris such that they can’t/won’t recognise anyone else? Hmm… are you able to judge bias if you see leftists as aliens? What is your view of a leftist? Is it anyone that comes in with scientific facts? I agree facts can be interpreted, but a scientist describing the results of a study is not left or right, they are just describing the observation. Nothing is context free, but there is a difference between left/right pundits and people on the show who say things you don’t like or want to believe. Just as many didn’t want to believe the world was not flat or the centre of the universe.

    The average Joe I was referring to by the way, was a reference to my parents who do not have internet access (and aren’t interested in getting it), who are committed to supporting their local industry and thus buy their local paper, and thus only get one view. News Corps view. They both work hard and are good upstanding citizens, but at the same time they don’t have a clue of the issues other people face within minutes of them, let alone the greater population. You are very privileged to have such access to so many news sources, don’t assume everyone else does. This is the same foolish argument that is made that being uneducated makes you unintelligent, it is simply not true. It is an advantage, yes, but my quite uneducated mother is very intelligent and when she has the full picture able to make very wise decisions (btw I don’t treat wise as equal to my view – although no doubt you realise that of me by now, I hope). Yet she is unaware, due to her lack of education, of a lot of things around her and her local paper that she supports does not give her even a sliver of the picture.

  68. Ironically I don’t have much to add about ABC radio or their newstainment political shows as I’m not really an ABC consumer. For me the radio and TV are mainly for the consumption of popcorn entertainment – although I will admit that the channel can get stuck on the ABC when Four Corners or a Gruen Transfer repeat is on.

    Re the question about Bolt being hired to host an ABC chat show, well that’s an interesting one.

    Do you counter the problem of perceived bias at the ABC by hiring commenters who are obviously biased in the opposite direction, or do you try to weed out the bias by striving for neutral commentators who simply present factual news?

    I’d probably prefer the second approach – and as such I think Mr B would be an appalling hire for the ABC due to his overwhelming bias and proven inability to perceive and report on events in a rational or even-handed manner.

  69. narcoticmusing

    What qualifications does Bolt have to do any of those things? And will he respect his role on that program or will he want to continue his own agenda and personal interests? Consider most shows associate that person with the show and thus you represent the show when you open your mouth.

    Also the fact that no one wants to hear what he has to say would go against hiring him – why would ABC hire someone who failed at his own show?

  70. narcoticmusing

    ABC wouldn’t hire Catherine Deveny to host a show either, for the same reasons.

  71. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Do you counter the problem of perceived bias at the ABC by hiring commenters who are obviously biased in the opposite direction, or do you try to weed out the bias by striving for neutral commentators who simply present factual news?”

    I prefer the first approach. I can deal with bias and adjust for it. I actually enjoy Phil Adams in spite of his obvious bias. I’d like the ABC a whole lot better if, in addition to all of the leftist bollocks, it also had some conservative bollocks or even better, perish the thought, someone who stuck it up both sides good and hard.

    As it stands the ABC has plenty to offer the lefty audience but precious little to tickle the fancy of people of a conservative bent.

    Narcotic: Consider most shows associate that person with the show and thus you represent the show when you open your mouth.”

    So when Red Kerry ran 7.30 we should just accept that it is a lefty show and that he represents it? Or that the smirking leftard Jonathon Holmes represents Media Watch?

    “Also the fact that no one wants to hear what he has to say would go against hiring him – why would ABC hire someone who failed at his own show?”

    Bolt often out-rates Insiders. Maybe the ABC should do itself a favour!

  72. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, why would you imagine Catherine Deveney would be suitable for anything other than a lethal injection? She is a vile piece of work. She acts like some desperate aids-ridden hag saying ever more outrageous things as she scratches around for one last root. Her pedophilic fantasies about Bindi Irwin were beyond the pale. Typical leftist comedienne I suppose. And before you accuse me of being harsh, it is only because someone of her sensibilities would surely appreciate comments of this tone.

  73. Bolt often out-rates Insiders. Maybe the ABC should do itself a favour,,

    What a bunch of bollocks!! The Bolt report has never out rated The Insiders.
    You’re playing the normal game that stupid conservatives play by cherry picking data to suit your needs.
    Good on you mate. You can lie to yourself all you want, but don’t you dare try and sell those lies around here.

    I no longer have any respect for you!

  74. Correction for SB;

    Bolt did once beat The Insiders in ratings.
    That was for his second episode when he begged his winged monkeys to tune in.
    Since then they have gone back to their normal Sunday morning activities of masturbation and wife beating and, as a result, the Bolt Report has remained at the bottom of free-to-air ratings for it’s time slot.

    I know. Reality sucks!

    Cheers

  75. SB you’re slightly less classy than Catherine Deveny, congrats.

    As it stands the ABC has plenty to offer the lefty audience but precious little to tickle the fancy of people of a conservative bent.

    Perhaps thats because “conservatives” these days seem to be anti intellectual and at the same time stupid fools.

    Partly because “coinservatives” these days are pretty far removed from conservatives of days gone by. These days people use the word conservative as interchangeable with “right wing fucktard*” instead of trying to apply an intellectual basis to their ideology. the old school conservatives I know don’t describe themselves as such or anything they just say what they think.

    *Perhaps “right wing authoritarians too heavily influenced by Murray Rothbard” – which kind of explains their incoherence and disconnection from reality.

  76. Bolt’s ratings are in the toilet. Please don’t pretend otherwise.

    Do you counter the problem of perceived bias at the ABC by hiring commenters who are obviously biased in the opposite direction, or do you try to weed out the bias by striving for neutral commentators who simply present factual news?

    This is the thing. Conservatives’ solution to the supposed left-wing bias at the ABC is to continue stacking it with conservative journos until conservatives say when. Because we can trust them to know when the balance is just right, you see? The mind boggles at the chutzpah.

  77. And before you accuse me of being harsh, it is only because someone of her sensibilities would surely appreciate comments of this tone.

    How do you imagine yourself any better than her? Look at your last comment. I doubt Deveny has ever come out with anything viler than that?

  78. narcoticmusing

    SB, while I still think the show media watch plays an important role, I just can’t stand Holmes, I was hoping we could associate him with some other side. Smirking arrogant so and sos perhaps…

    I’d rate the intellectual and language quality of Deveny and Bolt as equal. I hate both of their vile dribble and think neither are suitable. I was merely providing an example of a left wing person who was just as unsuitable, for similar reasons, as Bolt, to demonstrate that the reasons for no one on ABC considering Bolt isn’t because he’s right wing, it’s because he’s crazy as batshit.

  79. Splatterbottom

    Marek, it seems to me that the stats show that when you add the total audience including the repeats of both shows sometimes Bolt wins, sometimes Insiders.

    The point I made is still valid – the chance of the ABC putting a conservative in charge of news or opinion show of any substance is nil. The ABC has as its core constituency the intellectual elite. It feeds their prejudices as they stroke along. It is their ABC.

    The only light in this visionless tunnel is that the ABC has cannibalised Fairfax’s trendy-lefty audience to the point where Fairfax now has real financial problems.

    Buns: “Conservatives’ solution to the supposed left-wing bias at the ABC is to continue stacking it with conservative journos “

    Nah, they would prefer to abolish it, or at least get it out of the news and opinion business since it doesn’t even have a semblance of objectivity any more.

    “I doubt Deveny has ever come out with anything viler than that?”

    Suggesting that an 11 year old child needs to get laid is well beyond my pointed but essentially innocuous comments about Deveney.

    Narcotic, after the obscene conviction of Bolt he has come to be an iconic figure. Not for what he says but for the fact that he is being persecuted for exercising his right to free speech. His conviction is tangible evidence that free speech is being progressively (so to speak) suppressed in this country. This is not a trivial issue, but goes to the basis of our democracy.

    The Greens’ attempt to impose government censorship of the media is to be resisted at all costs. This blood-red show of totalitarianism has put us all on notice of the totalitarian mindset of the modern “progressive”.

  80. I might be the only one (or the only one willing to admit it) but I thought Deveny’s comment about Bindi Irwin was funny.

    It was a witty way of saying that Bindi was dressing like a woman far older and more sexually mature than her 11 years, and that Deveney didn’t approve of the outfit. Sort of a “she’s a little girl, so let her dress like a little girl” critique.

    It was clearly tongue in cheek, and it bugs me that so many people who should know better actually took it at face value.

    Of all people I would have though that you, SB, would appreciate Deveny’s style.

  81. Suggesting that an 11 year old child needs to get laid is well beyond my pointed but essentially innocuous comments about Deveney.

    Don’t be stupid. Your comments weren’t “innocuous”. Just to remind you, you implied Deveny was unsuitable for anything but a “lethal injection” and you likened her to “a desperate aids-ridden hag”. That’s about as offensive as it gets. And I’m pretty sure being killed is worse than getting laid, even if you are only 11 years old.

  82. The point I made is still valid – the chance of the ABC putting a conservative in charge of news or opinion show of any substance is nil.

    It’s ironic that you apparently advocate it doing so, given your claimed objection to bias.

  83. Splatterbottom

    Mondo , I don’t know what was going on in your head but a quick look at what Bindi wore to the 2010 Logies doesn’t support your interpretation. The black dress is age-appropriate and quite demure.

    I appreciate Deveny’s style, but she usually makes me appear tame. In this case Deveny’s mistake was to direct her pedophile fantasies at a particular child. At least that is my interpretation. It was an outrageously sleazy comment compounded by the fact that it was a personal attack on a child.

  84. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “It’s ironic that you apparently advocate it doing so, given your claimed objection to bias.”

    I advocated for the abolition of the ABC, or at least its getting out of the news and opinion business on the basis of its evident advice. In support of my proposition that the ABC is biased to the left I asked people to consider the possibility of the ABC appointing a conservative presenter or host on one of its political shows. Surely you can follow that argument.

    I have sometimes made comments that are OTT, including to you Buns – for which I have apologised and which I regret. But Deveney, given the nature of her comments, is fair game. In fact she would probably be quite chuffed – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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