Monthly Archives: October 2010

A post-Beck refresher

A collection of signs from the Stewart/Colbert rally, held this morning our time:

It was a little sad that to make their point they had to play up the “America number one” drivel, but on the other hand it was nice to get some confirmation (before what appears to be going to be a truly depressing Tuesday result) that the Bible-bashing gun-nut anti-government crowd aren’t the only active people over there.

The home insulation scheme should not be a Liberal punchline

Frankly, we lefties – and certainly the ALP – should’ve done a better job calling the Coalition and their media allies on the absolute garbage they’ve been spouting about the Home Insulation Scheme over the last year or so, as this post from Pollytics makes clear:

That makes the insulation program around 8 times safer in terms of fire incidents compared to the state of the industry before the program. Even if we take the best absolute possible estimates of what went on before the program – say, 80 fires per year off 75 thousand installs – the program is still 7 times safer in terms of fire incidents than what occurred before the program.

The whole post is worth a read – and remembering, next time some Liberal cheerleader starts shamelessly trying to use the home insulation scheme as a synonym for homicidal incompetence.

John, Labor did more than vote for conservative policies: they enacted them in Government

Another John Howard whinge this week:

When we were in opposition, we supported many of the Labor reforms of the Hawke-Keating governments. By contrast, when we were in government we received no support at all from the Labor party in relation to any of the difficult economic reforms we implemented.

Well, perhaps, but that’s because Hawke and Keating enacted a whole lot of right-wing economic policies that you couldn’t help but support. Their strategy was to become more conservative on economic matters than your own party; of course you didn’t vote against those sort of measures.

In contrast, when you were in government, what progressive policies did you ever put up for them to vote for? All you did was lunge even further to the right.

Wednesday evening musics

Just discovered this beautiful little tune, via the Triple J Unleashed iPhone app, and thought it was worth sharing with you:

The Paper Kites – Bloom

(You can download the mp3 from the Triple J website here.)

As one of the YouTube commenters notes – “I have no idea where this was filmed, but I think I need to spend the rest of my life there.”

Now I’m off to find some more of their work.

Why ALP hacks in formerly safe seats hate the Greens more than they like winning government

In yesterday’s Crikey, Charles Richardson succinctly highlighted the problem with Labor’s approach to the Greens.

Why the Green vote is something Labor should not discourage:

A strong Green vote is more likely to be an asset to Labor than a liability; the evidence suggests Green voters are more likely to come from the Coalition and give preferences to Labor than the other way around (although the effect is small either way: most preferences just go back to where the voters came from). Moreover, the Greens presence highlights issues that tend to play in Labor’s favor.

Why Labor is determined to waste resources trying to destroy them anyway:

…the Labor machine, whose apparatchiks are concentrated in the inner-city seats the Greens threaten…

That’s all it is – the Greens winning inner-city seats actually enables Labor to concentrate on wresting more conservative seats from the Liberals, with a net gain for the non-conservative parties. They’d gain more seats from the Liberals than they’d lose to the Greens. The problem is, those particular seats are the ones held by the specific individuals making the decisions…

So – how that selfish (their personal interests ahead of the party’s) bloody-mindedness would assist Baillieu:

If Labor chooses to spend its time and resources fighting the Greens in the inner city, that’s a double bonus for Baillieu: it gives him a clearer run in the outer-suburban marginals he needs to win, and it will make the Greens less likely to side with Labor should they end up with the balance of power.

The thing that annoys me most about the ALP’s bitter efforts to destroy the Greens (apart from the fact that it might well help the Liberals gain government) is that it’s done with absolute contempt for progressive voters. The ALP repeatedly demonstrates it doesn’t care about representing us in parliament: but it’ll be damned if it’ll countenance us giving our votes to someone who will.

I wonder if the Victorian ALP will once again pull a Steve Fielding on us.

Shoes and flippant insults, where serious questions were available

I didn’t think there was anything I’d actually like to ask the Prime Minister we finally kicked out in 2007 – after all, there was never any realistic prospect of him answering a question directly and honestly, or admitting fault, or expressing regret for any of the damage he did in his eleven years in office.

But as last night’s Q&A approached, suddenly a few occurred to me – as did a number of comments, as the program progressed:

  • Mr Howard, are you sorry that your CGT cut and FHOG caused housing inflation so that now young people have no hope of buying a house? #qanda

  • Mr Howard, do you have an actual argument against gay marriage yet? Or are you still relying on “it just is”? #qanda
  • Howard: good economic results under ALP are because of mining boom. But we’ll take full credit for any positives in our term. #qanda
  • Howard, Hicks pleaded guilty to an offence that didn’t exist when he “committed” it, in the context where there’d be no fair trial. #qanda
  • Howard, no-one said Hicks was a “hero”. Total disingenuous strawman. #qanda
  • Actually, that *isn’t* all the critics of the Iraq War have to throw at you, Mr Howard. The facts should hurt you a lot more. #qanda
  • Howard, your policy was racist because it attacked refugees of particular ethnicities on boats and ignored those arriving by plane. #qanda
  • Howard, it’s just not true to say we’ve reached the limit of our capacity to take refugees. The rest of your argument fails there. #qanda
  • John Howard: it’s everybody’s fault but mine. #qanda

Naturally, none of those questions or comments made it to the TV screen. But this one did:

Wasn't Howard's rejection by the ICC because they saw that footage of him bowling? #qanda

Well, if I can’t get any questions or comments about things that actually matter up there, I suppose I’ll have to be satisfied with the image of Howard’s mouthing off to the nation overlaid with my insult. Better than nothing, I suppose.

UPDATE: Some spectacular comments on the News Ltd online story about the shoe-throwing incident:

titch of sydney Posted at 2:40AM Today

to the critic open your eyes alot more iraquis would have died at the hands of the taliban regime if we did not intervene

What can you say to incisive reasoning like that?

Liberal MP says any old sh*t about the Greens; ABC reports it credulously

ABC news ticker running under tonight’s frankly infuriating Howard episode of Q&A: “Liberal MP says terrorists would laugh at Brown’s soft touch”.

Really? Who? Oh, it’s that idiot Randall bloke who’s been busy embarrassing his party this week. Nice of the ABC to give his fatuous rant headline cover. Wonder what it’s based on:

Liberal backbencher Don Randall used the quote “evil prospers when good men do nothing” to have a chip at the Greens who he says would have Australia be a “soft touch”. “I find the Greens’ policy on this issue very, very concerning,” he said.

“Did you know that the Greens believe we shouldn’t be involved in any conflict but we should have good-faith negotiations instead of a military solution?

Well, no, I didn’t know that. Because it’s not true. Did Mr Randall not watch Bandt’s speech on the subject?

Randall is just outright lying. Apparently the Coalition can’t attack the Greens on what they’ve actually said, and have to invent a position for them based on the empty stereotypes they’re trying to sell to their more credulous supporters.

Having spouted it, of course, Randall then got stuck into the shamelessly fictional construction he assumes gullible Liberal voters at least will believe:

Can you imagine the terrorists just laughing their heads off about the fact we might want to sit down and have a good-faith negotiation – them with a Kalashnikov [AK-47] in one hand and us with an olive branch in the other. It just doesn’t happen that way.”

You know what I heard? That Bob Brown wants to toast marshmallows with the terrorists, and give them back rubs.

I know! Insane! And I can make up a whole lot more stupid claims about the Greens that I can then attack, too!

The bit that bothers me most about this is not that Randall is once again mouthing off like a crazy person. It’s that once again the ABC just repeats any old crap that the Coalition puts out there, any deliberately provocative if frankly absurd claim that their imaginations can concoct, and gives it a prominent airing to persuade those to whom that propaganda is aimed.

Is there any line the Liberals could come up with that the ABC wouldn’t give a good run on their behalf?