Tuesday, 29 December 2009

An old memory from a new angle

This is where I learnt to drive!

Lake Eyre, SA as seen from space and posted a Wired Science.

Truly amazing country.

Like newspaper editorials, I’ve long argued that the only punters who read Malcolm Weatherup (The Magpie) in The Bulletin are politicians, their minders and other party hacks and of course journalists.

Although a political junkie, I just can’t bring myself to read either. Accordingly, I owe a hat-tip to The Poll Bludger for bringing to my attention this observation by Weatherup yesterday:

If the somewhat partisan Townsville Bulletin commentator Malcolm Weatherup is to be believed, aspirants for Labor preselection in Townsville-based Herbert are 2007 candidate George Colbran, former mayor and Mundingburra by-election veteran Tony Mooney …, Townsville city councillor Jenny Hill and James Cook University psychology student Primus Innes Parker.
The interesting thing about Weatherup’s piece is the apparent appearance of Primus Parker in the contest for ALP preselection for Herbert. While I suspect that his chances are slim to non-existent, the interesting question is whether his candidature (if it comes to pass) is an attempt to split the vote in a local plebiscite and, if it is, which of the three main contenders would benefit? My guess is Mooney.

Monday, 28 December 2009

So some coppers do know how to shoot

Further to my earlier post here, it's good to see that some Qld coppers do know how to shoot (as opposed to knowing how to kill).

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Someone should teach the coppers how to shoot

Fatal shootings by police when confronted by agitated (and usually mentally ill) punters are becoming a far too common occurrence.

In the latest episode, three coppers shot and killed a man wielding a knife in NSW on Christmas Day – apparently while his family looked on.

You really have to wonder why they had to shoot him three times in order to disarm him and for that matter why they couldn’t shoot to maim rather than to kill.

But it’s ok because there will be a full investigation of the shooting – by the coppers

The real economics of dinosaur racing

At last, someone has put the lie to all of the hype about the supposed economic benefits of public subsidies for mega sporting events like Townsville’s (for now) annual dinosaur racing extravaganza.

Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs (not exactly my favourite think-tank) writing in nationaltimes.com, points out the shameful secret: the economic benefits of holding mega events are almost entirely fictitious.

It’s about time our local and State politicians fessed-up – public subsidies for dinosaur racing is simply about buying our love (and votes) – and with our own tax money.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

A profitable day for the Bulletin

Just under ¼ of today’s edition is taken up with full-page adverts (not including real estate) – not a bad earner is my guess.

No wonder they published this story extolling punters to get out there and consume until their wallets are empty.

Where is the justice?

Good story in today’s Bulletin about the State’s refusal to compensate Terry Irving for his wrongful jailing for five years. As Mr Irving’s legal aid lawyer Michael O'Keeffe observes of AG Cameron Dick’s decision to abandon a judicial review of the case agreed to by his predecessor, …”Queenslanders are entitled to know is what is the Government hiding”.

However, Maggie Islander Ric Thompson’s letter to the Ed on the same subject puts the issues rather more directly: (click to enlarge - no link available)

It’s interesting that the WA Government doesn’t seem to have any problems in acknowledging their mistakes – see here and here

Friday, 25 December 2009

Alan Jones and Lex Wotton - like black and white

I’ve long considered Alan Jones one of the more dangerous hate mongers in Australia, so it was heartening to see that he has been found guilty of racial vilification. No doubt he will appeal the finding.

I don’t really see the difference between the inherent violence in Jones’ words and actions and inciting a riot for which Palm Islander Lex Wotton got 7 years in jail – other than power and wealth on the one hand and skin colour on the other.

As the Tribunal noted "... Mr Jones' comments about 'Lebanese males in their vast numbers' hating Australia and raping, pillaging, and plundering the country, about 'a national security' crisis and about the undermining of Australian culture by 'vermin' were reckless hyperbole calculated to agitate and excite his audience ..."

"...calculated to agitate and excite his audience ..." - sounds like inciting a riot to me.  Thankfully his aging audience are too old to take to the streets!

You can join the Free Lex Wotton NOW group on Facebook here

You gotta wonder

Further to my earlier post here, the soldier who shot and wounded two kids in a local park appears to have been charged with one count each of dangerous conduct with a weapon, discharging a weapon in a public place, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

I’m no lawyer, but you have to wonder why the charges weren’t more serious – like malicious wounding or even attempted murder/manslaughter. As I noted before, you also have to wonder if it had been two white kids he’d shot whether he’d have been let out on bail and into the protective arms of his Army buddies.

I’m sure he’s having a lovely xmas – far more so than the parents of the wounded kids!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Rational taxation

Interesting news from Taiwan that their Bureau of Health Promotion is planning the world's first tax on junk food in a bid to encourage the public to eat healthily and cut obesity.

Makes heaps of sense to me – just like taxing polluters for the real cost of the damage to the environment and to humanity of their production (and profits). While we won’t see a carbon tax here, the government’s ETS was the next best thing.

Given their opposition to an ETS (let alone a pollution tax), I wonder what the attitude of the conservatives would be to the idea of bad health tax designed to reduce the cost to  the public purse of balooning obesity (sorry about the pun)??

Don't bother – I can guess

Spot on

By Fiona Katauskas in NewMatilda.com

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Why sell-up now ??

I see that big fish in a small pond, Cary Ramm, has the C-Bar and Riverway Cafe up for sale.  Presumably he's keeping The Brewery because the margins are more attractive??

The really interesting question though is why is he cashing-up now (surely this is not the best of times) - to pay down some debt, to prop-up his AEC Group or is it in preparation for developoments at Rocky Springs?  After all Richard Ferry's mob is handling the sales.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

An observation about Copenhagen

News yesterday that Group of 77 developing countries had walked out of the Copenhagen negotiations as part of their tactic to force a fair and real outcome, made me think - Outside of the history of organised labour, I really can't remember another instance where the poor have had real power in a negotiation with the rich.

The next few days will be fascinating

Monday, 14 December 2009

The war for the future

From "The Fire this Time: Copenhagen and the War for the Future" by Alex Steffen in WorldChanging.com:

And this is what most older observers seem to refuse to understand: The world looks dramatically different if the year 2050 is one you’re likely to be alive to see. To younger people, Copenhagen isn’t some do-gooder meeting; it’s the first major battle in a war for the future.
Their future. I’m in my middle years, in between the two groups, yet even I can see that this war is about to get a lot more heated—far more heated than anything we’ve seen in half a century. To younger people, this isn’t just policy, it’s personal.

To be young and aware today is to see your elders burning our civilization down around our ears. To hear scientists tell us we’re in the final countdown, with the risk of runaway climate change (along with the ecosystem collapses and horrific human suffering it will bring) mounting with every day we run business as usual. To hear nearly a chorus of credible voices—from doctors and scientists to retired generals and former bankers— warning that to lose this fight is to lose everything that makes our world livable and gives the future hope.
You wouldn’t think a war could start over such simple ideas.
To be young and aware is to see old people—from the U.S. Senate to Wall Street, from newspaper editorial desks to corporate boardrooms—stalling action on every front, spouting platitudes about “balance,” committing themselves wholeheartedly to actions to be undertaken long after they’ve retired and died. To be told that the world’s scientists are participating in a giant hoax; to be chided for not understanding how the real world works; to be warned that doing the right thing will bankrupt us; to be told that not wanting to melt the ice caps and circle the equator in deserts makes you too radical to take seriously.
To be young and aware is to know you’re being lied to; to know that a bright green future is possible; to know that we can reimagine the world, rebuild our cities, redesign our lives, retool our factories, distribute innovation and creativity and all live in a world that is not only better than the alternative, but much better than the world we have now.
To be young and aware is to suspect that, in the end, the debate about climate action isn’t about substance, but about rich old men trying to squeeze every last dollar, euro, and yen from their investments in outdated industries. It is to agree with the environmentalist Paul Hawken that we have an economy that steals the future, sells it in the present, and calls it GDP. It is to begin to see your elders as cannibals with golf clubs.
Myself, I worry: not that the young grow radical—hell, if I were 10 years younger, I’d be on the barricades myself—but that they grow despondent. Because what the world needs now, more than ever, is what the young have always given most: their optimism.
So if nothing else happens in Copenhagen, I pray that all of us who have years and a voice and a conscience will say at least this to the world’s youth: Your fight is ours, too. Don’t give up
It brings a tear to the eye of an old radical yoof.

Townsville Bulletin Trash Piece No. 429

What exactly is today’s front page of the Townsville Bulletin, "Hilltop Hoodlums", on about – Yoof bashing running amok and old ladies in Yarrawonga, the Hilltop Hoods assault fans at their concert? Is the sub-heading “police nab 80 in blitz on drunks” referring to the size of this hoodlum menace?

Is the headline on the full story on page two, “Wasted Youth.” Implying that the hoodlum gang are all spaced-out on crack? No the sub-heading give its way: “Kids caught boozing at music concert” – drunken 12 year olds at the Hill Top Hoods concert or was the Carols by Candlelight??

The blatant sensationalism and yoof bashing in this trash piece by Jessica Johnson really annoys me for a number of reasons:
  • My guess is that the 7 youths were in fact young people – most likely aged 17
  • None of them were drunk – just drinking under age
  • The real crime here was committed by those selling the alcohol to underage punters
  • The article fails to report on the really ugly side of the 80 alcohol related charges made by the coppers on the weekend with the only reference to the real centre of alcohol related violence in Townsville – Flinders St East, home to so many of The Bully’s regular advertisers – a small pic of a whitefella passed out in the Street.
But then, a bit of youth bashing, blackfella bashing or muslum bashing is always good for sales

Post Script: I wonder how many families slipped their 17 year old a cold one from the esky at Carols by Candlelight last night?

Post Script #2: I recommend "Grog, crops and social control" by John Passant in The National Times

Friday, 11 December 2009

Another trash front page from The Bulletin

What s shocker – pictures comparing lunchtime activity in the Malls in Brisbane (popn. 1,857,000) and Townsville (popn. 170,000) to somehow justify a claim that Ergon is “robbing the city of an extra 500 workers”

Read on and you find that Ergon are making a commercial (ie best value for their investment) property decision and (although not specifically stated), for a long-term operator, building on their own land at Garbutt rather than leasing in the CBD is the most cost effective investment over the life of that building- Business Editor, Tony Raggat of all people should know that and should certainly expect no less from a state-owned business.

The Bulletin: "Don't mention the war"

This pic on page three of today's Bully says it all really.

Peter Lindsay, the previously low-flying Prince of Herbert really is a beaten man with the Mad Monk having taken away his Parliamentary Secretary's title (along with the big fridge and extra postal, printing and travel allowance). Even though they were hamming it up for the cameras – take a close look at their body language and their eyes – they hate each other.

Isn’t it strange that the Bully made no mention of The Prince’s demotion or the lack of North Qld representation in his Ministry? In fact the Bully has barely mentioned the issue since the Mad Monk announced the members of his new band, The Deniers

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

He's gone!

The Prince has lost his title as Shadow Defence Parliamentary Secretary and the big fridge (and extra postal allowance) that goes with it. You’ve gotta pity the poor bugger, given that:

  • He committed stay on and to fight the next election in Herbert at the urging of the administrative wing of the Libs (or was it Malcolm???) who know that his incumbency is the only chance they have of holding the seat.
  • He has to fight that election with a leader that he doesn’t support and a global warming policy he doesn’t believe.
All that with a -0.4% margin and a smaller fridge!

Of course it’s a long-shot, but who knows, The Prince may yet cross the floor with Malcolm Turmoil and vote against The Mad Monk and The Deniers on the ETS.

While that would take balls bigger than I think the Prince has, it could well be the one strategy that saves his bacon.

God, Climate Change and those emails

I've often wondered about the relative silence of religions' power structures in the Global Warming debate and about how those who have a literal belief in the creation fable and the omnipotence of their god could ever reconcile that belief with the reality that man could so fundamentally threaten their god's creation.

Today comes the explanation. In an excellent piece, The holy war on climate change, Paul Coglan at The Punch details the role of a range of ultra-conservative Christian groups in the email and phone "campaign" that (we are told) deluged opposition MPs offices in the lead-up to the right-wing take-over of the Parliamentary Party and the accession of the Mad Monk to their leadership.

Within the article, is this quote from The Shakers, a Christian Ethics Group with links to Catch the Fire Ministries and (would you believe) the National Civic Council, which explains it all:

We cannot ‘save’ the planet. Only God can. This world will not be wiped out until Christ returns.
So it’s ok folks - we don't have to do anything!  Scary.

Surely this is no better than a jihadist’s rational for mass murder?

Monday, 7 December 2009

What will Peter The Prince do...?

The big question in the federal kingdom of Herbert is whether Peter The Prince will stick to his guns and cross the floor with Malcolm Turmoil to support the ETS or will he fall into lock-step with The Mad Monk and the Denialists?

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The definative account of The Mad Monk's accession

Not to be confused with The definitive commentary on the accession of The Mad Monk

Peter Harcher at The National Times:
The accidental leader: how Abbott won
The Liberal Party shocked itself when it elected Tony Abbott as leader this week.
The man who had masterminded the coup to destroy Malcolm Turnbull was Nick Minchin, the godfather of the Liberals’ conservative wing.

As soon as the results were announced – Hockey was eliminated in the first round of voting, and the final ballot was won by Abbott over Turnbull by a single vote – Minchin walked across to a shocked Joe Hockey.

They had not even left the party room. Astonished members were milling about. A gang of reporters was waiting outside. ‘‘If I’d known how it was going to go,’’ Minchin told him, ‘‘I would have slung you another 10 votes.’’

Minchin was in partly in jest. He was rebuking Hockey for failing to do his numbers, for bungling his run at the party leadership.

But he was also partly serious. Minchin had not expected Abbott to win. Nobody had expected Abbott to win. Not even Abbott. Contrary to widespread impressions in the media, Minchin did not even want Abbott to win.

Although the pair are both stalwarts of the conservative group in the party, Minchin knew very well what everyone else in the room knew – that of the three leadership candidates, Abbott was the most unpopular.

The parliamentary members of the Liberal Party had just chosen to elect a leader that most of them considered to be unelectable.

Now they had replaced Turnbull, a man nominated as preferred Liberal leader by 32 per cent of voters in the Herald’s Nielsen poll, with a man preferred by only 20 per cent.

Minchin’s main aim was to dump the Liberal Party’s support for an emissions trading scheme. He had been adamantly opposed to an ETS ever since he took the job of industry minister in the Howard government in 1998.

His voice had been dismissed in the cabinet when Howard decided to support an ETS in 2007. Now he was getting his way.

He would have allowed Malcolm Turnbull to stay in place if he had yielded. He had delivered his ultimatum to Turnbull five days earlier.

Minchin and Abbott had gone to see Turnbull in the Opposition leader’s office in Parliament House. There was a huge reaction against the ETS from the grassroots of the party, they said. They pleaded with him to oppose the ETS or, at the very least, to defer it.

Turnbull was unmoved. ‘‘I’ve got a partyroom decision in favour of the policy and a spill [motion to declare the leader’s position vacant] against me failed just yesterday. Why would I back down on something I believe in?’’

The two then said that they had no option but to resign from the frontbench, and they detonated a series of orchestrated explosions along it as well, as one after another, other shadow ministers resigned. By the end of the process, Turnbull had lost 14 of his frontbench. He could not limp on. Another spill motion was to come.

The right of the party had lost that week’s gambit. On numbers compiled by the Liberal Whip, Alex Somlyay, the shadow cabinet had approved Turnbull’s position to support the ETS by 14 to 6; the Liberal party room had supported it by 47 to 32; and the Coalition party room, including the National Party, was in favour of it by 47 to 46.

But Minchin would not accept defeat. If Turnbull would not submit, he would find a more amenable leader.

Minchin wanted to install the avuncular Joe Hockey instead.

This was logical, but also perverse. Logical because Hockey was the most electable, preferred by 36 per cent of voters as Liberal leader.

And perverse because Hockey had been a solid supporter of the ETS policy. Indeed, he had urged it on the Howard government when he had been the acting industry minister in 2002, five years before Howard adopted the idea.

And Hockey was also a firm friend of Turnbull and an unwavering supporter of his leadership. To be installed as leader, Hockey would have to dump his commitment to an ETS, and his loyalty to Turnbull. Turnbull and Hockey were the Liberals’ leading moderates, as distinct from the conservatives.

Yet that was the deal that Minchin now offered him. It was the same deal that he had offered Turnbull – defer or defeat the ETS, and I will give you the crown. This was the Faustian bargain.

‘‘My whole political currency is as a straight talker,’’ Hockey agonised with supporters. ‘‘I will be destroyed.’’

Hockey was confident he would carry the numbers in a leadership ballot. He didn’t agonise over the votes. He didn’t even agonise so much over disloyalty to Turnbull; he had promised not to challenge his friend, and he would keep his word, at least in a technical sense. Hewould only stand for the party leadership if it was first declared vacant in a spill motion.

No, Hockey agonised over the ETS. Parliament resumed on Monday. The ETS bills were still pending in the Senate. A partyroom meeting was due on Tuesday. A leadership spill was a certainty. What would Hockey do?

First, he went to see his mate, the defiant leader. He told him that he didn’t think Turnbull could win. I accept that, replied Turnbull. If the leadership is vacant, said Hockey, I will stand. Well, righto, came the leader’s response. Hockey had the clear impression that Turnbull had said that, if defeated in the spill, he would not then stand in the next ballot, the vote on the leadership.

This was logical. Because a lost spill, for a leader, is effectively a motion of no confidence. What’s the point in then standing again two minutes later?

Next, Hockey convened a big meeting in his office about 4pm. It was, essentially, everyone in the leadership group except Turnbull.

Minchin and one of his close conservative allies, Eric Abetz were there. So was Abbott. So was a Hockey lieutenant, Christopher Pyne. The pro-ETS Greg Hunt was there, and so was the anti-ETS Andrew Robb. Turnbull’s deputy, Julie Bishop, was in the room. So was a conservative mooted as her replacement, Peter Dutton. Even the federal director of theLiberal Party, Brian Loughnane, waspresent.

Hockey announced that he would stand for the leadership once it was vacant. Then he announced his policy on the ETS. Hockey would not have a policy, he said to an incredulous room. It was simply too divisive. So he would allow party members a conscience vote in the chambers of the Parliament.

The group broke up to think about it, and reconvened in Hockey’s office a little after 6pm.

Hard positions had now formed. Minchin and Abetz opposed the idea of a conscience vote. Minchin said it was ‘‘crazy’’ from Hockey’s point of view, that it would look weak. ‘‘Your first decision as leader would be no decision.’’

One participant, and recollections differ over who it was, observed that under this plan, the ETS would probably pass through the Parliament – ‘‘we will have changed the leader and have the same policy!’’ he expostulated.

‘‘What does the right get out of that?’’

Hockey replied: ‘‘The right gets Dutton as deputy, me as leader, Abbott as shadow treasurer, and Julie Bishop in foreign affairs.’’ No one had broached with Bishop the idea that she would lose the deputy’s slot.

‘‘Joe,’’ said Bishop, ‘‘before you start speaking about the deputy’s job, speak to me.’’ It didn’t come up again.

Minchin argued repeatedly that Hockey’s position was ridiculous – you can’t have a policy of not having a policy, he said.

At this point, Abbott declared his hand. ‘‘This is an impossible situation for the colleagues,’’ he said. ‘‘Some want to vote for the ETS, some want to vote against it. You can’t leave it unresolved. The party has to be offered a clear choice.’’

If Hockey would not change his mind, said Abbott, he would stand as the anti-ETS candidate.

About 8pm, Minchin visited Hockey once again. Abbott joined them. Minchin tried once more to find a way to kill the ETS but install Hockey

as leader. He offered a new formula – a secret ballot on the ETS offering three options – in favour of it, against it, or in favour of a conscience vote on it.

Hockey was ready to accept this, but Abbott would not brook anything offering a conscience vote option.

That night, as the candidates counted their numbers, a Hockey lieutenant contacted Turnbull about 8.30pm to make sure of his undertaking to Hockey that he wouldn’t stand.

He told Hockey that he had received the assurance and had noted the conversation in his diary.

Yet Turnbull publicly vowed, in the strongest of terms, that he would standand fight.

At the Tuesday meeting, the leadership was declared vacant with a vote of 48 to 34, a clear dismissal of Turnbull.

Then Bishop, as deputy, called for nominations for the leadership. Turnbull was on his feet instantly, followed a second later by Abbott. Hockey rose a moment later. It was to be a three-way contest.

In the first round of voting, Abbott won 35 votes, Turnbull won 26 and Hockey won 23. With the lowest tally, Hockey was eliminated.

The moderate vote had been split between Hockey and Turnbull. Some had abandoned Hockey because of his equivocal position on the threshold issue of the ETS.

Hockey was shocked.

In the run-off, Abbott beat Turnbull by 42 votes to 41. One vote, unbelievably, was informal.

After Minchin’s crack about the 10 votes, Hockey replied incredulously: ‘‘He’s a piece of work, isn’t he?’’ indicating Turnbull. ‘‘He promised me he wouldn’t run if the spill got up.’’

Later, he bumped into Turnbull on the flight back to Sydney. ‘‘I’m too angry to talk to you,’’ said Hockey.

Turnbull is adamant that he gave Hockey no undertaking. Both men lost. Turnbull lost his leadership, Hockey lost his challenge, and neither got to keep the ETS that he had supported.

And Abbott was, truly, the accidental leader.

Friday, 4 December 2009

The definitive character assessment of The Mad Monk?

Bob Ellis on ABC Unleashed earlier this year, quoted by Annabell Crabb here...

"Though he sued me and cost me income and influence and a lot of public dignity (I wrongly alleged he listened to Tanya Costello's views on politics - a shocking thing to do, it seemed in those far-off days, to listen to a woman, for it cost my publishers a million dollars) I find him in person curiously disarming, and I find myself agreeing with him uncomfortably and often.

"The person he most resembles, I've just decided, is Scott Fitzgerald. The classic good looks, big flashing smile, easy Irish eloquence, angelic writing style, self-doubt, Catholic guilt, hot temper, Gatsby-like yearnings for past relationships long gone and luminous in remembrance, fondness for football and self-flagellation and his need for a son, all bespeak a literary genius drawn by Life and lesser pursuits into spiritual shallows and drunken remorse like Scott, poor Scott. We have lost thereby good books he might have written, and gained - what? - a cheery, self-mocking buffoon? Or the Tories' last, best hope of power?"
Found the full August '09 essay here ...

The definitive commentary on the accession of The Mad Monk

Cross posted in full from Possum Comitatus  at Pollytics.com
Abbott – The Numbers Point to Grief
This vote won’t resolve the Liberal Party conflict, it will only send it into a sequel. The vote for the spill had 82 people vote, which was passed 48/34. This caused a three way leadership race between Turnbull, Abbott and Hockey where 84 people voted – Turnbull getting 26 votes, Abbott getting 35 votes and Hockey getting 23 votes. Hockey was eliminated and in the head to head there was 83 formal votes, with Abbott winning 42/41.
Someone in that final contest voted informal – making @timwattsau on Twitter quip “maybe someone just wrote ‘kill me’ on the ballot”. Apparently they actually wrote “No” on the ballot paper. “No” – WTF?
Fran Bailey was granted special leave from the meeting as she’s in Hospital in Victoria with some ear infection and couldn’t fly– however, Bailey wanted to put in a proxy vote but wasn’t allowed (there not being a capability for that apparently in the Liberal Party), yet she would have almost certainly voted for Turnbull.
Next week, two new members enter Parliament – Kelly O’Dwyer from Higgins and Paul Fletcher from Bradfield, both almost certainly Turnbull supporters.
If the vote was held at the end of next week rather than today, the result would almost certainly have been 44/42 in favour of Turnbull – where even if the goose that wrote “No” on the ballot paper managed to borrow a few extra neurons and cast a formal vote, it wouldn’t have mattered because of the margin created by these 3 extra Turnbull votes.
Already, the moderates in the party are threatening complete dissent – the conflict in the Liberal party hasn’t been resolved, it has just started. This vote gave Abbott a win which he couldn’t have achieved a week later and every single one of the moderates know it.
More, including comments here...

Now you know my politics

This is me aparently:

See: World's Smallest Political Quiz

A brilliant observation

Prof. Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor at the Australian Catholic University and constitutional law expert, on the 7:30 Report last night, talking about the NSW Government:
"The difficulty with governments is that they age at the same rate as dogs..."
I presume that this observation is all Craven's own work.  And he's dead right - the average life of governments in Australia over the last 30 years or so has to be around the 10-year mark - about 70 years in dog years.

A profound contribution to our understanding of politics and the science of psephology.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Peter Lindsay and that fridge

My earlier prediction that the Prince of Herbert, Peter Lindsay, would be looking for a smaller fridge after supporting Malcolm Turmoil in the recent successful takeover of the parliamentary Liberal by the ultra conservatives is looking more certain every day.

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary and junior ministry positions are one of the prizes that the Mad Monk can use to reward his supporters in his recent one-point win over Turmoil. To enable him to do so, he will quietly drop Turmoil supporters from the ranks of junior ministers and Parl Secs, including The Prince, and replace them with his own.

That’s how the game is played.
The Prince will be left with a smaller fridge, a smaller postal and staffing allowance and with a party manifesto devoid of a free market solution to reducing emissions. He will have to sell a no-ETS, no pollution pricing or taxing policy while knowing full well that we can’t achieve the necessary changes to behaviour or the economy without them. And there’s every chance he’ll have to sell a nuclear energy policy to boot.

But then, he effectively admitted in today’s Oz what the next election is about for the Libs - shoring-up their core conservative (resistant to change) constituency.

"Abbott will be able to bring them back into the tent," Mr Lindsay said of the Nationals yesterday. "That will stop the political bleeding that's happened in Queensland, and we will better work together."
The problem for Peter is that, on a -0.4% margin, he has to keep that core rusted-on constituency while winning the middle ground – no wonder he needs a hug.

Perhaps he should look at getting an esky rather than a smaller fridge.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Tell me that this isn't a joke

Whether Guy Hand wrote this headline or it's the work of a sub-seditor at the SMH, this headline is a killer given the political context of theday: Late Abbott goal keeps Kookas unbeaten

Best headline of the day #1

Liberals embrace spirit of kamikaze fundamentalism...from The Age

And Murdoch wants us to pay for on-line news content??

The Prince and the Fridge

Looks like the Prince of Herbert will be getting a smaller fridge! 

Having supported Malcolm Turmoil and the ETS, the Prince may well lose his seat on the outer shadow Cabinet and the big fridge (and postal allowance) that goes with it.

...AND he has to win Herbert on a -0.4% post-redistribution margin with the Mad Monk and the Denialists campaigning on a policy he does not support.

Bizare days indeed!

Monday, 30 November 2009

I told you Fielding was mad!

From Spillwatch at Pollytics
Fielding tried to gate crash the remnants of the Turnbull presser, wanting a Royal Commission into the science of climate change chaired by Ross Garnaut and Ian Plimer. Most of the press left, some chuckling. (via.. well, the whole press gallery on twitter).
See earlier post here.

The story develops

What started out as a tweet this morning is gaining strength and creedence as the day unfolds. See John Quiggin on The case for a split and A Progessive Party for liberals from CoreEconomics.

Well there goes the chances of a Republic

There goes the chances of a Australia becoming a Republic inside the next 5 years: Queen to visit Australia for 2011 CHOGM

I love this story

Further to my earlier post here today, there's this from from Larvatus Prodeo:
Turnbull to found a new party?I mentioned in my previous post that a lot of speculation has now turned to Malcolm Turnbull’s intentions should he lose the leadership tomorrow.

I also linked to the thoughts of Christopher Joye of Business Spectator. This paragraph is particularly interesting:

Perhaps following this fracas the big fella will throw caution to the wind and found his own political party…I am thinking of the Australian Republican Party with an unconditional commitment to combating climate change and reinvigorating the dormant republican movement. Now that would be sure to split the Liberal Party vote.

While we shouldn’t get carried away and underestimate the barriers any new party faces in the Australian political system (or the powerful forces of inertia and ambition which work against individual MPs and Senators splitting from the Libs), this prospect is being taken seriously, I’m informed by a number of sources this morning.

Given the difficulties that the Liberals have had in unifying their disparate bases (and as I’ve commented previously, the problems Labor might potentially have as well with its soft liberal constituency), such a development, if seriously pursued, would have the potential to be something of a game changer. And Malcolm Turnbull could certainly fund a social and economically liberal party out of his own resources, at least for one election campaign.

I’m told there may be more coming out on this later in the week.


Pity Peter Lindsay today

Poor old Peter.  He's thrown his hat in with Malcolm, who it's increasingly looking like, will lose tomorrow's Party room meeting and now he has this to contend with: Qld Liberal MPs told to vote against ETS .

He must be seeing the big fridge slip further and further away as the day proceeds.

12.14pm: Joe Hockey has just gone into Malcolm Turnbull’s office

That's 12:14pm AEDT.  From The Punch's live blogging of the day's events

An annual annoyance - The Bulletin

Given everything that’s happening on the Federal scene, The Bully didn’t get much scrutiny on Saturday and today’s wafer thin edition was only worth reading for the local cricket.

I did notice on Saturday though, something that has become an annual annoyance – one that keeps on giving all through the holidays.

The Bully published its annual reader’s survey.

All through the silly season, when they have a skeleton staff comprising mainly juniors, The Bully will use the results of this survey as the basis for a heap of space-filler articles about “What the People Think”.

Of course the survey is a completely invalid basis from which to project anything other than the opinion of those readers who bothered to buy the 50 cent stamp and respond. But I bet that won’t stop The Bully?

Racist theft

Crossposted from Larvatus Prodeo who crossposted from No Right Turn.

Australia has some of the worst racial disparities in the developed world. The average household income of indigenous Australians is only 60% of the average. The proportion with high-school or higher educations is only half that of the average (a fifth for university qualifications), while their unemployment rate is triple that of non-indigenous Australians. Their health statistics are equally appalling, with complication and disease rates at least double the average, with a consequent effect on life expectancy. The average indigenous Australian dies a decade earlier as a result of poverty, disease, poor access to health services and institutionalised racism.

The Australian Federal Government spends billions trying to correct these disparities, with apparently little effect. But that’s because most of the money never actually reaches its target, instead being diverted to buy votes in marginal seats:

THE Northern Territory Labor government has for the past five years diverted $2 billion earmarked for indigenous disadvantage and other key services to mainstream spending in marginal Darwin seats.

Detailed figures obtained by The Weekend Australian reveal that hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars provided by the commonwealth and intended for indigenous health, homelessness, delivery of services and families have been used to service debt and bolster superannuation payments.

The figures come as the Territory government continues to defend its handling of the $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Project, which has so far failed to result in one new house being built, despite $45m being spent in the first 15 months of the project.

This is not a new story; the National Indigenous Times highlighted it back in 2006, the Sydney Morning Herald in 2005. But still it goes on – and indigenous Australians suffer as a result.

It is time to end this organised racist theft, and for state governments to spend the money they are allocated for indigenous peoples for its proper purpose, rather than misappropriating it. But that would require Australians to accept that indigenous people matter, that they are human beings equally deserving of government attention. And looking across the Tasman, even after Rudd’s historic apology, that acceptance is still a long way away.

More recommended reading in strange times

My weekend blogg of interesting reading was getting a bit full. Tome for a new post which I'll keep adding to during the day

Friday, 27 November 2009

Recommended reading in strange times

Strange days in the federal opposition – strange days indeed.

Here are some links to good pieces I've found on the rss feeds. I’ll add to them as I find them.
Can’t imagine my carbon footprint this week having has Sky News running constantly in the background.

Fielding is mad

There's a lot I could say about Family First senator Steve Fielding but, given that he won't survive the next election, there doesn't seem to be much point.

The lastest from the mad-man is to compare same-sex marriages to incest! - completely nuts.

Bob Brown's response reported in the same article is well worth a read though.  Also see my earlier post here.

Townsville’s reputation as a racist town confirmed

How is it that someone who shoots two kids playing in a park and then admits that he has done so, get bail?

Today’s front page story in the Bully is simply outrageous on a number of scores:
  • 2 kids (about the age of my own son) get shot while playing in a suburban park
  • They almost certainly get shot because they are black – No matter how pissed he was, I’d bet he wouldn’t have done it if they were two white kids - I’d put any amount of money on it
  • He admits what he’s done to the coppers and gets bail! Yes, he admits to shooting two kids and he gets bail!! – how does that work?
  • He a soldier – how is it that nutters like this aren’t screened out of our defence forces?
  • The army takes him under their wing to help keep him out remand. How is it that on the basis of his own admissions they don’t throw him into their own lock-up and launch an immediate inquiry and disciplinary action? Instead he’ll get to joke about it with his mate at the Mess and sleep in a nice bed on barracks.
  • The coppers argue against bail – not because he shot at two kids but because they’re worried about his own safety. And when the Army agreed to take him, the coppers agree that that’s sufficient to allow a potential killer of innocents to go free.
The reality is that if he’d been a blackfella shooting at white kids he would never have got out of remand – in fact he may well never have survived even the watch-house while waiting for his bail hearing – remember Mulrunji died even before getting to the watch-house and he’d only been arrested for disorderly conduct!!

Townsville’s reputation as a racist town is confirmed – again.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

What others are saying about Peter Lindsay

From The Punch - live blogging of Question Time today just after the Prince of Herbert got chucked out:

And no, I'm not Zeta - I had to leave the exchange early.

I would however add the following to Zeta's list:
Nov 26, 2009: while the biggest new story in the nation for the last week or so has been climate change, the ETS and the Liberal leadership, on the day the future of Yalulu has been called into question, and on the day Terminal Turnbull's hold on the party of Peter is completely falling apart, the Prince of Herbert's only public utterance is to welcome the Government's (yes, that's the Labor Government's) decision to spend a further $80 million on Lavarack
WEIRD hey?

An important milestone on the road to a tollerant, rational Australia

Australia's first legally recognised same sex civil ceremony was held in Canberra yesterday.  Perhaps we're finally growing up as a nation??

This story, Church's opposition to gay marriage a by-product of capitalism, by John Passant in Fairfax's National Times is well worth a read.

What annoys me about schoolies week

No! it’s not the schoolies or the occasional misdemeanour or over-exuberance that a few of them can be guilty of. I get annoyed by some of the press’ constant search for the sensational story (not The Bulletin I must point out – their coverage has been sympathetic and measured).

But I get really annoyed that no one seems to point-out that Schoolies as we know it is the invention of the tourism industry and the accommodation and alcohol retailing industries in particular – designed to fill their coffers during what would otherwise be a dead quiet period before the start of the xmas money making season.

This story, Criticism of schoolies smacks of hypocrisy, by Jane Fynes-Clinton in today's Courier Mail is worth a read for a bit of balance and perspective.

Will Peter be rewarded with a larger fridge?

I presume from Tony Raggatt’s update to the Oz’s story from yesterday about the ETS and the Yabulu Refinery, that Peter Lindsay supported the ETS in Tuesday’s joint party room bun-fight.

Judging by a grab I saw on Sky News yesterday when the Prince of Herbert pointedly came out of the room to announce that “Someone should give Tuckey a needle” and then turn on his heels to return to the fray, he certainly voted against the West Australians’ spill motion.

But then, Peter has always known which is of the bread his butter is on. The big question now is whether Terminal Turnbull will reward him with a promotion to a junior Ministry and the bigger fridge and postal allowance that goes with it.

Best headline of the day: Farting pig sparks gas leak emergency

This was actually the titile of the RSS feed for the story.  Unfortunately, when you follow the feed, the article has the far less funny headline of Swine of a smell causes a stink - the story is still worth a chuckle though.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

How does this work?

Compare:  Melbourne's elite men-only clubs have been given the green light to keep women out
and:  One woman's hope of starting an all-female travel company has been shattered, after it was ruled her submission pigeonholed men.

Seems like one rule for the (rich) boys ........

Jetstar The Movie

No this isn't actually about Jetstar (see this post from yesterday).... but it easily could be:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctfOwN6rskg

The Bulletin - the no news paper

You have to worry about those punters who rely on The Bulletin for their news. There is not one story in today’s 56 page edition about the week’s biggest story in the Nation – the proposed CPRS-ETS and the federal opposition’s implosion over the issue.

And certainly no mention or questioning of:
There is however front-page outrage about year 12 school leavers receiving a drink cooler as a parting gift – clearly the most important issue facing North Queenslanders.

What a rag!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Its a pity that Storm Financial's Clients did'nt bank with this mob

Not to excuse their own naivety, but it’s a pity that the Storm Financial clients who were ‘managed’ by the Bank of Queensland’s North Ward Branch, didn’t instead use this fine German Banker!!

Change can take a looooong time

Way back in the late 70’s I was lucky enough to have some peripheral involvement with three inspirational men who led the modern-day fight for rights for people with a disability.

All have now sadly passed, but they would be horrified at yesterday’s reports of the treatment of Paralympian, Kadoka Track conqueror and truly inspirational sporting hero (as opposed to today’s footballers), Kurt Fearnley at the hands of junk airline Jetstar. Now comes the report today of Trevor Carroll’s hospitalisation for six days after similar treatment by this mob.

Sadly, change can take a very, very, very long time

Get yourself a good lawyer girl

Further to my post yesterday, it was good to see Terry O'Gorman reported in today's Bully that Suzette Pootchemunka would be entitled to a five-figure settlement for her wongfull arest and 5-day imprisonment.

I just hopes she gets a good lawyer!

How will Peter Lindsay vote on the CPRS?

Today is a big day for the Libs in Canberra as they attempt to reach a position on the Government’s proposed CRPS-ETS without blowing themselves apart. But how will the Prince of Herbert vote?

Trawling Hansard and the web for any indication of Peter Lindsay’s position is a near fruitless exercise.

What I did learn is that:
I’ve not been able to find anything that indicates whether he actually believes in Global Warming or not.

I did however find a piece in The Oz by Samantha Maiden reporting on a Coalition partyroom meeting in October of this year where The Prince declared his current leader Malcolm Turnbull a “man of steel”. She went on to point out that Lindsay was also “fond of declaring his love for the previous leader”, Brendon Nelson.

And that is the real clue to how The Prince will vote today. Now that he’s decided to try and save the Libs from almost certain defeat in Herbert at the next election, he will do anything to keep the big fridge (and extra postal allowance) that goes with being a shadow Parliamentary Secretary.

As such, my bet is that, as the sycophant he is, he will get in behind whoever looks like winning the vote and being the Liberal leader tomorrow.

Come on Peter – tell us what you really believe

Monday, 23 November 2009

Queensland's very own FreddoGate - without the Freddo

News just through that "An Aurukun woman was wrongly thrown into jail for five days by Queensland Police after she was wrongly arrested without a valid warrant."

Although not reported, it goes without saying that it wasn't one of the white women of the town!!  No news of compensation but I hope she sues the blue pants off them.

If there's any silver lining to this story, it's that she was lucky that a certain Qld Detective Sargent wasn't the arresting officer!

A satisfactory ending to FreddoGate

Good news!  Further to my earlier posts here, here and here, the WA coppers have backed down and it's gonna cost them a lazy grand to-boot!

A slow day at The Bully and in Peter Lindsay's office

It’s not often that I agree with Peter Lindsay.

But in his first foray out of the departure lounge since announcing his intention to recontest Herbert in a last-ditch attempt to save the Libs (or the LNP, or whatever they will be calling themselves next year) from what seems will be inevitable defeat in the seat, he has in typical style chosen a State issue to go to the barricades over.

He probably right when in today’s Bully he asserts that the planned Cruise Ship Shed should be built by the State Government and that the proposed 3-way splitting of the $90 million bill between the State, Feds and TCC is a tactic by the State “… to make impossible financial demands on the Council so (it) can blame the council for the project not proceeding” when they rightfully refuse to come to the party. In this last regard, I suspect he’s picked it in one.

I’ve written before about the doubtful logic and benefits of the proposed Ship Shed.

If we are to have the damn thing, my advice to TCC would be to suggest to the State and Feds that we will make do with a measly $60 million Shed, paid for from what they have already put on the table.

Having said that, my advice to the aging Prince of Herbert would be to fess-up and tell us what he thinks about a few Federal issues – like Climate Change and whether he thinks that the Pacific Solution, Temporary Protection Visas and kids behind razor wire should be re-introduced.

After all, Climate Change and not Ship Sheds is the single largest issue that will effect the future of tourism in North Queensland

Sunday, 22 November 2009

My most shamefull addiction

To be honest - it's my addiction to newsprint that drives me each week to buy the Sunday paper.

Today's Sunday Mail confirms just how shameful that addiction really is.

Page three is fully taken-up with a mindless story (not available on-line) about a British dog (no! not even an Australian dog) with a weight problem, the efforts of the RSPCA there to reduce its size from 70 kilos to a more healthy 35 kilos and the banning of its obviously stupid and irresponsible owner from keeping pets for 10 years.

Page 45 (yes, that’s page 45) carries a 1/4 page report (not available on-line) of a Qld Council of Social Service study showing that over 1,700 people die each year in Qld (that’s 30 a week) as a result of their living poverty and that some $1.22 billion a year could be saved in the State's public hospital bill if the issue was properly addressed. (Link not yet available but check the QCOSS site in a few days).

There is no way this rag can be called a Newspaper!

Any advice on how to overcome my shamefull newsprint addiction will be most welcome.

Friday, 20 November 2009

You have to wonder about The Bulletin

The on-line news services are full if items today about both the upcoming second inquest into the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee and, perhaps even more pointedly, the appalling delays by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) in their inquiry to the Qld coppers’ mishandling of the investigation of Mulrunji’s 2004 death-in-custody which we are told will take another six months to be finalised.

Not only did the Bully devote just one column on page five to the stories (not available online), a little under half of that is in fact about another CMC investigation into policing of Aboriginal communities generally. 

By comparison, The Australian today has a 1/4 page article plus a scathing lead editorial on the issue.

Far worse, they refused to use Mulrunji’s name – preferring to call him Cameron.

And they certainly made no mention (as reported in their sister Murdoch tabloid, The Courier,) of the coppers failure/refusal to participate in yesterday’s commemoration of the 5th anniversary of his killing.

No picture of Mulrunji or his grieving family and community – but there is a very nice one of clean cut copper Hurley.

No reporting of the very apparent conflict of interest arising from the CMC Commissioner Alan MacSporran representing Queensland police at today's reopening of the coronial inquest into the case.

The Bully did however manage to publish the following from Jenny Stirling on their comments page yesterday:
"Five years after the death in custody on Palm Island of Mulrunji Doomadgee, the CMC has finished its inquiry into the conduct of police officers investigating the death. By comparison, it took months for people to be prosecuted for throwing rocks and threatening police in the subsequent protest. These officers face disciplinary action for actions which contravened common decency, the law and good practice but I can guarantee you none will be going to jail. The Minister for Police should resign or better still, be sacked. Tardy justice is justice denied."
That was big of them wasn't it ??

I'm no fan of The Australian either, but I recommend this excellent piece by Tony Koch on the appauling performance by the CMC.

As for The Bully - the tag below says it all

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Best line of the week

"These are the heroes in our country, not the sports people" Moira Kelly, speaking of the mediacl team at the Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital who sucessfully separated the formerly conjoined twins Krishna and Trishna.

I couldn't agree more - stuff John Coates and his little fiefdom at the AOC!!

Well the would wouldn't they

More to my earlier posts here, here, here and here about FredoGate (couldn't resist that, sorry) , WA Police reject discrimination claim.

Nice try guys.

Jeeze and I though WA coppers were bad

And I though WA coppers were bad ...Cop Tasers 'unruly' 10-year-old girl.  A US police officer used a Taser stun gun to subdue a "combative" 10-year-old girl in her own home because she refused to take a shower. More...

Is Cr. Vern flogging a dead fish?

You gotta admire Councillor Vern Vetch for championing the cause of local recreational fishers, but given the demise of the local lobby group Sunfish because of lack of interest, you have to wonder whether he’s flogging a dead fish.

As Chair of TCC’s Environment and Sustainable Development Committee, maybe his re-election changes would improve if he actually focused on environment and sustainability issues like, for example, the 50/50 chance of survival for the Great Barrier Reef if global emissions aren’t cut by at least 25 per cent by 2020

Dinosaur racing goes international but will they continue to graze in Townsville

I see that the V8 Dinosaur Race is set to go international with events planned for Bahrain and Abu Dhabi next year. You can’t really blame them of course – like the Dinosaurs of old, they will always go where the money (i.e. food) is most plentiful.

But you have to wonder how long they will continue to graze in little old Townsville??

An eerie silence from The Bully

Interestingly, The Bulletin’s parent paper, The Oz has this front page story:  Five years on, Doomadgee death investigators facing discipline

And the Bully has ... precisely zilch!! Even more interesting given that our copies of the Oz are printed on the Bully’s presses right here in Townsville

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

He's damn lucky he didn't pinch a Freddo Frog as well!

Further my earlier posts here and here about the 12 year old Aboriginal kid who was arrested, thrown in the watchhouse and charged with recieving a stolen Freddo Frog, comes this news that a WA copper has "escaped a jail term for using the police computer system to access the details of more than a dozen women he fancied".

It's gotta make you wonder...

Didn't the editor read the story??

Judging by the juxtaposition of the pic, the ABC's online editor didn’t bother to read the story!

"Unfortunate" or Appropriate ??

Further to my earlier post here, the WA Premier has said today that "it is unfortunate that police have been held up to ridicule by charging a 12-year-old boy over a stolen chocolate"

I would have said that the ridicule is totally appropriate and warranted.

The only unfortunate thing is that the Premier obviously has no intention of questioning whether the incident is evidence of either systemic stupidity or systemic racism amongst his Police Force!

The incident is still outrageous

Peter Lindsay confirms that the Libs are in trouble

So Peter Lindsay has declared his hand and will defend his throne at the next Federal Election.

As I’ve noted previously – the Libs (or NLP or whatever they are this week) would call him back from the departure lounge and his tour of potential retirement villages if they expected the election to be difficult and needed to protect all of their existing seats.

The other interesting thing in Lendl Ryan’s piece in The Bully today is that Lindsay clearly indicates his preference to go up against Tony Mooney – perhaps he knows he’s the only one of the potential ALP candidates that he has any chance of beating.

Ryan, The Bully’s “City Reporter”, has been barracking for Mooney ever since she drew the amazing conclusion that Kevin Rudd’s saying that “I have known him for 20 years” equals a ringing endorsement of Mooney and a guarantee of his preselection

In a second article today, Ryan seeks to convert her conclusion into fact when she describes “a stunning endorsement from Mr Mooney’s close friend, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, earlier this month”.

All that Ryan has successfully done today is confirm that the Libs expect to lose the next Federal election and probably the seat of Herbert as well and that no one can predict the outcome of the ALP preselection process until we know whether the choice will be made by a local plebiscite of members or by their federal Administration Committee

Attempted suicide is illegal and will be met with the full force of the law

And I thought WA coppers were a bit over-the-top:

Man trying to harm self shot dead and here Man shot by police has died, and here Officer with Taser used gun to shoot 'self-harmer'.

You'd hope that they'd teach coppers to shoot to disable rather than to blow them away.

Today's best headline

Another shocker from the Bully today - page 3

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

More twaddle from The Bulletin

Today’s front page headline about the wages bill for TCC Councillors is the sort of beat-up we’ve come to expect from the Bully. Interestingly, the on-line version of the article doesn’t seem to be working!!

The big dollars splashed all over the front page are of course the Total Employment Cost associated with the Councillors.  I'd hazard a guess that very few workers (and a surprising number of employers) have no idea of their Total Employment Cost (as a rule-of-thumb TEC is 3 times salary cost).

But we find when we finally get to Lendl Ryan's full article that the figures for King Les for example include income from other (that is, non-TCC) activities such as Board Directorships.

And if anyone bothers to read all of her article we find buried in the middle an admission that TCC Councillors base salaries are “...still less than counterparts in other parts of the State...”.

So... a complete beat-up – a trash-piece in fact.

A conservative approach to climate change

From Lindsay Foyle in New Matilda

Monday, 16 November 2009

This is just outrageous !!

Stolen Freddo: boy, 12, charged - an Aboriginal kid of course!!!

As retired Family Court judge, John Fogarty, said: ''If this was a non-indigenous child, the most he would probably get in Victoria and most other jurisdictions, would be the mildest of warnings by the local sergeant.''

Mind you, if you're a white backpacker in Cairns, things are a lot different - just harmless youthful fun after all!

Update:  Maybe the WA coppers aren't quite as stupid as I thought!!  Police may drop Freddo charges

Mooney boosters are at it again

So the Bully is at it again today - leading the Mooney for Herbert cheer squad!

Lendl Ryan’s assertion that Herbert was “once died in blue” and that now, because of an evil redistribution, “Peter Lindsay is staring down the barrel of political annihilation” shows both her youth and her political naivety (a bit of a worry for someone the Bully has tagged as their “City Reporter”, whatever that is).

Herbert has always been a Labor seat and the election of Lindsay on the back of Howard’s Battlers campaign was always an aberration. Lindsay’s vote has been dropping since his first term and he would have lost the last one if Labor had had the right candidate and had massaged the defence vote the right way.

Given that Lindsay hasn’t been seen or heard of in the last two years in the departure lounge (except for the very occasional bagging of the State Government and reports of his very important overseas junkets), he was always going to lose the next election irrespective of any redistribution. The only reason he’s not gone already is that the Libs are having trouble believing that Crisafulli could win it and they (foolishly) believe that the incumbency factor will let Lindsay sneak back in again.

As for Ryan’s assertion that Mooney is a shoo-in for preselection and then Herbert – it’s a total beat-up with no new information since I last posted on the subject here. Mooney won’t declare his hand until he knows he has the numbers for preselection. He knows he can’t win a local plebiscite of members and is relying on the Administrative Committee or National Office to determine the candidates. But even then he knows there is no guarantee – he’s as much disliked and distrusted by the ALP power brokers as his is be the local membership.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

It was all AC/DC's fault Judge

How could i not republish a headline like this from the CourierMail!!!: Rapists wore AC/DC t-shirt

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Joker

Publisher of our very own Townsville Bulletin. 

Hat-tip to John Richardson - read more here...

Aquapella back on stage and recording

Cross posted from one of our favourite reads - the Magnetic Times

Magnetic Island and Townsville’s own celebrated choir will give a triumphal return concert at Sacred Heart Cathedral this coming week-end. This is their first major concert in two years.
Sixty singers from Magnetic Island and Townsville will gather for this gala occasion for one concert which will not be repeated. Read more ...