tony-abbott

LET THE SHOW BEGIN…

Pity the poor party strategists who had to spend Sunday re-writing their MPs’ off-the-cuff parliamentary taunts and jibes after the Griffith by-election.

Inconveniently, the fresh election to replace outgoing low-profile federal MP, Kevin Rudd, refused to give either of the major parties much to crow about.

 

terri-butlerKevin Rudd congratulates Terri Butler after she won the seat of Griffith

The Labor opposition retained the seat, but with a small swing against them instead of against the government, which is usually what happens in a by-election. This pretty much cruelled Labor’s hopes of credibly claiming the Griffith result sent “a strong message of protest to Tony Abbott” about his cuts to healthcare, childcare and super fast broadband.

Even so, the outcome in Griffith was hardly happy-dance material for the Coalition. In Bill Glasson they had a strong local candidate, who’d campaigned in the seat for over a year and reduced Rudd’s margin from 8 per cent to 3 per cent at the 2010 federal election.

No expense was spared by the Coalition when the departing Rudd gave Glasson another chance. Various luminaries from the Abbott ministry jetted into Griffith to shake hands, kiss babies and draw attention to the Labor candidate’s flaws, including her audacious membership of a union. Yet the ALP’s Terri Butler won the seat, so the Coalition can hardly claim the result as “a repudiation of Labor” with any credibility either.

So today’s first session of the new parliament for 2014 could be a case of not mentioning the war (in Griffith). The rhetorical battleground will more likely be industrial relations.

Reform of industrial relations or labour laws is high on the wishlist of Australian business. Right or wrong, they blame these laws even more than the carbon tax for their lack of profitability. When businesses say they need more ‘flexibility’ in the workplace to become more productive (read: profitable), they’re saying they want the government to make it easier for them to adjust (read: cut) wages and conditions.

But PM Abbott knows that a government promising IR reform can be signing its own death warrant. He saw it first-hand as a minister in the Howard Government, which was defeated by a strong campaign run by the unions and Labor against WorkChoices. (Don’t mention that war either).

Abbott has two-step battle plan instead. Firstly he’ll weaken the unions by tarnishing their credibility in the eyes of the public with some over-egging of entitlements for unionised workforces in the embattled auto manufacturing and fruit processing industries, as well as the Royal Commission into union corruption that he announced yesterday.

tony-abbott

A happy by-product of this (for Abbott) will be reduced union membership and therefore fewer dollars for the unions to donate to the Labor Party.

The second part of Abbott’s plan is a Productivity Commission inquiry (kinda like a royal commission but run by economists), which will spell out how the labour laws should be reformed. In doing so the PC will essentially provide Abbott with a skirt to hide behind when he takes those recommendations to the next election “in the interests of the nation’s future productivity”. (You heard it here first).

Even though the sabres will be rattling on the IR front in parliament this week, there’s still the business of governing to be done.

Treasurer Joe Hockey will reprise his role as Budget Salesman-in-Chief, continuing to soften up the Australian public with trust-enhancing media profiles while sternly intoning the age of entitlement has now become age of responsibility for households and industry. In an attempt not unlike mass hypnotism, Hockey hopes to have so converted us to economic frugality by the time the Budget is handed down in May, we’ll welcome him shoving his hands in our pockets.

Directly flouting Hockey’s parsimony, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will try to convince his free market colleagues that assistance for drought-affected farmers is not the same as propping up unviable businesses.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison will continue to say nothing.

And, in between parliamentary questions on the 2017 departure of local auto manufacturer Toyota, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane will quietly ask himself for the zillionth time: “why did I ever agree to take on the industry portfolio… again.”

 

MORE ARTICLES BY PAULA MATTHEWSON

Policy Non Grata

Is The Greens Bubble Bursting?

The Villain of the Piece

Blame is the Name of the Game

‘Drunk on Power’

 

paula-matthewson*Paula Matthewson has worked in and around federal politics for nearly 25 years, variously as a media adviser and lobbyist but now as a freelance writer. She’s been tweeting and blogging about politics, the media and social media since 2009, and in 2013 founded the popular group blog AusOpinion. She blogs at Drag0nista’s Blog and tweets as @Drag0nista.

 

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57 Comments

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Johnsie

    More people voted for the government in Griffith than they did at the general election. It is comforting to know that the real world is nothing like the Hoopla.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      MickyD

      Yet you for obsessively troll in this world you do not believe in. Tin foil hat misplaced again?

      • Reply February 11, 2014

        Johnsie

        No obsession or trolling from me MickyD. I’d be surprised if I’ve posted more than 3 or 4 times in the last month. But again, it sure was pleasing to see growth in the coalition vote. It confirms that sites such as this represent a minuscule proportion of the voting public, as does any site on the extreme end of any political persuasion.
        Great work Dr Glasson, may you be rewarded with a safe seat next time around, not Labor/green heartland.

        • Reply February 11, 2014

          MickyD

          That’s a pretty clever analysis Johnsie. The candidate that received the majority vote, and was therefore successfully elected, somehow translates to a “minuscule proportion of the voting public”? Is this the real world or “Johnsie’s world”, foil hats and conspiracies? Mate, stick to the News Corpse and CanDo blogs, they’d be dumb enough to believe your logical fallacies.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      Gabrielle

      Johnsie, you need to examine the actual results on the AEC website. The voter turnout was only 65% of registered voters. It is impossible therefore that the government got more votes than they did at the Federal election. Also if I spent nearly $2 million on a bye election and campaigned constantly for months I would want to do better than the Liberals did on Saturday. The Labor campaign began four weeks ago on a shoestring run mostly by volunteers unlike the the army of employees who we saw in the Liberal campaign.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      Where Is My Ostrich

      Just to be accurate, in the September Poll, Glasson received 36,481 First Preference votes.

      On the weekend, he received 31,554 First Preference votes.

      About 20,000 people did not turn up to vote at all.

      And the Tories are calling it a victory of sorts, a vote of confidence.

      If you don’t turn up at a wedding, is that a vote of confidence?

      If you don’t turn up at a birthday party, is that a vote of confidence?

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      martha

      it was also said that the lib person got 10th votes less than when he went to the people in sept, also the swing the lady above mentioned I also read went to the greens ,,I read TWITTER every day for those that don’t I strongly advise u find out so much there,

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Tim the beard

    A very succinct and cynical analysis Paula, mirrors my own thoughts fairly well :).

    Poor Barnaby, as much as the man shuts me to tears on any other topic, where the countrys concerned he has his heart in the right place. The fact he has to fight for such a basic thing only highlights how more and more the Nats and Libs are becoming strange bedfellows.

    As far as wage and conditions go I think the high wages the mining industry pays have had a bigger negative impact on manufacturing then IR reform could fix. Put yourself in the shoses of just about any qualified tradesmen; earn enough in one year working at the mines for a house deposit or, earn the same amount over three years while putting up with a boss that complains he’s paying you too much?

    In fact I’m pretty sure you can trace all the knives thats killing manufacturing back to mining. High dollar, free trade agreements, government support and tax breaks for mining but no other sector…

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Lisa H

    Paula, when you say that businesses blamed the carbon tax for their lack of profitability, which businesses are we walking about? I recall seeing an episode of Q&A that had a panel of heavy weight business people and their peak bodies. Not one of them believed that Direct Action was a good policy or would actually reduce carbon pollution. They all said the correct policy was a price on carbon. Of course these business luminaries stayed mum before the election so not to embarrass the coalition.
    We should no more talk about business people as a homogeneous group than we should describe voters as all being the same.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    RhodaD

    Point me to a country with low wages that any of us would wish to live in.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Goldie

    Johnsie – you are correct. The people who seem to be Hoopla regulars are not the real world. They are the sort of people who wanted our taxes to be paid to companies such as Toyota & SPC so that the employees could retain their wonderful conditions. Toyota tired to warn they that if they didn’t revisit their EBA’s, their jobs would go. They reacted by getting a Federal Court injunction (which good old Justice Mordy was happy to give). They now all reap their rewards.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    janes

    The Griffith by-election was never going to be a typical contest or a typical electorate.

    LNP had poured so much money, time & effort into Bill Glasson’s first tilt against Rudd – it was logical for them to use that as a platform for a 2nd attempt. Imagine if they didn’t see a return for their huge efforts & cost.

    LNP must have been really happy that the by-election was held so close to the last ballot.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Tim the Beard

    Goldie: Yes, “wonderful” jobs. I not familiar with the minutiae of Toyota EBA but may I humbly suggest that their closure had little to do with it. From what I watched on their press conference last night two things where clear: that no matter what they couldn’t survive as the soul auto-maker here and that CEO Yasuda was close to tears as he read out his speech. Looked like the order came from the international head office, not local.

    As I’ve said before on this site, the multinationals are like seagulls. If they can’t get their bread crumbs here they’ll go else where. With no government subsidies, high dollar, impending free trade with China and south Korea and yes, higher wages our 2nd world competitors how could Toyota stay?.

    Laying all that at the feet of workers who just want to earn enough to buy their own home some day is wrong on so many levels Goldie.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    MickyD

    I might have misheard this, but didn’t “Gospel Truth” Tony say something along the lines of “Australia is once again open for business”? Has anyone informed Holden, Ford, Toyota or SPC? The age of economic entitlement is over, according to Sloppy Joe (who lives off eleventies from his wife), except if you have your snout in the trough of a taxpayer funded Royal Commission, commission of Audit, or a Human Rights Commission appointment.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      janes

      MickeyD – You are so right.
      “The age of economic entitlement is over…..except ” if you are a Coalition crony.

      Jobs & funding for Coalition mates & supporters is alive & well. (Mining, anti-environment, election campaigns, anti-workers rights)

  • […] Don’t mention the war. Latest post for The Hoopla. […]

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    janes

    Paula – Industrial Relations does seem to be where the Coalition have decided to pick their fight with Labor.

    Must be just a coincidence that Gina & Rupert happen to call for IR reform – for “average” workers & basic wages & entitlements. ( Not management or corporates.)

    The battle plan strategy you have outlined has been their basic play for their whole Opposition time.
    1
    – Throw mud & question integrity & capability of LNP opponent &/or target. (Doesn’t matter how outrageous or unfounded claims are)
    – Always include a throw-away comment about how bad Labor has been.
    2
    – Repeat negative message, repeat negative message, repeat negative message
    3
    – Publicly float extreme & unlikely thought bubble about possible action or about unlikely possible knee-jerk reaction
    4
    – Encourage & inflame white noise hysteria distraction to pre-occupy 24 hour media cycle, commentators, opponents & public.
    5
    – Under cover of the debate & war you have just started – move further towards implementing your own ideological goals.

    This whole strategy they have adapted & applied over & over. No surprises there.
    ———————–
    The thing that is becoming more & more evident is the unbending hardline ideology that is underpinning all the LNP actions.

    LNP has been repeatedly criticized for not having stated or developed policies. (Only a pamphlet)

    What everyone else did not know was that they DID have a GUIDING IDEOLOGY that was going to be used as an framework & underpin all their actions.

    If this conservative ideology was deliberately hidden & misrepresented before the election – should this be IMPOSED on Aust public?

    The election contest was not based on a conservative ideology that was deliberately misrepresented & hidden. If anything, many voters thought they were getting “business as usual” & keeping Labor’s long term vision agenda. ie Education, Disability Care, NBN, reducing carbon pollution. (That is what they were told by Abbott’s LNP.)

    Abbott & the LNP have shown they were like Dodgy Brothers salesmen. Say anything they thought people wanted to hear to get elected. Then deny, manipulate & twist it later.

    It is a shame that Consumer Laws about misrepresentation; bait & switch practices; & unconscionable conduct don’t apply to politics.

    It seems that not all LNP team members support this “ideology at all costs” strategy. Or areas of the business community – who have to deal with the real world & live with the results. So it will be interesting to see if it self destructs.

    So far Abbott’s “No Surprises” Govt has been one long event of unexpected de-stability across all sectors of the economy

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    JoanneH

    Abbott has had two industries about to end within a week, but he seems more focused on negativity and revenge than any policies or plans for future productivity.
    After announcing his Union/Labor party witch-hunt RC, Abbott couldn’t answer a question about the Toyota rumours, because he had been too busy in a Cabinet meeting, where I’m sure they were all patting each on the back after putting the plans into action to morally and financially weaken unions/Labor and guarantee themselves more electoral wins.
    Lucky for them, lots of ‘evil’ unionists will go with the end of the car manufacturing industry, and to hell with the thousands of unemployed workers – as Abbott said last night you might lose a job, but it’s a chance get a new one.
    Unfortunately he hasn’t said where all these ‘new opportunities’ – for thousands – are coming from, and neither have any of the usual Coalition friendly ‘expert’ commentators.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    miranda

    Tony Abbott’s condescension with his “great big spotlight” is hard to take but perhaps his focus on cleaning up corruption esp in construction unions will do Labor a favour – given their guilt by association. But if Abbott moves against wages and conditions – no matter what guise it takes – he’s likely to face the wrath of the punters.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Carole/m

    Quote: Tony Abbott 17th May .

    “……..any government which makes it harder to manufacture cars is making it harder for us to continue to be a first world economy because without cars, without steel, without aluminium, without cement , we are not really a sophisticated economy anymore ………

    From : Liberal.org.au

    Cars are gone , Aluminium could be next …….

    Then you have the new ” Free Trade ” deal with
    South Korea . Guess there will be an influx of Korean Government subsidised cheap cars .

    With more “Free Trade” deals coming up , I guess that’s the real plan , more Mining , no Environmental protections, “No Red Tape ” Development ………..Third World Australia .

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      janes

      Carole/m – Definitely moving directly to becoming a “Banana Republic”

      Just another Pacific Island 3rd world economy. (At least other Pacific Islands take the threat of Climate Change seriously.)

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    oldfart

    STEVE VIZARD: Tony Abbott, you’ve just been down in Geelong, what have you been doing down there for the morning?
    TONY ABBOTT: Thanks Steve for that, yeah look, I’ve been at Ford motor plant at Geelong. It’s an iconic Australian plant. It’s been open since 1925 and it’s one of the many major Australian manufacturers which would be at risk under a carbon tax. It’s estimated the carbon tax will hit motor manufacturers’ bottom line to the tune of $84 million a year and add $412 to the cost of the car. Now, with all the other problems that motor manufacturers face, why hit them with this? Now, as someone who drives a Ford Territory I know that Australian motor manufacturers can make a great product, but we’ve got a government who’s trying to make their lives more difficult and I just wonder whether Wayne Swan, who is supposed to be visiting the Kenworth plant today is going to be upfront with people about how much harder it will be to manufacture trucks in Australia with the Government’s carbon tax.
    STEVE VIZARD: Frankly, do you see, the way things are going, if a clear path, another choice isn’t made, can you see manufacturing, particularly if things like vehicles, cars, continuing in Australia? TONY ABBOTT: Well, I hope that it does continue and I think any government which makes it harder to manufacture cars is making it harder for us to continue to be a first world economy because without cars, without steel, without aluminium, without cement, we don’t have these manufacturers in Australia, we are not really a sophisticated economy anymore

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    janes

    Lenore Taylor has made a very relevant observation about LNP’s tactics in a Guardian article –

    “Just as it created the political nonsense of the carbon tax “wrecking ball” from genuine household concerns that power bills were going up (for a whole range of reasons), the government is constructing a political attack to delegitimise the labour movement around some very real and serious allegations of union wrongdoing and malpractice”.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Nick

    I was watching Q&A last night and was amazed to hear the entire audience cheer and applaud when Turnbull spoke about the RC into union corruption. Let’s face it, the gov. is only acting on what the vast majority of Australians want to see happen. Abbott took the promise of an RC to the election and the public voted. Besides, if the royal commission finds no further evidence of corruption, then the unions can feel completely vindicated. Somehow I don’t think that will be the case, and I suspect Labor don’t either.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      JoanneH

      Nick, the pre-election promise by Abbott was for a “judicial inquiry into union slush funds” only. It has now escalated into a wide-ranging Royal Commission ‘shinning light all through the union movement’ and will be going back over decades.

      Abbott said recently – “I notice there have been various calls including from people inside the UNION movement, inside the LABOR movement more generally, for a fuller inquiry and the government will be making appropriate announcements in due course.” Who would be silly enough to believe that!

      We have the Australian Crime Commission which was set up to deal with organized crime, and has the same powers as a Royal Commission while being paid for by tax-payers already, so why not use them and save $10m + ?
      You know the answer – dragging the unions/Labor through the mud, costing them a fortune in legal fees, and hysterically biased reporting in Murdoch’s media for months and months is worth a fortune for our pugnacious PM who is hell bent on payback and destruction.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    JoanneH

    I was disgusted to see Janet Albrechtsen sneering and boasting that she never eats tinned fruit – referring to the loss of Ardmona on Q & A last night. It was disappointing to hear the laughter and applause that accompanied her insensitive – to the people of the Goulburn Valley – comments. She also approved of the Government’s handling of the car industry, so I expect she does not drive an Australian made car.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      Sam

      Politics aside people just don’t seem to buy tinned fruit much anymore. Society appears to have a much greater focus on diet and health than ever before and most people prefer fresh fruit and vege over canned / processed foods.

      I know friends and family that would never buy anything but fresh fruit and vege, and would be horrified at the thought of eating fruit from a can. They are concerned about processing, sugar and salt levels and worry about their health and the health of their family, so they prefer to eat fresh or even organic. That’s bound to impact on companies like SPC.

    • Reply February 12, 2014

      Pinchface

      It’s true Joanne – she only ever eats fresh fruit. And, she only eats one variety of fruit. Citrus fruit. Lemons it is and isn’t it obvious. Skinny, pinched faced, tight mouthed, caustic
      bitch.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Dianne

    Old Fart – thanks for the Abbott chat with Vizard.

    Funny the things he said before he became PM.

    I agree with most here that TA is gunning for the unions for reasons outlined here by Paula and those commenting.

    I don’t know if union bashing and labour market reforms are going to win him friends unless he can show that his government has a plan for Australia’s economic future.

    I heard Abbott being interviewed by Chris Uhlmann on the ABC this morning about the shut down of the Australian car industry pre-elected Abbott believed to be so vital. It was clear to me that he could offer no insights into any plan for the future despite repeated requests by Uhlmann.

    All I heard were platitudes about the need for a strong economy and that workers could find better jobs because we are a resilient, creative nation or words to that effect.

    Not very inspiring. Not at all.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Carole/m

    @Joanne

    I thought Albrechtsen was behaving as if she was an LNP Minister ( defending the LNP), weird .
    She’s lost any integrity that she may have had and is now nothing more than a right wing
    propagandist .

    Dorothy Parker of “Loonpond” refers to her as
    “Dame Slap” or is that “Madam Slap”. Either would be suitable .

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      JoanneH

      Carolem. that is a great name for her. I was wondering if she is still involved with Michael Kroger? He is equally as insufferable.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Carole/m

    @Nick
    I believe that Abbott promised a
    “judicial enquiry” before the election .& I think that’s different to a Royal Commission but I stand to be corrected.

    As for Q&A , the entire audience did not clap .
    In case your not aware , the Q&A audience is always biased towards the LNP , I didn’t see last nights figures but they’re usually about 46% LNP, 33% ALP & 11% Greens . I know this is not 100% but only the ABC knows why.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      MerriD

      @Carole/m – 10% independent/ undecided/ agnostic/ concerned for their privacy in regards to voting intentions? We’re not all rusted on party punters. Some people do genuinely attempt to make up their minds on the policy platform and not the name.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Annem

    Paula, I’m not so sure that Abbott’s attacks on unions will reduce union membership.

    There is nothing like cutting wages and conditions to send people flocking back to unions. Apart from the few hard-core unionists, most workers don’t worry about unions until they need them. I only joined the union when it looked like I would have a battle to get my long service leave entitlements.
    I’m not proud of the fact that I didn’t contribute to the union until my entitlements were threatened. I image a large majority of workers are the same…..and if Abbott keeps threatening workers they will probably find they need a union after all.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Carole/m

    I think she is Joanne . “Insufferable”, fits both of them perfectly.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      MickyD

      Kroger and Dame Slap? Could you find a more dry, humourless and bilious pair of rabid right whingers? Totally deserving of each other.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    ro.watson

    Do I need to stock up on two fruits and baked beans?

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Carole/m

    Well good for you MerriD , I also make my voting decisions on policy , that’s why I voted for the
    NBN ,GONSKI , NDIS and Protection of the Environment .

    So what’s the problem with 10% Independent being noted along with those who are politically aligned .

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Carole/m

    Only if you can handle the disdain of
    Dame Slap that is Ro , I mean , those of us who are up ourselves , no longer buy cans Ro , so lower class .

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Annie Also

    When the trade agreement was signed between South Korea and Australia my son ( now a resident of South Korea) wrote me an email to express his dismay. He said something along the lines of that the old men in Australia have sold Australia out. We won’t know what hit us. NOW we do!
    Wait till the TPP is in full swing…we will be an ‘outpost’ for any business the Conservatives want to sweet talk. We are lost as a country of the ‘fair go’ and proper pay.
    All those years of battle, all lost on the ego of a meglomaniacal sociopath.

    • Reply February 11, 2014

      janes

      Annie – Thought it was interesting today that Bill Shorten when asked in an interview said that Labor doesn’t know what is in the Free Trade Agreements made by Abbott Govt.

      Are they a secret as well????

      It’s scary stuff if they were decisions made by the Abbott Govt alone!!! We know how well they do their homework & research before taking action.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    ro.watson

    Ha~thanks Carole/m~ for mediating this incredibly complex cringe culture. Proud to be a Dame Slap around what is truly naughty here. I haven’t been camping in a long while~ part of the “Australian” condition or is that tradition~ tinned food can be helpful. My mum always served “sweets” at dinner~ and I for one was pleased and proud when those SPC workers took back the cannery as a co-operative and entered a profit sharing agreement. I don’t want those precious fruit trees around Shepparton knocked down. Not sure where the beans grow? Once a job is gone, it is harder to grow again. I think an efficient can opener is a necessary utility in our kitchen drawers.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Carole/m

    Hi Ro ,
    Tins of fruit were a staple in my Mums kitchen too , peaches & cream , pears & rice pudding ,
    apricots & ice cream , mmmmm , I might just go & check my pantry . SAVE THE FRUIT TREES IN SHEPPARTON !!!!!!!

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    ro.watson

    On Q and A last night~ Janet Albrechtson(s.p?) who proclaimed “no-one eats tinned fruit anymore”~ in the words of that immortal musical~ the Rocky Horror Show~ “Can it, Janet.”

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    ro.watson

    Remember my name, carole/m~ Dame Slap to you. By the way I only slapped two people in my life~ my sister(who got bigger than me) and a dead girl who I slapped, when she was alive, on the face, for being rude to my Greek friend about being greek, on the bus.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    bushnerd

    How about a RC into MPs expense claims? If the age of entitlement is over why are we still paying for Tony’s bike rides & fun runs?

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    martha

    Paula Matthewson

    you mention about the small swing against I did READ THAT IT WAS TO THE GREENS perhaps,you may like to check this out, I WOULD OF Tweeted u but seem your tweets are protected.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Jeff Haddrick

    Yes the Conservatives have a predictable, well used and fairly successful tactic, that works particularly well in concert with a supportive media.
    Trash the reputation of your obstacle, arouse the emotions of your audience, do what ever you like while their heads are full of shit. It’s worked against people who have impeccable credentials in their fields, against political parties. I don’t see how it can work against the ABC, maybe they’re just trying to cow them or justify gutting their resources.
    I guess in the last year of the term you just try and fill their heads with ice cream.
    I wonder what’s behind the eyes in that top photo.
    ‘Yeah I’m done for’ | ‘Yeah and none too soon’
    ?

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Gypjor

    Dianne heard the interview with TA and Chris Uhlmann this morning. Chris Uhlmann asked Abbott three times, three different ways, how Abbott was going to combat the unemployment. Abbott did not answer the questions. Chris Uhlmann asked TA that during the pre-election the LNP announced they were not going to give subsidies to the car industry, so what was the LNP plan to counteract the unemployment as a result of that decision. Again TA did not answer.

  • Reply February 11, 2014

    Shirley Green

    I looked forward to once again watching Question Time. Firstly, like their first term in Parliament, Bronwyn Bishop sadly demonstrated that she is a deplorable Speaker. Secondly, Bill Shorten was about to question Abbott on the SPC decision when Bishop promptly cut him off and gave the Opposition the chance to speak on a different topic. I thought the entire session seemed stilted and unnatural. If Bishop, as she indicated when she accepted the position of Speaker, is going to bring more decorum into Question Time, why doesn’t she insist that Abbott not turn his back on the Opposition Member who has the floor? Abbott does this time and again and it is plainly just bad manners.

  • Reply February 12, 2014

    Carole/m

    “Tony Abbott …….. someone who stepped up above their paygrade and all they’ve got is an ideological hammer and a narrow , rigid view of the world “.
    Dorothy Parker (Loonpond)

  • Reply February 12, 2014

    JoanneH

    SMH recent news –
    Joe Hockey has been caught out in an ‘Ardomona ruined by Unions’ type lie. He is on the record claiming, and later BACKING, reports that Toyota told him last December that they blamed the overly generous union conditions for pushing Toyota out.
    That has now been strongly rejected by Toyota in a statement denying that they have ever blamed the union, neither publicly or in private discussions with any stakeholders.

    I hope Labor will question this today.

    Someone’s telling lies, Joliar?

    http://tinyurl.com/ogot8qd

  • Reply February 12, 2014

    Carole/m

    Bronwyn Bishops arrogant disrespect for the entire opposition is truly alarming . The last time I looked , we still have a Democracy , don’t we??
    Tony Burke , who is the leader of opposition business in the house must think he has become invisible , many times he is standing , waiting to be acknowledged by the Speaker and she just ignores him and gives the call to the government.
    Bishop it would seem has a problem with her neck and either has great difficulty turning her head to the LEFT or it’s just toooo toooo distateful to even acknowledge their presence in the House ( the LEFT ) that is.

  • Reply February 12, 2014

    JoanneH

    Carole/m, Bronnie made it clear yesterday that she intends to carry on as she started – completely biased.
    I loved it when Bill Shorten thanked her for her “guidance” (after an unnecessary interruption) and her surly retort.

    • Reply February 14, 2014

      bronnibore

      Silly old thing. I think she might be Old Fart’s love child (only joking)

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