Let’s Leave It There

Jon Stewart pinpoints the problem with “CNN Leaves it There”.

The “he said, she said” brand of journalism has also been canvassed in this blog post by New York University’s Jay Rosen.


Turnbull Condemns Rejection Of Climate Science

Malcolm Turnbull has delivered a speech pleading for the science of climate change to be respected.

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This is the prepared text of Malcolm Turnbull’s speech to the Virginia Chadwick Foundation.

Malcolm Turnbull delivers the inaugural Virginia Chadwick Foundation speechThis Foundation commemorates the life and work of Virginia Chadwick, one of Australia’s most influential female parliamentarians and a strong friend of the environment. Let me say a few words about her at the outset.

She was a teacher before she presumably decided her charges were not unruly enough and so entered the NSW Parliament – better known as the Macquarie Street Bear Pit! John Fahey the former Liberal Premier of this State and Federal Finance Minister remembers that place very well!

Virginia was elected to the NSW Legislative Council representing the Liberal Party in 1978 at the age of 33. Over 21 years at Macquarie Street she blazed a trail for others to follow: she was the first female president of the NSW Legislative Council, first female Opposition Whip, first female Liberal minister and first female NSW Education minister. [Read more…]


Rupert Murdoch Attacked With Cream Pie During Hearing

Rupert Murdoch was attacked by a man with a foam pie during his appearance with son James at a House of Commons select committee hearing into the News of the World phone hackings.


Reith Review of Liberal Party Election Campaign Released

The Liberal Party has released Peter Reith’s review of the 2010 federal election campaign.

Reith Review of the 2010 Federal Election coverThe report by the former Howard government minister is 33 pages long and contains 34 recommendations to the Liberal Party’s Federal Executive.

One recommendation is that “the concept of preselections by plebiscite be introduced for House of Representatives seats prior to the next federal election in all States”. Another asks “that the party positively consider, subject to practicality, conducting two trial primaries for the forthcoming Federal election”.

On the conduct of the election campaign, Reith says “Tasmania was a classic case where more should have been done and particularly on policy”. He also questions why the party won the Victorian State election in November but “did less well” in the federal election. The ALP won two extra seats (La Trobe and McEwen) in Victoria. Reith cites the party’s poor result in South Australia as evidence of the need for “policy relevance”, especially on water management.

In NSW, the report examines the timing of preselection in Lindsay and the choice of candidate in Robertson, where Reith says the former member Jim Lloyd should have been encouraged to stand. Reith says “factionalism has weakened branches and membership throughout NSW and weakened our campaigning capability”.


Hackgate: The Movie


Selling The Carbon Tax: Less Is More

Julia Gillard should have stayed in bed this week, for all the good her carbon tax campaigning did.

In fact, she ought to just shut up about the carbon tax and get on with something else.

This week smacks of the same hopeless political strategy that Rudd and Gillard have fallen for before, the strategy that says you have to run around the country like a maniac and never shut up.

It’s also the strategy that gives Tony Abbott a daily free kick as the media treat the circus like an election campaign and give him equal time.

Take Gillard’s appearance at the National Press Club yesterday. Her speech on climate change was quite good, but it was overshadowed by the personal development lecture from the Unley High school girl.

Last night’s television pictures duly centred on Gillard’s teary moment and her injunction to the press gallery to “stop writing crap”. Forget about any coverage of the economic imperatives of the carbon tax.

That argument was left to Paul Keating who, in 20 minutes on Lateline, managed to put the case better than any minister in the Government has managed for years. In that inimitable style of his, Keating positioned the tax as a necessary response to a transformative need in the economy. As an advocate, he shamed the Government with his easy command of striking political imagery. [Read more…]


Paul Keating Defends Carbon Tax On Lateline

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating appeared on Lateline last night to defend the carbon tax.

Keating said the carbon tax was an essential step on the path to new industries in the new age: “See, the question is, I think: do we want a first-rate industrial economy or do we want an economy with a brown, fat underbelly? You know, do we want to get into the new age with the new industries, or do we stay in the old ones, talking as Tony Abbott is talking about industries that were important a hundred years ago?”

The transcript of the interview is available here.



Julia Gillard’s Carbon Tax Speech At The National Press Club

Prime Minister Julia Gillard addressed the National Press Club today on the government’s carbon tax policy.

The Prime Minister stressed that the policy was a major and difficult reform. “And in reform, what matters is having the right vision for the country’s future, making the big decisions which get us there, bringing people together to get it done. So now we have had the debate. Now we move from words to deeds. We’re going to get this done.”

Gillard momentarily lost her composure when speaking about her feelings: “It doesn’t come easy to me to expose my feelings as I make these decisions. I was the shy girl who studied and worked hard, and it took time and effort but I got from Unley High to the law and as far as here, where I am today. I’ve brought a sense of personal reserve to this, the most public of professions. And the rigours of politics have reinforced my innate style of holding a fair bit back in order to hang pretty tough.” [Read more…]


We Want Gough!

Edward Gough Whitlam is 95 years old today.

Whitlam on the steps of Parliament HouseWhilst it is thirty-five years since Australia’s 21st Prime Minister was dismissed by the Governor-General, his political career contains lessons and his unbounded spirit is missed.

The present Labor government is already nine months older than the Whitlam government was on November 11, 1975. Yet, if it fell today, its record would pale by comparison. The reservoir of good-will would be low and few would hanker for Rudd or Gillard.

Whitlam, however, is loved by his party and many in the community. Affection and loyalty walk arm in arm with him through the pages of history. He is a living lesson in political leadership.

Forty years ago, Whitlam was the Opposition Labor Leader who spoke to a generation of people who had known nothing other than the coalition in power in Canberra. Menzies was long gone and the government of William McMahon was a joke. Only the most rabidly partisan would deny it. The Liberals had disposed of their former leader, John Gorton, and opted for an overweeningly ambitious replacement who wasn’t up to the job. [Read more…]


A Tax and Welfare Package As Much As An Environmental Plan

After labouring for months, the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee has brought forth a tax and welfare package as much as an environmental policy.

The DrumWith significant implications for the welfare sector, and tax cuts for everyone earning up to $80,000 a year, in the short term the carbon tax may not be the most important effect of the government’s plan.

The government says around 60% of taxpayers will get a tax cut of at least $300 from July next year, and no one will pay more tax. In 2015-16, further tax cuts come into effect.

The tax free threshold will be raised to $18,200. Treasurer Wayne Swan says up to a million extra Australians will be freed from having to lodge a tax return from next financial year. Many low-income earners who have to deal with the Taxation Office and Centrelink will find they only have to deal with Centrelink. Like the general tax cuts, the tax free threshold will increase again to $19,400 in 2015 when the fixed price on carbon is replaced by the emissions trading scheme. [Read more…]