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Archives for July 2011

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.

Addressing the Virginia Chadwick Foundation, Turnbull said that climate change was a question of “risk management” that Margaret Thatcher acknowledged in the 1980s. “If Margaret Thatcher took climate change seriously and believed we should take action to reduce global greenhouse emissions, then taking action and supporting and accepting the science can hardly be the mark of insipient Bolshevism,” Turnbull said.

“Nonetheless, there is no doubt that many people are grounding their opposition to the Gillard Government’s carbon tax on the basis that climate change is not real and that the scientific consensus which supports it is not soundly based. It is important to remember however that the rejection of the consensus scientific position on global warming, rejection of the CSIRO’s position on global warming, is not Liberal Party policy.” [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. [Read more…]


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?”

  • Watch Keating on Lateline (20m)
  • Listen to Keating (20m)

Transcript of Paul Keating’s Lateline interview.

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: To discuss the media and politics, I’m now joined in the studio by the former prime minister Paul Keating.

Thanks for being here. [Read more…]


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…]