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Archives for December 2012

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s New Year Message

This is a New Year video message released by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.


Tony Abbott’s New Year Message

This is a New Year video message released by the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.

Text of statement from Tony Abbott.

Throughout our history, Australians have demonstrated again and again our capacity and determination to make our country a better place.

We are not afraid of having a go, we never fail to lend our hand, and we always aspire to making our country a better place. [Read more…]


David Cameron: “We Are On The Right Track”

British Prime Minister David Cameron says the country is on the right track.

The upbeat message came in Cameron’s New Year message. “This is a government in a hurry,” Cameron said.

Britain is in a competitive race with countries such as China, India and Indonesia, and cannot afford to slow down, Cameron said, as he outlined actions taken by his government on reducing the budget deficit, reforming welfare and education, and increasing pensions.

Transcript of David Cameron’s 2013 New Year message.

2012 was an extraordinary year for our country. We celebrated our Queen with the Jubilee. And with the Olympics and Paralympics we showed beyond any doubt that Britain can deliver. It was a great year. But, if we are honest, it was a tough one too.

We are still dealing with debts that built up over many years. And for many families, making ends meet is difficult. So to anyone starting this New Year with questions about where we are heading and what the future holds, I want to reassure you of this: we are on the right track. On all the big issues that matter to Britain, we are heading in the right direction and I have the evidence to prove it.

This government inherited a huge budget deficit that was dragging our country down. Well, this New Year, that deficit is forecast to be £13 billion smaller than last New Year, down by one quarter since we came to office. [Read more…]


Julia Gillard And Bob Hawke Speak At Woodford Folk Festival

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has appeared at the Woodford Folk Festival with her Labor predecessor Bob Hawke.

Gillard told the gathering that the “big decisions” made by her government “would have been effectively the same” even if the government had not operated in a minority.

She said that she wanted to launch the National Disability Insurance Scheme on July 1st and deliver “further education reforms” before “we get around to winning that election”. [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull: “It Has Never Been Easier To Get Away With Telling Lies”

The Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has again lamented the “game of politics” and decried the dumbing down of political debate.

Speaking at the Woodford Folk Festival on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Turnbull said “it has never been easier to get away with the glib one-liner”.

Turnbull said “broadcasters, or politicians or writers…who think that they are respecting ‘struggle street’, the battlers, …by dumbing things down into one-line soundbites are not respecting them, they are treating them with contempt.

“Because it is our job, above all in politics, to tackle the big issues, and to explain them and have the honesty to say to people, ‘there are no easy solutions here’. If the answer to global warming was obvious and simple, we’d have it licked by now.” [Read more…]


Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas Message To The Commonwealth

Queen Elizabeth II has delivered her annual Christmas message to the Commonwealth.

The televised message comes at the end of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations of her 60 years on the throne. [Read more…]


‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

A Christmas story from former President Bill Clinton in 1997.

This video was taken on December 18, 1997 at a children’s event at the White House.


And the First Lady, fifteen years later:



Julia Gillard’s Christmas Message

This is the Christmas message from the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

Text of Julia Gillard’s Christmas message.

After all the days of preparation and anticipation, Christmas is finally here.

However you and your family celebrate Christmas, whatever your own Christmas traditions are, I hope you have a wonderful day. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s Christmas Message

This is the Christmas message from the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, and his wife, Margie.

Christmas message from Tony and Margie Abbott.

Christmas is a great time of year.

In our family, like yours, Christmas is a time to come together, share stories, exchange gifts, enjoy a wonderful meal and be grateful for what we have.

It is a time of joy and anticipation. But for some, for whatever reason, Christmas can be difficult time – it’s up to all of us, to remember everyone who’s doing it tough.

All of us as Australians have much to be thankful for – we are an open, decent and generous people, who live free of the turmoil and bitter divisions that have gripped other nations.

From our family to your family – we wish you a happy Christmas – may it be an enjoyable, peaceful and safe time for everyone.

Merry Christmas.


Subtlety Lost: Craig Emerson On The Australian Media

The Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, has written an opinion piece criticising coverage by the Australian media of recent political controversies.

EmersonEmerson focuses on the Gillard-AWU issue and the issues surrounding the sexual harassment case brought by James Ashby against Peter Slipper.

He is especially critical of coverage by the News Limited papers, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.

Emerson also directs his fire at Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne.

Of the media overall, Emerson says: “I am not asserting there is a general bias in the media. Some editors and a few journalists are blatantly biased. That has always been the case. But the real problem is the abandonment of professional standards to give effect to that bias. All subtlety is lost.”

Text of an opinion piece by the Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson.

Subtlety lost

At Sydney University in the early 1970s a course simply called “Government” was offered to economics, arts and law students. It was a time of social upheaval and the election of the Whitlam Government had ended 23 years of conservative rule. The Murdoch press had backed a change of government.

My tutor in Government, Lex Watson, a gay rights activist, had set us a task: to identify bias in the media. But as left-wing as Lex was, the six-week project wasn’t about left versus right, it was about the techniques used by the print media to slant a story to suit an editorial position. [Read more…]