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So why penalise them?

A TAX on power used in electric cars should be considered by Treasury, a parliamentary committee says.

An inquiry into the Government's plan to increase LPG fuel excise heard that electric cars should be treated similarly.

The committee's report said while few cars run on electricity, it is an emerging issue.

In other words, electric cars would be free to draw their energy from the power grid at large, putting them at an advantage over petrol vehicles and hybrids. Gotta tax that!

Treasury should start consulting industry "with a view to developing an excise equivalent tax for the electricity used by electric vehicles in the medium term".

"One of the key motivators behind the legislation is to reduce distortions in the fuels sector," the committee said.

The Government said it would consider the report.

With the credit card maxed out and the shopping spree by no means over, the dollar signs will be rolling in the Treasurer's head. For 'consider', I figure one should read 'jump on with obscene eagerness'.

Blade Electric Vehicle director Ross Blade said the recommendation was "breathtaking".

He's not the only one.

"I find it extraordinary to think that's being talked about now, before people have an incentive to drive (an electric car)," he said.

Way to treat an emerging "green" industry - step on it and eliminate one of the few practical incentives for ordinary Australians to get in on the ground level. Under the fucking abortion known as a "carbon tax", electricity would be expensive enough as it is without some sort of "fuel excise" being slapped on it. Is there any decision this government can make that isn't littered with incompetence from start to finish?

The recommendation comes as the heated debate on a carbon tax continues, and Australians are told to use cleaner fuels.

Prof Ross Garnaut sang the praises of electric cars in his final report into climate change this week.

"Zero emissions road vehicles now seem set to be the most promising source of abatement in the transport sector," he wrote.

So why isn't he doing his utmost to bury this obscene recommendation with a stake through its heart and its head lopped off?

Opposition members on the economics committee argued against increasing tax on gas.

The Coalition continued its attack on the carbon tax proposal yesterday, with environment spokesman Greg Hunt calling for the Government to rule out petrol being included.

Why? Because it will hurt lower-income-bracket Australians badly. You know, the blue-collar sort who used to be Labor's guaranteed constituency and who stand to lose the most from Labor's morally repugnant cosying-up to the Greens. And all the "compensation" in the world won't stop that hurt on the day-to-day level.

I want to find the people who made this recommendation, tie them into chairs, fit them with headphones, and blast the song "Greased Lightning" into their heads at maximum volume. As soon as they stop screaming in denial and start tapping their feet and singing along, we'll know its safe to let them make decisions about the future of road transport in this country.


I don't care if you're male or female, I don't care if you're a car enthusiast or not. Just watch this, and let your inner child out to play.


Feb. 25th, 2011 08:42 pm
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Columnist Andrew Bolt is rightly pissed off:

NOT even supporters of Julia Gillard’s new carbon tax can dare forgive her for lying so shamelessly about it.

This isn’t just about the virtues of a tax that will in fact make us poorer without changing the weather by a single storm.

Leave aside arguments about whether the world has even warmed this past decade (it hasn’t) or whether our useless sacrifice will at least persuade the big emitters to do the same (they won’t).

Let’s at least agree on the deceit.

At least four times in the fortnight before the last election, a desperate Gillard and her deputy, Treasurer Wayne Swan, swore they would not impose a carbon tax - a tax on carbon dioxide emissions that will drive up the cost of power.

On August 12, Swan insisted there would be no carbon tax if Labor won: “We have made our position very clear, we have ruled it out.”

On August 18, he added: “What we rejected is this hysterical allegation that somehow we are moving towards a carbon tax.”

On August 16, Gillard was categorical: “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.”

Two days before the poll she said it again: “I rule out a carbon tax.”

Why those promises? Because the Liberals were campaigning against the tax, and Labor knew if it had to rule it out to save itself.

And so, in the August 21 election, more than 80 per cent of voters backed parties that had promised no carbon tax. The trouble is, one of them was lying.

Flanked by the triumphant Greens, Gillard this week revealed she’d cheated her way into office. The public will now get the tax that most voted against, and which she’d promised not to introduce.

What Gillard has perpetrated is an insult to every voter. It destroys the trust we place in politicians to do as they promised and as we’ve charged them. It puts politicians beyond the power of the voters, undermining what is democracy’s great boast.

If Gillard has changed her mind on her tax, there is just one honourable way to introduce it - to ask voters at the next election for a mandate, as John Howard did when he changed his mind on a GST.

That means not introducing the tax next year, but after a new vote.

But Gillard’s way is a betrayal of democracy. A brazen fraud. An act of infamy.

But no more or less than we have come to expect from these pathetic losers, sadly. The worst part of it is that she isn't being savaged by the media, nor is the gaunt figure of Bob Brown who stands by her side as de facto Deputy Prime Minister.

ETA: Tim Blair has more, and he's no more impressed with this than Bolt is.
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High Court decision could change election result. Basically the argument was that the current rules made the electoral roll close too early after the election was called. I've blogged about this before, and it turns out that the rule-change was made by the previous government. Again, I'm of mixed feelings. On the one hand, one should have more than just one working day to get one's papers in to enrol. On the other hand, enrolling to vote is one of those things which any sane person of the appropriate age should be responsible enough to do of their own accord.

It's been obvious since Julia Gillard deposed Kevin Rudd that we'd be going to the polls in the near future. That should have been a tipoff to the unenrolled to pull their fingers out and get the job done.

So while I'm pleased that this case has been brought and won, I despise the snotty little twentysomethings who brought it. They're intelligent enough to bring and win their case, but somehow not intelligent enough to read the political scene and ensure they were registered. One of them is twenty three years old, which means he should have been enrolled at the last federal election. I know I got a reminder (sent to my current address) to change my enrolment address (at my previous address) weeks before this election was called. So why did someone who should have been on the rolls for the last five years miss out?

Negligence and political blindness. Either that or deliberate failure to register on the part of an activist who planned to make a fight of it. You decide.

2. Bungling the education revolution: The facts are inescapable: the BER, particularly in NSW, has been an obscene waste of taxpayers' money. The graph on page 29 of Mr Orgill's report showing a state-by-state comparison of project management fees makes it clear that in NSW these fees were, as The Australian has reported, highly inflated.

Sixteen billion on school buildings, and not one cent for books or computers or lab equipment or anything of the like to fill them. The Catholic and Private (i.e. independent) schools managed their own projects and got value for money. The public schools had it managed for them and got royally shafted. The interesting bit is that there are a lot of polling booths located at schools (their halls are useful for this), and every one of those schools now has a sign in front of it advertising what the Government has supposedly done. Free election advertising, at taxpayers' expense. The person who presided over this is currently the Prime Minister of this nation. I would not be voting for her or her party if I held the welfare of my nation to be of any importance.

3. Meanwhile, it seems ex-PM Kevin Rudd's return to prominence in an attempt to help his party in the polls is not going well at all.
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Debating the Greens could chop them down to size.

The author of this article used to work for former Prime Minister John Howard, so his opinions need to be taken with an appropriately sized grain of salt. My comments, as always, in bold - and then a reversion below the line for the final discussion, to save your poor bold-blasted eyeballs. Let us begin...
Cut for friendspage friendliness )

All in all, I have to admit this article wasn't what it seemed to promise. Its author started off talking about the Greens and couldn't resist veering off into a general discussion of Coalition vs. Labor politics. The Greens were shunted off to the sidelines (which is where I think they belong).
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The line is from "2001: A Space Odyssey"; the context is here, and the full text is below, with my comments in bold.

DUMPED Liberal candidate David Barker doesn't know why he has been disendorsed despite making controversial anti-Muslim comments.

Hmm, let's read on and find out; shall we?

Mr Barker was replaced as the Liberal candidate for the safe Labor seat of Chifley in Western Sydney today by Venus Priest, 40, a former nurse and small business owner who emigrated to Australia from the Philippines in 1995.

Safe Labor means we never expected Barker to win and take his place in Parliament, which is pretty good news given what we're about to learn IMO. Opposition parties put up candidates in seats safely held by incumbent governments in the event of a surprise backlash, and they're usually an insurance policy to prevent independents or third parties (e.g. the Greens) taking advantage of such an electoral windfall.

The disgraced candidate used his Facebook site to accuse Labor of moving the nation closer to a Muslim country and attacked his ALP opponent in Chifley, Ed Husic, over his religion.

Paranoia. I don't think we're ever going to become "a Muslim country", but what I do sometimes fear is that Sharia law or fundamentalist Islamism will gain some sort of foothold through blindly applied "tolerance" policies - which is very bad for the people we often hear about suffering its effects overseas (e.g. women, young girls, homosexuals of both genders, and minority Muslims - i.e. Sunnis in Shia localities and vice versa).

Today Mr Barker stood by his statements, telling the ABC there should not be a Muslim in parliament and questioning whether the country was ready for an atheist prime minister.

I couldn't care less if there's a Muslim in Parliament, so long as they uphold the Constitution and the rule of secular law just as everyone else does. MPs who go saying the stupid things some prominent Muslims have said in this country - e.g. about scantily dressed women deserving what they get - tend to be ostracised pretty quickly, and frequently don't get returned at the next election.

“I'm not anti-Muslim,” he said.

Oh yes, you are.

“I believe everyone should have their own beliefs.

“But I don't know if we want at this stage in Australian politics a Muslim in the parliament and an atheist running the government.”

I'm quite happy to have a Muslim in the Parliament, or even several - with the above provisos, of course. As for concerns about an atheist running the government, well, that enables us to buttonhole Mr Barker pretty quickly.

Mr Barker said he did not understand why he had been disendorsed.

How do the words "because we think you are intolerant and stupid" sound?

“I made a comment that I believe God is the only way to heaven and we shouldn't have a Muslim candidate running in that area,” he said.

Um... yeah. Right. Christians are perfectly within their rights to believe that the Christian God is the only way to heaven - it's arguably a central tenet of the faith. But what, I ask you, does this have to do with a Muslim running for Parliament? Pretty much nothing, which suggests that Mr Barker and common sense are nobody's OTP except his own, and that he is far better off being paired with OMGWTF.

Liberal Party state director Mark Neeham said Mr Barker had not conducted himself in a way the party expected of its candidates for the August 21 election.

Nor with common human decency.

And Opposition Leader Tony Abbott endorsed the party's decision, saying Mr Barker is “gone, he's finished”.

Well done, Mr Abbott.

Mr Abbott said it was not appropriate to attack people because of their religious convictions.

Qualified support. Some people's religious convictions are beyond the pale - e.g. people who want to sexually mutilate little girls or shove their women into cloth sacks with eyeslits, or who go to soldiers' funerals ranting about filthy gays burning in hell or whatever crap it is the loons at Westboro are screaming this week - but this is more a function of those people being fucking arseholes who are hiding their cultural and psychological baggage, their lust for power, or all of the above behind one religion or another.

“Attacks on people based on their religion have no place in this election campaign,” he said.

(Ending bold, for eyestrain's sake.)

Mr Barker comes across as that sort of Christian who makes me loath to admit I believe in the existence of the same God. Who gets through the Pearly Gates and who doesn't is God's business alone, and certainly has nothing to do with who governs this country. We are a Christian country inasmuch as our cultural observances, laws and morals are rooted in and informed by that faith. They are not dictated by it, and have not been for some time. Render unto God what is God's and unto Caesar what is Caesar's - and that includes a Muslim sitting in Parliament.

Personally, I want the new Liberal candidate to win (though "safe Labor seat" means I don't like their chances) - but only because I think Labor are a mob of incompetents who deserve to be shown the door for the next generation, and every seat they lose is one more step on the road to repairing the damage they have done this country in the last three years. But if a Muslim gets voted in fair and square, that's the democratic process at work. Who am I to object?

(Unless of course they are to Islam what Fred Phelps is to Christianity, in which case no sane political party in its right mind would endorse them, and no sane electorate in which they stood as an independent would give them any more than a handful of votes).

One thing I think this shows up the need for is for very careful vetting of potential candidates. The Liberals are not alone in having been cursed by idiots. I hear Labor has already had to dump a rather loose cannon and the Greens seem to be nursing at least one 9/11 Truther in their ranks (cache link to source article has failed) - although Heaven knows the Greens have been known to put up some pretty loopy people as candidates. The sooner the electorate wipes them out, the better - and it won't harm the environment one little bit.
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Vote wisely.

Bury Labor; annihilate the Greens.

That is all.
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...and in the nicest possible way.

Julia Gillard respects religious beliefs but will not 'pretend' to have faith for votes.

My comments, as always, in bold.

JULIA Gillard conceded today that she is not a "religious person" and declared she would not "pretend" to be for the sake of votes.

That hardly needs to be painted as a concession.

The Prime Minister appeared caught by surprise this morning during a radio blitz to lift her profile when asked how she would court the Christian vote and whether she believed in God.

Given that John Howard was fairly well known for his (by no means overstated) religious faith, that Tony Abbott is regularly demonised for his Catholicism and that Kevin Rudd made a great song-and-dance about his supposed Christianity, it's a fair question to ask.

“I'm not a religious person,” Ms Gillard told ABC radio.

“I was brought up in the Baptist Church but during my adult life I've, you know, found a different path. I'm of course a great respecter of religious beliefs, but they're not my beliefs.”

Fair enough. I approve.

“I am not going to pretend a faith I don't feel. And for people of faith the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine. I think it's not the right thing.”

Spot on - especially the first sentence.

Ms Gillard said she “never thought it was the right thing for me to go through religious rituals for the sake of appearance. I am what I am. And people will judge that”.

“For, you know, people of faith what I would say to them is I grew up in a Christian Church, a Christian background, a Baptist Church, I won prizes for catechism for being able to remember Bible verses. I am steeped in that tradition but I've made decisions in my adult life about my own views.”

Well said.

Ms Gillard declined to say if she was worried about the Christian vote, indicating she was more concerned with the “national interest (and) about doing the right thing by Australians”.

If she's confirmed in the position by the electorate, this should make it a lot harder for religious groups with masked agendas (names often named include the Exclusive Brethren, Hillsong and Scientology) to win concessions from her.

“What I can say to Australians broadly of course is that I believe you can be a person of strong principle and values from a variety of perspectives. And I've outlined mine to you.”

Very well said indeed. Full marks. The emphasis on morality not depending on religion (or any specific religion) gets a bonus point. I really am starting to warm to PM Gillard. I only hope she represents a genuine break from her predecessor.

(Reverting from bold for general commentary.)

The problem is, there's too damn much responsibility that can be pinned to her for much of what's gone on so far. I'm uneasy about the makeup of her Cabinet (including hints that Kevin Rudd will get a major front-bench seat if Labor is returned, the open question of the next Finance Minister with Lindsay Tanner's announced retirement, and the continued presence of Wayne Swan in the Treasury role when his legacy so far has been a long and brutal run of hideous deficit spending and an approach to tax reform that can only be described as slapdash. Couple that with the fact that the entire Mining Tax business is still up in the air, and the possible reintroduction of a cap-and-trade scheme (for which we really ought to have gone to a double dissolution election back in January) and I have grave reservations about returning this government to power.

One bright note is that the removal of Kevin Rudd has resulted in a lot of Labor voters, who had turned away in disgust, returning their support. This had previously flowed to our Green party, which is not a bunch of level-headed environmentalists but rather a far-left bunch of fairies-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden dreamers with a nasty attitude to technology, combined with a sometimes tenuous connection to the harsh realities of being responsible for the fate of 23 million people. It's nice to see those votes bleeding away from this hideous bunch of techno-luddite hairshirt morons. I can't wait to see them wiped out.

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Having (cautiously and with some qualifications) sung Julia Gillard's praises, I now proceed to take apart someone who is nominally "on my side". I'd like to think he is, but I'm dreadfully concerned that he's got a gun pointed at his own foot.

Here's the source; my comments in bold.

Australians deserve more than a factional puppet show in government, writes Senator Cory Bernardi.
It is like the longest and most painful episode of The Thunderbirds ever.

The crises are just as contrived, the characters are equally wooden and occasionally the strings are visible.

Um... no. The crises contrived by the Rudd Government to justify doing this, that and the other crazy, stupid thing were certainly contrived. The main character was certainly wooden, but had he had half Jeff Tracy's brains and common sense, we'd not be in this situation.

But last week we had a rare glimpse at the faceless factional fixers who are actually pulling the strings of the lead players.
After two years of government lurching from one faux war to another, the Labor warlords made Kevin Rudd their target. One can understand their anxiety and willingness to despatch a Prime Minister in a brutal display of their factional power.

Um, no. It was more like a brutal display of "Holy fuck, this guy is incompetent and out of control, and we are careering towards electoral annihilation and the ruin of the country."

After all, Mr Rudd refused to recognise their greatness through ministerial preferment. Some of these powerful figures were left languishing on the backbench or in junior portfolios - positions considered beneath their undoubted talents.

Don't belittle your opponents. They may be ruthless, they may be fumbling the ball, but they're not that stupid or that selfish.

Kevin Rudd survived while he had the public confidence but, as the mal-administration of the Labor Government became increasingly evident, the ruthless Labor machine kicked into gear.

And so it should have. Kevin Rudd had the public's confidence for far longer than he deserved, and it's mostly due to Labor-friendly political commentators and a refusal of previous Opposition Leaders to take him seriously to task.

Now was the time for payback under the guise of giving the Party a shot at winning the next election. Drafting a willing accomplice in Julia Gillard, the unprecedented betrayal of a first-term Prime Minister began.

Betrayal? Please, that's how the Westminster System works. The precedents are Hawke/Keating and (in Britain) Asquith/Lloyd-George.

When the factional forces combined against him, Rudd had less than a dozen supporters and decided not to contest the leadership in order to avoid further humiliation.

A vain, narcissistic and fragile mind that couldn't stand losing. That much I agree with. He did not want to risk defeat in a double-dissolution election over the Emission Trading Scheme. He did not put candidates up in two by-elections which were contested in the wake of "Climategate", in case his candidates were butchered and made his polls look bad - a critical error in that by contesting them and winning them, he might have had the numbers to force the ETS through. Instead they were contested by raving lunatics who dribbled on about the suspension of democracy being necessary to cope with climate change, and cybernetic appreciations of connections to Greater Gaia and the like - who were systematically slaughtered at the polls as they deserved, and did the climate-change position far more damage than a thousand "skeptics".

Now the process of redefining history has commenced in an attempt to distance Julia Gillard from her predecessor. It should make for an interesting display

After two years of being the 2IC in the Rudd ‘kitchen cabinet’, Gillard claims the Government had lost its way.

She stated nothing more or less than the truth.

After two years of defending senseless programs and waste, she wants us to believe it had nothing to do with her. The spin doctors expect us to forget that Gillard was responsible for the greatest and most expensive mismanagement of a government program in history - the rorted Building the Education Revolution - where billions of taxpayer dollars were wasted.

I think we'll see evidence of Kevin Rudd's involvement in that plan in a BIG way. I'm suspending judgement on that one.

After years of defending, deploying and denying the failures of this Government, we are now expected to believe that Julia Gillard was not a part of the problem.

History will be the judge of that. I am the last person on Earth who will defend the way Kevin Rudd ran his show - he was a minor megalomaniac who wouldn't take no for an answer; it was his way or the highway, and no questions asked. It MIGHT be proven in the long run that his colleagues tried and tried to argue him out of courses and were loyal to a fault. Until then, judgement should be reserved.

I agree with Ms Gillard that the Government has lost its way. I agree that the policy failures and their negative impacts on our nation are too many to list. I agree that their few achievements are modest and mostly spin, but I cannot accept her playing Pontius Pilate and washing her hands of the decisions she made.

Hmm. Maybe, maybe not. Ultimately it was Rudd's show, but I think we're going to have to wait until he's out of Parliament for the full truth to emerge. Given his reputation for being foul-mouthed, abusive and tyrannical, I can understand why Ministers might have been more concerned with trying to run their portfolios as best they could. I still think Julia Gillard's got a lot to answer for, but she made a better Acting Prime Minister than Rudd ever made Prime Minister, and she may do a better job with a lot of the load off her plate. I suspect with three portfolios to run and the Big Chair to fill whenever Rudd was out of the country or on leave, she was simply overloaded.

Ms Gillard's ascension to the leadership of the Labor Party is a desperate attempt to hide the failures of this Government under the political corpse of Kevin Rudd.

There's no hiding the failures; the question is whether you're willing to concede the Government the possibility of rectifying them. I am. If Senator Bernardi is not, and generalises this belief to the entire electorate, he's on the cusp of a major political error that could lose his party the election.

It is a muscle flexing exercise by the hidden men of Labor who have demonstrated once again who really pulls the strings.

The Australian Labor Party was formed to be the political representation of the unions. Imagine Kevin Rudd allowed to run riot and do more of the damage he's already done this country. We should be glad they took him out and replaced him with someone who, whatever her failings, doesn't share his.

The Australian people deserve more from their government than a puppet show and instinctively know that changing the lead puppet will never change the flawed factional culture of the Labor Party.

It won't change the culture, no. But it will change something abysmal to something possibly salvageable. If Julia Gillard's got half the balls (metaphorical ones) I credit her with, she'll make some real changes. I'll say it again - I despised Rudd, and I would not have been willing to bear the thought of another three years under his governance. With Gillard, we have the beginnings of a reasonable alternative to the Coalition. So long as prominent Coalition senators like Mr Bernardi indulge in paranoid fantasies about hidden, faceless puppetmasters, that alternative will seem increasingly more reasonable.

Senator Cory Bernardi is the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader of the Opposition and a Senator for South Australia. This article is courtesy of his personal blog which can be found at

Senator Bernardi, if I recall correctly, did a lot of good work opposing the insanity of the ETS. Unfortunately I think he's gone off the rails here. I hope the rest of his party doesn't follow suit - although even if it is that flawed, it would have been better than three more years under Kevin Rudd. Julia Gillard has shown the second most priceless gift a politician can have - knowledge of when (and more importantly how) to compromise. She's also shown signs of the most important gift, one I've only ever seen in one other Labor politician (Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister) - the ability to sell a viewpoint your audience disagrees with in a way that doesn't insult or demonise them.

There are those who believe that immigration should be curbed because of serious concerns about lack of supporting infrastructure and the inevitable sprawl of suburbia. Because much of that immigration is of people who do not have white skin, English as a first language or Christian faith, these critics (who quite often are on the more conservative* side of politics) have been decried as racists hiding behind a cloak of legitimate concern. Prime Minister Gillard has stated their position bluntly: "It's all very well to talk of a 'big Australia' but when you talk to the people of Western Sydney and Western Melbourne, they're going to say 'but where are you going to put all these extra people?'"

* Conservative politicans in Australia are more in the British mould (thus corresponding more to the centre-right) than the American (far-right creationist-fundamentalist Republican). Please do not confuse the two. We have a few of the latter, most notably Steve Fielding, but even they are well to the left of the worst the United States has to offer. I would like to see "Conservative" removed from its present usage. Most of those who claim the title in the US are, from my perspective, actually extremist-reactionaries. True conservatives move forward when they are convinced that progress is warranted and safe. As I see it, a true conservative would not indefinitely oppose gay marriage on principle even if they had started out doing so, and might happily have voted for Barack Obama had he been four to eight years older and more experienced.

Conservatives do not refuse to change their minds. Only reactionaries do that.

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And now that I'm not having to pay much closer attention to things like epimyoepithelial carcinomas, I thought I should skim the news services and have a look about what's being said about Prime Minister Gillard and her hapless predecessor (he who must not be named?).

Paul Kelly argues that Labor's leadership challenge "rewrites all the rules" There is no greater political fall in Labor history - within 12 months Rudd has gone from being master of his domain to a sudden execution. He has nobody to blame but himself.

More like seven months, and yes; he does have nobody to blame but himself. He might have tried pinning the blame on the late-twenty to early-thirtysomethings he gathered around himself to act as his advisers, but then the blame would still reflect on him for preferring such youthful know-nothings to the huge pool of experience he had in Cabinet and back-bench. He seems to have raised the one man band to an art form.

The next election will be fought between Gillard and Tony Abbott, a contest few would have imagined a year ago.

Amen to that, too. A year ago we were still talking about Costello coming off the back-bench to take Rudd on. Now Costello is gone, and may have made a bad mistake in doing so.

Meanwhile, the new Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader have locked swords...

BARELY an hour after Julia Gillard was sworn in, Tony Abbott greeted the new Prime Minister with a withering attack on her "ugly" ascent to the top job. The Opposition Leader questioned the legitimacy of her position, which he said was delivered by the “political assassination” of Kevin Rudd by trade union leaders and faction bosses.

Her position is perfectly legitimate, thank you very much, and I feel for the first time that Tony Abbott's over-reached himself. I have nothing but contempt for the power-brokers who have brought this about - I think many of them mindless scum who are drunk with lust for power - but either this or an election was necessary. And we're probably getting the latter too, before very long, because...

Ms Gillard acknowledged she had not been elected prime minister by the Australian people and “in the coming months” promised to ask the Governor-General to call an election.

On the other hand, the new Prime Minister doesn't make herself look any better with unsubstantiated scaremongering like this:

“I love this country and I was not going to sit idly by and watch an incoming opposition cut health, cut education and smash rights at work.”

That's your opinion, Prime Minister; I've heard differently.

I have tried finding her speech at the Labor Party website. I got a blank page. When I get it, I'll parse it.

I have some concerns, but she's far, far better than what came before her. If we were going to have a Labor government at all, we should have had her all along.

At least now I can contemplate voting Labor again. I always ask myself, when I'm standing in the booth, "Hang on; should I be voting for the other side?" With the Pusillanimous Worm in charge, the answer was always going to be no. That's no longer the case, which is good for the democratic process.
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...we have this.

Hurry and watch it before copyright issues get it taken down like all the others!

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Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been enjoying (??) a steady slide in his popularity ever since late last November, when his Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was defeated, his moment in the Copenhagen limelight turned to failure, and Tony Abbott replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Opposition Leader.

Since then, things have steadily got worse for him - and everything he's tried to do to deflect attention from the previous failure has gone into an even faster tail-spin.

Now it looks as though his days, possibly even his hours, are numbered.

If this happens, the likely successor is Julia Gillard (deputy PM). That would make her Australia's first female Prime Minister. Things to bear in mind:

1) She will not be an elected Prime Minister.

2) She must be judged on her competence, not on her gender. Unfortunately for her, the "Building the Education Revolution" program over which she presides as Education Minister has been far from stellar; with reports of gross mismanagement, total failures of consultation with expressed wishes of the schools being overridden, and horrific fiscal waste to the tune of FIVE BILLION DOLLARS. I have no problem with a female Prime Minister per se. I have a lot of problems with this particular woman as Prime Minister.

3) The next election is due no later than April; the best she can hope for is to be regarded as a stable caretaker. Essentially everything this government has done is going to have to be overhauled, and possibly undone and redone, before the Labor Party can regard itself as fit to govern beyond then.

10:19pm - according to the news sources, it's all over bar the shouting. From the ABC, the Government broadcaster:

One senior party source said: "This crypto-fascist made no effort to build a base within the party and now his only faction - Newspoll - has deserted him. He is gone."

His only faction - Newspoll. Says it all about the man. This is what happens when you're driven by the polls rather than by conviction. Even Whitlam - sacked in disgrace by the Governor General and then slaughtered at the polls by the electorate - had conviction. He who lives by the popularity poll will die by the popularity poll - metaphorically speaking, anyway.

ETA 24 June, 10:15.

Rudd is out. Good riddance to you, sir. You have besmirched the reputation of this fine nation for long enough.

Congratulations to Julia Gillard on a clean kill, elected unopposed. Prime Minister Gillard, you have approximately six months and not more than nine* to begin the undoing of Rudd's damage and start governing this country the way it ought to be governed. Show that you can be a principled leader, and not merely a poll-driven narcissist like the pretender you just toppled, and the country might give you another chance.

Congratulations also to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, without whom Rudd would never have entered his curious self-driven death spiral. Your job - to provide an effective opposition and pull the government up on its shortcomings - has been done well, but your other job (getting into government) might just have got a hell of a lot harder. If you can win against a resurgent Julia Gillard come the next election, you'll deserve the position.

* = Not a threat, but a constitutional and electoral reality. The next election MUST be called by then.
pathology_doc: Ginny Weasley (film) clutching Riddle's diary: Ginny/Horcrux OTP (Default)
ORGANISATIONS which campaigned for the Rudd Government's election in 2007 are among those given hundreds of thousands of dollars from Australia's foreign aid budget.

Under new rules announced in 2009, Ausaid can now fund education and awareness campaigns in Australia.

Labor-friendly organisations are big winners from the $1.3 million handed out so far.

The ACTU has collected $147,000 for a campaign to educate workers on the Rudd Government's international development aid program.

Another $150,000 has gone to the Oaktree Foundation, founded by former young Australian of the Year Hugh Evans, for 1000 young people to travel the country educating the public about poverty alleviation and the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

The foundation was part of the 2007 Make Poverty History campaign and during that year's election Mr Evans said it was planning a "full-scale" campaign urging people to support Labor's position on foreign aid.

Other winners include a program to bring Australian and Afghani youth together via the internet for an arts project showing they understand poverty and a rickshaw ride for 400 from Queensland to Tasmania.

Under the new rules, 10 per cent of Ausaid's Australian NGO Co-operation Program's budget can be spent in Australia on awareness campaigns.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop said the foreign aid budget should be used to improve the lives of people in developing countries.

"Australians are generous and want to support other nations, but they expect their funds to be spent efficiently in support of less fortunate people around the world," she said.

The Government did not respond to a request for comment.

The ACTU is the Australian Council of Trade Unions. What it's doing with $147,000 of money that could do a lot of good in the Third World, I have no idea. Why someone shouldn't be strung up by their gonads and flogged senseless with wet noodles for this, I also have no idea. But as with the building business, it looks fishy.


pathology_doc: Ginny Weasley (film) clutching Riddle's diary: Ginny/Horcrux OTP (Default)

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