Posts Tagged ‘Julia Gillard’

After fleecing the taxpayer, Tim Flannery is now set to fleece the public

September 24, 2013

Tim Flannery who has just been sacked by the Tony Abbot government from his position at the Climate Change Commission, is another self-proclaimed “climate expert” and general doom-monger. Not so very different from Pachauri.

He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at La Trobe University in 1977, and then took a change of direction to complete a Master of Science degree in Earth Science at Monash University in 1981. He then left Melbourne for Sydney, enjoying its subtropical climate and species diversity. In 1984, Flannery earned a doctorate at the University of New South Wales in Palaeontology for his work on the evolution of macropods (kangaroos)

But he is not taking his ignominious sacking lying down. Instead of donning sack-cloth and ashes and doing penance to seek absolution for his many sins, he finds that he needs to generate some income to keep himself in the style he is accustomed to. He received an annual salary of A$ 180,000 for his 3 day week at the Climate Change Commission. He needs to replace that. He will therefore get out his begging bowl and solicit money directly from the public in “Obama style” as he calls it. I’m not sure precisely what that means other than many small contributions from many small pockets to make a large sum for his large pocket!

A parasitic existence sucking money from small contributors without actually producing anything of real value to anyone except himself!

Flannery is one of those who deny the global warming hiatus. His tenure in his well-paid sinecure has been characterised by a closed and narrow mind parroting the politically correct dogma that – of course – he was appointed by Julia Gillard to do. JoNova has kept track of his silliness during his reign.


An Australian climate change body scrapped by the new government has been relaunched as a non-profit organisation reliant on public donations.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott axed the Climate Commission, set up by the previous government, last week.

But the group resurrected itself as the Climate Council, saying it hoped “Obama-style” public donations raised online would keep it open

Australia is the developed world’s worst polluter per head of population.

The Climate Commission was set up to provide “an independent and reliable source of information about the science of climate change” under former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Speaking at Tuesday’s launch, scientist Tim Flannery, who headed up the Climate Commission, said: “We are raising money Obama-style in small donations online from the public.”

Labour has given up and starts looking for Rudd’s successor

September 6, 2013

In theory I suppose the election is still there to be lost by Abbott and the Coalition.

I am biased. If I were in Australia – which I am not – I would probably prefer Abbott on policies but as an interested observer I find that my preference for Abbott is based – not so much on policies – but almost entirely on the the level of “squirm” that Rudd engenders in me. Trust is not something that politicians generally deserve but I perceive Rudd as being particularly insincere.

The betting money and the bookies are now expecting a rout.  It is no longer possible to place a bet on the outcome but Abbot may still not get his own majority in the Senate.

Sportsbet has decided the Coalition is likely to win at least 20 seats, increasing its position from 72 to at least 92 seats, giving it a hefty majority of at least 34 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives.

It has low odds of $1.85 for the Coalition to win 91 to 100 seats. The odds drift out to $2.35 for the Coalition to pick up 100 or more seats. They drift further out to $2.75 for a more constrained 81 to 90 Coalition seats. Sportsbet thus sees a landslide as much more likely than a tight election.

When you look at Sportsbet’s odds on a seat-by-seat basis, it looks even more grim for Labor, with 30 seats in danger.

But it’s not all good news for the Coalition. Sportsbet has essentially closed its books on the overall Senate election outcome. The Coalition is at long odds, $13, to win a majority in the Senate.

The politics of gridlock may thus drag on, with the Coalition declaring a mandate and the Greens and others declaring they have a mandate as a house of review.

Rudd, by party rules, has to vacate the leadership if he loses. And I suppose that it is only natural and to be expected that Labour politicians looking beyond this weekend are now beginning to position themselves for a new leader. I don’t suppose that there is a scenario which could bring Julia Gillard back. The speculation has begun though the contenders would first have to be returned in their own constituencies:

BOB Hawke has tipped Bill Shorten as the front-runner should Labor need to find a new leader.

With the Coalition looking likely to form government after tomorrow’s election, attention is turning to who may succeed Kevin Rudd as Labor leader if the ALP is defeated.

Mr Hawke said Treasurer Chris Bowen is talented but first needs to retain his seat, and Health Minister Tanya Plibersek is unlikely to be in the running.

“But she could be a candidate for the deputy. I think Tanya is a very impressive representative.”

The former prime minister was unsure if Immigration Minister Tony Burke would step forward.

“On all the indications … you would think that Bill (Shorten) has got the front running.”

Mr Rudd has vowed to stay on as the member for Griffith if Labor loses, but he would be forced by party rules to vacate the leadership and may be unlikely to renominate.

All relatively unknown names for me.

I still am of the opinion that Australia could be a major force for the region and a leader – by example – of how things can be made to work. From Japan to India. But that does require that Australia to be less of a blind “follower” of the US and to get rid of of the many trappings of the “nanny state” that have been indulged in. And that in turn requires that the leaders of the two main parties be capable of being taken seriously.

Interesting times.

Rudd trailing Abbott in the final stretch and the bookies start paying out

September 2, 2013

My perception is not so much of Abbott taking or stretching his lead but rather of Rudd trailing and falling further behind. Like an over-the-hill runner attempting a come-back, who cannot quite keep up and who falls increasingly further behind as they enter the home stretch.

There is less than a week to go and they have had 3 debates. Neither scored a knockout but neither  fell down either. The personal popularity that was Rudd’s calling card is just a shadow of what it used to be. His beaming smile now has a hint of being sinister. If this election is in any sense a referendum on the carbon tax, Rudd is on the wrong side – even if it is Julia Gillard who takes most of that hit. The nexus between corrupt union leaders and Labour politicians lives a life of its own and a mere election will not put a stop to that. But all the recent headlines don’t particularly help Rudd.

In the critical state of Queensland, Rudd is going the wrong way.

Poll results.

The ALP is going the wrong way in Queensland. – The Age

I can’t help thinking that part of the ALP’s problem is that Rudd (and Gillard before him) had an over-inflated perception of their own importance on the world stage. Part of that was no doubt due to the elevated position Howard had in US eyes with his support of the Iraq War. Being a little more realistic can be to Abbott’s advantage


TONY Abbott says Australia should stop boasting on the world stage and bring some “humility” back to foreign policy.

In a direct swipe at Kevin Rudd, the Coalition leader suggested the Government should stop “overstating” its influence and be realistic about what authority it could command internationally.

The Prime Minister yesterday continued to use to the Syria crisis to attack Mr Abbott’s apparent lack of depth on global affairs.

But in a stinging rebuke to the man once dubbed Kevin 747 for his extensive world travel as PM, Mr Abbott said Australia could be more effective as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council if it stopped exaggerating its power.

“Australia should do what it can to build a better world but we shouldn’t exaggerate our own influence,” he said following a Press Club address in Canberra to make the case for a Coalition government.

As always, following the money is usually very revealing. If the bookies had just stopped taking bets on Abbott it would have been pretty telling. But when a bookie starts paying out even before the polls have opened – let alone before the result is announced – it can only mean that one contender is overwhelmingly dominant or that the result has been fixed. Either way the result is a done thing, and one bookmaking company has started paying out bets on Abbott a full week before the election.

Reuters: Thu Aug 29, 2013

An Australian bookmaker on Thursday began paying out bets on a conservative opposition victory, declaring the country’s September 7 election race already over for Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s struggling Labor government.

With nine days to go, online bookmaker Sportsbet said it had begun paying A$1.5 million ($1.34 million) in bets received on a victory for opposition leader Tony Abbott’s centre-right coalition, because the outcome was already clear.

“As far as Sportsbet’s betting markets are concerned, the Abbotts can start packing up their belongings ahead of their imminent move to Kirribilli House,” Sportsbet spokesman Haydn Lane said, referring to the prime minister’s residence in Sydney.

The race it seems is over.

O Fontana! Is Rudd losing his election on rudeness?

August 24, 2013

Two weeks to go to the Australian election and maybe the campaign is now beginning to show some signs of life. But things are not looking very good for Kevin Rudd.

The campaign has been fairly lacklustre so far but some small events may be having an unexpectedly large impact on the electorate. Whereas Abbott’s slip-ups almost seem to be expected and are discounted, Rudd’s small missteps are instead tapping into perceptions of his long history on the political stage. A Rude Rudd meme is growing. Voters don’t usually choose their candidates just for being polite but it is possible that they may refuse to vote for someone considered rude.

Lily Fontana’s short-lived outburst on Facebook about Kevin Rudd’s relative rudeness before last weeks TV debate has brought all his many previous episodes of rudeness back to the forefront. Strangely Abbott’s “shut up” about Rudd is seen as being somewhat justified. His “suppository” instead of “repository” generated a few smutty jokes but does not seem to have caused much negative impact. Perhaps because expectations of Abott are sufficiently low. Perceptions relative to expectations give reality. Another make-up artist, Abigail Johnston, also described a similar episode with Rudd. She too took down (or was forced to take down) her Facebook post. Make up artist Abigael Johnston backed up her friend Ms Fontana, saying Mr Rudd had previously been rude to her. “I second this Lily. I have had a very similar experience!” Ms Johnston said. Posting on Facebook Ms Johnston said: “Must run in the family as Mr Howard and Mr Costello were gentlemen with a capital G. Mr Abbott is following in their footsteps. The other, I could not even face book how he treated the crew. Just abhorrent!” When contacted this morning Ms Johnston said the incident she referred to had occurred before Mr Rudd was Prime Minister.

The electorate is beginning to remember that Rudd’s smile is just a little too smarmy and that he may not be such a nice bloke after all. His past reputation for bullying and rudeness is suddenly of great interest.

The Australian: A RETIRED air vice-marshal has accused Kevin Rudd of “bully standover tactics” and a make-up artist has declared he was rude as she prepared him for the people’s forum debate, reviving questions about the Prime Minister’s character that emerged in his first stint in the role. ….. The revelations blunted Labor’s attacks on Tony Abbott’s character, after the Opposition Leader snapped during the forum debate, asking of Rudd “does this guy ever shut up?” ….. echoed claims that Mr Rudd had been rude to air force staff during his first term as prime minister. In the lead up to his failed February 2012 leadership challenge against Julia Gillard, an expletive-laden video was leaked of him losing his cool as he prepared a Chinese-language video.

Herald Sun: In 2009 he famously had to apologise to an RAAF air hostess after it was revealed he reduced her to tears when the meal he requested was unavailable on a flight from Port Moresby to Canberra. .. In the same year it was reported Mr Rudd threw a “wobbly” when Diggers were unable to locate a hairdryer for a photo opportunity in Afghanistan. .. Again in 2009 Mr Rudd reportedly launched an expletive-ridden tirade at Labor’s factional bosses, including three female MPs. ….. In 2010 following the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit Mr Rudd told journalists: “Those Chinese f-ers, they are trying to ratf- us”. … Then in 2012 an expletive-ridden video was released. In the video, uploaded to YouTube under the heading “Kevin Rudd is a happy little vegemite” the PM slams the table and swears repeatedly in outtakes. “You can tell these d-heads in the embassy to just give me simple sentences. I’ve said this before,” Mr Rudd says. “Tell that bloody interpreter. This f-ing language just complicates it so much, you know. How can anyone do this.”

Furthermore his “despatch” of Julia Gillard has confirmed a perception of  his deviousness. What was once seen as “political skill” has flipped over to being seen as “underhanded” and Machiavellian. Of course the Australian Labour Party’s internal workings could be used as a script for The Borgias. (While Jeremy Irons is known to donate generously to Labour in the UK, I have not heard that he has shown much interest in the Australian election).

And now the latest polls show not only the Coalition increasing its lead but also that Rudd may have difficulty in defending his own seat:

The AgeKevin Rudd faces a fight to avoid becoming the third prime minister in the nation’s history to lose his own seat. A second poll in a week has shown Mr Rudd narrowly trailing his Liberal National Party opponent, Bill Glasson, in Griffith, prompting the Prime Minister to declare he was campaigning as hard as he could.

Long-serving prime minister John Howard lost his Sydney seat of Bennelong to Labor’s Maxine McKew as part of the Ruddslide in 2007, the first time an Australian PM had lost his own electorate since Stanley Bruce in 1929.

BloombergAustralia’s opposition Liberal-National coalition widened its lead over the Labor government in an opinion poll, signaling leader Tony Abbott may replace Kevin Rudd as prime minister after the Sept. 7 election. Support for the coalition rose to 53 percent on a two-party preferred basis this week from 52 percent two weeks earlier, while those voters backing the ruling Labor party fell one point to 47 percent, according to a Herald-Nielsen poll published in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper today. Support for Rudd as preferred prime minister fell to 48 percent from 50 percent while 45 percent of those surveyed backed Abbott, up from 42 percent.

My forecast from far, far away (13,600km on a great circle route to Perth) would be for an Abbott win with about a 10 seat margin. It seems unlikely now that any “big” issue (economy, carbon tax, immigration …) is going to get further traction or to be decisive. But two weeks is a long time in politics. It is certainly long enough for either to snatch defeat.

Australian election show makes a quiet start

August 12, 2013

Elections in a number of countries have fantastic entertainment value.The campaigns, the scandals, the gaffes, the TV pundits, the “fringe” idiots and personal animosities all can contribute to the fun.  Of course a certain amount of distance and having a real interest in the country while not being overly affected by the result does increase the potential. In my case having friends in the country on both sides of the political divide adds to the “fun index”. The US Presidential Elections of course lead in the entertainment ratings. Even though they go on for much too long they usually manage to keep the flow of scandals and blunders coming and the inanity level high enough to maintain the “fun level”.

Generally it requires a strong divide between two major parties to inject some excitement for voyeurs like myself. Single party states don’t provide any level of uncertainty and have too high a level of election violence to have much entertainment value. Proportional Representation – as in most of Europe  – tends to reduce the excitement level but even in the Scandinavian countries does not manage to kill all the fun. Generally in much of Europe the inanity and “fun” comes from the idiot fringe parties – usually on the far right but also from a few remnants of hard Marxists and Maoists.

Following the US Presidential I would put the UK General Election next for fun and games. The political and media circus that accompanies the multiple waves of voting in the Indian General Election are always good entertainment. Then – in my estimation and reflecting my interests – come the Australian, German, French and Japanese Elections.

The first week of the Australian Election campaign called by Kevin Rudd is over. It has been relatively quiet and there has been no heat – yet – and no real fireworks. But I still have hope. Murdoch made his views known – as if there was anybody who did not know what they were. I suspect – but I am not sure – that the days of Murdoch being King-maker (as he was for Tony Blair) have long gone. His stuff is now all pay-walled and the cyberworld has passed him by.

Most of the fun in the first week of this election has actually come from a candidate – Stephanie Banister – representing one of the idiot right fringe parties. She got her knickers properly into a twist and confused the Koran with haram, haram with halal, halal with kosher, Islam with a country and Jews with the worship of Jesus. She quit the next day. Quite amusing but peripheral, short-lived and of little consequence.

Keven Rudd – having disposed ruthlessly of Julia Gillard – flexed his new-found muscles and sacked two of his own candidates. There was a faint whiff of an old gender scandal surrounding one of them and the other was accused of accusing others as being too Catholic and racist. ( A case of against.against= for?). Nobody except some union members, seemed to care very much.

Rudd sees himself as a Shakespearean hero in the assassination of Julia Gillard – “for Gillard is an honourable man” (and “man” here is intentional).  He aroused some feelings of  machismo among his supporters and his party “bounced” in the polls. But that bounce has now withered away and Abbott’s coalition is back in the lead. No real trends are visible yet. Last night there was a pretty tame TV debate. Rudd and Abbott shook hands and came out mewling.  Not much “roar” or “cut and thrust”. Rudd was very cautious and apparently “cheated” and had to make use of “crib-sheets” during the debate. As the SMH put it “More mock and bore than shock and awe, Sunday’s debate was a crushingly dull affair where risk avoidance was the chief aim of both sides.” Tony Abbot got his tongue in a twist and instead of “repository of all wisdom” used the phrase “suppository of all wisdom”! I suppose a suppository – for some – could also be a repository.

As entertainment goes it was not a compelling start. Moscow and Usain Bolt took clear precedence yesterday. But there is still time for the fun and games to get up to speed.

Julia Gillard preparing for retirement?

June 25, 2013

The polls suggest that Julia Gillard has little chance at the September (latest November) elections and it would seem that she is preparing for the inevitable.

But Julia as a Madame Defarge like a tricoteuse at her own political “execution” is probably too fanciful.

The Guardian: Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, has whipped up a storm after appearing in the Australian Women’s Weekly knitting a toy kangaroo for the royal baby.

The photoshoot depicts the prime minister in an armchair, surrounded by balls of wool, with her dog Reuben at her feet.

The pictures have sparked controversy in parts of the Australian media, who have called it “contrived” and “remarkable”. Commentators have pointed out that Gillard has traditionally rejected feminine presentations

Julia Gillard Women's Weekly

Julia Gillard  – Tricoteuse? – Women’s Weekly via The Guardian

It could be that she’s looking for a suitable Royal Honour once she leaves Office. Dame Julia? or maybe she’s just knitting for the coming demise of the Carbon Tax?

Lurid Julia Gillard story reaches the main stream media

August 18, 2012

In a previous post I wondered why the lurid series by Larry Pickering about crooked union leaders and Julia Gillard was not being taken up by the main stream media – though the content of the 5 part series by Pickering“Is our Prime Minister a Cook?” – seemed quite explosive to me.

Well, it now seems to have reached the Sunday edition of  Canberra Times:

(UPDATE! The same article is also in the SMH but it was on the web first in the Canberra Times. The Australian also carries a story about Julia Gillard and the loss of her job at the law firm of Slater & Gordon, which is then also reported on by The Telegraph. It looks like the msm are now running to jump onto the bandwagon started by Pickering.)


Unions+con-men+lawyers+sleaze = Julia Gillard?

August 13, 2012

I first came across Australian politics some 25 years ago when trying to sell a turnkey power plant to be located in W. Australia. I found myself trying to negotiate through a morass of cronyism together with convoluted local and national politics which I never did succeed to decipher.  Since then I have been a fascinated – but always confused – observer of Australian politics. I never did manage to sell that particular power plant in Bunbury but I did manage to see a couple of Test matches at the WACA. I have subsequently sold steam and gas turbines  in Australia where these projects did not attract the same level of political interest. But I still have  a very meagre understanding of how things actually get done within Australian politics.

An Australian political cartoonist – Larry Pickering – has been running a series of articles on his blog (4 parts – so far – with part 5 yet to come just published). The contents seem to reveal a web of corruption and deceit encompassing a crooked union leader, the AWU, dirty weekends, a law firm and Julia Gillard who was then employed at that firm. Somewhere along the line Ms. Gillard was apparently sacked from the law firm and then entered politics. The revelations appear quite explosive to me but I note there is almost no coverage of these in the Australian media. I am not quite sure what to make of the apparent disinterest of the MSM. It could be that the “revelations” are pretty tame and just represent  the “normal” and expected behaviour of Australian politicians?

Part One: Our Prime minister is a Crook

Part Two: Is our Prime Minister a Crook?

Part Three: Is our Prime Minister a Crook?

Part Four: Is our Prime Minister a Crook?


Part 5: Is our Prime Minister a crook?

Larry Pickering’s cartoons are pretty interesting as well. The Bolt Games are over now and I like this one:

Cartoon by Larry Pickering

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